There are few places more magical to spend the weeks leading up to the holidays than right here in NYC. In the weeks in between the spectacular Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the world-watched Ball Drop in Times Square, you can find festive family fun and awesome holiday activities around every New York City corner. From tickets to The Nutcracker to Ice-Skating at Rockefeller Center, the possibilities for fun holiday events for kids in NYC can seem never-ending (and frankly exhausting!).
But, fear not, we've assembled our own short-list of some lesser-known but equally merry-inducing holiday events for you and your family to check out!
Our Top 2018 Holiday Events for Kids in NYC
1. GingerBread Lane Workshops at the New York Hall of Science --beginning Saturday November 17th
Get ready to have your mind blown at this massive gingerbread house display. In it, you won’t find just a couple of houses made of gingerbread cookies, candy and icing. That would be child’s play compared to this 500-square-foot village that has won the Guinness World Record for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016! Visitors can make their own gingerbread houses or trains in this popular workshop that sells out every year. Each participant receives a kit with all of the materials that baker Jon Lovitch uses to create his GingerBread Lane exhibition: gingerbread pieces, icing and candy.
Recommended for ages 4 and older. $15 per project, plus museum admission.
2. Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square -- Monday November 26
The annual tree-lighting at Dante Park kicks off this huge neighborhood holiday celebration. From the Time Warner Center to 68th Street, enjoy tons of free entertainment and reasonably priced food tastings from the area's many restaurants. This year, kid-centric attractions include live music from Mister G, a performance by Jack Frost: The Original Mr. White Christmas, face time with Santa, and much more. A lot of the "grown-up" entertainment sounds great for families too, including performances by Arlo Guthrie and Judy Collins, multicultural dance troupes, ice sculpting, Jazz at Lincoln Center, youth choruses, jugglers, stilt-walkers, and more!
3. Winterfest at the Brooklyn Museum — Friday November 23–Monday December 31
We are so excited about this one! New to the scene is the Winterfest. Want to walk through a giant snowglobe? Commune with the world's largest snowman? Slide down a giant inflatable slide dubbed "Snowzilla"? The Brooklyn Museum's first- ever Winterfest promises all that and more, including a winter market, daily live performances, an enchanted tree maze, facetime with Mr. and Mrs. Santa, and a giant menorah. This is the first year for this holiday treat, but it sounds like a tradition in the making.
4. Chanukah on Ice at Central Park -- Monday, December 3rd, 6 - 9pm
Live music, kosher food, and a giant, hand-carved ice menorah. What's not to love? Join in the biggest Chanukah party in the city! Skate in the beautiful and magical setting of the Wollman Rink, in the heart of New York City’s Central Park.This annual celebration is a prime example of a holiday season event you need to sign up for ASAP, as it always sells out.
5. Winter Family Fair at The Morgan Library & Museum -- Sun Dec 9, 2018
Enjoy an old-fashioned celebration at the Morgan's Victorian era-style holiday fete for families in conjunction with its annual display of Charles Dickens' original A Christmas Carol manuscript. Meet Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, the famous ghosts, and the author himself as portrayed by members of the Grand Falloons troupe. The afternoon closes with a festive concert of Christmas carols. Free with museum admission.
Have any must-do ideas of your own for 2018 Holiday Events for Kids in NYC?
Let us know in the comments section below!
With March here at last, it's time to say goodbye to the winter blues and welcome the warmer weather by getting out to some of the many family-friendly activities in NYC this month. Daylight Savings Time this month means you might lose a little sleep, but on the bright side there are longer, sunnier days ahead and lots of ways to enjoy them with your kids in tow. Of course, St. Patricks Day is the big event on everyone's March radar, but if you're looking to avoid the crowds, here are a few more family-friendly March activities in NYC we can recommend!
Family-Friendly March Activities in NYC:
1. Children’s film festival - Weekends in March
During weekends in March, the Children’s Film Festival welcomes over 25,000 young people, parents, and movie-lovers to explore the world without leaving NYC. Presenting the best new animation, live action, documentary, and experimental film from across the globe, the NYICFF shows new, inspiring, and thought-provoking films about youth from all around the world, suitable for children and families. Check out what’s playing near you, you’re sure to find something the kids will love!
New York International Children’s Film Festival
2. Jiggy Tots Irish Movement Class - March 8th
Looking for a kid-friendly alternative to the St. Patrick's Day Parade, that still celebrates the Irish heritage of this March holiday? Introduce your toddler to Irish dancing with this class, developed with ages 2-5 in mind. Kids will work on their motor skills, coordination, and creativity with activities that include not only dance but also educational games that teach counting and colors. Combining traditional Irish ditties with toddler favorites, this is sure to get your toddler up and moving. Free on 4pm at the New York Public Library.
3. Luna Park Opening Day - March 24th
Did you miss those special trips to Luna Park over the long winter season? Don't miss opening day at Luna Park this season. While the beach won't open until Memorial Day, ring in Spring with a family outing to NYC's largest amusement park. All the park's established rides and attractions, both thrilling and tame, will be open—even the water rides. BONUS: Following tradition, the first 100 visitors score a FREE ride on the Cyclone.
