Friday, April 26, 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Unplugged Fun to Get Tweens and Teens Moving in NYC #LilMonstersinNYC #LilMonstersMove

Spring break in NYC is wrapping up but that doesn't mean the fun has to stop! The weather's warming, the sun shines brightly past 6pm and we're ready to get the boys out and about so they don't drive us nuts in the house with all of their energy. Who else can relate? We've got the ultimate guide to unplugged fun for your tweens and teens to stay active and off the gadgets and gizmos.

I'll be darned if we just sit at home and watch youtube stars have a great time experiencing cool things to do, from the sidelines of our sofa. We'll be adding along to this list periodically to help source places to go as Spring Break comes to an end, Summer fun (especially if you're camp mom), staycations and everything in between. So make sure to save this list to your favorite Pinterest boards for future planning and stay tuned for videos over on Lil' Monsters in NYC's Youtube channel.


Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge: 

From their very first class, CJ and Tristan fell in love with indoor rock climbing at Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge and Mike and I were pretty impressed with how fearless they were as they powered through to reach the top. 

During BKB adventure days (9:00 am - 3:30 pm) through climbing, team-building exercises, S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) activities and more, your child will learn how to become big-hearted, open-minded, and prepared for the world ahead. Available year round according to NY public school holidays. 

Cook and Climb adventure days (9:00 am - 3:30 pm // ages 5-12) are meant to teach kids about the relationship between physical activities and healthy eating habits by working up an appetite through boot camp style obstacle courses and as much climbing as they can handle. BK Boulders has partnered with the Connected Chef to teach kids how to make their own healthy lunch, snack, and sweet treats. 

 2310 41st Ave Long Island City | More info Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge

Rising New York Road Runners: 

Running was life for me from middle school through my sophomore year of High School, short distance was my thing. I dreamed of 4x4 relays in my sleep. Proudly it's in my boy's blood too and it's a fantastic way to not only stay in shape and burn some energy but to relieve daily stress.
 Being type A even as a teen and attending a Specialized High School in the City I looked forward to hitting the track.  
Rising New York Road Runners is designed to develop movement skills in kids of all ages, and abilities, through a mix of running and fitness activities. Here, kids build confidence, gain motivation, and fuel their desire to stay active.

Saturday, June 15th 2019 NYRR Queens 10K (9:30 am // up to age 11) Youngsters, come out to Queens for some unforgettable fitness fun this summer and join Rising New York Road Runners at the NYRR Queens 10K. This event is open to Stage 1 participants and will feature an array of fun fitness games and activities, followed by age-appropriate short runs. It's the perfect way to introduce your kids to the world of physical activity for free! 

There's also NYRR stage 2 events happening in Jersey City and Brooklyn in May and NYRR stage 2 and 3 events for girls in Central Park coming up on June 8th.

Various locations | More info on Rising NYRR Youth

Aerial Kids Cirque and Family Acro at The Muse Brooklyn: 

More often than not it feels like I'm the ringmaster of our household circus with the boys flipping and flopping from one sofa to the next and twirling and swinging from their bunkbed poles. If your kids are like mine, I'm sure they'd have a blast burning off some energy at The Muse Brooklyn. 

Aerial Kids Cirque is an aerial silk class for kids, with no experience required. (Saturdays 10-11 am and Mondays 4:30-5:30 pm // children thru age 12). This class will focus on exercises to get kids comfortable in the air and teach them basic skills they’ll use in Kids’ Cirque 2. Prerequisites for Cirque 2 include knowing basic climbs (wrap and Russian), foot-locks, and ability to execute basic sequences on the fabric. 

Family Acro Parents and children between the ages of 5-9 will learn how to work together, problem solve, deepen bonds, and gain strength and flexibility together in a safe, fun environment.

350 Moffat Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237 | More info on The Muse Brooklyn

City Parks Foundation Free Summer Sports
For the last 8 years, my oldest CJ (pictured above) has attended the FREE summer sports programs with the City Parks Foundation and has loved learning the basics of tennis and track and field, with my youngest Tristan who joined 2 summers ago and started with soccer. 

From sprinting techniques to long-distance racing, javelin-throwing to long jump, hurdles to race-walking, kids will learn the building blocks of track and field.

They provide free tennis instruction to thousands of kids ages 6-17 each year in more than 36 parks throughout the five boroughs.

