Williamsburg Baby Resources

WilliamsburgWalks Street Fair, via Neighbors Allied for Good Growth

Welcome to Williamsburg Baby!

In the decade or so since I've lived in Williamsburg, the neighborhood has changed a great deal and experienced a tremendous baby boom. While I began this blog as a place to record my personal thoughts about raising a family here, I thought it might be helpful to pass along some of what I've discovered since I learned I was expecting my first child. 

North Brooklyn is a fantastic place to start a family: first and foremost because it's a walkable place with plenty of outdoor spaces as well tons of businesses serving children and their parents, with more popping up every few weeks. 

Find out more about why I think Brooklyn is great for babies in my Brooklyn for Babies 101 post. And it's great for other stuff too (which makes it all the more great for babies' parents, in my opinion.) 

Feel free to check back for more as I figure out this whole parenting thing...every time I see a flier for a new kids' class or get a recommendation from a local parent, I update this page.  If you signed up for just a fraction of what's on offer, you could take helicopter parenting to a whole new level (I am not suggesting you do that!) Still, in a place where most people are confined to small-ish apartments with manically energetic young children, it's reassuring to know just how many options there are. 

If you read through the comments, I've also published some messages I've received from local businesses, just in case you find them helpful. 

  • For general posts on local news and living in Williamsburg, go here.
    • For New York magazine's list of children's boutiques in North Brooklyn, go here. For a list of great NYC playgrounds, check here

    Prenatal Resources

    Kula Yoga Prenatal Classes
    Kula offers bi-weekly prenatal yoga classes and yoga classes for moms and babies of different ages. Post baby, I love Kula's Honey Flow classes.

    Birthday Presence Childbirth Education (at Caribou Baby)
    Will and I took four weekly childbirth prep classes with Birth Day Presence. The evening classes were taught by doula and childbirth educator Meghan Mahar, and were really helpful. I wrote a few entries, here and here, about the sessions. Meghan also came to our apartment to give us a private lesson on newborn care and breastfeeding in the week before Axel was born, showing us swaddling basics and more. While there wasn't all that much I hadn't read up on prior to class, it was a good bonding experience and I found it helpful to be around other couples in the same boat.

    Massage Williamsburg
    Forget the cheap nail places (or the fancy spas in the city.) Go to Massage Williamsburg, an unassuming place on Wythe and N. 6th St. A lot of their masseuses are certified in pre-natal massage and the owner, Rachel Beider, is a doula as well.

    Paul Kostas, Personal Trainer
    I worked out with Paul for a few years, and when I found out I was pregnant I was thrilled to learn he's certified in pre- and post-natal training and that I could keep it up. He works out of a private space near McCarren Park (or can come to you, in some cases.)

    Labor Resources

    Grace MacNair, Doula
    I raved about our birth doula, Grace, in the posts that made up Axel's birth story. She is fantastic, though I think she is now training as a mid-wife and may have limited availability. For more on my labor experience and how having a doula helped, check out the following. If you want a natural, med-free childbirth, I can't stress how key it is to have a doula. There is also Carriage House Birth, another great local resource for expecting parents; they have a great network of doulas.

    Postnatal Fitness

    Mighty Mamas and Strollfit
    Two group workout options for new mothers (babies too.) Mighty Mamas meets in McCarren park, while Strollfit alternates between the park and Play just off the park. Once I got my clearance to workout after Axel's birth, I signed up for a month of unlimited Baby Boot Camp classes via Strollfit. To be honest, I kind of pictured something hokey where we jogged with the strollers. Instead, it's a typical P.E. style class (lunges, star jumps, ab workouts, resistance training with bands) while the babies chill out in their strollers. There are also mom & baby yoga classes at Chalk Gym while Retro Fitness offers childcare.

    Postnatal Pilates at Sangha Yoga Shala
    Three babies in, and I've started to get serious about regaining my core strength. Sangha Yoga offers postnatal Pilates and Yoga classes, and babies are welcome (it's best if they are not yet crawling.)

    Community Organizations & Local Blogs

    Brooklyn Baby Hui
    This is a yahoo message board for local parents and parents-to-be. There's great info about childcare, doulas, trainers, baby wares for free or for sale, and more. In order to join, you need to send an email to the administrator. They have smaller groups for moms having babies around the same time as well which also require that you email to join. I've been meeting up with the ladies from the Summer 2012 moms' group and it's been so key for my mental health (and fun as well.)

