Sensory Gym for Children with Disabilities Opens in Queens

Extreme Kids & Crew, a mom-founded nonprofit, just opened its third NYC sensory gym for children with disabilities and its first outpost in Queens. We've visited its Brooklyn play spaces in Crown Heights and Red Hook in the past, so we were excited to see its latest, Ridgewood Space, in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens, which straddles Brooklyn and is often touted as the next hot NYC nabe.

The goal of the Brooklyn-based nonprofit is to provide supportive spaces for children with disabilities and their families to play and connect. The new Ridgewood spot is located in P.S. 71 elementary school, and offers places to swing, slide, build and just chill out. The bubble machine particularly caught our eye.

The borough seems to be adding more and more indoor play spaces for kids, including Sabrina's and Shastye last year, and we're happy to welcome Extreme Kids & Crew to the fold. Read on for our full review.

Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Kite Day, Cinco de Mayo, April 30 - May 1

We welcome the lovely month of May this weekend and there are dozens of family-friendly activities to do as we celebrate spring! Head outside with the whole gang and check out Terhune Orchard's Kite Day, the Renaissance Faire at Historic Smithville Village or the Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival. There's even more outings to keep the kids entertained: take your little T-Rex lovers to Dino Day at the Morris Museum, learn from do-it-yourself creators during the Greater Newark Mini Maker Faire or celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the town of Bridgeton. For additional activity options, take a look at our full Event Calendar.

Best Water Theme Parks Near NYC for Families

While there are no full-fledged water theme parks in NYC (yet), you don't have to go too far to find some awesome ones. We've rounded up 13 of our favorites for kids in the tristate area, mostly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and all are less than a two-hour drive from Midtown Manhattan. No two are alike: Each one offers different experiences and thrills.

For more water fun, check out these toddler-friendly water parks and year-round indoor water parks near NYC.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Kids in NJ

May is right around the corner, so don your sombrero, dust off that marimba and head out for some Cinco de Mayo family fun! There’s music to dance to, food and drink to consume, monarch butterfly celebrations and more. With all this activity, your kids may enjoy a relaxing siesta while you mix up that margarita you so richly deserve. For even more seasonal fun, check out our list of 25 things we can't wait to do with kids this spring in NJ.

5 Fun STEM Activities To Get Preschoolers Excited About Engineering

Activities based on engineering principals offer a great way for kids to learn art, science, technology and concepts of literacy, while also strengthening fine motor, critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork skills. That’s the thinking behind STEM-based schools, like our sponsor BASIS Independent Brooklyn, which starts teaching engineering in its PreK classes. But learning engineering principles can happen at home, too, and BASIS Independent Brooklyn teachers have shared some of their favorite engineering-based activities from their preschool and K-4 classrooms to try with your family.

"With increased screen time in PreK-12 environments, there is a growing and important movement to build in time for actual 3D play into children's days," says Hadley Ruggles, head of school at Basis Independent Brooklyn. "Not only is engineering important for asking larger questions about the world around you, but it keeps important parts of kids' brains and bodies active." So challenge yourselves with these fun engineering activities, perfect for your preschoolers and older kids, too.

6 Mother’s Day Brunch Spots in Queens

By Elizabeth O'Connor

Just as its population is diverse, so are Mother’s Day brunch options in Queens for families with kids. It’s mom's special day, and she'll want to relax with family, sip a mimosa and eat great food knowing that spills won't be met with rolling eyes from staff. So we’ve curated this family-friendly list of brunch options in the borough, offering inventive twists on traditional favorites. Don’t worry, omelets and French toast are still represented.

Check out our suggestions for how to spend the rest of your 2016 Mother's Day in NYC, or peruse Brooklyn or Manhattan brunch options if you're thinking of hopping boroughs.

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