Author Archives: Kidz Central Station

About Kidz Central Station

Founded by a NYC mom of two young children, Kidz Central Station uses technology to solve the problem so many busy parents face—how to find, book, and manage their children's classes, camps, local family events, and birthday parties. Kidz Central Station offers more than 20,000 classes, camps, and birthday party options representing hundreds of NYC's top activity providers. With a sophisticated search engine and class reviews, it is easy for parents to find the best classes for their children, sign up for a trial class, and directly enroll.

Weekend Activities for Kids in NYC

Weekend Activities

Who doesn’t look forward to the weekend? Even the little ones need time to let loose and have some fun. Weekends are the perfect time for kids to try some fresh and fun activities. Here’s our list for the best weekend activities your kids will love!

 

Wildlife Conservation Society Spend your weekend up close to animals with an interactive class at the five zoos and aquarium throughout NYC. Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Bronx Zoo, NY Aquarium / Ages 2+         

Family Breakfast With The Animals: Primates

THE ZOO: Jungle World Mornings

 

The Fashion Class. The Fashion Class focuses on fun and fabulous fashion themed classes where students learn to sew in a creative environment. Midtown West / Ages 6+

Beginner Sewing Class for Kids

Fashion Design & Illustration for Kids

Pattern & Stitch Advanced Sewing for Kids

Fashion Design & Sewing for Teens

 

New York Stage of Mind. New York Stage of Mind provides exceptional performance-focused music education. Classes include private lessons in voice, piano, guitar, and more for all ages. Long Island City / Ages 3+

Piano Lessons

Singing Classes

 

Physique Swimming. Designed for swimmers to move smoothly from one level to the next as they progress in their swimming capabilities. Throughout NYC / Ages 4 months to 7

Me and My Shadow

Beginner 1: Water Exploration

Beginner 2: Primary Skills

 

Eastside Westside Music Together. For children from birth (yes, birth!) to five years, is based on the premise that all children are musical and have the same innate ability to learn music as language. UWS, UES, Midtown.

Music Together (Babies)

Music Together (Mixed Ages)

 

14th Street Y. Bring a friend and enjoy the relaxed environment where little ones explore and play together. Stuyvesant Town / Ages 2 months to 3

Indoor Playground

Sing Along

Kid Friendly Show on Theater Row NYC

The Emperor’s New Clothes and More Magical Stories

Kid Friendly Show on Theater Row

The Emperor’s New Clothes and More Magical Stories opened on Sunday on Theater Row and Kidz Central Station was fortunate to attend.  This kid friendly performance is based on four short tales by Hans Christian Andersen as told by four central characters. The show features: The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Nightingale, and The Ugly Duckling.

The show begins as a girl sits down on a Central Park bench next to a man reading a story book. A gust of wind blows the papers out of his book and she helps to pick them up. He then invites her to read the book and after some initial resistance, she agrees and becomes a part of the story herself! Her journey takes her through many ups and down including a scam to dress an emperor in invisible clothes, saving a harmonious nightingale and a little duckling who realizes she is as beautiful as a swan.

Anderson’s classic children’s tales are presented in a clear and easy to follow storyline with humor and contemporary twists. There was no shortage of giggles and cackles in that theater!  The 4 performers fully embodied each character while effortlessly transitioning from one tale to another. In addition, the magic came to life with the incredible music, sound effects, and lighting. We were submerged in the story eagerly waiting for what’s to come next. Come early to enjoy pre-show activities and/or stay after to take pictures with members of the cast!

We were so happy to learn that a sensory friendly performance is offered on December 8 @11am and designed to create a welcoming environment for families with children on the autism spectrum and related conditions. Slight adjustments are made to the performance such as the reduction of loud sounds and flashing or jarring lights, availability of sensory tools such as fidgets and earplugs, a designated quiet area in the lobby, a relaxed atmosphere in which audience members can talk throughout, and available Autism specialists on site to provide support.

Click here to buy tickets to The Emperor’s New Clothes and More Magical Stories!

