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  • kids writing at a table STEM Matters NYC Offers Educational Fun for Kids During Spring Break

    STEM Matters NYC, a NYC Department of Education (DOE) program, will offer free educational STEM programs for students in kindergarten-grade 8 during spring break.  The program will run daily 9am-3pm during the break, which is Monday, April 10-Friday, April 14 this year. Programs will be on site at various cultural institutions throughout the city, including: The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum The Central Park Zoo MakerSpace NYC New York Botanical Garden The Queens Museum The Staten Island Museum, based at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden The programs aren’t just about learning—they’re about having fun, too. Kids will have a great time discovering, investigating, designing and creating with friends and peers all week long. Whether your child is interested in animal science, marine biology, mechanics or other subjects, there’s something for every kid throughout the week.  How To Apply To STEM Matters NYC The deadline to apply is Friday, Feb. 10. The program is open to NYC public school students, including those enrolled in charter schools and homeschool. It’s free, but parents must apply first in order for their child to be accepted. An application can be accessed online. If selected, the student must attend the program every day. Participants are selected via lottery and preference is given to students who attend Title I schools. Importance of STEM Education  STEM is short for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This type of education engages students in asking questions and solving problems related to the world around them, according to the DOE’s website.  “Using the engineering-design process, students identify problems, design possible solutions, and test and evaluate those solutions,” the site reads. “This process, combined with the study of math and science, helps students to find connections that make science, math, and technology relevant to their lives.” For more information about STEM education or STEM Matters NYC, visit the DOE’s website at schools.nyc.gov.   Wanna read more stuff like this? Get our newsletters packed with ideas, events, and information for parents in Staten Island.

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  • father and son looking at a tree 20 Fun Things to Do During Midwinter Break on Staten Island and Nearby

    February is around the corner, which means  it’s almost time for the public school midwinter break. This year’s break runs Monday, Feb. 20 -Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. Do you have plans yet? If not, let us help you plan some fun things to do during midwinter break on Staten Island and nearby when school is out! Browse our list of exciting events, activities, workshops and more that you can do together with your kids during this long-awaited school break, and be on your way to winter-time family fun! And don’t forget to check out our online calendar for even more fun things to do during midwinter break and after! 20 Things to Enjoy During Midwinter Break on Staten Island 1. Visit the Staten Island Children’s Museum   Take the kids to this Snug Harbor-based museum this week to enjoy exciting exhibits, workshops and events for families. Kids can build a house, perform a show, make light dance and enjoy so many more interactive exhibits that are sure to keep them engaged and entertained. 1000 Richmond Terr., Staten Island 2. Explore Snug Harbor  While you’re at the Staten Island Children’s Museum, take some time to explore the other museums and botanical gardens on site at Snug Harbor. 1000 Richmond Terr. The grounds are free and open daily, dawn to dusk, but individual museum hours and admission prices vary.  3. Enjoy a Movie…Out It’s probably not too often you get to go to the movies during the business week, but now’s your chance! Enjoy a new release, some popcorn and family-time fun at one of these local theaters.  4. Enjoy a Movie…In! There’s nothing wrong with staying in to binge watch movies or TV shows, especially when it’s freezing outside! Need some suggestions? Check out this list of top 50 movies kids should watch before they’re 12. And as Black History Month continues, here are 23 Black history movies to stream with your kids.  5. Tag, You’re It! Maybe your kids have some energy to burn and need something more action packed. If so, consider playing laser tag! Families can head to one of these laser tag arenas during midwinter break on Staten Island and nearby for some interactive fun. Plus, many of these places offer additional activities, such as arcade games, bowling…even amusement park rides!  6. Go Sledding Like most parents, you’re probably hoping it doesn’t snow during the break. But hey, if it does…just make the most of it! Dig out the sled and head to one Staten Island’s popular sledding hills to create some joyful family memories that will last a lifetime.  7. Hit the Rink Head to one of these Staten Island ice-skating rinks, or one of the ones worth a trip to the city or nearby New Jersey!     View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Staten Island Skating Pavilion (@skatingpavilion) 8. Kids Cooking Class: ShopRite Kids Cook Enjoy this caregiver-and-me program that introduces children to a diversity of foods, explains cooking concepts and helps build dexterity with cooking utensils. Staten Island Children’s Museum; 1000 Richmond Terr., Feb. 19, 4 sessions available from 11am-3:30pm.  9. Strike Up Fun at a Bowling Alley Check out one of these local bowling spots for some indoor family fun this winter break. 10. Discover Maple Syrup Want to do something extra sweet? Check out these local places where you can go maple sugaring! 11. See Batman x Spyscape: With so many immersive experiences happening in NYC, here’s one starring Batman. Best for teens and adults, your adventure plays out in the physical world, enhanced by a mobile app that helps you gather intel as you interact with some of Gotham’s finest. 928 8th Ave., Manhattan. Book tickets online. 12. Head to the Mall Sometimes, just browsing through the mall as a family can be fun. Whether you like to shop, just window-shop or enjoy a nice lunch in the food court, there’s something for everyone at these local malls and outlets during midwinter break on Staten Island and any time! 13. Visit the New Sound Field Exhibit at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum Children and their caregivers will tap, pluck, press and play to create some really cool music. There’s a huge swinging pendulum, a pipe organ that can be played with mallets and so much more that kids will love to explore. 145 Brooklyn Ave., Brooklyn.  14. Head to Kids Week at the Intrepid Throughout the week, kids will learn a lot about STEAM subjects through a variety of fun-filled activities, NASA displays and exhibits, animal shows and more. Pier 86, 12 Avenue and 46 Street, Manhattan. 15. Visit the Met’s School Break Programs Enjoy some hands-on fun and create art inspired by the The Met collection. The Met Fifth Avenue, 1000 Fifth Ave., Manhattan. 16. Winter Village at Governors Island  Although many Staten Islanders haven’t visited Governors Island—at least not in a while—now is a great time to do so. The island’s Winter Village offers winter-time family fun including ice skating, bike rentals, games and more. Curious how to get to Governors Island? Take the ferry from Manhattan at 10 South St. Boats run daily. A round trip ferry ticket is $4 for adults and free for seniors and children younger than 12. Check out the ferry schedule at govisland.com/ferry.  17. Jump Into Fun at a Trampoline Park Visit a nearby trampoline park where kids can bounce, play and work off that energy all day long. 18. Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s February Break Discovery Days Families can enjoy a special indoor edition of Discovery Programs in BBG’s Steinhardt Conservatory. Travel from the desert to the rainforest in the blink of an eye, and use your senses to investigate plants and objects from these habitats alongside volunteer docents. Don’t forget to tackle the scavenger hunt, pot up a plant to take home, and check out the brand-new Trees of Little Caribbean exhibit! 150 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. 19. Enjoy Hot Cocoa at a Cafe  After an afternoon of fun, [more…]

