Your July Kids Calendar: 8 ways to enjoy the first lazy days of summer

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After the hectic end of the school year and the snap, crackle and pop of the July 4th holiday, the open-ended days of summer really begin. Here’s how to fill your July — lots of ice cream and cool museums included.

1. Eat: This milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. And they’re like, it’s better than yours.

These jaw-dropping milkshakes are on everyone’s summer bucket lists. In the last week alone, I have had six separate people recommend Black Tap to me. With burgers, fries and milkshakes on the menu, this is essentially a diner. But one that understands the power of Instagram, giving people what they want with a “Crazy Shakes” menu that puts all other summer treats to shame. Bringing my children here might put my family on the path to diabetes, but will certainly also solidify my name on the “cool parent” list. Locations all over Manhattan.

2. Go: Travel the borough on a Food Adventure

If you have a young foodie (ages 6-13) on your hands, sign up for some summer food adventures with Allergic to Salad throughout Brooklyn and beyond. On Monday, July 10 from 11:00-12:30pm, go behind the scenes at Habana Outpost in Fort Greene, and learn about food sourcing and sustainability. Lunch including Make-you-own guacamole is included. $14. On Tuesday, July 18th from 11am-12:30pm, take a sweet tour of Ample Hills Creamery, where the company makes their ice cream from scratch. Afterwards kids will get to try some samples! $12. On Tuesday, July 25th from 12:30pm-2pm, kids will explore the two acres of cultivated rooftop that makes up the Brooklyn Grange–the largest rooftop farm in the world! Kids will sample veggies and learn about beekeeping. $12. Register for events here.

3. Buy: Mom Jeans for Moms

Embracing your postpartum body is where it’s at. Show off those hard earned stretch marks in your teeniest bikini! But if you feel more insecure about your belly now than ever, that’s fine too. High-waisted mom jeans aren’t going anywhere, but now that you’ve had a baby, this trend may seem cruel. (Or at least it does to me!) Madewell has released a “Magic Pockets” high waist jean (think Spanx for the stomach) that works wonders for a new mom who is too overwhelmed to tone her tummy all day long. They come in skinny or wide leg, so you can focus on more important things (like saving health care!) than your insecurity about belly bulge. $128

4. Go: Explore Prospect Park at Night

On Thursday, July 13, enjoy the great outdoors right here in the city with a 2-hour family nature walk in Prospect Park. Nature at Night: Family Edition includes a kid-friendly nature walk with expert naturalists and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Audubon Center. It’s an all-ages event, so bring even your tiniest outdoorsman. Prospect Park Audubon Center and Boathouse, 101 East Drive, Park Slope. $10/ adults; $7/ children.

5. Read: Are You Sure There Isn’t Something Else I Can Do Before the End of The School Year?

Now that enough time has passed from the last day of school, maybe you can find humor in how hard you work at your child’s school. My son’s teacher sent this McSweeney’s article by Kimberly Harrington to me on the last day school and I literally laughed until I cried. If you have school age children anywhere in Brooklyn, you will relate to this sarcastic send off to the last days of school. You’ve earned this chuckle, and the vacation you’re reading it on, where the stress of school seems months away.

6. Go: Get Moving at the Whitney

Calder: Hypermobility is on display at the Whitney Museum through October 23rd, and it focuses on the mobiles of Alexander Calder. According to the Whitney, “these works operate in highly sophisticated ways, ranging from gentle rotations to uncanny gestures, and at times, trigger unpredictable percussive sounds.” Accompanying the pieces is original work by composer Jim O’Rourke. Already this sounds like a fantastic show to bring the kids. But stop by on Saturday, July 15th from 10:30am-3pm for the Whitney Kids Summer Family Day for even more activities. They’ll have art making workshops and a special Samba workshop and dance party. Family Day is free with museum admission. Adults $25, Kids 18 and under: free. Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort St., Chelsea.

7. Go: Finally, The Muppets take Manhattan

The long-awaited Jim Henson exhibit at Museum of the Moving Image is scheduled to open on July 22nd. Timed tickets are already available for purchase on the website. Going beyond Jim Henson’s work on Sesame Street and The Muppets, artifacts will be on display from The Dark Crystal, Fraggle Rock and Labyrinth, so you can spend the rest of the summer screening these classics with your kids. Character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photos and costumes will all be on display. Plus, interactive activities like puppet making and practicing puppeteering will be available for kids to try. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street), Astoria, Queens. $15 adults, $11 students, $7 youth (ages 3-11), free for children under 3. Please note that strollers are not allowed in this museum.

8. Camp: Learn a new language

If your kids have braved the outdoors, played enough organized sports, eaten every flavor of ice cream, threw water balloons and pitched a tent, and it’s only the end of July, plan for something a little more brain based for August. A 2-week Mandarin immersion, MandarinLAB Camp, is a totally unique camp experience, where kids ages 4-7 years old will learn a language through STEAM based play: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Kids will engage in Chinese dance, practice calligraphy, and build robots while speaking Mandarin. The camp runs from Aug 21 through September 1, but sign up now to reserve your spot.  The entire 2 weeks of full day camp (9:00-3:00pm) is $950. Aug 21-25 and Aug 28-Sept 1. Half day options and extended day are also available. Monkey Do Yoga, 279 3rd Ave (between President and Carroll), Carroll Gardens

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