    Little Little
    Little Little is a great list which shows the daily kids' classes on offer in the neighborhood! I am so glad someone thought to make this happen. You can see which classes are free (and there are a ton of options, many of them listed on this page), which allow for drop ins, and which require you to sign up for the semester.

    Neighbors Allied for Good Growth

    Town Square
    This is a neighborhood alliance focusing on Williamsburg and Greenpoint. They host a number of great seasonal events like the Greenpoint Halloween Parade, an Easter egg hunt, and community activities like clean ups of local parks, free movies in the parks, chess tournaments, art shows, and more.

    Wild Was Mama (formerly Caribou Baby)
    This great little shop and education center is the hub for all things mama and baby related in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. They offer classes in childbirth education (care of Birth Day Presence), baby massage, and pilates as well as drop in playgroups for mamas and babies of all ages. And the very sweet clothes from Nature Baby are lovely. Another great resource here is the lending library. They have a stack of books on breastfeeding, sleep habits, pregnancy and more. When Axel was tiny, he loved their Rocking Chair Music series. They also have a bathroom with a changing table!

    For local news, I like to check DNA Info's Williamsburg page, Greenpointers, Free Williamsburg, and Bedford and Bowery. 

    Music Classes

    Blue Balloon Songwriting
    Little Rock Its
    Music for Aardvarks 
    Rocking Chair Music at Caribou Baby
    Rug Bug Music

    Sing-a-longs at The Knitting Factory
    Drop in sing-a-longs every Wednesday and Friday at 11:00 a.m.

    Williamsburg Music Studio
    Guitar, Violin, and Piano for pre-schoolers and beyond.

    Williamsburg School of Music
    Band, "Baby Rock" classes, private lessons and more. 

    Arts Classes

    Arts and Crafts
    When Axel is ready to channel his inner Picasso, Williamsburg will be ready for him. There are arts & crafts classes at:

    Eckford Street Studio (We've loved Art Lab Junior! So creative and age-appropriate. There's also a drop-in storytime with art for younger babies, check out their schedule online)
    Bird River Studios
    Lemon Sky
    The Painted Cloud
    Mini Hands
    Brunchcraft at Isa offers one off brunch & craft sessions.

    Sports (Gymnastics, Soccer, and Swimming) Classes

    Aqua Beba Swimming Classes
    When it's humid and horrible out (and you're 8 months pregnant), getting in a pool seems like a pretty fabulous idea. Aqua Beba offers private prenatal swimming classes (email them for info) at a few local condo pools, and you don't have to be a resident to join. They also teach little ones how to swim, beginning with classes at just 4 months. So far, both Axel and Oscar have gotten a great deal out of his introduction to the water. The baby and toddler classes take place in a well-heated, saltwater pool.

    Go Go Babies
    We don't have experience with these classes, for children from 6 weeks - 14 months old, but  if you're looking for help with movement and tummy time, they offer sessions at Wild Was Mama.

    McCarren Park Play Center
    The NYC-run Play Center at McCarren Park is brand new and offers great indoor movement classes, plus things like soccer, basketball, and art for toddlers and older kids. The membership is really affordable (around $50 per 6 months) and classes are drop-in and free. There are even indoor classes that focus on scooter and bike skills.

    Streb Movement Classes
    Streb, a cool local center for dancers, aerialists and gymnasts, offers classes in Williamsburg for children as young as 18 months. You can drop in and take a trial class, if you call ahead. They also offer a great summer camp for children ages 3 -5, as well as classes for older kids. Miss J's, a gymnastics center, also offers classes beginning at that age, while Petite Division offers ballet beginning at age 2. We haven't tried out Williamsburg Movement and Arts Center yet, but friends give rave reviews.

    Super Soccer Stars
    Now that the Bushwick Inlet Park ball fields are complete, I see tons of age groups taking classes and playing games there. For those under two, there are Kick and Play classes, which take place locally at a few different locations.

    Free Events & Outdoor Spaces

    Babies and Books
    Axel adores this reading group at the Leonard Library. The Brooklyn Public Library system has events like this on a weekly basis, across the borough, and they're free.

    There are tons of playgrounds, parks, and outdoor activities in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Check out McCarren Park and the McCarren Park Pool (also free!), Transmitter Park, Bushwick Inlet ParkEast River State Park and the pier near the East River Ferry. There's also McGolrick Park and Cooper Park.

    Children's Books Events at Word
    Check the schedule at Word, an independent bookshop in Greenpoint, for kids' events. 

    Children's Parties

    Art Party NYC
    For Oscar's second birthday, we had the pleasure of working with artist Kirsten Mahoney, who runs Art Party NYC. She can do everything from setting up decor to making jet packs out of balloons (and she also does face painting!)