November 24 – December 22, 2018

Best for ages 5-8

Runs for approximately 50 minutes

Theatre Row, 410 W42nd Street, NY, NY 10036

Tickets: $29.25 General | $49.25 Premium

Stroller parking and booster seats available

Head of the Class Mom: Jacelyn Lisette

Head of the Class MOM

Meet Head of the Class Mom, Jacelyn Lisette, Founder of Midtown Movement and Dance Company  Located in Midtown East/Murray Hill, Midtown Movement and Dance Company offers Mommy & Me, many levels of Ballet/Tap, and Hip Hop dance classes. Take a Free Trial Class.

Tell us about yourself. Why did you start Midtown Movement and Dance?

Before starting Midtown Movement and Dance, I made a living as a freelance performer and teaching artist. I managed to find a perfect balance between both of my passions: performing and working with children. I was living the dream and truly enjoying what I was doing. Unfortunately, this line of work offered little security, no health benefits, and wouldn’t permit me to be a mother, the last dream I hadn’t yet accomplished. So when the opportunity presented itself for me to start my own company in the community where I had developed a great following of students and parents, I knew I had to close my eyes and leap. I knew that starting my own company would enable me to continue to pursue my passions and give me the flexibility to work with other great artists and eventually stay home with my newborn.

What is your secret to balancing work and family? Is there a balance?

There is totally a balance. Maintaining it is challenging, but I try to keep a 9-5 schedule whether I am at the studio or working from home. Once it’s dinner time, I enjoy the evening with my guys! I definitely find time to unplug and be in the moment with my family, but when you run your own business somehow you are always on the clock. Getting quality time in the evenings is really important so that your mind can settle down and you can remember the reasons why you work so hard. On the weekends, my husband and I love to get out of the house. We go for a walk with our son and grab some breakfast sandwiches on the way. We take turns going to the gym, and when my son goes down for a nap, I sit in a cafe to catch up on whatever business that needs to be tended to.

Share a funny story that helped you become a better parent and/or better at your job.

One thing I learned just before becoming a mom that I think has made me a better parent and better worker is: have a plan and be prepared for when the plan goes off the rails. My husband and I did everything the experts tell you to do when expecting your first child. We read all the books, attended birthing classes, and made a birth plan for the big day. Then our son came up with a plan of his own and our plans went right out the window. Now, I am always prepared if my plan to go off the rails, and I feel that it’s okay to improvise when it does. When things don’t go as planned, it’s best to keep calm, respond in the moment, and go with the flow to ultimately achieve the main goal.

What has been your biggest challenge and/or greatest reward in the struggle for work-life balance?

The biggest challenge has essentially been continuing to be the head of my business while starting my journey as a mom. I never quite took a maternity leave. I thought about hiring someone to oversee operations while I took 3 months off as most women do. But then, I asked my husband if he would take a leave from his city job and manage things for the business from home while being there for me and our son. It was the best decision we made because I was able to stay connected to my clients, which was important to me, and my husband had a chance to be close to us and learn how to care for his son. With this decision, I was able to continue working in some areas of my business that I am passionate about, while my husband got a chance to fully care for and bond with his son while I was working. When my son was 3 weeks old, I had to be away from him to work for a few days and although it was emotionally difficult for me, I felt good knowing that my husband would be able to care for him. It was very rewarding to be able to support my husband while he shared in the experience of caring for our newborn from the time he was born until he was 3 months old. That experience would not have been possible had it not been for my business.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you had kids?

That childcare is like paying another rent!

If you could give other parents one piece of advice, what would it be?

Go to bed early! As much as you want to stay up after your kids go to sleep and catch up on the latest episode of your favorite show, go to sleep. I can say that I don’t feel sleep deprived even though I am waking up every 3-4 hours to nurse. I try to be in bed by 9pm every night so that I can still get about 8 hours of total sleep in between night feedings. It really helps to be rested and tackle the day or go off to work and be able to perform well.

Fun Favorites:

Favorite children’s book? From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. I love this book because it appeals to every kid. I use it in all my classes and the kids have so much fun listening to the story, calling out the animals they know, and of course moving their body like the animals. After we play and explore with moving like each animal, I encourage them to say the recurring phrase loud and proud: “I can do it.” I think this is such a positive mantra for kids to learn early in life. I approach all my classes from this place. When kids seem timid or upset because a move is difficult, my teachers and I encourage them to simply try! However the students interpret the movement is a success for us because we are giving them the opportunity to grow at their individual level. I feel like I am giving them something that is more than a movement class. I am giving them the foundation for positivity in life and a deep sense of self-worth.

