Holidays and Special Events

Santa Claus: Is he real?

The ins and outs of creating (or not creating) the Santa Claus myth.

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Too Many Presents/Gifts

Getting too many presents for your kids? Here's some ideas on how to decrease the consumerism.

Quick link: Looking to just get rid of stuff? see PSP’s list of places to donate any unwanted toys, gifts and household items

 

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Tipping Summer Camp Counselors

It's end of summer and what do you do when it comes to saying farewell to the counselors that kept your little tots busy & happy all summer long. This article offers advice on tipping summer camp counselors from neighborhood parents.

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Nanny Goodbye Gifts (including final compensation and pay)

Parting is such sweet sorrow... Looking for a special gift idea to give to your nanny when saying goodbye?  Here are some member suggestions.

 

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Gift Ideas: Practical Baby Items

One PSP member asked their baby group: "I'm putting together a baby gift for my newly pregnant friend, and the theme of the gift is "highly practical baby items." (I suspect most of her other gifts will be highly impractical.) Thinking back to after you had your baby: what were highly practical, must-have items you wish you'd gotten in advance, rather than having to do a midnight Duane Reade run?"

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Helping a Food Pantry This Thanksgiving

Supporting a food pantry is a great way to help New Yorker in need. It’s also an easy way for kids to learn about the importance of helping others. A food drive is a great way to involve even young children. You can collect food as a family, with a group of friends or in your child’s class at school. Here are some local food pantries to consider...

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TOP 10 Things to Think About When Moving (including what to tip movers!)

Moving can be a stressful time. But if you take steps to familiarize yourself with the way it is regulated and what rights and responsibilities you have, you'll likely have a much smoother move. Here are some things to think about as you prepare for your move.

 

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ISO: Mediocre Nanny IMMEDIATELY (April 1 Start Date)!

We're in desperate need for a nanny, but we don't need a great one.  A "pretty good" , "slightly used" or even "like new elderly" nanny will be fine.  

Ideal candidate will be FROM PARK SLOPE.  We want the right kind of nanny, and since our kids are from Park Slope, why look outside of perfect?  Additional requirements:  advanced degree in a child-related field or social work, or retired teacher (no gym teachers please).  Fluency in English required; fluency in French and Flemish a plus. Fluency in other Romance Language considered.  Must also be able to draw.

Responsibilities include but are definitely not limited to:
Cook for, feed, clean up after, bathe, read to and put to sleep 15 month old "above average" triplets.  

Hours: 7am to 8pm.  Nanny should arrive just after the kids have been fed breakfast, will clean them and take them out of the house all day to various activities and classes or to the park, to return at 6pm to feed, bathe and put them to bed before we return from dinner (typically at or around 8pm each night though occasionally it may be later).  

We will need this person to work a minimum of 7 days per week.  Some weeks we may require an extra day. If that is the case, meals that day will be provided at a discounted rate.

This position will be unpaid for the first month as a "trial and adjustment" period.  If at least 2 of the 3 kids approve of the nanny, full time pay may be offered at some point.

Additional benefits include:
Exposure to three wonderful, though temperamental, above average, extremely gifted free-range children of wonderfully intelligent and well educated Park Slope Parents.
1 unlimited metrocard per month (half of which will be paid for by nanny)
Use of bathroom and kitchen for all childcare-related purposes (a small container of personal food may be kept in the fridge for one personal meal per day).
Free access to post daily pictures of kids on family blog.
Discounted airline ticket provided on all family vacations (lodging to be paid by nanny).
Must love cats (we have six).

Happy April!

Dave
S.Slope
(3 bratty kids, 6 wonderful cats)

 

Ideas for Hosting Your Own Easter Egg Hunt!

Park Slope Parents is not doing our “official” Easter Egg Hunt this year…

but we wanted to give you folks some tools so that you may plan your own!

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Meeting Place: Decide on a meeting place.

Parts of Prospect Park that folks have met-up, in the past, include:  in front of the Picnic House; in front of the Lafayette Monument at 9th Street; the north end of the Long Meadow, between the two tunnels; at the 3rd Street entrance, by the wildcats; in front of the boat house;  and the 15th Street entrance.