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  • kids at a zimmer club youth conservation class Free Youth Conservation Classes Now Available on Staten Island

    It’s time to enjoy the great outdoors with the return of the Zimmer Club Youth Conservation Program’s free classes for kids on Staten Island.  The Zimmer Club Youth Conservation Program, Charleston, teaches kids about conservation and nature. The program returned after the pandemic last year, and they’re back in full swing this year on Saturdays, 9am-12pm, Jan. 21 through April 1. The youth conservation classes introduce kids to a variety of outdoor activities that bring to life enviro-topics such as conservation, wildlife, community awareness and more. “These classes teach kids life skills and give them a chance to socialize with professionals in the field as well as other children,” says Mark Yuknek, president of the program. “It’s engaging for the kids. It offers them skills they’re not going to find online or with technology.” Topics covered each week range from outdoor sports like fishing and archery, to science workshops and community awareness. While the program is open to kids ages 5 to 17, some classes have a more targeted age requirement.  “The reason we have the age groups is that some of the classes might be a little too much for a 6 year old,” Yuknek says.  Parents don’t have to stay for the duration of classes that are for ages 10 and older, although many of them choose to do so anyway. What to Expect at the Zimmer Club Youth Conservation Program on Staten Island  Registration for all of the classes is open. The classes offer kids a variety of learning opportunities, including: Emergency First Aid: Kids will learn what to do during an emergency before help arrives. Outdoor Sports Skills: Kids will get an introduction to a variety of outdoor sports, including archery, fishing, equine sports and more.  Meet and Greets: Many local officials and representatives from the FDNY, local law enforcement departments and government offices will host information presentations for kids.  Upcoming Classes Classes are scheduled for the following Saturdays, 9am-12pm: Jan. 21 Jan. 28 Feb. 4 Feb. 11 Feb. 18 Feb. 25 March 4 March 11 March 18 March 25 April 1 At the end of each class, a knowledge assessment test is administered to help determine end-of-program awards, which will take place during a ceremony on April 1. Learn more about the program, classes offered and how to register at zcysi.org.  Wanna read more stuff like this? Get our newsletters packed with ideas, events, and information for parents in Staten Island.

