(Nov. 12, 2019) - This year’s Bloomingdales “Out of This World” holiday campaign is inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and will feature holiday windows, themed gift shops, in-store experiences, and a performance from John Legend, who will gift shoppers with songs from an expanded version of his first Christmas album, A Legendary Christmas: The Deluxe Edition. “Out of This World” focus on conveying the excitement, romance, and imagination of space travel through iridescent holographic shopping bags, gift boxes, and a special catalog featuring the department store’s favorite items of the season.
(Nov. 11, 2019) - Walt Whitman Shops has revealed that a brand-new Santa Set display will be part of this year’s holiday festivities that will allow families to have all kinds of fun while visiting with Santa throughout the season. The ‘Illuminated Holidays’ Santa Set will feature more than 20,000 LED lightbulbs and a 16-foot-tall Christmas tree, and Santa at the center of all the action of course, to create a 360-degree experience. Santa will be at the mall ready for kids to share all their Christmas wishes from now till Dec. 24 in the Center Court during regular mall hours.
(Nov. 07, 2019) - Empire Outlets in Staten Island, when fully complete, will contain 340,000 square feet of shopping paradise that includes designer outlet stores, restaurants and cafes, and relaxation spaces–and it will be the city’s first outlet destination. Empire is welcoming families in its inaugural holiday shopping season with a variety of programming that includes meet-and-greets with Santa, a pop-up holiday market, a lantern festival, a tree lighting ceremony, and Black Friday deals. Instead of traipsing out to Long Island or up to Westchester for your holiday gift deals, you can simply take the ferry and shop against a background of Manhattan views.
(Nov. 06, 2019) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson, and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza recently announced that a new STEAM-focused, state-of-the-art, 306-seat Pre-K Center will open in Corona in the fall of 2021 in partnership with the New York Hall of Science. This partnership will allow students and parents access to resources at NYSCI, including specialized proessional learning and coaching for teachers, and opportunities for family and community engagement. This Pre-K Center will be the first of its kind in the city to focus on early childhood STEAM education while partnering with a cultural institution.
(Nov. 05, 2019) - Holiday shopping can be time consuming, stressful, and tedious–not to mention expensive. This year, Andersons Larchmont bookstore has launched a “Holiday Wish List” program that will help families keep their shopping stress free, local, and guaranteed to make everyone in the family smile. You can stop into the store to create a list filled with items (books, antique maps and prints, seasonal gifts, greeting cards, puzzles, games, and toys, just to name a few) that will be kept on file so you can ensure that everyone on your shopping list will receive something they love.
(Oct. 30, 2019) - The Broadway League announced that kids will be able to see Broadway shows for free during a Kids’ Night on Broadway on February 25, 2020. The event is open to kids 18 and younger accompanied by a full-paying adult. Scoring a Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket will also get you access to restaurant discounts, parking discounts, and in-theatre activities for kids–such as talkbacks, activity books, and more–at select shows. Kids attending their first Broadway show during this special event can get a “My First Broadway Show” sticker to place on their clothes or playbills.
(Oct. 29, 2019) - You know when your child with special needs isn’t receiving the education that is right for him. Maybe he’s struggling in a class that’s not a good fit. Perhaps he’s not receiving the supports and services he’s entitled to outside of class. He might even be in the wrong school altogether. But going up against a school district and the New York State Department of Education to fight for your child can be a daunting task for any parent. That’s where special education attorneys come in. They can help you understand your child’s rights, fight for his free and appropriate education, reach an agreement with your school, or get him into a new one. In fact, a special education attorney can make all the difference.
(Oct. 25, 2019) - The FLAG Award for Teaching Excellence launched on Oct. 23 and will recognize and celebrate one extraordinary Manhattan public school teacher with a $100,000 prize–and $20,000 for his or her school. Four finalists will also receive $10,000 each and their schools $2,000 to be used for arts-based initiatives and programming. Nominations are now open and will close Jan. 13, 2020. You can nominate your child’s teacher on the FLAG website.
(Oct. 25, 2019) - Representation is hugely important in kids’ and young adult fiction. Unfortunately, it can seem like the selections that star kids with special needs as main characters–not sidekicks–are few and far between. If you have a kid that would love to read about a character like him–or would just like to see the world from a different perspective–this can be discouraging. So we’ve rounded up 10 titles whose protagonists have special needs, and that fall under every genre of fiction, so your child can see herself represented in works that might become some of her favorite books.
(Oct. 24, 2019) - More than a dozen New York organizations committed to preserving the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, a Medicaid program that allows individuals with special needs receive care from family members, on the morning of October 23. Right now, the Department of Health is considering a $150 million budget cut that would result in drastically reduced wages and the elimination of overtime and other benefits for the 100,000 caregivers the program employs. This would reduce the quality of life of the 75,000 senior and disabled New Yorkers that rely on CDPAP for independence. You can read more about how CDPAP helps families here.
