Fairy Tale: Where to See the Nutcracker in NYC

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If you’re looking for where to see The Nutcracker in NYC this holiday season, we have good news: you’ve got options. Lots of them. This classic Tchaikovsky ballet hits stages all over New York this season and whether you’re continuing a tradition or starting a new one, NYC has a production for you. Try the New York City Ballet Nutcracker at Lincoln Center, a hip-hop version, or maybe one just for little kids. Whatever you choose, get your Nutcracker tickets now—these shows sell out!

Bronx

Ballet in the Bronx: Westchester Ballet Company

This full-length presentation of the ballet promises gorgeous costumes and special effects. Presented by the Westchester Ballet Company, this performance has 100 dancers leaping and frolicking around on stage to the classic music. Be aware that all visitors 12 and over must submit vaccination proof before the event (you can upload it to the website). 

Price: $24-$49
Sat., Dec. 18 at 12:30 p.m. & 4 p.m.; Sun., Dec 19 at Noon &  4 p.m.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
250 Bedford Park Blvd. West
Jerome Park
Online: lehmancenter.org

Brooklyn

photo: Brooklyn Nutcracker

A Celebration of Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Nutcracker

A re-imagined holiday classic, The Brooklyn Nutcracker fuses ballet, hip-hop and a myriad of world dance genres to create a new tradition for today’s audience. This twist on the Nutcracker classic places the story against a backdrop any Brooklynite would recognize. From Old Dutch Brooklyn to Flatbush Avenue, this version of the Nutcracker celebrates the many different cultures that make Brooklyn the wonderful melting pot that it is. 

Price: $30 and up
Sat., Dec. 11, 12:30 p.m. doors for 2 p.m. show, 5:30 p.m. doors for 7 p.m. show
Kings Theatre
1027 Flatbush Ave.
Flatbush
Online: kingstheatre.com

photo: Tim Norris

A Fresh Take: Hip-Hop Nutcracker

This magical mash-up features the original ballet score with an electronic twist, performed by an on-stage DJ and an electric violinist, plus legendary MC rapper Kurtis "The Breaks" Blow. Dancers bring the traditional story to life in a modern setting using hip-hop choreography. Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, the show features the music of Tchaikovsky with the heart and soul of hip-hop. The performance uses digital graffiti and visuals to transport audiences to the setting of modern-day New York City. The reimagined performance is a fun take on the piece, and is meant as a celebration of love, community and diversity. Catch it in Brooklyn or at Newark's NJPAC.

Price: $29 and up
Sun., Dec. 19, 12:30 p.m. doors for 2 p.m. show; 5 p.m. doors for 6:30 p.m. show
Kings Theatre
1027 Flatbush Ave.
Flatbush
Online: kingstheatre.com

Price: $29 and up
Sun., Dec. 18, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
NJPAC
1 Center St.
Newark, NJ
Online: njpac.org

A Puppet Extravaganza: The Steadfast Tin Soldier and Nutcracker Sweets

Kids will delight as handcrafted marionettes take to the stage in this double bill from Puppetworks. Nicolas Coppola's hand-made puppets will put on a performance of the toy story "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" by Hans Christian Andersen and "Nutcracker Sweets," set to the classic music of the Nutcracker. This show is recommended for ages two and up. 

Price: $11/adult, $10/child
Nov. 20-Dec. 30 & Jan. 2
Every Sat. & Sun. at 12:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.
338 6th Avenue (at 4th Street)
Park Slope
718-965-3391
Online: puppetworks.org

The Date Night Nutcracker: Nutcracker Rouge

Leave the kids at home for this one — this risqué option is for adult eyes, only! This sensational show presents a sensual take on the tale, featuring baroque-burlesque performance. Viewers will be titillated by a mix of burlesque, circus, opera and high fashion. 

Price: $85 and up
Various times and dates Nov.-Jan.
383 Troutman St.
Bushwick
Online: companyxiv.com 

Manhattan

photo: Paul Kolnik

The Classic: George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

This vast and vibrant show is made up of a large cast of performers, musicians, and stagehands, and is sure to astound viewers with its spectacular effects and props. Using Tchaikovsky's classic music and George Balanchine's choreography, this rendition of the Nutcracker is definitely one of the showiest. Watch in amazement as a 12-foot Christmas tree grows to 41 feet and marvel at the 85-pound, 9-foot wide figure of Mother Ginger. It's a dazzling sight to behold and a joy for any age.

Note: This year's performance is a little different: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no children under 12 will be performing on stage. Kids are allowed in the audience, however — the show is recommended for kids age five and up, and all kids (including lap-sitters) require a ticket to enter.

