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Posts tagged ‘New York Family’

Finding Childcare in Summer Months

By Kristen J. Duca

06-26-19 June 2019 NY Family Finding Childcare in Summer Months article by Kristen

With summer right around the corner, it is not too early to think about childcare alternatives, especially considering your busy life doesn’t end with the school year.

Nannies and sitters need breaks too, but parent need not fret. Sometimes a little vacation is good for all – the family appreciates the childcare provider more, and the provider realizes her strong bond with the family.  Work, social obligations, and activities never stop, so when your child’s caretaker needs a well-deserved break from your family, you need to be prepared with arranging back up childcare.

Respect your childcare provider and let her know far in advance (if possible) when you will be on vacation or taking a day off and do not need her to work. Ask her to give you the same courtesy of advance notice regarding the days she needs off. Remember, you and your childcare provider are a team, and if backup child care is necessary, you need to be prepared.

Some families work with their childcare providers to coordinate vacation schedules, so either limited, or no backup, childcare is needed. Of course, this may be ideal, but not practical in every situation.

Your first thoughts may be “nobody is around” in the summer months, but take a step back, breathe, and tap into your network (that which you have been building since your child was born).

There are myriad childcare options in the summer months for your family to ponder together.   These examples below are creative solutions to your summertime childcare needs that will enable your family to continue your routine in a safe, efficient, and seamless manner without disruption.

1 Family members. You may not have wanted to hit up grandma or grandpa or your child’s favorite aunt during the school year, but summertime is a great season to reach out for extra help from those who share your genes. Keep in mind that is it okay to ask family members for help with your child.  But be aware of what assistance you are asking for, and make sure it is reasonable. If a family member does not feel comfortable accepting monetary compensation from you, then find another way to express your gratitude – possibly with gift cards, event tickets, restaurant certificates, and so on.

2 School teachers. Many are looking for extra cash during the summer months and are more than happy to see your children outside the formal classroom setting. Your child will beam when their beloved teacher enters your home.  Many times school teachers have flexible summer schedules that enable them to be “on call” for families when babysitting requests arise.

3 Camp counselors. These workers who are typically high school or college aged may be able to help with your child during pre-camp drop-off and post-camp pick-up hours. Parents usually structure the time a camp counselor spends with their child by suggesting or putting out a few different play-based activities or projects for them to work on together. Most formal camp programs have already vetted the counselors who work with the children, but it doesn’t hurt to further check into their credentials, training, and backgrounds, before you reach out to them as possible caretakers for your child.

4 Nannies of friends. Take advantage of your friends who leave town in the summer months by offering their nannies an opportunity to make additional money by working extra hours with your family. Be clear upfront about what you expect the nanny to accomplish each day with your child, as it may vary from what your friend has them do.  Typically, a nanny’s responsibilities may include assisting your child with feeding or grooming, as well as transporting them to classes, parties, day camps, social functions, and appointments.

Just remember, thinking about your summertime childcare needs starts with you, and it is never too early to plan for your family. A multitude of summertime childcare possibilities exist for you to consider.  You are in the driver’s seat and can choose the path that best fits your family’s needs and remain sane in the process.

Kristen Duca and her husband are the parents of two girls in New York City. She has worked in the financial services industry for more than two decades. Duca is the author of “Ultimate Nanny:  How to Find, Interview, and Manage the Most Important Person You Will Ever Hire – Your Child’s Nanny” available on  She blogs at

New York Family magazine June 2019 (published)

06-26-19 June 2019 NY Family Finding Childcare in Summer Months article by Kristen

NYfamilySports, 04-06-2010 » Page 5

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Samuel Chamberlain, Kristen Duca, Neil Landwehr, Brittany McNamara, Bonnie Rosenberg, Teresa Tobat, Spike Vrusho, Daniel Wright

NYfamilySports, 04-06-2010 » Page 4


This is for all the young and the restless out there. Get out of the house and go do these things. You’ll have fun, you’ll feel better and we won’t ever say we told you so.

