New Year, New Beginnings

Tips for Better Health in 2014:


  1. “Do U Have TXT Neck?” (I do!) All of us can be guilty of over-using technology like computers and smartphones. Early last year, I read something in Shop Smart magazine about the latest painful health problem that’s hitting people who spend a lot of time texting and sitting at the computer:  “text neck.” It is caused when you stoop over to tap messages on your phone (or slump down at your desk while using your computer), according to the American Chiropractic Association. And last year, the number of reported neck-strain issues was way up. Orly Avitzur, M.D. says, “Looking down puts excessive pressure on your neck, causing muscle strain, which can lead to neck and shoulder pain. Adopting some good habits can help prevent serious injury from our tech tools:  take frequent breaks from texting and typing on your computer; type longer e-mail messages on your computer instead of a handheld device; hold your gadget in front of your eyes so you don’t have to look down. You should also try to rest your forearms on a pillow or other surface for support while you’re typing. And even better, make room for quality time with your family, away from technology every once in a while!
  2. Get moving! It’s easy to want to stay inside in the winter … and even easier year round to skip the gym, especially if you’re a busy parent running juggling work and family time. A pedometer can be a great way to track how much physical activity you’re sneaking in every day. (You’re likely doing getting in more than you know already!) I read in Good Housekeeping last year that just 30 minutes of brisk walking per day – about 10,000 steps – can make you feel stronger and healthier.
  3. Don’t skip the SPF. If you have visible sun damage, you’ve probably been guilty of forgetting sunscreen. All doctors and beauty experts will say, applying sunscreen religiously is critical to healthy skin, even in the winter. I read about this additional all-natural trick from a Los Angeles-based facialist Kate Somerville:  Three times a week, rub a washed strawberry on discolored areas. Keep the juice on your skin for two minutes before rinsing. The fruit acids may help lighten splotches and make skin look refreshed. (Disclaimer:  Be wary if you have very sensitive skin.)


Out with the Negative and in with the Positive for Your Kids


Does your good kid have equally good friends? I read a piece by called “When Bad Friends Happen to Good Kids” in Good Housekeeping last January that talked about how parents can handle a situation where their kids find themselves buddying up with a “problem child.” As much as it’s against our protective nature as parents to not step in when we worry our kids might get hurt, the article points out that in some cases, intervening with our kids’ “bad friends” isn’t the answer. (Of course, in all cases, all of us want to find a way to steer our kids away from toxic friendships and towards a future of positive friendships!)


Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Temple University and a specialist in adolescent behavior says that parents should definitely look out for the troublemakers in their kids’ lives:  “Kids do take bigger risks when they’re together.” He warns that parents do need to look out for the “troublemakers” in their children’s circle as well as those that are “social climbers,” who can be some of the most aggressively negative influences. Robert Faris, Ph.D. adds that in studies, it has been found that these types of kids view “aggression and [bullying, either physical or verbal] as a way to maintain social status.”


So, how do you phase these kids out of your kids lives and help guide them towards new and healthier friendships in the future? According to psychiatrist Edward Hallowell, M.D., who is also a parent and the author of several parenting books, “Most kids under 12 can be brought into line … If a friend comes over and behaves badly, you have to intervene; them have a talk with your child about him. Parents often make the mistake of accommodating a friend’s bad conduct for fear of hurting their child socially. But that can be a tacit endorsement.” Hallowell also adds that kids, especially under 12, count on their parents to teach them how to have high standards for their friendships, so parents have to talk to their kids honestly about both the things they appreciate and the things they don’t appreciate about their friends. They also need to invite their kids to share their feelings about their own friends. Hallowell says to keep it simple:  “Say, ‘That kid is rude. He kicks the coffee table even after I tell him to stop. I don’t like that about him. Help me understand:  What do you like about him?” Once your child can see his friend through your eyes and also feels like his feelings have been heard, Hallowell says he will hopefully be less likely to spend as much time with the “unruly” friend and hopefully gravitate towards more positive kids in his circle. Steinberg also says it is important not to label the child as “bad” when talking to your kids (as much as you might sometimes be tempted to!); instead, label the behavior as inappropriate.


Hallowell also says that obviously, a simple talk will not always lead your kid to immediately get rid of a negative friend:  “Sometimes subterfuge can be a parent’s best friend … Plan weekend visits to your relatives to avoid sleepovers. Schedule doctor’s appointments during their usual playdate afternoons. Hover whenever the kid comes over.”


Steinberg also points out another point about early friendships:  “Most connections don’t last long … There’s a lot of instability in friendship during childhood. If you don’t like your kid’s friend, one wise strategy is to back off and let the friendship run its course.”


Hopefully over time, staying positive, communicating with and supporting your kids will help them learn how to seek out friends that will treat them well and will stand by them for the long haul!         


Tips for More Happiness in 2014:


  1. Cut out the Trans-fats for good. A couple years ago, I read in Good Housekeeping that an 11-year Spanish study of more than 12,000 people found that those who ate the most trans fats were 48% more likely to develop depression. While the participants’ intake was low – only about 1.6 grams of day – it’s easy to reach that amount even if you choose “trans fat free” products. Because of a “labeling loophole,” even those items might still have small amount of the dangerous fats. Look for the term “partially hydrogenated,” which is an indicator that trans fats lurk within.
  2. Get a ticket to health and happiness. Making time for the theater can actually improve your health, according to a Norwegian study. Statisticians and scientists in Norway looked at data from more than 50,000 people on activities like museum visits, singing, volunteering, painting and attending concerts or sporting events and discovered that engaging in arts and culture – watching as well as participating – was linked to higher self-scores of physical and emotional health. And it wasn’t just that people who had cash for evenings out could also afford better health care or that folks who enjoyed good health were more likely to go out. The connection held even when researchers controlled for wealth and a range of health factors. Lead author Koenraad Frans Cuypers also said not to worry – your taste is not an issue:  “The activities don’t have to be highbrow, just emotionally engaging or creative.”
  3. Get your beauty rest. If you try your best to get 8 hours of sleep a night (I know … it’s not easy for any of us with all we do!), you get a lot of great benefits. Getting enough sleep makes you feel better, decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease and boosts your memory.


Hopefully these resources above will help you and your family approach your New Year as a new beginning! Please enjoy our song “Encourage Each Other,” below, to help us all encourage each other to do things that make us happier and healthier in 2014!


Continue Reading...

Body Snatched Farmers

Continue Reading...

Tips for Managing Behavior Issues, from a Pediatrician Mom

Your kids are always perfectly behaved, right? It’s probably pretty hard for most parents to answer that question with an “of course” and keep a straight face. It often seems like some behavioral and medical “professionals” (especially those that aren’t parents, or whose kids have already grown up) are quick to dispense advice when they’re asked by frazzled parents, “What should I do about my kid’s tantrums (or some other issue involving bad behavior)?” And many of them give advice in a way that makes it sound like executing the techniques they’re suggesting at home is going to be a breeze. Guess what? It’s not!


That’s why I was pretty excited when I saw an article about parenting and dealing with child behavior in Parents magazine that was actually not only written by a pediatrician, but also a pediatrician that is an actual mom of young kids. In this article, “A Prescription for Discipline,” Jean Goh, M.D. provides some sound tips that can help parents “realistically” diffuse their children’s bad behavior and raise them to be happy and emotionally and physically healthy.


I think a lot of parents don’t necessarily remember to regularly ask their pediatricians about behavioral issues; when they’re at the doctor’s office, they’re usually preoccupied with physical health. But as Goh says, asking for guidance from your pediatrician about your child’s behavior and emotional health should always be on your regular agenda:  “A pediatrician’s duties also include helping parents raise well-grounded children.”


In “A Prescription for Discipline,” Goh admits to sometimes feeling like a “hypocrite” when she hears herself giving stressed-out parents advice for managing their kids’ behavior issues “as if it was the easiest thing in the world to carry out.” And that’s why she says, “… having my own children has taught me that sometimes rules are made to, well, amended.”


Here are some disciplinary “rules” Goh suggests breaking in order to help reshape bad behavior in your kids:


Broken Rule #1:  “Use Time-Outs for Tantrums.” As Goh says, a lot of pediatricians recommend time outs. She even learned to teach parents how to give their kids time outs – based on their child’s age – as part of her residency. Once she had her own kids, she realized that they did not react in the way she thought they would to time outs, and in fact,  they often made the behavior worse. While she hasn’t gotten rid of time outs altogether, she has adjusted how each of her kids spends time outs to fit their personalities. For example, her son recovers from a tantrum more quickly if he spends his time out in her arms, whereas her daughter will only sit quietly and settle down during time out if Goh suggests she might miss a promised treat – a future playdate, etc. – if she continues to be uncooperative.


Broken Rule #2:  “Caregivers Should Be Consistent.” Goh agrees that any form of discipline will only work if it’s consistently used. However, she realized consistency was  a real problem at her house. Whereas she believes in organized discipline for her children, her full-time babysitter does not, preferring to try to calm Goh down when she gets frustrated with the kids’ misbehavior instead of addressing the behavior problem itself. The babysitter’s only disciplinary action happens when she believes the children are doing something that will put them in physical danger. Instead of trying to change her babysitter’s soft nature, Goh decided to accept it:  “I try to remind myself that the kids are lucky to have a babysitter who loves them tremendously. In this case, I decided to sacrifice consistency for the knowledge that my kids are in such capable and caring hands.”


Broken Rule #3:  “Give Gentle Yet Firm Reprimands.” Advice Goh gives the parents of her patients all the time is to remember “You’re the mother. You need to let your children know their limits.” And she tries to follow that advice most of the time, especially on weekends, when she tries to prevent them from watching too much TV or eating too many sweets. However, because she lives in the real world, after an exhausting day of breaking up fights and trying to get her kids’ cooperation, her fuse is short, and sometimes she catches herself raising her voice for “misdemeanors” that “seem so inconsequential in retrospect.” And, it can make her feel like a bad mom (we’ve all been there!). But Goh encourages parents to give themselves a break and realize something she, herself has realized:  “Despite all the difficulties of disciplining my kids and my intermittent weak moments and my outright mistakes, I really want them to know how much I love them … And discipline isn’t just about doing whatever it takes to avoid arguments, tantrums, and messes; it’s about raising caring and respectful people overall.”