Price: $60 and up
Various times and days from Nov. 26-Jan. 2
David H. Koch Theater
20 Lincoln Center Plaza
Midtown
Online: nycballet.com

photo: Michelle Tabnick PR

A Tale of New York: Francis Patrelle's The Yorkville Nutcracker

Take a trip back in time to 1895 NYC, where you can watch this story unfold amid familiar locations. The tale begins at the Gracie Mansion, where a grand celebration features famous guests like Teddy Roosevelt. The performance then takes you through Central Park, the New York Botanical Gardens, and more. Sleigh rides, life-sized mice, and plenty of visual goodies make this one a treat at any age. This year, the Yorkville Nutcracker celebrates its 25th anniversary — come join the celebration!

Price: $69
Sat., Dec. 11, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 12, 12 p.m. & 5 p.m.
Hunter College
East 68th St. between Park and Lexington Ave.
Upper East Side
212-772-4448
Online: dancespatrelle.org

photo: NY Theater Ballet

The 1-hour Special: Keith Michael's "The Nutcracker"

Don't think your little ones can sit through an entire performance? Then Keith Michael's version might be the right option for you. Recommended for ages three and up, this performance condenses the ballet into just one hour and fills every moment with excitement and color. This version uses Tchaikovsky's original music combined with 1907-era Art Nouveau style that will surely win over the younger audience. This year's performance will take place at Brookfield Place, and will support non-profit. City Harvest. Advance registration is required, and all attendees should show up half an hour before the performance to ensure entry (though be aware that a ticket doesn't ensure a seat!). Stroller parking is available near Salvatore Ferragamo and Le District. Want a preview? You can also watch some vignettes online

Price: Free
Fri.-Sun., Nov. 26-28; Fri. at 7 p.m., Sat. at 1 p.m & 7 p.m., Sun. at 1 p.m.
Winter Garden at Brookfield Place
230 Vesey St.
Battery Park City
Online: bfplny.com

photo: Choreography by Rae

The Photo-op: Nutcracker Ajkun Ballet Theatre

The Ajkun Ballet Theater performs this adaptation of the Nutcracker, where the audience will get up close and personal with the performers. Set in a cozy, intimate space, visitors can enjoy the ballet and then pose with the characters for photos! All money raised by this event will be donated to "A Ticket to Dream," a program that provides free tickets to underprivileged kids and free performances to hospitalized children. 

Price: $49
Sat. & Sun., Nov. 27 & 28, 7:30-9 p.m.
Ballet Arts Center for Dance
130 West 56th St.
Midtown
Online: eventbrite.com

Musical Selections for Tots: Mozart for Munchkins' Nutcracker and Jingles

If your little ones are too young to sit through a whole ballet, they can still enjoy the music. At this cozy concert, a small group of musicians performs selections from The Nutcracker while the audience plays along with holiday bells! It's worth noting that attendance is limited and there may be standing room only.

Price: Free
Sat., Dec. 18, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Hudson Yards: Level 4 in front of H&M
Between 10th & 12th Aves from West 30th to West 34th Sts
Hudson Yards
Online: mozartformunchkins.com

The Circus Mash-up: Nutcracker Cirque Ballet

What do you get when you combine the circus with the ballet? This show! Performed by The Muse students, this show features ballet dancing the circus arts. Watch as students pirouette and hang over the stage in this magical mash-up of performing arts!

Price: $25 at the door; $18 during pre-sale, free for kids under 12
Sat., Dec. 11, 2-3:30 p.m.
The Muse Brooklyn
350 Moffat St.
Bushwick
Online: eventbrite.com

Queens

The Student Production: The Nutcracker, a Magical Night

The Sunnyside Ballet Studio students have been hard at work practicing their parts for this performance, and are eager to show off their skills. Come watch and support these young dancers and their studio!

Price: $20-30
Sun., Dec. 19, 2 p.m. &  5:30 p.m.
Queens Theatre
14 United Nations Avenue South
Sunnyside
Online: eventbrite.com

For Kids Center Stage: The Nutcracker by the Joffrey Ballet School

Kids love watching kids, and the Joffrey Ballet School's rendition of the Nutcracker has over 300 tiny dancers to keep little eyes peeled on the stage! The performance is put together by students attending the Joffrey Ballet School’s Childrens, Young Dancer and Trainees program.

Price: To be announced
Fri., Dec. 10-Sun., Dec. 12
Laguardia Community College
31-10 Thomson Ave.
Long Island City
954-801-6209
Online: joffreyballetschool.com

Staten Island

The Ballroom Ballet: Staten Island Nutcracker

Visit Nicotra's Ballroom at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn for a beautiful ballet performance by the Staten Island Ballet. This full-length performance is selling out fast (the first time slot is already gone) so act fast if you want a ticket!

