Tag Archives: NYC kids classes

Best Bets for Brooklyn Kids

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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!

NYC Classes and Activities for Kids Starting Next Week!

Although the first day of spring has come and gone, with today being the first day of April we can definitely say that spring is here—and the weather is finally cooperating! Kidz Central Station has tons of spring classes and activities for kids starting each day, from music and soccer to family friendly shows and beyond. If you need last minute help deciding on classes, check out our round up below (or email us at info@kidzcentralstation.com and ask!)—or sign up for a trial class if you still aren’t sure!

Music for Aardvarks Sohostandard_BREEZY_PIC_POSTCARD. Music of Aardvarks Soho is run by the talented Bree Sharp, a.k.a. “Breezy”, a musician trained under Music For Aardvarks creator David Weinstone. She has been teaching classes for over 10 years, including the new semester of Music for Aardvarks Soho (which she teaches with all-star Andrew) starting April 6! Classes are for infants and toddlers age four months to four years, and include lots of singing, dancing, moving, clapping and laughing! Children are exposed to a wide variety of musical styles and instruments, and are sure to have a blast all season long.

The Amazing Max. For a limited time only, The Amazing Max is back and bringing fun and comedy to NYC kids from April 6–10! The perfect weekend activity for the whole family, The Amazing Max is a comedic magician who can keep even the most active kids entertained. It’s a high-energy show where objects disappear, the laws of gravity are defied, and kids sit spellbound for an entire 60 minutes! And for a limited time, select shows are 20% off!standard_TheAmazingMax0518

Soc Roc. The arrival of spring means that it’s time for children to get outside and enjoy the fresh air—and Soc Roc’s new semester of soccer classes is a great way to start! With tons of classes in Manhattan’s Central Park and Astoria Park in Queens, this program allows kids of all ages to learn the basics of soccer in NYC’s natural havens. And if outdoor classes aren’t for your child, Soc Roc also has indoor classes available in various NYC neighborhoods. Classes start over throughout next two weeks!

Urban Golf. Another great outdoor class for city kids, Urban Golf’s Early Birdies class for 3.5–5 year olds provides an overall introduction to the fundamentals of golf: how to hold a golf club; proper swing posture, set up, and aim; and rules and etiquette. Kids learn and practice with a variety of golf drills and games, all from the beautiful Riverside Park in NYC! The spring semester starts April 6, so hurry up and enroll!

Spring Break Campsstandard_4wGD15ikKj4Cq8K7eoFcWYnhaGd5RvepMCjGXZcXxTI. Since next week is spring break for NYC public schools (but not for parents!), many kids’ programs are running special spring break camps to keep kids busy all week long. Rockstars! (music and movement), Freshmade (cooking), and LIC Kids (gym, music, sports, and more!) are just a few great options, but check out the site for a full selection. Camps vary in number of days and hours per day, so you can choose the best program for your little one. So while kids are still learning and playing the week away, parents can drop of them off and attend to their own regularly scheduled activities.

5 Stellar Spring Activities for NYC Kids

Losing an hour of sleep on Sunday may not have been the most fun, but what it signified was well worth it. With an extra hour of daylight and the added bonus of warmer temperatures, it actually seems like spring is just within reach. For NYC kids, the approaching spring season also means a new semester of awesome classes on Kidz Central Station (if we do say so ourselves!). Most classes start over the next few weeks and offer little ones the chance to get out and play, meet new friends, and learn lots of new skills and activities. Here are a few not to miss, and of course you can also search our site for a full selection!

Fastbreak KidsFastbreak. Little ones age 2–5 will go crazy over Fastbreak Kids, an awesome multi-sport program with a state-of-the art Upper East Side facility (conveniently next to a Starbucks with outdoor seating for parents dropping their kids off). Over the course of the spring semester, the program’s fantastic coaches enthusiastically and expertly teach kids every sport imaginable—from basketball to football to baseball and beyond. And you have tons of class times to choose from, no matter your child’s schedule. Classes start April 20!

The Mandell School. Brand new to Kidz Central Station (this month!), The Mandell School is an Upper West Side preschool with amazing mommy and me classes for kids age 2–18 months. Called My Grownup & Me, these classes focus on developmental milestones and incorporate age appropriate multi-sensory exercises with educational tools, toys, and music. These fun activities are designed to develop skills that will prepare kids to start school with a solid learning base. Sound good? Sign up for a trial, or register for the spring semester, which starts April 7!

