Were Sarah and Brianna a friend match made in heaven? We sent these mini New Yorkers on a blind (play)date in the city...let's find out if they became new BFFs! THE PLAYDATE: Confetti Cupcakes Class at Taste Buds Kitchen, 109 W 27th St (212-242-2248, tastebudskitchen.com). ABOUT SARAH, 10 (LEFT): Neighborhood: Kew Gardens, Queens Ideal playdate: Going to a museum or hanging out and watching a movie ABOUT BRIANNA, 9 (RIGHT): Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens Ideal playdate: Ice-skating or going to an amusement park or water park Favorite thing about NYC: SARAH: “There are so many activities you can do, like going to museums, Broadway plays and shopping!” BRIANNA: “We don’t have to have cars.We can just go on the subway to go anywhere we want.” First Impression: SARAH: “I thought she would be shy, but she’s outgoing.We actually met in Starbucks.” BRIANNA: “I felt happy inside because I felt she would be a true friend to me. I just saw her and had an instinct.” Best Part: SARAH: “Making and tasting the cupcakes with Brianna. I really liked decorating the cupcakes, too.” BRIANNA: “She was so creative and I was so creative that we made more creativity!” Friend Potential: SARAH: “She’s empathetic and nice to share feelings with. If I wanted to do something, I think she could tell.” BRIANNA: “She was a good friend, and no one else could be such a good friend. She is going to be my best friend forever.” Want to get set up? E-mail us at kids
Cruises are a fun summer trip thanks to family-friendly features, kid programs, and all-you-can-eat buffets that’ll satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Now Carnival Cruise Line is giving families another reason as to why they should be your next cruise pick: their first Dr. Seuss-themed water park will be featured on their newest ship! The cruise line already offers a Seuss at Sea program for kids, but the Carnival Horizon will be the first in the fleet to feature the Dr. Seuss WaterWorks. The water park is as silly and colorful as the author’s imaginative worlds with the beloved Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2 serving as its main inspirations. One of the two water slides is an enclosed raft slide—decked out in the Cat in the Hat’s colors of red and white—that twists and turns for more than 450 feet. The second crazy ride is called the Fun Things slide, an enclosed body slide with polka dots and special lighting effects that twirls down 213 feet. The kiddie splash zone will contain a variety of water spray toys and a 150-gallon tipping bucket so that no kid walks away undrenched. Popular phrases from Dr. Seuss books will be spread around the water park along with larger-than-life images of Dr. Seuss’ characters—even the Grinch appears with a surf board under his arm. (Figures the old grump needed some R&R time.) The vessel will carry on the Dr. Seuss theme by hosting a Dr. Seuss Bookville family reading and play venue, Seuss at Sea activities like The Green Eggs and
Leggo my...Belgian waffle? Seriously, shove those Eggos back in the freezer where they belong and book it to Park Slope, where Vermont's skier-favorite Waffle Cabin is opening up shop next month. We know there's been a lot of outrageously tasty-looking food in the news lately (DO dough, the Unicorn Cannoli, rainbow iced lattes...), but what's better than an ooey-gooey strawberry, chocolate, marshmallow and caramel-topped waffle to go? Nothing. The owners might argue the waffles are best served without add-ons, but hey, it's a personal experience: whatever floats your sugar-coated boat, right? Waffles for the win 🙌🏼 photo credit: @charleylanter A post shared by @devon_rushton (@food_ilysm) on Aug 8, 2016 at 5:00pm PDT The new spot will additionally offer coffee, cold brew and espresso to wash it all down with, plus it'll have some seating in case you have a few minutes to spare. DNAinfo reports that Waffle Cabin is projected to open at the end of May, so keep your eyes peeled! Find Waffle Cabin at 427 Seventh Ave. between 14th and 15th Sts.