Price: $85
Sun., Dec. 19, 5-8 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn
1100 South Ave.
718-980-0500
Staten Island
Online: siballet.org

New Jersey

photo: NJPAC

A New Take on the Classic: The Nutcracker by the State Ballet Theater of Ukraine

Presented by the State Ballet Theater of Ukraine, this matinee performance features brand new choreography by Andrey Litvinov, and was first performed in December 2020. Watch the magic unfold as colorful toys, fairies, and other characters dance to the well-known music by Tchaikovsky. 

Price: $29 and up
Sun., Dec. 11, 3 p.m.
1 Center St.
Newark, NJ
Online: njpac.org

Online

An Online Interactive Experience: My First Nutcracker

Want to enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker from the comfort of your home? Check out the "My First Nutcracker" experience from NYC Children's Theater. This interactive streaming performance comes with a filmed video of the show, as well as bonus videos and additional activities for children. This 50-minute rendition of the tale has been adapted specifically for little kids to enjoy!

Price: $25
Online: nycchildrenstheater.org

—Yuliya Geikhman

feature image: Kings Theatre

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NYC Kids Weekend Events: Dec. 3-5

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With the holiday season in full swing, there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate with the family. Head over to CMOM’s Gingerbread City, drop the kids off for a “wild” time, or go on a Hanukkah themed scavenger hunt.   Keep scrolling down to check out the rest of our top event picks!

Photo: iStock

CMOM’s Gingerbread City

Join CMOM all month long for a sweet new holiday tradition! Help build a decadent life – size city by designing dessert – inspired homes, stores, and structures. Event Details.

Parents Night Out – Get Wild at APEC

Drop off the kids and let them get wild with APEC educators as they learn about habitats of the world and discover the amazing animals that live in each of them! The evening kicks off with a short, guided nature hike along the trails (dress for the weather). Back inside, there will be engaging and fun ice breaker games. Event Details.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

All 90 dancers, 62 musicians, 40 stagehands and more than 125 children, in two alternating casts, from the School of American Ballet join forces to make each performance of this timeless classic as magical as possible, and it provides an unforgettable spark to everyone’s holiday season. Event Details.

The Origami Holiday Tree

As a celebration of the American Museum of Natural History tradition that started in the early 1970s, the theme of the 13-foot tree is Gems of the Museum, featuring 50 specially created gold-colored models for the “golden anniversary” 50th Origami Holiday Tree. Event Details.

Biomimicry Boutique

Slip on those scales, tailor your tails and design your perfect creature couture. Using upcycled and natural materials, be a fashion designer who takes a clue or two from nature. Then get in vogue and hop, crawl or slither your way down the catwalk. Event Details.

Skyscraper Holiday Cards

Ho, ho, how about celebrating the holiday by making skyscraper-shaped Christmas cards for family and friends? In this event, kids will explore the world’s supertall skyscrapers in the latest exhibit, Supertall! 2020. Drawing inspiration from the buildings’ designs, they will make some fun crafts! Event Details.

St. Nicholas Day

Head down to the historic Vander Ende-Onderdonk House for pictures with St. Nicholas! The Museum will be decorated seasonally indoors. Outside, you can with enjoy a hot cup of apple cider and complimentary cookie. Event Details.

Hanukkah Hunt Gallery program

Explore striking Hanukkah menorahs from around the world at the Jewish Museum. Embark on a playful hunt, draw your discoveries in a sketchbook, experiment with whimsical shapes, touch replicas of artifacts, and chat with Jewish Museum Educators about what you encounter in this special opportunity to see treasured works of art in person during the holiday. Event Details.

Hands on History Workshop

As the year comes to an end, celebrate the holiday season with King Manor! Since puppets were a popular holiday gift for children living in the 19th century, join in making your own puppets and miniature puppet theatre! Event Details.

Holiday Party on the Plaza

Mark Morris Dance Group dancers Domingo Estrada Jr. and Malik Q. Williams will lead a Dance with MMDG class for the entire family. Participants will learn excerpts from The Hard Nut’s Snow variation. Event Details.

 

There are tons more events on our calendar – be sure to check them out all week long!

 

–  Jesseca Stenson

 

featured image: iStock

 

 

NYC Kids Weekend Events: Oct. 29-31

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Let’s get spooky! Gather up your tiny, costumed ghouls and goblins and get ready to strut your stuff this Halloween weekend.  This Halloween block party is always a good time, this parade through DUMBO features live music, and this Dia De Los Muertos workshop lets you honor those special to you. There’s also plenty of other chances for candy, costumes, and crafts, too. Scroll down for more of our top event picks!

Photo: iStock

Wonderful Webs and Spectacular Spiders

Weave, wrap, and warp yarn and string to help build a spiderweb installation in the Inside Art exhibit. Then head over to PlayWorks to create a creepy little friend that can crawl up walls. Event Details.

