No one rises to the occasion in stressful times like New Yorkers. Businesses all around the city are offering classes, workshops, singalongs and more to help you and the kids have fun while you’re spending a lot of time inside. Many of these are free activities, but if you can spare the change, kick a little to one of these providers to thank them for coming through big time! (A note: things are changing quickly, so plans may have been adjusted due to circumstances and staffing.)
New York Kids Club
To help ease the burden on people who cannot work from home, New York Kids Club will be open in select locations and offering offering modified services and classes starting March 17. The company has worked in partnership with the Department of Education, the City Council and the Mayor's office. Each class environment has been adapted to ensure total compliance with all recommended and mandated recommendations by the Department of Health and other entities. In need of their services? Fill out this form here.
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History has got lots of ways to engage the kids and keep them thinking. Head to the OLogy science website, where kids and families can find fun activities and games to learn about the natural world around them. You can visit the museum virtually through its YouTube channel. Head over to Facebook for Facebook live events, currently happening at 2 p.m. ET. And you can find AMNH learning courses on online resources Coursera, Khan Academy and Kahoot.
The Chelsea/Flatiron play space is serving up new fun content every day to families! In addition to a new "Songs for Seeds" singalong video daily, you'll find activities ranging from art projects, cooking and dance from the Apple Seeds teaching crew. Plus: a special section for parents and stuff to make you and the kids laugh. (Important!) Log on every day to the virtual classroom for a new, link, and get updates via Apple Seeds' Facebook and Instagram feeds.
New Victory Theater Arts Break
The New Victory Theater is bringing an "Arts Break" to you every single day. About 20 minutes long, these videos explore a theme (for example, percussion) through videos of performances, guided sessions with New Victory Teaching Artists, and exercises.
Head to the Kidville Playground for tons of virtual free fun indoors for kids. This interactive digital playground includes curated resources, projects and classes all from Kidville play professionals. Options include gym, art, music, dance, storytime and more. We love the Livestream classes hosted by subject experts each day. the schedule is packed with all kinds of activities: Rockin’ Railroad: Unplugged with Ms. Dana & Mr. Matt, My Big Messy Art Class with Maker Morgan, Ballet Tea Party with Ms. Petra, Kidville Gymnasts with Mr. Bradley—and even morning warm-ups and evening cool-downs. Check out the schedule and register for livestream classes here!
Got a birthday coming up? Kidville is now hosting a giant online community birthday block party hosted on the 15th of every month! This virtual pop-art party is led by Maker Morgan and her messy mascot Painty. Guests get an easy-to-procure supply list and then create a craft live at the party! This reimagined Bob Ross-style interactive party provides a fun way to say "Happy Birthday" to kids celebrating the big day. The party ends with a mega birthday song singalong. Click here to party!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Always felt a little guilty because you never really explored The Met with the kids enough? Now's your chance. The Museum has launched #MetAnywhere, which draws upon the rich and deep digital resources, available through the museum's website. Visit virtually, via web-based highlights, including 360-degree views of iconic spaces, behind-the-scenes videos, and dynamic explorations of exhibitions. The Met will also continue to share weekly favorites like #TuesdayTrivia and #MetSketch on its social channels, while introducing new ways to feature unique stories from the Museum's followers.
Union Square Play
Union Square Play is serving up amazing content for both the kids and you. Head to its website for three good things every day: one offline at-home activity, one children's class (live or recorded) and on online community event for parents. And it's all free!
Michael & The Rockness Monsters House Party and Music Class
A fave band of kids in NYC and beyond, Michael and the Rockness Monsters are hosting a House Party and Live Stream Music Class for Kids Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. & 3 p.m.. Hit up the band's Facebook page to log on and rock out!
Treasure Trunk Theatre
Treasure Trunk Theatre is rooted in the belief in the power of imagination, and the crew there are ready to help your kids stay creative in this time. Sign up for free Facebook Live classes (consider making a donation) or book a private one-on-one class via FaceTime or Skype with a favorite teacher!
Find them on Facebook here.
Find them online here: treasuretrunktheatre.com
92Y Shababa is bringing interactive musical gatherings to you with Home Sweet Home Facebook Live events. Rebecca Schoffer, 92Y Director of Jewish Family Engagement, performs folk and family tunes with a focus on the concept of "home." Schoffer recently led a Shababa Saturday Morning Live that was watched by thousands, and drew viewers from all over the country, from states including Ohio, Texas, California and Florida.
The Story Pirates
So much good stuff from The Story Pirates, who know a thing or two about making learning fun. The hugely popular Story Pirates podcast will continue to roll out new episodes throughout the spring, and you can access podcast bonus content here. You can also check out the Story Pirates University library for standards-aligned writing curriculum and livestream classes on subjects ranging from creative fiction to expository writing, all hosted by expert teachers.