Favorite kids’ class? Creative movement. I love teaching creative movement because we can really play with the students’ interests while also teaching them basic movement and dance skills, mind-body awareness, and how to participate in a social setting. This class is a give and take between the teacher, the students, and the grown-ups. We come to class loaded with activities, ideas, and dramatic themes to play with, the kids come with their own instincts, and together, with the support of their grown-ups, we create and explore movement and imagination.

Favorite thing to do with your family on weekends? Right now, my son is really into strolling. He is so interested in everything going on and he is so content sitting in his stroller strolling around our neighborhood. I thought he would get upset with not seeing us but he is so happy sitting outwards facing the world! My husband and I take him out on the weekends for a long walk to our favorite breakfast spot. My son usually falls asleep and then my husband and I get some quality time to talk and catch up over breakfast.

Favorite rainy day escape? Get creative with a home improvement project. My husband and I think building IKEA furniture is so much fun! It’s like an adult puzzle! Pour me a cup of hot cocoa and I’m ready to build.

Santa is coming to NYC! At Brookfield Place

Santa Claus is coming to town…at Brookfield Place! Take your Holiday family photo. Reserve your spot now.Brookfield Place

Daily family photo sessions from Nov 23 – Dec 24 | Reserve your photo session with Santa in advance.

You are invited! Santa returns for another magical holiday season at Brookfield Place on Friday, November 23rd through December 24th. Come take part in the festivities and create lasting photo memories. Your children can enjoy Santa’s Winter Wonderland and special activity center before your session.  Also, find out about special hours for dog-friendly photo sessions and sensory-friendly programming with Autism Speaks at BFPLNY.com.

Reservations are limited. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Brookfield Place is your destination for making holiday memories. Bring the whole family for outdoor ice skating, Nutcracker performances, shopping, dining and much more. Learn more about these holiday season events and plan your visit! 

snow

Brookfield Place

230 Vesey St., Level 2

New York, NY 10281

5-Star Rated Classes and Birthday Parties

5-Star rated classes

 

 

New York City is loaded with parks, museums, classes, activities, venues, and entertainers. The choices are limitless, but as parents, we want to find the BEST activities for our kids. Kidz Central Station delivers this quality information all in one place.

 

Here are 5-Star Rated classes and birthday parties according to the best critics – Parents.


5-Star Rated Classes

  • Physique Swimming offers swim classes for kids ages 4 month to 7 years. The program is designed to help swimmers move smoothly from one level to the next as they progress in their swimming capabilities.

“All the coaches were extremely friendly and welcoming, cheering my daughter on and praising her efforts.” 

  • High Note NYC teaches children ages 3+ both piano and vocals. Through goal oriented curriculum, children learn fluent music reading, technical skill and solo performance competency. One-on-one music lessons ensure teachings are tailored to individual students’ needs with a foundation that can spam a lifetime.

“My 7 year old loves taking piano lessons with Nora! He is learning music and getting more confidence in his voice.” 

  • iHOLA! A Playgroup in Spanish, for babies 2 months- 12 years, is a grassroots organization adored equally by children and parents for it’s uniqueness where thousands of children have been aided from its early language acquisition method, iHOLA’s! unique and effortless learning process will  put your baby or young teen in a wonderful language journey with ease and joy.

“My daughter responds to many of the vocabulary words they’ve used in class”

  • Upper Manhattan Forest Kids offers outdoor educational classes for kids ages 1 to 6 years old. Classes follow the Danish philosophy of Forest Kindergarten, which encourages children to play, explore and learn in a forest or natural environment.  

“Upper Manhattan Forest Kids was an amazing class that I would recommend to every parent!”

  • 14th Street Y is a dynamic community center located in the East Village offering classes for kids of all ages: drop-ins, music, art, sports, and indoor playground, are among the many classes offered.

“Awesome class! Started off with free play, then art, then reading, then snack/storytime, and ended with bubbles and story time. Lovely teacher!” 