Incidentally, Dr. Goh also keeps a personal blog about her parenting struggles. Check it out!


We’d also like to invite you to take a listen to our song “Mac & Cheese,” a special serenade for demanding kids everywhere!   xo — Amelia

Continue Reading...

Summer 2013 Fun Free Stuff In The City! Enjoy!

Shakespeare In The Park

Delacorte Theatre in Central Park

Located at 80th Street & mid-Park

For information on free ticket distribution visit:

All Shows Begin at 8:30 PM.​​​

The running time is approx. 90-minutes with no intermission.



The Comedy of Errors  May 28th – June 30th

Featuring J. Clint Allen, de’Adre Aziza, Becky Ann Baker, Emily Bergl,  Tyler Caffall, Reed Campbell, Keith Eric Chapelle, Robert Creighton, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Reggie Gowland, Jonathan Hadary, Bryan Langlitz,  Brian T. Lawton, Hamish Linklater,  Michael McArthur,  Rachel McMullin, Heidi Schreck, Skipp Sudduth,  Adrienne Weidert, Natalie Woolams-Torres and Jessica Wu


The sparkling new production of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS concerns two sets of identical twins who were separated as children and now live as master-servant pairs in rival neighboring cities. When one pair crosses the border to find the other, so begins an exquisitely enjoyable mess of mistaken identity, wrongful imprisonment, questionable flirting and general mayhem! The stage is set for a wildly fun evening of physical comedy and brilliant wordplay as this irresistible Shakespearean confection returns to Central Park for the first time in 20 years!



LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST  July 23rd  – Aug 18th

Obie Award winner Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher) reunite for this fresh and unexpected evening of song, sonnets and Shakespeare, continuing The Public Theater’s long tradition of premiering new musicals in New York’s most magical summer setting.


Romance, revelry and enchanting music ignite in this contemporary yet lovingly faithful musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy. The King and his best buds decide at their five-year college reunion to swear off the joys of women. But when four cute, clever girls from their past show up, they’re forced to reconsider all of that nonsense! Smart, sexy, outrageous, and irreverent, LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST is a madcap celebration of true love and coming of age.


Good Morning America Concert Series


Viewers interested in joining “GMA” in Central Park are encouraged to arrive at Summer Stage Rumsey Playfield via the 72nd Street entrance on Fifth Avenue at 6 a.m., when the park opens to the public.

All concerts are free and open to the public and will take place live during “Good Morning America,” Fridays from 7 to 9 a.m. ET. Dates and additional acts will be announced throughout the summer


  • Friday, May 24, 2013 – Mariah Carey (requires tickets – SOLD OUT)
  • Friday, May 31, 2013 – Pitbull (requires tickets)
  • Friday, June 7, 2013 – Little Mix and Emblem3
  • Friday, June 14, 2013 – Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Friday, June 21, 2013 – John Legend
  • Friday, June 28, 2013 – Demi Lovato
  • Friday, July 5, 2013 – Imagine Dragons
  • Friday, July 12, 2013 – One Republic
  • Friday, July 19, 2013 – Jennifer Lopez (requires tickets)
  • Friday, July 26, 2013 – Selena Gomez
  • Friday, August 2, 2013 – Ne-Yo
  • Friday, August 9, 2013 – Kenny Chesney
  • Friday, August 16, 2013 - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Friday, August 23, 2013 – The Wanted
  • Friday, August 30, 2013 – Alicia Keys



The Met Concert Series

The Met’s annual concert series in New York City parks is one of the most beloved summer traditions in the city. This year, the Summer Recital Series returns with six performances in the parks of all five boroughs.


Locations: Central Park Stage(Rumsey Field, 69th St. & 5th Ave) Brooklyn Bridge Park(Pier 1 & The Brooklyn Bridge)  Crotona Park, Bronx  (At Fulton Ave)  Clove Lakes Park, Staten Island (Slosson Ave & Victory Blvd)  Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens (31st Drive & 11th St)  Jackie Robinson Park, Manhattan (Bradhurst & Edgecombe Ave)


Central Park SummerStage
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Erin Morley
Isabel Leonard
Stephen Costello
Bradley Moore – Pianist

Brooklyn Bridge Park (Brooklyn)
Friday, July 19, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Erin Morley
Isabel Leonard
Stephen Costello
Bradley Moore – Pianist

Crotona Park (Bronx)
Tuesday, July 23, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Ying Fang
Mario Chang
Brandon Cedel
Bradley Moore – Pianist

Clove Lakes Park (Staten Island)
Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Ying Fang
Mario Chang
Brandon Cedel
Bradley Moore – Pianist

Jackie Robinson Park (Manhattan)
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Ying Fang
Mario Chang
Brandon Cedel
Bradley Moore – Pianist

Socrates Sculpture Park (Queens)
Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Ying Fang
Mario Chang
Brandon Cedel
Bradley Moore – Pianist








Directions:  The Mainstage is in Central Park, located at Rumsey Playfield 5th Ave & 72nd (Enter 72nd & 5th and walk West



Ask Me Another from NPR and WNYC

6.14.2013 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Puzzlemaster Will Shortz and Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! host Peter Sagal walk into a bar… No, it’s not the start of a joke. It’s the essence of NPR’s and WNYC’s Ask Me Another, a rambunctious show that blends brainteasers…


The Zombies / Django Django / Adam Green & Binki Shapiro / DJ sets by Modest P

6.15.2013 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Hailing from St. Albans, and originating in 1961, The Zombies are a legendary English Rock band.  Led by Rod Argent on piano and Colin Blunstone on vocals, the band scored US hits in the mid and late 1960s


11th Brazilian Film Festival of NY:

Preta Gil / DJ sets by Gaspar Muniz / Screening: “Rio 2096: AStory of Love and Fury”

6.16.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Brazilian cinema is celebrating the 11th edition of the Brazilian Film Festival of NY. This annual event honors the best and the brightest of Brazil’s innovative new cinema. As is tradition, the closing night film of the 11th Brazilian Film…


The Airborne Toxic Event featuring the Calder Quartet with Ensemble LPR

(Tito Muñoz, Conductor)

6.18.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

The Airborne Toxic Event has gained a lot of attention for their lyrical arrangements, as well as their unique sound that can be described as a blend of Indie Rock music infused with a twist of classic orchestral arrangements.


Fête De La Musique: IAM with special guest Rakim

In association with The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Bureau Export, French Music Export Office

6.21.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Hailing from France and formed in 1988, IAM began its journey to fame in the city of Marseille. This French Hip-Hop group consisting of 5 members incorporates themes that include the sounds of Ancient Egypt, Africa, China, Japan, India


“Make a Joyful Noise” A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson Featuring:

Joshua Nelson, the Prince of Kosher Gospel and special guest Della Reese / Screening: “Mahalia Jackson: The Power and the Glory” In association with ImageNation Cinema Foundation

6.22.2013 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

To mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, which called for civil and economic rights for African Americans, SummerStage honors the storied legacy of famed Gospel singer and activist Mahalia Jackson with an evening of music and film.…


Femi Kuti & The Positive Force / Sinkane / DJ sets by King Britt

In association with Okayafrica

6.23.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force have blended Funk, Jazz, and African Folk throughout their 27 year career to create a colorful and distinctive sound in the music world.  The records tell their story: After a short spell at Motown,…


“COMEDY CENTRAL Stars Under the Stars” hosted by Gabriel Iglesias and featuring performances by: Adam DeVine / John Mulaney / Jeff Ross / Amy Schumer

6.26.2013 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park


Gabriel Iglesias has been described as a witty, electrifying, and talented performer who has the ability to consistently deliver a uniquely hilarious comedy experience.  His first two DVD specials, “Hot & Fluffy” and “I’m Not Fat…I’m Fluffy,”


Lights / Joel Plaskett / Spirit of the West

 Presented by: Canada Day International in association with BlackBerry

 6.29.2013 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

SummerStage joins Canada Day International and BlackBerry in celebrating Canada’s 146th birthday, presenting a free showcase of top Canadian talent. When electro-rock sensation Lights first hit the music scene in 2008, she was just a songwriter with a synth


Big Star’s Third: An Orchestrated Live Performance of the Legendary Album

 Featuring Mike Mills, Jody Stephens, Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile, Marshall Crenshaw, Pete Yorn, Reeve Carney and many more

 6.30.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Big Star’s Third is a full performance of the iconic album by an astonishing who’s who of rock music featuring famed vocalists including Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile, Marshall Crenshaw, Pete Yorn,  Reeve Carney (Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark),  Jonathan Donahue (Mercury Rev)…


The Freedom Dance Party with special guest Cameo

 7.2.2013 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Join The Freedom Dance Party as they celebrate 10 years of weekly parties with a huge live performance with Funk and R&B legend, Cameo!   The Freedom Dance Party is the longest running, weekly, Friday-night party in NYC history.



Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited – longstoryshort: Remixed Featuring: Nona Hendryx / Sandra St. Victor / Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely / Poets: Faybiene Miranda / Lenelle Moise

7.3.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Presented as part of Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited, a seven-month, citywide retrospective featuring theater, poetry, music concerts and humanities events curated and produced by MAPP International Productions through a major partnership of 17 cultural and educational institutions.