April 17 Jordan Brand Classic All-American Game 3:30 p.m. Madison Square Garden Who will be the NBA’s next superstar? Find out at the Jordan Brand Classic, when top high school talent from around the world will get the chance to showcase their skills at the legendary Madison Square Garden. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant all played their final high school games at this game. So this is your chance to see tomorrow’s NBA greats for the first time!

April 17 Street Games 2010 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Thomas Jefferson park, 114th Street and First Avenue The third annual Street Games puts a modern twist on the classic games of the ’60s and ’70s. Enjoy the sounds of old time rock ‘n’ roll, soul and Motown while your child plays with pogo sticks, double-dutch, hula hoops and yo-yos—all in the streets, just like their grandparents! This year’s festivities also feature skate boarding clinics and a costume contest for the grooviest duds. And it’s all free!

April 18 Run for the Parks 4-mile: 8 a.m.; Kids’ Races: 9 a.m. Central park Kick off the running season and keep in shape with this 4-mile race to benefit the City Parks Foundation. Youngsters can get in the spirit by participating in the kids’ races. Families can enjoy food, music and activities at the post-race reception.

April 24 The Big Swim at Asphalt Green 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. location: Asphalt Green, 555 E. 90th St., between York & East End avenues Give your child an Olympic experience at The Big Swim. This open swim meet invites 1,000 children to participate in a free day of competitive swim races—complete with the nuts and bolts of a real competition, including starting blocks, officials and a timed finish. Regardless of scores, each child will feel like a winner and get to take home a medal, T-shirt and a goodie bag. Olympic swimmers and elite athletes will be in attendance, and families can watch diving and swimming exhibitions in addition to the meet. Registration deadline is April 14. For more information, call 1-888-979-4669.

April 24 High Rock Challenge Adventure Race 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Greenbelt recreation Center, Staten island Join 600 runners for this 10K trail race along the Staten Island Greenbelt’s legendary trail system. Held in honor of fallen NYPD officer John Kelly, the race is presented by the Greenbelt Conservancy, New York Adventure Running Association and the Parks Department. Teams of two members will run and compete in five mystery events— previous challenges have included water crossings, mental challenges, climbing stunts and water submersion. After the teamwork is finished, all will be rewarded with food, beverages and entertainment.

MAY 1 Hershey’s Track and Field Games 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Van Cortlandt park, Bronx Kids with a craving for track and chocolate should race to Van Cortlandt Park for the chance to advance to the North American Final track and field meet held in Hershey, Pa.! The free trip will include an afternoon at Hershey Park Entertainment Complex and a tour of the world’s largest chocolate factory. Children ages 9-14 can compete in a number of events, including the 50 meter, 100 meter, 400 meter and 4×100 meter relays, standing long jump, softball throw and more.

MAY 7 Meet Ralph Kiner at Last Licks 6 p.m.–7:30 p.m. 245 W. 93rd St. Take the family to meet a legend at Last Licks, Manhattan’s “Sports Bar for Kids.” Baseball Hall of Famer with the Pirates and Mets announcer Ralph Kiner will be on hand to sign autographs.

MAY 11 New York Liberty’s 5th Annual “School Day” 11 a.m. Madison Square Garden Experience a New York Liberty preseason game at the Garden for a fraction of the cost during the 5th annual “School Day” game. Tickets range from $10 to $15 and groups can also qualify for a chance to meet players on the court, get autographs, create a fan tunnel or even sing the national anthem! Plus, schools that purchase $1,500 worth of tickets will receive a visit from Liberty legend Kym Hampton.

MAY 15 Al Oerter “Fists for Fitness” Free Youth Karate Tournament 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Al Oerter recreation Center, Flushing Meadows Corona park Calling all teen martial artists (think Tae- Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Karate) to this citywide competition that encourages healthy lifestyles. No worries if you’re not the next Karate Kid—spectators are welcome, too!

