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Best Bargains

Money-saving ways to feed, teach, and entertain.

  • 1. Exercise

  • Karma Kids Yoga

    104 W. 14th St., nr. Sixth Ave., second fl.; 646-638-1444

    The studio’s Storytime Yoga classes pair puppetry with downward dogs (for kids up to 5 years old). Cost: Free.

  • 2. Kid Food

  • IKEA Red Hook

    1 Beard St., nr. Otsego St., Red Hook; 718-246-4532

    Fine dining it isn’t, but the pasta, mac and cheese, and Swedish meatballs perfectly suit most kids’ tastes. And you can’t beat the free water-taxi ride. Cost: $2.49 for an entrée and a side.

  • 3. Family Activity

  • MOMA’s Tours for Fours

    11 W. 53rd St., nr. Fifth Ave. 212-708-9805

    Parents of 4-year-olds can sign up for a weekend art workshop (10:20 to 11:15 a.m.) and get the rest of the family into MoMA for free. Cost: Free for two adults and up to three kids.

  • 4. Concert

  • Carnegie Hall Family Concerts

    57th St. at Seventh Ave. 212-247-7800

    Classical music made approachable—but not dumbed-down—for little ears. This season’s big ticket: a murder-mystery show with Lemony Snicket on March 7. Cost: $9 per person.

  • 5. Parenting Class

  • Families First

    250 Baltic St., nr. Court St., Cobble Hill; 718-237-1862

    The nonprofit levies a modest membership fee for free or discounted access to seminars on new parenthood, babyproofing, and the preschool-application process. Cost: $75 for a yearlong membership.

  • 6. Babysitter/Nanny-Referral Service


    The service charges hundreds less than traditional placement agencies because it makes its customers do the interviewing. You get access to thousands of local babysitters, many armed with background checks. Cost: Free one-week trial; $40 for the first month, $10 per month thereafter.

  • 7. Sports League

  • West Side Soccer League

    For just $100, kids get a uniform, participation in an AYSO-sanctioned league, and a once-a-week clinic. Cost: $100 for spring season.

  • 8. Swimming Lesson

  • Barnard College Children’s Swim Program

    3009 Broadway, nr. 117th St. 212-854-6940

    The swimming program’s super-attentive, Red Cross–certified college students have acquired a cultlike following on the Upper West Side. Cost: $120 for seven-week sessions.

  • 9. Art Class

  • Art Students League

    215 W. 57th St., nr. Seventh Ave. 212-247-4510

    Serious instruction for future Picassos (ages 8 to 12) taught by working artists. Cost: $66 per month for three-and-a-half-hour classes on weekends.

  • 10. Hands-On Activity

  • Skyscraper Museum

    39 Battery Pl., at 1st Pl. 212-945-6324

    Weekend mini-camps like Yves Roger’s ArchiKids has youngsters conceptualizing, building, and testing structures. Cost: $5 suggested donation per child.

From the 2009 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine