Union Square Play Comes To Suburbs

Kira Greenfield’s first son was born on April 3, 2020.

it was a “crazy time” in Manhattan. COVID was new, and terrifying. The world had screeched to a halt. No one would visit.

Scared and alone, Kira googled “virtual mom groups.” She found one with 10 other new mothers — all in similar, vulnerable positions.

Suddenly, Kira no longer felt like the only woman with a new baby. She connected with a wonderful, online village.

Last summer, Kira and her husband Mark moved to Westport. Earlier, they discovered the town, and called it their “secret place.” They figured they’d eventually move here. The pandemic speeded the process dramatically.

Kira’s parents moved here too. So did her brother. Several friends followed from New York. All have loved the town: its beauty, amenities and lifestyle.

Kira and Mark Greenfield, and their son.

Around the time Kira moved here, Jennie Monness — co-founder of Union Square Play — reached out. Her company — which runs classes, activities, groups and events for kids, parents and caregivers at 3 New York sites — was expanding.

Kira became Union Square Play’s community manager. Of course, one of those new communities is Westport.

In yurts set up outside Chabad on Newtown Turnpike, special programs will be offered to moms, dads, grandparents and other caregivers. “Mo’ Flow” (play) classes are planned for Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays and Fridays; “Ramblin’ Dan” music classes run on Thursdays.

“They’re imaginative and open-ended,” Kira says. Each has a different theme and style of play. The idea is for youngsters to “think outside the box.”

Kira has incorporated one of her favorite parts of Westport — the water — into her new offerings. The summer series runs July 5 to August 12.

As she walked her hour-long loop from Compo Beach to Old Mill, then up Compo Hill, she felt “transported.” Along the way, she met other moms.

A prefect place for moms to bond. (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

So starting next Monday (June 6), Kira has organized “mom walks.” They’ll start at 9:30 a.m., at the cannons. She’ll provide the coffee; then off everyone goes.

No registration or prior notice is needed. Kira will introduce anyone feeling shy or uncomfortable to others.

And although there are suggested days for mothers with different ages (Mondays, babies too young for school this fall; Tuesdays, moms with kids in the 2s this fall; Wednesdays, kids in the 3s; Thursdays, the 4s; Fridays, moms with kids entering kindergarten), it’s fine to show up on any day that’s convenient.

The “mom walks” will continue at least through June.

“We want to make the early years of parenting fun and communal,” Kira says.

A Union Square Play mom’s group gathering in New York.

Westport is not quite Union Square. But plenty of new moms and dads have arrived here recently, from there.

Now — in their new community — they have their own parenting community: Westport’s Union Square Play.

(The Westport classes will be available on the Union Square Play website tomorrow — June 1.)

One response to “Union Square Play Comes To Suburbs

  1. I’m so glad Kira’s mom Amy visited me 30 years ago and fell in love with Westport because now the whole family is here! I’m not surprised Kira is spearheading this wonderful effort. She’s a force of nature!