February may be short on days, but there’s no shortage of themes for this versatile month– from Groundhogs to Valentines to Lunar New Year to Presidents– it’s packed with topics all month long!
Additionally, this year is the XXIII Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, so if your family is interested in sports, geography, politics,TV, competitions, or just plain good old entertainment, here is a built-in conversation-starter for 17 days and beyond! The United States has approximately 240 athletes competing in the games, ranging from familiar sports such as figure skating and hockey, to sports we usually only see televised at Olympics time, like biathlon, luge, bobsled, and curling. Opening ceremonies are February 9. Go Team USA!
Don’t forget February’s much-anticipated Winter Recess when public schools in New York are closed from February 16th until 25th. What will you do with the kids for 10 days to keep the cabin fever at bay? Well, you’ve come to the right place for ideas and suggestions. Flip through the ads in this issue of Staten Island Parent and you’ll see that there’s tons of fun crammed into the 58 square miles that is Staten Island. Try something new (see insert) or go with an old favorite. As always, our public library branches have programs for all age groups—including yours! If you want more, check out the family calendar beginning on page 51 and online at siparent.com and you can fill the winter break with fun without ever leaving the Island!
Try Something Different
A break in the usual routine is the perfect time to try something new. Here’s a few ideas:
• Channel your Inner Willy Wonka! Schedule a tour of a chocolate factory, History of Chocolate movie, samples & goodie bag. $4 per person. Supreme Chocolatier, 1150 South Ave (see ad on page 18 of our February issue)
• Yoga is for Everyone! Kids’ Valentine Event and Winter Break specials. 5 Boro Power Yoga (see ad on page 28 of our February issue)
• Think Tank! Annual Triathalon Event at Mathnasium’s Bulls Head location on Saturday, Feb 10. Free, fun-filled math activities for grades 2, 3, 4, & 5. (see ad on page 38 of our February issue)
Add a Splash of Culture!
These S.I. organizations have special offers for the February break:
Greenbelt Nature Center • 700 Rockland Ave. • 718-351-3450
School’s Out: We’re In! Free program on Feb. 20, 21, 22 & 23
Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art • 338 Lighthouse Ave. • 718-987-3500
Free program for students on Feb 21, 22 & 23
Staten Island Children’s Museum • 1000 Richmond Terrace • 718-273-2060
Free admission on Cool School Holiday, Feb. 19
Staten Island Museum • 1000 Richmond Terrace • 718-727-1135
Free admission for kids on Feb. 21-25
Staten Island Zoo • 614 Broadway • 718-442-3100
Kids Fun Days on Feb. 21 & 22
If your spirit animal is more the hibernating type, embrace it! Hunker down in your “den” and plan a day of nesting with the kids. There’s no need to sacrifice fun– siparent.com/winter has lots of ideas for winter-themed crafts and indoor games, kid-friendly recipes, and kids’ jokes (Q. What do you get when you cross a snowman and a vampire? A: Frostbite. Ok, we know it’s corny, but it’s sure to give a 5-year old a good laugh!).
Brrrrr! It’s colder than a polar bear’s nose outside! Are you and the crew brave enough to brave the outdoors? Below is a list of places you can get to within two hours for a “cool” day trip to make the winter break a memorable one – not far enough to experience a climate change, but so much fun you’ll forget about the cold.
Indoor Entertainment/Activity Centers:
Woodbridge Community Center (approx. 4.5 miles from Outerbridge Crossing) See ad page 25
Woodbridge, NJ • (732) 596-4000
One-stop family entertainment center, featuring ice skating, roller skating, batting cages, and more.
iPlay America (approx. 26 miles from Outerbridge Crossing)
Freehold, NJ • 732-577-8200
Featuring indoor rides, attractions, boardwalk games and one of NJ’s largest arcades.
Crayola Factory (approx. 60 miles from Outerbridge Crossing)
Easton, PA • 610-515-8000
Explore and learn all about crayons and coloring, plus do art projects and see live demonstrations.
RPM Raceway (approx. 7 miles from Bayonne Bridge)
Jersey City • 201-333-7223
Go-kart racing for drivers 4′ tall and up, plus arcade and billiards.
Insectropolis (approx. 50 miles from Outerbridge Crossing)
Toms River, NJ • 732-349-7090
View and touch beautiful and bizarre exotic insects from all over the world.
Legoland Discovery Center
A Lego-themed indoor family entertainment center for kids age 3-10 with rides, Lego build-and-play zones, a 4D cinema and a gift shop.
• Plymouth Meeting Mall, Phila., Pa. • 208-513-1429 (approx. 75 miles from Outerbridge Crossing)
• Ridge Hill Mall in Yonkers, N.Y. • 866-243-0770 (approx. 40 miles from Goethals Bridge)
GlowGolf (approx. 38 miles from Verrazano-Narrows Bridge)
Garden City, NY • 516-747-3682 Glow-in-the-dark mini golf and laser maze center in Roosevelt Field Mall.