MAY 16 AIDS Walk 11 a.m. Central park, 59th Street and 5th Avenue The world’s largest AIDS fundraising event returns to the city. Last year, 45,000 participants—including families, youth sports leagues and schools—raised more than $5.6 million for Gay Men’s Health Crisis and 50 local AIDS service organizations. Log on to their website to register as an individual, sponsor a walker, join a team, start one or make a donation. A chance to get some excercise and help those in need!

New York Family, March 2010 » Page 58

House Rules

How To Design A Family-Friendly Apartment That Doesn’t Sacrifice On Style

Can you have a home you love that suits your tastes and style while also accommodating your children and all their toys, gear, and messes? We think so, with a little thoughtful planning and care. To get you started, here are a few ideas from some design experts.

Design A Kid-Friendly Kitchen

In many households, the kitchen is the center of activity—making it even more essential that the room be family-friendly. Robert Dobbs, a certified kitchen and bathroom designer with Elgot, a design company based in Manhattan, says families looking to remodel their kitchen may want to consider “U-shaped kitchens, [because they] work well to keep kids on the opposite side of the island [and away from the cooking area].” Also, Dobbs says to be sure to “leave [ample] space between open oven or dishwasher doors and cabinets,” as this helps enable safe passageway through the kitchen. When it comes to flooring, solid wood or laminate floors are both resilient surfaces that make for easy clean-up, while cork is another good option because it makes standing for long periods of time easier on your feet—and on a baby’s crawling hands and knees. For people with small kitchens, Dobbs says internal storage options like pull-out pantries really maximize space.

Choose Sensible Carpeting

When choosing a carpet for your living room, comfort, maintenance, and aesthetics are all important factors that come into play. “From a health standpoint, wool, cotton, and silk are natural fiber options that are free of any harsh chemicals,” explains Angela Gruszka of ABC Carpet & Home. She recommends these rugs to families with young children or babies, and wool or sheepskin rugs to families with children a bit older, as these rugs are “extremely durable and easily cleanable.” Steven Forrey, sales manager at The Rug Company, agrees, favoring Tibetan wool rugs—particularly for families that are seeking minimal upkeep and maximum décor. Boasting incredibly high-quality wool, these rugs are stain resistant, durable, and natural. As a final precaution, go barefoot in carpeted areas. Leaving your shoes at the door will ultimately shorten your housecleaning by a considerable amount, saving you time and money when it comes to maintaining the space.

Pick Out The Right Couch

Above all, invest in durable seating. “A coffee table from Ikea is just as good as a table from any other place,” says Debbie Wiener, author of “Slob Proof! Real-Life Home Decorating Solutions.” “But you can always tell a bad sofa from a good one.” When shopping for a sofa, make sure it has a strong frame, a cushion with down and a thick fabric. “We almost always recommend slipcovered sofas,” offers Leigh Oshirak, director of marketing and public relations at Pottery Barn and a mother of two. Next time your child spills pasta sauce or apple juice, she suggests a simple way to cut down on cleaning time—and the bill: Simply unzip the slipcover and throw it into the washing machine. Jonathan Balthaser, manager of Rico, a Brooklyn-based furniture store, suggests an alternative. “Whenever parents come to our store, we always recommend leather or Ultrasuede as the upholstery,” he says. These materials boast durability and are easy to clean. Rest assured that any child-inflicted stains should not leave permanent damage.

Have A Thoughtfully Lit Home

Kimberly Oliver of Design Within Reach cautions parents to avoid floor lighting or unsteady table lamps that can be knocked over. Instead, select pieces with a heavy base that will remain in place. Or, says author Wiener, swap floor and table lamps for overhead lighting, which prevents broken lamps and stained shades, and gives your family more room to play. If you’re showcasing family pictures, track lighting is a great option, according to Fred Katz, owner of Lightforms Inc., because the lights spotlight select areas on the wall. Another fixture to consider is an immediate over-the-shoulder light for reading. This works well in situations where one of the kids wants to watch TV, but another prefers to read a book. The overhead light won’t illuminate the entire room, allowing your kids to stay engaged in the program—and on good terms with each other.

