Stephanie Ogozalek

Stephanie Ogozalek

Stephanie Ogozalek's picture

Stephanie was only eight-years-old when she watched Rhoda Morgenstern attempt to toss her hat into the air in the middle of a busy, '70s NYC street. She knew right away that she had to live there. Nearly 40 years later, Stephanie does live here, is married with a son, and can’t imagine residing anywhere else. In addition to being mom and all the “jobs” that come with that title, she is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the magazines Saveur, Chile Pepper and Family Fun, and on Disney’s website Go.com. She makes sure the Mommy Poppins NYC Events Calendar is chock-full of the best the Big Apple has to offer, and shares her family's adventures in her many posts. If you're planning a cool kids' event, let her know at stephanie@mommypoppins.com. You can follow her on Google+.

Latest posts by Stephanie Ogozalek

Take the Subway to NYC Beaches: Coney, Rockaway, Orchard Beach

Fourteen miles of sparkling sand and crashing waves can be found in four of the five boroughs (sorry river-locked Manhattan), which is good news for NYC families. Because as much as we enjoy hitting the Jersey Shore, Fire Island, and other Long Island beaches, we're not big fans of renting cars and sitting in traffic.

New York City's beaches are just a subway, bus, or ferry ride away. From the "Bronx Rivera" to iconic Coney Island and the Rockaways, these urban seasides often offer just about everything suburban beaches do except the out-of-town commute.

A Dozen Miniature Golf Courses for NYC Kids

For many families, mini golf is a quintessential spring and summer activity that they look forward to every year. My son loves it, so we've tried just about every putt-putt course in the tristate area.

While there are plenty of courses on Long Island and in New Jersey, you don't need to head out of town for putt-putt golf. There are currently a dozen places to play mini golf right here in New York City. And as sports go, it's typically fairly inexpensive—often as little as $5 a round for kids. Another bonus is that it's one of those rare activities that parents and kids can play together. You can even host a birthday party at most of these spots.

Read on to find out where to play mini golf with the kids in the city, and I'll see you on the green!

Easter Weekend Fun: Free Egg Hunts, Bonnet Parade, Mummies

Happy Easter and happy spring, New Yorkers! There are Easter festivities in every NYC borough this long weekend, including classic egg hunts and Fifth Avenue's spectacular Easter bonnet parade. If egg hunts aren't exactly your Easter thing, check out a Beatles-themed Easter bash, or take time to skate with the Easter bunny at Rock Center (ice) or Brooklyn Bridge Park (roller).

There is plenty of non-Easter entertainment on tap, too, like the New York International Auto Show and engaging new museum exhibits including Mummies: New Secrets From the Tombs or Ian Cheng's Emissaries at PS1. Meanwhile, a massive, miniature model of New York City and beyond, Gulliver's Gate, can be previewed in Times Square before its formal opening in May. Plus, there's a superhero meet-and-greet in Bushwick, and a preschooler's dream of a story time at the Lincoln Center Atrium,

These are just a few of the great activities happening this Easter weekend. Our best bets are below. You can find additional options in our Event Calendar and our Spring Fun Guide, as well as our April GoList. And with schools closed on Friday, April 14, check our Weekday Event picks for more Friday family activities.

Best Places for Family Playtime in NYC

Playing together with your kids is one of the best parts of being a parent. Not only does it get everyone off the couch and moving, but you're also creating memorable family experiences.

Don't worry if you don't have a backyard. There are plenty of ways to play in NYC that are as engaging for grown-ups as for children, from mini-golf to bumper cars, bowlingbilliards, and beyond. Best of all, you and your kids get to disconnect from technology and enjoy a few hours of awesome bonding time.

Easter Egg Hunts for Kids in New York City 2017

Easter Sunday, April 16 this year, is just a hop, skip, and a jump away. One of the best ways to celebrate with kids is to attend one of NYC's treat-filled egg hunts. Most are outdoors in playgrounds and parks, zoos, and gardens, but a few are indoors at museums and other cultural spots. Many offer additional spring fun, including seasonal crafts, face painting, and live entertainment.

Remember, Easter egg hunts in NYC are extremely popular so arrive early and expect hordes. If you dislike crowds, avoid the free hunts and opt for those that carry a small fee as they usually cap the number of participants. Or get your photo op with the Easter Bunny in ahead of time at these brunches.

Spring Break Camps for NYC Kids This April

School holidays seem to pile up this time of the year. You've just gotten back into your routine following February break and it's already time to plan for NYC's extra long spring break, which runs from Monday, April 10 through Tuesday, April 18 for public school kids in 2017.

Whether your kid wants to spend his or her break performing center stage or honing sports skills, is obsessed with all things STEM—or all of the the above—New York City seemingly has a camp for every interest. In fact, we've rounded up over two dozen NYC camps across the five boroughs that are open for spring break and many other school holidays.

Looking for more spring activities? Check out our Spring NYC Guide for more break ideas, or visit our Summer Camp Guide if you're planning for summer's much longer school break!

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at These NYC Spring Brunches

Looking to kick off your Easter celebration a little early? Join one of the city's handful of Easter Bunny brunches and get into the spirit with a festive, springtime meal. We've rounded up several special New York City bunny breakfasts—from inexpensive pancake affairs to a lavish spread at a high-end restaurant—where families can enjoy photo-ops with the holiday mascot along with other seasonal activities.

Regardless of which option you choose, bring your camera, and your appetite. Check our Event Calendar for more seasonal and holiday fun.

Both Western and Eastern Christian denominations will celebrate Easter this year on Sunday, April 16. Three of these five brunches take place on the first weekend of April, so grab tickets or make your reservations now.

St. Patrick's Day Events and Free Parades for NYC Kids

If your days of celebrating until you're green around the gills on St. Patrick's Day are a distant memory, don’t worry: There are plenty of kid-friendly ways to mark the holiday in New York City. After all, everyone in the city feels a wee bit Irish around St. Patrick’s Day. Best of all? Most of these festivities are FREE.

This year, St. Patrick's Day—March 17, 2017—is a Friday, but festivities begin with a trio of popular parades stepping off on the first weekend of March. In addition to St. Patrick's Day processions in all five boroughs (Queens and Brooklyn have two each), there are stepdancing performances, Gaelic workshops, and kids flicks. If that's not enough, plan to celebrate as a family at one of NYC's many kid-friendly Irish pubs.

Here are our favorite ways to celebrate Irish culture and St. Patrick’s Day with kids in New York City. Sláinte!

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