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  • Multicolor lasers at a laser tag play place The Best Laser Tag Play Places in Staten Island and Nearby

    Tag, you’re it! Families looking to do something different can head to the many laser tag play places and arenas located in Staten Island, as well as in Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey. Laser tag (sometimes spelled “lazer tag”) is an interactive experience both kids and adults can enjoy together. Many of these play places and arenas offer more than just laser tag, including arcade games, bowling, amusement rides and other activities, so you can plan a whole day of fun for the family. Kids can even choose from ghoulish zombies, creepy caves, black lights, and more exciting laser tag themes. Browse our list of laser tag play places and arenas in Staten Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey, for an exciting adventure of family fun! Laser Tag in Staten Island  Fun Station USA 3555 Victory Blvd., Staten Island 718-370-0077 Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10am-11pm; Friday, 10am-12am; Saturday, 12pm-12am; Sunday, 12pm-10pm Price: $12.95 for one game; $21.95 for two games. On Sundays, buy one game and get the second for half price. Head to this family fun center in the middle of Staten Island to enjoy laser tag and other activities including an arcade, lots of rides, batting cages and more. Laser Tag in New Jersey I Play America  110 Schanck Road, Freehold, NJ 732-577-8200 Hours: Wednesday-Thursday, 4-9pm; Friday, 4-11pm; Saturday, 11am-11pm; Sunday, 11am-9pm Price: There are several ways to pay, including an Unlimited iRide Band that includes access to several attractions for $37.99, plus laser tag for an additional $8. More information is on the website. A great place to check out in New Jersey is iPlay America, with two floors of laser excitement in a 6,500-square-foot playing space. While you’re there, test out the bumper cars and go-karts. Also enjoy rides, an arcade and more. (Minimum height for laser tag is 42 inches.) Laser One 205 Route 23, Wantage 973-702-0500 Hours: During the school year, the center is open: Monday, 3:30-6pm; Thursday, 3:30-6pm; Friday, 3:30-11pm; Saturday, 11am-11pm; Sunday, 11am-8pm. Check the website or call for updates on hours of operation. Price: $14; The Laser Maze Challenge is $3. Play laser tag in New Jersey at Laser One, which features a 6,000-square-foot, multi-level laser tag arena and an exciting Laser Maze Challenge where you navigate your way through a web of green lasers. Other activities include bowling, arcade games and mini golf. The Funplex – East Hanover 182 NJ-10 East Hanover 973-428-1166 Hours: Check the website for the most up-to-date calendar to reserve your spot. Price: $9 per person. Enjoy a thrilling battle of laser tag with surprises at every turn at this New Jersey laser tag center. After your tagging experience, round out your family fun day with other on-site attractions, including go-karts, rides and arcade games. Note: The venue recommends laser tag for children ages 7 and older. The Funplex – Mt. Laurel 3320-24 NJ-38, Mt. Laurel 856-273-9666 Hours: Check the website for the most up-to-date calendar to reserve your spot. Price: $7 per person. The venue recommends laser tag for children ages 7 and older. Bullseye Laser Tag 200 Menlo Park Dr., Edison 908-485-4040 Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 5:30-11pm Price: $30 Enjoy a 10,000-square-foot laser tag play space for ages 12 and older. Branchburg Sports Complex 47 Readington Rd., Branchburg 908-203-1600 Hours: Friday-Sunday.Times posted on the website by Wednesdays for the upcoming weekend. Prices: Games are sold in two game sets, for $20 per pair of laser tag games. Gather family and friends and head to this group-friendly sports complex for laser tag. Enjoy a  9,000-square-foot, four-level laser tag arena located in the complex’s Family Entertainment Center. Stop by the arcade after your tagging adventure and enjoy over 40 sports and adventure-themed games. Win tickets to redeem for prizes Laser Tag in Brooklyn Area 53 53 Bridge St., Brooklyn 718-618-6704 Hours: Check the online calendar. Price: $39.99, weekdays; $49.99 weekends This Brooklyn laser tag experience is set in an old factory basement. You run between rustic columns and weave through obstacles throughout the game in an attempt to win. Laser Tag in Manhattan Bowlero Chelsea Piers  Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, Manhattan 212-835-2695 Hours: Call for information. Price: Call for information. It’s not just bowling that you enjoy here! Get ready for lots of laser fun at this Manhattan laser tag play place. You can compete in teams for an experience that’s fun for a party or any time. Other attractions include a deluxe arcade with new and classic games and bowling that features cool lanes with black lights, soft lounge seats and HD video walls that play live sports, music videos and classic family films. Want the best events and activities sent directly to you? Get our newsletters packed with ideas, events, and information for parents in Staten Island.