Brick-or-Treat

Scary fun awaits at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester! Get into the Halloween spirit with all types of spooky activities. Event Details.

Playday Halloween Party

Head to Playday dressed in your Halloween finest and be ready for some themed art projects and a dance party! Event Details.

Making a Halloween Haunted House

From frosted candy corn roofs to gummy windowpanes, you and your creative chef will love the endless decorating options as you work together to design and decorate your very own gingerbread house masterpiece. Event Details.

Dia De Los Muertos

Celebrate this special Mexican cultural holiday as you explore nicho boxes, small shadow boxes filled with meaning and purpose that honor a lost loved one. Decorate your box with objects and found natural materials. Event Details.

Pumpkin Face Treats

Have a delicious Halloween with The Creative Kitchen! Use a variety of decorative and healthy ingredients to design your own funny pumpkin face. Families receive portioned ingredients to make-and-take their recipes home. Event Details.

DUMBOWeen

Parade through DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park en route to the Dumbo Archway, led by live music and puppets, participate in hands-on arts & crafts, then grab your pumpkin bucket: the DUMBO BID sponsors storefront trick-or-treating for the little ones. Event Details.

Spooky Bazaar Halloween Special

Expect to be greeted by creepy crawly and ghostly decorations and explore the 120+ spooky vendors – many in costume! There will of course be a fantastic selection of scary sweet treats from artisanal food vendors. Event Details.

23rd Annual Dog Costume Contest

The costumes get pretty outrageous at this annual event, and winners will get the Great Pupkin rosettes and bragging rights. You can come to watch the madness, or even enter your dog (or dogs) into the contest at $12 per dog. Event Details.

BAMboo!

BAM’s Halloween block party is back on the streets of Brooklyn! Start your trick-or-treating off right at this free outdoor festival, featuring candy giveaways, carnival games, arts and crafts, a costume contest, and more. Event Details.

 

There are tons more events on our calendar – be sure to check them out all week long!

 

–  Jesseca Stenson

 

featured image: iStock

 

13 Totally Free Math Worksheets for Kids

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Math can be fun, and these free printables prove it! We’ve rounded up math worksheets for kids, from kindergarten math worksheets and math worksheets for 1st grade to early elementary level math problems. Whether you’re homeschooling or just want some extra math practice for the kids, check out these free printables.

Color by Number

This fun color-by-number worksheet is perfect for Pre-K kids. Download it here

Number Line Printable

Help your budding scholars practice their counting skills with this number line printable from Math-Drills.com. Get your copy here

 

Simple Addition

DadsWorksheets.com has space-themed addition sheets waiting for your astronaut to solve! You can score your free printable here.  

 

Telling Time

Work on telling time with this clock printable. You'll have to cut out the hands and attach them to the face for nonstop time-telling practice! Get your copy from 2ndGradeworksheets.net here

 

Place Value Worksheet

Have your tiny mathematicians practice finding the place values of the underlined numbers in this printable from 2ndgradeworksheets.net. You can grab your copy of it here.

 

Matching Numbers

Your kindergartener will love matching the numbers to these fun pictures. And Math-Salamander.com has tons more to choose from. Find this printable here.

 

Picture Addition

This intro to word problems from Dadsworksheets.com is perfect for elementary schoolers. Having a visual to help with addition helps kids find the solutions. Get your copy here

 

Coloring and Counting

Preschoolers will love the fact they can color and count these fun pictures. Math-Salamanders.com has a bunch of printables to choose from. Get this one here.

 

Kindergarten Shape Practice

Little Dots makes it super easy for kids to break down different shapes, like with this circle practice sheet. Find other shapes on their site to round out the lesson. 

 

Preschool Number Sequence Sheet

Math-Salamanders.com helps the littlest students practice number sequences with these fun sheets. Count to five and download your copy of this sheet here.

 

Pre-K Matching Worksheet

Help your preschooler match the patterns on the socks with this worksheet from Little Dots. Then have fun coloring in the patterns!

 

Money Worksheets for 1st Grade

First graders can use this sheet from Math-Salamanders.com to work on recognizing coins and their value. Get your copy of the sheet here

 

Find the Differences

Which of these is not like the other? Kids will work on finding the shapes that aren't quite the same in this worksheet from LittleDots.com.

 

 

 

— Jesseca Stenson

Feature photo: August de Richelieu via Pexels 

 

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15 Cool Coloring Pages & Worksheets for Kids

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Time to stock up on some printer ink. We’ve rounded up super fun coloring pages and activity worksheets for kids. These free printable coloring pages include color by number, your fave Disney characters, dinosaur coloring pages, and so many more. If you’re looking for ways to keep the kids entertained at home, grab some crayons and scroll on for some great printables!

