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Blog Archives - July 2013

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Themed Birthday Party Ideas in Staten Island  
I recently celebrated my son’s birthday and, as usual, we had a backyard party filled with kiddie pools, older relatives, and lawn chairs. It was a nice party and my son had a good time, but I think backyard parties should be left to family barbecues and three-day weekends from now on. He’s just turned five years old, which means he is officially old enough to start telling me what he really wants to do on his birthday—and I’m pretty sure eating Auntie Gertrude’s potato salad isn’t it. So next year I’m giving him some new options.

With that said, here’s a roundup of themed party places in Staten Island for any kid who knows what they love to do and wants to spend their birthday doing it!

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Babysitting Services in New York City  
How many times have you thought to yourself: there’s so much to do in New York City, so why aren’t I getting out more? The unfortunate truth is that, whether you’re breaking the bank with daycare bills or tiring out all of your relatives and friends by asking them to chase around your little ones while you work, work, and then work some more, it can be a real feat to snag me or we time in the city that never sleeps.

But there’s good news, too. Professional babysitting agencies are here to help you reclaim your romance, sanity, or both.

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Weekend Family Events July 27 and July 28  
Get it poppin' and get ready to blast off!  This weekend features the Pogopalooza finals and The Intrepid is having a space fest weekend. If being airborne and into space is not for you, stay on the ground and watch some movies under the stars instead.  Or take part in a carousel party, a concert or two or NYC's oldest and largest pow wow!  There are lots of fun things happening all over New York City.  Here are this weekend's picks.

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Roundup of Kids Swim Classes in Brooklyn  
Researchers laud the idea of introducing formal swimming lessons into the lives of children, toddlers, and even babies. Not only do lessons reduce the possible risks involved with exposing a child who is unfamiliar with water safety to, what we hope, are joyful summers filled with refreshing dips into oceans, lakes, and swimming pools, but the health benefits and stress-reducing factors associated with water activities are not to be denied.
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Toys, Games and More around Rockefeller Center  
The Rockefeller Center area isn’t just a great place to watch shows at Radio City Music Hall or to go ice-skating during the winter months. The Plaza and surrounding area make up a small village that can be a wondrous place for children if you plan your day right. There are several great toy and gaming shops that will keep your kids wide-eyed and amused. Some of the stores have hands-on attractions, which make them great places to meet-up for play dates with your friends and their kids.
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Staten Island’s Kid-Friendly Food Spots  
Once you have children, the phrase “a nice, relaxing dinner” goes right out the window. My standards for a good time when going out to eat are relatively low—if we make it through the meal without anyone breaking a glass or throwing a chicken finger at someone, then the meal was a success. Thankfully, many restaurant owners understand the need to provide a more kid-friendly atmosphere in order to attract more families to their establishments. Here are a few Staten Island restaurants that aim to please when it comes to the kiddies.
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Weekend Family Events July 20 and July 21  
Since all five boroughs are surrounded by water it's nice to teach kids about it and celebrate it.  You can do just that this weekend at Governors Island City of Water Day Festival and Wave Hill in the Bronx.  If dry land is more your thing there are plenty of concerts, festivals, parties and shows! SummerStage is jamming in Queens, Harlem has the Sweet Spot Festival and a Swing Band is singing and swinging at the Harlem Meer in Central Park.  So "jump in" and have a splashing good time this weekend with whatever you chose to do! Here are this weekend's picks.
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A Visit to the Brooklyn Children's Museum  
As a Brooklyn mom, I had heard mixed reactions to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum before visiting it for the first time:

It’s a wonderful indoor haven for toddlers.
What a fantastic way to pass an afternoon.
My grandson loves learning about other cultures so he was in heaven there.
It’s expensive.
It’s totally inexpensive.
It’s right here in Brooklyn!
Gosh, that museum is far. Where is it, exactly?

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Five Top NYC Tourist Attractions for Kids...That You Probably Never Think About!  
According to NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism organization, in 2012 there were more than 50 million visitors to the city from all over the world. This isn’t hard to believe if you’ve ever tried to maneuver the city streets with a stroller. If you live and/or work in the city you experience crowds of tourists all year-round. So why are all these people coming here? Simple…there’s a lot to do! But why should all these activities be reserved just for visitors?

Most cynical city dwellers take for granted and rarely take advantage of all NYC has to offer…for themselves and their kids. As a parent of a very active and curious child I’m constantly looking for outings to keep him engaged, busy and happy. Thankfully living in the greatest city in the world I never run out of ideas as they are as close as walking out my front door.

