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
The past few years have been rough on circus lovers. After flying high since 1977, NYC's homegrown troupe, Big Apple Circus, announced last summer that it was folding up its tent and selling off its assets due to financial woes. And just last month, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey took its final bow after 146 years.
But this news should turn your sad clown frown upside down: Big Apple Circus is set to return this fall under new management, with a spectacle-studded show under the big top at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park. And longtime fans should be particularly thrilled to hear that the company's veteran comic star, Grandma, who bid Big Apple adieu in 2012, is rejoining the circus. We've got the scoop on what to expect when you take a bite out of this overhauled Big Apple.
While you wait for the new show to debut, stay busy with our Summer Fun Guide.
Every summer, the activity-packed Governors Island seems to become even more of a family fun zone. Its latest kid-centric destination is Adventures at Governors Island, a trio of thrilling outdoor attractions that debuted over the Memorial Day holiday. My tween and her friends were so excited to check out the 300-foot zip line, the 25-foot climbing tower, and the 3,600-square-foot maze that we decided to brave opening weekend. Overall we had an awesome experience (yes, even the parents), but we have some important tips to help your family get the most out of your Adventures.
Raring to ready, set...summer? Make the most of these sunny, warm days with our Summer Fun Guide and Parks & Playgrounds Guide!
Whether you're visiting NYC or live here year-round, seeing a Broadway show is a special family experience. Kids are sure to remember it vividly, and chances are parents won't soon forget the credit card bill. That's why it's so important to pick a production wisely, especially when bringing young children to their first Broadway performance.
While Disney juggernauts The Lion King and Aladdin are popular options, there are other kid-friendly choices that aren't as obvious. We've rounded up our 10 best Broadway musicals for families and organized them by age appropriateness. As a bonus, we've also got the scoop on how to save big bucks on tickets thanks to various deals.
Find more upcoming NYC shows in our event calendar, or read reviews of current family productions to find the one that best suits your children.
May is beloved in NYC for the return of warm weather, alfresco dining options, and family-centric holidays such as Mother's Day and Memorial Day weekend. The latter marks the unofficial start of summer as beaches, water parks, and amusement parks open for the season.
But you don't have to wait until the last weekend of the month to enjoy wonderful family outings. There are fairs and festivals everywhere you turn in May, and our GoList includes the top 16 things to do with kids in New York City this month, a host of which are FREE. Enjoy no-cost annual favorites such as Governors Island Family Fun Day, the New York Dance Parade, and the Children's Museum of the Arts' Kids Fair. Or check out new events such as a Sound of Music sing-along led by a Hamilton star, a stand-up comedy show just for families, and a cool Drones exhibit.
Mommy Poppins is also hosting a Summer Brain Game kickoff party at Luna Park with loads of Coney Island fun. It's also a great month to check out our NYC Parks & Playgrounds Guide.
For more activity ideas, peruse our Event Calendar and our spring guide.
Back when my daughter was in kindergarten, her class got into a conversation about world hunger. Her solution? Just go eat at a restaurant. (Marie Antoinette would have been proud.)
Clearly, my child has been raised on a diet that's heavy on eating out, and why not? New York City has some of the best kid-friendly restaurants anywhere.
Of course, dining out doesn't come cheaply, especially in this town—unless you happen to be a child. For NYC kids, there really is such a thing as a free lunch, brunch, and sometimes even dinner, if you know where to go. At these nine local eateries, you can feed those hungry mouths for the unbeatable price of $0, while you get a break from playing chef. We know what you'll be making tonight: reservations.
There are certain New York City celebrations we love so much, my daughter and I go every year, like the interactive art-filled Figment on Governors Island, the incredible (and educational) World Maker Faire New York, and Street Games, the Parks Department's tribute to old-school pastimes.
I know I'm not the only mom out there who likes to plan ahead, and since the festival season kicks into high gear this month, we figured it was a great time to round up our top annual festivals for families. Every single pick on our list is either an event my family or one of our writers has been to personally, or an annual favorite endorsed by our friends and readers. In other words, they're really worth your time and money—even better, in many cases they don't cost a penny.
Check out our Annual GoList for even more great happenings and new openings for NYC families in 2017.
Beloved children's characters spring to life this season. Our top theater picks for the coming months include page-to-stage adaptations of classic kid stories like Peter Rabbit and the oeuvre of Dr. Seuss. There are also a number of immersive, multi-sensory productions created specifically for preschoolers while tweens can thrill to offbeat circus performances and the just-opened The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, which we highlighted in our winter theater roundup.
While the highly anticipated family musicals Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Anastasia both open on Broadway this month, there's no need to shell out big bucks to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. Most of the 15 shows we're spotlighting are just $25—or less—per ticket.
The tweenage years—it's a tough stage filled with lots of 'tude. As parents, we know they're too old to hold our hands and follow us blindly to the nearest playground...that's way too babyish. But unlike teens, they may not be quite ready to wander around NYC alone for hours without a destination or supervision. That makes planning family outings for this age particularly tricky.
It's challenging to find activities that will entertain you and your tween. That's why this mother of a picky 11-year-old asked her peers and their kids for ideas guaranteed not to prompt one of those infuriating eye rolls. So bark at them to put down whatever gadget they're holding, and try one of these tween-tested-and-approved excursions in NYC.