  • Music With James Jam sessions are for kids ages 4 months to 4 years. Classes are high energy where James plays a mixture of traditional children’s songs on the guitar, piano, harmonica, and various orchestral instruments and children sing along, dance, and play instruments with each song. Classes included animal puppets, bouncing balls, and a colorful parachute add to the fun!

“GREAT class! We love the flexibility and my son always has so much fun.” 

  • Willan Academy of Music offers music lessons for children ages 4 and up. High quality and fun music lessons can be taken at the studio or in the comfort of your own home in NYC. Lessons are personalized to your child’s individual needs in a warm and nurturing educational environment.

“Words can’t begin to express how grateful our family is for Kenji and the Willan Academy of Music. Our son is a high energy free thinking child who Kenji has turned into a musician.” 

  • The Goddard School offers a Full Day Program for children ages 5 and under. Highly trained teachers gently guide and encourage children every step of the way as they grow, develop and achieve important milestones. Children have fun while learning the skills they need for long-term success in school and in life.

“I toured the facility and was blown away by everything from the fun rock climbing wall to the spacious roofdeck playground to the amazingly nice teachers to the included healthy meals/snacks.” 

  • CenterStage classes for children ages 4 months and up are taught by distinguished professionals in the music, dance, and acting fields. Classes range from a fun weekend activity to curriculum based comprehensive workshops.

“The teachers are talented, creative and provide a warm, nurturing environment for the kids to take risks and try new things.”


5-Star Rated Birthday Parties

  • 92nd Street Y’s enthusiastic and well-trained staff lead fun-filled parties for boys and girls of all ages. From GymMaze and Jamboree parties to dancing to a circus in the sky, they offer an awesome range of birthday party themes.

“My kids loved every party they attended at 92Y! The Gym Maze party was great for my son and his friends. The facility is terrific and the staff was helpful and energetic” 

  • Chocolate Works Upper East Side will transform the birthday child and guests into Willy Wonka chocolatiers for the day! Kids make chocolate creations on the 20-foot conveyor belt, and mold and decorate their own chocolate shape to take home!

“The kids said it was the best birthday party they have ever been to – such a cute idea. The adults also had a great time.” 

  • Shake Shack is the perfect place to hold a large party! Birthday parties are held in a private rec room equipped with a 42” flat screen TV for slideshows, videos, and DVDs, and UNLIMITED Shack classics for the duration of your party. Plus, kids two and under eat free.

“Such a great deal for no wait and unlimited Shake Shack favorites!” 

  • With Eloise at the Plaza you can throw the most mahvelous affair at The Plaza Hotel. Based on one of many adventures…like in Paris or Hollywood! Eloise’s mostly companions are here to assist every step of the way to make sure the birthday girl feels like one of a kind! Presents are a must, so every guest of honor will go home with her very own special gift and all her friends will get the most interesting keepsake favor bag.

“My 3 year old absolutely loved it and asked if she could go back to the plaza the next day. Love love love it!” 

  • MusiBambino Music Program gives your child an unforgettable experience with singing their favorite songs and exploring musical instruments. They also provide a music teacher, piano accompanist, a 30-45 minute music class, and adult and specially designed kid-sized music instruments!

“The staff there is so friendly and really accommodating. Their mini instruments are so fun for the kids and they sent everyone home with a drum set which was a hit!” 

  • Galli Theater give your child the magical experience of live theater for his/her special event. Create the most amazing theater party in town! All parties are suitable for girls and boys!

“We have been to many parties in NYC and they are all usually the same. Galli’s party was a welcome change and all the kids had a blast.” 

Veterans Day Camps for Kids

Veterans Day Camps

Celebrate Veterans Day on Monday, November 12th

Celebrate our country’s military veterans on Sunday Nov 11, 2018 at the the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade, which begins @11:15am from 26th Street and Fifth Avenue and continues to 50th Street.  Then, on Monday when our kids have the day off of school, sign up for a wonderful one day camp and keep the kids busy!