 

Super-Cute Dinosaur

This Tyrannosaurus is going fishing! Your budding paleontologist will love coloring the adorable dino. Click here to download the free printable from Super Coloring.

 

Boredom Buster

Angela Milnes from Craft Play Learn has the perfect boredom buster for the younger set. This stuffed animal inventory is a great way for kids to use their imaginations, practice writing and come up with stories for their stuffies. Get your printable version here

 

Your Fave Disney Characters

From Moana to Nemo to Belle and more, kids can choose their favorite Disney characters to color. Check them all out here

 

Color Puzzle

Putting an educational twist on your coloring pages, Craft Play Learn's color puzzle matching page lets your preschooler match the word to the color. Download it here.

Color Your Pet

Have a dog at home? Maybe just love dogs? Find a coloring page of your favorite breed! Check them out here.

Cute Cats

Who can resist these cuddly kittens? Print out one of these felines here

 

Horses

We just love this coloring page of a mare and her foal. Get your printable copy here.

Colorful Flowers

Go big—no REALLY big—with this supersized idea from Allison Murray from Dream a Little Bigger. With a little help from your local printer, you can get an extra-large coloring page that will keep the kids busy for hours! Check out all the details here

 

Color by numbers

If you're looking for a little coloring guidance, coloring by number is your best bet. Check out all these options (including this cute little bunny) at Super Coloring.

Connect the dots

This activity is two-fold: first, kids have to connect the dots to show the image, and then they get to color it! Choose from dinosaurs like this triceratops or pick your favorite animal. All the printable choices are here.

Printable Number Puzzle

This printable number puzzle will help kids learn how to count while putting the puzzle together. The best part: it's super simple to make. Check out Craft Play Learn for all the details.  

Morning Routine

A coloring page that also helps teach about morning routines? Yes, please! Mornings aren't always easy, and this helpful coloring page from Jen Kossovan at Mama Papa Bubba will surely help. Get your copy here

Penguins can fly

A penguin piloting a helicopter? Definitely not something you see every day, but you can spark the kids' imagination by asking them to come up with the penguin's backstory as they color. Print the coloring page here

Trains

Is your little one loco for locomotives? Take your pick from a variety of trains and get your printable here

Teddy Bear

This cuddly bear is ready to come to life—almost. Kids can design their own stuffed bear with this printable coloring page.

 

 

— Jesseca Stenson

Feature photo: iStock

 

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It’s Time to Host a Yes Day. Here’s How to Do It

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Advertisement

No matter what kind of parent you are, we’re betting you find yourself saying the word “no” more often than you ever thought you would. Give that word, and yourself, a break by surprising the kids with a Yes Day. What is a Yes Day? We’ll tell ya. And how do you keep your kids from eating candy all day without pants on? Well…you don’t, exactly. But before you run screaming from the room, hear us out. Read on to find out why you need a Yes Day and how to do it without destroying your carpet.

This article is sponsored by LOL Surprise, the fun-filled gifts that make any day surprising and special! Shop now to give the gift of surprise.

Photo: iStock

So, What Exactly IS a Yes Day?

A Yes Day sounds exactly like what it is—it’s a day where your answer to your kids will always be, “yes.”  Ice cream for breakfast? Yes. Wearing pajamas all day? Yep. Movie marathon? You got it.  Before you decide this is a miserable idea, hear us out. With a few simple ground rules and a little prep, this day will become one that everyone in the family loves.

Yes Day Background

If the idea of a Yes Day sounds familiar (looking at you, Jennifer Garner fans) the idea originated from a book of the same name by Amy Rosenthal-Krause and Tom Lichtenheld. Basically a little boy in the story gets a day where his parent’s can’t say no to anything. Sounds like a kid’s dream, right? But guess what? Saying yes to your kids teaches you something, too. Parents who indulge in a Yes Day actually report a feeling of closeness and connectedness with their kids. And guess what that results in? Kids actually listening better. One mom told us that after her first Yes Day with her son she discovered just how many times she automatically said no, to herself and her kid, when she didn’t really need to.

Any day can be a special day thanks to LOL Surprise, the exciting gifts that include unique and exciting surprises! Shop now to give the gift of surprise.

Photo: iStock

It’s Not As Scary As You Think

Of course, the concept of allowing your kids to run wild for a day where you can’t say no would be alarming. But not if you lay out the boundaries, first. The first thing to remind kids is that a Yes Day is one day, and the requests cannot be something that causes harm to themselves or anyone else.

Second, you also get to ask the kids to do things: but your ground rules are that you shouldn’t ask them to do additional “boring” stuff beyond their normal chores, homework, etc. You should be asking them to do spontaneous things, like “Do you want to run around the house four times with me?” Or, “Do you mind if I wear your fairy wings?”

