Tag Archives: kids activities

Ultimate Guide to Mets Citi Field With Kids

Kidz Central Station @ NY Mets Citi Field

Baseball was my favorite sport as a child and I loved a day at the ballpark. However, visiting the ballpark with my two young  and very different kids is not easy.  My 3rd grader loves baseball from first pitch to last. My 1st grader is happy until his hot dog is eaten and water has spilled all over his shirt…so 1 ½ innings. 

This is why I am so excited about the New York Mets game plan for Sunday home games in 2018.  “Family Sundays with the Mets” includes 2 hours of pre-game kid-focused activities, a promotional giveaway, and an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Met.  At the end of the game, kids 12 and under are even invited to run the bases in the Mr. Met Dash.  An entire day at the ballpark filled with family friendly fun?  Sounds like a hit for kids and parents.

Pre-Game Activities at Citi Field

We had tickets for Sunday, May 20th – NY Mets Vs. Arizona D-backs.  Arizona was in 1st place in the NL West but the Mets were looking to sweep the weekend series.  We were pumped for this matchup! Outfitted in our Mets gear, we hopped the 7 train to Citi Field in Queens, a 45 minute trip from Madison Square Park.

Kidz Central Station @ NY Mets Citi Field

 

 

Two hours before Sunday game time, Mets Plaza in front of the main entrance is full of carnival games, skills games, inflatables, face painting, arts and crafts, balloon artists, and other kids activities. It is a music-blasting party atmosphere. In other words, my “I want to go home” six year old was immediately engaged.

Smart play, Mets!

 

 

Kidz Central Station @ NY Mets Citi Field

 

 

 

Arriving early, among the first 15,000 fans, ensures you one of the cool giveaways (a plastic bat for this game). Plan now for these upcoming key games and cool giveaways: June 3rd vs Cubs (an on trend fanny pack) or June 10th vs Yankees (Jeurys Familia Fathead) or June 24th vs Dodgers (Mets Cap).

 

 

 

 

Kidz Central Station @ NY Mets Citi Field

 

 

My kids enjoyed EVERY game of the pre-game activities!  They practiced their hockey shot and  tested their pitching strength. They played basketball toss, magic ball, tic tac toe, ring toss, and wiffle ball. We got a family photo with Mrs. Met.  “Is that a girl?” my little one kept asking.  We watched a Tae Kwon Do class give a demonstration.  Of note, the area never felt crowded, which made the whole experience pleasant. 

 

 


Kidz Tips

  • Tickets start at $15/person (children 32″ and under are free!)
  • Arrive early to sample all the games and snap your photos at the Home Run Apple in front of Citi Field
  • Take the 7 train or LIRR to Mets/Willets Point Station
  • Utilize the Uber Pickup zone on 126th St

 

Inside The Ballpark & Fan FestKidz Central Station @ NY Mets

After a fun filled hour of outside play, we were ready for the ballpark.  The kids were swinging their free plastic bats. We grabbed Nathan’s trusty hot dogs, nachos, and ice cream before heading to our seats on the 1st base side on field level (section 109).  We settled into our seats, ate our food, and watched the 1st inning. Every seat at Citi Field offers a great view of the game. Still, my younger one was ready to go home by the top of the 2nd.

This was the right moment to visit Good Humor Fan Fest on the field level beyond center field.  Walk across the concourse, over Shea Bridge, and enter this food court and kids playground area.

Kiz Central Station @ NY Mets CIti FIeld

Games include a dry dunk tank with the opposing team’s “fan” (my sporty 9 year old dunked him to much applause), wiffle ball batting practice, and tee ball in a mini Citi Field.  You can get a photo with Mr. Met and Mrs. Met again.  Several Kids Club representatives are here to help you (read more below).

Kidz Central Station @ NY Mets Citi Field

 

Fan Fest is open until the mid-7th inning, and we hung out here for four full innings. There is a large tv screen so you can keep your eyes on the game. FYI , Shea Bridge is a fantastic viewing area for the game and a perfect meet-up location if you have friends attending the same game but sitting elsewhere as we did. Restaurants in this area include Papa Rosso, Blue Smoke, Box Frites, and Shake Shack.  The kids had pizza and flavored icees while my husband and I tried spicy fried chicken sandwiches at David Chang’s Fuku outpost.  We could stay here all day!

