Holidays and Special Events

2018 Holiday Tips Survey: The Results are IN!

Here are the key findings from the 2018, 7th annual Park Slope Parents Holiday Tips Survey in which Brooklyn residents report their upcoming end of year gifts to service providers, nannies, and teachers.




Strengthening Relationships


Parenting puts a lot of pressure on a relationship, even a good one. With this in mind, here’s a short list of things to do to strengthen relationships. Make these things priorities starting this Valentine's Day (if you haven't already)!


Conversational Hearts Best Version2 2


Date Night: If you can swing it, get out alone with your partner.  There are good reviews of Date Night Restaurants on the Park Slope Parents website.


Recharge: Send your partner out to get recharged, or recharge yourself. The Pampered Parent recommendations page has massage therapists and other services to help. These folks give PSP discounts on pampered parent services. It doesn’t have to cost a lot.  For dads, getting out and playing poker, going to Dad 411, or meeting up with other dads in your monthly or seasonal group are great ways to recharge. We also have an article on avoiding Parental Burnout .


Consider Therapy. This can be hard when you have limited time and young kids, but it can save a marriage. We have this list of Couple’s Therapists and Counseling. If you’ve got issues that start with you, or if your partner doesn’t want to attend, consider going to individual therapy


Read books about Relationship Resilience and do workbooks together. Parenting can stress relationships.  The big names in couple’s therapy right now are John Gottman (The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work) and Sue Johnson (Hold Me Tight and Emotionally Focused Therapy) but don’t discount oldies but goodies like Harvell Hendrix (Getting the Love You Want, Imago Therapy) and simplified but useful constructs like Gary Chapman (The 5 Languages of Love are: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, physical touch; quiz here.)  


Cuddle without expectation of sex. Be explicit that you just want to cuddle (and mean it). 


Have sex.  Schedule it if you need to. I’ve talked to many moms who feel like sex was a hassle, but they were always glad they did it afterward. If you’re co-sleeping, try a new place like a shower with the lights off. (We started a Sex after Kids Survey years ago; a Babeland/Park Slope Parents initiative that we never followed through with—maybe we need to dust that off!)


Practice Gratitude, especially with your partner. Have a Gratitude Jar (or text each other 3 things each day). Write 3 things that you are grateful for each day and re-visit them regularly. Especially tell each other what you appreciate about them.


Take charge when your partner needs a break. One friend said that the best thing her husband did was to put a beer in her coat pocket and tell her to go take a walk in the park when she was totally overwhelmed. 


Do more little things. Texts for no reason, flowers just because, notes on the bathroom mirror, phone calls.  Little things can do a lot to help a relationship. Put the dishes away, fold the laundry, offer to make dinner… do things that aren’t typically “your” tasks. 


Laugh more. Surround yourself with more comedy and less tragedy (including your steaming binges).  Share funny jokes and cartoons and reflect on funny times together. 


Practice Active Listening. Remember, it’s NOT about the nail.  This takes energy and time.


Watch things together. Co-viewing creates a shared history that helps couple's bond. 


This is a snapshot of some of the things that I discuss in my NYU Interpersonal Communication graduate class. 


So that’s some relationship help for ya. We also have this article: Wisdom/support for serious marital rough patch


Dr. Susan Fox


Ph. D. 1994, UCSB, currently NYU Adjunct


Founder, Park Slope Parents



LGBTQ+ Family Friendly Events-- 2019 edition

Here are our picks for Family Friendly PRIDE Events for June 2019

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Kidding Around Family Pride Picnic

When: Saturday, June 29, 10am - 1pm

Where: On the High Line (16th Street to Gansevoort Street)

How Much: Free (Guests must register in advance here

What: A celebration of LGBTQ+ families and Pride through a summer festival with carnival-style games, face painting, a musical performance, and much more.

Youth Pride

When: Saturday, June 29, 10am - 1pm

Where: Central Park’s SummerStage

How Much: Free for the public under 21. There is a $10 registration fee for individuals 21+ (Guests please register in advance here )

What: A chance for young people to celebrate NYC Pride with their friends. Interactive Experiences, games and performances from Ava Max, DJ Nhandi, Deetranda, and many more!





2019 Rosh Hashanah & High Holiday Events

Park Slope Jewish Center

PSJC welcomes you and your family to join us for our youth and family services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur! Our open tent (literally!) service are open to the community and welcome your entire family from toddlers to teens a place to celebrate with singing, stories, and the shofar.  For service descriptions and times for all of our options from toddlers to teens to family services, please visit the websites below. Services are all located at 1320 8th Avenue, at the corner of 8th Avenue and 14th Street in Park Slope.
Rosh Hashanah, September 30th & October 1st

Yom Kippur, October 9th
 Registration is not required, but is requested to help with planning, but even if you decide to join us on the morning of, you're always welcome. Please contact Aileen Heiman, Director of Youth Education and Family Programming, at  , with any questions about accessibility or other needs. Shana Tovah! 


Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of our Lives:
We are excited to offer a new Youth and Family Service running simultaneous with our main services. This musical, interactive High Holy Days service is geared towards school-age youth. We welcome all families with younger children, though children ages 6 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible family member or adult. This will be a family-friendly space for all ages. 