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  • Top Indoor Activities for Families to Enjoy on Staten Island this Winter

    Family fun doesn’t have to stop just because it’s cold outside! There are many indoor activities for families to enjoy in Staten Island and nearby. Play laser tag, go bowling, defeat a rock climbing wall and much more. There are plenty of local indoor activities for families to choose from that offer a great time for all ages—both kids and adults alike. Browse our list of indoor family activities on Staten Island and nearby, and be on your way to a great time! Looking for even more indoor fun? Jump to our list of the best trampoline parks in and around Staten Island, and don’t forget to check out our online calendar of events that’s packed with family-friendly things to do—both  indoors and out! Bowling in Staten Island  Rab’s Country Lanes 1600 Hylan Blvd. 718-979-1600 Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 9am-12am; Friday-Saturday, 9am-1am. Call or check the website for lane availability. Price: Weekday rates: $28 per hour until 6pm; $35 after 6pm; weekend rates: $37 per hour until 6pm; $42 per hour after 6pm Rab’s is a mainstay on Staten Island. Owned by the Wilkinson family, Rab’s has been in the borough for more than 26 years. Enjoy 48 synthetic lanes, open bowling every day, cosmic bowling and more. Grab a bite to eat at the on-site kitchen and pizzeria to keep your energy going throughout the game.  Showplace Entertainment Center  141 East Service Rd. 718-477-2695 Hours: Call for information.  Price: Call for information. Strike up some family fun at this Staten Island bowling alley. Other indoor activities for families on-site include a pizzeria and snack bar, and an arcade.  Bowling in New Jersey Woodbridge Bowling Center  346 Main St., Woodbridge 732-634-4520 Hours: Monday, 9am-6pm; Tuesday, 10am-12am; Wednesday, 5pm-12am; Thursday, 12-6pm and 9-11pm; Friday, 9:30pm-12am; Saturday, 10am-1am; Sunday, 10am-11pm.  Call in advance for lane availability. Price: Weekdays, 10am-5pm is $20 per lane per hour; 5pm-12am and all day Saturday and Sunday is $32 per lane per hour. Make this bowling alley part of your itinerary for a day of fun in nearby Woodbridge. Enjoy 24 synthetic lanes, as well as a snack bar that kids will love after they get tuckered out from knocking down lots of pins.  Majestic Lanes Bowling  525 Route 9 North, Hopelawn 732-826-6800 Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10am-12am; Friday and Saturday, 10am-2am; Sunday, 10am-12am Price: $25, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm per lane per hour; $35 Monday-Friday, 5pm-close and Saturday and Sunday all day per lane per hour Enjoy a fun time at this family-owned bowling center that features 40 lanes and daily open bowling specials. There’s also a snack bar with an extensive menu featuring foods that kids like, including combo meals, burgers and sandwiches, an array of finger foods, pizza…even breakfast options like eggs, bagels and more.  Linden Lanes 741 North Stiles St., Linden 908-925-3550 Hours: Monday, 9am-12am; Tuesday, 10am-11pm; Wednesday, 9am-11pm; Thursday, 9am-12am; Friday, 10am-12am; Saturday, 10am-11pm; Sunday, 12-10pm. Call in advance for lane availability. Price: Call for information This bowling center features 24 lanes, automatic scoring, a full-service grill, arcade games and more. Hudson Lanes 1 Garfield Ave., Jersey City 201-432-5900 Hours: Monday, 12-10pm; Tuesday-Wednesday, 1-11pm; Thursday, 10am-11pm; Friday, 1-11pm; Saturday, 11am-11pm; Sunday, 10am-11pm. Call in advance for lane availability. Price: Call for information This bowling center features 60 lanes, automatic scoring, a full-service grill, arcade games and more.  Laser Tag in Staten Island Fun Station USA 3555 Victory Blvd., Staten Island 718-370-0077 Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10am-11pm; Friday, 10am-12am; Saturday, 12pm-12am; Sunday, 12pm-10pm Price: $12.95 for one game; $21.95 for two games. On Sundays, buy one game and get the second for half price. Head to this family fun center in the middle of Staten Island to enjoy laser tag and other activities including an arcade, lots of rides, batting cages and more.    View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Fun Station SI (@funstationusa) Laser Tag in New Jersey iPlay America  110 Schanck Road, Freehold, NJ 732-577-8200 Hours: Check the website for updated information. Price: There are several ways to pay, including an Unlimited iRide Band that includes access to several attractions for $37.99, plus laser tag for an additional $8. More information is on the website. A great place to check out in Jersey is iPlay America, with two floors of laser excitement in a 6,500-square-foot playing space. While you’re there, test out the bumper cars and go-karts. Also enjoy rides, an arcade and more. (Minimum height for laser tag is 42 inches.)   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by iPlay America (@iplayamerica) Laser One 205 Route 23, Wantage 973-702-0500 Hours: During the school year, the center is open: Monday, 3:30-6pm; Thursday, 3:30-6pm; Friday, 3:30-11pm; Saturday, 11am-11pm; Sunday, 11am-8pm. Check the website or call for updates on hours of operation. Price: $14; The Laser Maze Challenge is $3. Play laser tag in New Jersey at Laser One, which features a 6,000-square-foot, multi-level laser tag arena and an exciting Laser Maze Challenge where you navigate your way through a web of green lasers. Other activities include bowling, arcade games and mini golf.  The Funplex – East Hanover 182 NJ-10 East Hanover 973-428-1166 Hours: Check the website for the most up-to-date calendar to reserve your spot. Price: $9 per person. Enjoy a thrilling battle of laser tag with surprises at every turn at this New Jersey laser tag center. After your tagging experience, round out your family fun day with other on-site attractions, including go-karts, rides and arcade games. Note: The venue recommends laser tag for children ages 7 and older. The Funplex – Mt. Laurel 3320-24 NJ-38, Mt. Laurel 856-273-9666 Hours: Check the website for the most up-to-date calendar to reserve your spot. Price: $7 per person. The theme at this laser tag location: A kingdom complete with black-lit trees and a fortress where you storm the castle and zap opposing players. Note: The venue recommends laser tag for children ages 7 and older. Bullseye Laser Tag 200 Menlo Park Dr., Edison 908-485-4040 Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 5:30-11pm Price: $30 Enjoy a 10,000-square-foot laser [more…]

