City Hacks

5 Game Changing Car Service Hacks for NYC Parents

The truth is that as a native New Yorker, I never actually learned how to drive. While I finally managed to get my license in my mid-twenties, it's just become a form of ID that I pull out on the rare occasion that someone is kind enough to card me!

While living a car-free lifestyle can certainly be freeing, now that I'm a mom, my inability to drive is a total headache at times. When my daughter was first born, I wouldn't commit to any activity before evaluating whether I could actually manage it myself using the good old MTA system or finding out if my husband's parking space was worth giving up to play chauffeur to the two of us. But just as leaving my Brooklyn neighborhood was starting to seem like a special occasion in and of itself, I uncovered the incomparable convenience of my local car service and it literally became my lifeline.

At this point, I'm pretty much a livery cab pro — having seen most of the city from the backseat — so I've rounded up some of my favorite car service hacks with a little help from our sponsor, Legends Limousine. Whether you're license-less or car-less, or you snagged a spot that's good until next week, here are five ways a car service can be a total game-changer for your family:

Best of Astoria with Kids: Play Spaces and Indoor Attractions

Families flock to Astoria, Queens, for its parks, pool, and great restaurants, but also the trove of family-friendly indoor entertainment, from top museums like the Museum of the Moving Image to creative kids' classes and fun play spaces.

We can't possibly list all of the wonderful programs on tap, but we're highlighting locations that offer drop-in sessions, as well as a few perennial family favorites that require longer commitments. Many of these spots attract residents from all over Queens, including my kids and I, who come from Sunnyside to hit The Yoga Room and the inexpensive but fun play space, Kids Playhouse Astoria.

Here are 11 places where kids can swim, dance, bowl or just get their sillies out in Astoria, Queens.

GoBaby App Lets New Yorkers Rent Out Baby Gear

Traveling with babies and toddlers can be as stressful as it gets. There are tantrums and tears, and most of us are not our best selves when paying an overweight luggage fee for a suitcase full of baby items or building a tower of pillows while praying our child won't roll off a guest bed.

Now there’s an app that can help families traveling to New York City with all that gear, and let locals make a little extra money. GoBaby is a peer-to-peer marketplace such as Airbnb, but for baby and toddler equipment. Remember that pack-and-play you shoved in the back of the closet just in case you need it? With this crowd-sourcing app, rent it out when you aren’t using it. And tourists? No need to pack all that baby stuff!

California Incline, Santa Monica's Door to the Beach, Opens for Labor Day Weekend

People accuse Angelenos of talking too much about traffic. They think we're obsessed with our cars. I wish I could say they were wrong. But the truth is that when a major connector road to Santa Monica Beach reopens after a 15 month closure, the reaction from locals does look like something out of SNL's The Californians. When the first cars drove honking and selfying through the police barricade Thursday evening, past rows of news cameras and cheering crowds, a voice behind me even drawled, "Wow, Dude. I'm so happy."

NYC Parenting Groups: Meet Other Local Moms and Dads

Finding the right parenting group can give you an instant social network to share the trials and tribulations of parenthood, especially as a new parent. Some mom groups plan events and get-togethers, some offer seminars and discussions and even classifieds where you can swap and sell baby gear, while others are just a place to 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 of every stripe. Frankly, there are so many great ones, 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.

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