Invest In Furniture That Grows With Your Child When Danielle Hansmeyer, SVP of Restoration Hardware Baby & Child, was pregnant and looking to buy furniture for her nursery, she found that there was a “void in the market for good quality, sophisticated design at a reasonable price.” She returned from maternity leave with a slew of ideas, creating the store’s Baby & Child line, which recently launched. It features an assortment of convertible cribs, elegant bedding, bathroom accessories and more that Hansmeyer says are “subtle, but fun” and “seamless with the rest of your home.” Check out the cribs that convert into a toddler bed and “big kid bed,” and changing tables that transform into dressers in styles “that are pretty timeless.” As Hansmeyer notes, “Being able to buy something that will live with your child for 10 years” is worth the investment. G

—Reported by Kristen Duca, Jordana Jaffe, Darcy Newell, and Kate Willard

Financing A Family

The Current Economy Has Many Parents Worrying About Money. Here’s Expert Advice On Everything From College Savings Plans To Everyday Budgeting

With more families than ever feeling overwhelmed about their finances, we thought it would be a good time to check in with some financial planners and experts for advice on key issues parents are concerned about. The good news is that it’s never too late to start getting your money matters in order.


When creating a family budget, think of it as a step toward financial freedom rather than a burden. “Take a positive look at your life and the things around you and say, ‘These are all of the things that are really important to me; I can use this opportunity to get rid of the things that aren’t that important,” says Greg Braca, president of TD Bank’s metro New York branch.

The first step is to take a look at your expenses: Assemble paycheck stubs, at least two months’ worth of bank statements, and two months of credit card payments. Judy Lawrence, personal finance counselor and author, suggests both parents work together. “You start to see that the kids’ school costs this, the pets cost that—and suddenly it’s not about ‘You spend this’ and ‘I spend that,’” she says. “It’s about, ‘Wow, our lifestyle costs a lot; what can we do as a team to make some adjustments?’” Lawrence recommends organizing expenses into four categories: fixed expenses (anything you pay on a monthly basis, i.e. rent); fixed variable expenses (monthly expenses that vary—i.e. grocery bills); discretionary expenses (i.e. a new cosmetics product, a Starbucks run); and non-recurring expenses (i.e. vacation).

When it comes to saving, “You don’t wait until the end of the month to see if you have any money left,” says Lawrence. Instead, put a certain amount of money into savings each month, and consider this a fixed expense—a good rule of thumb is to save at least 10 percent of your income. Make it a goal to store up what Lawrence calls “real emergency money”— enough to cover 6-8 months of expenses.

Focus on the present, work on steadily erasing any debt, and be realistic. “If the budget doesn’t allow for college savings, don’t feel bad that you’re not funding your child’s education at the moment—you just can’t do it,” Lawrence says. But sometimes, parents can find ways to cut back. “Would you rather fund those birthday parties, or would you rather be putting $100 into a college fund?” she asks.

— Theodora Guliadis


Although it might sound intimidating, most financial experts agree that you should start saving for college as soon as—if not before—your child is born. “Regardless of your financial circumstances, time is your greatest asset,” says Kalman Chany, author of “Paying For College Without Going Broke 2010,” who recommends that parents start saving for college nine months before their child is born.

When it comes to creating a successful college savings plan, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, says Chany, “Find out if you are likely to qualify for aid or not.” Next, you need to consider the various savings options that are available, such as 529 plans.

“The real advantage of the 529 plan is that it extends well beyond undergraduate degrees,” says Ed Ferko, Senior Manager in Vanguard’s Education Markets Group. “It can be used for graduate school, community colleges and many technical schools that participate in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Program.”

Last, Chany reminds parents to remember “the lesson to be learned from the market meltdown of 2008: As your child gets older, you want to be transitioning your asset allocation into more fixed income investments.”