Rosh HaShanah Youth and Family Service: 
Monday, Sep 30 11:00am-12:30pm

Yom Kippur Youth and Family Service: 
Wednesday, Oct 9 11:00am-12:30pm

Both services take place in the atrium of NAB Theater at City Tech - 285 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn


Brooklyn Heights Synagogue
 Community Family Services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
Led by Rabbi Molly Kane
FREE and open to all. No ticket required
Monday, September 30th | 2:00PM
Wednesday, October 9th | 2:00PM
Services are located at Plymouth Church, 57 Orange Street


Congregation Beth Elohim
High Holy Days at CBE is a special time to reflect, rejoice, and connect. For families with toddlers, our interactive services for tots ages 0-4 and their parents are the perfect opportunity to come together during this meaningful time. And for families with special needs, please join us for a needs appropriate, sensory friendly High Holy Day experience.
 All Tots Services and the Special Needs Service are free and open to the public! For more information and our full schedule, visit
Services are located CBE, 274 Garfield Place
Shanah Tovah!


Kane Street Synagogue
High Holidays family services for kids of all ages and their families. Open to the community! Childcare and family services are included in synagogue membership. We ask non-members to purchase tickets for their family if they plan to us for family services and/or utilize childcare during the High Holidays ($50 for services and $18 for childcare). You can register at

 For more information on all of our holiday programming, visit


Union Temple

The High Holy Days are almost here! Union Temple invites you and your family to begin a new year with the sweetness of community. Union Temple’s Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur family services feature kid- and family-centered prayer, song, storytelling and connection to the values of these powerful days. There is no charge and all are welcome to any and all of our services, adult and kid alike. Just let us know that you’re coming at Your email confirmation is your ticket; present it when you enter. One ticket is good for all services. Childcare is also available during all adult services. Please visit for the full schedule of services and more information.

ROSH HASHANAH (Monday, September 30) | 9:00AM
Services for 5 and under: 4th Floor
Services for 5+ and older: 3rd Floor 

YOM KIPPUR (Wednesday, October 9) | 9:00AM
Services for 5 and under: 4th Floor
Services for 5+ and older: 3rd Floor


Join the B’SHERT family for High Holiday Services! You do not need tickets for our children’s services.
Rosh Hashanah, Monday, September 30th at 1:30PM
Yom Kippur, Wednesday, October 9th at 1:15PM
Beth Shalom v’Emeth Reform Temple
83 Marlborough Road, Brooklyn, NY 11218 (at Church Avenue)


Romemu Brooklyn

Berkeley Carroll School
Romemu Brooklyn is pleased to host our second season of High Holy Days for 5780/2019.
Babysitting and youth programs are included at no additional charge for all service times. For information and to register, visit:


Flatbush Jewish Center
327 E. 5th Street in Kensington
Welcome the new year with our Conservative egalitarian community. High Holiday tickets are included with FJC membership.
For non-members, tickets are $220, or $110 for Coop Hebrew School parents who are not FJC members. 
Rosh Hashanah Children’s Program, Monday, September 30th at 10:00AM
Yom Kippur Children’s Program, Wednesday, October 9th at 10:00AM


Bayridge Jewish Center
Free and all are welcome
Rosh Hashanah Services
Monday, September 30th & Tuesday, October 1st
10:00AM (ages 0+ - 5yrs); 11:00AM (ages 6 – 11yrs) 

Yom Kippur Children’s Services
Wednesdays, October 9th
10:00AM (ages 0+ - 5yrs); 11:00AM (ages 6 – 11yrs)
 For information on our complete High Holiday schedule, visit



Chabad of Windsor Terrace
1266 Prospect Avenue
Led by our experienced and energetic group leaders, we will provide fun and educational program for your children while you attend services. Children will enjoy age appropriate games, stories, discussions, prayers and songs. No membership needed. 
Rosh Hashanah Children's Program, Monday, September 30th and Tuesday, October 1st at 11:30AM


Fall and Halloween Events -- 2019 Edition

It was a great Halloween! Next year Halloween is on a SATURDAY!  Fun to come!  Make sure to join Park Slope Parents to be up on all of the action!

Here are some PHOTOS of the Parade:

Susan Fox Photos 

Don Wiss Photos






How to survive the Thanksgiving Holidays



NOTE from Park Slope Parents, November 2020: If you're meeting up with relatives this holiday season, getting tested for the coronavirus is a great way to help put your mind at ease and keep your family as safe as possible. We have an article on Covid Testing in Brooklyn: Where to Go and What to Know, which includes guidance on testing and quarantining for travelers; links to important public health information; and reviews from members of testing sites in Brooklyn. Stay safe out there, NYC!


There's a not so funny joke that goes like this:

"Why your family is so good at pushing your buttons?"


"Because they installed them!"

So as you go into the holidays next week (I’m giving you a week to prepare) try to remember that it took years to learn those now-instant knee-jerk reactions to the crazy things that your family does. I don't know about you, but it's hard not to turn into the 13 year old runt of the family when I'm around them.

Partners? You have the fun task of being between a rock and a hard place. You're "damned if you do and damned if you don’t." If you criticize your 'in-laws', you're screwed. If you don't criticize your in-laws (and god forbid talk about how their side of the story may make sense) you're also screwed.

So---Here are some tips that you and your partner can use to keep the peace during the Holidays, adapted from this Jezebel article "Social Minefield: How You (and Your Partner) Can Survive Thanksgiving with the Family."



