10 Affordable (Or Free!) Kids Activities You Can’t Miss This Summer!

14th Street Y fans, we know you love spending time at the Y. We also know there’s a world outside of the East Village!  Our friend Shani Silver put this list together for us, and for you to enjoy with your kids this summer. 

It’s summer! Put down the iPad, shut the laptop, and take to the city with your family. Enjoying the best of our boroughs is so much fun in summer, and it can also be truly affordable, too! Fill up your subway card and check out our top 10 budget-friendly ways to have a blast with your kids this summer!

1) Children’s Museum Of The Arts: On extra hot days, take the little ones inside and let them get their hands dirty! Admission is $11 for ages 1-65, and free if you’re younger or older than that! Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, this museum offers daily craft workshops to spark the creativity of your kiddos (and their parents!).

2) Tour An Urban Farm: And this one’s free! Explore an urban farm in Randall’s Island park for a break from the hot city streets and a chance to learn a little, too! Saturdays only, and admission is free! Urban Farm in Randall’s Island Park

3) Theater Tickets Under $30! Did you know the Manhattan Theater Club offers patrons under 30 years of age tickets for $30? And it’s a welcome, air conditioned way to take in a bit of culture. More info here.

4) Prospect Park Zoo: You’ve hit up the Central Park Zoo already, this summer let’s head to Prospect Park! With children’s admission just $5 (and adults only $8!) a day exploring the zoo and learning about it’s residents is an affordable way to enjoy a gorgeous summer day. Make sure you check the zoo’s daily schedule to catch a sea lion training session!

5) Roller Skating At Le Frak Center: Does your crew need to burn off a little energy? Head to Brooklyn to skate it out! The Le Frak Center offers a covered roller skating rink with $6 weekday admission ($8 on the weekends). Closed Monday & Tuesday, you’ll save an extra $6 on skate rental if you bring your own. Bonus: Le Frak also has a free “splash pad” for water play on super hot days!

6) Ice Cream at Jahn’s: Sometimes you just need some ice cream. It’s summer! A trip to Jahn’s is like going back in time to a true soda fountain. Family friendly and very well priced,  this spot is well worth a day trip to Queens. (Full diner menu available, too!)

7) Free Mini golf! :Figment NYC is an innovative mini golf course that changes themes each year. This year’s theme is ‘From Here To There’. Located on Governor’s Island, the course is free and open seven days a week, provided the island is open to the public.

8) Free Outdoor Movies: A tip, no matter which film you’re going to, get there early! Pack a cooler, bring the blankets, and maybe a pre-film distraction or two. Something about watching a movie outdoors creates memories no theater can touch! Full NYC schedule here.

9) Children’s Museum Of Manhattan: This is a MUST. Interactive and focused on education and play, if you only visit one children’s museum this summer (and let’s face it you’ll probably visit more!) make it this one. Check out event schedules to find the activities your kiddos will love best. $11 admission, open 7 days a week!

10) FlyNY Kite Festival: Kids can create and fly their own kids during this festival on August 15th. (We’d bring a backup store bought kite just in case!). Event admission is free!

shaniShani Silver is a writer and social media strategist living in Brooklyn, NY. Shani has held writing and editing roles at Refinery29, Free People, Keep.com, and is now the Director of Digital Content at domino.com. Her first love is writing, and she’s found a home for doing what she loves in web-based content. She is originally from Texas visits her family there often. 

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KALEIDOSCOPE – “What Does Jewish Look Like?”

We sat down with Israel Bitton, an actor in the upcoming show KALEIDOSCOPE taking place July 15-19 2015 in The Theater here at the 14th Street Y. Kaleidoscope asks and answers the question, What does Jewish look like? Effectively exploring and validating diversity with the Jewish community.
Actor Brian Britton
Actor Israel Bitton

How did you get involved in KALEIDOSCOPE? 

Several years back I stumbled upon HBO’s Def Jam Poetry when Vanessa Hidary appeared and so passionately delivered a great performance of her piece “The Hebrew Mamita.” It struck a chord. I was proud that she was ‘representin’ us, and at the same time it occurred to me that one day I’d love to do the same. Then I saw her post this project, and it was just an obvious and immediate entry point for me.
 
What has the creative process been like?
Challenging. Rewarding. Vanessa and Kendell, through the workshop portion of this project, have helped each cast member reach into our personal histories so that we can craft monologues that are both deeply personal and still entertaining for audiences.
 
How do you view and identify yourself?
The world would peg me as a Modern-Orthodox Sephardic American Jew, but I don’t believe nationality, culture or observance level to be an essential part of my identity. It’s only a flavoring, and therefore I simply identify myself as a Jew.
 
What would you say defines you as a Jewish identifying person?
My kippah. My name (Yisrael Barouch). My soul.
 
Can you tell us about what you will be performing at KALEIDOSCOPE?
I explore my journey from being one of the few Sephardic kids in an all-Ashkenazi school system, the trials and tribulations that come along with that experience, my attempt to invent a new identity for myself, to coming to terms with my name, and ultimately, accepting my full identity as a means for true personal growth.
 
What have you been most surprised about and/or learned the most about during this process?
Aside from the very practical enhancement to writing and performance skills, I’m most surprised by just how diverse our cast really is. As someone who has a unique backstory and perspective, I generally have a broad worldview that allows me to see people beyond the stereotypes. And still, I thought that there would be so many similarities between the cast members that some stories would be redundant. Not so. If you’ll see the first black Jewish cast member perform, and when the second comes up you’ll think you now know what to expect, well, you’ll be surprised at just how unique every individual is. The end lesson, even for me as a cast member, is that despite being told we’re too different, or not good enough, we’re all essentially one and the same. And though we share a common thread that essentially connects us, that connection doesn’t have to compromise our right to self-discovery and the assuming of our unique identities, backgrounds, stories and trajectories.
 
 In the end, people that watch these performances will certainly be challenged to broaden their conception of what constitutes the Jewish identity.

XpuKM2HM63vBbEctGntYKC1DL-k8M3xc4pKds5QGB5MThe 14th Street Y and The Hebrew Mamita Present:

Kaleidoscope

Developed and Directed by Vanessa Hidary
July 15-19, 2015

Get tickets HERE.

Vivid Reflections. Boldly Diverse. Distinctly Jewish.

The World Premiere of Kaleidoscope, a multi-media project and monologue showcase sparked by a desire to highlight Jews of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and observance levels, will be presented at The Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th Street, on July 15th and 16th at 8pm, and on July 19 at 3pm.

Through extensively crafted, deeply personal stories, Kaleidoscope will delve into the ever-popular question “What does Jewish look like to you?” The diverse and talented cast includes performers of a wide range of ethnicities, including Moroccan, British, Jamaican, Ethiopian, Libyan, and Puerto Rican.