4. Women's Empowerment Festival - March 24th and 25th
The Children's Museum of Manhattan celebrates equality, empowerment, and talent during this year’s Women’s History Month with kid-friendly film and animation workshops, art installations, and interactive storytelling. Look for workshops on the amazing women directing the biggest movies today like Patty Jenkins, director of Wonder Woman, and Ava DuVernay, who is directing A Wrinkle in Time, as well as readings from Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.
Have any family-friendly March activities in NYC that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
- KITH & KIN
What would you say are the top 3-5 values you hope to instill in a child so that they may carry them into adulthood?
Here are three simple rules to live by to help instill values into children in your care.
1. Toss out the old adage, "Do As I Say, Not As I Do".
Be aware that your child sees everything you do (scary!), the good and the not-so-good. You may tell them to be patient, kind, and understanding, but if they don't see this, they won't practice it. For example...
2. Extend your values to them as well.
A lot of parents and nannies would say that they want to teach a child to respect others, forgetting that the child is also someone who needs to be shown patience, kindness, understanding, and forgiveness and respect, too! The best way to instill values into children is simply by letting them experience what it feels like to receive these things.
3. Admit your mistakes.
Don't be afraid to own up to a misstep. No one is perfect, and to not admit when you've done wrong may lead to your child feeling that they have to hide their mistakes from you for fear that you may reject their error.
Values look different to each family and caregiver.
Of course we all want our children to be high achievers, and have fun in life. We of course want them to be forgiving and kind, and we want them to also be assertive and stand their ground when it's time. We all want them to be respectful, and we want them to also recognize their right to being respected.
The trick for us to successfully instill values into children is finding where the balance lies within in each family.
You want to make sure your caregiver is aligned with these values, and give them wiggle room to do things a little differently than you would. This is where great communication comes in handy!
A member in a local online parenting group I'm a member of posed a question that caused a mild stir. This generous mom employs a nanny whom has no family nearby to spend Thanksgiving with, and she was curious to know other mom's opinions if she were to invite her children's nanny over for the holidays to their big extended family dinner. Another mom chimed in and wondered the same thing about her family's big Hanukkah dinner.
Many moms and nannies were touched by her thoughtfulness, saying how nice it was to think of her. There were some moms who thought it crossed a serious professional line, and many nannies said they would respectfully decline to keep their family life separate. This caused me to consider my own past over the many years I was a nanny, far away from relatives that were not close enough to road trip there.
If you too are considering inviting your nanny or housekeeper over for the holidays, take a moment to consider these points.
Notice of the state and nature of your relationship.
Do you ask about your employee's weekend, or know small details of his or her personal life like their family, or partner's name? Do you laugh about things in life beyond your children and home? Do you view this person with complete trust, just as family? If so, it would not be a shock to invite them to dinner, and they would likely be honored that you thought of them.
Consider the affect of inviting your nanny or housekeeper into a family setting.
If your relationship is a lot more casual and friendly as we discussed above, your invitation and their attendance will likely only bring you closer in the long run. If you view your nanny as a member of the family, this is a great thing! But if you maintain that the nanny reports to your home to do their job and leave her personal beliefs and life out of conversation, and they accept the invitation, would you feel uncomfortable and distracted, and unable to fully enjoy your family time?
Be clear about your invitation.
Be sure to state that this is in invitation to be a guest -- not an employee. Treat him or her as such: offer them a drink, clear their plate, allow them to sit and don't expect them to clean up after the children. If the expectation is that they continue their duties as they usually would, then this isn't an invitation, but a work day (which is totally fine if that is discussed, and they are paid as such).
Only invite him or her if you genuinely want them there, not because you feel sorry.
This goes without stating: a invitation made in pity will be obvious, and won't be given serious thought. Speaking from my own personal experience, if you genuinely give your invitation, your nanny will really appreciate and be touched by the offer, even if he or she declines.
The bottom line is that if your nanny feels like a member of the family, their presence will not feel out of place or inappropriate.
However, if you don't feel quite close with your nanny yet, having your nanny over for the holidays may be a distraction to your family-time.
Neither of these scenarios are bad!
There is no rushing connection and trust.
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Copyright, Kith and Kin NYC LLC, 2019. Licensed and bonded by the NY State Department of Consumer Affairs, License #2038511-DCA. Kith & Kin Household Staffing Agency seeks to pair exceptional caregivers with vibrant families. Candidates who are legally authorized to work in the United States, and meet our requirements are encouraged to send us your résumé if you are seeking a position as a Nanny, Manny, Housekeeper, Governess, Mother's Helper, or a Baby Nurse / Newborn Care Specialist in New York City, New York State, New Jersey, or Connecticut. Kith & Kin Household Staffing Agency does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, height, weight, physical disabilities, veteran status, and marital status. We are a nanny agency in NYC that services the metro area.
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