Physique SwimmingSwim. With spring around the corner, we all know that summer
isn’t too far behind. So a great way to ensure your kids are pool-ready for summer is to enroll them in swim classes during spring! Physique Swimming not only offers classes for all ages, but also at locations throughout the city, including FiDi, Lower East Side, Midtown East and West, Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side. The classes help little ones get comfortable with the water, and teach basic skills such as splashing and blowing bubbles. So what are you waiting for? Classes start March 23!

StageCoach Theatre Arts. Our kids can be so dramatic sometimes, so why not let them channel their drama through a theater arts class? Offering weekend sessions on the Upper East Side, StageCoach has classes for kids age 4–14, where students spend an hour and a half singing, dancing, acting, and building self-confidence through group acting, solo work, and participation in an original play! It’s a great chance for your child to test his or her acting chops, and a great chance for you to run a few weekend errands, all the while knowing your little one is happy and having fun. Classes start March 28!

summertime kidKidz Central Station’s St. Patrick’s Day Pop-Up! For a fun one-time spring activity, join us at Musibambino’s Upper East Side location for a musical St. Patrick’s Day celebration on March 17! Little ones age 4 months–4 years will sing, play, and learn all about instruments. Dress your little ones (and yourself) in green for a more festive way to get into the St. Patty’s Day spirit! So pop in for the class, meet lots of new friends in your neighborhood, and enjoy some awesome treats!

For more stellar spring classes starting soon, visit Kidz Central Station!

Head of the Class Mom: Valentina Van Hise

Meet this week’s Head of the Class Mom, Valentina Van Hise—owner and director of The Art Farm in the City, and a mom to two amazing boys!

Tell us about yourself. Why did you start The Art Farm in the City?
I have always had a passion for music, singing, and children, so I pursued a career in music education. After I graduated college I was a choral and general music teacher in a downtown Brooklyn elementary school. During the summers at the time, I vacationed out in the Hamptons and met the woman who started The Art Farm in the Hamptons. While living out there for the summer I started teaching Mommy and Me music classes that were such a hit, we decided to open a facility in Manhattan. We first opened in February 2002, and over the years I’ve grown and developed The Art Farm in The City. Now 13 years later I run all operations and am working on expanding to a larger facility to give more families the opportunity to learn and connect with nature in an urban environment.

What is your secret to balancing work and family? Is there a balance?
I live in NJ with my very supportive husband and two boys. I try my best to balance work and family and am committed to scheduling time for both. I work from home two days a week so I can be a part of my sons’ lives and be involved in their day-to-day at school. Having a healthy balance of work and family really keeps me grounded. I really enjoy my career and would resent it if I didn’t have ample time to be a part of my children’s lives, but I know being a stay at home mom wouldn’t be the right fit for me either. The days I commute into the city are long; however I really enjoy working with my staff and our clients.

Share a funny story that helped you become a better parent and/or better at your job.
I can’t think of one glaring story at the moment, but I think having children just presents opportunity for many funny moments. My boys are always making us smile, especially my younger one—he’s a firecracker. I think I learned it best from my parents because I was pretty silly when I was a child.

What has been your biggest challenge and/or greatest reward in the struggle for work-life balance?
My biggest challenge is missing important things that go on in my sons’ lives when I can’t be there because I’m working—but all working parents go through that. My biggest reward is offering children our programs and watching my staff and clients enjoy being a part of The Art Farm in The City.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you had kids?
I feel like I knew a lot about parenting before it actually happened to us. I had been babysitting for years, have nieces, and am a teacher/director. But I wasn’t prepared for two boys. I come from a family of all girls, two sisters and all nieces. My boys are the only boys in the family. People told me that my boys would wrestle on the floor all the time, but, no one prepared me for how much they love to run around naked. It amazes me every night before and after their baths—my five year old and two and half year old love to run around and dance naked. Other mothers of boys can attest, yes this is what little boys do. So now I just throw my hands up and let them get it out of their system. After all, they have the same parts so no one’s privacy is being invaded.

