Chelsea with Kids: 50 Things to Do for NYC Families

Seal Park, Chelsea Piers, Pier 62 Carousel, High Line, Atlantic for Kids, Kids N' Comedy

Chelsea has changed a lot over the past few decades. Back in the '80s, its streets were run-down and desolate, but in the '90s an influx of artists and gay professionals helped kick-start the area's transformation. Today, Chelsea is a mix of the old and the new. Rows of charming historic townhouses and housing developments stand across from luxury high-rises, and veteran residents rub shoulders with families who've moved here for its fantastic amenities. You'll find megastores on the avenues and high-end children's boutiques on the side streets; a slew of kid-friendly restaurants and eclectic art galleries; massive athletics complex Chelsea Piers; NYC landmarks like Chelsea Market and The High Line; and popular indoor and outdoor romping spots like appleseeds play space, Chelsea Waterside Park and Seal Park.

Throughout May we'll be taking an in-depth look at all Chelsea has to offer local and visiting families. Although Chelsea's boundaries are difficult to define, for the purposes of our posts we'll be covering 14th to 30th Streets, Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River. Here are our top 50 things to do with kids in Chelsea, NYC.

  1. Take a spin on the hand-carved wooden animals on the Pier 62 Carousel
  2. Drop in to the indoor toddler play gym, Little Athletes Exploration Center, in Chelsea Piers
  3. Romp through the colorful Dr. Seuss-like sprinklers at Chelsea Waterside Park
  4. Take a nature walk two stories up on The High Line
  5. Dig into a plate of Belgian waffles or moules frites at Petite Abeille
  6. Make a difference with your outgrown strollers, high chairs or other gently used baby gear by donating to Room to Grow
  7. While away an afternoon exploring shops and sampling delicacies in Chelsea Market
  8. Stroll the tree-lined brownstone blocks in the Chelsea Historic District
  9. Check out the big black archway on Pier 59 to see traces of the infamous White Star Line, the company behind the Titanic
  10. Enjoy some of the best trick-or-treating in town in the West 20s on Halloween
  11. Catch a free flick at Chelsea Cinema's no-cost summer kids' screenings
  12. Learn about Himalayan art and culture at family workshops at the Rubin Museum of Art
  13. Grab an exotic-flavored treat at Doughnut Plant
  14. Peek into Hotel Chelsea, former home to the likes of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith and Iggy Pop
  15. Sign up for an art class or hit an open play session at Kids at Work
  16. Watch your kids cook up yummy eats at Taste Buds Kitchen
  17. See skaters grab big air at the Pier 62 Skatepark
  18. Check out the Art Quilt Gallery NYC, the only spot in town devoted exclusively to contemporary quilt exhibits
  19. Knock down pins at the Bowlmor Chelsea Piers bowling alley (formerly known as 300 New York)
  20. Hit the McBurney YMCA for family swim time
  21. Register for a class at appleseeds or become a member for access to its adorable indoor playground
  22. Meet celebrated children's authors and attend weekly storytimes at kid-lit Mecca Books of Wonder
  23. Go ice-skating year-round at Chelsea Piers' indoor Sky Rink
  24. Spend the afternoon visiting Chelsea’s famous art galleries
  25. Pack a picnic and head for the grassy expanses between Piers 62 and 63 in Hudson River Park
  26. Pick up a cool costume or novelty item at the Abracadabra Superstore
  27. Cool off in the sprinklers at Seal Park, officially called Clement Clarke Moore Park
  28. Hunt for Tom Otterness’ whimsical figures on the 14th Street A, C, E and L subway platforms
  29. Watch a cutting-edge dance performance at the legendary Joyce Theater
  30. Enjoy storytime in the children’s room of the historic Muhlenberg Library
  31. Try delicious no-knead pizza at Jim Lahey’s Co.
  32. Enter the lottery for free swimming lessons at the Chelsea Recreation Center
  33. Practice your swing at the Chelsea Piers batting cages
  34. Study anime and manga at Hi Art!
  35. Splash around the interactive watertable at indoor play space City Treehouse
  36. See talented local kids in awesome original musicals at TADA! Youth Theater
  37. Peruse the carefully curated toys and gifts, and play at the train table at Kidding Around
  38. Gaze at beautiful blooms and plants in the Flower District on Sixth Avenue
  39. Learn how to cook as a family at the Institute for Culinary Education
  40. Run around Penn South Playground, known by locals as Sandbox Park
  41. Try circus yoga for the whole family at Karma Kids Yoga
  42. Head to legendary performance art space The Kitchen for its annual family-friendly block party in the fall
  43. Find fine furniture for babies through teens at Schneider's