Date: Decide which day works best. Most of the organized Hunts are on Saturday but since it will be spring break, you might want to consider a Friday (i.e., Good Friday). Park Slope Parents’ Easter Egg Hunts have been on Sunday/Easter and we’ve had a great turnout.

Time:  Consider nap schedules and plan for a time when kids are at their best! (If you want to get more feedback from people on their best time, use a Doodle poll https://doodle.com/). The hunt itself is usually over quite quickly (e.g., 10 minutes or less) but if it’s a nice day, stay out and enjoy the Park!

Organizational tools:  A simple Google spreadsheet can help you track who is attendees (and make it easy to email the participants). Here is a model you can copy and paste into your own Google spreadsheet: http://bit.ly/PSPEasterEggHuntExampleSpreadsheet

 

WHAT TO BRING:

-       Plastic Eggs:  a dozen, or so, plastic Easter eggs per child, filled with goodies (such as small toys, stickers, coins, shells, temporary tattoos, candy, etc…). Make sure the goodies are age-appropriate (that is, no ‘choke-ables’ for the little ones). NOTE: Get your eggs now because they can be hard to find during the last week, before Easter.

-       Props (Easter books, music, etc…) for entertainment. Musicians, bring an instrument; shakers, a pot and spoon, anything!

-       Lunch and a blanket if you want to enjoy a picnic in the Park, afterward.

-       Bubbles—Bubbles make for lots of fun!

 

GUIDELINES:

-        Your group should go off to an area of its choosing (away from the beaten path). Some folks from the group can keep the kids occupied with music, tattoos, or other little activities while others hide the eggs.

-        Avoid wooded areas and don't bury the eggs.

 

REMINDERS:

-       No pushing/shoving. No egg is worth a trip to the emergency room!

-       Oversee Kid Egg Intake. Find ONLY the number of eggs you've brought +-3. Once they find this many, have your child: (1) help someone else (especially the littler ones); (2) POINT to where eggs are hidden rather than pick up each and every one; (3) open a few of their own eggs to keep them occupied.

-       KEEP THE PARK CLEAN—Pick-up after yourselves (candy wrappers, eggs, this piece of paper, etc…)

-       Help kids understand the importance of sharing, taking turns and being patient. Let this be fun for everyone.

Being a part of a small, simple hunt in a beautiful natural area is great. It's only as good as what people bring to it, so bring a generous heart and jolly disposition!  If you do plan something as a group, I’d love to know about it. Please email me at .

 

 

Visiting the New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show

This is a growing NYC holiday tradition: watching model trains zip through a display of 150 landmarks, each re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials—all under the twinkling glow of the conservatory at the NY Botanical Garden.

Here are PSP member tips about making the most of this magical event...

 

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December staycation? More ideas of what to do with Kids in NYC over the Holidays

Planning a staycation over the December holidays? Here PSP members share ideas of what to do with kids in New York City during the December school break.

 

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Tips on Tips

Park Slope Parents offers some suggestions on tipping over the Holiday season.

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Local Gifts That Keep Giving

Looking for Christmas or Chanukah Gift ideas this Holiday? Here are some suggestions for Brooklyn-based presents to give.

 

 

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Tip With Confidence: The PSP Holiday Tips Survey

 

Results of the PSP 2011 Holiday Tips Survey

 

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2012 Holiday Tips/Gifts Survey: RESULTS

How generous are people with holiday tips/gifts? Look at the results of the 2012 Holiday Tips/Gifts/Bonuses Survey!

 

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Holiday Tips Survey 2013: The Results are In!

Thanks to everyone who answered the survey! How much do folks spend on holiday tips/gifts?

 

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Year End Gifts for Daycare Providers

From a parent: "I posted a question last week regarding year-end holiday gifts for daycare providers.  I didn't receive many replies, but I have posted the ones I did receive below."

 

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Keep Money Local: Buy Memberships to Brooklyn's Great Organizations as Gifts

Okay, in our effort to keep dollars local I wanted to post about another idea: purchasing MEMBERSHIPS as GIFTS.

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2014 HOLIDAY TIPS SURVEY: THE RESULTS ARE IN!

Here are the findings of the annual Park Slope Parents 2014 Holiday Tips Survey.

 

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Homemade Gift Ideas

Whether it is for a grandparent or a teacher; a nanny leaving or for mom/dad - here are ideas parents have shared about making homemade gifts, tokens and momentos.