If you could give other moms one piece of advice what would it be?
Let your children be who they are. Let their lights shine through. As parents our job is to teach them manners, and make sure they’re safe, know their boundaries, and are good citizens (just to name a few things). I also think this goes a long with giving other parents advice. Love them until you can’t love them anymore. Snuggle, kiss, and cuddle them as young children and give them positive direction as they grow. If you love and accept them they will love and accept others as well.

QUICK Q’s:

What is your favorite children’s book?
The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein. I have others but this is the most well known. I am excited now that my son is in kindergarten, as he is at a good age for this book and I can now share this wonderful story with him.

What has been your favorite kids’ class?
Rock, Smocks and Animals at The Art Farm in The City! I have created the curriculum and have been teaching it for over 13 years. I’ve handpicked each song and activity, created all the art projects, reviewed all the story books, and have written lyrics to many of the animal songs that go with each lesson. It is such a cohesive class, from singing and dancing to introducing to a new live animal each week. We first introduce the animal of the week with toys that are replicas of the real animal we are about to meet. We sing about the animal and teach the children how to be gentle and pet with the toy first. Then we clean up, read a story focusing on the animal and then our animal educator brings in the live animal for the children to meet. On art days we create simple fun, age appropriate art projects based on the animal we just met. The class is not over until you meet all of the animal friends in our petting zoo. From start to finish it’s an amazing fun, creative, educational hour. Can’t you tell I love it? I still teach four classes a week.

What is your favorite thing to do with your family on weekends?
Going to my parent’s farm out in Pennsylvania. My parents are New Jersey natives and retired on 130 acres in Pennsylvania. They built a home where their children can come with their children. We often go out there to just be with family—my children get to spend the weekend with their grandparents, aunts, and cousins and sometimes extended family too. It’s a special time when we can get away and relax at a slower pace and my boys can help their “Pee Pop” take care of his animals on the farm (horses, cows, chickens, ducks, cats, and dogs).

What is your favorite rainy day escape?
Playing a board game in our house, or my son loves putting on our boots, grabbing umbrellas, and splashing in the puddles down our quiet street. My little boys would jump in puddles all day if I let them.

Valentina Van Hise is the owner and director of The Art Farm in The City. Previously she was taught classes at the Art farm in the Hamptons and was a music teacher in a downtown Brooklyn elementary school. She has two young sons. 

Pop In for A Kidz Central Station Pop-Up Class!

You may have noticed that from time to time Kidz Central Station hosts one-time pop-up classes with some of the amazing kids’ programs throughout NYC. Just yesterday we had a pop-up at TLB Music, where kids of all ages got a sneak preview of TLB’s Mixed Age classes and also had a chance to run and play in the TLB playroom. Everyone had a blast! If you haven’t yet attended one of our pop-up classes, here are a few good reasons why you should!

photo (5)It’s a chance to try a new NYC kids’ program. We host pop-ups in different neighborhoods throughout the city, at places like Wee Ones Club in Murray Hill, Gymboree on the Upper West Side, and Fastbreak Kids on the Upper East Side. If you live in a neighborhood where we are hosting a pop-up class, attending is a great opportunity to try out a class and see if you’d like to enroll your child in the program for a semester.

They are really fun events! Pop-up classes are full of the enrichment and structure of a normal semester class, but with a fun party twist! At many of our pop-up classes we give away fun prizes (like musical play instruments and awesome kids products), serve sweet treats (we just had amazing cookies from Insomnia Cookies yesterday!), and end with a delicious pizza party! Every pop-up is full of fun and surprises.

unnamedMeet other local parents. Our pop-up events draw lots of new faces, so if you’re new to a neighborhood or looking for more parents to connect with, attending a pop-up is a great way to meet new people. You’ll find many really nice and friendly people, and maybe even make new friends your kids can take classes with each week!

Get acquainted with Kidz Central Station. Kidz Central Station is run by moms who want to make it easier for parents like us to find the best classes for their kids. At every event you’ll meet a Kidz Central Station member who can answer any questions you have about kids’ classes and who may even have one of their own little ones in tow enjoying the class. We stand by all of the classes on our site and love having the opportunity to let our kids try them out, too.

If you want to be notified about the next pop-up class in your neighborhood, sign up for our mailing list! And if you live in downtown NYC or feel like traveling to a different neighborhood, our next pop-up class is at Gymboree Tribeca on November 21!