Make sure you are clear with the kids that a Yes Day only lasts for a day, meaning any requests made cannot take place over a series of days, or in the future. Plus, you can limit the amount of travel you’re able to do in one day. (i.e.: no spur of the moment trips to Disney.) This can also apply to how much money it costs. Set a budget you’re comfortable with, and it will take away some of the anxiety about what they can choose.

You can ease into Yes Day by trying a Yes Morning or Yes Afternoon. Pick your day in advance, too, to encourage kids to plan ahead  “Mom, can we have a jump rope competition?” Save it for Yes Day! Besides, the anticipation is half the fun.

And the real golden rule? Don’t do it on a weekday/schoolday/workday.

Above all, you know your kids best. And the chances of them asking for something outlandish are actually pretty slim. The real joy comes from hearing “Yes.”

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Some Cool Ideas for Your Yes Day

If you’re on the fence about whether this could work in your family, maybe some ideas for Yes Day will convince you to do it. This will vary depending on the ages of your kids, but keeping it simple will help it work across the board. In the days leading up to your selected day, you can drop some hints about what activities would be cool to do on Yes Day.

Consider a family game night, and get a new board game or two to have on hand.

Head to a local park where you swing with them on the swings, or play that endless game of tag.

Eat dessert before dinner.

Surprise your little one with LOL Surprise.

Keep a bunch of crafting supplies on hand and be ready to create.

Do crazy, messy science experiments.

Build an epic fort.

Remember, the key is for the kids to see you enjoying yourself doing the things that they value.

Photo: iStock

Why You Should Do It

While you may think there’s nothing constructive to come out of having a Yes Day in your family, the benefits might surprise you. With just one day a year, you’re empowering your children to make decisions, as silly as they may be, and allowing them to see a different side of you. Hearing no all the time can be a little defeating, for both you and them. Giving them authority for one day actually teaches them how to use it. Not only that, but also giving yourself permission to be relaxed and carefree one day a year prompts you to live in the moment, much like kids do every day, and enjoy every minute. You’re making memories that will last a lifetime for both you and the kids, full of giggles and most importantly, time spent together. That’s definitely a win/win.

—Jesseca Stenson

featured image: iStock

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NYC Weekend Events: Jun 11-13

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This weekend is all about music and movies! Don’t miss your chance to see a family favorite on the beach as part of the Tribeca Film Festival, grab a blanket to claim your spot at the return of this jazzy lawn party, or experience NYC’s brass band community first-hand at this summer kickoff festival. Scroll down to check out the rest of our fun weekend event picks for kids below!

Photo: iStock

Worlds Beyond Earth

Featuring immersive visualizations of distant worlds, groundbreaking space missions, and breathtaking scenes depicting the evolution of our solar system, Worlds Beyond Earth, the newest Hayden Planetarium Space Show at the American Museum of Natural History, explores the unique conditions on Earth that make life possible. Event Details.

New York Yoyo Show

Song and dance meet Yoyo magic in this family-friendly exhibition! Event Details.

Happy Hour Concert Series

On Fridays in the Archway, Jan Bell of the Brooklyn Americana Music Festival curates a Happy Hour Concert Series, featuring Americana, folk, bluegrass, country blues and jazz acts. Event Details.

Trailwork Party & Bike Share

Bring your friends and family for a day of fun in the woods and learn what it takes to build, maintain, and ride the most progressive urban bike park in America! Event Details.

Jazz Age Lawn Party

This is the original, and official Jazz Age Lawn Party, founded and hosted by Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra. All ages are welcome for music, dancing, food, and fun!  Event Details.

Summer on the Hudson: Play Dates

This fun family-friendly event features a children’s entertainer, grab-and-go arts and crafts kits, and neighborhood fun! Event Details.

Tribeca Film Festival in Rockaway

For the first time, enjoy the Tribeca Film Festival on the beach in Rockaway. They’re screening the family favorite Moana in their Borough to Borough series! Event Details.

Movie Nights at the Garden

Experience big screen magic with the beautiful backdrop of golden hour in the evening. In addition to enjoying seasonal, movie-themed food and refreshments and exclusive after-hours access to the Garden, participate in a hands-on craft activity or enjoy a live performance (varies based on featured film). Event Details.

Drag Queen Story Hour

Through storytelling and creativity, Drag Queen Story Hour teaches children about gender diversity and all forms of difference to build empathy and give kids the confidence to express themselves however they feel comfortable. Event Details.

Brass Bands Festival

Enjoy a brand-new summer kickoff event that will feature both roving and stationary live musical sets by a diverse and energetic range of NYC’s brass band community. Event Details.

