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Blog Archives - April 2014

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What to Expect When Child Number Two Arrives  
When you bring your first child home, you’re convinced that no other life event could ever rock your world in such a profound way. That is, until you bring home your second child and realize that 1+1 equals way more than two!
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Bring Back Family Game Night at The Brooklyn Strategist  
The Brooklyn Strategist is a one-of-a-kind establishment in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens. It is a game center, a cafe, and a social hub—a place where kids and adults can gather to play board and card games. They only offer games that involve face-to-face interaction (no computer or video games), which is a welcome opportunity for families to spend time together in this fast-paced, digital world. Although Brooklyn Strategist welcomes game players of all ages, much of their programming is especially catered to kids. They host daily after school programs and game clubs, as well as spring break and summer camps. The staff is friendly and helpful, and they strongly believe that playing games in a nurturing environment helps kids develop positive social skills and cognitive abilities.
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The Week Ahead: April 28 - May 4  
Have you had enough of the April showers and occasional snow flurry? This week, April comes to a close and we can look forward to more outdoor spring activities in May. Also, this week marks the start and close of a few notable children’s theater shows that you’ll want to check out, including a musical adapted from Newbery Award-winning author Christopher Paul Curtis’ book, Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money. And, did I mention that your kids could see their favorite Pixar films in concert? There’s no shortage of activities in NYC this week so without further adieu, here is the week ahead.
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Get Fit for Spring: A Stroller Fitness Roundup  
It’s officially spring and we’re enjoying a taste of warmer weather, but many are already planning for summer! Popular day camps and classes are filling up, vacations are being planned, and stores are displaying a rainbow of swimsuits. All this reminds us that we need to put in some work to fit into those swimsuits. Whether you’re a new mom looking to get back in shape, needing a way to exercise without hiring a babysitter, or a dad or caregiver who wants to work out with the baby, these stroller fitness groups will help you meet your fitness goals.
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Staten Island Celebrates St. George, Earth Day and the Dragon  
To the average person, hearing St. George, Earth Day and a dragon in the same sentence may seem like an odd grouping. However, families in Staten Island know this trio all too well.
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Weekend Family Events - April 26 and April 27  
Lights! Camera! Action! With this weekend's events you get to be the staaaah!  Get ready for your close up at The Tribeca Film Festival Family Street Fair. Be an action hero in the YMCA's Healthy Kid's Day, and the 7th Annual Street Games in Harlem. Become a puppeteer and work your special effects magic at the Puppetry Arts Park Slope Family Festival. Or turn back time and star in your own historical period piece at Brooklyn's Old Stone House 19th Century Extravaganza. You can also become the ultimate magical super star and heal the world at Earth Day events happening all over NYC. So let the cameras roll this weekend and don't stop until the directors (your kids) yell, "Cut! That's a wrap"! Here are this weekend's picks.

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Disney Comes to Thomas Jefferson Park in Harlem  
This Saturday, the Walt Disney Company and NYC Parks are teaming up to bring back classic outdoor games to the iPad generation. There will be over fifteen activities to participate in, ten of which will qualify your kids to receive a prize.
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First Visits: DiMenna Children's History Museum  
Exploring 350 years of New York History has never been more fun and immersive than at the DiMenna Children’s History Museum at the New York Historical Society. This section of the museum does an excellent job capturing the imagination and introducing your kids to the many lessons history can teach us.
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NY Hall of Science Hosts 4th Annual Mamas Expo  
Mark your calendars. The New York Hall of Science will be hosting the 4th Annual Mamas Expo. Don’t let the name fool you. The expo isn’t just for mothers. Dads can come too.
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Tator Tots for All! Upper East Side Family-Friendly Restaurants  
Eating out with kids used to mean a choice of chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese, perhaps with some limp carrots on the side—if you were lucky. Now, of course, the only dilemma is what to choose—omelet or Cobb salads? Sure. Freshly pureed baby food? Absolutely. Here, a roundup of a few of the most kid-friendly places on the upper east side, in terms of both food and atmosphere.. And luckily, there are incentives for mom and dad, too—not only won't you go hungry, you'll actually enjoy the meal.
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A Green Adventure at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden  
From marsh, to ash dump, to verdant jewel of the borough, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has established itself as an important piece of New York’s recreational and scientific history. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden may not be as vast and sprawling as the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, but this easily accessible institution has plenty to offer for a day of family fun.
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Splash-tastic Exhibit Opens at CMOM  
With spring here and summer just over the horizon, it’s only a matter of time before your children start thinking about water-splashing activities. Typically, this means a day trip to the water-park or beach. However, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan has just opened up a new exhibit that brings water-splashing fun right to the heart of the city.
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The Week Ahead: April 21 - April 27  
Are you ready for cherry blossoms, Arbor Day and street festivals? The last full week of April will capture the essence of Spring in NYC with several events showcasing arts, culture and nature in the city. There are also a few author appearances to help close out your National Poetry Month activities as well as a new Rubik’s exhibit to get that little tinkerer in your family excited about puzzles. Here are this week's picks.
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Meet the authors of ‘King for a Day’ and ‘The Chicken Squad’  
This weekend, Brooklyn families get a Spring Break, double-header. The Greenlight Bookstore and BookCourt will be hosting author readings this Saturday, April 19.
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Weekend Family Events - April 19 and April 20  
Want to know what's going on this weekend? Here's what's up, eggs, candy, matzoh Repeat!  Of course there are other things going on this weekend like the International Auto Show at the Javits Center, the Prospect Park Roller Rink Opening and a Culinary Kids Food Festival at the New York Botanical Garden but it's mostly just eggs, candy and matzoh!  We hope everyone enjoys Easter and Passover. Here are this weekend's picks.