Living in a shelter instead of in a home of one's own can have a deep impact on a child, especially when she goes off to school and sees how her life compares to her classmates. For instance, she might feel left out when she's unable to participate in experiences that are a big part of growing up due her family's financial difficulties. Girl Scouts of Greater New York has stepped in to remind these children that they can still have those same opportunities regardless of where they live. Girl Scout Troop 6000, which was created in February, is New York City’s first troop that serves girls living in shelters to empower them and offer lessons—and badges!—for courage and confidence. In a period of uncertainty, Troop 6000 hopes to become a place of stability for these girls by meeting at the same time every week to learn, play, explore and meet other girls who share their experiences. Girl Scout Troop 6000 not only serves girls living in shelters, but is led by women also living in shelters to create a strong support system of friends and role models the girls can turn to for guidance. Troop 6000 is currently running out of the Sleep Inn with approximately 20 girls, and costs are covered by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. The goal is to expand into shelters across the city and teach kids that community can be found no matter where a child rests their head. To learn more about Troop 6000 and how you can support their mission, visit girlscoutsnyc.org. For other ways your fam
When Bill de Blasio ran for mayor of New York City in 2013, his platform included a proposal to offer free pre-kindergarten to all 4-year-olds. Now that he’s accomplished that mission, he’s looking at the next step—providing the same publicly-funded pre-kindergarten to 3-year-olds! The new plan, titled “3-K for All,” will be rolled out first in two school districts—District 7 in the Bronx and District 23 in Brooklyn—beginning September 2017 with a goal to have all interested 3-year-olds in those districts enrolled within the year. According to The New York Times, that would triple the number of children currently enrolled in those two districts. The program will then expand to six more districts by 2020 and hopes to offer universal pre-K access to all 3-year-olds by 2021. While the jury is still out on whether these steps will have a positive impact on performance, test scores and graduation rates down the road, there’s little question that introducing children to a good education earlier in life will reap more benefits than if they wait until they're older. And since he’s already on the subject of free schooling, hopefully Mayor de Blasio pushes for another proposal from each borough’s president: offering universal free school lunches in every NYC public school by 2018. Then NYC’s children would really be propped up for a head start!
If you’ve ever wanted to let your inner unicorn come out and play, you've come to the right place. This magical Brooklyn store was made just for you! On May 6, Brooklyn Owl, a company that focuses on handmade unicorn horns and other accessories, will open the doors to its first brick-and-mortar shop in Park Slope (252 Flatbush Ave), and it’s set to be so much more delicious than a Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino. Owner Annie Bruce first launched Brooklyn Owl in 2010 with cute animal hair clips made of felt, but when her daughter Bee requested a unicorn-themed birthday party for her fourth birthday and she saw how much praise her handmade unicorn horns received, Bruce decided to take to the skies with her new product. A Park Slope resident herself, Bruce has seen her company blossom from an online storefront on Etsy to having her unicorn horns sold in more than 200 shops around the world. Now Brooklyn Owl will have its own boutique shop, but it will offer more than sparkly unicorn horns headbands, clothing and other accessories; its goal is to create an entire experience as shoppers make their metamorphosis from mere mortal to unstoppable unicorn. "Every time we would do a pop up shop or local craft fair we would have such a fun time talking to our customers and turning people into unicorns that we knew Brooklyn Owl should have its own space," Bruce said. Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Owl On opening day, a scavenger hunt will have kids searching for hidden messages a
Children’s Book Week will be here in just a couple of weeks, and with it comes a lineup of fun events and activities that will get kids excited about reading. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even put down their electronics long enough to get hooked on a fantastical story. Below, five awesome events taking place around the city that you and your budding reader will absolutely love. 1. Drag Queen Story Hour! The New York Public Library will host a Drag Queen Story Hour (just what is sounds like!) in which a drag queen will to read to your little ones, exposing them to gender fluidity, inclusivity and LGBTQ role models. Heck yeah! Afterwards, your pint-sized crew will participate in a simple craft activity. Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 476 Fifth Ave (212-621-0208, nypl.org). May 6 3pm–4pm. Ages 3 and up. 2. New York Therapy Dogs R.E.A.D. Did you know that the New York Public Library has licensed therapy dogs on hand so that kids can read them stories? Reading to an animal rather than an adult takes the pressure off of the child and allows them to enjoy the experience more. Ahoy there, blossoming bookworms! Webster Library on the Upper East Side will have sessions May 1 beginning at 3pm and the Yorkville Library will have a meet-and-read with its therapy dog, Chucky, May 3 at 4pm. Pre-register for a 15-minute slot for some one-on-one time with these furry companions. Webster Library, 1465 York Ave (212-288-5049, nypl.org). May 1 3pm. Ages 5–10. * Yorkville Library, 222 E 79th