 


Kidz Tips

  • Diaper changing tables are in all concourse restrooms
  • There are 15 Family Restrooms
  • Visit the Mamava Station for nursing moms on Empire Suite Level
  • $7.00 Kids’ Meal including a Nathan’s hot dog, popcorn, juice box, and prize is available at the concession stand behind Section 121 on the Field Level
  • Go to the Bullpen Gate on 126th St after the game to line up for the Mr. Mets Dash

 

Family Sundays with the Mets is a Home-run

 Kidz Central Station @ NY Mets Citi Field

We are happy to call Family Sundays a win!   After Fan Fest, we went back to our seats for the 7th inning.  Just in time to watch the Mets seal the game with back to back homers!  The longest we’d lasted at a baseball game before this was 4 innings at Camden Yards and Yankee Stadium was a huge bust.  Very impressive because we were exhausted from the day’s activities. Unfortunately, we didn’t hold out for the Mr. Mets Dash, but my older son knew a school friend in attendance with his little league team who did the dash.  He loved that experience, of course. We will definitely be back for a day at Citi Field.

Let’s go Mets!

 

Mr. Met’s Kids Club

Family Sunday activities are for all ticket holders.  But, there are extra perks if you sign up for one of the Mr. Met Kids Club membership packages.  This is a great deal for your little Mets Fans!  We are signing up as we had a great day and want to go to a Brooklyn Cyclones game next.

  • All-Star Membership  – $35 Four (4) complimentary tickets* located in Promenade Outfield seating that can be used for a select game
  • MVP Membership – $55  Four (4) complimentary tickets located in Baseline Box seating on the Field Level that can be used for a select game

Each membership includes:

  • 2 BOGO ticket offers
  • 1 complimentary scoreboard message
  • 4 complimentary Brooklyn Cyclones tickets
  • Access to Mr. Met’s Kids Club ticket offers
  • “Passport” with barcode and lanyard for check-in.  Passport allows fast pass access to the Mr. Met Dash.  In addition, earn prizes (autographed player cards, Kids Club hat or jersey) by checking-in at the game with Passport.
  • Drawstring Bag, Pencil Case, Bookmark, Door Tag, Pair of Wristbands

Note:  Kidz Central Station was offered promotional tickets by the Mets organization. This did not affect the author’s review.

 

Guide to Finding the Best Youth Baseball Program

 

Our partners at New York Sports Connection provide our Kidz Central Station families an insider guide to finding the right youth baseball program for your child.

Guide to Youth Baseball with Kidz Central Station
Baseball is the national pastime and something many kids grow up playing. Yet, knowing when and how to introduce young players to the sport can be confusing. Below we explain some of the particulars of youth baseball, as well as, the different options available to the burgeoning ballplayer.

When considering organized programs for young players, we recommend parents focus on those that make the game fun while also providing much-needed instruction from coaches with experience with specific age groups.

 

Age Determines Play Level in Youth Baseball

In youth baseball, the level at which a child plays is normally determined by their age not their skill level. A child’s “baseball age” is set by their age on April 30th each calendar year. For example, if a child turns eight on April 29 they play 8U that spring and summer. A child who turns eight on May 1 will play on 7U teams (because they were still seven on April 29th). While players can play “up” and join an older team if they have the skills to do so, they cannot play “down” and play with younger kids even if their skills match those of the younger players.

 

Field Sizes Vary for Different Ages

Different age teams play on different size fields. Field sizes are listed by the distance from the pitching rubber to home plate and the distance between the bases. For example, Little Leagues (11 and 12 year olds) play on 46/60 fields, meaning the pitching rubber is 46 feet from home plate and the distance between bases is 60 feet. There are various incremental steps (50/70, 54/80) before players advance to a regulation 60/90 field (actually 60’6”). Most advance to the larger field around the time they play 13U ball.

 

Tee Ball May Be Your Child’s First Step into Youth Baseball

The first step for most young players is tee ball (usually ages 4-7). As the name implies, batters hit a ball placed on a stationary stand (tee) that is secured to home plate rather than a pitch thrown from the pitcher’s mound. The thinking is that young players don’t have the hand eye coordination to hit live pitching. Tee ball fields are even smaller than the 46/60 Little League fields. The goal at this level is to teach kids hitting and fielding fundamentals and to get them to enjoy the game. In many tee ball leagues, scores and outs are not recorded. Instead, each player on a team gets to bat each inning. Remember, the idea is to make it easier on hitters while keeping kids engaged.

 

Try Coach Pitch After Tee Ball

Tee ball can eventually evolve into coach pitch, the theory being that young kids are not adept enough to throw strikes consistently. Coaches are not trying to get batters out. They want batters swinging and hitting. Coach pitch is usually for ages 6-8, but can begin earlier or last longer for some. There are many variations of coach pitch leagues with some having no walks, or a coach coming in to pitch after a kid pitcher has “walked” a batter. As with tee ball, the aim of coach pitch is for kids to develop a love of the game and to encourage them to want to continue playing at higher levels.