Ways to Give 2019

Giving is a great way to help those who need a hand up this holiday season. We have many ways to help, including gift drives, warm winter wear drives and more.  For any of the great drives below, feel free to organize a toy drive with your office or your baby group!  Have a holiday party potluck and have people bring gifts to donate.


Share these drives with work colleagues, block associations, or on social media. Every little bit helps!



The 2019 Little Essentials' Toy Drive


Suport Little Essentials Holiday Toy Drive and shop their Holiday Wish List on Amazon at from November 18th to December 2nd.


DETAILS: Select the gifts and send to the address near the top of the page: Little Essentials c/o Tribeca Pediatrics' Gift Registry Address

Little Essentials is a PSP favorite not-for-profit partner. They are a community response to a community need, helping families with children under 5 who live at or below the poverty line. PSP has  worked with them for 7 years, ever since founder and Ft. Greene mom Sandie Trombert had her living room chock full of donated items from her baby group friends to distribute to people less fortunate.

Deadline: December 20th




2019 Sheltering Arms Winter Wonders Gift Drive


Use Sheltering Arms Gift Registry for gifts ideas that kids and teens would love to open this holiday season.


Working with Foster Care, and with feedback from our youth 13+ , we decided to provide older youth with gift cards. We kindly ask that families consider donating gift cards (which can be found on the Amazon wishlist) to help us ensure our youth can purchase what they need/want. We have approximately 90 youth who are 13 years old and over. Of course, there is a need for gifts for children of all ages so we would be grateful to receive any gift that your families choose to donate. 

After making your gift, please fill out their online Donation Form - found at  if you need a tax letter.


  • Select Sheltering Arms’ Gift Registry Address for the shipping address

  •  Enter your name, your Organization’s name if applicable, your contact information and the name of the Wishlist you chose your gift(s) from

    • E.g. 2019 Winter Wonders - Foster Care in the 'Gift Message' field.

    • If you're donating several gifts from the same wishlist, you only have to enter this information once on the first item listed in checkout


Questions? Contact Diana Ortiz at or (212) 886-5771.

Deadline: Thursday, December 5th (EXTENDED)




Lantern Winter Gift Drive 2019

More than 23,000 children age out of the US foster care system every year.
After reaching the age of 18, 20% of the children who were in foster care will become instantly homeless.

Lantern Community Services champions the independence and well-being of New York City youth who are threatened with homelessness.

This holiday, 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.


Each gift on their Amazon Wishlist is only around $20. 

Please consider donating to our Amazon Wishlist

Or, gifts may be mailed to: 

Lantern Community Services Holiday Gift Drive

c/o Karisa Antonio

494 8th Avenue, 20th Floor

New York, NY 10001

 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. To receive a tax letter, go here  and fill out their form.


Donate to the 31st Annual New York Cares Coat Drive!

For the last 31 years, New York Cares has channeled the generosity of our city into our annual Coat Drive. Last year we distributed our two millionth coat, and this year our goal is to collect 100,000 new or gently used coats for New Yorkers in need in partnership with social service agencies, public schools, transitional housing shelters, and other nonprofit organizations. 


You can donate new or gently used winter coats at a variety of locations citywide, including any NYPD precinct or our warehouse in Midtown (located at 157 W 31st St, New York, NY 10001). You can also start a collection, or help us purchase new coats at wholesale prices by texting “COAT” to 474747. Every $20 donated will keep a fellow New Yorker warm this winter. The Coat Drive is a proud tradition that shows what New York City is really about: giving back to the community by looking out for one another ❤️


Learn more about the Coat Drive on our website:


If you have any questions please email us at or call us at (212) 402-1103.




December 2-6 coats will be collected in the school entrance (180 Seventh Avenue_.The coats will be distributed to families in need through St. Mary's Episcopal Church.


2019 Holiday Drive at Borough Hall




Shot's for Tots Toy Drive

November 29-December 22(Confirmed date)
Butter & Scotch
818 Franklin Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11225
A box will be located in the space to collect toys and a shot is offered for each patron that brings in a new toy."






2019 Holiday Guide to Tree Lightings, Caroling, Santa Photos and More!

Here are all the great holiday happenings in Brooklyn and beyond this season. Also check out our article about Where to See Christmas Lights (including Dyker Heights). Holiday window displays run until the new year!



New Year’s Eve Events


New Years Eve at Grand Army Plaza

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

10:30 pm

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, followed by fireworks at the stroke of midnight. This family-friendly fireworks display, now in its 39th year, attracts tens of thousands of revelers to Prospect Park, making it one of the city's most popular celebrations.


Brooklyn Bridge New Year's Eve

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

Take a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge and see the fireworks from the bridge!


New Year's Eve with the New York Philharmonic

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019


Living legend and multi-award winner Stephen Sondheim’s oeuvre takes center stage at the New York Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve concert, featuring Tony Award winner Katrina Lenk (The Band’s Visit) — soon to star in Company — and music from Company, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, and more. Ring in 2020 with the Philharmonic and the music of this American master!


Coney Island New Years Eve Fireworks Celebrations

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019


Fireworks at midnight.



Other FAMILY New Year's Ideas

  • Have a party! Party hats and poppers are a must.  Make glittery slime! Have celebration mocktails (don't forget the umbrella). Have goodie bags for every hour up until the new year with something fun!
    Get glow sticks to add to the fun. Oh! Make the party have "faux" ball drop time (e.g. 8pm, "Happy New Year"). Set alarm clocks, phones, and watches to all go off at an earlier time. That  way kids feel like they get an experience of New Year's without having to deal with "too little sleep" fallout.

