Spring Activities

25 Things to Do for Mother’s Day 2019 in New York City

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 12, 2019, and mothers everywhere (is it fair to say especially in NYC?) deserve to have a great weekend—and an edible, or at least Instagram-worthy, breakfast in bed. 

Depending on the success of that breakfast in bed, you might also want/need to grab brunch before launching fully into the day—and we found some great options in Manhattan and the rest of the city (not to mention delicious special events, below). Then, tummies pleasantly sated, you'll be ready to focus on the 25 excellent options we found to enhance your Mother's Day celebration.

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

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, increased ferry service, and even more time to play: Summer Friday and Saturday nights feature extended hours, so you'll be able to blow bedtime and stay and play well after dark!

The opening of Governors Island is an event we anticipate annually, as the island seemingly reinvents itself with new attractions and old favorites, like The Yard, return. Plus, every year the island's jam-packed events calendar is stocked with inventive new family-friendly programming.

Read on for the scoop on the very best things to do on Governors Island with kids this year, plus important visitor tips—such as ferry schedules, and where to score free biking and kayaking.

Mother's Day Freebies on Long Island

While moms should be honored every day, they all deserve to be extra spoiled on Mother's Day. And it just so happens, there are a few places on Long Island offering FREE items and/or admission to moms on this special day. Some even extend the courtesy all weekend, from Saturday, May 11 to Sunday, May 12. 

If you're looking to treat mom to a Mother's Day brunch, check out our roundup of select local restaurants, complete with kid-friendly menus.  Of course, if the outdoors is more mom's thing, check out our roundup of spring fairs and festivals. Either way, pamper mom on her special day. 

Best Destination Sandboxes at Local Parks for NYC Kids

There's no denying it—kids love diving into a sandbox, running their shovels and hands through the grains of sand, dumping a full bucket over and generally getting their hands dirty.

Though NYC parents might get grossed out at the thought of what could be lurking in our uncovered, urban sandboxes, it's hard to refuse one of a preschooler's most beloved sensory experiences. So pull up a bench (and your cup of coffee; you'll be here a while!), and check out these eight toddler-tested, mom-approved NYC sandboxes. We've done our best to find the cleanest ones across the city. Besides, you can always wash their hands in the nearby sprinklers or park bathrooms when you're finally able to get them out.

And hey, you don't have to hoof it out to the local beach to reach this sand, which just means more time for other NYC kid activities. Find more destination playgrounds in our NYC Parks & Playgrounds Guide.

The Best Animal Farms and Petting Zoos on Long Island

Whether you are looking for a low-key petting zoo or an exotic experience with wild animals, there's no shortage of places on Long Island where children can interact with nature's noble creatures. If they want to, Long Island kids can do everything from feed a giraffe to visit with an alpaca, and even ride a safari train. 

Be sure to check our directory of zoos and gardens on Long Island, and peruse our pick-your-own guide for more local farm fun. And, for more seasonal fun, be sure to check our event calendar

Family-Friendly Mother’s Day Brunch Spots at the Jersey Shore

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and moms everywhere will be celebrating with a fabulous brunch. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back vibe or you prefer something fancy-shmancy, the Jersey Shore has plenty of delicious options to choose from. The extended forecast for May 12 hasn't been posted yet, but if you're down the shore, you'll hopefully be in a sunny frame of mind! 

Check out one of these local favorites for a wonderful meal the whole family will love, no cooking or clean-up required. Relax, enjoy yourself, and have a very happy Mother’s Day! 

Dinosaur Tracks in Texas: Family Fun at Dinosaur Valley State Park

Deep in the heart of Texas runs the Paluxy River, a small tributary of the Brazos River. And on in its shallow bends and shores lie one of Texas' best kept secrets - dinosaur tracks! Dinosaur Valley State Park - located in Glen Rose, Texas - remains one of my personal favorite state parks for family camping trips because of the fossilized treasures its holds and its natural beauty. You don't even have to be a dinosaur fanatic to appreciate all this park has to offer. Add it to your family's travel bucket list, and plan to visit again and again.

7 Things to Love About the Queens County Farm Museum

While NYC families have full access to the best museums and shows that the world has to offer, life in the city can sometimes leave us feeling disconnected from nature. We’re always seeking ways to let our little ones get their hands dirty, so it’s no surprise that the Queens County Farm Museum in Floral Park is a family favorite.

Spanning 47 acres, the Queens County Farm Museum dates back to the 17th century and features old-fashioned farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, livestock, planting fields, an orchard, an herb garden and a vineyard, all within city limits. As soon as you walk through the gates, you’ll feel miles away from the city.

Here are the reasons we are forever loving New York City's only historic working farm and why it's a fantastic destination for NYC kids. While you’re there, make a day of it with our Queens Family Neighborhood Guide.
 

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