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  • The Top 5 Sledding Hills in Staten Island Your Kids will Love

    You might shiver at the thought of a snowstorm, but kids love them! That’s because when it snows, it’s time to dig out the sled and hit the hills! Turn a snow day into a fun day with our picks for optimum sledding in Staten Island. Whether your child is a beginner on the snow or a seasoned snow bunny, there are sledding hills on Staten Island that kids of all sledding experience levels will love. So bundle up and head to one of these sledding hills in the borough. When sledding time is over, grab a cup of hot cocoa at a cafe near you. Can’t get enough of snow fun? Check out our list of nearby snow tubing destinations to keep the winter fun going all season long.  Sledding in Staten Island  1. Mount Loretto Unique Area 20 Kenny Rd., off of Hylan Boulevard 718-482-4900 Mount Loretto is a nature lover’s paradise. Located on the South Shore, the natural area is home to more than 200 acres of forest, grasslands, wetlands and coastal shoreline. It also has lots of open, sprawling land that makes it a favorite locale for sledding in Staten Island after a snowstorm!  2. LaTourette Park and Golf Course 1001 Richmond Hill Rd. Centrally located in New Springville, LaTourette is famous for its huge hill that’s perfect for sledding. The park, which is part of the Staten Island Greenbelt, has arguably been the most popular location for sledding on Staten Island for generations. Adults often share stories of sledding at the park with their own kids and grandkids who are just now discovering the park. Other amenities at LaTourette that can be enjoyed year round include baseball fields, hiking trails and more.  3. Conference House Park 298 Satterlee St. 718-227-1403 Located at the southernmost point of New York State, Conference House Park has hills that aren’t too steep, so it’s a great place to introduce toddlers to sledding. Families can also enjoy scenic views of Raritan Bay and even see New Jersey across the water. The park is home to the Conference House, a grand stone manor house built in 1680 and named for the unsuccessful Revolutionary War peace conference that was held there on Sept. 11, 1776.    View this post on Instagram   A post shared by The Historic Conference House (@conferencehouse) 4. Clove Lakes Park Forest Avenue, Victory Boulevard bet. Clove Road and Brookside Avenue, Royal Oak Road 718-390-8000 Clove Lakes, located on the North Shore, is Staten Island’s flagship park. It offers family-friendly activities and amenities all year long, such as hiking trails, basketball courts, baseball fields, soccer fields,  paddleboating, playgrounds, ice skating and…great opportunities for sledding! This sprawling park has lots of hilly areas where kids get to sled and have a great time on a snow day. 5. Silver Lake Park Victory Boulevard, Clove Road, Forest Avenue 212-639-9675 The 209-acre Silver Lake Park is another one of Staten Island’s beautiful parks. Some of the hills here aren’t too steep, providing excellent sledding opportunities for kids of all ages and sledding experience. The park also has baseball fields, basketball courts, playgrounds, dog-friendly areas and more. Want the best events and winter activities sent directly to you? Get our newsletters packed with ideas, events, and information for parents in Staten Island.

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