City Hacks

NYC Parenting Groups: Meet Other Local Moms and Dads

Finding the right parenting group can give you an instant social network to share the trials and tribulations of parenthood, especially as a new parent. Some mom groups plan events and get-togethers, some offer seminars and discussions and even classifieds where you can swap and sell baby gear, while others are just a place to connect with like-minded people.

We've pulled together a sampling of some of the city’s best neighborhood and citywide groups for moms and dads of every stripe. Frankly, there are so many great ones, we had a hard time whittling down the list. Read on for more details, and be sure to check out our NYC Baby Guide for more ideas for exploring and enjoying NYC from pregnancy to preschool.

5 Time (and Energy) Saving Services for NYC Parents

All parents are busy, but there’s something about parenting in New York City that makes things feel even more hectic. Luckily, there are plenty of city-founded family-friendly services here to take some of the load off from an online baby gear subscription service to a class sampling "passport" to a family meal-delivery service.

We’ve rounded up five newcomers, all founded here in NYC, to help you to start crossing things off your to-do list now. 

Where to Swap Baby and Kid Clothes and Toys in NYC

Clothing and toy swaps are such a New York City necessity. Buying brand-new clothes and toys every time your tot outgrows something (that often still has the tags on!) just doesn't make sense. It's environmentally unsound, and wastes money and space, something we NYC families already have too little of. Luckily, a number of neighborhood and city groups offer family-friendly swap events where you can trade in gently used children's items for new-to-you finds. It's easy—and painless on your wallet.

We've got the scoop on the top swaps in the city so you can find the right one for your family.

Birthday Parties for a Crowd: 10 Budget Party Ideas for the Whole Class

When it comes to birthday parties, I am all for the spirit of inviting the whole class. There is no worse feeling than being excluded or not making the A list, and encouraging our kids to be inclusive is surely the right thing to do. However, public school class sizes being what they are, this can sometimes be an unmanageable proposition. And most of our kids have lots of other friends from other places, too, like pre-school or extracurricular activities. If you approach your child’s party with the good intention of inviting everybody, the guest list is likely to have at least 20-30 kids on it. So, if you don't have an acre of rolling lawn behind your family estate, how is this remotely feasible on a budget? We've got 10 great ideas that don't cost a bundle.

How to Host a Great Kids' Party in a Small Apartment

My daughter had just turned two, and naturally we wanted to do something special to celebrate. But when I started to research venues to rent, I realized that we were looking at $300-plus for a few hours of toddlers smashing frosting into things--and that was just to rent the space! I couldn't justify the expense, especially her young age.

But how could we have a party at home in our teeny, tiny 1.5 bedroom apartment? Well, we found out and we've lived to tell the very successful tale. Here are 10 simple rules to follow when you want to host a budget birthday in a small space.

10 Kids Furniture Stores in and Around Los Angeles

Furniture shopping for little ones changes as quickly as they do: one day it concerns cribs and changing tables, and the next moment it’s bunk beds and desks for homework. And while some kids' items are so fleeting that we don't want to spend much on them (thank goodness for the Toy District!), there are always a couple of furniture pieces that we really want to get right. Looking for the perfect crib, a bed to make the room, or a desk to inspire ultimate focus? Below we offer a list of creative suggestions to shop for kids' furniture in Los Angeles. From stylish to efficient, there’s a furniture store in the vast city of Los Angeles to meet everyone's needs.

Where to Donate Kids' Clothes, Toys and More in NYC During the Holidays and Beyond

With two adults and three kids in my family's typically small NYC apartment, the holiday season stresses me out. Not because of all the things I need to do, but because of all the gifts I know are inevitably coming our way. That's why this is my favorite time of year to donate my kids' gently (or sometimes never!) used clothes, toys, books and other items so we can free up some space and support worthy charities.

Here is a list of organizations where you can donate quality used items during the holidays and beyond. Be sure to contact the charities directly to confirm what they accept and how best to drop off.

12 Great Parks for Kids' Birthday Parties around LA

Lucky for us, hosting free (or mostly free) kids’ birthday parties at Los Angeles’ glorious parks - or San Fernando Valley's parks - is available year round, and with the almost always perfect weather, it’s a great perk to take advantage of. From rustic to scenic to built-in activities, the city’s bounty is near limitless. And the best part: no sticky floor and dirty fingerprints to scour afterward. Read on for our dozen favorites (plus check out these parks that allow bounce houses, parks with barbecue grills, and parks with gated playgrounds, too).


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