Global Family Day Featuring:The Carpetbag Brigade & Nemcatacoa Teatro / Elizabeth Mitchell

Natural Expression Rhythm Band / ASE Dance Theater Collective / Ifetayo Youth Ensemble

 7.7.2013 | 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm | Central Park

SummerStage Kids presented by Disney presents Global Family Day, a day dedicated to engaging children and their families through engaging performances! This family affair will awaken the kid in all of us through interactive performances from around the world


Fat Joe / Cuarto Poder / Los Rakas

In association with LATIN Alternative Music Conference

7.10.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

**Note: Tego Calderón will not be performing on this date.** As one of the best MCs in the world during the past decade, very few MCs have matched Fat Joe‘s longevity.  There are only a handful of rap artists


Lila Downs / Natalia Clavier / Pamela Rodriguez / Raul Campos

In association with LATIN Alternative Music Conference

7.11.2013 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, Lila Downs embraces and highlights her origins in the U.S. and Mexico.  Downs’ roots have always been an important aspect of her music, as well as the topics of political and social justice, immigration, and transformation, all embedded…


Julieta Venegas / Carla Morrison / Alex Anwandter

In association with LATIN Alternative Music Conference

7.13.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Julieta Venegas is a renowned Mexican singer, instrumentalist and songwriter.  With over six released albums to date, Venegas has sold more than 9 million copies of her albums worldwide.  The Washington Post describes Venegas as a different sort of artist.…


Fanfare Ciocarlia / Red Baraat / DJ sets by Joro-Boro

7.14.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Fanfare Ciocarlia is one of the world’s greatest live bands, their energy and ingenuity having won them fans from Melbourne to Memphis, Tokyo to Toulouse.  The National Geographic has said “the music of Fanfare Ciocarlia


The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series

7.16.2013 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

An enchanting evening of favorite opera arias and duets featuring rising Metropolitan Opera stars Erin Morley (soprano), Isabel Leonard (mezzo-soprano), and Stephen Costello (tenor), accompanied by pianist Bradley Moore. Erin Morley was most recently heard at the Met


Planet Hemp / Gaby Amarantos / Emicida / DJ sets by Greg Caz

Presented in Association with Brasil Summerfest

7.20.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Planet Hemp first hit the scene in 1993 when Marcelo D2 and Skunk, founding members, joined together to become a rap duo in Brazil. Soon they were joined by musicians Rafael, Bacalhau and Formigão which fused the groups rap origin


Oliver Mtukudzi and The Black Spirits / Fatoumata Diawara / Krar Collective

DJ sets by DJ Sirak

7.21.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Oliver Mtukudzi and The Black Spirits, a revolutionary music group originating in Zimbabwe, have been performing since 1979. The Black Spirits members have changed over the years, consisting of over 50 members throughout its time, with Oliver Mtukudzi, both musician.


Martha Graham Dance Company

Special Guest: Dancin’ Downtown at The Joyce Contest Winner

7.23.2013 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Informed by the expansive vision of pioneering choreographer Martha Graham, the Martha Graham Dance Company brings to life a timeless and uniquely American style of dance that has influenced generations of artists and continues to captivate audiences.


Martha Graham Dance Company

Special Guest: Dancin’ Downtown at The Joyce Contest Winner

7.24.2013 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Informed by the expansive vision of pioneering choreographer Martha Graham, the Martha Graham Dance Company brings to life a timeless and uniquely American style of dance that has influenced generations of artists and continues to captivate audiences.


Lianne La Havas / LP / Quadron / DJ sets by DJ Center

7.27.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Lianne La Havas received her first keyboard at just 7 years old, and has been a growing talent ever since then. With popular neo-soul artists as inspiration, such as Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill, her style has traces of jazz,


Rock Steady Crew 36th Anniversary Concert Featuring: Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth and special guests

7.28.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

The Rock Steady Crew celebrates its 36th anniversary of being a true Hip-Hop brand ambassador by bringing its annual free concert to SummerStage in Central Park for the first time.  In typical fashion, RSC will present the who’s who


Rock Steady Crew Dance Celebration

World Premiere of “RSC Ghetto Made”

7.31.2013 | 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Originally founded in 1977 in the Bronx, by Jimmy D and Jimmy Lee, Rock Steady Crew has become one of the most well-known and recognizable B-Boy groups in the world.  These pioneers and creators of break-dancing used dance battles


WLIB 6th Annual Gospel Explosion Featuring:

Shirley Caesar / Donald Lawrence / James Fortune & F.I.Y.A. / Erica Campbell / Ricky Dillard

8.3.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Shirley Caesar is The Undisputed 1st Lady of Gospel Music. In a career that spans over 60 years, Caesar is arguably the most beloved and celebrated Gospel artist of our time. Caesar started out in the early 60’s singing


WBLS 5th Annual R&B Fest Featuring:

Raheem DeVaughn / Lyfe Jennings / Donell Jones / Erica Campbell and special guests

 8.4.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Singer and songwriter Raheem DeVaughn has quickly burst onto the music scene.  His debut album, The Love Experience, was released in 2005 to much critical acclaim.  While reviewing The Love Experience, Allmusic said DeVaughn “is remarkably creative and talented


SummerStage Theater Presented By Time Warner

“King Kong”

By Alfred Preisser & Randy Weiner / Directed By Alfred Preisser

 8.5.2013 | 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm | Central Park

Acclaimed impresario of non-traditional theater Randy Weiner and director Alfred Preisser team up for a Hip-Hop themed theater remake of the classic story, “King Kong”, a totally original music/dance/comedy spectacle that radically subverts everything you thought you knew about one


40th Anniversary of Hip-Hop Culture with DJ Kool Herc and special guests

 8.10.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

DJ Kool Herc is considered the “The Founder of Hip-Hop Culture.” In the early stages of Hip-Hop music, he brought his sound system to block parties in the Bronx and began playing the brief rhythmic sections of records


Shuggie Otis / José James / Hiatus Kaiyote / DJ sets by OP! (I Love Vinyl)

Presented in Association with Giant Step

8.11.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Shuggie Otis is a musician’s musician, a reclusive genius from Los Angeles whose name has been spoken in reverential tones by his peers for more than four decades.  After a long absence, Shuggie returns as a concert headliner with dates across North…


Twin Shadow / Autre Ne Veut / Elliphant / DJ sets by Mano

8.17.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

Twin Shadow is the musical child of Dominican-born George Lewis Jr.  The alternative pop style of music that Lewis writes, sings, and produces has been on the rise since the inception of Twin Shadow in 2010.  His most recent album, Confess was released in…


La Mega 6th Annual Tropical Fest

 8.18.2013 | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Central Park

Details to come…


SummerStage Theater Presented By Time Warner

Diablo Love

By Mando Alvarado / Directed by Alfred Preisser / Music Direction & Composition by Tomás Doncker

8.19.2013 | 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm | Central Park

“Diablo Love” is a fantastical love story featuring live music that re-imagines songs made famous by American Blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, Howlin’ Wolf along with original compositions by Tomás Doncker. This production provides audiences with a masterful live soundtrack of Blues/Soul music


Bobby McFerrin: spirityouall

8.20.2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Central Park

For decades Bobby McFerrin has broken all the rules. The 10-time Grammy winner has blurred the distinction between pop music and fine art, goofing around barefoot in the world’s finest concert halls, exploring uncharted vocal territory, inspiring a whole new…







New York City Summer On The Hudson




Hudson River Park’s-River Flicks

For Grown-Ups

8:30pm Wednesdays 7/10 – 8/ 21

At Pier 63 Cross at W22nd St and W24th St


Silver Linings Playbook






Moonrise Kingdom


The Avengers


Pitch Perfect


The Hunger Games



Hudson River Park’s-River Flicks

For Kids

8:30PM FRIDAYS 7/12 – 8/23 AT PIER 46

The Pirates! Band of Misfits




Who Framed Roger Rabbit


Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted


Rise of the Guardians




Adventures of Tintin



New York City Summer On The Hudson or


Play Dates!

START DATE Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 8  Summer on the Hudson: Play Dates! presents Music with Patrick at West Harlem Piers Park, Manhattan This is an Accessible location 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Come have a family play date with your children and their friends at this outdoor kiddie party featuring a children’s performer, arts and crafts, and more. Free!

Saturday, July 13, 2013  Presents Paul Mueller 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Come have a family play date with your children and their friends at this outdoor kiddie party featuring a children’s performer, arts and crafts, and more. Free!

Saturday, August 10, 2013  Play Dates! presents Monkey Monkey Music 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. .FREE


Catch & Release Fishing

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. This event repeats every week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 4/16/2013 and 10/5/2013. Grab a pole and relax on the Harlem Meer  (110th CP) while you wait for a bite from one of the many species of fish that live in its diverse aquatic ecosystem! Poles available to borrow; must release fish after catching them. Free for families and individuals; groups larger than 5 must reserve at least 2 weeks in advance (at Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (in Central Park), Manhattan This is an Accessible location



Lunchtime Listen

STARTS: Friday, June 28, 2013 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. This event repeats on the last Friday of every month between 5/31/2013 and 8/30/2013. Lunchtime sounds even better now when you enjoy the ambient acoustics. Bring a bag of yummies and drink in the reverberations. Enter at 130th St.

• May 31 Angela Sheik / Soulful vocals, creative looping, autoharp & percussion

• June 28 Harlem Chamber Players / chamber music for all

• July 26 Levi Stephens / taking listeners to his own happy place

• Aug 30 Pamela Means / “mad-guitar-and-vocal skills” Thank you to our 2013 Summer on the Hudson in West Harlem Piers Park sponsor Fairway Market. Location West Harlem Piers Park Accessible West 125 Street






New York City Summer On The Hudson (cont.) or


Children’s Performance Series

Location  Pier I in Riverside Park South Riverside Drive between 65 St. and 72 St.

STARTS: Thursday, July 11, 2013 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. This event repeats every week on Thursday between 7/11/2013 and 8/15/2013.Music, storytelling & theater for young audiences. Suitable for kids up to age 7. Wear sunscreen!

Performance Schedule:

• July 11 Rolie Polie Guacamole

• July 18 Apple Seeds Songs for Seeds

• July 25 Moey’s Music Party (fabulous)

• Aug 1 Meg’s Melodies

• Aug 8 Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights

• Aug 15 City Parks Foundation presents Puppeteers from the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater



Kids Summer Concert Series Tuesday, June 11, 2013 10:30 a.m. This event repeats every week on Tuesday and Thursday between 6/11/2013 and 8/8/2013.Mad. Sq. Kids Concerts is a series of outdoor concerts especially for children and their families with energetic beats and engaging lyrics. Come ready to get down and boogie! Performance Schedule:

June 11 – Steve Songs/June 13 – Audra Rox/June 18 – The Deedle Deedle Dees/June 20 – Matt Wilson’s Family Jazz Band/June 25 – Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band/June 27 – KBC Kids/July 2 – Big Bang Boom/July 9 – Alastair Moock and Friends/July 11 – David Weinstone and the Music for Aardvarks Band/ July 16 – Recess Monkey//July 18 – Robbi K & Friends/July 23 – The Rockdoves/July 25 – Songs for Seeds/

July 30 – The Dirty Sock Funtime Band/August 1 – Billy Jonas and the Billy Jonas Band/August 6 – The Suzi Shelton Band/August 8 – Shine and the Moonbeams/For more information about the artists visit the Madison Square Park website. Location Madison Square Park/Manhattan

Children’s Sports

Tots Soccer & Pee Wee Basketball

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

This event repeats every week on Wednesday between 7/24/2013 and 8/28/2013.