 

The Evolution to Kid Pitch Leagues and Baseball

This is when baseball begins to feel like the sport kids watch on TV. Kid pitch leagues can be recreational/community leagues, accredited Little Leagues (the ones that culminate with regional and national championships held in Williamsport, PA), and travel teams.

  • Little Leagues are governed by Little League Baseball. The spring/summer Little League season runs from late March or early April to mid-June. There are strict residency rules with players only allowed to play for leagues in zones where they live. Some Little Leagues also play fall schedules. In Little League, players are generally assigned to teams in the hope of forming balanced teams. The main Little Leagues (often called “Majors”) is for 11 and 12 year olds. After that players graduate to Junior (13 and 14) and Senior (15-18) teams.
  • Challenger Baseball. Both Little League and many recreational leagues provide Challenger Baseball for children with disabilities to enjoy the sport. Outs and runs are often not counted.
  • Rec Baseball. Most rec leagues play two games per week, usually a Saturday or Sunday doubleheader. These leagues are open to all players regardless of skill. Rec teams normally only practice before their scheduled games.
  • Travel Baseball. Travel or tournament baseball can start as young as 7U. Travel baseball is more competitive, has more talented players (teams hold tryouts for open spots), requires more of a time commitment (more practices and travel to tournaments), and costs more. Some travel teams play three seasons – spring, summer and fall.

 

Things to do in Queens with Kids

Queens is NYC’s largest and most ethnically diverse borough.  It is fast gaining popularity with parents with such family friendly neighborhoods as Rego Park, Astoria, Forest Hills, and Long Island City.  Nice weather has arrived so it’s time to take advantage of some of the city’s most authentic food, best views of the Manhattan skyline, and Family Sundays at Citi Field (Go Mets!).   Hop the 7 train and begin your outing in Queens, NY!

Queens Kids Astoria Park views

View from Astoria Park

Queens Kids Special Events

On the early evening of Friday, June 1st, join Wildlife Conservation Society at Queens Zoo to learn about birds, meet farm animals, and see other animals up close. Enjoy cookies and milk and a fun story at  Pajama Story Time – An Animal Tale.

Then, spend the morning at the Queens Zoo on Sunday, June 3rd for Family Breakfast: Keeping up with Keepers.  Meet a keeper and learn about what it takes to care for some amazing animals!

Bring the kids to a NY Mets game at Citi Field for Family Sundays.  Arrive early for the pre-game party with all kid friendly games and activities.  Stay until the end of the game to run around the bases with Mr. Met.

Queens Kids Soccer

superkickers queens

Soccer class in Astoria Park

Soccer, Soccer everywhere.

And Superkickers is truly everywhere with locations in Jackson Heights, Astoria, Long Island City, Middle Village and Sunnyside.  The gooooaaal is to have fun, learn new skills and build self-esteem for kids ages 18 months to 12 years old.

Or spend your summer with Long Island City Youth Soccer Academy which has locations in Astoria Park and Long Island City.  Soccer for Tots classes are especially designed for introducing kids ages 2-4 and ages 4-5 to the game.  Summer camps for tots ages 2-5 and older kids ages 6-15+ are designed for soccer loving kids.

 
 

Queens Kids Music and Dance

The DanceSource is a renowned Dance studio in the Rego Park/ Forest Hills area.  Classes include: Ballet, Modern, Gymnastics (Acrobatics), Tap, Hip Hop, Ballroom, Zumba, Martial Arts, Bollywood, Barata Nathyam, Georgian Dance and Yoga. And if you love to dance and are looking for a party venue, The DanceSource will host your Bat/Bar Mitzvah, Quincinera, birthday or Wedding dances.  The 6 week summer program Arts Dance Music Camp offers Art, Dance and Music and swimming.

New York Stage of Mind is a music school in the heart of Long Island City.  They offer private Piano LessonsSinging Classesand guitar lessons, as well as, Musical Theatre programs focused on acting, singing, and dancing.  Take your little ones to Tunez for Totz for a music introduction.

Maybe you don’t want to leave the comfort of your beautiful Queens home.  In that case, invite the Willan Academy of Music’s experienced teachers to give in-home Piano, Violin, Guitar, Singing, Saxophone, or Flute lessons that are personalized to your child’s individual needs.