Creative Drama
Play On! Studios
UWS / Ages 4-10

ART CAMP
Creatively WILD Art Studio
Brooklyn/ Ages 2-15

Robots & Science
NORY
UWS / Ages 3-7

Veteran’s Day: Future Celebrity Chef Camp
Taste Buds Kitchen
Chelsea / Ages 4-13

Coding
Launch Math + Science
UWS / Ages 5-11

Wildlife Mini-Camp
Queens Zoo
Flushing / Ages 4-9

Dinosaur Camp
Karma Kids Yoga
Union Sq / Ages 3-5

Cooking Camp
Freshmade NYC
SoHo / Ages 4-12

For the Love of Dance at Joffrey

Joffrey Ballet School makes dance fun! Classical Ballet classes are for age 2 to 18 with a curriculum created to encourage age appropriate creativity, musicality, and physicality. Your child will dance and have fun with an emphasis on the foundations of ballet and the opportunity to learn contemporary ballet, jazz, hip hop, and modern dance in classes.

Location: Greenwich Village, 434 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY

Joffrey Ballet School

Dance With Me w/caregiver

Age: at least 2 years
Dancers are introduced to the joy of creative movement in a fun, family friendly musical setting.
Joffrey Ballet School

Baby Ballerinas

Age: at least 3 years
The children will explore movement qualities, musicality, motor coordination, enhancing the development of both their bodies and their minds.
Joffrey Ballet School

Pre-Ballet 1

Age: at least 5 years
Fun, creative elements such as stories, games and imaginative activities keep the pace of the class lively and engaging.
Joffrey Ballet School

Pre-Ballet 2

Age: at least 6 years
Live music enables dancers to learn dance exercises that emphasize straight legs and pointed feet, posture, placement, stretches and comportment of classical ballet
Joffrey Ballet School

Demi Soloists

Age: at least 4 years
Dancers are encouraged to expand their movement vocabulary through games and creative exploration of dance movements.
Joffrey Ballet School

Foundations of Ballet

Age: at least 7 years
Dancers are introduced to learning at this level for alignment, flexibility, and coordination. This training develops a strong foundation of physical and mental understanding necessary for Classical Ballet training.

Birthday Party at Indoor Extreme Sports

Indoor Extreme Sports

Recently, I ventured out to Long Island City so my son could attend his friend’s Laser Tag birthday party at Indoor Extreme Sports.  Only 5 stops and less than 20 minutes on the 7 train, the commute was far easier than I thought.  With reasonable prices, spacious facility and party rooms, and various extreme sports & experiences, Indoor Extreme Sports should be your next destination to host a memorable EXTREME birthday party.  I can vouch that the kids will have a fantastic time!


 

Party Types at Indoor Extreme Sports

7 to 15+ years //  Long Island City

Black Ops Lasertag: $398.00 incl. 8 guests

Black Ops is the future of live-action gaming. It is the most realistic force on force laser combat system in the world today. It uses the most advanced software in the world today that tracks real-time stats like your kills, deaths, ammo count, points, and more just like a real video game!

Arena Lasertag: $360.00 incl. 12 guests

ARENA CQB is the most realistic force on force laser combat system in the world today. It uses the most advanced software similar to Black Ops Lasertag. Arena C.Q.B is a close quarter battlefield which means smaller sized teams, and fast-paced style games!

Archery Tag: $300.00 incl. 10 guests

Come experience the latest new sports craze at the first official ArcheryTag® center in New York City. Battle it out “Old School Warrior Style” with true bows and safe arrows. Learn how to shoot in the archery range and then battle it out on a 3000′ sq ft field.

Paintball: $398.00 incl. 8 guests

The first and only official Paintball ReBall Center in the TriState Area and the only Paintball facility in NYC.  Play paintball at the most revolutionary facility of its kind today whether you’re a first time “Noob” or an experienced “Hi-Tech” player.

Virtual Reality: $210.00 incl. 6 guests

Rent out our virtual reality lounge and choose from any of the awesome activities. You and your group of friends can experience what it’s like to be in a whole new reality! Are you ready for the most intense gaming experience of your life?

Request for More Information

Election Day Camps for Kids

Election Day Camps

Tuesday, November 6 is Election Day!

We greatly encourage our Kidz Central Station parents to vote.  Before you do so or maybe after if the kids want to tag along, drop off your kids at one of these fun election day camps so they can take advantage of their day off school.

