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Free-Range Kids

Free-Range Kids contends that children are safer and more competent than pop culture tells us! We believe in safety -- helmets, car seats, seat belts -- but not that kids need a security detail every time they leave the home.

What do your kids love most about living in New York?

My kids love being able to get around on their own, unlike their friends in the 'burbs who need their parents to drive them everywhere!

What's a great destination for a family vacation in New York?

I always insist that visitors come to MY neighborhood -- Jackson Heights, Queens -- to experience the "real" New York. There are 167 languages spoken here, and a grocery with sections devoted to Greece, Turkey, Poland, the Middle East, Colombia, Mexico, Peru (with dried purple corn!), Argentina, Uruguay, India, Pakistan and even a Kosher section. Maybe a family can't spend ALL DAY at the grocery, but then there are all the restaurants! And sari shops! And Ecuadoran bakeries!

What's your favorite affordable outdoor activity to do with your kids?

Nothing beats Central Park -- there's always some grassy area for kids to run around on, and rocks to climb and people to watch. Just bring some food with you -- the options in the park are limited and pricey.