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Oyster Bay for Kids and Families

This month we begin spotlighting different neighborhoods around the Island, and we're kicking it off with Oyster Bay. Steeped in history, teeming with activity, and loaded with natural beauty, the small hamlet of Oyster Bay is a true pearl of Long Island. Throughout March, we'll be focusing on all that Oyster Bay has to offer families. Whether you're a resident, or you're looking for something new to do on the Island, you'll find lots to do and see and eat in the neighborhood. Over the course of the month, we'll tell you about the museums; restaurants; shopping; parks, gardens, and nature preserves; and rich waterfront, jam-packed with events and activities to keep families busy. Read on. Later this week: museums.

Harlem with Kids: 50 Things to Do for NYC Families

NYC is constantly changing, but one neighborhood that's undergone a particularly striking transformation is Harlem. Like most residents who have lived here for a while (or all their lives), I have mixed feelings about the influx of luxury condos, chain stores and high-priced restaurants. But one thing I don't feel conflicted about is raising my kid here. In many ways, Harlem reminds me of my youth on the Upper West Side: beautiful tree-lined brownstone blocks next to big apartment buildings, lots of parks to play in, and a multicultural community where neighbors stop and chat with you even if they don't know your name. Of course back in my day, we didn't have online groups like Harlem4Kids, where local families trade parenting info, kids' items and passionate messages. (Such is life on lively listservs.)

Throughout March, we'll be focusing on all that Harlem has to offer families, both residents and visitors. For the purposes of our posts, our geographical boundaries are 110th to 160th Streets from Manhattan to Fifth Avenues, and 125th to 160th Streets from Riverside Drive to Fifth Avenue. (Sorry East Harlem! We'll get you next time.) We have lots of posts about Harlem coming up that will go more in depth on specific topics, like places to play, family-friendly restaurants, cool kids' classes and other local fun. But we're kicking off our month-long focus on Harlem with the top 50 things to do with kids in the neighborhood.

Children's Ski Lessons at Mountain High Rock!

Until this past weekend, one of the casualties of parenthood in our family was skiing. Of course, if I had been a true skiing fanatic I would have moved "Teach Child To Ski" higher up the priority list. Indeed, if I were a serious skier, I may even have felt qualified to teach said child to ski myself. Instead, I have vaguely contemplated the family ski resort options near LA each winter, and then realized that I have not made it to one each spring. After six seasons without skiing, I decided it was time to take the child by the horns and get someone to teach him to ski.

East River Ferry: 20 Fun Things to Do With NYC Kids Along the Route

For a long time, New York City seemed to forget that it was made up of islands. But over the past few years, we've been remedying this situation by reclaiming our waterfronts with riverside parks, and creating new opportunities to get out on the water, whether for transportation or pleasure.

The newest addition to NYC's waterfront culture is the East River Ferry, operated by NY Waterway. With stops in Midtown, Long Island City, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Dumbo, the Financial District and Governors Island (and Atlantic Avenue and Red Hook on summer Fridays), the East River Ferry is a great way to visit lots of fun spots for a full day out with the kids.

With an all-day pass ($12 for anyone over age 5), you can hop on and off the ferry at any of the stops throughout the day, so you can hit different attractions in multiple boroughs. My family and I tried it, and we discovered 20 great things to do with kids along the East River Ferry route.

The Ikea Ferry: A Free and Fun Ride to Red Hook for NYC Kids

The Staten Island Ferry isn't the only free boat ride in town. The Ikea ferry also offers a (usually) no-cost tour of New York City's magnificent waterfront.

The Ikea Water Taxi departs from Slip A at Pier 11, right near South Street Seaport, and sails you to Red Hook, Brooklyn, land of funky post-industrial architecture, and trendy restaurants and shops. In addition to shuttling you right to the Swedish megastore, it's a great way to visit this cool neighborhood, which is quite a long walk from the subway.

My family and I had never taken this trip before, so this summer we decided to cross it off our bucket list. Here's how we fared during our maiden voyage.


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