Soccer is about teamwork, running, and agility. Their coaches will be joined by those from the NYC Football Club to teach kids how to pass, dribble, and kick through informal play and instruction. At the end of the program, select participants are invited to compete in a one-day tournament.

While updating this post I spotted August sign-ups for Flag Football and can't wait for the boys to start! The Instructional Series is designed to progressively teach sports to individual athletes or small groups. Beginners and advanced participants alike benefit from sports skills instruction. Trained instructors will teach players catching, throwing, flag pulling as well as offensive and defensive fundamentals. The program is designed around player development and teaches proper technique in a fun safe setting. Sign up HERE

Various locations across the 5 boroughs | More info on City Parks Summer Sports Program

Goldfish Swim School 

As the weather starts warming up, kids of all ages will be hitting the pool and neighboring beaches and as always safety is key even when having fun. Goldfish Swim School is the premier learn-to-swim facility for kids ages 4 months to 12 years. They are focused on a holistic philosophy, The Science of SwimPlay®, to build life skills both in and out of the water using play-based learning in a fun and safe environment.

Various locations | More info on Goldfish Swim School

Family Adventure Races
As parents, sometimes we need to get off the computers and cellphones too, to have some healthy physical fun with our kids. This exciting and free parent-child race incorporates basic exercises and sports skills, and provides a healthy, one-hour dose of fun for all! Open to children ages 8-12 and their parents.
The timed races take place on a course featuring 12 activity stations where team members must properly perform the required exercise or task before advancing to the next station and final run to the finish line.
Family Adventure Races are presented by New York Road Runners. 
Various locations | More info on Family Adventure races 

Kids Breaking League: 

If you follow the boys on their Instagram page Lil' Monsters in NYC you may have seen Tristan show off some of his dance moves partly inspired by Bboys and artists like Chris Brown. We're always looking for new classes to try and the Kids Breaking League looked like a lot of fun from their impactful meetups highlighted in their Instagram videos. 

In an effort to help your kids to "Break out their shell" this class will help guide them in basic movements and introduce them to this culture of dance as they learn to tell their own story through the art of "Breaking". With fun music and small challenges, children are motivated to explore their strengths and weakness to build up their dance vocabulary.

Various Locations | More info on The Kids Breaking League


As Master Yoda says, "The greatest teacher, failure is." Every day we fall, get back up and continue learning. Skateboarding is a great lesson in resilience and perseverance. At SKATEYOGI they offer an ego-free zone for all students regardless of their levels, to learn the fundamentals, fun skate tricks, skatepark etiquette and more! Choose from drop-ins, 6-week classes, Spring break day camp or summer camp.

140 Empire Blvd Brooklyn NY 11225 | More info on SKATEYOGI 

EVF Crossfit Youth Program:

When I was a tween, I loved working out with my mom while she used her Jack Lalane VHS tapes. Aside from weekly trips to the park to rip and run I developed a passion for fitness by the time I was 12. Crunches, the treadmill and working on my Popeye arms were fun and I was enrolled in Tae Kwon Do and ran Track and Field through H.S. Maintaining excellent grades in school were definitely partially attributed to my desire to join sports teams.

The EVF Youth program is based on CrossFit Kids and designed to give children an extra shot of strength, confidence, focus and encouragement. Your kid won’t be sitting on the sidelines because they’ll be too busy learning the principles of mechanics, consistency, and intensity in working out. EVF provides children with physical literacy, enhanced sports performance, and fewer sports injuries. Scientific research proves exercise benefits cognitive function so your little athlete will do better on the field and in the classroom. 

Upper East Side + Columbus Circle | More info on EVF Crossfit Youth 

Ninja Warrior Youth at Brooklyn Zoo:

Hands down one of our fave shows to watch together as a family is American Ninja Warrior, the boys can't get enough of watching contestants show off their agility. What kid wouldn't want to swing, run and climb for fun? It only makes sense that a class like this would exist. 

Brooklyn Zoo NY teaches the beginner to the advanced student that wants to become the next ninja warrior with a combination of parkour, tumbling and more. Kids can also choose from trampoline classes, Nerf Events and Parkour with their parents! 

230 Bogart Street  | more information on Brooklyn Zoo

Whether you're an NYC Native or visiting, there are various opportunities to encourage exercise and inspire confidence. Which event or class would inspire your teens & tweens to get moving?

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