All little ones (5 and under) welcome at this introduction to soccer and basketball.

Tots Soccer: 9:30– 10:30am Pee Wee Basketball: 10:30 – 11:30am Location 71st Street Soccer Field and Basketball Courts in Riverside Park South

Game Days

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 10:00 a.m.–2:00 pm. This event repeats every week on Tuesday and Wednesday between 8/6/2013 and 8/29/2013. Calling all children 12 and under who want something fun to do on a sunny afternoon. Games such as giant tic-tac-toe, lawn bowling, hopscotch, jump rope and more will be ready for your arrival.



New York City Summer On The Hudson (cont) or





Movies Under the StarsPier I in Riverside Park South


8:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m.

STARTS Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m.

This year’s theme: Song & Dance. Pack a picnic, bring a friend and settle in for a night of premier movies. Open Captioned. Movie begins at dusk.

Gold Diggers of 1933 (’33) – 97 minutes Millionaire turned composer Dick Powell rescues unemployed Broadway people with a new play Director: Mervyn LeRoy  Stars: Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon.

Movie Schedule:

Wed July 10: Gold Diggers

Wed July 17: DUCK SOUP

Wed July 24: 5,000 fingers of Dr. T (’53)

Wed July 31: Fiddler on the Roof (’71)

Wed  August 7: Little Shop of Horrors (’86)

Wed  August 14: Pitch Perfect (’12)


Films on the Green

Pier 1 Riverside Park South

Friday, July 12, 2013 8:30 p.m.–11:00 p.m.

This event repeats every week on Friday between 7/12/2013 and 7/19/2013.

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the City of New York Parks & Recreation present the 5th annual Films on the Green Festival. July 12 Marius and Jeannette by Robert Guédiguian

July 19 We won’t grow old together by Maurice Pialat, * Rain Dates July 13 & 20





 Sing for Hope Street Pianos 2013

June 13th at 5 PM  Far end of Pier I @ 70th St Debuted with great success in 2010, Sing for Hope Street Pianos makes pianos available to all who pass by, for the two-week duration, democratizing the arts and encouraging exploration of music by all individuals and featuring formal and impromptu concerts by amateurs and artists alike. June during park hours


Amplified Sundays

July 7th 700pm Dance Bella’s Bartok (live music)

July 14th  700pm Drums & Dance of India (live music )

July 21 Vensaire 700pm  live music (dance)

Sunday, July 28, 2013    7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m Brown Rice Family .



New York City Summer On The Hudson(cont) or



Riverside Gallery Art in the Park

STARTS Thursday, June 13, 2013 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.This event repeats every day between 6/13/2013 and 5/5/2014. Tour Riverside Park South’s open air gallery and see the 3rd year presentations of the Art Students League Model to Monument public art project. Seven sculptures by accomplished artists throughout all have information plaques with call in numbers to learn more. Join us for an opening reception and tour with the artists on June 13th at 2pm and tour on September 14th at 11am.

Location Details: From 59th to 70th St.



Riverside Park South Railway History Tour

Sun  June 9, 2013 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.Join Thomas Flagg on a guided tour of Riverside Park South and learn about it’s history as a vital railway yard and get a better sense of all the current design nods to the past. Be prepared to walk up to half a mile.Co-presented with Roebling Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology. Pier I in Riverside Park South Contact Email




 Yoga – Evening Salute to the Sun Wednesday, June 5, 2013 6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. This event repeats every week on Wednesday between 6/5/2013 and 9/25/2013. End your day with relaxing Hatha yoga in a beautiful sunset setting. Suitable for all fitness levels. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring your own mat. yoga in a beautiful sunset setting. Suitable for all fitness levels. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring your own mat.

Tai Chi

This event repeats every week on Sunday between 5/5/2013 and 8/25/2013. Join Silvana Pizzuti to learn and practice Tai Chi, a slow moving martial art with health benefits for all fitness levels.Location Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Riverside Park,W 89th Street andRiverside Drive Manhattan FREE




Pilates – Mat Class

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. This event repeats every week on Tuesday between 6/4/2013 and 8/20/2013.This total body workout is a great way to develop superior core muscle power and tone, all with a beautiful view of the Hudson. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring your own mat. The Plaza at 66th Street in Riverside Park South  Free



New York City Summer On The Hudson(cont) or



Hudson Warehouse Shakespeare Workout

Saturday, June 29, 2013 3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.Covering the elements of Voice Production, Movement, Acting and Stage Combat. Open to all actors, ages 13 and up. All experience levels welcome. Email to register. Space is limited ( Location Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Riverside ParkW 89th Street and Riverside Drive Manhattan


Pedal Stops

STARTS: Saturday, June 15, 2013 12:00 p.m.4:30 p.m.

This event repeats on the 3rd Saturday of every month between 6/15/2013 and 9/22/2013.

Bike New York & Bike and Roll partner to provide a Pedal Stop in Riverside Park providing rider-assistance-and-information stations open to all cyclists free of charge.

Location Details: Basketball court on 71st under the highway along the bike path.


River Fish Celebration

Saturday, June 29, 2013 11:00 a.m.–3:00 pm Riverside Park Conservancy and NYC Urban Parks Rangers connect you to the life living within the Hudson River. Fishing equipment provided, but bring enthusiasm, luck and a friend. Come for the fishing, stay for river-related activities including fishy arts & crafts Thank you to our 2013 Summer on the Hudson in West Harlem Piers Park sponsor Fairway Market. Location West Harlem Piers Park Accessible West 125 Street Manhattan




West Coast Swing  STARTS: Saturday, June 8, 2013 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. (Jul 13,Aug 31,Sept 28) West Coast Swing combines elements of Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing, Salsa, and straight up booty-shakin’, with lots of room for improvisation. It can be danced to pop, blues, rock, hip-hop, R&B, country, soul, and just about everything in between, and has gained a large following worldwide.  Join West Coast Swing enthusiasts to dance from 6-9pm and get a free lesson from 7 pm – 7:45 pm  Performance Dates:• June 8,• July 13 • August 31 • September 28


Let’s Dance!

Starts Sunday, June 2, 2013 (repeats till 6/30)

Riverside Park South Riverside Drive between 65 St. and 72 St.

6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. This event repeats every week on Sunday between 6/2/2013 and 6/30/2013. Learn to dance like a pro at salsa, cha-cha and bachata lessons and group social dances led by master teachers from the Piel Canela Dance and Music School featuring DJ Ray






New York City Summer On The Hudson(cont.) or



Globe Sonic Sound System Dance Party

Saturday, June 15, 2013 2:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m.

This summer marks the ninth annual global beats festival with GlobeSonic Sound System, comprised of DJs Fabian Alsultany, Derek Beres and Bill Bragin.

GlobeSonic on the Hudson 9 will be the continuation of this epic, free outdoor dance party sponsored by The City Parks Department Summer on the Hudson. Joined by percussionist Jimmy Lopez, the trio will merge modern international sounds from the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Jamaica and beyond on musical foundations found in EDM, dancehall, funk, electronica, house, and much more. Location:  Pier I in Riverside Park South


Amplified Sundays Presents Bella’s Bartok

Sunday, July 7, 2013, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. (every Sunday in July)

Vibrantly danceable live music in Riverside Park accompanied by spectacular sunsets along the Hudson River

every Sunday in July at 7pm for free. All ages welcome July 7: Bella’s Bartok – bohemian dance punk.

Pier I in Riverside Park South


Amplified Sundays Presents Drums and Dance of India

Sunday, July 14, 2013 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

Drums and Dance of India / sounds and moves from India.

Experience the classical performing arts of India with the unprecedented all-female percussion ensemble Taalika: Women of Tabla, and acclaimed kathak dancer, Jin Won. The evening starts off with high-energy drumming by the New Jersey-based Taalika trio. Then the mood switches to the graceful, beautiful and rhythmic choreography of classical dancer, Jin Won. Vibrantly danceable live music in Riverside Park South accompanied by spectacular sunsets along the Hudson River every Sunday in July at 7pm for free. All ages welcome.

Location Pier I in Riverside Park South Manhattan


¡Arriba! Community Dance Parties at the High Line

STARTS Wednesday, June 19, 2013

7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

Grab your friends and bring your dancing shoes – evenings of live Latin music and dancing are returning to the High Line this summer! Friends of the High Line is pleased to partner with HAI and Hudson Guild to host some of New York City’s best Latin bands at the High Line, transforming the park into an open-air dance floor at sunset.

Part of High Line Live! – a performance series at the High Line – ¡Arriba! nights in June, July, and August feature different live acts bringing their own energy, musical style, and flavor to our community dance parties.

Wednesday, June 19

Orlando Marin, the Last Mambo King, and his dynamic band from the Bronx kick off ¡Arriba! with traditional salsa and merengue rhythms that get visitors of all ages shaking to the beat of the timbales drums.

Wednesday, July 24

Liliana Araújo and her lively band Forró da Madame heat up ¡Arriba! with Brazilian forró, a popular dance and musical style marked by accordion, triangle, and zabumba bass drum beats.

Wednesday, August 21

Inspired by the guajiro musical rhythms of Cuba, N D’Lux of New York City offers a funky mix of son montuno, rumba, danzon, and timba styles to close out the ¡Arriba! series.Location: Chelsea Market Passage in The High Line


 Harlem Dances

Friday, July 19, 2013 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Come see local dance companies demonstrate their moves and maybe learn a move or two.  Young Dancemakers Company is a unique, free summer ensemble of NYC urban teens creating their own original choreography and touring it in free dance concerts throughout the city. The company is selected annually by audition from NYC public high schools city-wide, and each year performs for audiences of approximately 2000 young people and adults. July 2013  will mark the company’s 18th year of creating  topical, mindful, fun and witty works with bold themes holding meaning for today’s teens and today’s world.