 

There are tons more events on our calendar – be sure to check them out all week long!

 

–  Jesseca Stenson

 

featured image: iStock

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As theaters slowly continue to reopen, studios are starting to release movies they’ve pushed back over the past year. That’s great news for fans of family movies because there are tons of awesome flicks to look forward to this summer and beyond. Plus, even if you’re not ready to go to a theater yet, there are also plenty of new movies to choose from on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Keep reading to find out what’s in store for the rest of 2021.

Cruella

What makes one of Disney’s most infamous villains just so villainous? And what’s with her obsession with dalmatians? Find out in Cruella, the origin story of Cruella de Vil, which is based in 1970’s London and features Emma Stone as the title character.

Directed by: Alex Timbers and Craig Gillespie
Starring: Emma Stone, Joel Fry, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Paul Walter Hauser, Emma Thompson
Studio: Disney
Opening on: May 28, 2021

Spirit Untamed

Horse lovers, take note! This movie follows a city slicker who moves to a small frontier town and befriends a wild mustang named Spirit.

Directed by: Elaine Bogan and Ennio Torresan
Starring: Mckenna Grace, Eiza González, Jake Gyllenhaal
Studio: DreamWorks
Opening on: June 4, 2021

Wish Dragon

Friendly dragons are having a moment, and we’re not mad about it! This movie follows Din, a college student who’s desperate to reconnect with his childhood best friend with help from a wish-granting dragon.

Directed by: Chris Appelhans
Starring: John Cho, Jimmy Wong, Constance Wu, Jimmy O. Yang
Studio: Netflix/Sony
Opening on: June 11, 2021

photo: Common Sense Media

Luca

Follow along as an unusual friendship develops along the Italian Riviera between a local human and a sea monster in this new original movie from Pixar.

Directed by: Enrico Casarosa
Starring: John Ratzenberger, Drake Bell
Studio: Disney Pixar
Opening on: June 18, 2021

photo: Common Sense Media

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

Everyone’s favorite talking rabbit will find himself in new surroundings in this sequel, having left the farm for the big city. You can bet the beloved rabbit will be knee-deep in mischief and will find some pretty hilarious ways to get out of trouble. The movie is currently slated to open in theaters, but given the uncertainty of Covid restrictions this, as well as the release date, can change.

Directed by: Will Gluck
Starring: James Corden, Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, David Oyelowo, Elizabeth Debicki
Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Opening on: June 18, 2021

Space Jam: A New Legacy

LeBron James and Bugs Bunny star in this long-awaited sequel which puts LeBron and Company up against an evil A.I. basketball team. In order to get back home, they must win the game.  

Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee
Starring: LeBron James, Don Cheadle
Studio: Warner Bros
Opening on: July 16, 2021, with a simultaneous release on HBO Max

photo: Common Sense Media

Cinderella

This reimagining of the fairytale features Camila Cabello as Cinderella, Billy Porter as her genderless fairy Godmother, and Idina Menzel as the stepmother. With musical powerhouses like that, it’s sure to be a fantastic live-action version of the classic. Plus, James Corden is producing and starring as one of the famed mice, along with John Mulaney. Music, laughs and magic? Sign us up.

Directed by: Kay Cannon
Starring: Camila Cabello, Billy Porter, Idina Menzel
Studio: Sony Pictures
Opening on: July 16, 2021

Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans

Executive producer Guillermo del Toro brings this popular trilogy to a close with Rise of the Titans. The heroes are back for another epic adventure in Arcadia. Your favorite characters are reunited on a quest to control the magic that connects them. 

Directed by: Johane Matte, Francisco Ruiz-Velasco, Andrew L. Schmidt
Starring: Nick Frost, Nick Offerman, Diego Luna, Steven Yeun, Kelsey Grammer, Charlie Saxton
Studio: Netflix
Opening on: July 21, 2021

photo: iStock

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania

We can safely say this fourth installment makes Dracula and fam an official franchise. Expect more “bleh bleh bleh,” but specifics for the plot aren’t being released just yet. But really, who doesn’t know what to expect from these fun films by now?

Directed by: Derek Drymon, Jennifer Kluska
Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez
Studio: Sony Pictures
Opening on: July 23, 2021

Jungle Cruise

This long-awaited movie, which was originally pushed back because of the pandemic, will be released in theaters this summer Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt will take fans on quite the adventure down the Amazon in this movie based on Disneyland’s ride. In an alternate move, Disney is so far only releasing this one in theaters and not on Disney +.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti
Studio: Disney
Opening on: July 30, 2021

Paw Patrol: The Movie

It was only a matter of time before everyone’s favorite furry pals got their own movie. Kids can follow Chase, Marshall, Rubble, Skye, Rocky, Zuma, Everest and Tracker as they head out on a major rescue mission.

