Indoor Activities

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Tween GoList: 14 NYC Outings to Combat Adolescent Eye Rolls

The tweenage years—it's a tough stage filled with lots of 'tude. As parents, we know they're too old to hold our hands and follow us blindly to the nearest playground...that's way too babyish. But unlike teens, they may not be quite ready to wander around NYC alone for hours without a destination or supervision. That makes planning family outings for this age particularly tricky.

It's challenging to find activities that will entertain you and your tween. That's why this mother of a picky 11-year-old asked her peers and their kids for ideas guaranteed not to prompt one of those infuriating eye rolls. So bark at them to put down whatever gadget they're holding, and try one of these tween-tested-and-approved excursions in NYC.

New Escape Room Center Opens in Bridgewater, New Jersey

Think a recipe for fun includes locking yourself and your kids inside a small room for an hour? That's the idea behind escape room adventure games, an activity that's become a worldwide phenomenon over the last year or so. New Jerseyans now have a new option for escape room fun: one of the state's largest facilities, the Escape Room Center, just opened in Bridgewater, and it makes for an exciting and memorable outing for families with older children, tweens, and teens. 

Kid (& Baby) Friendly Movie Theaters in Houston

I'll be honest, I haven't gone to the movies since my daughter was born, and she's getting close to 1 1/2-years old! I remember being told to go to the movies as much as possible while I was pregnant, but I didn't really comprehend that watching a movie on the big screen would become such an unlikely endeavor after having a baby. I also remember reading that one can take babies to the movies when they are newborns and they will just nurse and sleep but that just seemed too daunting to me, what would I do if she cried? I could just imagine all the angry movie patrons yelling at me for bringing a baby to the movies, would they even let me in the theater? Even though I've tried all kinds of mom-and-baby activities, such as music classes, baby yoga, and storytimes, I had no idea that "mommy and me" movie showings existed.

There are some great family-friendly movie options in the Houston area - don't be afraid to give them a try! Some screenings are geared toward children with sensory issues, so they show kid's movies, while Mommy and Me screenings are typically movies for adults that also welcome babies and children as audience members. 

Play Retro Video Games at NYC Museums and Family Arcades

Does it bother you that your kids don't know all four of the ghosts in Pac-Man (say it with me: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde), or all the characters in Mortal Combat, or what the game Asteroids even is? We're here for you. We've found a handful of old-fashioned family-friendly arcades around NYC, some straddling the line between retro and cutting edge video games.

Of course, you can also find arcade games at Chuck E. Cheese and Dave & Buster's. Check out our roundup of more birthday-oriented video game spots with laser tag and cheesy pizza for more of these game fun zones. You can also find small arcades at many of the city's bowling alleys.

But consider one of the retro spots below if you're in the market for some parental nostalgia and old-school family fun.

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