Following are some of my favorite activities and landmarks to play tourist in NYC:

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Birthday Cake Vendors in Staten Island Roundup  
It’s no secret: a birthday is just not complete without the perfect birthday cake. The perfect cake is always going to be a memorable one - it looks adorable, matches the party theme, and tastes out of this world. I may not be able to remember what I ate for breakfast, but I can easily describe, in accurate detail, every birthday cake I’ve ever given each of my kids on their birthdays. Here’s a list of mommy-approved birthday cake shops and bakeries in Staten Island that will help make your child’s next birthday cake an unforgettable one.
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Five Favorite Upper West Side Ice Cream Locations  
Nothing says summertime more than a kid eating an ice cream cone. When I was growing up I used think choosing from the 31 flavors of Baskin Robbins was the biggest decision I would ever make in my life. My go-to flavor was always Pralines and Cream. For New Yorkers, when it comes to ice cream and other frozen treats, there are so many variations and flavors to choose from, and no matter which neighborhood you happen to be in, there’s at least one location every two blocks. Too many choices! Following are my top five favorites on the Upper West Side that are sure to keep the kids cool, happy and pumped up on sugar all summer long.
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Weekend Family Events July 13 and July 14  
Say oui oui and grazie to this weekend's events.  The Bastille Day celebration in Manhattan and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Brooklyn bring plenty of food and fun for the whole family.  Work off your snacks while learning about and playing baseball at the MLB All Star Fan Fest at the Javitz Center, Family Day on Governors Island and Hip Hop Family Day at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Or just relax and enjoy your food coma at a concert. There are a few of those too.  Bon appetit! Here are this weekend's picks.
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The Children’s Museum of Manhattan – the City’s Greatest Indoor Play Space  
On any given day, specifically weekends, if you’re hanging out on the Upper West Side, you will most likely see masses of children, parents, caregivers and strollers all headed in the same direction on West 83rd Street towards the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. This unassuming building houses a world of indoor fun (and outdoor fun during the summer) including interactive exhibits, programs, birthday parties, and just a great play space. From the minute you walk through the door you realize this is a child’s paradise and parent’s dream of something to occupy their kids for hours.
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Destination Times Square: Toy and Candy Hot Spots for Kids  
Times Square can be an overwhelming cornucopia of activity to the weary parent. But for children, this bastion of glamour and lights is home to some of the biggest toy and candy shops in New York City. Whether you’re from New York, or just visiting, Times Square is one place that will bring a smile to kids of all ages. When you’re not taking pictures with Spider-Man, Elmo, Iron Man or any other costumed characters here are a few attractions that make Times Square a living Wonderland for kids.
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Extracurricular Activities for Your Preschooler in Staten Island  
It’s barely even noon yet and your little one has just come home from preschool. There are at least seven long hours of space to fill until bedtime and you are starting to realize it might be time for some extracurricular activities. Fortunately for Staten Islanders, finding the perfect activity for your preschooler will be easy because the possibilities are nearly endless. Here are some ideas for keeping the kids busy all week long.
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Bryant Park Plays Host to a Festive Outdoor Party All Year Round  
Summer in the city is one big party. From outdoor marketing and festivals to movies and concerts in the parks, New York City comes alive in the summertime. Bryant Park, conveniently located in the center of it all, has a wide variety of activities for you and your young ones to make the most of these long, sunny days.
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Weekend Family Events July 6 and July 7  
This weekend keep the festive Fourth of July celebration going strong.  There are free concerts, museum hours and family party extravaganzas.  Central Park is hosting SummerStage Kids Global Family Day on Sunday. Govenors Island has the unique Fete Paradiso all weekend long. There are super star photo shoots, magic shows and unique performances all over the city. Don't forget your party hats!  Here are this weekend's picks.
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Free-As-Can-Be Summer Activities in Manhattan and Brooklyn  
It’s summertime! When you have children, this magical season is all about long days filled with opportunities to laugh and run wild under the sun—and just as many opportunities to hear your little ones shout those words we know so well: there’s nothing to do! We want to get outside, but we’re also well aware that most excursions can add up in dollar signs. Here are some of the most entertaining and free-as-can-be activities to enjoy with your kiddies in New York City and Brooklyn this season.
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Planning your Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Viewing with the Kids 2013  
July 4th is a time to celebrate national pride, family and friends. It’s also a time for outdoor barbeques. No matter how you celebrate Independence Day, you can always count on fireworks to top off the night.

Every year, Macy’s orchestrates the biggest fireworks spectacular in New York City. This year, the celebration is entitled, “It Begins with a Spark,” with music curated by Usher. Macy’s is also featuring a special visual exclusive, called the “Usher Shell,” teased as a golden willow of bright strobing stars.

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Fun Family Fourth of July Events  
Party like it's the 18th Century! Honor America's independence and celebrate our country on Thursday with some fun Fourth of July family events. The DiMenna Children's History museum is having a day of fun including ice cream making! There's family bowling at 300 at Chelsea Piers where you can stay late to watch the nearby fireworks show. And the fourth would not be complete without the one and only classic Nathan's Famous Hot Dog eating contest. There's plenty of more fun events happening all over town. Happy Birthday America! Here are the Fourth of July picks.
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Summertime Events and Excitement on Staten Island  
It’s official—summer is here! School is out and kids everywhere are belly-flopping into pools, building giant sand castles at the beach, and staying up way past their bedtimes. Summer is undoubtedly every child’s favorite time of year, and there is no shortage of summertime excitement here on Staten Island. Packed with concerts, festivals, fireworks, parades and more, there is something to do just about every day. Here’s a roundup of the most exciting events for the kids this summer on sunny Staten Island.
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Guide to Free Summer Concerts for Kids 2013  
One of the perks of being in New York during the summertime is all the free concerts. Though you can find free performances year-round, during warmer months the city kicks it into high gear with outdoor shows, and it’s almost impossible to list every single free performance available any given year. Nevertheless, here’s a list of the best free music concerts for kids.
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