  • Create a playlist of the year's favorite songs and play it on the drive home from vacation, at your New Year's Eve party, or any time.

  • Review the year.  Look at photos from the last year, talk about the highlights and plan more fun for the next year.  If you have a gratitude jar, read the last year's entries

  • Start a Gratitude Jar. Write down the things you were grateful for over the past year.

New Year’s Day 

Going to start new year's resolutions? Start small rather than big sweeping changes. It also takes an average of 21 days to have a new behavior become a habit so be patient and give yourself a LOT of encouragement.






 Plan your Photos With Santa


The Old Stone House Photos with Santa Fundraiser (co-hosted by Park Slope Parents)

December 14th from 10am - 12pm

The Old Stone House (5th Ave between 3rd and 4th Streets). 

Santa Claus is coming to town on December 14! From 10 am – Noon Santa will be making a pit stop in Park Slope; join us for a seasonal photo session with professional photographer Marc Goldberg.
We’re co-hosting the day with the Old Stone House and the Park Slope Fifth Ave BID. There will be crafts and hot cocoa to keep everyone cozy while Marc takes photos on a first-come-first-served basis.
For $10, each family will receive a water-marked portrait from Marc, he will also have all of the photos available for purchase on his website and visitors are welcome to snap their own keepsake selfies.
If you would like to support family programming like this all year round, become a member of the Old Stone House & Washington Park for $35 and get your photo session for free!

Photos with Santa at Items of Interest

Park Slope

Saturdays and Sundays  November 23rd – December 22nd

Macy’s Santaland at Herald Square

November 29th – December 24th

Reservations only now, and you get there and still wait, but the Santaland keeps folks occupied. It's still a great tradition.

Free Santa pic @ Bed Bath Beyond Industry city


Times available on EventBrite

From PSP member: “I just signed up on eventbrite, the Industry City Bed Bath Beyond is having  a free photo with Santa at their Winter Wonderland. You can sign up for a time slot on eventbrite for Dec 7th/Dec 8th.  :)”

Santa Photos at Kings Plaza

Daily from Now – December 24th

Reserve your spot online. 





Christmas Eve

Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestraat All Saints' Episcopal Church

Tuesday December 24th, 2019

9 pm: Free Holiday Concert

10 pm: Christmas Eve Eucharist featuring ALJO

Grammy-award winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra will return to the home parish of its director, Arturo O'Farrill, on Christmas Eve. The ALJO's unique blend of big band jazz, Latin musical culture, and virtuosic performance shines in the setting of this historic Park Slope church building. Arturo and the ALJO offer this free holiday concert as a gift to the community and perform as part of the Christmas Eve service. All are welcome.

For more info see

All Saints Church Christmas Eve Services

  • 4pm Family Eucharist
  • 9pm Arturo O'Farrill Christmas Concert
  • 10pm Festival Eucharist

All Christmas Eve services include candlelight & Holy Communion

Church of the Holy Apostles

Tuesday December 24th, 2019


Holy Eucharist

Christmas Concert, Pageant, and candlelighting.

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Park Slope United Methodist Church 

Tuesday December 24th, 2019


Christmas Eve Service 


Christmas Day 

All Saints Church Christmas Service

10:00 a.m. Feast of the Nativity w/ Carols - Nave


Weekend of November 29th, 30th, and December 1st

The Fifth Avenue Tree Lighting 

November 30th, 2019

5th Ave and 4th St

4pm -6pm, tree lighting at 6 pm

Music by Dr. Alex – a Park Slope kid and parent musician

Carolers from Park Slope Conservatory. Santa will go out in a vintage car before arriving at the tree lighting. Stilt walkers and steel drummers from Tropical Fete. Bubbledad. Arts and crafts with Puppetry Arts. Treats from Down to Earth Markets & Insomnia Cookies. TD Bank table with giveaways and hot chocolate.



Events December 2nd through December 8th

Dyker Park Tree Lighting

December 4

6:30 pm

Dyker Park @86th St and 14th Ave

2nd Annual Tree of Angels Tree Lighting Ceremony

December 5 

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

In front of Borough Hall in the Plaza

Tree Lighting @ Shore Road Park Gazebo

December 5 

6:30 pm

Shore Road Park Gazebo @ 90th St and Shore Road

Christmas Tree Lighting @ Grand Army Plaza

December 5th

5 pm

This year, the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Christmas Tree will be lit on Thursday, December 5 at 5 pm at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza. The tree will remain lit 24/7 in red lights—the only such tree in NYC—until January 2019. This annual tradition of displaying the Christmas Tree and Nativity Creche brings the spirit and joy of the Christmas season to Prospect Park and the Brooklyn community.

DUMBO Holiday Tree Lighting

Thursday, December 5th

4pm – 7pm (tree lighting at 6pm sharp)

Pearl Street Triangle

Tree Lighting at Investor's Bank-- Dyker Heights Branch

December 6

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

7414 Dyker 13th Avenue  

PitkinBid Treelighting2019

Osborn Plaza Tree Lighting

December 6

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Osborn Street and Belmont Ave

Santa, Hot Cocoa, Caroling, and more!  

Thomas Greene Park Holiday Tree Lighting
Friday, December 6th
Park is located in Gowanus at 3rd Avenue and Douglass Street.