Queens Kids Art, Music and Birthday Parties

Okabaloo Queens Kids

OKABALOO FunArtFaktory – Arts & Fun Center deserves its own category – an arts and fun factory for Kids.  Sign up for anything from puppet shows, to summer camp, to a “Lego Guru” class.  Or take advantage of their bright, spacious studio to host your next party event!  Astoria mom Samantha Shlimbaum said, “Okabaloo is unique… most spaces in Astoria are small, but Okabaloo is perfect  to invite friends and family.  Also, they partnered with Fiddle Foxes which performed at my daughters 1st birthday party. I highly recommend them!”  

Queens Zoo Summer Camp

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo in Flushing hosts frequent special weekend events such as mentioned above and offers summer camp for every age from Toddler Camp  to KinderZoo to Week of Wildlife to Zoo Explorer to Junior Scientist.  Don’t miss the zoo!

Summer Camps in Murray Hill & UES

Last week, we featured summer camps in Downtown Manhattan, so now let’s head uptown and East.  Murray Hill  is a neighborhood in midtown Manhattan on the East side.  Full of families and boasting tons of restaurants and parks and tree-lined streets, this neighborhood is a great place to spend the day.  Go farther up the 6 train and you hit the Upper East Side, which is well-known for its kid-friendly activities.


Summer Camps in Midtown East/Murray Hill

Summer camps in Murray Hill Midtown Manhattan

Midtown Movement and Dance Company

Cultivate a passion for dance through music and creative movement, while establishing the foundation of ballet technique.  Classes are led by Miss Jackie. Camp runs Jul 30th 2018 – Aug 10th 2018. Mon-Fri 9am-12pm.

Sign up per week:

Sign up per day:

 

CenterStage

Performing arts classes for kids all summer culminating in an end-of-semester performance for your children’s biggest fans (you!). Sign up any or all weeks Jun 18th 2018 – Aug 24th 2018.

Sign up by age:

 

The Goddard School

Bring learning and FUN! to your young children’s pre-school experience.  Weekly themes include Engineering, Acting, Cooking, Soccer, Filmmaking, and so much more.  Field Trips each week and Splash Day on Friday. Age: 5 years and under.  Camp runs Jun 18th – Aug 30th 2018.   Mon-Fri 9am-4pm; inquire about half day option.

 

Physique Swimming

With NORY, this is an unique Swim and STEM summer camp.  Children ages 4 to 11 years can swim in the morning, then have lunch followed by an afternoon of STEM activities.   A half day Morning Camp Swim with Physique Swimming option is also available. Camp runs Jun 25th-Aug 31st 2018.

Sign up per week:

 

NORY

NYC’s premier STEM Camp for aspiring innovators ages 3 – 12.   NORY offers 3 camps, including its partner camp with Physique Swimming.  All camps run Jun 18th 2018 – Aug 17th 2018.

 


Summer Camps in the Upper East Side

Summer camps in Upper East Side Manattan

Claire’s Creative Adventures

Summer camp explores new artists and museum exhibitions throughout the summer.  This culminates in a wrap-up Friday museum art-making tour to see the artists discussed all summer.  Register for any one of the 3 weeks of June camp; each week is different. 9:30-12:30 session only. Jun 11th 2018 – Jun 29th 2018.

 

Kids In Sports

Two options: (1) Indoor Camp Ages 2.5-6 years held at Temple Israel (112 E. 75th St.) (2) Outdoor Camp Ages 4 up to 9 years held at Randalls Island.  Activities include Baseball, Football, Soccer, Basketball, Floor Hockey, and Volleyball, arts and crafts, story-time, and more. Children can participate in any or all weeks.  

 

Kids in the Game

Summer camp for boys and girls entering Pre-K4 to 8th grade. Some of the activities and trips kids will enjoy: – Sports, Arts & Crafts, Day Trips, Music, Dance & Yoga, Tennis, Swimming, Yankees and Mets Games, Transit Museum, Intrepid Museum, Bronx Zoo, New York Botanical Gardens.  Camp runs Jul 2nd 2018 – Aug 10th 2018.

 

Launch Math + Science Centers

Provide toddlers to tweens with inspiring math instruction and STEM-based summer camps.  Real-life rocket scientist, Scott Heifetz, founded Launch with one mission in mind: Inspire children to love and learn math and science.  

Sign up by area of interest:

Best Mother’s Day in NYC

Mother’s Day NYC Kidz Central Station

Mother’s Day in NYC  is a wonderful time to explore family activities all over the city.  Let the celebrations begin next Saturday, on to Sunday, and carryover all the way to the following Sunday!  You can never do enough to appreciate Mom.  Below is a roundup of the best events in NYC.
 

