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
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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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!
Central Park, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park—even if you only just arrived in NYC, we probably don't need to tell you that these are all must-see green spaces. Yet, according to the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, 14 percent of the city is parkland—that's more than 30,000 acres!
So if you're looking for a new-to-you outdoor destination to explore, we've got 10 off-the-beaten-path parks worth putting on your NYC family bucket list. Some are massive and boast a wide array of attractions for all seasons; others are small but picturesque and host popular annual events for families. Don't worry if you can't make it to all of these before school starts—we have at least a few more months of fair weather ahead!
How's the old adage go? The best things in life are free. But for families in NYC, that may sound like crazy talk. From housing to classes to entertainment, everything here seems to cost so much money...or does it?
The fact is, there's plenty of FREE fun for kids in New York City. And even top family attractions that charge entry fees like museums, zoos, amusement parks, and water parks offer no-cost admission for children under certain ages, and those savings can really add up, especially when you have preschoolers or toddlers.
So, we decided to make a list of when the freebies end for kids at New York City's best family destinations, from tourist hot spots like the Statue of Liberty to all of the children's museums and zoos. Yet another reason to wish your children could stay young forever! We've even included a few of our favorite picks in nearby locales, too.
Note: The cut-off ages imply that once kids reach that age, they no longer qualify for free admission, and some places may ask for proof of age. Looking for a 100% FREE outing? Check out our roundup of no-cost admission hours at NYC museums.
NYC's FREE summer concert season comes to its annual close in August, but it goes out with a bang. We've rounded up more nearly two dozen no-cost shows for families and kids that are worth the time, energy, and travel.
Since most of these performances take place in parks and playgrounds, you can make a day of it by packing a picnic and soaking up some complimentary culture.