“Mommy & Me” classes (now, really, “anybody & me”) have come a long way, going far beyond just singing in a circle — although that’s fun, too. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Mommy & Me classes in ‘hoods all around the city. (Note: some of these classes are held in more than one place, so if you like the sound of something, check out the info section to see if the group is also gathering near you!) Read on to find the class best for you and your babe!
photo: via Heart & Beat Facebook page
Heart & Beat Music at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
Heart & Beat Music is a Music Together class, which is perhaps the OG of all Mommy & Me classes. Full of singing, dancing, using instruments, shakers and scarves, the 12-week, intentionally mixed-aged classes feature folky and fun songs. Participants also get a CD, songbook, parent education materials and online resources. In some cases siblings attend free, and more than one caregiver can attend. This fall, bongos are being added to the mix.
Sunday, Monday & Wednesday afternoons, Thursday mornings
3700 Henry Hudson Pkwy.
Also found in: Fieldston, North Riverdale, Woodlawn
Exploring With My Grownup at Bronx House
Bronx House provides a space for youngsters to meet and interact with other kids in a relaxed but playful environment. Sessions revolve around singing, reading, and participating in hands-on activities like games and art projects. Best of all, each session is also geared towards caretakers, offering accompanying grownups discussions about child development and parenting, and, of course, a chance to bond with their little one. Register for one 60-minute class or all 10.
Fridays & Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.
990 Pelham Parkway South
Lavender Blues Music at Pipsqueak Shoppe
Music and dance happen to be perfect tools to help developing bodies learn control, and Lavender Blues provides an intimate and loving setting in which to do this. Creator Miss Alex leads an energetic class and encourages fun and laughter as everyone gets down together. The 40-minute sessions are perfect for short attention spans, and 30-minute classes available for infants. Classes are drop-in, some come on by when you need to get the wiggles out.
Babies Only (0-12 months): Tuesdays, 12:30 p.m.
Older Kids (12 months & up): Wednesdays, 4 p.m.
1124 Bedford Ave.
Also found in: Boerum Hill, Bay Ridge, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Ditmas Park, DUMBO
Music for Aardvarks with Audra Rox at Powerhouse
You’d be hard-pressed to find a neighborhood in the city that doesn’t have a Music for Aardvarks program. These fun, musical Mommy & Me sessions are all about playing around with music, movement, and instruments, using kid-friendly songs little New Yorkers can relate to (like “Subway”, “City Kid”, and the now urban classic, “Taxi.”). Aardvark instructor Audra Rox is one of the city favorites, drawing on her theater background to connect with kids and their caregivers.
$325/12 week session
Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., or 11:30 a.m.
POWERHOUSE @ the Archway
28 Adams St.
Also found in: Carroll Gardens/Red Hook, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Williamsburg, Ditmas Park/Midwood, Boerum Hill/Downtown Brooklyn, Long Island City, Queens
Yoga for the whole family at Little Feet Wise Hearts/Little Feet Wise Hearts
Little Feet Wise Hearts at Jill Lindsey
Exercise is good for the mind and the body, and at Little Feet Wise Hearts kids are introduced to both. This kid-friendly yoga incorporates movement, exercise, and stretching into classes that also feature books and heartwarming stories, as well as sensory aspects like blowing on pinwheels and ringing bells. Sessions range from loud singing to the blissful sound of silence, and encourage kids — and adults! — to find some much-needed inner peace.
Fridays, 10:30 a.m.
370 Myrtle Ave.
Also found in: Gowanus
Music With Miss Katie at the Terrace Dance Studio
Miss Katie has a knack for entertaining kids. With over eight years of experience and degrees in music, and early childhood education, Miss Katie (Katie Mullins) knows how to get kids — and their caretakers — up and dancing. Join one of her singalongs in South Park Slope, for some great outdoor (or indoor) fun.
Fridays, 10 a.m. & 11 a.m.
Terrace Dance Studio
273 Prospect Park West (at 17th St.)
Grown-up and Me at the Lab Science at Kiddie Science
Think your kid is too young to learn science? Think again. The instructors at Kiddie Science believe it’s never too early to start wondering about how the world works. The grown-up and me programming is geared towards introducing kids and their caretakers to their community through readalongs, open play time, and activities that enhance fine-motor skills and develop a better understanding of the natural world and what makes it tick.
Most Sundays, 10:30 a.m.
509 Rogers Ave.
The Buttons Singalong at Edamama
Get your tot a haircut, read a book together, then have a singalong all in the same space at Edamama’s. Now you can find The Buttons (Caitlin Mahoney and Hannah Winkler) singing a 45-minute mix of their fun mix of rock ‘n roll, classic children’s songs, and their own compositions every Thursday at the hip haircut spot. The event is free and recommended for kids from birth through age five.
Thursdays, 3:45 p.m.
568 Union Ave.
Also found in: Windsor Terrace
Baby Fingers at Kids at Work
Foster communication with your child before they even develop language skills with Baby Finger sign language classes. Babies and their caregivers learn basic sign language, which helps strengthen bonds and promotes communication. Broaden the mind and the body through “Sign and Stretch”, which combines yoga with sign language learning, led by instructors experienced with both. Classes are available per session or as a package, and drop-ins are welcome (though registration is encouraged.)