Tune in to Story Pirates Radio, a special limited that features fan-favorite songs, play-at-home games, hilarious bits, and listener call-in kid interviews. Finally, the group is souping up and expanding its Creators Club, which you can get for $5 a month with the first month free; join and you get full access to all-things Story Pirates! Aaarrggh! (In a good way.)
Kids' favorite Laurie Berkner is bringing a "Berkner Break" to families live from her house! These concerts will be streamed most weekday mornings at 10 a.m. ET on her Facebook page, found here. Rock out to lots of Laurie favorites (“We Are The Dinosaurs” and “The Goldfish (Let’s Go Swimming),", “Waiting For The Elevator” and “Look At All The Letters" as well as playful movement activities, stories, and more. The musician also created a 50-minute "Educational Music Videos" set on her YouTube channel (Find that here.) The compilation of over 20 music videos focuses on counting, the alphabet, telling time, emotions, and more.
Brooklyn Museum Disco Break
Take a breather and take a disco break once a week with the Brooklyn Museum. (Where you can visit its exhibit dedicated to Studio 54 one day.) The museum partnered with Michiyaya Dance so you and the kids can learn a new dance move every week!
The Metropolitan Opera
Perhaps it's time for the whole family to appreciate opera! The Met will be streaming encore presentations of productions nightly at 7:30, and the shows will remain on the site for 20 hours.
Trusty Sidekick Playdate
Miss the theater? Long on to Trusty Sidekick's site to watch videos of their past productions for free. They're kicking things off with Shadow Play for kids ages two and up, which asks "Have you ever wondered what happens to your shadow while you sleep?".
Everyone's favorite cowpoke who sings for kids is taking the show online. Hopalong Andrew promises, "a campy, retro-tinged, one-man variety show" from his apartment. "It’s gonna be fun, interesting, and sloppy. Think Mr. Rogers meets Bob Ross meets Pee Wee’s Playhouse on a train wreck." Sounds awesome! Catch him live Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m., but the fun will be taped, too. Ten bucks a class via Venmo.
LEGO Challenges from Brooklyn Bricks
Got a brick-crazed kid and a bin full of LEGO at home? Kensington's Brooklyn Bricks is offering LEGO challenges, with intro video tutorials, and of course, the sharing of creations are they take form.
Join the Facebook Group here!
Baby in Tune
Baby in Tune is offering remote classes for kids--they have one for little ones seven months and younger, and one for older kids up to five. Each class encourages parents and kids to take deep breaths, sing joyfully and play together, incorporating puppets, scarves, balls, drumming, shaking and dancing. You'll also share and feel supported by other caregivers through discussion and song (something we all need right now!). Classes can be bought a la carte, in a 6-pack bundle for a reduced price or as a private group session for a further reduced price.
Lavender Blues has a lot of fans in NYC, and you don't have to go without! Online classes are taking place Monday through Friday at 10:30 a.m. Write firstname.lastname@example.org for info on how to join!
Freshmade NYC at Home
Cooking school for all ages Freshmade NYC introduces Freshmade at Home its new suite of family-friendly online classes. Check out Virtual Taco Tuesday (homemade tortillas and use-what-you-have taco feast), Virtual Pizza Party (pizza faces, calzones and breadsticks), Virtual Snack Attack (energy balls and baked apple chips) and more! Each class will highlight new recipes, new teachers and open the door for Q&A to help you navigate your fridge, pantry, and freezer while cooking with your kids. Classes are $12.99 each. Want one-on-one attention? Book a private class!
We Grow Together
Got a new baby in the house and looking for some support and guidance? We Grow Together is offering online classes helping parents learn to bond with their baby baby using hands-on techniques of touch and movement which support development. (The classes are also geared toward helping you feel supported, centered and confident as a parent.) Classes are available for babies as young as five weeks old and help with tummy-time, self-soothing, reflux, late milestones and other topics. Private online sessions are also offered for delays, torticollis, other concerns. Taught and developed by Dan Rindler, Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and music educator. New online series of eight weekly classes are beginning March 23, March 24 and April 1.
Blue Balloon Songwriting for Small People
Blue Balloon has been doing group and individual "Long Distance Lessons" for over a year, so they are ready for you! Kids three and up can learn how to sing, play and record their own songs all while learning how to play an instrument.
Fight brain drain with tutoring from Bee Tutored. The company offers academic support for grades K-12 and can help your family with test prep, homeschooling & curriculum planning—all online. Contact email@example.com or call 917-482-4880 for more information
Taste Buds Kitchen
The popular cooking school for both adults and kids is hosting a free, online cooking class each week using basic pantry supplies you likely have in the house. (First up was pancake mini muffins). Not only is it free, for every signup, Taste Buds Kitchen will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry. You can also book a live online cooking class or party for kids or adults, with prices starting at $20 per family.
The Rubin Museum Mindfulness Meditation
Need a little mindfulness right now? Check out The Rubin Museum's archive of Mindfulness Meditation talks and guided meditations with some of the leading teachers and practitioners. Want to go deep? Head to the museum's two-hour video of a Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room complete with chanting.