—Jean Halloran-Monaco


Many New York parents struggle with the desire to provide their children with the best they can afford without leaving themselves with a depleted savings account. For families looking for expert wealth management advice, hiring a financial advisor or planner is a great starting point. “The earlier you start saving, the more [time you allow compound interest to go to work],” says Douglas Famigletti, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), partner and managing director at Griffin Asset Management.

“Parents shouldn’t get intimidated when they hear what they should be setting aside for college; doing anything is better than doing nothing.”

When choosing a financial advisor to work with, Famigletti believes one should conduct “due diligence like you would for your family’s healthcare providers.” Often, the best way to connect with a financial advisor is through a referral from a friend or family member.

But, how do you tell if a particular financial advisor is a good match?

First, choose someone whose personality is a good fit for your family. “Some of the best investment advisors in the world may not be the best match for a certain family even though they are highly qualified,” notes Famigletti.

Next, look for these key traits:

1) Someone who provides a high level of customer service;

2) credibility with the advisor’s firm, its people, and history; and

3) transparency of fees. Lastly, keep in mind your financial plan should be tailored to you. “The plan’s financial goals and time horizon should be specific to you and your family,” points out Famigletti.

—Kristen Duca


“When people think of life insurance, they think of the end,” says Larry Bahr, financial consultant for AXA Advisors. He recommends that parents ease their discomfort by thinking of life insurance as “a financial tool that we’re all using.”

When considering the amount and type of life insurance that works best for your family, have an honest conversation with your partner about your family’s priorities. Beyond discussing immediate needs, such as mortgage payments and childcare, also discuss goals, such as saving for your children’s college educations, a retirement fund and donations to charities.

When you’re ready to choose a plan, know that life insurance can be broken down into two types—term insurance and permanent insurance. “Term plans typically cover you for a specific amount of time; we often say it is like ‘renting’ insurance,” explains Scott Berlin, senior vice president of the Individual Life Department at New York Life Insurance. Typically, parents purchase term insurance for a 20year period so that their families can maintain a certain lifestyle until their children are out of the house. Permanent insurance, on the other hand,

“is designed to provide death benefit coverage for your entire life and build cash value that you can borrow against tax-free through loans,” according to Berlin. Thus, while permanent insurance is more expensive, it offers you an opportunity to build up “cash value,” which Bahr likens to building up equity in a home.

When it comes to choosing an insurance company to work with, Berlin recommends looking for a long history of stability and strength. “Remember that you should be planning for the long term, so the company you choose needs to be able to fulfill its promise to you far into the future,” he says.

—Heather Peterson


“The most important thing parents can do for their families is have a will, and the sooner they draft one the better,” says financial journalist and author, Stacey Bradford. Drafting a will can be as easy as using software like Quicken Willmaker, but Bradford says that as soon as you acquire assets like real estate, life insurance, etc., it’s best to bring in a lawyer.

Later, as you have more children, your financial situation changes or becomes more complicated, or any other significant life changes occur, your will should be updated. And instead of locking it away in a bank, a copy should be kept in a fire-proof box in your house, as well as with your lawyer.

Most important, Bradford says, is that “the whole point of having a will when you have children is because you want the guardian in place. It’s the only legal way to make your wishes known.”

Last, another component to writing wills that parents often overlook is the fact that if your spouse passes away and has independent assets, those assets are split between the surviving spouse and children—meaning the surviving parent would need to go through a trustee to get access to the children’s money they need to raise them. “It can be done, but it’s a hassle—so you really want to [write] the will so that all of the money goes to the surviving parent,” says Bradford. G

Planning A Party?

The City Has Countless
Types Of Birthday Bashes To Choose From.

Here, A Roundup Of
Inspired Themes And Venues (Plus Cakes, Entertainers, and The Dos and Don’ts Of
Birthday Etiquette)

full-fl edged, Coney-Island style carnival for your child at Carnival, an
ambitious new space above Bowlmor Lanes. Birthday guests receive tickets to use
on authentic boardwalk style gaming—including a basketball toss and fi sh
pong—as well as access to concession stands offering popcorn, cotton candy and
snow cones.