 

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2015 Holiday Tips Survey: The Results are IN!

Here are the findings from the annual Park Slope Parents Holiday Tips Survey.

 

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Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day gift ideas from PSP members.

 

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2016 Holiday Tips Survey: The Results are IN!

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Here are the key findings from the annual Park Slope Parents Holiday Tips Survey:

 

  • The more the merrier - or poorer? Having a full-time nanny, dog walker, parking attendant and living in a doorman building with a super will cost you roughly $1500 extra if you tip the average amount as holiday gifts this holiday season.
  • You can’t go wrong with a personal touch. One in three (35%) are giving something more than cash (homemade cookies, treats, wine) to their service providers.
  • Power in numbers. Three out of four parents with kids in K-12 students contribute an average of $20 towards the class gift in lieu of gifting individually.
  • For daycare/preschool, you can’t go wrong with $50 for the head teacher and $25 for the secondary teacher(s). Six in ten (58%) families with kids in daycare/preschool give monetary gifts individually over a class gift.
  • For nannies, the standard holiday bonus is a week’s pay.
    Caveat: If your nanny hasn’t been working a year then you can give less (e.g., ½ week’s pay if they worked only 3 months) but do let the nanny know if you plan on giving more next year.

 

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Gift Ideas For Grandparents

Wondering what to get the grandparents as a gift? PSP members share their ideas.

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A Brief Summary of Major Jewish Holidays

A quick guide to talk you through all the major Jewish events.

 

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Spring Forward (O The Humanity!)

The history of Daylight Saving Time

 

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What Moms Want?

an opinion piece on Mother's Day

 

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Mother's Day: Not All Cards and Flowers

Julia Ward Howe; one ambitious mother

 

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West Indian- American Festivities-- a Synopsis

Ben Austin wrote up a great email last year about the West Indian Day Festivities-- He's given me permission to repost it here (Thanks Ben!).

 

 

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How To Thank Teachers at the Holidays & End of the Year

So it's the Holidays or the end of the year.  And you are probably wondering what you should do about giving gifts to your child's teacher. What exactly is expected from parents? Do you go all out with something big or can you keep it small & more personal? You've even heard rumors that giving gifts aren't even allowed.  Park Slope Parents explores the dos & the not to dos of what to give teachers & discusses what exactly the rules are when it comes to gifting teachers in both NYC public & private schools. 

And we even have some advice from teachers too about what is cool (or not cool) when it comes to gifting.

 

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10 things the whole family can do for Valentine's Day

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Happy Valentine's Day!

If you couldn't get a sitter this Valentine's Day - why not make it a Family Valentine's Day?  Here are a few ideas to make the day feel special:

 

1. Have a family date night
Go on a family date night. Check out one of these member recommended family and kid-friendly restaurants then do an activity like a movie or bowling.

 

2. Do a family movie night
Make some popcorn and have a movie night at home. Here are some family movies PSP members recommend. If you are feeling extra crafty, get the kids to decorate brown lunch bags with hearts to serve popcorn in.

 

3. Embrace the cold weather - together
Make the cold weather feel extra special with hot chocolate and marshmallows, lots of blankets, pillows. Why not create a family-sized fort?

 

4. Take a family "vacation"
If you are really fed up with this cold weather, turn your house into a summer day. Have an indoor picnic and cook up some hamburgers (or tofu dogs), make some virgin pina coladas or lemonade and stream a summer themed movie in the background - did you know there is a surfing and board sports category on Netflix? If you are feeling extra summery, pull out some Hawaiian shirts to wear.  Get the kids to draw beach scenes, flowers, or anything else that reminds them of summer to decorate the house. Make s'mores or anything else that gives you that summer vibe!

 

 5. Do a fun craft activity
Make a tree of hearts! Make and decorate all types of hearts to decorate an indoor tree or branch.  Or you can also stick your hearts them on to a largee sheet of paper or turn it into a garland/ 3D mobile to hang. You could even write on each heart a thing that you love or little love poems and rhymes. (source)

 

6. Have a family game night
Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse for a family game night.  Pull out your favorite games and enjoy spending time together.

