Baby It’s Cold Outside: Great NYC Classes & Programs For Toddlers (that won’t break the bank)

So, it’s FREEZING here in NYC again, and that means no braving it on the playground (although we’ve been known to do it when no other kids would dare!) Having the temps drop, means having to figure out indoor spots to entertain the littles. Here are a few of my neighborhood favorites (& ways to save when visiting).

childrens museum art nyc

CMA– The Children’s Museum of Art offers classes and activities for children of all ages. Toddlers can paint, color, play in their bouncy ball gym and enjoy creative art exhibits.  Thursday afternoons are “pay as you wish” and a perfect opportunity to visit and check out the offerings.

Karma Kids Yoga: I LOVE my yoga and Karma Kids has the most offerings for the little ones. With two studios centrally located not far from Union Square, they offer kids yoga and dance classes, mommy & me and pre-natal classes, and fun events and themed classes  like Shark Yoga  and Pajama Glow-In-The-Dark Yoga.  They also have a great FREE story time twice a week and discounted community classes. 

Integral Yoga: Another great yoga class for kids. Instructor Lakshmi Pidel takes toddlers (and moms) through simple poses using singing, music and props to enliven the experience. Classes are 45 minutes and just under $20. You can also try it out for FREE (first timers only), and the studio is included in my favorite yogi money saving resource, the Yoga Passbook, so you can access two more classes using that.

NY Public Library: The NYPL offers a variety of toddler and baby classes and story times. The Hudson Park branch used to be our go-to (they had a great big play area with lots of toys), but they  are closed for renovations until spring (hmgh) so we’ve been heading over to Jefferson Market for story time which is a fun hour of stories and crafts. Libraries throughout the city are a great FREE resource and programs are offered throughout the year.

YMCA: I wish I had known all the great stuff the Y offers sooner! They have programs for kids– from swim to dance to pre-school prep classes, all at a very competitive price– in fact cheaper than anywhere else around the city. You can sign up for classes alone (most require commitment for a term), or join as a member and take advantage of the gym, pool and other amenities. My local Y is super nice with state of the art work out equipment, group fitness classes and (most importantly) Child Watch services that allow parents to drop off their little ones to be watched while they work out…for free.

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Dentists, Doctors and Big Purple Dinosaurs

Aria went for her first dentist appointment a few weeks back. She was not a fan.  We were actually about a year late since they say you should take them at age one. Aria had no teeth at one—or maybe one or two—so I decided to spare her. Here’s what the dentist told us after her first visit (at almost two).

  1. We should be brushing her teeth. We had let her do it herself which seemed to be working just fine, but apparently even though she still waiting for quite a few molars to come in, we should be getting back there for her.  Also, toddler toothpaste only (it has no fluoride and is safe to swallow). So far, so good. She’s cooperating on these.
  2.  She needs to give up the bottle and the pacifier. Granted, her teeth are perfect now but apparently if we don’t want them to get completely misaligned (and other issues), two of her favorite things have gotta go. So far, neither has been easy. I’m following up this post with a product that has helped, but going cold turkey on either just isn’t an option. Not yet at least.
  3. She’s due back in 6 months (really, a toddler needs to go to the dentist every 6 months??)

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Next, comes her 2 year old doctor appointment, which neither of us is looking forward to.  At her 18 month appointment she seemed to have put together that the doctor was not fun, and I felt like she was traumatized when they had to take blood for a lead test (for which I had to hold her down. Talk about mom-guilt, she cried and said “no more mommy…all done…all done,” over and over. Completely heart wrenching.)

I am not looking forward to shots this go-around. I am hoping that she’s a little bit more prepared for it this time, since a big purple dinosaur has been chatting her up about the doctor.  She’s a sucker for Barney and her go-to on Netflix lately has been  “Barney Goes To The Doctor” (over and over and over again.)  I’m hoping that the big purple guy has given her better understanding into it all.  Somehow she seems to think he is the king of all the universe and she’s a loyal follower. We’ll see.