Directed by: Cal Brunker
Starring: Dax Shepard, Iain Armitage, Tyler Perry
Studio: Paramount
Opening on: August 20, 2021

The Boss Baby: Family Business

The sequel to the Oscar-nominated blockbuster Boss Baby brings the Templeton brothers back together and on a mission to start a family business (with some direction from a new boss baby).

Directed by: Tom McGrath
Starring: Amy Sedaris, James Marsden, Jeff Goldblum, Alec Baldwin
Studio: Dreamworks
Opening on: September 17, 2021

The Addams Family 2

Featuring an all-star cast headed up by Charlize Theron and Oscar Isaac, this sequel to the popular 2019 animated film follows everyone’s favorite spooky family as they encounter more crazy adventures.

Directed by: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Starring: Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Chloë Grace Moretz
Studio: Universal Pictures
Opening on: October 1, 2021

Ron’s Gone Wrong

This sci-fi story takes a look at friendship in the social media age. Follow awkward middle schooler Barney and his new best friend: a walking, talking, digitally connected device named Ron.

Directed by: Sarah Smith and Jean-Philippe Vine
Starring: To be announced
Studio: Twentieth Century Studios
Opening on: October 2021

Clifford the Big Red Dog

Clifford gets a live-action computer-animated makeover in this new film that follows a young girl and her giant puppy.

Directed by: Walt Becker
Starring: Darby Camp, Sienna Guillory, Rosie Perez
Studio: Paramount
Opening on: November 5, 2021

photo: Common Sense Media

Encanto

This film follows a magical family in Colombia where one daughter doesn’t have any magical powers like the rest of her family. With songwriting brilliance from Lin-Manuel Miranda, we’re sure this movie will boast quite a few songs to remember.

Directed by: Jared Bush
Starring: Stephanie Beatriz
Studio: Disney
Opening on: November 24, 2021

Sing 2

This sequel to the toe-tapping 2016 film follows Buster Moon and his friends as they try to persuade a reclusive rock star to join them for the opening of a new show. We're betting that this one will have an amazing soundtrack!

Directed by: Garth Jennings, Christophe Lourdelet
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Selena Gomez, Shawn Mendes, John C. Reilly, Idina Menzel, Reese Witherspoon, Nick Kroll, Scarlett Johansson
Studio: Illumination
Opening on: December 22, 2021

photo: iStock

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Adventure

This animated feature from Netflix will tell the story of the 1969 moon landing from two very different points of view.

Directed by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Zachary Levi, Jack Black, Glen Powell, Josh Wiggins, Samuel Davis
Studio: Netflix
Opening on: 2021

Vivo

Vivo is an animated musical adventure featuring songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda and tells the story of music and friendship. Specific plot points are being kept under wraps, but expect dazzling locales not seen before in animated film.  

Directed by: Kirk DeMicco
Starring: To be announced
Studio: Sony Pictures
Opening on: 2021

— Jesseca Stenson

 

Featured image: iStock

 

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With another weekend of social distancing upon us, you may be running low on ideas to keep the kids entertained. Luckily, we have a few suggestions. From crafts to virtual tours to local hikes and more, check out some of these options for weekend family fun!

Photo: iStock

Next Best-Selling Author

Inspire your literary wonder kid to write (and publish!) his or her own book or introduce them to poetry with one of these crafty ideas.

Virtual Field Trips

Who says your kids have to miss out on school field trips since schools are closed? These virtual spots let you and the kids travel without having to leave the house!

Make Sweet DIY Music

Did you know you can make instruments with stuff sitting around your house? These DIY instruments will inspire you to start a family band.

NYC Faves Go Online

With museums and shows across the state temporarily closing, they’re moving their access online. From daily videos to 360-degree tours, these are great ways to pass the time indoors.

Get Outside

As long as the weather cooperates, and you keep your distance from others, getting out to local parks for a hike is a great way for kids to burn off energy after being inside for long periods of time. Check out some of these trails around NYC. Maybe you can throw in a nature scavenger hunt!

The Story Pirates to the Rescue

Everyone’s favorite group of top comedians, musicians, best-selling authors, and teachers are rolling out the Story Pirates Creator Club especially for kids to work on while at home. Check it out!

Batteries Not Included

Worried the kids are spending too much time on a screen now that they’re inside most of the time? These activities are just the ticket for some fun without screen time or without battery operated toys.

Get Crafty

Channel your inner artist and check out these online tutorials where budding artists can create their own masterpieces.

Free Printables

Keeping routines going right about now is probably really stressful. These free printables will help keep schedules running – and your sanity in tact – plus they’re in B&W so you don’t use too much ink!

 

– Jesseca Stenson

featured image: iStock