    Brooklyn Balloon Company
    Animal balloons and face painting for children's birthday parties!


    Diaper Kind
    An eco-friendly cloth diaper laundry service that services Williamsburg. We've never braved this route, but it's great to have the choice. Diaper Kind seems pretty reasonably priced at $35 or $50 a week. You need to get set up with all the right gear first.

    Edamama Cute Cuts
    This family-owned hair salon for kids (on Union near McCarren Park) doubles as a coffee shop, children's book store, and class venue, with options like cooking, singalongs, and French for the pre-school set. For hair cuts, the kids get to choose an under-the-sea themed chair station and there are DVDs, prizes, and balloons to keep them occupied. The owners couldn't be nicer.

    Estate Planning
    Often, in the excitement of setting up baby registries and selecting strollers, it's easy to forget about the real planning that parents need to do, like setting up 529s for college and estate planning. Laura Fischer Harbage, who comes highly recommended on the Brooklyn Baby Hui and elsewhere, helped us tackle the latter.

    Jami Saunders Photography
    Jami Saunders took Axel's newborn photos and did a wonderful job. She also offers cool packages that include three photo shoots at different points in a baby's first year and she photographs older children and families too.

    Kids' Movie Screenings
    Every week, Videology offers screenings of Sesame Street ($2/family) and children's movies.
    I've also seen notices for baby-friendly screenings at Nighthawk. I couldn't find info about this on Nighthawk's site, but there is a Facebook group you can join. Movies! With screaming babies! Well, this doesn't sound fab, but the knowledge that everyone is in the same situation is something.

    Language Classes
    French for Little Ones offers French playgroups for babies and toddlers in South Brooklyn and Williamsburg. Axel began attending a session at 13 months, and I think he was a little young to get much out of it, but it was cute nonetheless. French songs, counting games, and very simple vocab lessons. I'd recommend starting at around 2; they also have a pre-school option, which offers different schedules at Play.

    Puppets kind of freak me out, but you can sign up for packages of these creative shows (or drop in on a per show basis.)

    School Select NYC
    Local mom Leah Wiseman Fink has an education consultancy that can help you navigate the Williamsburg and Greenpoint school options.

    Rainy Day Activities & Indoor Playspaces

    Seemingly overnight, there are a gazillion places to play indoors in Williamsburg and Greenpoint during the winter. These local play centers offer classes, memberships, and some offer one-day play passes and host birthday parties. Some are slick and a little corporate in feel, while others have a more homespun vibe. 

    While this space is very child-friendly, it's not cloying. Since 2012, it's been under new ownership, but it's still charming and relaxed and offers a discount on packs of drop-in play cards, plus classes in soccer, French, dance and more.

    Kidville offers gym classes, art classes, and singalongs as well as open play passes in their naturally lit gym. It's very cute though the schedules are not online. We signed up for an option that lets you sample a range of classes and come for open play. They also do birthday parties.

    Klub 4 Kidz
    Okay, the name is a little (a lot) cloying, and the view through the windows on North 4th Street, of a maze of tubes and tunnels, might initially put you off, but I like that Klub 4 Kidz has a dedicated toddler play room and isn't too busy on weekday mornings. Also, Axel loves those crazy tunnels.

    Miss J's Gymnastics
    For a small annual fee, plus $10 each time you drop-in, Miss J's has open play sessions (known as "Family Fun") every day. This place is amazing! Just very low key and fun. They just expanded their space and I think this place is a winter time essential.

    New York Kids' Club
    The newest of the bunch, NY Kids Club offers a nursery school program and a ton of classes, with open play passes for those enrolled.

    New York Transit Museum
    It's not in Williamsburg but it's still in Brooklyn and great for a rainy day. It's an old subway station filled with decommissioned trains and buttons and turnstiles kids can push. Afterwards you can head to Shake Shack for lunch.

    Twinkle Playspace
    Twinkle is a wonderfully creative place. The little mini grocery store reminds me of the childrens' museum in D.C. and If you live nearby, I can see this being a life saver when I have a restless toddler on a rainy day. They do children's birthdays too.

    Children's Museum of the Arts
    This isn't in Williamsburg, but if you're up for a jaunt to Tribeca, it's a good option for kids from about 2-10. There's a child-friendly art exhibit, a clay station, plenty of art supplies, a ball room, and lots of one-off activities.