 

7. Play "Find the Heart"
Play "Find the Heart."  It's just like an Easter egg hunt but think of it as Cupid instead of the Easter Bunny.  Hide Valentine's Day treats like chocolates, notes, heart stickers and Valentines around the house  for your kids to find. (source)

 

8. Bake Valentine's Day Cookies or Cupcakes
Whether you want to make cookies from scratch (or hit up the cookie dough aisle at C-Town or Fairway), cut them out in heart shapes and decorate them with red or pink icing. Or stick to a classic chocolate chip, just the smell of baking is heavenly!

Here are parents recommendations for baking supply stores.

Here are some recipe ideas

 

9.  Visit a chocolate store (and find out how chocolate is made)
Visit a chocolate store like Jacques Torres in DUMBO, NuNu on Atlantic Ave, the Chocolate Room or the Cocoa Bar here in Park Slope or Mast Brothers in Willilamsburg. (source)

Read what PSP members say about the Chocolate Room here

And here's what they say about Cocoa Bar

 

10. Show some love back to your community!
Donate unwanted items or your time to a local charity. Find out more about volunteering opportunities here.

 

What are you doing this Valentine's Day?

 

By Melissa De Witte

 

Block Party Planning Time!

Thinking about summer and Block Parties? Since it can take 60 days (or 90 in some areas), you might need to get crackin’ on plannin’.

Here’s some information about throwing a great party as well as links to applying in Community Board 6 and CB7.

 

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Remembering on Veteran's Day

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For many of us today is an day off from school and a time when we try to arrange things to do with the kids to fill the time.  I did, however, want to take a minute to also remind folks that it’s Veterans Day, a day to remember the soldiers who have served (or are serving) in the nations armed forces. Do you know that it was on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November (the 11th month) of 1918 they signed the Armistice Treaty (I didn’t).  And the difference between Memorial Day (honoring those who have died) and Veterans Day (honoring all soldiers past and present)?

The History Channel has a little history lesson on today’s date (see here), and there are lots of YouTube Videos that you can watch about the day and honoring soldiers. There is also a Veterans Day Parade in the city. It kicks off at 11:15 from 26th Street and 5th Ave up to 52nd. It’s also televised on some of the major networks. Lots to watch and read about the day.

 

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Hanukah: Not the "Jewish Christmas"

All you need to know about Hanukah

 

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Interfaith Holidays: Chrismukkah

Christmas + Hanukah = ?

We've complied stories from interfaith families who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukah and how they honor these two religious holidays. We are including here two separate questions from families who have raised questions about tradition and family.

 

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Cheap and Cheerful Things to Do With Kids During the Holidays

‘tis the season to be distracted. We’re not necessarily talking about spending the big bucks to take the whole family to the Nutcracker or taking out a second mortgage to skate at Rockefeller Center. There are lots of fun things to do with kids that are all about spending time together.

 

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Caroling for Dummies

Park Slope Parents tips for Caroling this Christmas!

 

 

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My Son is on Naughty Watch

Santa tells it like it is - a Santa Clause computer/phone app!

 

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How to Handle Holiday Stress

Christmas can bring more than presents, cookies and Santa Claus. With it can come stress, worry and anxiousness.  It's easy to get overwhelmed by the Holiday buzz and feel like yourself spinning out of control.

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Where to see Christmas Lights?

Want to see some great Christmas Lights? Here are some local and further destinations worth checking out.

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Where to buy a Christmas Tree?

 Where to buy your Christmas tree in Park Slope. Did Foley’s Firs hold up? Did the expensive guy in front of CVS have trees that were perfect? Here are what PSP members say about their Christmas trees.

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Ways to Recycle your Christmas Tree

Wondering how to recycle your Christmas tree? Read on!

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PSP's 2017 Guide to the Holidays

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IN THE GUIDE:

 

Where to meet Santa

Activities:

Ongoing

Upcoming

Where to see Christmas Lights?