Thursdays, 11:45 a.m.
Kids at Work
123 W. 20th
Also found in: Upper West Side, Inwood, Lower East Side, Tribeca, Woodside, Forest Hills, Long Island City
Karma Kids Yoga
Karma Kids Yoga makes yoga fun for the whole family with kid-focused play sessions that incorporate exercise, yoga basics, and more. Sessions include a nice variety of fun classes like mommy and me yoga, pilates, and even fairy yoga (wands and wings included in the price!). Register in bulk or drop in for a single session, no registration necessary.
Prices and times vary
Karma Kids Yoga Studio
25 W. 23rd St.
Turtles and Frogs at Wee Ones Club
The Turtles and Frogs programs at Wee Ones Club are designed with child development in mind. Although each class has a recommended age (Turtles: 3 – 14 months; Frogs: 13 – 23 months), the venue will work with you to determine which class is best for your child. Sessions consist of movement exercises like tumbling and parachute play, music, and other fun events like story time and bubbles, as well as emphasis on emotional and social development. Classes are purchased by session packages, but once you pick a weekly class you can pop into others of the same series as you like.
Prices and times vary by age
Wee Ones Club
128 East 36th St.
Hopalong Andrew brings the country funk./photo: Hoplaong Andrew
Hopalong Andrew at Whole Foods
Join the beloved Hopalong Andrew for his free Community Cowpoke class. Andrew leads urban cowpokes on singalongs that combine upbeat country songs with the spirit of the city. Each class is infused with an energy that makes kids (and their parents) get up and dance. With venues and events all over the boroughs, Hopalong Andrew, well, hops around the city a lot. Check his Facebook for his current weekly schedule.
Fridays @ 10
Whole Foods Market
270 Greenwich St.
Also found in: Carroll Gardens, Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, Park Slope/Gowanus, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and other one-time appearances at events
Upper West Side
Yogi Beans at Pure Yoga
Me and my Bean yoga from Yogi Beans is a good starting point for parents looking to get their kids involved in yoga when they’re older. The mommy & me program introduces the basics of yoga to kids by playfully guiding them into basic postures. Parents and kids work together to learn about the physical and mental aspect of the exercises, and the entire experience is aided by music and props.
$45/child drop-in class, $20/child first class trial
Semester packages available
Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays & Sundays, various times
204 W 77th St.
Upper West Side
Also found in: Upper East Side, Greenpoint
Developmental Movement for Infants at Raising Astoria
Build strong minds and strong bodies at these Raising Astoria movement classes. Sessions consist of stretches and muscle movement exercises for infants who do not crawl yet, and are aimed at helping them build strength and coordination that will enable them to move freely as they grow. Don’t think you’ll just be sitting and watching: classes encourage adults to join in with stretches too, and conclude with a parenting Q&A.
Thursdays, 10 a.m.
26-11 23rd Ave.
Cooking healthy meals with Allergic to Salad./photo via Allergic to Salad Facebook
Allergic to Salad at Shastye
While not a traditional Mommy & Me class (caretakers are asked only to “aid minimally” in class), this unique children’s cooking class is an excellent way to bond with and learn more about your child. Designed for children ages 18 months through 5 years, Allergic to Salad explores different types of food by guiding kids to making their own lunches. And you can be sure the little ones are getting the best: ingredients are organic whenever possible, and all dishes made are vegetarian, nut-free, and soy-free.
Various dates and times
Shastye Art Gallery and Play Space
26-16 23rd Ave.
Also found in: Clinton Hill
Just Hatched at Alley Pond
Give your family a chance to reconnect with nature at the recently launched Mommy & Me Just Hatched program at Alley Pond. Kids ages 12 to 17 months and their accompanying parent sing and play together, then meet an animal up close and share some treats with the center’s critters while they explore the Animal Room. Classes are small and intimate: no more than seven kids can register, and only one adult per child is permitted.
Tuesdays, 11:15 a.m.
Alley Pond Environmental Center
228-06 Northern Blvd.
Art for Tots at the Noguchi Museum
Enjoy taking your kids to museums? Learn how to help them enjoy the experience as much as you through Art for Tots at the Noguchi Museum. Kids ages 2 to 4 and their caregivers will explore art materials and become more aware of textures, colors, and other features of the artwork on display in Noguchi’s galleries. Registration is limited to no more than two programs per season (due to overwhelming demand) and some sessions are available in Japanese.
$10/family of four
Select Saturdays and Sundays, 10:30 a.m.
9-01 33rd Rd.
Long Island City
Gymnastic fun at JW Tumbles
Jump, climb, and tumble at JW Tumbles’ parent participation classes. Grown-ups assist their kids through classes full of music, games, and activities that help develop hand-eye coordination, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and more. Age-appropriate activities will have kids swinging on swings, crawling through tunnels, hanging from a trapeze, and balancing on the balance beam. Parent participation sessions are available for kids ages 3 months through 3 years.
Monthly tuition fees and times vary
27 Brienna Ct.
Do you have a favorite “Mommy & Me” class? Tell us about it in the comments!
— Yuliya Geikhman