Keep the kids busy over break at a holiday mini-camp
Fri Dec 11
Stressing about what to do with the kids over winter break? A holiday mini-camp may be the answer (especially if you have to work!) Whatever your kid's into—art, theater or sports—there are programs for most interests. Although they're admittedly pricey, many of the camps offer pay-per-day options, so you can pick the dates that work for your schedule and budget. Be sure to register soon, as many camps fill up quickly.
Friday's pick of the day: Caroling at the Morgan
Fri Dec 11
Get your holiday groove on at the Morgan tonight at a free concert, during which carolers will serenade you and your brood with classic and contemporary holiday tunes. (We assume there'll even be a nod to Hanukkah, since it starts at sundown!) The singing ensemble hails from Mannes College's New School for Music and will be performing indoors for two solid hours—plenty of time to swing by, warm up and croon a ditty or two along with your kiddos.
Understudy for Helen Keller in Miracle Worker is vision-impaired
Thu Dec 10
There are few things as disappointing as shelling out 100 bucks to see a Broadway show, only to discover that the much-heralded lead is sick and the understudy is going on. For whatever reason (karma? Broadway conspiring against me?), this happens to me frequently. But I have to say, I'll be intrigued, perhaps even excited if the (admittedly ultra-talented) Abigail Breslin is out the night I see The Miracle Worker , which begins previews in February. That's because the Oscar nominee's understudy, 10-year-old Kyra Ynez Siegel from Eugene, Oregon, will be the first visually-impaired actress to play Helen Keller on Broadway (not to mention one of the few disabled actors on all of the Great White Way). Siegel is blind in one eye, whereas Keller was deaf and sightless. Still, her casting is in keeping with Keller's dedication to increase opportunities for the disabled. Seeing her step into the limelight should be a truly tear-jerking, feel-good moment. We hope she gets...
Homer's World Famous Malt Shop closes
Thu Dec 10
It may not have been haute cuisine, but Homer's was a dependable, unpretentious Upper West Side spot, conveniently located steps from the Children's Museum of Manhattan . For six years, the super kid-friendly restaurant—which featured cheap comfort food, trashy but appropriate video games and TVs perpetually tuned to Nick Jr.—welcomed neighborhood families and never stopped kids from running amok in the sparse setting. We passed by last Sunday and found the eatery shuttered, with a brief note thanking its patrons. (The adjacent adults-only bar, The Blue Donkey Bar & Grill , is still open but plans to move by the end of the month). We called the Blue Donkey, which is owned by the same folks who were behind Homer's, and asked what happened. Off the record, an employee said, "We really don't know. We closed up on Sunday [November 29] as usual, and then the owners said, 'Okay that's it! We're done.'" It's always sad to see a neighborhood haunt go, even if Columbus Avenue is...
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