Drives, Giving, and Volunteer Opportunities

Where to buy a Christmas Tree

Member advice and issues explored

THE 2017 HOLIDAY TIPS SURVEY - WE STILL NEED YOUR RESPONSES:

This holiday season, how are you appreciating the service providers in your life? We want to know then we can help guide folks so they don't scrimp on saying "Thanks."
Take the 2017 Holiday Tips Survey >

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WHERE TO MEET SANTA

 

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ONGOING SANTA PHOTO OPS:

 

Macy’s Santa Land

When: from November 24 - December 24
Where: 8th floor of Macy's Herald Square on 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue.
When: now - December 24, times vary; please see the schedule for details. Please note that Macy’s Santaland will close at 4pm (sharp!) on Christmas Eve.
What: Santa is stopping by Macy's! He's only here for a limited time and it's be reservation only!  You can reserve a spot on their Express Pass line free of charge online. Reservations are subject to availability and can only be made 30 minutes to 48 hours in advance.
What PSP Members say: "I do not recommend Macy's. We made a 10am appointment for Macy's Santa and when we arrived and checked in they pointed us to the end of the line which snaked way outside of Santaland entrance, down through the cookware, and around the corner. At which point I asked somebody what the wait time was and they said about 3 hours. Which to me looked more like 4 or 5 hours because I remember the inside from last year and how it snaked around quite a bit. So we left and went to Bloomingdales. Same thing we did last year. So after 2 years of being let down by Macy's, I cancelled my Macy's card and wrote a letter explaining that young children that need naps and meals can't wait in lines that are 3 plus hours long. We have been very happy with the Bloomingdale Santa's and the fact that there were only two people in line in front of us was even better. You are totally allowed to take your own photos and Santa is very cooperative. they also have a photographer there if you would like them to do it and buy a package with printed photos and digital download for very reasonable prices."
Cost: It’s free to visit and the professional photos are available for purchase, but they’re optional. Packages start at $20.99.
More info >

 

Bloomingdale's Santaland

When: November 24-Saturday, December 23, 10am-6pm, Monday-Saturday; 11am-6pm Sundays.
Where: Midtown East 1000 Third Avenue at East 59th Street
What: Bloomingdale's has its own Santaland on the fifth floor in the kids' section, and we hear lines are shorter than at Macy's in the past.
How much: Photo packages start at $22.
More info >

 

Photos with Santa + Free Gift  
Where: Kings Plaza Mall, 5100 Kings Plaza Brooklyn, NY 11234
When: Now through December 24
What: Visit Santa for photos and a free gift! Santa will be available for photos and visits at his winter home, located Upper Level, near Best Buy. Reservations available, but not required!
What PSP Members say: “Kings plaza mall last weekend and so was Santa! NO LINE! He's a great looking Santa, and they took 3 'poses' this year. My fav is one of my son whispering what he wants in Santa's ear. Great pics this year.”
More info >

 

Items of Interest
Where: 60 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
What: Skip the lines!  Schedule your appointment time with Santa in Items of Interest's comfy, intimate, neighborhood-shop setting. Their kindly elves and Santa sit in a perfectly staged setting, complete with stockings, presents, and of course a Christmas tree!  Their skilled photographer will take multiple photos, and (unlike the mall), you'll get all of them to take home with you on your very own jump drive, ready for you to print and/or create your online holiday cards!
What PSP Members say: "I had a really great, easy experience with my newborn last year at Items of Interest. You can schedule in advance online, and the Santa scene is much more homey and less chaotic than a Macy’s/mall environment" and "we went to Items of Items of Interest last year.  We really enjoyed it. I believe they've raised the price by$10 this year. We still plan on going again this year."
Cost: $29.95 and $39.95
More info >

 

Santa at ABC Carpet
Where: 888 Broadway New York, NY 10003
What: A handful of Saturdays and Sundays Santa visits ABC Carpet & Home.
What PSP Members say: "The Santa at ABC carpet and home is the best. Authentic as it gets. We've been going every year since our 8-year old was born. You take your own photos, though. No photographer is present."
More info >

 

OTHER UPCOMING "ONE-OFF" SANTA PHOTO OPS:

 

Photos with Santa
Where: Old Stone House, 336 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY
When: Devember 10, 10:30 a.m. - 12noon
What: Join us for our 3rd annual photo session with Santa, in partnership with Park Slope Parents and the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID.  Photos will be taken on a first come, first serve basis for $10.   Photographer Marc Goldberg will make his professional photos available on his website for purchase, and you’re welcome to snap your own photo as well.  Help support OSH’s great community programs all year round with a $35 donation, and you’ll get your photo session for free!
Cost: $10
More info >

 