Director:  Alice Teirstein  Music Director and Percussionist: William Catanzaro

Location West Harlem Piers Park Accessible West 125 Street






River Rocks NYC

River Rocks (at 44th St) Pier 84, at 12th Ave, Cross at West 44th St. Gates open at 6pm

Hudson River Park’s RiverRocks featuring Generationals and Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside with Waxahatchee Thursday, July 11, 2013 6:00 p.m. 2013 marks Hudson River Park’s RiverRocks 15th Season. RiverRocks is among New York City’s quintessential free outdoor summer concert series and features established and breaking artists performing at the beautiful Pier 84. New Orleans’ Generationals have established themselves as the go-to band for sunny pop songs influenced by music of the British Invasion, Soul Stax and Wall of Sound production.

Like a cross between Ella Fitzgerald and Tom Waits, Sallie Ford has established herself as one of the most powerful female voices in indie rock, mining that sweet spot between modern and vintage. On their new album, Untamed Beast, the band creates a powerful statement on finding freedom through defying conformity. According to Sallie:”rock n roll isn’t a genre, its energy.”









Westside Community Garden

Call: 212-866-2204

Starts at: 6pm

Enter on 89th or 90th between Columbus & Amsterdam

June 23 Stefani Starin–  flute and harp


June 30 Sweet Plantains–  10 string quartet


July 7 Charles Weaver– baroque guitar


July 14 Michael Waltz Group– Brazilian Music


July 21 Charles Tolliver–jazz






JULY 25th TO AUGUST 11th 2013

ALL EVENTS ARE FREE and take place on the Lincoln Center campus—Hearst Plaza/Barclays Capital Grove, Damrosch Park, Josie Robertson Plaza, and Broadway Plaza and the David Rubenstein Atrium—located between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues, West 65th Street to West 62nd Street.


BROADWAY PLAZA Corner of Broadway and West 65th Street (grandstand plaza in front of Alice Tully Hall) DAMROSCH PARK West 62nd Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenue.

DAVID RUBENSTEIN ATRIUM Broadway, between West 62nd and West 63rd Streets

HEARST PLAZA / BARCLAYS CAPITAL GROVE / MILLSTEIN POOL North of the Metropolitan Opera House, in front of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and Lincoln Center Theater, near West 65th Street

JOSIE ROBERTSON PLAZA Main plaza of Lincoln Center, fronting Columbus Avenue, between 63rd and 64th Street


Thu Jul 25  6:00

KRONOS at 40

Mark Dendy Dance & Theater Projects: Ritual Cyclical (world premiere)

The plaza will burst with elegant movement thanks to eighty dancers celebrating ADF’s 80th and Kronos’ 40th anniversaries.

Hearst Plaza


Wed Jul 24  7:30 

KRONOS at 40

Red Hot + FELA LIVE! (world premiere)

featuring Tony Allen and Superhuman Happiness

with Baloji, Abena Koomson, Kronos Quartet, Sahr Ngaujah, Sinkane and Kalmia Traver of Rubblebucket

Musical Director: Stuart Bogie

Superhuman Happiness: Music from How to Survive a Plague (world premiere)

A powerful all-star tribute to legendary Afrobeat pioneer, plus the concert premiere of music from the score of the Oscar-nominated film.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Thu Jul 25  7:30 

KRONOS at 40

My Brightest Diamond

Emily Wells

Kronos Quartet with special guest Mariana Sadovska: Chernobyl.The Harvest (U.S. premiere)

Art song gets earthy and edgy, spotlighted by three distinctive women’s voices.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Fri Jul 26 –

Sun Jul 28  11:30,

KRONOS at 40

Found Sound Nation

This mobile production team records audience members to turn spontaneous sonic expressions into catchy tracks for future download.

Josie Robertson Plaza


Fri Jul 26  6:00 

KRONOS at 40

Chinese American Arts Council: Romance of the Iron Bow

An engaging rendition of a classic Chinese musical theater piece bursting with cheeky humor, riveting movement, and stunning costumes.

Hearst Plaza


Fri Jul 26  7:00

KRONOS at 40

Magda Giannikou

Popular Greek songs and vintage dance ditties roll out of a laterna, a traditional open-air instrument.

Josie Robertson Plaza


Fri Jul 26  7:30 


KRONOS at 40


Kronos Quartet


with Magda Giannikou “Strophe in Antistrophe” (world premiere) and Vân-Ánh Võ (East Coast debut of collaboration with Kronos Quartet)


The Gloaming


The acclaimed string quartet focuses on global connections. The allstar Irish supergroup brings traditional music into the future.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Sat Jul 27  12:00


KRONOS at 40

Family Day presented by Disney


Brooklyn Youth Chorus

Play Along Concert with Kronos Quartet and Craig Woodson



Face the Music’s Pannonia Quartet


Elena Moon Park & Friends: Rabbit Days & Dumplings


Asian folk songs for kids, DIY instruments, contemporary classical music, and graceful interpretations of vocal works by young performers.

Hearst Plaza



Sat Jul 27  5:00 

KRONOS at 40

Family Day presented by Disney




Dan Zanes & Friends: Tribute to Lead Belly


Ozomatli’s family-friendly, high-energy, border-crossing off-shoot. The kids music superstar Zanes pays tribute to the folk-blues icon.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Sat Jul 27  8:00 


KRONOS at 40

Family Day presented by Disney



LA’s culture-mashing collective takes the stage for a hard-hitting set of alt. Latin hip hop and rock, funk, salsa, cambia, and more.

Damrosch Park Band shell





Sun Jul 28  6:00 

KRONOS at 40



Parades: Jacob Garchik’s The Heavens, Asphalt Orchestra


Simultaneous parades by Garchik’s “atheist trombone shout choir” and Bang on a Can’s iconoclastic mobile band.

Josie Robertson Plaza


Sun Jul 28  6:30 


KRONOS at 40


Kronos Quartet


works by Amon Tobin (East Coast premiere), Dan Deacon (world premiere), Jherek Bischoff (world premiere), Yuri Boguinia (world premiere) Bryce Dessner, and more.


Special guest appearances by Jherek Bischoff and Dan Deacon


Asphalt Orchestra plays The Pixies: Surfer Rosa (world premiere)


Jacob Garchik’s The Heavens


Kronos premieres new works by electronic vanguardists. Asphalt rearranges an alt-rock classic. Garchik leads a trombone choir.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Mon Jul 29  6:30 


Scott Kettner: Maracatu de Baque Virado: A Living and Changing Tradition



Nation Beat’s leader gives a multi-media presentation on the unique history and contemporary expressions of Northeast Brazil’s maracatu.

Bruno Walter Auditorium


Wed Jul 31  6:30 


Festival au Désert —Caravan for Peace:


Aziz Sahmaoui & University of Gnawa (NY debut)


Imharhan (NY debut) / Tartit


Mamadou Kelly (NY debut)


Ensembles highlight the hypnotic sounds of Saharan desert blues, Tuareg trance and Moroccan grooves.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Thu Aug 1  6:00 


A Tale of Two Nations: open rehearsal with Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante and Nation Beat


An open rehearsal with the powerful percussionists and dancers from the Northeastern Brazil carnival champions and their NY counterparts.

Josie Robertson Plaza


Thu Aug 1  7:30 


Kyle Abraham & Pavement


The Living Word Project: Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Word Becomes Flesh


Two powerful hip-hop infused performance pieces grapple with issues of history, masculinity, and shifting identities.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Fri Aug 2  7:00 


A Tale of Two Nations: Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante and Nation Beat (U.S. premiere)


Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles


A collaboration between Northeast Brazil’s leading carnival champions and their NY disciples with the legendary Mardi Gras Indians.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Sat Aug 3  12:00 


La Casita


Afropop and Afro-Cuban drumming. MCs and edgy vocalists. Slam poets and traditional truth-tellers.

Hearst Plaza



Sat Aug 3  7:00 


El Gusto (U.S. debut)


ZviDance: Dabke


El Gusto reunites Algeria’s top Muslim and Jewish musicians while ZviDance uses dance to highlight tribal and national identities.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Sun Aug 4  3:00 


La Casita


Afropop and Afro-Cuban drumming. MCs and edgy vocalists. Slam poets and traditional truth-tellers.

Teatro Pregones, The Bronx


Sun Aug 4  1:00 


Heritage Sunday: The S(e)OUL of Korea


Sounds of Korea, Sue Yeon Park, Artistic Direction; Sinawi Ensemble; New York Korean Traditional Marching Band


The Center for Traditional Music and dance spotlights the exquisite arts of Korea.

Josie Robertson Plaza


Sun Aug 4  7:00 


Sacred Drums


Rejoice in the beauty of a cross-cultural celebration presented with the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Wed Aug 7  7:30 


Rubén Blades


Salsa superstar and one of Latin music’s most revered trailblazers, spokespeople, and music makers.

Damrosch Park Bandshell




Thu Aug 8  6:30 


No BS! Brass Band


Sternum-rattling…hot, irrepressible blast of brass and canyon-like grooves.

Josie Robertson Plaza


Thu Aug 8  7:30 


Dance Heginbotham with the Raymond Scott Orchestrette (world premiere of Manhattan Research, plus Twin and throwaway)


Butler, Bernstein & The Hot 9


An evening of technically rigorous and theatrical choreography along with a futuristc dive into the roots of New Orleans jazz.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Fri Aug 9  6:30 


Vau de Vire Society


Hungry March Band


Edgy steam-punk underground circus accompanied by raucous brass anarchists celebrating Gemini & Scorpio’s tenth anniversary.

Josie Robertson Plaza




Fri Aug 9  7:30 


Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra


Rosin Coven


The sexy and brash rock goddess shares the bill with the Edwardian pagan lounge ensemble celebrating Gemini & Scorpio’s tenth anniversary.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Sat Aug 10  1:30 


30th Annual Roots of American Music

Hurray for the Riff Raff


Martha Redbone Roots Project


Trixie Whitley


Swamp pop, Native American mountain sounds, and a blend of vintage country and new soul.

Hearst Plaza


Sat Aug 10  6:00 

30th Annual Roots of American Music


Nick Lowe


The Crickets: The Farewell Show


Jason Isbell


A celebration of Americana with country crooners, rockabilly, Southern soul, and early rock ‘n’ roll.

Damrosch Park Bandshell


Sun Aug 11  5:00 


Bobby Rush


Allen Toussaint


Brian and Eddie Holland, moderated by Harry Weinger


Como Mamas (NY Debut)


A soulful season closer filled with funky blues, intimate sets by New Orleans’ and Motown’s finest songwriters, and traditional gospel.

