25 Things to Do with NYC Preschoolers Before They Turn 5

New York City doesn't scrimp when it comes to creating awesome family events and institutions, from the Natural History Museum to the Brooklyn Children's Museum to only-here street and art fests like Figment on Governor's Island. But as a mom of two children younger than 5, I'm always looking for fun activities that appeal to the city's youngest children. It's such a special window of time, and I want to create lasting memories—within budgetary reason, and manageable enough for a kid who sometimes still needs a nap and a sippy cup of milk.

So, inspired by our roundup of 100 things to do with kids in NYC before they grow up, we came up with a list of 25 things to do with toddlers and preschoolers around the city before they turn 5 and head to kindergarten. A few of our selections are well-known favorites with specific under-the-radar attractions for preschoolers, while others are more off the beaten path, but all are things we've enjoyed doing or aspire to try soon!

New Cinderella Rocks Sneakers, Sisters in Drag and Inner Beauty

We've probably all seen at least one production of Cinderella, whether in film form or onstage. But have you ever seen the fairy godmother roll in on skates? Or the evil stepsisters played in drag? The Commedia Cinderella, presented by Ragtag Theatre Company, is a raucous and rambunctious adaption on the timeless fairy tale. From a furry, colorful sneaker in lieu of a glass slipper to song and dance numbers performed to pop hits, Commedia Cinderella, kept us in giggles, even if some of the jokes flew right over my kids' heads.

Read on for our full review of this Off-Broadway family show, playing in NYC through mid-summer 2016.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: More Earth Day, Grunions, and Fiesta Broadway, April 23 -24

Guess what? We like the Earth. We like it so much we got an early start on celebrating it last week. We like it so much we're going to continue celebrating it this week. The LA Zoo is so head over heels about Planet E, it's keeping the party going for five (count 'em) consecutive weekends. Our planet rocks.

Of course, some creatures go overboard in showing their planetary affection. Like those silver swimmers, the grunion. And by going overboard, I mean wriggling onto dry land to kiss the ground (and make some babies). You can watch the totally G-rated albeit past bedtime action in both San Pedro and Venice this weekend.

And why do all creatures great and small love our home turf so much? Well, duh, it's because of all the great things we can do here! Take a look at our calendar for this weekend: we've got trucks; we've got pets and cowboys; we've got a big ol' parade and an even bigger street fiesta. We've got free Hot Wheels and a free chance to dance. We've got all your favorite Disney characters on Ice; where else can you find that? Pluto? You must be Goofy!

Keep reading for our earthiest picks for this weekend...

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Earth, Culture, Science Apr 23-24

There is so much to do in Philadelphia this weekend. From Earth Day celebrations to cultural events to the Philadelphia Science Festival, the Delaware Valley is buzzing with excitement. Narrowing down what to do first can be a challenge. Thankfully, Mommy Poppins Philly has rounded up our top picks for the weekend.

Families wanting to take care of Mother Earth can participate in nature clean-up events at Newlin Grist Mill or Green Lane Park. Learn about different cultures at Franklin Square's Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival, Penn Museum's Turkish Delights or American Swedish Historical Museum's Viking Day. Or, take part in one of the many activities associated with the Philadelphia Science Festival. Families can participate in Discovery Days, Science Playdates, Explorer Sunday, Kitchen Science and Medicine Sessions throughout the area.

Stay current with the latest fun by liking us on Facebook and following us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Have a terrific weekend!

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Circus, Rockets, and Junior Ranger Day, April 23-24

With spring finally here in full force and April vacation week coming to a close, there are a lot of great reasons to get out this weekend. Families can hit the big top for a spectacular show (pictured) before the circus leaves town, check out a rocking musical, or head outdoors for the first trip of the season to Spectacle Island for Junior Ranger Day as part of National Parks Week.

The last events of the Cambridge Science Festival are also going on, including the chance to blast off outdoors at one of the festival's popular highlights. For a low-key outdoors event, hit the storybook walk in the Fells or the food truck festival at the Greenway.

Also on Mommy Poppins Boston this week:

Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to check out the full Event Calendar!

Weekend Fun for LI Kids: Arbor Festival, Science Sundays, April 23-24

Celebrate Mother Earth this weekend at the Arbor Day Family Festival, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, Tanglewood Preserve, Downs Farm Preserve, the Maritime Explorium or Tackapausha Preserve. There's also a puppet show in Smithtown, as well as live theater in East Islip, Bellmore and Port Jefferson.

Don't see your event listed here? Add it to our events calendar. And if you don't receive this post in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter.

Weekend Fun: Earth Day, Fishing, and Festivals, April 23-24

"I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues," wrote Dr. Seuss. This weekend, people around the world will "speak for the trees" in commemoration of the annual Earth Day celebration. If you're interested in sharing the occasion with your family, our Earth Day posts for New Haven, Fairfield, and Hartford counties will inform you about events scheduled in your area. The weekend also features many fishing activities, such as the 32nd Annual Fishing Derby in South Windsor and the Family Fishing Derby in Newington. If catching your own dinner sounds like fun, check out Fishing Derbies in the Hartford Area for more opportunities to cast a reel.

Our Event Calendar is regularly updated with family-friendly activities happening around the state. We also invite you to follow Mommy Poppins Connecticut on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and subscribe to our newsletters.

As always, we wish you and your family a wonderful weekend!

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Family Fun Day, Cherry Blossom Festival, Earth Day, Apr. 23-24

The weekend ahead offers a hodgepodge of activities for local families, with something for every taste.

Take in any of several Earth Day celebrations in Westchester or the Hudson Valley, or another springtime celebration like the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival. Catch a performance using unusual instruments by the Homegrown String Band or take a workshop with a professional artist to create your own Pop Collage Art. For a mix of performances, workshops and hands-on fun (including high-flying circus arts), arrive early to beat the crowd at Family Fun Day. And because the weather didn’t cooperate on the originally scheduled date, this Saturday is now the Opening Day at the Science Barge, where kids can enjoy STEM-y fun with kites, boomerangs, robots and more. Got your attention? It gets better: All of these activities are FREE!

There are even more options to choose from, so read on and consult our Event Calendar. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and sign up for our newsletters to remain in the know! 


Subscribe to