Free Santa Visit at Sidecar
Where: 560 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY
When: Saturday, December 16, 3 - 5 p.m.
Where: Sidecar
What: Santa Visits on #theother5th are sponsored by the merchants through the BID. Meet Santa, take a photo with your child or children and get a candy cane in our local stores on #theother5th. Carolers will also be walking 5th Ave every Saturday 3-5pm before the holidays from December 2nd.
More info >

 

Free Santa Visit at Du Jour Bakery
Where: Du Jour Bakery, 365 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY
When: Saturday, December 23rd, 4 - 5 p.m.
What: Santa Visits on #theother5th are sponsored by the merchants through the BID. Meet Santa, take a photo with your child or children and get a candy cane in our local stores on #theother5th. Carolers will also be walking 5th Ave every Saturday 3-5pm before the holidays from December 2nd.
More info >

 

HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES

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ONGOING HOLIDAY EVENTS:

Holiday Nostalgia Rides
When: Sunday, November 26th, December 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th!
What: In celebration of the one year anniversary of the Second Avenue Subway, this year’s Holiday Nostalgia Train will run along the F line between 2nd Av and Lexington Avenue / 63rd Street and via the Q line between Lexington Avenue / 63rd Street and 96th Street on the Upper East Side. The special eight-car subway train of  R1-9 cars from the 1930s is complete with rattan seats, ceiling fans, incandescent bulb lighting, drop-sash style windows, vintage roll signs, and original advertisements.
Where and more details: The Holiday Nostalgia Train departs from the 2nd Av subway station on the F line at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm and from the 96th Street subway station on the Q line at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm.
Cost: Don’t miss your chance to travel through time – for just the cost of a MetroCard swipe!
More info >

 

Holiday Train Show®
Where: New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458-5126   
When: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 – Monday, January 15, 2018
What: Catch magical model trains zipping through 150 landmarks re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials—all under the twinkling glow of fairy lights. Marvel at G-scale locomotives humming along among familiar sights such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and Rockefeller Center on nearly a half-mile of track. This year’s exhibition showcases Midtown Manhattan’s iconic skyscrapers and other architectural wonders, featuring new replicas of the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, General Electric Building, and St. Bartholomew’s Church.
Cost: prices vary depending on weekday or weekend. One adult ticket costs $23 or $30, students $20 or $28, children 2-12 $10 or $18. This is the cost PER ticket.
More info >

 

UPCOMING HOLIDAY EVENTS:

 

Holiday Tree Lighting at Carroll Park
When: Friday, December 8, 6-7 p.m.
Where: 245 Carroll St, Brooklyn, NY
What: Join Court Street Merchants Association, Friends of Carroll Park, elected officials, friends, neighbors, and maybe even a fat man in a red suit when we flip the switch on our holiday decor! Countdown and carols will happen at the Louis Valentino, Jr. Ballfield, followed immediately by food and fun in the Robert Acito Park House. We will also be collecting goods for our City Harvest holiday food drive, so please grab a can or box of non-perishable food en route!
More info >

Southwest Brooklyn Tree Lighting and Toy Drive
When; Friday December 8, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Human Compass Garden at the corner of Columbia and Sackett Streets

What: Take a photo with Santa. Refreshments from local restaurants. Only new and unopened toys will be accepted. Questions contact Elyse at .
More info >

 

 

The Annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Grand Army Plaza
Where: Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights
When: December 12, 6 p.m.
What:  Did you know that the largest Menorah is located in Brooklyn, New York? It has been towering over Grand Army Plaza since 1984. The annual Menorah lighting ceremony is a must for Jews and non-Jews alike. Every night the celebration is accompanied with live music and hot latkes for all.  Special gifts are distributed to every child. Making this a family celebration and a must on everyone's calendar. 
More info >

 

Menorah on 5th
Where: Fourth St and Fifth Ave
When: December 18, 4:30 - 6 p.m.
What: Join the Chabad of Park Slope for a local Menorah Lighting in partnership with the 5th Avenue BID.  Chabad of Park Slope is creating a fun community experience with Donuts, Latkes and Dreidel gifts for the children.
More info >

 