SATURDAY, MAY 12TH

Mother’s Day Breakfast (ages 3+ with adult)

Mother’s Day NYC Prospect Park Zoo

Wildlife Conservation Society – Prospect Park Zoo, 9am-11am.   Meet in the zoo before it opens, enjoy a light breakfast, meet an animal close up, and help prepare special treats for the animal moms!

 

Mother’s Day Tea Party Workshop

Mother’s Day NYC Taste Buds Kitchen

Taste Buds Kitchen – Chelsea, 9am-10am.  This class is designed for kids and parents to cook together.    Make melt-in-your-mouth Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze and brew a refreshing Sun Tea.  Festive Tea Party attire welcome.

 

Make Mom a Makeup Pouch – Sewing Workshop

Mother’s Day NYC The Fashion Class

The Fashion Class – Midtown West, 3:30-5:30pm. Kids will create a make-up bag or carry-all pouch with zipper and decorations for mom.  The class is perfect for everyone from beginners to advanced sewers.  The workshop begins with a sewing lesson on Singer Sewing machines.  Students learn to cut and pin fabric before sewing.

 

Mother’s Day Parent-Child Workshop: Cherry Blossom Trees

Claire’s Creative Adventures– UES, 4-5:30pm.
Children make a family tree or a beautiful sculpture to don any room!  Join your child in making hands-on projects using unique materials.
**Register by May 11th for this special Mother’s Day event.**

 

 

Mother’s Day with Mozart for Munchkins

Mozart for Munchkins – UWS, 4-5pm. Fun family concert featuring a variety of classical favorites including Vivaldi, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, and sing-along favorites!

**SAVE 10% WITH COUPON CODE MOZARTMOM**

 

 SUNDAY, MAY 13TH – Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day Celebration (Ages 3-10 with adult)

Mother’s Day NYC Central Park ZooWildlife Conservation Society – Central Park, 9am-10:30pm.   Families meet animal moms and their babies, make them treats, go on a scavenger hunt, and meet an animal guest. Then make a special Mother’s Day craft and enjoy a treat.

 

Family Brunch Celebrating Moms! (All Ages)

Wildlife Conservation Society – Queens Zoo, 11:30am-1:30pm.  Enjoy a light breakfast and explore the animals. Children will make a fun craft for their moms and the staff will take pictures of the family as a keepsake. All moms receive a gift!

Mother’s Day Tea Party Workshop

Mother’s Day NYC Taste Buds Kitchen

Taste Buds Kitchen – Chelsea, 9am-10am.  This Mother’s Day class is designed for kids and parents to cook together.    Make melt-in-your-mouth Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze and brew a refreshing Sun Tea.  Festive Tea Party attire welcome.

 

Mother’s Day with Mozart for Munchkins!

Mother’s Day NYC Mozart for Munchkins

Mozart for Munchkins – UES, 4-5pm. Fun family concert featuring a variety of classical favorites including Vivaldi, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, and some sing-along favorites!

**SAVE 10% WITH COUPON CODE MOZARTMOM**

 

 SUNDAY, MAY 20TH

A Mommy Puppet Show

 Mother’s Day NYC Okabaloo

OKABALOO FunArtFaktory – Arts & Fun Center –  Long Island City, 10-10:45am.  It’s a Mommy and Me show date dedicated to “Mother’s Month.”  Enjoy a 45 minute interactive puppet show full of laughs and surprises.

Best Bets for Brooklyn Kids

brooklyn6

Has everyone noticed that the Brooklyn Kids scene is thriving? We certainly have here at Kidz Central Station. Well, it is our job to notice…but even if it weren’t, Brooklyn kids activities are on our radar. So, if you’re a Brooklynite, then grab a slice of the world’s best pizza and learn all about the activities in your backyard. If you live outside of Brooklyn or are visiting, then head on over the iconic Brooklyn Bridge (after pausing to take in the incredible views) and prepare for a full day of fun for your kids.


Brooklyn Kids Events

Brooklyn Kids events

Boot Camp for New Dads  is a 3 hour class hosted by NYU Langone Medical Center in Brooklyn that prepares men to be dads. Veteran dads demonstrate the basics of newborn care—from burping and changing to soothing a crying baby. Other topics include supporting moms,  bonding, work hours, forming a parenting team, safety, and dealing with relatives.

Project Playdate specializes in unique 3 hour drop-off group playdates for kids, which include free play, dinner, arts and crafts, story time, dance time, movie time, and more.  On May 18th, take part in the Kidville Park Slope Drop Off Pajama Party.