 Santa in North Slope 

Saturday December 7th, 2019

2-4 pm 

Santa will be walking the Avenue from Dean to The Old Stone House from 2-4pm. Come find him get a candy cane and a photo!

Organized by the 5th Avenue BID. 

SinterKlass- St. Nicolas Day

Saturday, December 7th

1pm – 4pm

Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum (5816 Clarendon Road)

Santa Claus will ride in on horseback at 2:30pm and photos with Santa. (for a fee)

Santa comes to the other 5th in Park Slope

Saturday, December 7th 

2pm – 4pm

5th Ave, from Dean to The Old Stone House.

Santa will be walking the Avenue from Dean to The Old Stone House from 2-4pm. Come find him get a candy cane and a photo!

Jingle Fest! Holiday Concert & Cookie Swap

Saturday, December 7th

3pm-- 5pm

3pm Concert

All Saints' Episcopal Church (286-88 7th Ave at 7th Street, Park Slope)

Join the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music for a joyful holiday family concert followed by our fourth annual cookie swap. Bring a batch of your favorite cookies to exchange and get one FREE ticket per family.

Ticket includes cookies, cider, hot chocolate and a photo op with Santa!

Carroll Park Holiday Tree Lighting

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

6 – 7pm

4:30 PM -  5:30 PM

Friends of Carroll Park will sing songs and light the Christmas trees.

Louis Valentino, Jr. Ballfield

Christmas Tree Lighting at Greenwood Park 

Saturday, December 7th

4 pm, Tree Lighting at 6:30 pm 

Greenwood Park, 555 7th Avenue

5th Annual Fort Greene Park Holiday Tree Lighting  (Changed from 12/2)

Sunday, December 8 @ 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Fort Greene Park – Myrtle & St Edwards Entrance, 282 Myrtle Avenue

Gather with neighbors for the annual event that is full of holiday cheer, including:

☕  FREE hot cocoa, cider & cookies from local Myrtle Ave restaurants


Events December 13th through December 15th

CAMBA Tree Lighting @ the Armory Shelter

Thursday, December12 @ 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
CAMBA Women's Shelter, 1402 8th Avenue, South Slope
Sing songs, drink hot cocoa, eat cookies, watch the lighting of the armory decorations and enjoy the beauty of the armory.


Santa at the Atlantic Terminal Mall|
Thursday, December 12th, 5pm - 7pm
139 Flatbush Avenue
 Life-size snow globe photo op, live music, selfies with Santa, Winter Wonderland community art & much more!


Weekend of December 13th, 14th, and 15th

Brooklyn Borough Hall Tree Lighting 

Wednesday, December 11th

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Holiday refreshments and musical entertainment at the annual tree lighting.

Borough Hall Plaza

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Sing-A-Long Movie Spectacular @ PS 282

Wednesday, December 11th

5:30 pm - 8 pm

Proceeds go toward enrichment programs

180 6th Avenue

Photos with Santa Claus at the Old Stone House

Saturday, December 14th

10am – 12pm

The Old Stone House, 5th Ave between 3rd and 4th Streets

Join Park Slope Parents, the Old Stone House and the Park Slope 5th Avenue BID for our 4th annual photo session with Santa, in partnership with Park Slope Parents and the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID. 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.

Santa in Center Slope 

Saturday December 14th, 2019 

2-4 pm

Catch Santa shopping from 9th Street to The Old Stone House. Come find him and get a candy cane and a photo!

Organized by the 5th Avenue BID. 

Merry On Myrtle Winter Festival 

Saturday, December 14th


While holiday shopping, enjoy live ice sculpting, music, crafts for kids, and more seasonal fun in the Myrtle Avenue Plaza. All activities are FREE.

From Classon Ave to Washington Park 

Caroling with All Saints Church Park Slope

Saturday, December 14th

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!  Join us for an afternoon of caroling.

Meet and practice (and have a snack!) from 4:30-5 at All Saints Church undercroft (on 7th Ave near 7th St, at the sign for “Park Slope Center for Successful Aging.”) We’ll leave at 5 to carol in a few spots around the neighborhood, then return to the church around 5:45-6 to warm up with some hot chocolate.

Please let us know if you plan to attend by RSVPing to "> .

Jingle Bell Jamboree

Saturday, December 14th 

7 pm 

After a 4 year hiatus, the annual Park Slope family concert and sing-a-long is returning to Old First Church in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Klezmer Hanukkah Party

Saturday, December 14th


BKCM Concert Hall (58 7th Ave at Lincoln Pl.)

Co-hosted by Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Congregation Beth Elohim. Get into the Hanukkah spirit with our Community Klezmer Band featuring renowned Klezmer artists, as well as Klezmer song and dance leaders. Warm up with latkes, Hanukkah crafts, and more!

Tickets here:

Winterfest 2019

Saturday, December 14th

11am - 4pm

Brooklyn Friends School, 375 Pearl Street

Crafts and workshops suitable for all ages!

Holiday Market at P.S. 118

Saturday, December 14th

11am - 5pm

Inside P.S. 118 at 211 8th St. and 4th Ave.

Holiday shopping season is here--and we've got the perfect gift for everyone on your list! Join us at the second annual PS118 Holiday Market on Saturday, December 14, from 11 am to 5 pm, at PS118 (on 8th Street between 4th and 5th Avenues). During this fabulous, festive event, each floor of our school is transformed: The cafeteria becomes a delightful café and all the other floors are filled with children's activities, crafts, jewelry, and more (all for sale!) So much shopping! Proceeds benefit PS118.

