As we continue to tackle the unthinkable task of raising kids in the city, my wife and I regularly attempt to reconcile planning weekend activities with enabling our kids to consistently attend organized sports and activities.

It hurts when we think of the money we lose when my daughter has to skip gymnastics class because of an event. These classes aren't cheap. Many places offer makeup classes. But for us, most of those class times aren't realistic or ideal.

This year, however, Chelsea Piers came up with a brilliant idea and a way to reward families whose kids take classes there. Kids who missed a class — and their siblings — were able to attend a Children's Sports Festival that gave them free reign at the Fieldhouse with full access to the gymnastics center, soccer fields and basketball courts. They also added festival staples like a bouncy house, face painting and free popcorn and drinks. Bravo, Chelsea Piers! A genius and a generous idea.


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