Adventures in Coding Camp
Launch Math + Science Centers
UWS / Ages 5-11

Get ready for a day of excitement as campers explore up to four different coding languages!

Marine Medics Camp
New York Aquarium
Coney Island / Ages 6-10

Go behind the scenes and get up close while experiencing how veterinarians and keepers work together to keep animal friends happy and healthy.

Robots & Science Camp
NORY
UWS / Ages 3-7

 Young innovators will use their strengths, as well as develop new skills, to program a robot and build circuits and structures.

Zoo Mini-Camp
Queens Zoo
Flushing / Ages 4-9

This is a great opportunity to learn how to be more kind to our oceans and make a difference!

Zoofari Camp
Prospect Park Zoo
Brooklyn / Ages 5-10

Explore primate adaptations, meet incredible animals up close, and design an animal superhero of your own.

Jr. Keeper: Sea Lions
Bronx Zoo
Bronx / Ages 7-10

Participants will get up close animal encounters, help make enrichment for the animal collection, and practice the skills it takes to take care of wild animals!

Cooking Camp
Freshmade NYC
SoHo / Ages 4-12

Join this two-hour drop off Election Day Cooking Camp. Kids will be cooking one sweet and one savory recipe.

NYC Fall Guide for Kids

Fall Guide

Fall is finally here, one of the most fun seasons in New York City! This fall, we are challenging all of our parents to give your child a NEW experience. Kidz Central Station offers a variety of classes at New York’s most iconic destinations. Break out your sweaters and join us for some amazing classes in Central Park, The Bronx Zoo, Brooklyn, Soho and more!


Wildlife Conservation SocietyWCSJulie Larsen Maher © WCS

For your nature loving child, the Wildlife Conservation Society offers interactive classes at the five zoos and aquarium throughout NYC. Children and caregivers get up close to animals, help prepare animal treats, and understand how keepers care for them each day. Have breakfast with penguins at the Central Park Zoo or spend the morning with seals & sea lions at the New York Aquarium or have breakfast with baboons at the Prospect Park Zoo.


Claire’s Creative Adventures

claire

Claire’s Creative Adventure, located in All Souls Church, is an amazing educational and engaging art program! Children develop confidence and skill by facing art challenges and exploring a myriad of exciting materials. Kids get hands on experience working with paint, clay, plaster, wood, pencil, sand, paper-mache, fabric, and more.  Explore art adventures!


New York City Fire Museum

Fall Guide

Located in Soho, The New York Fire Museum is an actual fire house from 1904! Children can try on helmets and bunker gear while learning about the colorful history of volunteer firefighters and firefighting techniques and equipment.  Retired FDNY firefighters proudly volunteer to relate stories of New York City’s “Bravest.”  Schedule your visit.


The Creative Kitchen

Fall Guide

The Creative Kitchen offers cooking classes for kids in select Whole Foods throughout NYC. They focus on fostering a positive relationship between children and food.  Kids learn basic cooking techniques while strengthening their social and motor skills in a team environment. Register Now for  class during your next grocery trip!


Upper Manhattan Forest Kids

Fall Guide

Upper Manhattan Forest Kids is an outdoor educational program in Central Park. Each week parents and children get together to learn about and explore our living environment. All activities encourage personal development, language development, and social skills.  Attend a FREE trial class this week!

Read about our recent trial class to learn more about this program!


Creatively Wild Art Studio

Fall Guide

Located in the heart of Dumbo’s vibrant creative community, Creatively Wild Art Studio gives kids a chance to build confidence and self-esteem while discovering their own personal creativity. Upcoming holiday camps for kids, toddlers, and teens are educationally designed to inspire learning through exploration in artistic mediums & techniques. As well as being lots of fun, campers pick up skills & professional techniques for future artistic endeavors!

Drop into a 2D Computer Animation, Cartooning and Manga, or Painting, Mixed Media and Found Object Art class this month!


New York Stage of Mind

Fall Guide

Drop into a New York Stage of Mind class in the hub of art and dance, Long Island City. New York Stage of Mind offers Piano lessons, Singing classes, and their ever so famous Broadway Youth and Broadway Bound classes which cover singing, acting, and dancing!