Music for Autism hosts FREE concerts for individuals with autism or special needs and their friends, families, and loved ones. Kids dance in the aisles and play musical instruments as they enjoy the featured musical act. Snacks are provided! The next event at the Park Slope Library is Saturday, July 21st.


Brooklyn Kids Summer Camps

Brooklyn kids summer camps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prospect Park Zoo is on the eastern side of Prospect Park near the Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Windsor Terrace, and Crown Heights neighborhoods. Both Prospect Park Zoo and New York Aquarium have several weekday summer camps to choose from for your explorers.

We raved about Fruiggie Organic Arts & Crafts Studio in our Earth Day blog and it’s worth taking a another look at their wonderful creative, eco-friendly Brooklyn kids summer camp in Bed/Stuy. Weekly themes include paper making, DIY musical instruments, DIY nature jewelry, vegan cooking, DIY school supplies, and more. Students also dance, sing and play while learning the importance of recycling, upcycling and connecting with nature. Bonus: Healthy organic, vegan snacks and drinks/smoothies included!

Kids in the Game, which has many camp locations throughout NYC, has a Brooklyn kids camp – Park Slope Summer Camp 2018. Lots of fun activities including, Sports, Arts & Crafts, Music, Dance, Yoga, Swimming and more. Special field trips take place to Yankees and Mets Games, the Transit Museum, Intrepid Museum, Bronx Zoo, and New York Botanical Gardens. This summer camp offers many great activities for boys and girls entering Pre-K4 to 8th grade.

Aviator Sports and Events Center has a Brooklyn kids summer day camp in Floyd Bennett Field. As mentioned in our Swim classes blog, this co-ed camp is spacious and has every activity/field trip your child could want. Camp is divided into four divisions; Junior Camp, Younger Division, Older Division and Teen Division. Each division has 15 campers, 2 general counselors, 1 head counselor, and a division counselor, thus providing very specialized attention. All activities are developed through the Project Based Learning curriculum as recommended by NY Department of Education standards. Inquire about the bus service option.


Brooklyn Kids Classes

Brooklyn kids classes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YokeyPokey Virtual Reality Club brings VR to everyone through private parties and events at either their location in Boerum Hill a block away from Barclays center or to a location of your choice. Examples of fun party play via 360 degree videos and VR gaming include fighting zombies, driving race cars, or traveling the world. A new STEM class called VR Architechts and after-school and holiday break classes are available for kids.

Ajna Dance Company teaches kids (ages 4-8) Bollywood and Indian classical dance in Gowanus/Park Slope. Kids learn basic body awareness and movement, storytelling, authentic technique, and choreography.

Willan Academy of Music provides In-Home Music Lessons personalized to your child’s individual needs. Learn Piano, Violin, Guitar, Singing, Saxophone, or Flute in a relaxed environment with experienced teachers. Also, get your friends together because group intro classes are available.

Not just a summer camp, Aviator Sports offers several individual classes for sporty and active kids in Brooklyn. Basketball, Flag football, Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Ice Skating, Soccer, Special Needs Gymnastics, Performing Arts, and Fitness are all available classes. If you’re still not convinced, there are an arcade, food court, sports bar, events rooms, and FREE parking for us parents!

Earth Day Kids’ Activities

Kidz Central Station Earth Day

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22, 2018.  Did you know that Earth Day was started in 1970 to spotlight environmental causes and now is the largest globally celebrated non-religious event?  It’s never too early to get our kids involved and there are many activities for them in NYC this weekend.  Get moving!

Earth Day Activities in NYC

EvFruiggie 2ery day is Earth Day at Fruiggie, a 100% organic, eco-friendly, non-toxic creative space in Brooklyn with art classes and workshops for children.  Fruiggie uses recycled supplies in most arts and crafts projects and even edible paint.  Explore your child’s creativity in making a unique nature collage that uses cereal boxes, twigs, leaves, flowers, and bottle caps to make beautiful landscapes.  Fruiggie offers art classes and an eco-art camp for the summer.

Check out your local New York Public Library branch for various activities this Friday and Saturday.  From eco-crafts classes to storytime for toddlers to science projects for teens, there’s something for the whole family.  Our partner Art Farm in the City will be giving a LIVE animal presentation at Epiphany Library on Friday.

On Saturday, take a walk through the cherry blossom festival at Randall’s Island.  Lots of kid-friendly activities—face painting, kite flying, and even “yoyo balloon fishing.”   We’re going just to find out what that is.

Start your Sunday with a yummy family breakfast at the Queens Zoo.  The Wildlife Conservation Society has prepared a full day for families to visit the animals and take part in projects such as planting flowers or building birdhouses to teach our kids how to support local wildlife.  Or, if you’re near the Staten Island Zoo, try out their eco-crafts and hands-on activities to celebrate Earth Day.