Raise your hand if Jim Henson and his colorful cast of Muppets were a huge part of your childhood. Ours, too! And even though the beloved creator passed away in 1990, his furry monsters continue to live on in our hearts and televisions. Now, the Museum of the Moving Image wants to celebrate his legacy with a permanent exhibit of items donated by Henson’s family and showcase more than 40 of his original puppets. In order to raise funds for this conservation mission, the museum launched a Kickstarter campaign, and the great news is that it met its $40,000 goal in just two days! MoMI has now extended their goal to $100,000 to restore even more of the 175 Jim Henson puppets in its collection. "The Jim Henson Exhibition" is set to open later this year and will feature the director-puppeteer’s work beyond his finished puppets. Nearly 500 objects from Henson’s career will be on display, including puppet prototypes, costumes, character sketches, scripts, early works for television and film in the 1950s and ‘60s, behind-the-scenes footage and interactive experiences. This exhibit will be a walk through memory lane for adults (anyone else remember the awesomeness that was Fraggle Rock?) and children will get to see the work the went into creating some of their favorite characters on TV, including Big Bird, Elmo, the Cookie Monster, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and so many others. MoMI will also host educational programs, family workshops, and film screenings and will launch a travel
It's true: NYC is ultra expensive, and beyond a free ice cream scoop or sprinkle-covered donut every once in a while, it's hard to imagine "free" and "NYC" in the same sentence. This being said, free resources for city kids do exist, and are (by far) one of the most important things our city has to offer. After all, kids are the future! The topic of discussion today is how we take care of our kids at school, and whether or not all NYC kids have enough energy to focus on their studies. Could free lunch for all city public school students be on the horizon? Each of NYC's borough presidents recently signed a letter to Mayor de Blasio asking for budget to be used for universal free lunches in every NYC public school in 2018. Substantial meals are proven to help kids concentrate and perform academically, and this new movement could help those who choose not to accept free or discounted meals for fear of being judged by their classmates. According to NY1, a portion of the letter sent to de Blasio contends: "The schools that offer universal free lunch see an increased participation rate across all grade levels, including a 15 percent difference in high school, a 20 percent difference in middle schools, and a 10 percent difference in elementary schools." What do you think? Is free lunch actually feasible in NYC public schools, and should it happen next year? For more ways to explore your city, see our NYC kids' events calendar, plus our favorite things to do with kids this spr
If you and your pint-sized crew frequent NYC's best kids' playgrounds, you'll definitely be delighted to know that Central Park's Billy Johnson Playground and Bernard Family Playground are potentially undergoing renovations this year. And never fear: You'll still have the summer to play! According to Patch, each playground will begin undergoing repairs and additions in fall of 2017 if the renovation project is approved by local community boards. The East 108th/Bernard Family Playground will see a reconfigured swing area with new swings for safety compliance (which includes bucket swings and an adaptive swing), a new sandbox with a sand table and water-sand area, a new spray feature and other play equipment in addition to new benches and landscaping. At East 67th St/Billy Johnson Playground—best known for its famous slide that kids zoom down on cardboard—there will also be quite a few new additions. Most importantly (to us, anyway), there will be a second granite embankment slide installed that is both accessible and better-suited to the playground's youngest guests. It is also getting a water feature at the amphitheater (to bring an original design concept to life) with spray jets and user-activated features, plus a net climbing area, sand area, tire swing and updated bucket swings. Parents and caregivers will also be please to hear that additional seating will be added around the playground, too. We also hear that Belvedere Castle may be getting some updates this fall as