2nd Annual Brower Park Library Winter Festival

Saturday, December 14th

11am - 4pm

Brower Park Library, 725 St. Marks Avenue

The event includes a special story time, an art workshop, and a special visit (and photo opportunity) with Santa.  Hot cider and donuts will help us celebrate the holidays. Come kick off the winter season with us!

The Great Christmas Tree: A participation play for children.

11 am, Saturday, December 14th

12 pm, Sunday, December 15th

119 14th St, Brooklyn


Matt Heaton's Holiday Hootenanny

Sunday, December 15th


Jalopy Theater, 315 Columbia


Matt Heaton’s Holiday Hootenanny is a dance-filled, laugh-laced concert for the whole family. With his band the Outside Toys, Heaton performs hits from his shiny new album “Snow Day!” (Because nothing says holidays like fiddle drenched honky-tonk numbers, retro hi fi guitar stylings, and a rock solid rhythm section.)

PSJC Chanukkah Party

Sunday, December 15th

3-5 pm

1320 8th Ave
Start the celebrating early with crafts, high stakes dreidel games, donut making, a sing-a-long with PSJC holiday favorite Abe, and much more! Wear your favorite Chanukkah sweater, pajamas, or other apparel and enter the raffle for tasty treats.

Sign up to join the fun at or just show up on Sunday!


Events December 16th through December 22nd


Holiday Sing-a-long and Fundraiser!  

Tuesday December 17th 
10:00 am
Da Nonna Rosa, 140 7th Avenue
Suggested donatation: $20
Fundraiser to benefit CHiPS, a local soup kitchen, and Little Essentials! 

HOLIDAY CAROLING with Brooklyn Conservatory 

Fri., December 20 
6:30 pm
Start at 58 7th Avenue, set off around planned routes around Park Slope
A beloved Brooklyn Conservatory tradition--holiday caroling! Please join us as we spread cheer throughout the neighborhood. FREE. All ages, voices, faiths welcome, and no caroling experience is necessary.
RSVP and info here.

Santa in South Slope 

Saturday December 21st, 2019

2-4 pm 

Shopping with Santa in South Slope from to 18th St in a vintage car then walking from 18th to The Old Stone House 2-4pm come get a candy cane and take a photo.

Organized by the 5th Avenue BID. 

Christmas Caroling and Services at Holy Apostles

Saturday December 22st, 2019

4 pm 

Church of the Holy Apostles

612 Greenwood Ave

Lend you voice and join us on Sunday, December 22nd at 4pm for our annual neighborhood Christmas caroling. We will begin on the steps of the church and travel on foot together.


Looking for ways to give this season? Check out the Park Slope Parents supported Holiday Drives (with a few others we found!)


What are we missing? Email " style="font-size: 14.6667px; white-space: pre-wrap;"> with more ideas.


The PSP Guide to Halloween Fun in the Time of Coronavirus

Events, socially distanced ideas, and trick-or-treating updates


Like all other aspects of life, spooky celebrations will look a little—or a lot—different this year. But we at Park Slope Parents are a resourceful bunch, and we’ve got some tricks up our sleeves to help you have a hair-raisingly haunting Halloween despite the circumstances. Read on...if you dare!


Are you a parent in Brooklyn who's not yet a Park Slope Parents member? JOIN US today to chat with fellow families about trick-or-treating best practices, share intel on the best pumpkin patches, and get advice on everything from costumes to carving to crafting. Hop on your broomstick and sign up HERE!


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How to Help this Holiday Season: Volunteer & Giving Opportunities in Brooklyn

As we head into a most unusual holiday season, we at PSP hope you’ll join us in supporting those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic and its effects on poverty,  food insecurity,  and housing insecurity. No matter your age, skillset, or availability, there’s an opportunity for you to donate some time or money to lend a hand this holiday season.





2020 Holiday Tips Survey: The Results are IN!

Here are the key findings from the annual Park Slope Parents Holiday Tips Survey, in which Brooklyn residents report their upcoming end-of-year gifts to service providers, nannies, and teachers.

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·         New Yorkers are being more generous this year. Three in ten are paying MORE this year than last year, with two out of three paying about the same. Only four percent say they are paying less.

·         Doorman buildings have their costs. Living in a doorman building with a super, door hosts and porter will cost you an extra $400 in tips this year.

·         Giving your housecleaner one week’s pay as a bonus is standard. Of those who report giving a bonus related to weekly pay, 89 percent give one week’s pay, while 21 percent give more than that.

·         Gifts for K-12 teachers are up. The amount people are giving to K-12 teachers is up from last year. The most frequent amount given to teachers is $50, but this year’s average increased from $45 to $60. During the pandemic, these teachers have had to pivot to new platforms and handle increased safety measures without increased pay, so a generous tip seems well-deserved!

·         Daycare and preschool teachers will also feel more love this year. While the most frequently mentioned monetary gift for both head and secondary teachers is $50, averages are up this year ($83 for head teachers, $64 for secondary). Unlike K-12, parents typically give separately rather than as a group/class gift, with two out of three (68 percent) giving an individual gift.

·         Tips to neighborhood service providers are UP from prior years. Reported tips for supers, door security, package delivery, and other neighborhood services are up from last year. Last year’s figures had dropped from the prior year. This year, three in ten report giving a token of appreciation (homemade baked goods, alcohol, crafts).

