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.

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 include animal puppets, bouncing balls, and a colorful parachute to 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 SocietyWCS

Julie 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!

I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts: How to Handle Your Child’s Supernatural Sightings

Ghosts and Kids

It’s Halloween time again—neighborhoods are filled with decorations featuring witches, ghosts, gravestones, and more. Children are excited about the prospect of trick-or-treating and are planning their costumes. With this increased focus on Halloween, this time of year may also come with an increase in children talking about the supernatural or worrying more about ghosts, monsters, or more.

If a child expresses that they think they have seen something scary or supernatural, there can be several explanations. Most commonly, these statements are related to the fact that young children have difficulty separating fantasy from reality. Children are hard-wired to learn through imaginative and pretend play and therefore they can slip between reality and fantasy much more easily than adults. Also, children’s visual perception skills develop most quickly in infancy and toddlerhood, but these skills are still developing throughout early childhood so they are also more likely than adults to misperceive a visual stimulus. Therefore, while an adult might dismiss something they see quickly out of the corner of their eye as “nothing” or have a reality-based explanation, children might insist they saw a ghost or a fairy or some other creature.  Additionally, this perception feels real to them and they might get upset if an adult tries to convince them otherwise.

We also have to look to what the response to this declaration is. Attention is the currency of childhood – if a young child who states he or she has seen a supernatural gets a great deal of attention for that statement, he or she is much more likely to make such a statement again in the future. It goes back to basic principles of rewards: behavior that gets rewarded continues and attention is a great reward for most children. We must also look at the function of the behavior. Does declaring that there is a monster under the bed delay the separation from parents at bedtime that can be challenging for many children? In this case, the reward is the parent staying in the room longer.

Of course, more than one of these issues can be at play at any given time. A young child may genuinely misperceive a sight or sound as being a monster, their difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality leads them to fully believe that monsters are real, and then they are rewarded with time, attention, possibly some soothing from parents, and with the delay of the separation at bedtime.

So what’s a parent to do?

Start with validating the child’s concern or fear, while helping them distinguish reality from fantasy. Sometimes offering an explanation can help allay fears, for example, letting them know that at this time of year witches and ghosts and the like are on our minds more. If attention seems to be motivating the behavior, decrease the amount of attention you provide for these statements and increase the amount of attention you give to other things they say. For example, a statement about seeing a ghost gets a brief “Uh-huh” while a statement about what they are doing or the dog they see outside gets an enthusiastic “Wow! That’s great! What color was the dog?” A quick “monster check” at bedtime is typically fine for a young child, but as children get older parents should help with differentiating fantasy from reality and reminding them that monsters are not real.

Aleta G. Angelosante, PhD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health. She is a child psychologist and the Clinical Director of the Anita Saltz Institute for Anxiety and Mood Disorders at the Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone.

3 Best Financial Tips for Parents of Young Children

Financial TipsAfter a quick survey of our smart and educated parent friends, we found that financial planning often falls by the wayside as we become parents and get bogged down in the day-to-day of childcare, school, and activities.  Taking care of finances can be confusing and overwhelming, and we all want to avoid thinking about wills and future planning. However, if you are an expectant parent or parent of young children, it’s necessary to identify your financial goals.

The first step is to find advisors we can speak to comfortably and build a genuine relationship with and that led us to Greg Breitman (greg_breitman@strategiesforwealth.com) and Evan Pollack (evan_pollack@strategiesforwealth.comat Strategies For Wealth in downtown NYC. 

They kindly shared their top 3 Financial Tips for our Kidz Central Station parents.

Finance Advice

1) Get Organized by meeting with a Financial Planner

No matter your financial situation, organization is paramount! Time is understandably limited with a young family or baby on the way so meeting with a trusted financial planner to get organized is an efficient way to check this off the to-do-list. Additionally, use your adviser as an accountability partner because putting off this crucial step until things calm down is a common and costly mistake. Getting organized with your adviser leads to the creation of a successful plan that starts with protecting the family with wills, trusts and life insurance.

