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
New York City's family theater scene is hotter than a heat wave. Some people might think the dog days of summer are a cultural wasteland and that all the cool openings won't start again until fall, but that's not the case when it comes to the stage.
There are shows for all ages, interests, and budgets throughout the season, including a FREE page-to-stage adaptation of the Pete the Cat picture books, family-friendly outdoor Shakespeare, the launch of new kid-friendly matinees for a long-running Harry Potter parody, and a rare revival of the musical Really Rosie based on Maurice Sendak stories. Best of all, many of our picks cost less than $25 per ticket, and four are 100 percent FREE! Plus, we found discount codes for the pricier ones.
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.
We live in a city surrounded by water, but when's the last time you and your kids enjoyed a day out on New York Harbor? Taking a boat ride in NYC is fun and exciting, and gives you a fresh perspective on our city and its majestic waterfront. While there are lots of different kinds of NYC sightseeing cruises in summer, some may feel a bit touristy for us natives, and others cost a pirate's booty! That's why I always mark the annual City of Water Day on my calendar. It's one of the few times you can go on a New York Harbor boat tour for FREE.
This day-long celebration of our waterfront lands on Saturday, July 15, 2017 and features a slew of water-themed activities in and around Governors Island and other locations. As you can imagine, the FREE boat rides are extremely popular, so it can be tricky to snag tickets for them. We've got the scoop on what your family needs to do to enjoy a no-cost cruise and everything else you need to know about City of Water Day.
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.
Regardless of whether this movie gets raves or pans, if you have a princess-obsessed child in your home chances are you're seeing this movie in the theater—probably opening weekend. So let me get right to the good news: my 11-year-old daughter and I, both fans of the 1991 animated original, quite enjoyed Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. It is, perhaps, overly faithful to the source material. But hey, if it ain't broke, right?
There really was no reason for Disney to reinvent this classic, since the sight of Hermione—er, Belle in her frilly yellow dress will probably catapult this movie to the top of the box office. However, this isn't a soulless brand-expanding cash grab, either. For all of its familiarity, Beauty and the Beast is lovely to look at and listen to, with a smattering of new songs and a fairly subtle injection of progressive politics.
Is it good for preschoolers? Is it worth splurging for IMAX? Be our guest and read on for our honest opinions.