SPORTS SAMPLER Budding sports stars can take part in obstacle courses, relay
races, tug-of-war, dodgeball, potato sack races, and more challenges when they
throw a sports-themed bash. Chelsea Piers and Kids In Sports both
host athleticthemed parties.

with a private puppet show just for the birthday guest and her friends. You can
find shows ranging from classic folk stories to interactive modern tales at
places like the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre in Central Park,
Puppetworks in Park Slope, and the 14th Street Y.

Flipping, tumbling, jumping, swimming and climbing are just a few of the
activities kids can engage in at a gymnastics-themed party—under the supervision
of coaches of course! Great venues include 74th St. MAGIC, Gymtime Rhythm
& Glues, Jodi’s Gym,
and My Gym.

Kids who love deciphering codes and clues can give their brains a workout with a
group scavenger hunt. Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunts organize
kid-friendly hunts in Central Park, the American Museum of Natural History, and
other iconic New York destinations.

get a kick out of how things work can get up close and personal with experiments

exploding volcanoes,
gooey ooze, and indoor fireworks. Check out Mad Science, New York Hall of
and The Scholastic Store for great science-themed party

little girl doesn’t want to be a princess for a day? The birthday guest and her
friends channel their inner divas and live the glamorous life with makeovers,
pedicures, hairdos, and more at places like Cozy’s Cuts for Kids and
Dashing Diva.

around the country love the chance to make their very own Teddy Bear and other
stuffed animals from scratch at Build-A-Bear Workshop—and our budding New
Yorkers are no different! Participants stuff, stitch, and dress their creations,
and go home with a furry new friend.

an overnight adventure, consider hosting a sleepover at a local museum. Kids can
take part in museum’s activities, get flashlight tours, and more. Both the
American Museum of Natural History and the Children’s Museum of
offer sleepovers.

DANCE PARTY Engage your
child’s natural rhythm and love of movement with a dance-themed party. Your
child and friends will move and groove to the music, and maybe even learn a few
new moves too! Groove out at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center and
Discovery Programs.

Robot Galaxy, a make-your-own robot party offered at Toys “R” Us Times
Square and at Robot Galaxy in Freehold, NJ and West Nyack, NY, kids can hop
aboard a space ship to design their own talking robot, which they get to name
and activate in front of all the guests!

big with a celebration thrown by Supper Soccer Stars, which hosts parties
at both indoor and outdoor locations. The festivities include soccer activities
and the chance to perfect skills, followed by a mini-World Cup tournament.

restaurant or dessert cafe is a great place to host a party, and they often have
private rooms you can rent out. For a sweet time, try Magnolia Bakery on
the Upper West Side or Sweetie Pie Restaurant in the West Village. For a
full-fledged luncheon or dinner, Big Daddy’s on the Upper East Side and
Heartland Brewery and Uno Chicago Grill, which both have locations
throughout the city, host kid-friendly affairs.

child loves anything that moos, oinks, tweets or growls, celebrate his birthday
where the wild things are by exploring the urban jungles and farms of New York
City. Great places to get up close and personal with real animals include Art
Farm In the City, Queens County Farm Museum, Central Park Zoo,
and Bronx

York-centric themed party, try the New York Transit Museum where kids can
explore over 100 years or transit lore, hop aboard old subway cars, and take
part in hands-on workshops!

indoor playground and interactive water adventure station at City Treehouse
make it a perfect place for a birthday party for young kids. Simply rent the
space and create your own party, or work with the party planner to customize the

they’re doing the downward dog, the cat, the cow, the rainbow pose, or even,
yes, the pineapple pose, your child and his guests will get a Zen-like kick out
of yoga-themed activities and games at Karma Kids Yoga.