The Most Unique Kids’ Classes in NYC

If your child seems bored with his or her usual activities (or if you’re bored of taking your little one to the same old stuff), maybe it’s time to try something new . . . and different.

NYC offers a long list of kids’ activities that you couldn’t dream up if you tried! Here are a few quirky classes on Kidz Central Station that will definitely put the kibosh on everyone’s boredom.

baby_fingers_class_1
Baby Sign Language
What is it: Little ones learn sign language through songs and play, giving them a great new way to communicate—especially when language skills aren’t fully developed.
Where you can find it: Baby Fingers is a class you’ll find at Kids at Work (Chelsea)—for kids age 5–18 months and their caregivers.

Robotics
What is it: Kids learn all about robotics, engineering, and computer programming in a fun, exciting, hands-on class using the LEGO® Education WeDo Construction Set.
Where you can find it: 92nd Street Y (Upper East Side) holds two classes a week for 9–11 year olds.

dance-withlogoChinese Creative Dance
What is it: Warm up with creative movement and learn simple Mandarin concepts, like the Chinese handkerchief dance!
Where you can find it: Head to Language Beans’ East Village location—for kids age 4–7.

Construction & Science
What is it: Kids will explore the art of science building volcanoes, twisters, cities, terrariums, DNA, and more!
Where you can find it: Bring your 6–10 year old to The Craft Studio (Upper East Side) for this unique class!

Krav Maga
What is it: Self defense for kids! Improves balance, self-esteem, discipline, and focus, and sharpens your child’s insight and intuition to avoid and escape potentially-harmful predicaments.
Where you can find it: The Upper West Side’s IKM Krav Maga NY has classes for kids age 4–13.

Visit Kidz Central Station and search by activity type to see all of the unique kids’ classes starting soon for fall!

The Best Kids Classes in NYC for Every Age

Different ages require different types of classes, and for new parents especially, you don’t know what the next stage will bring until you get there. And then, once you have your child figured out, he or she seems to require something completely different!

If you have no idea what classes are right for your child this fall, we’re here to help! Here is an age-by-age breakdown of the best kids classes in NYC for every age.

0-3 months: While your baby is too young to appreciate a class, signing up for a scheduled activity at this point is strictly for the well being of the totally stressed, sleep deprived, new mom. Try a new parent support group (like Big City Moms’ New Moms Support Group) as a way to make new friends, while supporting and sharing experiences with other parents.

3-6 months: Your baby is becoming more alert and moving around, so a music and movement class like Eastside Westside Music Together or Music for Aardvarks—all with locations throughout NYC—will expose your child to singing, rhythm, and some of the familiar tunes he or she will be singing for years to come.

6-12 months: Your baby is probably crawling, walking, or on his/her way, so this is the perfect age for a gym class. A semester at Gymboree or a drop-in class at Kids at Work will allow your little one to crawl and climb, stretch and step, and continue to enjoy rhythm and song.

12–24 months: Kids at this age will benefit from a more action-packed gym class, like Teeny Tumblers at the 92Y, Big Muscle Playtime at Kidville, or gymnastics at LIC Kids, Wee Ones Club, and C.A.T.S. Music is important for language development, so keep those classes going as well. Don’t want to commit to another semester-long class? Try a drop-in like Music with James, which your little one can attend as much or as little as you’d like.

2 years: Active two-year-olds are at the perfect age for sports basics classes, which keep them active and offer more structure. Some great options are Fastbreak Kids, which offers multi-sport classes in its state-of-the-art gym, and Soc Roc, a fantastic soccer program taught in neighborhoods throughout the city.

3 years: In addition to sports and play, try something new at this age! NYC has many unique options, such as Creative Chinese Dance at Language Beans or Brunch N Munch healthy cooking classes at Freshmade. These activities will expand your child’s horizons and expose him or her to a fun new activity.

4+: Now you can really hone in on your child’s interests! Have a ballerina in the making? Try a dance class at City Moves Dance Studio. The next Karate Kid? Yang Taekwondo is a studio that will grow with your child, offering martial arts classes for children up to 12 years old. Kidz Central Station also has quirky options like Zumbini, Fashion Couture & Sewing, Robotics, and more.

Check out Kidz Central Station to search all of the great class options for your child this fall! Whatever classes and activities you choose, your little one is sure to have a great time learning new things and meeting new friends.