Damrosch Park Bandshell 






HBO Bryant Park

Summer Film Festival

Film Festival Hotline: 212-512-5700

Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

Take the B, D, F, or M train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park

Take the 7 to 5th Avenue

No chairs, tables, dogs, plastic sheets, tarps, bags, or pads are permitted on the lawn.

Free bike parking available in the park at the Pétanque Courts (6th Avenue and 41st Street).

The gravel area surrounding the Lawn opens at 4:00pm. The Lawn opens at 5:00pm.



June 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013


5:00pm | Lawn


Monday, June 24, 2013

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

5:00pm | Lawn



July 2013


Monday, July 1, 2013


5:00pm | Lawn


Monday, July 8, 2013

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

5:00pm | Lawn


Monday, July 15, 2013

Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte

5:00pm | Lawn


Monday, July 22, 2013

The African Queen

5:00pm | Lawn



Monday, July 29, 2013

A Foreign Affair

5:00pm | Lawn



August 2013


Monday, August 5, 2013

Norma Rae

5:00pm | Lawn


Monday, August 12, 2013

The Women

5:00pm | Lawn


Monday, August 19, 2013

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

5:00pm | Lawn



Other Free Activites in BRYANT PARK

Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

Take the B, D, F, or M train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park

Take the 7 to 5th Avenue


Please see the website for a full list of activities, times and locations.

Daily activities include:

  • Fly Fishing
  • Language Classes
  • Chinese Chess Clinic
  • Juggling
  • Yoga
  • Meet the Birds
  • Piano in the Park
  • Word for Word Poetry
  • Tai Chi
  • Fencing
  • Dance Performances
  • Justin The Magician
  • Worldwide Knitting
  • Book Club
  • Word for Word Kids
  • Ping Pong Tournaments
  • Enso String Quartet
  • Comic Con
  • Reel Talks
  • Broadway in the Park



Jones Beach Concert Series

 ****Not Free****

But Fun!

Venue: Nikon At Jones Beach Theater



Fleetwood Mac Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 8:00 PM



RushSunday, June 23, 2013 at 7:30 PM


Dave Matthews BandTuesday, June 25, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Dave Mathews BandWednesday, June 26, 2013 at 7:00 PM



Heart & Jason BonhamThursday, June 27, 2013 at 7:30 PM




One DirectionFriday, June 28, 2013 at 7:00 PM




One DirectionSaturday, June 29, 2013 at 7:00 PM




The RascalsSaturday, July 6, 2013 at 8:30 PM




PhishFriday, July 12, 2013 at 7:30 PM




311, Cypress Hill & G. Love & Special SauceSaturday, July 13, 2013 at [time TBA]




Sublime with RomeSunday, July 14, 2013 at 5:00 PM




Daughtry & 3 Doors DownWednesday, July 17, 2013 at 7:00 PM




Big Time Rush & Victoria JusticeThursday, July 18, 2013 at 7:00 PM




Lil Wayne, T.I. & FutureFriday, July 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM




Jonas BrothersSaturday, July 20, 2013 at 7:00 PM




Blake Shelton, Easton Corbin & Jana KramerSunday, July 21, 2013 at 7:30 PM




Train, The Script & Gavin DeGrawTuesday, July 23, 2013 at 6:00 PM




Imagine DragonsThursday, July 25, 2013 at [time TBA]





Americanarama Festival of Music: Bob Dylan,


 Wilco & BeckSaturday, July 27, 2013 at 5:30 PM



Under The Influence Of Music Tour: Wiz Khalifa & ASAP RockyTuesday, August 6, 2013 at 6:00 PM




Black Crowes & Tedeschi Trucks BandSaturday, August 10, 2013 at 6:30 PM




Honda Civic Tour: Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson & Rozzi CraneSunday, August 11, 2013 at 7:00 PM




Backstreet Boys, Jesse McCartney & DJ Pauly DTuesday, August 13, 2013 at [time TBA]




Matchbox Twenty & The Goo Goo DollsSaturday, August 17, 2013 at 7:00 PM




Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival: Alice Chains, Janes Addiction, & Coheed And CambriaSunday, August 18, 2013 at 2:00 PM
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Wantagh, New York


Jimmy BuffettTuesday, August 20, 2013 at 8:00 PM




Jimmy BuffettThursday, August 22, 2013 at 8:00 PM




John Mayer & Phillip PhillipsWednesday, August 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM




Allman Brothers Band & Grace Potter and the NocturnalsSaturday, September 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM




Depeche ModeSunday, September 8, 2013 at 7:00 PM







Continue Reading...

Spring into Summer

Summer is coming, and when you’re a parent, that means some time off from school for your kids (and for you!), family togetherness and the chance to enjoy the great outdoors.


Looking for some ideas about what to do during the warmer months? We put together a list of some resources we found that can help you and your kids fully enjoy your time together this summer and even learn a little something in the process. (We also have some natural and creative allergy relief info at the bottom if you are suffering!)


Explore Your World


When the weather is nice, no one wants to be cooped up inside! Instead of just going for a walk or playing at the park, why not take your family out to explore nature? The spring and summer are the best seasons for discovering living things, both large and small. I found some engaging educational activities in FamilyFun magazine recently that can help children actively learn about the many fascinating creatures that live in their environment.


Below are a few tools you can make at home to bring along with you on your outdoor adventures:


  1. “Bug B&B.” Your kids can get to know some of their local bugs by creating a temporary home from them using a simple ice cream carton. Just cut three or four 2-inch square openings around the top of a clean, empty half-gallon ice cream carton. Wrap duct tape around the edges of the openings to reinforce them. Bury a small plastic cup in a vegetable garden or flowerbed so the top is even with the ground. Put the carton over the cup to protect it from rain, then use a small stone to weigh it down and leave it overnight. In the morning, check to see if any bugs showed up. Return them to the once you’ve all taken a good look. You can attract even more bugs if you put tiny bits of fruit at the bottom of the cup.
  2. “Catch a Breath.” Would you like to see firsthand how plants breathe? You can conduct this simple experiment anywhere you see a patch of grass and concrete/a sidewalk. Get two empty, clean glass jars. Put one over a patch of grass in the sunlight and the other over concrete or asphalt. Leave the jars for one hour, then return to examine them. The inside of the grass jar will be covered with water droplets, whereas the concrete jar will be dry.
  3. “Underwater Explorer.” This sifter is made from a 7-inch embroidery hoop and can help your kids study the bugs, snails, tiny shrimp, crayfish and more that live in ponds. Just cut two circles from tulle that are slightly larger than the hoop and place the hoop between the circles. Staple the pieces together around the hoop’s perimeter and pull the tulle tight. (And here’s a tip to make this easier:  Staple one side first, then pull it tight and stale the opposite side. Keep stapling around the hoop with this same technique!)  Find a part of the pond where plants are growing into the water. Because plant roots offer shelter for bottom-dwellers from predators, you’ll find the most living things in this area. Lower the hoop into the soil on the pond’s floor and sweep it slowly back and forth. Then raise it out of the water. Repeat this until you catch something! Put what you find into a small plastic container filled with pond water and take a peek. Help your kids safely return the creatures to their home when they’re done.


Seasonal Allergy Relief


Allergies can make enjoying the warmth of summer challenging for many of us. While a daily antihistamine and other meds can help lessen symptoms like sneezing, itchiness and watery eyes, there are also a lot of other natural remedies that can provide relief.


The folks at Whole Living offered up a list of surprising ways to battle different degrees of seasonal allergies: “occasional”; “semi-regular”; “chronic.”


If you just get a little sniffly when you hang out in the spring and summer …


Eat a salad. Eating fruits and vegetables has been proven to calm allergies. When you’re having an allergic reaction, oxidants and histamines in your system work together to attack. The carotenoids in produce actually defend against these oxidants, helping reduce or eliminate your body’s reaction.

Keep triggers at bay. If you want to avoid allergens, shut the windows when the lawn is being mowed, wear wraparound sunglasses, leave your shoes and jacket at the door, turn your car’s a/c to “recirtulate” and avoid outdoor exercise in the a.m. and midday, when pollen counts are soaring.


For semi-regular allergies …


Take supplements.  Research has shown that 800 mg of vitamin E each day can help prevent sneezing, itchy eyes and other allergy symptoms. Also, the antioxidant quercetin, which is in apples and onions might also help block the release of histamine.


Get a neti pot. A neti-pot looks like a teapot and uses salt water to wash away allergens and mucus, which helps get rid of postnasal drip. You can find it at your local drugstore. If you opt to make your own saline solution, just make sure to use sterilized water.


If you are chronically allergic …


Consider acupuncture. Acupuncture can boost your immune system, because it stimulates your body’s natural “defensive energy.” According to Whole Living, a particular study showed that regular treatments greatly reduced allergy symptoms without the side effects someone might experience from meds.


Look into immunotherapy. For those that have very serious allergies that don’t respond to other therapies, allergy shots are sometimes an option. The procedure consists of one to three weekly injections of gradually increasing amounts of a trigger. After a few years of regular treatments, the body usually builds up a permanent tolerance.


Get Prepped for Summer Travelers


Summer is not only a time for your family to travel, but also a time when family and friends might be traveling to you. We came across some time-saving, stress-reducing, budget-friendly tips in Good Housekeeping to help you get your home guest ready for anyone that decides to drop by for an overnight visit.


Clean house. Speaking of allergies, dust can collect in guest rooms and any room in your home that isn’t used as much. You can create a more focused cleaning experience by zooming in on the three areas that trap the most dust:  the room’s perimeter; drapes and valances; window blinds.


To clean the perimeter, use your vacuum’s crevice tool along baseboards, around furniture legs and underneath the head of the bed. Switch to the vac’s upholstery attachment and run over the drapes, valances and windowsills. Finally, to take care of the window blinds, Good Housekeeping recommends picking up some microfiber window blind gloves, which are even faster than the vacuum.


Check out the “user experience.” Do you feel comfy in your guest room? Do a “dry run through” of the experience of sleeping in it and using the guest bathroom (if you have one!) to see what’s missing. Is there enough closet space? Is everything working properly? Add some hangers and create more space in the closet with an over-the-door hook. And check bulbs, knobs, drains and windows to make sure everything is in working order. Then, be sure there are “amenities” like tissues, coasters and towels, so guests feel comfortable.


