Sarah G's blog

Things to Do in Fort Tryon Park & Fort Washington Park with Kids

Two of the biggest attractions in Upper Manhattan boast a combined 250 acres of lush lawns and gardens, winding tree-lined paths, multiple ball fields and playgrounds, and three iconic NYC sights: the famed Little Red Lighthouse, the George Washington Bridge (or for fans of the beloved picture book by Hildegarde H. Swift, the Great Gray Bridge), and the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's branch dedicated to medieval art and architecture. Because of the waterfront location at the highest points in Manhattan, the two green spaces—Fort Washington and Fort Tryon Parks—were important strategic points in the Revolutionary War. Today the parks offer visitors spectacular views of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades.

So take the A train up to Washington Heights and Inwood and discover all the wonderful things to do in Fort Washington Park and Fort Tryon Park, with a little bit of help from our guide below.

NYC Parenting Groups: Meet Local Moms and Dads Online and IRL

Parenting takes a village. Finding the right parent group can give you an instant support network to share the highs and lows of parenthood, especially if you’re new to the game and especially if you live in a busy, overwhelming urban area like New York City! Many parent groups host events and social gatherings, while some offer valuable seminars and discussions. Other groups serve as classifieds where you can swap and sell baby gear, and many offer a place to simply 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. Fortunately, there are so many great ones that we had a hard time whittling down the list. Most are free or include low annual dues. 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.

Macy's Flower Show and 6 More NYC Spots to See Spring's Blooms

After so many hours spent indoors during cold winter months, springtime in New York City is one of my family’s favorite seasons. Besides the warmer weather and increased outdoor playtime, we love spotting the season’s first snowbells, crocuses, and blossoming trees

While plenty of flowers poke through the earth in neighborhood parks and along city sidewalks—not to mention community gardens—there are a few spots in the city where spring blooms are downright outstanding. To celebrate the arrival of spring, we've rounded up our favorite places to enjoy springtime

Find a Baby CPR Class for Parents and Caregivers in NYC

As a parent, you hope you’ll never need to use CPR or first aid. But the scary truth is that if your baby chokes, or suffers a trauma like drowning or an electrical shock that knocks him unconscious, you'll want to know what to do, rather than rely on the availability of a knowledgeable stranger while you wait for the ambulance. 

Have we freaked you out yet? The good news is NYC boasts plenty of infant CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and first-aid classes and refreshers for parents and caregivers, such as grandparents and nannies, where life-saving skills are taught and practiced until you feel as prepared as possible. So read on for our top picks on CPR and first-aid classes in the city.

Also check out our list of babyproofing companies around the metro area, as well as our Baby & Pregnancy Guide for more essential NYC parenting tips.

35 Things to Do with Kids in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill

Known for picturesque tree-lined streets and historic architecture, adjacent Brooklyn neighborhoods Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have an abundance of attractions for families. There's the amazing Fort Greene Park, a 30-acre oasis with two playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, a nature center, a running track, soccer fields, and great hills for sledding. The park's active conservancy organizes popular annual events for families, like the beloved Halloween Festival and the Music in the Grove kids' concert series during the summer.

The area is also home to some outstanding cultural institutions, notably the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with its BAMkids series and annual BAMkids Film Festival, the Mark Morris Dance Center, and the state-of-the-art Barclays Center, which hosts live Disney extravaganzas, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and Brooklyn Nets home games. On top of that, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have great kid-friendly restaurants and easy access to almost every subway line in the borough!

We've rounded up our favorite spots to play, eat, and learn in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. For the purposes of this post, our geographical boundaries are Flushing Avenue to the north and Atlantic Avenue to the south, between Flatbush Avenue and Bedford Avenue.

Dumbo Boulders: Climbing Brooklyn's Giant New Wall with Kids

When we heard a 12-foot high outdoor climbing wall had landed on the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park, my tree-climbing, monkey-bar-swinging son had to give it a try. As longtime Brooklynites, we’ve been taking advantage of the ever-expanding Brooklyn Bridge Park and great Dumbo eats for years. The addition of Dumbo Boulders offers yet another great reason to visit the neighborhood.

Foreign Language Camps for NYC Kids

New York City is home to an estimated 800 languages, and by virtue of living here, our kids are exposed many of them. It's no surprise, then, that NYC has a number of language-immersion summer camps for kids interested in going beyond hola! and bonjour. Whether your child yearns to master Chinese, French, German, Italian, Hebrew, or Spanish, summer is a great time to give language learning a try in a relaxed camp environment. Many of these programs include swimming, yoga, cooking, arts and crafts, music and dance, games, and other typical summer camp activities to supplement and enhance the instruction. Instructors and counselors are fluent or native speakers and not only teach kids the language but also expose them to the culture through activities and field trips.

For more ideas on summer camps, check out our Summer Camp Guide for NYC Kids. Got a preschooler? We've also rounded up immersion preschools for dual-language learning in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

10 Summer Music Day Camps for NYC Kids

Whether your child is drawn to Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, or Mozart, is an accomplished musician or just getting started, summer camp is a great way to explore the craft while having loads of fun and making new friends. We've lined up 10 of our favorite music day camps for New York City kids with an eye toward striking a good balance between theory, practice, musical styles, and ability levels. A few of our picks offer multiple programs divided by age, others split things up by experience level and one even takes campers on a daily visit to a popular indoor climbing facility—sometimes even accomplished musicians need to work out the wiggles.

Don't forget to browse our Summer Camp Guide for additional options or use our Camp Directory to search for programs by interest, age, and location. It's also worth noting that many camps offer financial aid, as well as discounts if you sign up early, or for multiple weeks. 

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