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City Treehouse: A Manhattan Oasis  
A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of visiting City Treehouse, an indoor playground for kids of all ages. Located in Chelsea, this hidden gem is guaranteed to provide your child with hours of play and entertainment.

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Books take the Spotlight at El Museo’s Super Sabado  
April 19 is the third Saturday of the month, and you know what that means, right? Thankfully, the answer is not more snow and sleet to foil Spring Break, but rather Super Sabado has returned.
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Thinking Vertically: A Visit to The Skyscraper Museum  
Appropriately located near the canyons of the Financial District, the Skyscraper Museum explores and honors our city’s tallest structures. It provides visitors with an in-depth look at how and why the iconic New York City skyline changes from generation to generation. Younger visitors will discover the design process and history of the world’s first modern city.
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Celebrating Spring All Around NYC  
As we dig out of a long–long!–winter in New York City, most of us are tempted to throw open the windows, pack up our down coats, and send the kids to the playground until fall arrives. As you and your family transition into this new season–one of renewal, fresh air, longer days, and warm sunshine–here are a few of our favorite must-see places for spring.
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The Week Ahead: April 14 - April 20  
Happy Spring Break! This is one of the biggest weeks of the spring season for kids. Why? Because school is out and good weather is most certainly in. This week kicks off with the first night of Passover and continues through Easter Sunday (check out our Easter Egg hunt guide for tips). If you missed out on getting your kids into one of the Spring Break day camps, then these activities will certainly help fill their time. We’ve also got some fun pre-Earth Day activities to get you in the nature preservation mood.
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Museum of the Moving Image gets Lego ‘Awesome’ for Spring Break  
How many times did your kids sing the “Everything is Awesome” song from The Lego Movie? Don’t fret, if you missed the film at your local theater. Starting on April 14th, the Museum of the Moving Image will be hosting big-screen viewings of The Lego Movie to give your kids some added joy during spring recess.
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Weekend Family Events - April 12 and April 13  
Round up your little bunnies and get hopping to all of the eggs-celent events hop-pening this weekend (sorry I couldn't resist!) There are plenty of fun Easter events happening so get ready for the ultimate sugar rush and crash thereafter.  The weather is finally feeling more "lamb" than "lion" so be sure to take advantage of fun opening weekends for Luna Park in Coney Island, Habana Outpost and a Spring Weekend event at Wave Hill. Here are this weekend's picks.

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Roundup of Children's Boutiques on Madison Avenue  
Madison Avenue is synonymous with high end fashion, and dozens of designers such as Prada, Gucci, Burberry and Missoni line the avenue. The daily slog through peanut butter stains and crayon graffiti (pardon, art installations) rarely crosses paths with haute couture, but there are times when you need something special for your little one. That's when you venue out to these high end boutiques. Perhaps you need a dressy outfit for a party or Easter celebration. Grandparents may want to treat their grandchildren to something fancy or give them a treasured present. These stores are also great for finding gifts for special occasions such as baptism, bris, bar/bat mitzvah, or first communion.
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Spring Break Where to Go and What to Do  
Spring Break is fast approaching and it’s time to decide how your family will be spending it. At a pretty lengthy 11 days long, you’ll need to keep the kids as busy as possible over the break. But you live in New York City, so luckily that’s never a problem. With festivals, museums, carnivals, shows and much more, the only problem you might have will be deciding what to do first! Here’s our roundup of things to do this Spring Break.
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UniverSoul Circus Swings into Brooklyn this Week  
Who can’t get enough of the circus? New York City! That’s who.

On Thursday, April 10, the UniverSoul Circus opens its big-top performances to Brooklyn. This international circus features performance groups from several countries, such as: Cuba, Ethiopia, China, Columbia, Trinidad, Poland, South Africa, Guinea, USA and Chile. With a roster that diverse, this show is certain to delight the myriad of families and cultures that make up NYC.

