Parks & Playgrounds

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Hudson Yards With Kids: Top 10 Things to Do at NYC's New West Side Hot Spot

New York City is always changing, which is one of the many reasons why it's so fun to raise kids here. Still, even by NYC standards, it’s rare that a new neighborhood seemingly springs to life overnight, bringing with it places to play, eat, and explore. That's just part of what makes Hudson Yards, the new development on Midtown Manhattan’s far west side, such a surprise.

Whether you view Hudson Yards as a tourist trap, a marvel of urban planning and engineering, or somewhere in the middle, we’ve rounded up 10 fun things to do in this new neighborhood with kids.

25 Ways to Spend a Morning with Your Toddler in Boston

Once you've gotten through breakfast and downed your second (or third) cup of coffee, have you ever looked at your toddler and thought, "what the heck am I going to do with you today?" Too young for many full-time schools or camps, too old to just tag along on errands all day, toddlers are suited for fun, interactive activities that don't require a long attention span and will tucker them out for their afternoon nap. Fortunately for parents and caregivers, there are a plenty of great local activities that will get you both out of the house; and many attractions are 100% free for toddlers.

The Best Children's Playgrounds on Long Island

An abundance of parks and playgrounds makes Long Island a wonderful place to raise a family. These destinations are, of course, great places for little ones to get valuable exercise and to have fun. They are also ideal places for parents to chat while kids play. Feel free to get in on the action because kids love it when parents get silly and have fun, too.

We’ve scouted the best playgrounds across the Island—in Nassau and Suffolk, and on the East End—where you’ll find plenty of space for you and your little ones. For more playground inspiration, check our guide to day trips to Long Island's top parks and playgrounds, including our top playgrounds for toddlers.

8 Free New York City Skateboard Parks

Skateboarding is one of the few sports actually designed for urban spaces, which may be why NYC kids love it so much. Skating uses the city environment as the stage for its tricks, but finding a safe place to skate can be tough. Skate parks provide a perfectly designed place to practice those skateboarding fakie flips and to grab some air. These spots in and near New York City are great for beginners and seasoned skateboarders alike. (Sometimes you'll also spy inline skaters or BMX bikers.)

All these skate parks put safety first. Athletes must wear helmets, kneepads and elbow pads, and kids under age 18 are also required to put on wrist guards. That said, most skate parks are unsupervised and have an enter-at-your-own-risk policy. Some even require parents to sign waivers for their children. So be safe, and enjoy the spring weather! For more outdoor sports and kid-friendly fun, see our guide to NYC's best parks and playgrounds.

10 Things to Love About the New York Botanical Garden

Founded in 1891, the New York Botanical Garden is a 250-acre oasis in the middle of Bronx Park, housing 50 specialty gardens, and more than one million plants. The largest botanic garden in the United States, it's also a National Historic Landmark and well worth a visit in any season. 

When I was growing up, my family ran a generations-old business selling plants and designing fabulous landscapes for the well-to-do in my native Colorado. My first job was weeding the plants in the garden center, and for a time, I thought I'd go to school to become a landscape architect and follow in my father's footsteps. Plants are practically in my blood, and to this day, I still crave a connection with nature and want my born-and-bred New Yorkers to feel blades of grass between their toes and get their hands dirty.

While we've always found our nature fix in Central Park and some of the wonderful gardensflower shows, and greenspaces the city has to offer, no park in the city has captivated me as much as the Bronx's New York Botanical Garden. Read on for 10 things to love about this green treasure, as the cultural gem embarks on its yearlong celebration of #plantlove.

100 Things to Do in New York State with Kids Before They Grow Up

We might be biased, but we think New York state has it all for families. From the gorgeous Hamptons beaches to the rugged state forests, serene lake regions, and deafening Niagara Falls to the culture and arts found in New York City on up through the Hudson Valley river towns and beyond—we feel pretty lucky.

As a state, we’re pretty good at making delicious food items, from ramen burgers and bagels to ice cream, and even wine at family-friendly vineyards on Long Island and through the Finger Lakes. There are children’s museums galore. Kids have no shortage of water and theme parks, cool playgrounds, zoos, parks, and nature, of course.

And yet, the thing about childhood is that it’s finite. The kids grow up, maybe move away. Sniff, sniff. We want to soak up every moment. So we put together this list of 100 of our favorite things to do around New York, from upstate and the Adirondacks to East End of Long Island. We collected suggestions from Mommy Poppins contributors, past and former, to fuse it all together just for you (OK, for us, too). Whether you're planning a long weekend getaway or a family day trip, you're sure to find some ideas here. Enjoy!

21 Things to Do in Bushwick With Kids

We’re sure you’ve heard about the cool factor of Bushwick, home to an abundant artistic community and boldly graffitied streets, but the latest hipster neighborhood, bordering Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, and Ridgewood, actually offers loads of family fun. The once-abandoned warehouses have been transformed into artist studios, galleries, and pizza spots, making the vibrant streets feel like one big adventure.

The rapidly-changing, post-industrial neighborhood of Bushwick offers numerous parks, playgrounds, destination restaurants, and cultural experiences. Plus, it's easily accessible by subway from the L, J, M or Z trains, so even if you don't call Bushwick home, you can still experience this colorful and cool destination. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Bushwick with kids.

Governors Island: Playgrounds, Camping, Art, Adventure, and More 2019 Highlights

Governors Island opens to the public on May 1 this year and its season, which again runs through October 31, promises plenty of family-friendly programming, plus the return of spectacular overnight accommodations that give you even more time to play on the island!

The opening of Governors Island is an event we anticipate annually as the island seemingly reinvents itself with new attractions and old favorites return. The aforementioned glamping accommodations are sure to be a big draw; while The Yard returns, plus inventive new family-friendly programming and an always jam-packed events calendar stocked with family-friendly events.

Read on for the scoop on the very best things to do on Governors Island with kids, plus important visitor tips, such as ferry schedules, and where to score free biking and kayaking. Note: Details are still being finalized for Governors Island's 2019 season and we'll update this post as more information is released. 

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