Indoor Activities

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The Best Long Island Libraries

This post was written for us by Jill DeMarco.

I have to get out of the house! I know it is already officially Spring, but not every day is park weather. So where is a bored mom to go? The library!   I always forget how great the library is and how a good one can keep us all entertained for hours...oh and did I mention it’s FREE? Almost all our local LI libraries with a children’s department have programs geared towards kids of all ages and most usually have a play and reading area, toys and many have computers for our budding electronic generation. But, a few libraries have special amenities that make them even more enjoyable and are worth a visit:

NY Botanical Garden's 'Chocolate and Vanilla Adventures' Worth a Visit

Living literally down the block from New York Botanical Garden, I have the pleasure of visiting with my 1 year old, Pearl, at least once or twice a week. As many of you know, in addition to offering acres and acres of natural beauty, NYBG also provides some great programming for kids. Although Pearl is pretty much too young to really enjoy many of the kids activities, I recently took a stroll though the Everett Children’s Garden to check out ‘Chocolate and Vanilla Adventures,’ an educational component of The Orchid Show aimed at introducing kids to the history of the vanilla orchid and Theobrama cacao tree.

Kids Swimming Lessons in New York City

So, you’ve decided it’s time for the kids to venture off land and into the pool. After taking a look at our post on how to choose the right swimming lessons for your child, you might be wondering where to go and what this adventure is going to cost. Luckily, as with most things here in the city that never sleeps, there are swim lessons that can fit into any budget (including free) and swimming classes for kids at every level. Read on to find out all the options for kids swimming classes in New York City from Mommy and Me swimming lessons to group and private swim instruction.  

Have the Ultimate Princess Weekend in NYC

And we're not talking about Paris Hilton. We're talking about the real kind of princesses??”the little ones. Yes, I know some parents frown on encouraging little girls to overload on tulle and Disney, but in my experience this is a phase that should be enjoyed while it lasts, because around first or second grade the dressing up stops and there'll be no more pictures of those chubby little faces peeking out from crooked tiaras and sequined tutus. Whether your little princess hails from New York or you are visiting royalty, here's a list of activities for creating the Ultimate Princess Weekend in New York City for your little girl. (Warning this post could be dangerous to your wallet. Extreme caution is advised when planning on indulging your little girl's every fantasy. Do not attempt all of the following in one weekend. Mommy Poppins takes no responsibility for damages incurred by hysterically happy little girls or exhausted, broke parents.)

5 Free Fun Indoor Activities for Kids in New York City

Last month I wrote about play spaces where you can drop in and pay for play, but how about places where you can drop in and not pay? There are still some great places that welcome you to play for free and we've rounded up 5 good ones below. Of course, you should also check out our list of free times at NYC museums so you don't miss out on things like pay what you wish Thursdays at the Children's Museum of the Arts.

Where to play for free indoors with NYC kids:

10 More Free Story Times for Indoor Fun

Sometimes a story time is just the right amount of activity for us when we don't want to commit to a whole involved outing, but we want something to do out of the house. Plus, they are relatively restful and easy for the exhausted grown-ups. We've written about the story times at Barnes & Noble and the New York Public Library, plus some others, but if you're bored of your same old, same old, here are some interesting new-to-you storytimes to check out, many of them in fun places that you'll be able to stretch your story hour into a full day of fun:  

Cleanest Indoor Play Spaces in New York City

200902161730.jpgDo you check back on posts to read the comments? Sometimes readers add great information there, or ask great questions. Some of my favorites lately were Margaret who asked other readers if they wanted to get a group together for a kids knitting class. Sharon, left a great comment with more ideas of places to eat on the Lower East Side on the Candy Store Itinerary post. Another commenter on our Drop In Play Spaces post asked for recommendations for the cleanest play spaces.

Good question. It seems to be a trade off. Places that don't charge hefty membership fees and are open to the public maybe aren't always quite as pristine. But I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule. Here are some of the indoor play places I've found to be really clean:

Valentines Day Ideas: Parents’ Night Out Drop Off Childcare

Picture 50.pngTrying to save a few bucks by skipping out on a baby sitter doesn’t mean you have to be cooped up every Friday night, dreaming of sassy restaurants with plush furniture. Many places in New York City offer drop-off times, especially around Valentine’s Day, that allow you and your date to have some play time while the little guys are having a good (and safe ) time, too. Plus, drop-off services won’t leave your wallet as empty as that baby sitter of yours, you don't need to worry about paying for the car service home, and your kids will have so much fun they'll think it was their party night, not yours.

In honor of Cupid, skip the Netflix and try one of these happenin’ spots for a night on the town that’s fun for you and the kids. We've listed the Valentines Day event, but most of these places do a Parents' Night Out Event regularly, so check them out for now, or for later.

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