Tag Archives: kids activities

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!

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 10.22.37 AM
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!

10 Tips For Beating the Winter Blahs

Child in snow
Spring is just around the corner, but many of us are still dealing with the doldrums of winter. While there are lots of things to love about winter, it also means shorter days, less sunlight, colder weather, and more time stuck inside. This is a time of year when many people feel less energetic and possibly a little “blah.” Feeling like you might be in a bit of a winter slump? Here are ten ideas to help you conquer your winter woes.

1. Brighten your world! Winter’s lack of sunlight can cause many people to feel gloomy and sluggish. Get as much natural light as you can. Open the curtains, sit by the window, and enjoy a mood-lifting vitamin D boost from the sun. Decorating your home in light, cheery colors may also help to counteract the dreariness of winter.

2. Make quality zzz’s a priority. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule and getting the right amount of sleep can help you stay energized.

3. Get outside when you can. Being cooped up inside for too long can make anyone feel pretty blah. Bundle up and take an energizing walk in the cold!

4. Exercise! Exercising releases endorphins and helps to decrease stress and anxiety. It can also improve sleep and boost energy. Try a new sport or exercise class. If you’re snowed in, practice yoga, try some workout DVDs, or even have your own private dance party at home.

5. Pump up the jams! Speaking of dance parties, music can be an excellent way to lift spirits. There are tons of potential mental and physical benefits of both playing and listening to music.

6. Eat well. During cold winter months, it can sometimes be tempting to eat the same comfort foods over and over. However, eating a healthy, varied diet full of vitamins and nutrients can improve energy, mood, and overall health.

7. Plan a mini “vacation” and give yourself something to look forward to. This could mean going on an actual trip, but it can also be as simple as planning a special weekend activity close by.

8. Volunteer for a cause that’s important to you. Use your personal interests and skills to make the world a better place. In the process, you can connect to others, build self-esteem, and gain a sense of purpose.

9. Socialize, and not just on social media. Surround yourself with positive people. When you and your friends stick together, the winter blahs don’t stand a chance!

10. Treat yourself! Don’t forget to do something extra nice for yourself once in a while. You deserve it!

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Janis Atty, MA, CCLS, ATR-BC, LCAT is a child life specialist and creative arts therapist at NYU Langone’s Fink Children’s Ambulatory Care Center, and is part of the Pediatric Celiac Disease and Gluten Related Disorders Program. She helps pediatric patients and their families understand and cope with medical illnesses and experiences. By providing education, preparation, emotional support, and guidance, she promotes positive development and well-being in patients facing a wide range of challenging life events.

 

Head of the Class Mom: Pam Wolf of New York Kids Club

IMG_0097Meet this week’s Head of the Class Mom, Pam Wolf—founder of NY Kids Club and a mom to four amazing kids!

Tell us about yourself. Why did you start New York Kids Club?
When I left work in 1991 to have my first daughter, Jessica, I told my recruitment firm partner I’d be back in two weeks. As soon as I met Jessica, I was in love. I had my second child, Jared, 15 months later (and two more children after that!). I never got around to going back to work—at least not for anyone else.

While I enjoy being a parent, my entrepreneurial passion was alive and well and I found myself looking for a new outlet for expression that would allow me to keep my children close by.

One day in between music class with my daughter on one side of town and art class on the other, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if these classes (along with many others) could be housed under the same roof?” Leading with a laser focus on providing the most unique experience for children coupled with the high-level customer service, hospitality, and fastidious cleanliness you’d expect from upscale hotels; the NY Kids Club was born.

What is your secret to balancing work and family? Is there a balance?
There is no secret to work-life balance. Every minute you spend missing a soccer game for an important meeting, or missing an important meeting for that soccer game, you will be worried that you are letting someone down. Focus on achieving work-life flow, rather than balance. You’ll be much happier (and much more effective).

Share a funny story that helped you become a better parent and/or better at your job.
I learned a long time ago that you have to find humor in even the most challenging of circumstances. When I get the call that a pipe has burst in the dead of winter, flooding a location in the middle of the night, I’ve trained myself to first think, “Alright, should we add indoor ice skating?”

What has been your biggest challenge and/or greatest reward in the struggle for work-life balance?
The biggest challenge is remembering that health, happiness, and charity must begin at home. It is easy to put everyone and everything first—side-lining your own personal well-being along the way. You have to take care of yourself before you can be good for anyone else. That’s not selfish—it’s smart.

The greatest reward has been seeing my business evolve and grow over the past 15 years. It has been an incredible journey. Sometimes I’ll walk into our relatively-new midtown headquarters and think “Wow, look at this place! Look at all these people!” Then I remember I’m supposed to be in charge and I make sure there are flowers in the lobby and mints on the snack bar. Attending to the details is as important now as ever.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you had kids?
They are like potato chips. Every time you have one, you want another.

If you could give other moms one piece of advice what would it be?
Resist the incredible urge to compare yourself (or your children) to anyone else. Dare to be different and teach your children that “different” is cool.

QUICK Q’s:

What is your favorite children’s book?
The Country Bunny
by DuBose Heyward.

What has been your favorite kids’ class?
Musical Tots at NY Kids Club of course.

What is your favorite thing to do with your family on weekends?
Anything that involves food!

What is your favorite rainy day escape?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Curious about New York Kids Club? Check out all of the program’s birthdays here!

About Pam Wolfe and New York Kids Club:
Founded by Pamela Wolf in September of 2001, the New York Kids Club has grown to become the premiere enrichment center for children two months to 12 years. Ms. Wolf has been recognized as a Stevie award winner in the category of Business Mentor of the Year, a Stevie Award finalist in the category of Best Entrepreneur, and one of the top female entrepreneurs of the year by Entrepreneur magazine. She has paired her extensive business background with her experience as a mother of four to build a strong foundation for the organization that has grown to include 11 locations in New York and 12 in China. The company received INC 500/5000 list recognition in 2014. Of the several successful businesses Ms. Wolf has owned in New York, she is most proud of the New York Kids Club.