Raven is a writer, editor, performer and mom, who was born and bred in NYC, just like her husband, her mother and now, her daughter. As a writer, she's contributed articles to New York Magazine, Time Out New York, The Village Voice, the New York Post, TV Guide, Better Homes and Gardens, iVillage, AOL TV and Moviefone, Parents.com, and worked as an in-house editor for ParentsConnect.com and TimeOutKids.com. As a performer, she's appeared on many downtown stages (sometimes even for pay!), a couple of obscure films and TV shows, and The Maury Povich Show as a female drag queen. She's also the founder of Hot Mama Burlesque, the world's only all-moms burlesque show. After being the NYC editor from March 2011-March 2015, she is now happy to just be a blogger as she pursues additional writing opportunities.
Latest posts by Raven Snook
Cirque du Soleil returned to Randall’s Island for the first time in six years this fall, bringing with it a brand-new steampunk-themed show, Kurios, that’s brimming with the physics-defying performances that first catapulted the troupe to fame.
While the Canadian troupe's last show on the isle, Ovo, was fantastic, Cirque has certainly had plenty of misses over the years, especially with its attempts to branch into new terrain (see Broadway's Paramour), but also because after 35 shows–and plenty of imitators—it all started to feel a bit redundant for avid fans.
I couldn’t help wondering as I made the trek over to Randall’s with my tween-age daughter, would this new spectacle recapture some of that old magic? Read on for the scoop on this new kooky show in town, and how to save money on tickets.
Halloween isn't the only spooky holiday to celebrate in October. Day of the Dead—or Día de los Muertos as it's known in Spanish—is observed by many Latino cultures and is especially popular in Mexico.
Day of the Dead officially takes place on November 1 and 2 to coincide with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. However, NYC events are spread throughout October and early November and most of them are FREE. While it's not a Halloween event, it occurs around the same time and features many of the same trappings like skulls and parades. Revelers honor friends and family members who have died by building altars and adorning them with colorful paper flowers, grinning skeletons and candles. It's a joyful way to remember the deceased without freaking kids out. We've rounded up half a dozen Day of the Dead events where NYC kids and families can celebrate the holiday.
You can find more fall activities in our Fall Fun Guide and check out the Halloween Guide for all the best happenings in NYC this month.
For New York City kids, Halloween doesn't just take place on October 31. The entire month is filled with a "terrifying" number of costume parades, pumpkin festivals and Halloween happenings leading up to the big night. You think getting your kid to choose a costume is hard? Trying to figure out which celebrations to hit is enough to make you run screaming, which is why we've rounded up the absolute best ways to get into the spirit of the season.
You'll find top picks for Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, and several fun family day trips to the nearby Hudson Valley and New Jersey. As always, we included only our favorite events, and many are FREE or inexpensive. To make sure your brood is truly prepared, we've also included info on where to get children's costumes and professional makeup done in NYC. Booyah!
Editor's Note: This post will be continually updated as we learn of new, fun events for 2016 and are able to confirm details on some old favorites, so keep checking back. What's the one way to make a costume-and-candy filled Halloween celebration even sweeter? Make it FREE. In New York City there are so many no-cost fetes, we've decided to give parents a real treat: a roundup of FREE Halloween events for kids in all five boroughs, including big annual family favorites like Fort Greene's BAMboo! block party, the Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla in Central Park and the one-night-only theatrical spectacle at Brooklyn's Halloween 313 house.
So bring your trick-or-treat bags, but leave your wallets at home for these gratis happenings, and then check out our Halloween Fun Guide for details on the best costume parades, trick-or-treat spots and other seasonal activities.
For more than two decades, the award-winning New Victory Theater in the heart of Times Square has been a local family favorite to catch entertaining and affordable productions for all ages. But it's much more than just a place to go see a show. Through a range of educational offerings like hands-on workshops, interactive pre- and post-show activities, and performances to accommodate audiences with special needs, the organization is raising the next generation of theatergoers.
Mommy Poppins is proud to partner with the New Vic for the fourth year in a row. Throughout the season, we'll be giving you access to its incredible lineup of shows and special exclusive events for Mommy Poppins readers. We kick off our partnership with a preview of the New Victory's 2016-2017 season, including show recommendations for every age and stage, tips on how to save on tickets, and video clips from the upcoming productions.
Autumn marks the start of a new theater season, but you don't need to shell out big bucks on Broadway shows to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. This fall, preschoolers will go gaga for engaging, page-to-stage adaptations of some of their favorite picture books and TV shows like The Ugly Duckling, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and Mr. Popper's Penguins. Meanwhile, school-age children can catch a pair of steampunk-styled spectacles—Cirque du Soleil's Kurios and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea—plus avant-garde offerings at Lincoln Center and La MaMa. Best of all, 10 of our picks are $20 or less per ticket.
There are some experiences every family should try once. Then there are annual events that, after you try them, you vow to do every year forevermore. That's how I feel about the Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson, a Hudson Valley Halloween staple with thousands of hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns.
The downside of the Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze is that tickets start selling out way in advance ... like early September. The 2016 shows begin Friday, September 30, and run through Sunday, November 13. They are not held every day, so start checking the calendar now. Our NYC readers should know that the Blaze is definitely worth splurging on, even if you need to rent a Zipcar. It's also accessible via public transportation.
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