2) Get a Will and other Legal Documents

This is the the most common essential protection piece people put off. Getting a will is not as time consuming as one would think. To get a jump start, determine who you would want to take care of your child if you were not around. Everything else is secondary. Will’s should be updated/reviewed roughly every 5 years or when there is a new life event. Having a properly constructed will saves surviving friends and family from additional stress. Additional documents needed include a living will, power of attorney and health care proxy. Trusts are an essential planning tool as well if needed.

3) Get Life Insurance

Life insurance implementation is one of the most important decisions a family can make. It is uncomfortable to talk about however is too essential to overlook or push off. Too often do families make mistakes with the appropriate amounts and types due to hasty decisions, misinformation and a lack of proper education leading to unimaginable financial consequences. Consulting your trusted adviser with this decision will help you figure out what is best for your family to cushion the blow of an unexpected loss of income. Life insurance premiums are based on your age and your health. It is one of those items where when you actually want it, is typically the toughest to get.

 Meet our Financial Advisors

Finance Advice

Greg Breitman, Evan Pollack and Dan Paikin have a combined 22 years of financial planning experience. Their expertise is around helping families that have or are expecting children. Their belief and approach to helping young families is to address items in order of priority, 1) getting organized 2) getting protected and 3) building a foundation of a plan that’s proven to work. 

Specifically, they help parents address 6 main areas:

  • Wills/Trusts
  • Lawsuit Protection
  • Life Insurance
  • Income Protection
  • Savings & Investment Strategies
  • College Planning

For more information and to learn more about organizing your own finances, PLEASE CONTACT:

Greg (212) 701-2529 or Evan (212) 701-2571

Take Your NYC Kids on an Outdoor Adventure

Outdoor learning is an essential form of education and personal development, especially in the Pre-K to Kindergarten age group. Improvement in health, self confidence, social skills, and language development are among the many benefits of being outside.

The best outdoor adventure program in New York City is Upper Manhattan Forest Kids, an amazing program founded by parents Stephen and Sarita, who wanted to give their daughter a chance to learn from nature.  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

Upper Manhattan Forest Kids offers parent-child classes in Central Park and Inwood Hill Park for children ages 1 to 6. Classes are offered on Tuesday and Saturday mornings and Saturday afternoons. Sign up for a FREE trial or semester program on Kidz Central Station!

Recently, Muniba from the Kidz Central Station team, attended an Upper Manhattan Forest Kids trial class with her five year old brother, Ali.  

My Outdoor Adventure with Upper Manhattan Forest Kids

We met the enthusiastic group at 108th St, where Kadie greeted us and led everyone to the meetup spot. Here we found Stephan playing the Tin Flute in the middle of the forest! We proceeded to sing the welcome song and welcome everybody to the class.

Stephan introduced our first activity, “Finding the Trail.” The children take the lead as they search for blue flags tied to branches that mark the trail. This self guided activity encouraged independence, leadership, and sharp observation skills as the kids excitedly found one flag after another.

Upper Manhattan Forest Kids

Stephan and Kadie used every moment as a learning opportunity. For instance, when we encountered a split in the forest, Stephan asked the kids questions that led to clues to help the children find the way. With minimal assistance from parents, the little ones independently found every single flag hidden throughout the trail!  After the last flag was found, we got to our destination that was marked with an X.

Upper Manhattan Forest Kids

Here, we enjoyed Danish rye bread and butter while we listened to a storybook called On This Spot: An Expedition Back Through Time. Kadie encouraged active imagination by asking kids what our environment and life would have been like hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Outdoor Adventure

We had a period of free play where little ones had a chance to actively explore their living environment. We discovered monarch butterflies, spiderwebs, and interesting looking sticks!

Upper Manhattan Forest Kids

After open play, it was time to pack up our stuff and head back. Stephan invited each child to take a turn leading the way back. We made it all the way back to our meet up spot led entirely by the kids!

We sang our goodbye song and said goodbye to our new friends, teachers, the animals, and the plants.

Outdoor Adventure

Our class with Upper Manhattan Forest Kids was an incredible experience for Ali and me. This class reminded me how much we can learn by spending time in nature. For Ali, it taught him how to be more observant and to think critically.

Stephan and Sarita have developed an amazing program that promotes independence and growth within your child by giving them a chance to learn with movement, freedom, and imagination.

Sign up for a FREE trial or semester long program today!