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by Alyssa Sparacino

Related: new places, programs, long island, nassau, ny, kids, children, family, 5678 Dance, Gamin Ride, Children's Nest, november, 2010,

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See what new services these businesses are offerings for kids and families in Nassau County, Long Island.

A Gamer's Paradise

Gamin Ride bus

The Gamin' Ride franchise has hit Nassau County. Inspired by her son's Gamin' Ride party, co-owner Erica Fruscione, along with her business partner Stacy Brown, brought this new entertainment option for kids to the area in early October.

Gamin' Ride is a mobile video game unit that brings the party to your house, but not in your house. The equipment is compatible with Xbox, Playstation 3, and Wii gaming systems and has 16 vibrating seats inside and an additional eight outside. The unit has a total of eight screens for playing and also uses "smell-o-vision," which allows players to actually smell elements from the game such as burnt tires or pizza.

To celebrate the grand opening of Gamin' Ride on Long Island, parents can book a 24-player Gamin' Ride unit for two hours for $399 through the end of November. This rate also includes party invitations and a birthday hat.

Fruscione says she is happy to be able to bring Gamin' Ride to children near her home. "My business partner and I looked at each other [and said], 'Wow, Long Island doesn't have anything quite like this,'" she says. "We got very excited, and here we are now!"

For more information, call 516-680-1877 or e-mail efruscione@gaminride.com.



The New Nest

Children's Nest opened a new location in Wantagh on September 7, an expansion to the company's original early childhood education center in Merrick.

There was a real demand by parents in the area for quality childcare services, says owner Chiara Ottomano, and the new location is now 50 percent full with students. Both Children's Nest locations offer the same services, Ottomano adds, and the Wantagh chapter is expected to reach full capacity as it continues to grow. "We are a support for our parents," Ottomano says. "We know that they are leaving behind their precious children in order to make ends meet, so we provide a trustworthy environment for parents that is comfortable for them and safe for their children."

Children's Nest focuses on hiring quality teachers who have backgrounds in child development, Ottomano says. She believes this gives the center the ability to provide kids with excellent services that are conducive to growth in all aspects. "The first three to four years of children's lives are very important for development," Ottomano says. "We believe these years are the foundation upon which they can build for the future."

Children's Nest's new location: 733 Wantagh Avenue in Wantagh. For more information, call 516-867-7404 or e-mail cottomano@childsnest.com.



5678 Dance; ballerina; young girl dancerStep Up

Beginner and expert dancers alike can experience the renewed and improved ballet program at 5678 Dance in Levittown. This past summer owner Jennifer Levine, with the help of her mother Marilyn Levine, revamped the studio's programs for ballet, modern, and contemporary dance and musical theater. The dance center now also offers a Razzle Dazzle Competition Team for dancers ages 5 to 8.

Marilyn Levine says the new ballet program began with a focus on improving dancers' ballet skills, but it also makes for stronger tap, jazz, contemporary, and even hip-hop dancers. "By having a stronger ballet program, we realized we can give our kids an edge when they are competing," she says. Both Levine and her daughter say it's important to them that the studio paves the way for every child to move as far ahead as they want, and these new programs will do just that. "Not only do we want our kids to learn in a fun-filled environment where they enjoy dancing, but we hope they take that love of the arts and carry it with them for the rest of their lives," Levine says.

5678 Dance is located at 170 B-Gardiners Avenue in Levittown. For more information, call 516-735-2266 or e-mail jenknicks@aol.com.

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