The Funplex (approx. 30 miles from Bayonne Bridge)
East Hanover, NJ • 973-428-1166
Indoor amusement park with rides, bumper cars, Go-Karts, video/arcade games, and laser tag.
Palisades Center Mall (approx. 50 miles from Goethals Bridge)
West Nyack, NY • 845-348-1000
A four-level shopping center offering over 200 stores, 15 sit-down restaurants, a bowling alley, ice rink, the world’s tallest indoor ropes course, and more.
Ski Resorts & Indoor Waterparks:
Camelback Mountain (approx. 92 miles from Goethals Bridge)
Tannersville, PA • 570-629-1662
Snow tubing, skiing, Aquatopia Indoor Water park, and other adventure rides.
Coco Key (approx. 62 miles from Outerbridge Crossing)
Mount Laurel, NJ • 877-494-2626
Indoor waterpark and resort for all ages plus an arcade.
Great Wolf Lodge (approx. 92 miles from Goethals Bridge)
Scotrun, PA • 800-768-9653
Indoor waterpark and resort for all ages plus characters and activities for kids.
Kalahari Indoor Water Park (approx. 99 miles from Goethals Bridge)
Pocono Manor, PA • 877-525-2427
America’s largest indoor waterpark at 220,000 square feet, featuring water slides, spa, wave pool, lazy river, and toddler play area.
Mountain Creek (approx. 72 miles from Goethals Bridge)
Vernon Township, NJ • 973-827-2000
Resort featuring skiing, snow tubing, snowboarding.
Rocking Horse Ranch (approx. 88 miles from Bayonne Bridge)
Highland, NY • 800-647-2624
Resort featuring indoor waterpark, horseback riding, mountain tubing, exotic wildlife exhibit, organized family activities and more.
Sahara Sam’s Oasis (approx. 70 miles from Outerbridge Crossing)
West Berlin, NJ • 856-767-7580
Indoor waterpark and resort with rides and attractions for all ages, plus an arcade.
American Museum of Natural History (approx. 16 miles from Verrazano-Narrows Bridge or approx. 1 hr, 10 min by SI Ferry & subway)
New York, NY • 212-769-5100
One of the world’s largest museums, features 45 exhibition halls, planetarium, IMAX theatre, library, and over 33 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts.
Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey (approx. 25 miles from Goethals Bridge)
Teterboro, NJ • 201-288-6344
View historic aircraft, air and space artifacts, photographs, fine art and an extensive model collection.
Dimenna Children’s Museum (approx. 15.5 miles from Verrazano-Narrows Bridge or approx. 1 hr, 10 min by SI Ferry & subway)
New York, NY • 212-873-3400
The children’s wing of the New York Historical Society is targeted toward children ages 8–13 and uses interactive exhibits to make history fun.
Intrepid Air, Sea & Space Museum (approx. 14.5 miles from Verrazano-Narrows Bridge or approx. 1 hr, 10 min by SI Ferry & subway)
New York, NY • 212-245-0072
Climb aboard the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, see the space shuttle Enterprise and the world’s fastest jets and a guided missile submarine. The Anchors Aweigh Family Tour is recommended for ages 5-12 years old, with adult.
Liberty Science Center (approx. 7.5 miles from Bayonne Bridge)
Jersey City, NJ • 201-200-1000
Interactive science museum and learning center featuring multiple exhibits and the largest IMAX Dome theater in the United States.
New York Hall of Science (approx. 20 miles from Verrazano-Narrows Bridge or approx. 1 1/2 hrs, by SI Ferry & subway)
Queens, NY • 718-699-0005
Featuring over 450 interactive displays that explain science, technology, engineering, and math, plus a 60,000 square foot outdoor Science Playground and Rocket Park.
New York Transit Museum (approx. 8.5 miles from Verrazano-Narrows Bridge)
Brooklyn, NY • 718-694-1600
Collection of vintage subway cars and retired buses, as well as other bridge, tunnel, and railway artifacts and memorabilia.
Newark Museum (approx. 12 miles from Goethals Bridge)
Newark, NJ • 973-596-6550
Museum featuring planetarium, creative play, interactive galleries, science exhibits, fire museum, art collections and more.
Please Touch Museum (approx. 80 miles from Outerbridge Crossing)
Philadelphia, PA • 215-581-3181
Highly interactive exhibits for purposeful play, with a collection of over 25,000 toys as well as toddler zones, a carousel, and imagination playground.
Bronx Zoo (approx. 35 miles from Verrazano-Narrows Bridge)
Bronx, NY • 718-220-5100
The largest metropolitan zoo in the United States and one of the largest in the world, at 265 acres of park lands and natural habitats.
Turtle Back Zoo (approx. 25 miles from Goethals Bridge)
West Orange, NJ • 973-731-5800
Featuring a multitude of animals, aviary, butterfly tent, shark and sting ray touch tank, endangered species carousel, treetop adventure course, mini golf and more.