It’s the million dollar question: How do you raise happy, well-adjusted kids in this city? Here are some tips for keeping your family’s stress levels in check.
Commune with Nature
Head to the Pond (Central Park South, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), where you’ll find flora (daylilies, black-eyed Susans), red-eared slider turtles, and brilliant orange carp. Encourage splashing at City Treehouse’s water play area, where kids (ages 18 months and up) go with the flow with a stream table, water wheels, and directional jets (129a West 20th Street; 212-255-2050; $20 an hour).
Take Deep Breaths
Practice downward dog and jumping frog at Wave Hill’s family yoga. Through August (Fridays, 10 a.m.) parents and kids can increase flexibility and learn breathing techniques that relax both body and mind (West 249th Street, at Independence Avenue, Bronx; 718-549-3200; $15 for members; $20 for nonmembers; $5 for each additional child.)
Use a Soft Touch
In addition to helping you bond, infant massage strengthens a budding immune system, stimulates digestion, relieves gas and colic, and promotes sound sleep. Learn techniques to knead, rub, and roll your child into a happy place (Maternal Massage and More, 73 Spring Street, between Lafayette and Crosby Streets; 212-533-3188; private lessons, $145; group classes, $50-$75).
Feed Foods for Mellow Moods
Try calming bites like bananas, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and turkey before quiet time. If they’re looking for a treat before bed, sweeten their palates with Mmmunch’s Sleeping Beauty Smoothie.
And then everyone will rest easy.
Free Mom & Baby Yoga Class
What: Parents and babies (6 weeks to new walkers) get all bent into shape.
Why: Helps with baby’s digestion and sleep patterns, too.
When: Wed., 12:30-1:30 p.m.
What: Karma Kids Yoga, 104 W. 14th St., b/t Sixth & Seventh Aves. (646-638-1444). Admission is free.
Design Kids Festival
What: The museum’s garden and gallery spaces are full of hands-on activities for all ages.
Why: Designer-led projects include button- and book bag-making.
When: Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, 2 E. 91st St., at Fifth Ave. Info at 212-849-8353. Admission is free.
Mexican Family Dance
What: The Calpulli Mexican Dance Company performs traditional dances to mariachi music.
Why: Get into the rhythm of things.
When: Sat., 6:30-8 p.m.
Where: Battery Park City Parks, Esplanade Plaza, Hudson River, at Liberty St. (212-267-9700). Admission is free.
Photo: Caitlin Greer Photography / www.caitlingreerphotography.com