Offer some upgrades. Making your guest accommodations cozier doesn’t have to be expensive. New pillows, blankets, clock radios and mattress extras can make a huge difference. Good Housekeeping recommends updating the room by buying Aller-Ease washable pillows ($12, and Cannon Microfleece blankets ($20-$40, You can also replace the old-school clock radio with an iPod-dock alarm clock like the Memorex Mi4019 ($40, If you have an old air mattress that tends to deflate during the night, try out the Aerobed Comfort Embrace (which surprisingly can be had for as little as $100 at, or add a pad made of memory foam or fiberfill to any less-than-comfortable sofa bed or mattress.


We hope the warm season brings you a lot of joyful and fun in the sun! Please enjoy our song “You Are Loved” below. Because, during the spring and summer season, no matter how hard things get, always remember to appreciate you are loved!


Continue Reading...

Get Ready for Spring

March is here, and that means spring is right around the corner! To help you get ready, we wanted to show you a few resources that can help you get through the many challenges and celebrations of the next month. So, we gathered up some helpful last-minute family tax tips and efficient spring cleaning/organizing strategies to prepare your home for the upcoming season. We also found some fantastic ideas for Easter egg decorating that look like a ton of fun for both you and your kids!


“The Clutter Cure”


Late last summer, I found a piece by Valerie Rains in Family Circle magazine offering up 20 easy ways to say, “good riddance” to all the stuff you’re not using in your home. These tricks could definitely help you get a head start on spring cleaning, so you can spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying the treats of the season! She categorized all the “stuff” into rooms and explained how to efficiently de-clutter.


She also provided a “chuck-it” checklist of questions to help determine which items you should get rid of first:


  1. Is the item broken or damaged beyond repair?
  2. Has more than a year gone by since you last used or wore the item?
  3. Do you own something similar that you like better?
  4. Are you saving an item only because you think, “This will come in handy one day”?


And here are tips to clean some of most-cluttered rooms of your house.


Kitchen:  Get rid of broken or useless small appliances. If your toaster only heats one side of the bread, or you bought a yogurt maker thinking it would be awesome (then never used it once!), throw them away to clear up surprising amounts of space.


Home Office:  Has your home office become a junk drawer? Hunt down dead batteries and dried-up markers and toss them and take any empty printer cartridges to a Staples store for credit. You should also recycle items you never use, like old notepads, stray Post-its and rubber bands.


Family Room:  How many old magazines do you have (We definitely have a lot of them ourselves, which we save in hopes of sharing things with you through this blog!)? Make it a rule going forward that when a new issue of a magazine or a catalog comes in, the earlier one has to go. If you find yourself getting a lot of catalogs in the mail that you never read, visit and unsubscribe from more than 4,000 companies’ mailings.


Kids’ Bedrooms:  Keep only two weeks’ worth of school-appropriate tops in active rotation in your kids’ wardrobes plus a few more well-worn t-shirts for playing outside or sports. Keep one pair of dirty sneakers and throw out the rest!


Bathroom:  You likely have a lot of almost-empty or duplicate bottles of shampoos, conditioners, soaps, lotions and jars of beauty products cluttering the bathroom (who doesn’t?!). Get rid of duplicates and expired products until what you have left all fits into bathroom drawers, so you can keep clutter-free surfaces.


Master Bedroom:  Open up space in your closet by gathering up wire hangers and taking them to your local dry cleaner to recycle. You can replace mismatched hangers over time with the new ultra-thin hangers. Joy Mangano’s Huggable Hangers can be found at, just $48 for 48 hangers.


To help sort through clutter, try putting “like with like.” It helps you see clearer what you have six and seven duplicates of!

It also helps to put things into three piles as you’re sorting:

  • Throw away
  • Give away
  • Donate


To get all Rains’ organizing tips, read “The Clutter Cure” in full.


Family Tax Breaks


Are you missing any opportunities for tax deductions? I read an article last year written by financial expert Stacey L. Bradford about some surprising deductions many parents miss that could save them some serious cash. Here are the highlights:


Claim your kids. Some parents don’t know about all the child-friendly tax breaks there are. Of course, there is the Exemption for Dependents, which allows tax-payers to deduct $3,700 per child, as defined by the IRS. But there are also two more that get missed. The first is the Child Tax Credit, which applies to some parents with kids under 17 and allows them to get $1,000 per child, depending on their gross income.


And the Child Dependent Care Credit allows working parents or those who are disabled, in school full time or looking for a job to claim 20%, to 35% of child care costs for kids under age 13. (As a side note, this can also be used towards summer day camp expenses!) Just make sure you keep accurate records of everything in case the IRS asks for substantiation. Parents who qualify for this break can get up to $3,000 for one child, $6,000 for two or more.


Don’t forget about education. There are a few tax deductions for families that are paying for college. Even if your kids are still little, and you are just saving for the future, you might be able to get a write-off. If you are using a 529 plan, 34 states plus the Washington, D.C. let you deduct a portion of your contributions. In our state of New York, residents who use 529 plans can write off $5,000 when filing single or $10,000 when married and filing together.


Charity counts. If you’re giving to your child’s school, it counts as charitable giving (even a check made out to the PTA, provided it is registered as a non-profit). However, buying wrapping paper or candy does not. Also, if you end up donating the old stuff from your closets after your spring cleaning efforts, this can also be deducted. You can estimate the value of the items you donate by using the Salvation Army’s Value Guide at And when you donate, make sure you ask for a receipt! If you or immediate family members volunteer at any nonprofits, you can also claim the gas used to drive to and from volunteer projects.


Remember special needs services. If you are the parent of a special needs child and spend more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income on special school programs or therapy, you may qualify for the medical-expense deduction, provided the therapy was prescribed by a licensed health care professional. You can also write off related travel costs.


Easter “Egg-cellent” Decorating Ideas


This year, Easter falls on March 31. In preparation, I was looking for fun holiday crafts, and I was amazed by how many super creative egg decorating ideas I found in FamilyFun magazine as well as Family Circle! Below are some of the best.


  1. Who knew you could make something called a “felted egg” using only four ingredients:  plastic eggs; wool roving/yarn; pantyhose and your washing machine? You and your kids can make colorful felt-wrapped eggs in bright designs of your choosing that you can use year after year to decorate the house. Check out the YouTube tutorial:
  2. Egg toppers are a way to give eggs a little bit more personality than traditional dyed Easter eggs by turning them into characters. The ones I found make really fun crafts for any time of year. You and your kids can make Harry Potter hats, chef hats, cowboy and pirate hats, princess crowns and much more using items you already have around the house plus a few supplies from your local craft store. You can read the instructions on the Parents magazine website ( or follow the instructional video:

If you prefer the old-school style of egg dyeing (and intend to use your eggs just for show as centerpieces or party decorations, not for eating!), Family Circle provided “Egg Dyeing 101” instructions to make your eggs vibrant and special.


First, make the dye bath using 2 teaspoons of vinegar per cup of boiling hot water. Add RIT dyes, following this egg dye recipe to get a wide range of colors. Place the eggs in the dye bath for a minute or two with either tongs or a spoon, turning regularly to get the egg to be a uniform color.


Dye the deepest colors first, when the bath is its hottest, then save pastel colors for later. Once you remove eggs from the bath, blot dry with a paper towel to keep the dye from making splotches on the shell. Important:  If you’re going to use RIT dye, remember that it is not edible, so no eating!


For eggs that ARE for eating, check out the PAAS website for information on their different dyes and Easter egg supplies. The PBS Kids Shop also has some great educational spring and Easter products to help celebrate the season.


There’s a lot to do in March, so hopefully this information will help you both organize and enjoy the next month. Because as parents we often feel like there’s not enough time in the day, please enjoy our song “No More Time” for a boost of energy as you push ahead towards April!


Continue Reading...

Mediterranean Diet Is Shown to Ward Off Heart Risks

About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet, according to new research.

Read Fully Story

Continue Reading...

Happy Valentine’s Hearts

Happy February! Because this is the time of year we celebrate love in its many forms, I wanted to share a couple articles I found with you about how to show love to your family and yourself, along with some fun treats and crafts that will get hearts in the warm spirit of the month.


Do you have “Built-In Happiness”?


Do we love ourselves enough? I read a really interesting article in Good Housekeeping by Gretchen Rubin of “The Happiness Project” that explored this question and offered some tips for how we can all find more happiness within ourselves and better share love with the important people in our lives.


Rubin theorizes that that there are three keys to happiness:  self-knowledge; anticipation; love. And she believes that if we can get in touch with these different elements, we can feel more content in our lives.


  1. Self-Knowledge. As Rubin points out, “Know Thyself” is advice that has been passed along for thousands of years, but is one of the most challenging to follow, especially today, when it’s so easy for us all to get distracted by all the outside forces vying for our attention as well as by the way we wish we were and the way other people expect us to be. Her advice is to truly find time to do what you like to do:  “We can build a happy life only on the foundation of our own natures, interests, and values.” The more faithfully she is able to just be herself – rather than fit into the mold of the person others feel she should be – in her daily life, the happier she becomes.
  2. Anticipation. It’s really hard to be happy when you have nothing to look forward to. And Rubin agrees:  “Anticipation is the first stage, and a critical one, of enjoying a happy event.” And the other three stages, in her opinion are “savoring” the moment (this means turning off your cell phone every once in a while!), “expression”/voicing your pleasure in the moment to heighten your experience and “reflection,” or looking back on happy times to remember all the times you’ve felt joy. Everyone needs to be able to look at their calendars and see a few pleasant events scheduled in the future. A life that is an endless list of tasks, obligations and required “appearances” just brings you down. Even though sometimes it’s impossible to imagine making the time for fun (and the kind of fun you personally enjoy!), you need it for the sake of your own happiness and sanity … and the sanity of those closest to you!
  3. Love. This happiness ingredient is probably obvious to most, but with all we have to do every day, we can sometimes lose sight of how important strong relationships with other people are to our emotional, spiritual and physical health. Rubin stressed, “We need close, long-lasting relationships; we need to belong; we need to give and receive support – perhaps surprisingly, giving support is just as important to happiness as getting support. Not only does having strong relationships make it far more likely that you’ll take joy in life, but studies show that it also lengthens life (incredibly, even more than stopping smoking), boosts immunity, and cuts the risk of depression.” Thus, we should all take the time to focus on strengthening bonds with family, friends and coworkers and sharing the love as much as we can!