Drive over (or back) to Manhattan and teach your young fashionistas to “upcycle” old clothes into new eco-fashion.  The Fashion Class will help budding designers and beginners take a button down shirt and transform it into a fabulous dress.  Sounds like a great way to channel our kids’ ingenuity.

Let’s get our kids involved this Earth Day and make them leaders in caring for our planet!

Head of the Class Mom: Marni Sandler

Meet this week’s Head of the Class Mom, Marni Sandler—owner of Monkey Do! Yoga—and mom to an amazing daughter!

Tell us about yourself. Why did you start Monkey Do! Yoga?
I had been dreaming of opening a yoga studio dedicated to children and families for years. My background is in children’s media, especially interactive media design. I’ve been a yoga practitioner for a good portion of my life and often thought of bringing those worlds together. My yoga training focused on children—but it wasn’t until my own daughter was born that I was driven to make it a reality. She was an inspiration to finally make the studio happen. I opened the doors to Monkey Do! Yoga exactly 12 months after she was born.

What is your secret to balancing work and family? Is there a balance?
One thing that helps me is to erase those categories as much as I can, and to be in the moment whether I’m at home, in the studio, or in my corporate advertising/media job. Each motivates and influences the other. I’ve also had to come to terms with the fact that everything is not going to get done perfectly, and that’s fine. My home isn’t as neat as it used to be—it’s a constant flow of shifting priorities.

Share a funny story that helped you become a better parent and/or better at your job.
When my daughter was about eight weeks old, we went to a parent/baby yoga class. I was surrounded by new moms and their babies—sleeping, crying, and feeding, most of us exhausted and barely able to move. That class was unlike any other I had been to in all my years of practice. It was the most impactful; among all that noise I had never been so present. Just then, my tiny daughter let out some gas with a noise disproportionate to her size, really underscoring the idea of listening to our bodies. I had to laugh to myself.

What has been your biggest challenge and/or greatest reward in the struggle for work-life balance?
The main challenge is feeling like there’s no “off button” or break. I’m not sure that’s ever going to change, at least until I retire! It’s rewarding to find those rare moments of peace, which are especially sweet when I can share them with my daughter.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you had kids?
I wish I knew how much we’re all capable of. Once you go through childbirth, you realize you can do anything. I found it very empowering.

If you could give other moms one piece of advice what would it be?
I would definitely suggest moms get out and socialize as soon possible after your kids are born. It can be challenging to get out of the house. But, I’m so grateful for those days meeting up with other new Parents for lunch, Mommy & Me yoga, and walks in the park (even in the snow!). Those bonds are still really strong – it’s great to be able to talk to other women going through exactly the same thing.

QUICK Q’s:

What is your favorite children’s book?
Guess how Much I Love You by Sam McBratney. This may sound silly, but when my daughter was brand new, I attempted to read it to her and was so overcome with emotion. To this day I still can’t get through that book.

What has been your favorite kids’ class?
Monkey Do! Yoga offers a variety of classes for kids and families, so it’s hard to pick a favorite! But, I especially love are our Spanish-infused yoga for kids—movement is such a great way to integrate language.

What is your favorite thing to do with your family on weekends?
My daughter is almost 17 months and loves coming to the studio for the Sing and Move class. Then, if I get my way, we sneak in some ice cream around the corner at Ample Hills.

What is your favorite rainy day escape?
I love Brooklyn—I’m very lucky to live in an apartment building with lots of kids the same age as my daughter. We get together, order in lunch, and let the kids play. We don’t even have to leave the building!

Check out the full schedule for Monkey Do! Yoga, here!

New Season, New Activities! 4 NYC Kids’ Programs to Try This Spring

Spring has sprung in NYC! Not only are the trees in Central Park starting to bud and sidewalk cafes are filling with people on the bustling city streets, but lots of kids’ classes are popping up for the new season. Keep your kids busy during the home stretch to summer with these four awesome activities—and search Kidz Central Station for more!

baby girl with her mother rolled out the dough cook, bakeEloise at the Plaza. Contrary to what you might think, a visit to the renowned Plaza Hotel is not just for adults—kids are in for a treat too! Little ones can pay a visit to a very special friend named Eloise—the beloved character from the Eloise children’s book series—in her own lovely corner of this popular spot. Drop in for weekly tea sessions on Fridays, complete with sandwiches, sweets, and story time; or pop in for events such as cookie decorating and pasta making, which are sure to end with a delicious treat! Plus, all children who attend these fun drop-in activities will go home with a favor bag and a $10 gift card to the Eloise store!

standard_Bulldog_5-6Bulldog Ball Club. When we think about spring, we imagine kids running around and playing outside after a long, cold winter—and thanks to Bulldog Ball Club they can do just that, starting this week! With after school baseball sessions in Central Park for kids age 4–9, this program teaches the basics, including hitting, fielding, and throwing, as well as important lessons for sports and life: positivity, effort, perseverance, and sportsmanship. All skills are taught through fun, conceptual mini baseball games, getting them ready for Bulldog’s summer camp, which is just a couple short months away!