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Celebrating National Poetry Month  
April is National Poetry Month, and New York is full of exciting events and activities to help you celebrate the beauty of poetry with your child. Exploring poetry can be a great way for kids to develop stronger language skills, try out creative thought processes, and learn to appreciate diverse perspectives. Here is a list of poetry-related events around the city happening this month.
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Transit Museum puts on a ‘Green’ Show for Spring Break  
Are you ready for Spring Break? While you might not be ready, you’re kids are definitely excited for a little time off from school. The NY Transit Museum is getting ready for Spring Break with a special show, starting Saturday, April 12 called "Sharin' A Ride".
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Get the Most Out of a Family Visit to Yankee Stadium  
Baseball Season is officially underway for the 2014 season. As always, the Yankees are primed for a winning season and, of course, Yankee Stadium is the place to see winning baseball. Here are some highlights of what to expect this season and what you need to know before you go.
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The Week Ahead: April 7 - April 13  
Hello, April showers! Spring may be here, but it looks like we’re in for a very wet April. This week we’ve got a great lineup of activities, ranging from concerts to Japanese puppetry. Also, we’ve got a few Passover activities in advance of the first Passover Seder. Here are our picks for the week ahead.
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Weekend Family Events - April 5 and April 6  
This weekend literally has something for everyone.  If you're passionate about sports, the Little Leagues in Queens and Brooklyn have their opening day parades. Science and Technology enthusiasts can head to the Javits Center for the 14th FIRST Mega-Celebration of Science and Technology. Art lovers can head to the Whitney Biennial Family Party. Comic and Illustrator fans can head to the MoCCA Arts Festival. Nature lovers can get a taste of Spring with the annual heather shearing celebration in Fort Tyron Park and the Queens Botanical Garden opening day. Woodworkers and builders can head to their local Home Depot for fun kid building workshops. And wait, there's more! Carnivals, Passover celebrations, Easter celebrations, Scottish Parades, Concerts, Shows and Fiddling!!! I feel like this is the infomercial of weekend picks! We chop, slice, dice and do anything else you could possibly want in NYC this weekend. Whew! Here are this weekend's picks.

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Monkeying Around at Chelsea Piers  
Even though the winter months are finally over, and the temperatures are warming up ever so slowly, there will probably be plenty of days ahead where you still need some indoor activity ideas.  If you’re like me and have suffered a serious case of cabin fever, let me be the first to tell you that there is a cure–and it comes in the form of Chelsea Piers.
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New Pterosaurs Exhibit Soars into AMNH  
Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?  On April 5, the American Museum of Natural History will open up its new Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit. The new exhibit focuses on the Pterosaurs, a species of flying dinosaur with over 150 varieties

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La Mama Teaches Kids the Art of Puppetry  
At igokids, we’ve been having a blast checking out some of the children’s puppet shows around NYC. However, for kids, the joy of watching puppets dance on stage need not stop at the theater. Kids can learn how to be master puppeteers too. And, why not? Somebody has to lead the next generation of Muppets.

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Sing Along with the Yellow Sneaker Puppets  
Every Wednesday at 10 am, the Tea Lounge in Park Slope is filled with music and fun provided by Yellow Sneaker Production’s Puppet Sing Along. The performance comes as advertised. Here parents can bring their youngsters to see a very upbeat and energetic duo, play music and sing along with puppets.
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BookCourt Author Readings For Preschoolers to Young Adults - April 3 - 9  
BookCourt is starting off April with a solid lineup of author readings for kids ages pre-school to young adult.

Anna Shinoda starts it all off on Thursday April 3 at 7PM with her debut novel, “Learning Not to Drown.” The book is written for a mature teen/young adult audience. It focuses on a seventeen-year-old girl, named Clara, and her brother who is struggling with substance abuse. Shinoda will be reading from her book as well as signing copies. The book was just released on April 1 so this will also be a release party.

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Uptown Baby Gear Stores Roundup  
Shopping for your baby can be lots of funthose tiny shoes! those miniature chairs!but busy moms and dads rarely have the time to traipse all over town. Here is a roundup for uptown parents of the best baby gear stores on the Upper West and East Sides.
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From Oliver to Mr. Magoo: 7 Weeks of Family Flicks at the Film Forum  
The Film Forum is gearing up for its next round of classic family films for the Spring. It’s a healthy mix of animated comedy, Jim Henson puppetry and child-time antics.

On April 6, the Film Forum Jr. block opens up with the Academy Award winning film Oliver!, based on the novel by Charles Dickens. This musical tale of orphans and pickpockets is sure to get your kids tapping their feet to songs like “Food, Glorious Food" and "Consider Yourself.” Next, “The Muppets Take Manhattan” screens on April 13. This is easily one of my favorite Muppet adventures, simply because it takes place in New York City. It’s also a great chance to give your kids a little Muppet history if you’ve just seen Muppets Most Wanted. April 22 brings us Jimmy Stewart in Harvey, adapted from Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy. For kids with imaginary friends, this tale of an invisible, six-foot rabbit is sure to delight.

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