little maestro loves to jam, give him the gift of music on his birthday with a
party at one of the city’s musical activity centers. He’ll dance and sing along
with the band, and maybe even learn to create some of his own music. apple
seeds, Kidville, Three Little Birds, Hands On!, and Moey’s Music Party
are all great options.

a magic comedy show, to balloon animals, to a secret VIP magic room and the
chance to levitate—the birthday boy or girl who hosts their party at Fantasma
will be just one abracadabra away from their most memorable birthday
party yet!

birthday child can kick, punch, and chop her way through her birthday at one of
the city’s martial arts centers, including Tiger Shulmann’s Karate, East Side
Tae Kwon Do,
and West Side Taekwondo. Not only will she and her
guests learn skills from instructors, but they will gain confidence, poise,
respect and self-control that will endure long after the party ends.

GAME TIME Kids will be
on top of their game at Dave & Buster’s, the game emporium that has
everything from the classics (Skeeball, Donkey Kong, Pac Man) to the modern
(Dance Dance Revolution). There’s plenty of action and sports games, too,
including bowling and basketball.

your prima ballerina and her friends to a ballet-inspired birthday celebration
at a premier New York City studio. Kids will have fun warming up and performing
a special ballet story at venues such as Ballet Academy East and Steps
on Broadway.

fancy tea party is a great way to make kids feel special on their big day. At
Alice’s Tea Cup and American Girl Place, children’s parties
include options like tea service, assorted sandwiches, and sweet treats as part
of an elegant spread. Dolls are invited!

can unleash their inner thespians by dancing, singing, and acting their hearts
out while honoring the birthday guest! Check out the performance party options
at Broadway Babies/Superstars, Camp Broadway, DramaZone, Discovery Programs,
and New York Kids Club.

compete to stay out of the gutter while they battle each other in a birthday
bowling game. From choosing the perfect bowling shoes, to enjoying snacks and
drinks, to rolling that perfect strike, it’s a full afternoon of fun! Great
places to host parties include Harlem Lanes, Lucky Strike, and Bowlmor

POOL PARTY One doesn’t
have to travel to a suburban country club to host a pool party. Kids can splish,
splash, reach and pull right here in the city. Host a party with activities both
in and out of the water at venues such as Asphalt Green, 92nd Street Y,
Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, McBurney YMCA,
and West Side

child and their friends will love the chance to pull on a pair of skates and
show of their skills on the rink—or learn a few from an onsite instructor. Tell
the kids to leave their modesty at home and remember that falling is part of the
fun! Try Wollman Skating Rink, The Rink at Rockefeller Center, and
City Ice Pavilion.

make their cake (or pizza or sushi) and eat it too at a
cooking-themed birthday party. Cupcake Kids, Citibabes, Mini Chef NYC,
and the JCC all offer foodie-inspired fetes. Perhaps you will
discover the next Bobby Flay or Julia Child in the bunch!

kid enjoys saving the world! At Gymboree’s Little Super Heroes birthday
parties, kids can dress up and pretend to be their favorite superhero, while
teachers lead the way in games and activities.

choose from a variety of themes when they throw an art-themed party. Whether
they’re creating a painting, a piece of pottery, or knitting a scarf, guests go
home with a piece of art to serve as a keepsake. Children’s Museum of the
Arts, Hi Art!, The Craft Studio,
and Loop of the Loom all inspire
kids’ imaginations.

princesses can create the perfect look with a dress-up party at Let’s Dress
Spend the afternoon trying on gorgeous gowns, tiaras, jewels, and
shoes—plus getting your nails done!

your little guy’s next birthday party in a space where he and his guests can
play games like ping pong and pool. Spin New York specializes in ping
pong, while Slate is a lounge-like space with ping pong, foosball, and

TOY TIME Celebrate by
throwing a party in the most imaginative toy store on earth! At FAO Schwarz,
families can throw a party in a special private room or opt to take over a
portion of the store. Renting the entire store is also an option for a
one-of-a-kind affair.

Contributors: Leah
Black, Kristen Duca, Heather Peterson