our blog


Andy: A Bout of Bravery by Ari Schlanger (11 years old)

Today is the time of year when I write a blog post about my cousin Andy. Let me just say it is almost impossible to explain her in words. I’ll do my best.

Ever since I met her, (which was a very long time ago) she was one of the bravest people I’ve ever known. She’s funny, smart, nice, and a million other qualities that everyone wishes they had. And they all fit Andy perfectly.

Right before Andy turned six, she found out she had something called type 1 diabetes. Ever since then, nothing has changed. Andy is the same person, and hasn’t and won’t ever let it get the better of her.

Throughout the day, she needs to get her blood tested, which is a finger prick.
She also has two permanently attached devices that help monitor and fix her blood sugar.

Every year, we go on something called the JDRF One Walk. What it does is raise money to cure type 1 diabetes. We went on it yesterday. It’s one of my favorite things to do with her.

I have never seen Andy back down from a challenge. And going through life is the biggest challenge of all. Yet she faces it with a head-on approach! I know I have trouble doing that sometimes.

Every time I see Andy, she has this smile on her face like her head is full of ideas and happy thoughts. No doubt that’s true. But that smile, that grin she wears on her face, keeps me going.

We all have things that let us get through the challenge of life. Mine, is Andy.

no matter what life throws at you,
no matter what it does,
just think, for a moment,
about the one person who helps you,
the person who comforts you,
the person, who is always there for you,
and my person, as I said, is Andy.          

To help raise money for the JDRF One Walk, my brothers and I are raffling off three free yearly memberships to apple seeds. One for each apple seeds location!

To join the raffle, there will be donation jars at the front desk. Donate money and fill out your name and contact information and we’ll give you a call if you win!

If you would like to donate to Andy's Warrior Princesses - here is the link...


songs for seeds is launching in six new locations this September!

We are thrilled that songs for seeds will be soon be enjoyed by hundreds of kids in six new locations this fall. With seven cities currently rocking out to our music, we are humbled by how quickly these seeds are growing.
Tell your friends and family…share on social media…please help us spread the word!
Fall openings include:
Current locations include:
Check out our website for more information on each location www.songsforseeds.com
Interested in owning your own franchise, working for and with your child, and having flexible hours? Contact one of us at apple seeds!
Here’s to making music that allows kids to learn through play, build confidence, make friends and have fun.
Alison & Allison


sowing seeds

Robert Berna ’94 (international studies) was born in New York City and raised in Maryland. He returned to New York in 1997, working within the marketing division of New Line Cinema, and then transitioned to a career in advertising after receiving dual MBA degrees from Columbia Business School and the University of California at Berkeley. Berna and his wife, Alison Qualta Berna, met Apple Seeds co-founders Craig and Alison Schlanger in a neighborhood Music Together class.
How did Dickinson prepare you for your current career/endeavor?
We all know that Dickinson provides an extremely well-rounded education, so coming out of there with such a well-balanced liberal-arts foundation really does set one up for a variety of career options. Dickinson encourages students to explore many fields and topics, which has served me well having now worked in a several different industries. This drive and confidence to explore new territories helped me jump into my current business, Apple Seeds, an all-in-one play space for families with kids newborn to 5 years old.
“The true moment when I knew we were onto something great was when we opened for business on March 1, 2007. We had a line of clients wrapped halfway around the block waiting to get into our facility for the first time.”
What was the moment when you knew you had a good idea, which led you to pursue your current career/endeavor?
When my twin daughters were about a year old, my wife and I met another couple with twin boys that were the same age. Noting the collective lack of quality kids’ activities in our neighborhood in Manhattan, we quickly recognized the need for such a business and decided to launch Apple Seeds together. The true moment when I knew we were onto something great was when we opened for business on March 1, 2007. We had a line of clients wrapped halfway around the block waiting to get into our facility.
What inspires you?
My three kids. Every single day. They were the original inspiration for creating Apple Seeds, and they continue to provide us with amazing feedback (even though they have all aged out by now!)
What advice would you offer to the entrepreneurs of tomorrow?
Don’t be afraid to take a chance. Most people don’t get that many opportunities to launch a business or to join an entrepreneurial effort, so when the opportunity presents itself, you should jump at it. The second piece of advice I would share is that you have to be patient when building a business. A lot of people have the expectation that they can build something, and then sell it and retire after just a few years. That does happen occasionally, but generally it takes some time to build up a quality business, and there is always a learning curve involved when creating something new.
What’s next for you?
Apple Seeds has been around for nine years, but we just recently started franchising our highly popular music program, Songs for Seeds. Since the franchise world is an entirely new landscape for us, this has been like launching a new startup all over again. We’re off to a great start, having already awarded 10 Songs for Seeds franchises across the U.S. in just a few months.


Tell your friends - songs for seeds is in Westchester!

The same songs for seeds class you love in Manhattan is now in Scarsdale! Classes are held at Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El.

Click here for our class schedule https://songsforseeds.com/scarsdale

You can also book the song for seeds Scarsdale band for birthday parties and events.

For more information about songs for seeds in Scarsdale and to try a FREE class contact: dana@songsforseeds.com


WOOHOO! The Birthday Department welcomes Jade and Nolen!

Introducing our NEW birthday management team - Jade Brennan (Birthday Manager/Office Administrator) and Nolen Borne (Birthday Coordinator/Front Desk Associate).

Jade comes to apple seeds with a lot of event experience, a love of children, and a very sweet personality. Having only been with us for a couple of weeks, she is already taking great strides in the Birthday Department. Jade is a wonderful person and ready to help you plan the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! Jade is the mother of a 1 year old girl named Naomi who is already a big songs for seeds fan! 

Nolen is no stranger to apple seeds and was just crowned our February Employee of the Month. Having recently taken on the position of Birthday Coordinator, Nolen will work side by side with Jade to plan your next party, while also serving as a Front Desk Associate. 

We are excited to welcome Jade to apple seeds and Nolen to the Birthday Team!

To book a ROCKIN' birthday party at apple seeds, visit our website at www.appleseedsplay.com