‘Doing Activities Together Brings Us Closer and Helps Us Relax and Have Fun’

This reflection was published in the Rise Insights report, Someone to Turn To: A Vision for Creating Networks of Parent Peer Care

For fun, my son Aaron and I like to go to museums, playgrounds and zoos. 

Our favorite museum is Brooklyn Children’s Museum. There is so much to do there that even if you go a lot, you will always find something new to entertain you. Aaron loves to go in the sandbox, look at pretend animals, build in the block lab, play with colored sand and use the water table. 

We also like the Jewish Children’s Museum, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, New York Hall of Science, Brooklyn Museum, American Museum of Natural History and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Most of these places have pay-as-you-wish days. At the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the Intrepid (which is usually very expensive), you can get in free any time using your EBT card plus identification. 

Our favorite playgrounds are Wingate Park, Prospect Park, Central Park, Union Square Park, Domino Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park. The zoos we like are Prospect Park Zoo and the Bronx Zoo. 

My favorite is the library because that’s where I get good information. It’s also where I taught Aaron that reading is fun—that he can pick any book he wants and be part of great adventures. 

Sitting at home and doing nothing doesn’t seem so bad, right? You can sleep late, play on electronics all day. But that gets boring and lonely and leads to stress. I like to see Aaron happy and to see that he is social and can make friends easily. Doing these things together brings us closer and helps us relax and have fun. 

The places we go feel safe because we go there often and get to know people. When I see other kids Aaron’s age, I can talk to their families and see if their behaviors and developments are similar, and also ask them what they did in certain situations. 

It is good that we have favorite activities that aren’t too far from home—we can walk there. I take Access-A-Ride for many of our trips, but that is costing me. I am working on an application that will allow me to pay half price, but the documentation you need makes it a process. 

It is so important that all families should be able to do things whether they have money or don’t. All families deserve to be relaxed and have fun.

Joy in Community

Sara Werner highlights places where she and her son go to have fun in their community in Brooklyn—and when they go outside of the city, too.

1. My son Aaron having fun at Wingate Park. 2. Aaron and I are part of a program called Oorah. We get holiday boxes with supplies for each holiday, learn about our Jewish culture, and every year we go for a fun getaway in Stamford, NY, at a place called TheZone. Don’t you just love hayrides in such a beautiful location? 3. Aaron at his Martial Arts school. He just received his white belt and is very proud. Aaron goes to Martial Arts classes three times a week. He is currently working on advancing to the yellow belt. 4. One of the many activities we like to do when we go to TheZone. 5. Our backyard. The kids from our building love to play back here, especially when there is a ton of snow on the ground. Even I have fun in the snow! 6. Aaron at Brooklyn Children’s Museum. He loves this bike. I have pictures of him on this bike from at least 12 different occasions!
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