    1. Dear Sarah, I am the founder of Project Playdate which runs 3 hour drop off playdates and pajama parties at the best kid-friendly attractions in NYC. I wanted to share that we've officially launched in Williamsburg (my hometown too!) last month at Klub for Kidz. We had an amazing pajama party there in May and will be back on Friday, June 27th from 6:30pm-9:30pm. This is for ages 2-6. I am reaching out with hope that you might have some advice on how I can spread the word about this upcoming event. I know so many families in the neighborhood would LOVE this service but I'm not quite sure how to reach them. Thank you for your time and congratulations on having baby Oscar!!

    2. Dear Sarah,
      Hi, how are you? My name is Julie and I'm from Baby Caravan. We work with new and expecting mothers and offer doula and postpartum services. Below I have included a link to our website as well as my email.
      I was hoping we could discuss the possibility of teaming up-adding each other to resource lists, getting involved on social media, etc.
      Thank you so much. Hope to hear from you soon!

      Julie Leow


    3. Dear Sarah,
      I just want to spread the word about my talented hubby who takes amazing portraits of kids, as well as family portraits and events. I included link to his website below.


      Thank you so much!

    4. Hi Sarah, I wanted to let you know about a new moms support group that is happening in Williamsburg. It's being held at the King Bay Y's location in North Williamsburg (14 Hope St.) on Tuesdays at 11am. As a marriage and family therapist and local mom, my goal is to offer a safe space for new moms to express all the crazy feelings that come along with early motherhood and find the support and resources they need to keep on going. More details can be found here: www.northbrooklynmft.com/new-moms-support-group/
      Thanks so much!

    5. Hello Sarah,

      I am writing on behalf of Brooklyn Athletic Club a new gym with lots of amazing activities. I would like to introduce myself, my name is Candela and I am head of the Spa department in a brand new building located at 8 Berry Street near the corner of N.13th.

      We are now looking into making it pre/postnatal friendly, having some mommy classes and a time that mommies may come to work out and have their children ages 2 months to 6 years babysat for. We are in the process of hiring babysitters as well so, if you know of anyone who might be interested please feel free to contact me.

      Candela@brooklynathleticclub.com 718-486-6929

      We are baby friendly and if you'd like we would love to give you a tour of the whole facility. We also have free all day access passes and coming soon a seven day all access pass until the end of May.

      Check us out at www.Brooklynathleticclub.com

      I look forward to hearing from you!


    6. Hi Sarah -
      I wanted to let you all know about a great event that benefits Little Essentials, a Brooklyn-based organization that helps families in need. On Saturday, May 30th from 1-4pm we will host Pilates and Yoga classes and host a drive for new or gently used strollers, car seats and Pack-n-Plays at Sangha Yoga on North 3rd Street. Juices will be provided by Brownie/Shanti Shack and there is a raffle to win a date-night dinner for two at The Heyward. I hope to get a great turnout and to help support families who are less fortunate. For more info contact me at karrie@karrieadamany.com or go to www.shangayogashala.com. Thanks! Karrie

    7. Hi Sarah,

      I’m writing to let you know about the upcoming summer music programs at Williamsburg Music Studio. Geared toward children ages 4-10, our summer programs include a Music Theatre camp and Intro to Rock camp. You can view full descriptions at http://williamsburgmusiclessons.com/summer-programs/.
      Also, I’d be more than happy to write a guest post for your blog on a topic such as “top 3 instruments for young children.”


      Scott Kacenga | Co-Director

    8. Hi Sarah,

      Hope all's well with you. I'm just writing to let you know that my Williamsburg portrait studio is now pleased to offer newborn photography.

      We offer bespoke sessions, with a variety of cuddly fabrics and props, each chosen specifically for baby, based on our clients' tastes, and heirloom quality fine art wall portraits. The studio is fully insured; and at each session includes an assistant trained in newborn safety who is also a mom in addition to our award-winning photographer.

      I'd love to talk to you more about being listed on your site! Please have a look at some of my work here: http://juliesaadphotography.com/blog/?category=newborns


      Julie Saad
      Julie Saad Photography
      240 Kent Avenue
      Brooklyn, NY 11249

    9. Hi Sarah,

      I take Tai Chi classes at NYC Shaolin Martial arts school and wanted to share with the group the school's kid's program:


      I can personally recommend the Tai Chi classes Monday and Wednesday nights in Bushwick, Wednesday and Friday Mornings in Williamsburg.
      Great for hard working women to decompress and focus on their physical, and mental, health! : )

      Thank you for hosting this blog and hope to have the school listed as both a resource for kid's Kung Fu and adult Tai Chi!

      Warm Regards,

    10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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