·         Folks are showing gratitude with added gifts. One in three (32 percent) are giving something more than cash (homemade cookies, treats, wine) to their service providers.

·         Almost all employers (98 percent) with nannies plan on giving a monetary bonus this year. The standard holiday bonus is a week’s pay (77% give this amount). The increase in average holiday bonus is over $200.

·         Thank everyone. A kind gesture to the people that support your family’s day-to-day life (e.g., crossing guards, hair stylists, accountants, after-school staff, tutors, and therapists) goes a long way. These folks love to feel appreciated too! We understand that there are many folks who have lost their jobs in this economy, but if you can, give; and if you can’t, a written recognition is wonderful too.   



Favorite Lunar New Year Picture Books

What’s the PSP Chinese Group talking about this week? Our parents have some recommendations for the best Lunar New Year picture books. Put in your order now to keep the festivities going!


Did you know that Park Slope Parents has more than a dozen bilingual and heritage groups to help you get connected to families in Brooklyn who share your cultural background? Click HERE to get connected; and if you’re not yet a member of PSP, join us HERE!




Is Santa Claus real?

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




Too Many Presents/Gifts

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

Quick link: Just looking to find a loving home for unneeded items? See PSP’s list of places to donate toys, gifts and household items. Also check out our page on How to Help this Holiday Season, which includes several donation and toy/gift drive opportunities.




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.



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?"




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...




TOP 12 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.

Need some tips for making the transition with kids run more smoothly?  Check out our Moving with Kids article.  


Image by Nicolas Huk




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!

(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!



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 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:



-       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!



-        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.



-       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...



December staycation? Here's 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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PSP Mental Health Check-In: STILL HOME for the Holidays with Joey Ackerman, LCSW-R

Park Slope Parents hosted a webinar with Joey Ackerman, LCSW-R, who shared wisdom on handling the realities of this holiday season and accepting the challenging emotions it may bring.


To get access to more events like this one, and to find solidarity with other parents in Brooklyn navigating life and raising kids during the pandemic, join the Park Slope Parents community today!





Tips on Tips

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




Local Gifts That Keep Giving

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




Tip With Confidence: The PSP Holiday Tips Survey


Results of the PSP 2011 Holiday Tips Survey



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!



Holiday Tips Survey 2013: The Results are In!

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



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."



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.





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



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.



2015 Holiday Tips Survey: The Results are IN!

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



Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day gift ideas from PSP members.



2016 Holiday Tips Survey: The Results are IN!



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.



Gift Ideas for Grandparents

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

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Results from the 2017 Holiday Tips Survey


Thanks to everyone who filled out the Holiday Survey!

Here are the key findings from the annual Park Slope Parents Holiday Tips Survey in which Brooklyn residents report their upcoming end of year gifts to service providers, nannies, and teachers.

  • 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 $1525 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 (34%) are giving something more than cash (homemade cookies, treats, wine) to their service providers. As is human nature, appreciation and recognition feel wonderful, so going beyond a monetary gift is always appreciated.
  • More than 9 in 10 (93%) nannies receive a monetary bonus around the holidays. 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. Erring on the side of generosity is always better if you can make that happen.
  • ALSO: Don’t assume a week off without pay is something that your nanny will appreciate. If they are available to work and you give them off without pay many would rather work for pay than miss out on money to support their family.
    • Parents with kids in daycare and preschool practice gratitude. Eight in ten (81%) parents give daycare and preschool teachers a monetary gift. Typical monetary gifts for head teachers is $50 and $25 for secondary teachers. Unlike K-12, parents typically give separately with only one in three (35%) giving a class gift.
    • Power in (organized) numbers. Eight in ten (84%) parents with kids in K-12 students contribute to a class gift.  The most frequently given amount to these teachers is $20 but 45% give more than that amount (most frequently $25 or $50).
    • Remember the little people. A kind gesture to the folks that support your life (e.g., crossing guards, lunch staff, accountants, after school staff, tutors, and therapists) love to feel appreciated too!




Nanny End of Year Bonus: Do’s, Don’ts, and Druthers

Have a Nanny? Here are the ins and outs of year-end bonuses.




No presents at a party

Is it okay to ask for no presents? PSP members discuss the do's, don'ts, and etiquette of requesting no gifts at a party.





A Brief Summary of Major Jewish Holidays

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



Spring Forward (O The Humanity!)

The history of Daylight Saving Time



What Moms Want?

an opinion piece on Mother's Day



Mother's Day: Not All Cards and Flowers

Julia Ward Howe; one ambitious mother



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!).




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


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


Tips for Daylight Saving

Daylight saving time arrives and departs annually at 2 am local time. In spring, clocks move forward (think: "spring forward"); in fall, they go back (think: "fall back").

Read on for some advice about adjusting to the time changes.




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.


Block Party Planning Time



Remembering on Veteran's Day


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.



Hanukah: Not the "Jewish Christmas"

All you need to know about Hanukah



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.



Cheap and Cheerful Things to Do with Kids During the Holidays

No need to drop big bucks at a holiday market or take out a second mortgage to skate at Rockefeller Center this year. There are lots of fun and affordable things to do with kids that are all about spending time together.




Caroling for Dummies

Park Slope Parents tips for Caroling this Christmas!




My Son is on Naughty Watch

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



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.




Where to See Christmas Lights

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




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.