Making Kids Feel Loved


While, of course, Harold and I have one incredible kid, I am always interested in learning about how parents share their love in a home with multiple amazing ones! I came across an article in Family Fun magazine that offered up some different ways to make every kid in a multi-child household feel special. Mother of six Becky Hayes shared her “Kid of the Day” system. To settle some of the unrest in her own home as her kids grew up, each day, on a rotating basis, she would let one child get the “Kid of the Day” title and some privileges, such as getting to decide which TV show to watch, being the first to play with a favorite shared toy or getting served a meal first. In time, she found that this system continuously reminded each of her kids how important he/she was within the family (and also often had the bonus side effect of resolving sibling disputes!).


Hayes kids are now grown up. And she admitted that this system didn’t always offer up a “miracle” solution to every hot-button issue that came up on a given day – especially the unpredictable ones. However, it has been critical in helping her develop a special bond to each of her kids and create meaningful memories with each one of them.


Happy Heart Day Treats


Are you looking for some Valentine’s Day treats to make with your kids this month? I found some really good ideas in both Family Fun and Family Circle that are pretty easy to do.


“Lovin’ Spoonfuls.” These are white chocolate treats made with plastic spoons that can be eaten right off the spoon or stirred into hot cocoa. To make them, arrange plastic spoons on a cookie sheet or other surface so their bowls are level. For every 8 spoons, melt 6 ounces of white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl according to the directions on the package, then transfer the chocolate to a ziplock bag and snip off a corner. Pipe the chocolate into each spoon and gently tap the spoons on the work surface to level the chocolate. Then, have your kids help sprinkle small candies like conversation hearts, red hots and nonpareils on top and let them cool completely. You can see a photo of the finished product here:


Homemade Valentines. Homemade Valentines aren’t just for kids! You and your kids can make Valentines for friends and family together. Set up a card-making station with colored paper hearts cut out and baskets of supplies like patterned tape, decorative-edge scissors, stamps, ink pads, markers, glitter glue, colored pens, stickers, ribbons, sequins and buttons. This is also a great activity for Valentine’s Day parties!


“Love Bites.” Bake batches of simple sugar cookies in different sizes and shapes. You can frost some with icing and leave others plain. Then set out icing tubes and pens and fill different bowls with sprinkles and other sweet toppings. If you’re making this an activity for a party, provide bags so kids can seal up their creations and take them home!


There are a lot more of these ideas to make Valentine’s Day fun at


Hopefully all the ideas above can help you spread the love in February and beyond.


Years ago, when Harold and I first met we wrote a song called “Know the One You Love.” The message of this song was that sometimes the “family” that brings you joy may not be blood related. Your family can be your best friends, co-workers, or people in your building or neighborhood.

I am all for being loving to your family, if your family is loving to you. Because life is reciprocal; it doesn’t just go one way. Only you know what is the most loving situation for you and your children.


You can love yourself by removing toxic relationships from your life (even if those toxic relationships are with people who are blood related) if they don’t create a positive space for you and your children. If you are getting ill in an obligatory relationship because it’s a relative, think about whether or not there is a win-win situation you can create to be loving to yourself so you are less exposed to experiencing a less loving environment.


I live my life by the saying, “I love myself enough to surround myself by those that are good for me and detach myself from those that are bad for me.”


Be loving to yourself and your children this Valentine’s Day, and choose happiness!


Please enjoy “You Are Loved” from Parents with Angst. xo – Amelia


Continue Reading...

Holiday Happiness

It’s December, and that means it’s holiday time! We’re all wrapping up the end of the year and looking forward to gathering with family and friends and hopefully getting some quality downtime to enjoy all the season has to offer. Before things get too crazy, we wanted to take a moment to share some great holiday resources we came across that will help you end the year on a happy and healthy note.


Beating Holiday Fatigue


You’re probably right in the middle of scrambling to get everything ready for the holidays. Gift shopping, decorating, getting your home ready for celebrations with family and friends, planning meals and activities for your kids to keep them busy while they’re on break from school, all while going to work and wrapping up the end of 2012 is a lot for even the most skilled multitasker to juggle. All the events of December can cause busy parents to feel extreme fatigue, which can not only lead to irritability and being completely emotionally overwhelmed, but can also compromise the immune system and bring on physical illness.


Earlier this year, I read an article in Good Housekeeping that served up some tips for staying energized and happy, not only when navigating high-stress times like the holidays, but year round. Apparently, over a third of people accidentally fall asleep during the day, according to the Center for Disease Control, because their energy levels are constantly being compromised. A lot of this is due to a lack of good sleep, or seven, to eight deep sleep hours per night. But as Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D. and co-director of the Institute for Behavioral Sciences and the Law says, energy levels are depleted more often by emotional stress than they are by lack of sleep and other physical issues.


There are some quick fixes for low energy if you’re desperate, like a 20-minute nap, exercise, sunlight (get out of that office for a few minutes!) and even gum; experts say the act of chewing stimulates blood flow to the brain. (Who knew?!) A mere three minutes per day of meditation – real meditation that has you shutting out the world and visualizing peaceful thoughts that give you positive energy – can also work wonders.


But the best solutions to on-going fatigue are long term. Here are a few of the long-term habits the article recommends for staying alert and balanced.


  1. “Shake it up, wake it up.” A routine can be comforting, but when you do the same thing every single day, your brain will eventually shut off and become dull and uninspired. Why? As this piece points out, “The brain is wired to ignore the familiar and seek out the novel.” And novelty brings pleasure, which sparks your brain’s production of dopamine, the “feel good” chemical in your brain. This chemical is why your brain lights up when you eat your favorite food or engage in your favorite activity. But experts say that dopamine is also responsible for motivation and what sharpens your mind. So, if you spice up your routine every once in a while, even just by taking a new route to work, downloading new music onto your iPod or changing up the photos on your desk, you’ll get a boost that can totally change your outlook.
  2. “Find your passion.” Even just rediscovering an old passion can change your mood. If you don’t love what you’re doing, whether for work or as a hobby, you’re probably not going to enjoy yourself very much. The economy is such these days that even if you’re not completely fulfilled by what you do for a living, you may not have the luxury of changing direction. But you could think up a new project that interests you and is personally meaningful and propose it to your supervisor. If you can’t change up your job, you can find something new in other areas of your life. If you can find the time, spend a little time each week painting, writing or going to a lecture on a subject that interests you. Even just the act of making time for something you love will help get you through the other tasks of your day more efficiently and energetically. You’ll have a greater sense of purpose if you know you have to leave work exactly at 5 p.m. or push through house cleaning on the weekends. If you’re not sure what is going to get you excited, take a look at the bottom of your to-do list at what you always hope you’ll get to after chores like the laundry and pantry cleaning are done.
  3. “Hang with the fun crowd.” Excitement is contagious. People who exude energy will pass it onto everyone around them. Finding friends who are enthusiastic and love life (and limiting your exposure to whiny, angry, needy and grumpy people!) and spending more time with them could help you rediscover your own joy. Of course, it’s not realistic to think you can avoid every single negative person. You will sometimes just have to cope. Judith Orloff, M.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA says you need to set boundaries with the people who suck your energy. Simple body language can communicate you’re not interested in their drama:  “When the resident drama queen approaches, signal that you’re not interested by turning slightly away. Don’t ask how she’s feeling or what’s new.” A great quote I personally live by that relates to this is, “I love myself enough to surround myself with those who are good for me and detach myself from those who are not.”


And, even as you are running through all your holiday tasks, taking a break is super important (even if it feels like it’s “impossible”). Just take some deep breaths. It doesn’t have to be perfect! We all need to make time for recovery and relaxation in order to be at our best! Make sure to check out some of the other highlights of “The Secret to Beating Fatigue” ( to get some more ideas for keeping your spirits high!


De-Clutter … and Give Back!


Are you clearing out your clutter to prepare for the New Year? I found a set of resources last spring in Family Circle for those that want to turn organizing into a family project and also an opportunity to give to those in need this season. Here are a few great organizations that can benefit from your extra home goods:


The National Furniture Bank Association (  There are 90 locations in the U.S. and Canada, and they help struggling families get items like beds, dressers, etc. to furnish their homes. Check out the site before you plan to give to see which items they need most.


Soles4Souls (  This foundation has given away almost 17 million shoes since forming in 2005 to those that don’t have any and take new and gently used shoes – even single shoes! So you don’t have to throw away that shoe when your kid loses one in a pair at school or when you’re out and about!


iLoveSchools (  This organization matches preschool through high school teachers with classroom resources like notebooks, binders, art supplies and backpacks. Teachers just register on the website for items they most need, so check the site before you give.


Curb Holiday Spending


November – January can be a pricey time, with gifts, end-of-year parties, trips to visit family and tons of other extra expenses. Here are a couple ways to cut costs during the month of December while still having a great time with your kids!


Mommy Poppins (  I return to this site a lot when I’m looking for really creative ideas about how to get as much as possible out of the wonderful city of New York without breaking the bank. And with a lot of NYC’s big holiday celebrations coming up in the coming weeks, now’s a fabulous time to check it out! Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas or just the winter season, the site will help you find loads of free and family-friendly events around the city.


Nick Jr. ( There are a lot of inexpensive craft ideas on the Nick Jr. website, a channel your preschool kids are probably watching. Right now they’re featuring instructions for how you and your family can make fun items like Dora the Explorer Christmas ornaments, themed gingerbread houses, paper dreidels, Hanukkah cut-outs and other holiday crafts based on the characters your kids love.


The PBS Kids Shop (  The PBS Kids shop offers some really fun, affordable and educational gifts for your kids, plus gives you an opportunity to support high-quality public broadcasting. The shop offers daily deals and discounts on toys and games as well as party ideas and a lot more.


I hope some of the things above will give you some support and spark your imagination as you go through this special but crazy month! Please enjoy our song “You Are Loved.” We hope you celebrate all the love within your family and circle of friends this season and that you have the happiest of holidays! xo — Amelia


Continue Reading...

The Happy Child Guide

Do you struggle to discipline a child that doesn’t listen?

This video from our friends at HowAndFix offers simple and loving steps to stop your child’s defiant behavior.

Continue Reading...