  44. Browse the high-end European children's wear at L.O.L. Kids boutique
  45. Stock up on all of your new-parent needs at megastore Buy Buy Baby
  46. See a show by one of the best children's theater companies in the city, Atlantic for Kids
  47. Get your kid's hair cut and shop for toys at My Little Sunshine
  48. Grab brunch at fancy family-friendly diner The Dish
  49. Pick up a scrumptious cupcake for dessert at Billy's Bakery
  50. Laugh it up at a Kids 'N Comedy stand-up matinee at Gotham Comedy Club
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Pier 62
22nd Street and 11th Avenue
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 53.4264" N, 74° 0' 26.7084" W
New York
Chelsea Piers
West 23rd Street and 11th Avenue
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 56.1012" N, 74° 0' 25.5636" W
New York
Chelsea Waterside Park
11th Avenue at West 23rd Street
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 56.1012" N, 74° 0' 25.5636" W
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Petite Abeille
44 West 17th Street
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 19.0896" N, 73° 59' 40.2396" W
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Room to Grow
54 West 21st Street
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 28.734" N, 73° 59' 32.5212" W
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Chelsea Market
75 Ninth Avenue
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 31.0704" N, 74° 0' 17.2548" W
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Chelsea Cinemas
260 West 23rd Street
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 41.8092" N, 73° 59' 52.6956" W
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Rubin Museum of Art
150 West 17th Street
10011 40° 44' 24.0684" N, 73° 59' 52.0656" W
Doughnut Plant
220 West 23rd Street
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 40.3044" N, 73° 59' 48.2316" W
New York
Kids at Work
242 West 27th Street
10011 40° 44' 50.7768" N, 73° 59' 45.3156" W
Taste Buds
109 West 27th Street
10001 40° 44' 45.1896" N, 73° 59' 29.4036" W
Art Quilt Gallery NYC
133 West 25th Street
10011 40° 44' 42.0072" N, 73° 59' 35.6208" W
Mc Burney YMCA
125 West 14th Street
10011 40° 44' 17.5524" N, 73° 59' 51.6804" W
appleseeds
10 West 25th Street
10001 40° 44' 35.6496" N, 73° 59' 22.8804" W
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street
10011 40° 44' 20.5476" N, 73° 59' 35.6676" W
Abracadabra Super Store
19 West 21st Street
10011 40° 44' 27.5928" N, 73° 59' 30.1848" W
Clement Clarke Moore Park
West 22nd Street and 10th Avenue
10011 40° 44' 49.3008" N, 74° 0' 16.8372" W
Life Underground
West 14th Street at 8th Avenue
10011 40° 44' 23.1108" N, 74° 0' 9.0828" W
The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue
10011 40° 44' 33.9828" N, 74° 0' 2.0124" W
Muhlenberg Library
209 West 23rd Street
10011 40° 44' 40.3008" N, 73° 59' 45.3444" W
Co.
230 Ninth Avenue
10011 40° 44' 49.8768" N, 74° 0' 2.9592" W
Hi-Art
227 West 29th Street
10011 40° 44' 54.5748" N, 73° 59' 38.67" W
City TreeHouse
129A West 20th Street
10011 40° 44' 29.8968" N, 73° 59' 43.422" W
Tada! Youth Theater
15 West 28th Street
10011 40° 44' 42.4068" N, 73° 59' 17.88" W
Kidding Around
60 West 15th Street
10011 40° 44' 15.5796" N, 73° 59' 45.6144" W
Institute for Culinary Education
50 West 23rd Street
10011 40° 44' 32.8488" N, 73° 59' 30.5268" W
Hotel Chelsea
222 West 23rd Street
10011 40° 44' 40.1136" N, 73° 59' 48.4224" W
Penn South Playground
26th Street and Ninth Avenue
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 54.24" N, 73° 59' 59.7768" W
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Karma Kids Yoga
25 West 23rd Street
10010 New York , NY 40° 44' 31.9956" N, 73° 59' 25.602" W
New York
The Kitchen
512 West 19th Street
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 43.3572" N, 74° 0' 24.7356" W
New York
Schneider's
41 West 25th Street
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 37.644" N, 73° 59' 27.2832" W
New York
L.O.L. Kids
22 West 21st Street
10010 New York , NY 40° 44' 26.9844" N, 73° 59' 30.9732" W
New York
Buy Buy Baby
270 Seventh Avenue
10001 New York , NY 40° 44' 44.5272" N, 73° 59' 40.3116" W
New York
Atlantic for Kids
336 West 20th Street Linda Gross Theater
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 39.1524" N, 74° 0' 6.1056" W
New York
My Little Sunshine
177 Ninth Avenue
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 42.1584" N, 74° 0' 8.676" W
New York
The Dish
201 Eighth Avenue
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 37.1868" N, 73° 59' 59.586" W
New York
Billy's Bakery
184 Ninth Avenue
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 43.17" N, 74° 0' 6.642" W
New York
Gotham Comedy Club
208 W 23rd Street Kids 'N Comedy
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 38.7348" N, 73° 59' 47.2416" W
New York