Build-A-Bear Has a New Pay-Your-Age Contest, without the Lines

Making a puffy, fuzzy DIY toy at Build-A-Bear is a great experience, especially for a birthday gift, but those bears are far from free. So it was no surprise last year that the company's big Pay-Your-Age Day (5 years old, get any toy for $5) resulted in lines not only out of the stores but out of the buildings—and lots of angry parents when lines were shut down. The good news? Build-A-Bear is doing the popular event again, but doing it differently this year.

Kids' Summer Theater Guide 2019: The Best Shows for NYC Families This Summer

Think the dog days of summer are a cultural wasteland? That's not the case when it comes to the stage—New York City's family theater scene is hotter than an unshaded sandbox during the summer months, and this year is no exception.

There are shows for all ages, interests, and budgets throughout the summer season, including FREE options such as high-quality Shakespeare, a stage adaptation of Disney's beloved animated movie Hercules, and a puppet show touring to parks throughout the five boroughs. Best of all, most tickets cost less than $25 per seat. Read on for our complete guide to the best summer shows in NYC for kids and families.

New Private School for Pre-K Through 5th Grade Opening in E. Northport

Like most parents, Mimosa Jones Tunney and John Tunney, who own and operate popular Huntington restaurants Besito and The Shed, are passionate about their children’s education. When they couldn’t find a school they thought would best prepare their young boys, they decided to build their own.

The School House, located at 106 Vernon Valley Road in East Northport, is the result of the entrepreneurial couple’s dream to bring a new way of teaching to Long Island. Enrollment is currently under way for pre-K through fifth grade. The building, the former home of a local preschool, has been undergoing a renovation in recent months. Walls were knocked down, new windows added, and the result is a bright, open, sun-filled space where children can thrive.

10 Queens Restaurants with Backyards for Kid Friendly Outdoor Dining

Nothing beats outdoor dining in warmer months, especially with kids in tow, and in family-friendly Queens, there are plenty of spots where you can enjoy alfresco eats. We don't mean a sidewalk table or two—we're talking an actual yard with ample seating and room for families to enjoy a meal. Outdoor dining often provides a more relaxed atmosphere, where kids can be entertained by simple pleasures like a passing butterfly or flowers on a nearby plant, and city noises offer cover for little ones who may forget to use their indoor voices.

We've highlighted several NYC eateries with outdoor seating options in the past (including a whole slew of outdoor eating options in Brooklyn), as well as exceptional spots where kids and families can eat and play. Read on to take a closer look at restaurants in Queens with backyards for dining.

5 NYC Day Itineraries Perfect for Preschoolers

New York can be a big, intimidating place for anyone to visit, but especially our smallest kids like preschoolers. Thankfully, the City That Never Sleeps offers plenty of opportunities to entertain even the most pint-sized of visitors.

Of course, you can visit our top zoos and amazing gardens, the mega stores for a special treat, or our top-notch museums like the American Museum of Natural History. These are all great choices and included in our 100 Things to Do In NYC Before Your Kid Grows Up list of the absolute best children's activities in NYC.

But we wanted to come up with something a little different, and a little more mellow for those preschoolers visiting from out of town, or even locals wanting to check out a new-to-you neighborhood—something that respects the limits of a preschooler's emotional and physical mileage. So we've rounded up five mom-tested itineraries that give you and your kid a glimpse of the city without totally wearing everyone down.

Planning ahead? Check out what special events might be taking place during your visit with our always-up-to-date NYC Event Calendar.

Rock Climbing Gyms & Walls Around Houston

Getting out of the house and getting exercise can be a challenge during the dog days of summer and the four days of Houston's winter. Rock climbing is one indoor activity to get the kids moving and is a fun way to bond with your children. Rock climbing is also a great way for children and adults to gain strength and flexibility, to learn new skills and build confidence, and to practice teamwork.

Here are some great spots around Houston where families can learn how to rock climb together!

10 Great Private Swimming Classes and Swim Schools for LA Kids

Finding goup swim classes at a local YMCA or community pool is usually easy and inexpensive; but since quality on these classes can vary widely (even within a single facility), we’re here to tell you where Angelenos who are serious about getting the job done keep their kids afloat—and it doesn't have to cost a mint. Private and semi-private lessons don't necessarily require a private pool, and they do get kids on the fast track to independent swimming. Several popular swim instructors and schools make use of public pools or swing deals with private pool owners to make private instruction accessible to everyone. Check out these great options...

Brooklyn Restaurants with Kid-Friendly Backyards and Patios

Brooklyn boasts its share of restaurants with sidewalk tables, but those of us with kids enjoy those eateries with more spacious outdoor dining. A backyard, picnic tables, roof decks, or sometimes even a bit of grass? We're sold!

Just in time for summer, we've rounded up of our favorite spots from across Brooklyn that feature ample outdoor space, serve delicious food, and welcome families with children. If you're in the mood for variety, we've included a mix of cuisines: Japanese, Mexican, Cuban, Southern comfort and, of course, pizza, BBQ, and New American.

Headed to Brooklyn from a surrounding area? Browse our Brooklyn Kids Guide to take full advantage of the borough while you're there, or peruse our NYC Restaurant Guide for more family-friendly eats.

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