Brooklyn Brandenburgers Holiday Concert
When: Saturday, December 16, 7 p.m.
& December 17, 2 p.m.
Where: Old Stone House, 336 Third Street
What: OSH's
beloved house band, the Brooklyn Brandenburgers, will perform their annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 16 at 7 pm, and Sunday, December 17 at 2 pm, featuring music by Georg Philipp Telemann, W. A. Mozart, Gene Glickman, Astor Piazzolla, Arthur Foote, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach. Children under 16 are free. $10 tickets on-line at Brown Paper Tickets
More info >

 

New Year's Eve Fireworks: One Brooklyn
When: Sunday, December 31, 11 p.m.
What: Join Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Prospect Park Alliance for Brooklyn's most spectacular New Year’s Eve Fireworks Celebration at Prospect Park's iconic Grand Army Plaza. This free event includes live entertainment by Brooklyn's own Quintessential Playlist starting at 10:30 pm, followed by fireworks at the stroke of midnight. The event, now in its 38th year, attracts tens of thousands of revelers to Prospect Park, making it one of the city's most popular celebrations. This event is free and open to the public.
More info >

 

DRIVES AND GIVING/ VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

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Little Essentials' Holiday Toy and Diaper Drive
What: Little Essentials is one of PSP's favorite not-for-profit partners. They are a community response to a community need, helping families with children under 4 who live at or below the poverty line. We’ve worked with them for 6 years, ever since Sandie had her living room chock full of donated items from her baby group friends to donate to people less fortunate. If your baby group is getting together (which is awesome by the way) have a Little Essentials Toy Drive as part of your celebration. If you can have a toy drive at your office, wonderful.  They need more than 500 toys for their needy families.
What they need: Dolls /Action Figures; Sports Gear (Footballs/Soccer Balls/Bballs); Dress-up sets; Purses and Totes Bags; Craft & Jewelry Sets; Board Games/Card Games; Puzzles; Educational Baby Toys; Building Blocks/ Legos; Books for All Ages (Board/Picture/Chapter); Art Supplies (Sketch Pads/Markers/Crayons);or Musical Toy Instruments
Where: Drop toys off at their warehouse in Tribeca if you can (email Elissa Young to arrange drop off: " target="_blank">elissayoung@littleessentials.org). Or, if you need to drop them here in Brooklyn you can do so at my doorman at 438 12th Street between December 5th and 12th (9am – 8pm).
More info >

 

Sheltering Arms - 3 ways ways to help!
What: Help break the cycle of poverty through Sheltering Arms, a non-profit that strengthens the education, well-being, and development of vulnerable children, youth, and families in New York City. Here are 3 ways to help:
Buy from the Children's Gift Registry:
One way to help is by purchasing an item for a child in need through their gift registry. Your gift will be sent directly to the facility. Use their online gift registry to select an item to give. At checkout, remember to check "this order contains a gift" and write your name, email, and "Park Slope Parents" in the message. Then, select "Sheltering Arms' Gift Registry Address" for shipping. Need a donation letter? Email " target="_blank">winterwonders@shelteringarmsny.org
More info > 
Help out at a Wrapping Party:
You can also attend one or both of their two wrapping parties! They need volunteers to sort, wrap, and track gifts for our children, many of whom will receive a present for the very first time this holiday season. Complete the volunteer form here to let them know you’re interested in sorting and wrapping presents.
When: Wednesday, December 13th, 6:30pm-8:30pm (adults only) and  Saturday, December 16th, 11:00am-2:00pm (families encouraged!)

 

Lantern Gift Drive
What: Have Tweens or Teens? The Lantern GIFT DRIVE is for you. Could you imagine if you were homeless (or threatened with homelessness) and you’re between 14-24 years old? Lantern community services help their older kids, tweens, and teens. Lantern Community Services champions the independence and well-being of New Yorkers who are impacted by or threatened with homelessness. The families we serve struggle on very low incomes, and many of our youth don’t have families to turn to at all. With your help, we’ll make sure that every single one of them receives a gift. 
What they need: Buy any item from the Lantern Holiday Gift List. Make it personal by letting your kids help pick out items based on what they like. Select Lantern as the shipping address: Lantern Community Services Holiday Gift Drive, Clover Hall, Lantern CS, c/o Alicia Sweeney, Program Director, 333 Kosciuszko Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11221, United States.
Please note: Lantern is a 501(c)3 tax exempt nonprofit and we would love to give you a letter acknowledging your donation, for your tax records. Unfortunately Amazon doesn’t pass on your details to us, so if you want to receive your letter, go to https://goo.gl/forms/nNw26gKiiECwP7e13 and fill out our form.

