Time Out New York Kids

Free school supplies for kids in New York City

Preparing for back to school in 2021 means shopping for fun school supplies: pencils, notebooks, backpacks, crayons, and more. But getting the kiddos ready for the new school year can be stressful if family resources are low and there are multiple tots in the house. Thankfully, there are spots around NYC that offer free school supplies so no child is left behind come the first day of class.
Picture for Free school supplies for kids in New York City

American Dream kicks off the new year by debuting famous New York eateries

American Dream is keen on setting records. The Jersey activity oasis—home to North America's largest indoor water park and the nation's first indoor snow park, among other facilities—is kicking off the new year with a focus on food. Taking a page from its neighbor's book, American Dream has welcomed Van Leeuwen and Best Pizza, two NYC eateries, to their first locations outside of the Empire State. Polishing off an afternoon of entertainment with a New York slice and a scoop or two of creamy goodness is certainly the way to go, if you ask us.

NYC DOE changes quarantine requirements

The new year is bringing changes to the classroom. The New York City Department of Education has announced that it reduced the number of days school communities need to quarantine if they're exposed to the coronavirus. As of Jan 3, it has dropped from 14 to 10 days. This complies with changes from the CDC and New York State.

Brooklyn's new ice skating rink for kids is the perfect winter hangout

Brownstone Brooklyn's newest attraction is a win-win for kids and parents. While you're sipping a hot chocolate (perhaps with a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream), your kiddos can whip around Court Street Tavern's debut ice skating rink. The newly opened Carroll Gardens restaurant has taken outdoor accommodations and upped the ante; while most eateries have opted for heated tents, this South Brooklyn spot has created its own destination for winter fun.

Will NYC schools stay open as virus positivity rates rise?

NYC schools are back after winter break, and questions are already swirling about what's to come. According to Governor Andrew Cuomo's Jan 4 press conference, schools in counties across the state will be able to stay open if the virus positivity rate exceeds the 9 percent threshold—a plan that was once reverse. If testing in a particular school shows that its positivity rate is below the community average, it is permitted to stay open. This will be at the district's discretion. (Look for the information at the 24-minute mark of the news conference.)

The New York Public Library shares this year's top kids' and YA checkouts

We can all agree that 2020 was the pits. But fortunately, great reads kept us going when we needed it most. If you're searching for things to do with kids in NYC this winter break wanting to spend some time in, we have good news. The New York Public Library joined forces with the Brooklyn Public Library and the Queens Public Library to reveal the top checkouts of the year. The lists for adults are stellar (so make a mental note, Mom and Dad), but we're particularly jazzed about the children's books and YA selections.

The NYC DOE will continue its free meals program for the new school year

----- Whether your child is learning remotely this fall or participating in the blended learning model, he or she will have access to free grab-and-go meals from the NYC DOE. Meal hubs, which are listed on the DOE's website by borough, will operate Monday through Friday from 7:30–11:30 for children and families and 11:30am–1:30pm for adults. Identification is not required and those who stop by will be able to pick up several meals at a time. Vegetarian and Halal options are up for grabs, as well as pizza kits.

Santa returns to Bryant Park for socially distanced photos

Saint Nick is trying to make the best out of a tough situation. This year has been difficult for in-person gatherings, but he's showing up at a safe distance for New Yorkers. (Plus, Dr. Fauci says Kris Kringle is immune to the virus anyway.) For those visiting Bank of America Winter Village, purchase a Skate and Santa ticket for your annual pictures with Santa. He's available Dec 17, 18, 21, 22 and 23.

Snow storm: NYC will get a blast of winter weather this week

The weather outside is going to be frightful. A major winter storm is headed for the northeast on Wednesday, and this potential Nor'easter could result in heavy snow, winds and ice. New York City has issued a weather advisory, however, class will be in session. The state Department of Education guidelines require that NYC schools opt for remote learning when storms prevent students from coming into the buildings. This will ensure that the city meets the requirement for 180 days of instruction.

The 2021 Student Achievement Plan from NYC schools: What parents need to know

The DOE is looking ahead. Although we're living in an unpredictable time, the NYC DOE is looking ahead and preparing for what comes next. During a Dec 10 press briefing, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza took time to address NYC schools' 2021 Student Achievement Plan that will begin in September. It's a combination of academic and emotional strategies to help students in a post-pandemic environment—a look at a new normal.

NYC schools will release kindergarten applications tomorrow

Have a five-year-old on your hands? Now is the time to start making scholastic plans for 2020-2021. NYC Schools will open the kindergarten application on Dec 10 and give parents until Jan 19 to complete the process. All five year olds in NYC, regardless of background or previous schooling, are guaranteed a spot. Moms and dads can opt to submit their apps by phone (718-935-2009), web or in-person at a family welcome center. They can even apply for Gifted & Talented program if they so choose.