Visitors Guide

American Girl Debuts a Sparkling New Store at Rockefeller Center

Just in time for the holiday season, American Girl gave fans citywide a shiny new gift with the opening of its brand-new mega store in Rockefeller Plaza.

The 38,000-square-foot, two-story store opened November 11, replacing its old digs on Fifth Avenue, and is sure to be a destination for lovers of these iconic dolls for years to come. While the original location offered shopping, dining, and salon services, the upgraded spot serves up even more treats for kids (matching makeovers!) and adults (plush benches!) alike.

Holiday Train Shows in NYC for Kids: Botanical Garden and More

Trains are a way of life for most New Yorkers, but there's something particularly special about the little engines and cabooses that take center stage during the holiday season. The New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train show is one of New York City's top seasonal attractions for families, with electric model trains whizzing by more than 150 NYC landmarks made out of acorns, twigs, bark, berries, and leaves. My family and I make it a point to go every year—it's truly a quintessential New York holiday experience. There's a reason it's on our list of the top 100 things to do with kids in NYC.

But the big NYBG display isn't the only train-centric show in town. Read on for more details on this annual spectacle, as well as a roundup of the other train shows the city has to offer this holiday season. And for an extra special holiday treat, take the kids on a full-size train ride with these nearby Polar Express and Santa locomotives.

See Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation with Kids

Thanksgiving in New York City wouldn’t be what it is without the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

If you’re eager to take your kids to glimpse those giant balloons and don’t want to rise before dawn, visit the area near the American Museum of Natural History on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 to watch the giants come to life. Significant changes are in store for the 2017 edition of the balloon inflation, including an early start time and new procession route.

While the balloon inflation isn't crowd-free, it’s an only-in-New York event all its own—and a must-do holiday event for families. Read on for tips on when to go and where to eat. In need of more holiday inspiration? Visit our Thanksgiving Fun Guide.

Best High Tea Spots in NYC to Enjoy a Cup with Kids

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a memorable experience, afternoon tea—sometimes called high tea in New York City—can be a fun outing with kids. It's an especially great winter outing and particularly fitting during the holidays.

Several places serve high tea in New York City, with varying degrees of appropriateness for children. From the fancy Eloise Tea at the Plaza Hotel to the less frilly Russian Tea Room, there are teas—and the goodies that come along with them—for children of all ages and parents of all budgets. Here's our take on some of the best spots for an afternoon outing in NYC.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2017: Where to Watch, What's New

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade celebrates its 91st anniversary this month, taking over the streets of Manhattan on Thursday, November 23, 2017, and decorating the city with its boisterous marching bands, extravagant floats, and giant balloon characters.

There are always a mix of old and new characters shown off at the parade, and this year is no exception. Expect four new giant balloons to take flight this Thanksgiving, and five new floats—several of which are sure to make your preschoolers' dreams come true. There are also big name characters returning to annual fete for the first time in years.  

If you're planning to attend the parade with the kids (and millions of others!), read on for the most up-to-date information on the route, best viewing locations, and other highlights. Check out our in-depth inflation post for an overview of the Wednesday-night festivities. You'll find more holiday inspiration in our Thanksgiving Fun Guide.

Not Just Trains: Best Things to Do with Kids at Grand Central

The typical New Yorker probably passes through Grand Central Terminal now and again, heading off on a family getaway, but there's plenty of fun inside the cavernous space to make the commuter hot spot the destination in itself.

Grand Central Terminal has tons to offer from dining to shopping and even seasonal toy train displays. Next time you are shuttling through the corridors, allow a little extra time to see for yourself what Grand Central has to offer you and your kids. Read on for our favorite ways to pass the time at this NYC institution.

NYC Car Services with Car Seats for Babies and Kids

Whether you're headed to the pediatrician, the airport, or just visiting New York City, it can be hard to find a taxi or car service that offers car seats. In fact, it's probably one of the most frequent questions we get asked by tourists and locals alike. 

If you have a car seat of your own, taxi drivers are required to let you install it. (I've had anxious drivers balk, but I've always made them wait.) But maybe you don't feel like lugging your seat to and from JFK or up and down the pediatrician's steps. Solution? Call a car service with car seats!

We've rounded up some of our staff favorites for service in all five boroughs. Just remember to specifically request an infant or a toddler seat depending on your child's needs.

Paw Patrol and Olaf Among Macy's New Thanksgiving Parade Balloons

The countdown to Thanksgiving is in full swing and that means the NYC Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is looming large on the streets of Midtown Manhattan. We've got insider tips for where to watch the parade and how to manage the crowds at the balloon inflation, but now we're sharing a sneak peek at the four new additions set to join the 91st annual parade on Thursday, November 23, for the very first time.

Read on to meet the cast of (new) characters.

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