 

100 Suits for 100 Men
What: Assemblymember Bobby Carroll's District Office is a temporary collection location for the non-profit 100 Suits for 100 Men. This community program serves men and women in need of business attire for the job search process. The mission of 100 Suits for 100 Men is “to help underprivileged men and women improve their role in society, build dignity and self-esteem, foster self-sufficiency, dispel stereotypes, and promote community involvement in order to build each other up.”  100 Suits for 100 Men seeks Business Attire in both Men’s and Women’s sizes from XS to 6X along with belts, briefcases, purses, ties and shoes. You can drop off donations at Assemblymember Carroll’s District Office in Park Slope. 
Where: 416 7th Avenue (between 13th and 14th Streets) between 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

MEMBER ADVICE AND ISSUES EXPLORED

 

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The holidays can trigger many mixed emotions around family life, concepts of materialism, understanding and practicing religion, not to manage added stress, financial concerns, and more. PSP members share advice about: 

Interfaith Holidays: Chrismukkah

Cheap and Cheerful Things to Do With Kids During the Holidays

How to Handle Holiday Stress

Reducing Stolen Packages in the Neighborhood

Santa Claus: Is he real?

Too Many Presents/Gifts

How To Thank Teachers at the Holidays & End of the Year

 

Costume-Making Tips: Nothing to Be Afraid Of When DIYing Halloween

The  homemade, DIY costume is easy - all it takes is a little time and inspiration.  Here are some tips to get you started on a creative costume!

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Costume-Making Tips: How To Papier Mâché

Papier mâché creations: limited only by the imagination (and the laws of physics). For committed do-it-youselfers, papier mâché is the costume craft of choice. It's pliable,easy and kid-friendly, plus it's fun to watch your ideas take shape.

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An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Halloween

Is it your first Halloween in the 'hood? Here is the spooktacular scoop on having a great Halloween with very small children.

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Halloween Costumes for Procrastinators

You can make something wonderful (or at least socially acceptable) with as little as a few plastic bags and a snuggie. Here are some of the last minute costume ideas we came up with.

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Halloween Safety and General Reminders

Halloween in the Slope is lots of fun but it comes with its own unique set of challenges - like how to tell your Princess Leia and Spiderman from the 400 other princess Leias and Spidermen. Here are our top tips for making our urban Halloween safe and fun.

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Where To Buy Halloween Costumes in Park Slope and Brooklyn

Over the years, pop up costume shops and stores selling Halloween gear have been available at the following Brooklyn locations...

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DIY Facepainting

Face painting is almost always a hit with the 3-8 year old set. Hiring a face painter can be expensive, but they bring all the equipment and it's good stuff. You can also decide to try your own hand at making it happen.

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Food Allergies and Halloween: What to Do?

So your little one has food allergies. How do you handle Halloween, a holiday where allergens - more scary than the ghosts and witches out at night - will be everywhere?

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The Thanksgiving Day Parade: So Worth It

Here are PSP members best tips for seeing parade with kids...

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Don't be a Traffic Turkey this Thanksgiving

Tips for traveling in and out of New York and the 'Slope over the Thanksgiving period.

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The Night Before The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Watch the Balloon Inflation

Get a sneak peek of the Macy's Day Parade & watching the balloons get inflated the afternoon before! Many PSP Members suggest this as a great alternative to the Parade watching experience.  Here are tips, information & more...

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Get up close to the Macy's Day Parade floats! Kids can see balloons like Kermit getting inflated (image via here)

 

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Thanksgiving at Home

Parents share their cooking tips, recipes, decoration ideas & more for making a fun and festive Thanksgiving Dinner at home...

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Meaningful Memorial Gifts

Ideas for memorial gifts that are more than flowers or a donation.

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A Cautionary Tale for Christmas

A personal tale of the importance of carbon monoxide detectors.

 

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Reducing Stolen Packages in the Neighborhood

Expecting some packaged to be delivered? Here are out Top TIPS to keep your packages from being stolen

 

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