(Oct. 24, 2019) - Right now 1.2 million New Yorkers are struggling with food insecurity, and this will continue through the holiday season, when people are supposed to be sharing the love through family and plentiful food. To combat this issue, City Harvest has launched its 37th annual Daily News Food Drive in partnership with Daily News–the largest food drive in New York City. It will run from October 22–January 17, 2020. You and your family can participate by bringing food to local soup kitchens, food pantries, and City Harvest trucks all over the city, or by running your own food drive. Your children might be participating in school too: last year, 352 schools participated in the Kids Can Help Competition and collected over 238,586 pounds of food, according to City Harvest.
(Oct. 23, 2019) - The Westchester Children’s Museum has partnered with toy company Melissa & Doug to unveil a new interactive play space and gift shop for kids to extend their play outside of the museum’s exhibits. The space reflects the museum’s mission of using unstructured play as a vehicle for creative thinking and problem solving. The gift shop will occupy 400 square feet of space and open by December, just in time for the holidays. If you’re headed to the museum and also need to focus on buying holiday gifts–while the kids focus on something else–you can accomplish every goal in one place.
(Oct. 23, 2019) - The Zaha Hadid Building at 520 W. 28th St. in Chelsea unveiled Sandbox Playground, a “STEAM-focused innovation lab” for community kids to explore, on October 3. Kids who live in the building also have access to a residential makerspace that allows both older kids and toddlers to experiment with building and designing–older kids can try 3D printing, building worlds with robotic LEGOs, and exploring virtual reality, while little ones get the chance to experiment with softer, flexible materials.
(Oct. 22, 2019) - Shortly after Hindi Kanarfogel passed away from complications of Crohn’s disease last year, her husband Dovid Kanarfogel and Leslie Gang teamed up to create Hindi’s Libraries and carry on Hindi’s book-loving, child-focused legacy. The nonprofit collects new and gently used children’s books from across the New York area to donate to hospitals, schools, and other organizations in need. So far, Kanarfogel and Gang have collected about 400 boxes of books from local communities that will go to kids in other local communities–recycling books, making sure kids always have awesome reading material, and enabling families to give back and make a difference.
(Oct. 21, 2019) - Nominations for the eighth annual Big Apple Awards are now open, says New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza–and you can nominate your kids’ favorite teachers and counselors through December 2. The Big Apple Awards is a citywide recognition program that honors full-time teachers who “demonstrate strong teaching practices and enrich their school communities with strong, rigorous instruction.” Carranza said that great teachers deserve to be nominated and recognized because they change students’ lives.
(Oct. 18, 2019) - At the new American Girl Doll Hospitals in New York City and Chicago, kids can bring their dolls in for checkups, dental care, surgery, repairs, and more. This interactive play experience is designed to broaden the scope of how kids can play with their American Girls, while normalizing health care for kids–plus repairing dolls that have been subjected to some rougher play. While more extensive repairs require dolls to be shipped to American Girl’s headquarters in Middleton, Wisconsin, dolls can get cleaned up and look brand-new again in NYC.
(Oct. 18, 2019) - Stony Brook University celebrated the opening of the new Stony Brook Children’s Hospital on October 17 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. This new hospital will expand Stony Brook’s capacity to meet kids’ health needs across Long Island. The hospital is designed with kids in mind, and will feature separate child and teen playrooms, common areas like an outdoor garden, and a classroom with WiFi so students can keep up with their schoolwork. Even the menus will be kid-focused. Families and visitors can find support and comfort in the new Ronald McDonald Family Room.
(Oct. 16, 2019) - On October 31, Midtown East’s Halloween celebration for families returns for its fifth year, complete with trick-or-treating, face painting, a spooky photo booth, costume contests, and more. More than 90 local businesses are expected to participate in this year’s celebration (you can map your route here)! Kids ages 12 and younger can pick up their candy bags on the plaza outside 919 3rd Avenue before heading out to collect candy from all different kinds of businesses.
(Oct. 16, 2019) - HuffPost reports that WeGrow, WeWork’s private Manhattan school for kids ages 3-9 that opened in 2018, will close after this school year. WeWork has faced tumult recently in the aftermath of a failed IPO, an investor exodus, and a takeover announcement from parent company SoftBank. WeGrow opened in Chelsea last September and featured open classroom plans, natural light, and a unique curriculum that balanced traditional schoolwork with athletics like yoga and martial arts, as well as weekly field trips to an upstate farm to learn how to plant and harvest crops. Rebekah Neumann, co-founder of WeWork and CEO Adam Neumann’s husband, had helmed the school’s programs and focused on helping kids learn through play and interaction.
(Oct. 15, 2019) - There’s no Disney musical more important to today’s little ones than Frozen. The film’s much anticipated sequel Frozen II premieres on November 22, and Disney is teaming up with Saks Fifth Avenue to host an Enchanted Forest Experience that will delight Frozen lovers and give kids a whole new look into the movie’s world. The event, which will be comprised of both in-store experiences and window displays, will run from November 26-December 24. Idina Menzel, the voice behind Elsa’s iconic songs, will perform at Saks on November 25.