Ways to Recycle your Christmas Tree

Wondering how to recycle your Christmas tree? Read on!




PSP's 2017 Guide to the Holidays





Where to meet Santa




Where to see Christmas Lights?

Drives, Giving, and Volunteer Opportunities

Where to buy a Christmas Tree

Member advice and issues explored








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."
"You can take your own pictures head on at Santa Land. I always wait until they take their pictures then ask if I can take my own. They always step aside so I can go in the middle and take my own. You just have to ask! I even carry my gigantic camera (I’m a professional photographer) and have never had anyone say anything to me about it. My pictures are always great and I never have to buy theirs. Also, the new reservation only thing worked out great this year! It was so quick and easy for us (although we did go early in the season so it might be busier later)."
"I did same. I took my own pics after they took theirs. You just ask them if they don't mine if I take a pic. Honestly, my pics come out way better than theirs."
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 >




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 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 >




BrooklynOne Concerts
When: Friday, December 15, 8 p.m. & Saturday, December 16, 8 p.m.   
Where: Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge
What: Family friendly concert
More info >


Brooklyn Brandenburgers Holiday Concert
When: Saturday, December 16, 7 p.m.
& Sunday, 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 >


Merry Tuba Christmas
When: Sunday, December 17, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Rockefeller Center, 49th and 50th streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
What: Hundreds of tenor and bass tuba players will congregate on The Rink at Rockefeller Center to play Christmas carols and other crowd favorites. Tubists of all ages will line up under the famous Christmas tree and fill the plaza with the organ-line sound of low brass. Spectators are encouraged to sing along with the Christmas carols and holiday favorites.
Cost: Free

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 >


Holiday Sing-a-long at Da Nonna Rosa
When: Tuesday, December 19, 10 a.m.

Where: Da Nonna Rosa restaurant (140 7th between Carroll and Garfield)
What: Holiday sing-a-long benefitting CHiPS (suggested donation $20).


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 >





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"> 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">
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 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.





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.




An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Halloween

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




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.




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.




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?




Reminders: Halloween and kids with Special Needs


Please be accepting of all children who arrive at your front door on Halloween because sometimes they are struggling with hidden challenges and the act of trick or treating doesn't come easily to them. They are thankful in their hearts and minds even if they may not tell you!

  • The child who are grabbing more than one piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills.

  • The child who takes forever to pick out 1 piece of candy may have poor motor planning issues.

  • The child who does not say, "Trick-or-treat," or "Thank you!" may be painfully shy, non-verbal, or selectively mute for reasons other than poor manners. These parents often will help speak for their child but often will wait until they've given pause so the child has a chance to try. If you cannot understand their words, they may struggle with developmental apraxia of speech or have speech challenges.

  • The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl of goodies may have a severe or life-threatening food allergy. Please don't force candy into their bag.

  • The child who isn't wearing a costume may have a sensory issue (Sensory Processing Dysfunction or Sensory Integration Disorder) or Autism. Please be just as nice when no costume is worn.

  • The child that "skips" your house may be unable to navigate the path to your door due to poor large motor control or may be afraid of your music or decorations. If a child wants to visit your house but seems scared or nervous you could help by lowering the volume or turning on more lights so they can see better and feel comfortable.

  • They are thankful in their hearts and minds. These children may not look you in the eye or act the same but they still deserve to be included.

  • Please keep in mind that a lot of little people may be visiting your home. If you leave your porch light on, please be accepting, patient, & kind. Make a parent feel good by making a big deal of their special child. Those parents just want go see their child enjoy life & get to take part like everyone else.

Tips and Reminders

  • Consider giving something besides candy like stickers, glow sticks or bubble bottles.

  • Get down and be at the kids’ level when giving out your treats.

  • Practice patience for kids who take an extra long time

  • Smile at everyone without expecting a Thank You or Trick or Treat back

If you can make a parent with a special needs child at ease you’ll be giving a treat beyond candy!

Here’s an interesting article about Halloween from a mom with a child with autism. As she says:

"Be patient friends," she said. "Kiddos like Super Cooper don't know 'what' they are supposed to do or 'why' they are even doing it. Trick-or-treating is strange in general. Then add in costumes, sugar, people, noises, excitement, and a crazy brother and the whole situation gets escalated quickly. If you see me, know that I am sweating buckets and trying to hold it together. We love smiles and understanding and when you say hi!"

Be Kind. Be Patient. It's everyone's Halloween!  

Photo courtesy of Unplash: Bee Felten-Leidel


The Thanksgiving Day Parade: So Worth It

Here are PSP members best tips for seeing parade with kid





Don't be a Traffic Turkey this Thanksgiving

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




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)



Thanksgiving at Home

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

Thanksgiving Turkey



Meaningful Memorial Gifts

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

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First holiday without kids

What do you when you find yourself solo over the holidays? A PSP member asked the the Park Slope Parents Separated, Divorced, and Single (SDS) Group what to do over Christmas/New Year’s. Here are the replies, and includes tips for other major events including Thanksgiving.




A Cautionary Tale for Christmas

A personal tale of the importance of carbon monoxide detectors.



Reducing Stolen Packages in the Neighborhood

JOIN the Park Slope Parents Community. We watch out for each other (including making sure no one steals your packages)!

If you're a parent in Brooklyn, we're here for you!



Expecting some packages to be delivered? Here are our top tips to keep your packages from being stolen.