The Art Farm - Birthday PartyArt Farm in the City. Not only does this Upper East Side favorite have tons of spring enrichment classes for kids as young as six months old, but it’s also one of the only NYC kids’ programs to focus on nature and animals. There are some great ways to play here this spring—kids can cook healthy eats in the Farm Foodies Cooking Class; rock out, get creative, and meet new animal friends in Rocks, Smocks, and Animals; or get prepped for preschool in the brand new Farm Friends class. If you’re looking for some last minute fun with animals, there is also drop-in open play every week. Although the spring semester began last week, you can still join at a prorated price!

standard_Tennis_MSSGreen Ivy Enrichment. Located downtown at the Pine Street School and Battery Park Montessori, Green Ivy Enrichment is a fantastic kids’ program with tons of after school activities for kids with every possible interest. Children age three to eight can join for a semester of soccer, tennis, chess, art, or capoeira dancing (and more!), many which are taught by well-known local programs (i.e. Super Soccer Stars and Chess at Three). Classes start this week, so reserve your child’s spot! P.S. If your child is off for spring break from April 25–29, you’ll also want to check out Green Ivy’s Spring into Summer Vacation Camp!

Find out more about NYC kids’ programs on Kidz Central Station this spring! Visit the site and narrow your search by age, location, price, day, or time to see what’s happening this season near you!

We’ve Expanded . . . Check out Kidz Central UK!

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We are SUPER excited to announce that Kidz
Central Station has expanded—internationally! Yesterday we announced our launch of Kidz Central UK, a new website for finding and enrolling in kids’ activities in Hertfordshire, a suburban area outside of the city of London. Kidz Central UK features the same easy-to-use interface and search engine that has already helped thousands of parents find and enroll in kids’ programs here in NYC and has helped local kids’ programs to expand their reach to new parents. Using this new site, Hertfordshire parents can search for local kids’ activities by the criteria most important to them, such as age, location, class type, price, and more; sign up for trial classes; and directly enroll in a wide variety of programs in music, dance, art, cooking, and more.

Here’s what Kidz Central Station founder Lauren Pohl had to say:

“We are very excited about our expansion to the UK. Our experience in the New York City market proved that there is a need for one centralized location for finding and enrolling in local kids’ programs. Expanding to other markets was the natural next step, and we are excited about the great feedback we’ve already received in the UK market. The Hertfordshire area has so many amazing kids’ programs available, but until now there hasn’t been an easy way for local parents to find them. There is truly a need for this technology, and I have the utmost confidence in the energetic and extremely capable team leading this new venture.”

At the helm of Kidz Central UK is Julie Morrow, CEO, and Daisy Hodgson, director of marketing and strategy, both moms who live in Hertfordshire and have a strong familiarity with the area’s kids’ programs. Before joining Kidz Central UK, Morrow spent many years as an electronics engineer in the audio broadcasting, test automation, imaging and defense industries, and Hodgson was an auctioneer and valuer for over ten years.

Here’s what Julie Morrow, head of our new London team, had to say:

“After seeing the success of Kidz Central Station in New York City, we knew this kind of website was needed in our area. We have already garnered positive feedback from local parents and kids’ programs and look forward to what the future has in store for us.”

There are already over 1,500 classes populating the site and parents can choose from unique kids’ programs such as Tilly’s Dance Factory for dance and Wildchild Activities, which offers classes in archery, skateboarding, and outdoor bushcraft. Like Kidz Central Station, Kidz Central UK allows parents to sign up for semester, drop-in, and trial classes, purchase gift cards; read reviews; and earn reward points with each purchase through the Kidz Rewards program. Kidz Central Station’s popular birthday party finder tool can also be found on the UK site in the form of Hertfordshire’s Best Kids’ Birthday Party Finder, offering area parents a quick and easy way to find and request more information about kids’ birthday party programs and entertainers.

If you’re ever visiting the Hertfordshire area, or if you have friends who live there, spread the word!