9 NYC Arcades for Kids Birthday Parties

Arcades are an ideal place to celebrate a kid's birthday. Blinking lights, spinning wheels, ringing bells, and mechanical jingles give arcades a festive atmosphere, and the assortment of amusements offers something for everyone. Even if your child isn't the biggest video game enthusiast, most gaming parlors offer air hockey, skee-ball, and basketball games, too—some even have laser tagescape rooms, or other challenges. These kid-pleasing party spots are full service, so hosts only have to provide a cake or cupcakes. Many offer games that award tickets redeemable for prizes to fill a goody bag.

Our list of nine arcades for kid birthday parties features spots across New York City, from Manhattan to Staten Island, plus a mobile arcade that comes to you. Read on for all the details.

Looking for more birthday party ideas? Check out our NYC Party Guide or directory of birthday fun suppliers.

Ultimate Halloween Event List: 35+ Best Celebrations in LA for Free or Spooky Fun

Why are most of the Halloween events below free? We spend on the Halloween costume (and a second one if we buy too early), and the pumpkin (and a second one if we buy too early), and the Halloween candy (and oh do we pay if we buy too early)—has anyone else reached their limit with spending money on this mother-of-all kids' holidays? We've sniffed out a whole bunch of free spooky fun, plus a few of the key Halloween activities that might be worth paying a little extra for. The following 35+ events are the Halloween parties not to miss—the scream of the crop!

Top Family-Friendly Spots on NYC’s Upper East Side

Featuring New York's most iconic park, world-renowned museums, some of the city's most unique play spots, and eateries for all, the Upper East Side has easily earned its spot as a family favorite. Watch Avery, a Kids Access Press student reporter, take us on an action-packed video tour of the fun-filled neighborhood. Then read on below for more details about some of the area's best spots for kids.

Thanks to our sponsor 180 E 88th St for making this video possible. 180 E 88th is a luxury building in the heart of everything that makes NYC’s Upper East Side a perfect fit for families. Take a peek at the stunning full- and half-floor residences, complete with 14’+ ceilings and sweeping views of Central Park, plus the 8 floors of amenities, including a wine room, game room, indoor basketball court and soccer pitch, and a playroom conceptualized by the Children's Museum of the Arts.

Things to Do in New Jersey on Columbus Day Weekend

Columbus Day weekend is jam-packed with three busy days of festivities! Have a thrilling time at theme parks that are decked out for Halloween and fall, like Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest, Diggerland's Diggerfest, iPlay's Trick or Treat Around the Park, and Storybook Land's Happy Hayrides

Go festival-hopping throughout the state this weekend at events that celebrate kites, pumpkins, the harvest, books, and even garlic! Little truckers can explore vehicles at Touch a Truck and the Millburn Fire Department Open House on Saturday. Plus, enjoy theatrical productions of Pinkalicious and Paw Patrol Live.

Check out our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids for more options for family fun, including 75+ Free Things to Do with New Jersey Kids in October. And look to our October GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

The Best Trick or Treat Neighborhoods in Chicago

Halloween is your annual excuse to get the family dressed up, sugared up, and out for a spooky adventure. You’ve got the perfect Halloween costume and trick-or-treat bag (plus an extra bag for when that one gets full). Now, you just need to find that extra-special Chicago neighbor giving out the full-size candy bars. 

Whether you’re looking for haunted mansions, festive parades, live entertainment, or over-the-top decor, we have the best neighborhoods in Chicago for trick-or-treating and Halloween fun for families. If you strategize, you can even hit up multiple events for maximum returns on that costume.  

Best Things to Do in Cypress With Kids

Not too long ago, longtime Houstonians may have referred to Cypress as "the country," but the northwest Houston suburb has certainly grown. It's bustling with unique small businesses, particularly some great restaurants and breweries. There are plenty of reasons to spend the day out in the CYP, and there is plenty to do. These are our top recommendations for places to see and where to eat in Cypress with kids.

Trick-or-Treat, Pick Pumpkins, and See Jack O'Lanterns on Governors Island This Year

Tis the season for fall festivals and Halloween fun in New York City, and what better place to celebrate the changing seasons than beautiful Governors Island? Its season runs through Halloween, and its October calendar is scarily packed with plenty of fun.

For the third consecutive year, the Friends of Governors Island and Trustees for Governors Island have teamed up to put on a classic, daytime, small-town Halloween at Pumpkin Point. If you prefer your Halloween fun to fall in the post-dusk hours, exciting news: The Night of 1,000 Jack O'Lanterns returns for its second run in three years. For all the details about Halloween events on Governors Island this year, read on.

Just-Spooky-Enough Haunted Houses and Halloween Attractions for Boston Kids

Halloween is a holiday that everyone from toddlers to grandparents can enjoy, and there's no shortage of parades, events, and parties in the Boston area. But while there are plenty of sweet Halloween activities for preschoolers as well as terrifying haunted theme parks for 'tweens and teens, it can be hard to find Halloween activities that can feel suitably exciting (but not terrifying) for the elementary-school set. Here are local activities that will thrill kids ages 6 to 12 without scaring the pants off of them. Happy haunting! 

Easy Pumpkin Carving Stencils and Ideas for Halloween

If your family pulled out the Halloween decorations well before the first pumpkin spice latte sip of 2019, then we're sure you're looking for great pumpkin carving ideas now, too.

The cornerstone of any great Halloween display—the jack-o-lantern—is always one of our favorite things to do with kids in the fall, right after the apple picking and pumpkin patch outing, of course. Pumpkin carving is one of those rare activities that every member of the family can enjoy equally. Little kids love the mess, big kids love the chance to wield a knife, and parents love to show off our creative skills.

We’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite pumpkin carving stencils, all of which include a link to the FREE pumpkin carving design. With a little practice and plenty of options, we're sure you'll find the pumpkin design that captures your family's Halloween vibe, from Baby's First Halloween sweetness to Cyclops to superhero character themes. So read on to step up your Halloween fun (and game).

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