Chelsea with Kids: 50 Fun Things to Do in this NYC Nabe

Chelsea attracts locals and tourists alike with its rows of charming historic townhouses, great restaurants, and top NYC attractions like The High Line

The neighborhood has changed a lot over the past few decades. Back in the '80s, its streets were rundown and desolate, but in the '90s an influx of artists and gay professionals helped kick-start the area's transformation. Today, parents know it as a high-end neighborhood with fantastic amenities. You'll find megastores on the avenues and high-end children's (and pet) boutiques on the side streets; eclectic art galleries; massive athletics complex Chelsea Piers; NYC landmarks like Chelsea Market, and popular indoor and outdoor romping spots like apple seeds, City Treehouse, Chelsea Waterside Park, Seal Park, and more.

Although Chelsea's boundaries are difficult to define, we'll cover the area from 14th to 30th Streets, between Fifth Avenue and the Hudson River. With those boundaries set, here are our top 50 things to do with kids in the neighborhood. Find more Manhattan neighborhoods to explore, or peruse our Visitors Guide for the best of NYC for families.

Beat the Heat at the Watsessing Park Splash Playground in East Orange, NJ

After months of construction, the highly anticipated Watsessing Park Spray Park opened on July 20. Located on Glenwood Avenue near Dodd Street in East Orange, the 3,000-square-foot addition to the 69-acre park provides deep sea–themed water adventures to keep your kids cool this summer.

While New Jersey residents are no stranger to the cheap thrills provided by local spraygrounds, those living in Essex County have been forced to drive to neighboring communities for free water fun. But thanks to this new spray park, now you can cool off not too far from your own backyard.

Making its debut right in the middle of a string of 90-plus-degree days, I couldn't think of a better place to take my 4-year-old daughter to beat the heat. With her swimsuit on and beach towels in tow, we were excited to check out this cool new spot.

Free & Cheap Summer Outdoor Movies for Westchester Kids in August

The fun of free (and almost free) outdoor summer movies for Westchester kids continue through August, and we've got the scoop on where and when. As a bonus, many of these movies are "classics" from the '80s and '90s, so you get the added coolness of sharing a piece of your own childhood with your kids. 

Don't miss out on your last chance to laze under the stars on a blanket with some popcorn. (And you can even bring your own snacks—no sneaking necessary!)

Looking for more summer fun, outdoor and otherwise? Consult our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

Ice Cream and Cereal Bar Spoons Opens on Long Island and OMG

Your family may have eaten cereal hundreds, even thousands, of times in your life, but have you ever spooned down a bowl of your favorite childhood brand mixed into a serving of velvety decadent soft-serve ice cream? Well, this isn't just a kid's dessert fantasy. It's a reality at the recently opened Spoons in Seaford on Long Island.

The cereal bar-ice cream shop offers a small express window behind a slew of stores off of Merrick Avenue. It's dishing up tons of brand-name cereal varieties and more cool toppings for ice cream. So, of course, we did the hard work and tasted-tested the new ice cream spot. Read on for our review.

Find more sweet treats at these area candy shops, or check out our guide to Family-Friendly Long Island Restaurants.

Pete the Cat Comes to Life in Free Off-Broadway Musical

Kids love music. And most of them love Pete the Cat. And pretty much every parent adores any FREE city activities. So my family was very excited to see the skateboard-riding, guitar-playing feline from the popular picture books come to life onstage in this year’s show by Theatreworks USA as part of its FREE summer series.

The 45-minute musical, recommended for ages 5-8, is nonstop action, with lively singing and dancing throughout, and plenty of funny jokes and scenes guaranteed to make kids laugh.

Best Places for Frozen Yogurt with Kids in Lower Westchester

Summer is here, as is the burning desire to cool down with an ice-cold frozen treat. We previously rounded up some of our favorite ice cream parlors in Westchester, and now we're turning to frozen yogurt. But what adults crave in a frozen-yogurt shop isn’t necessarily what kids want (gummy worms on top of cabernet-pomegranate twist?).

Choosing where to go for fro-yo is fraught with numerous options—partly because there are often new shops opening and others closing (Eastchester lost Nuts About Yogurt, while Pure Bliss recently closed in Pelham and Larchmont). Sure, there are many national chains to choose from, but our interest lies more in the local operations. To help guide our readers, my family made the ultimate sacrifice in visiting a bunch of fro-yo shops in Lower Westchester—strictly for our readers’ benefit, of course. A few calories later, we’ve whittled these down to a choice few and have offered the inside scoop.

Read on for the skinny on fro-yo! Be sure to sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook to stay in the know about all things kid-related in Westchester.

Baby & Me Swim Classes in Houston

When my toddler turned 1 year old, summer was fast approaching and we were anticipating spending a lot of time at the pool. We wanted him to be comfortable in the water before summer arrived, so we decided to enroll him in mommy & me swim lessons at our local YMCA. While he didn't come out of it an Olympic swimmer, he did gain a lot of confidence in the water, going from not wanting to get in the water at all to not wanting to ever get out in one short month. And, as a first-time mom, I was able to ease my anxiety of sending him into the water by being in the pool with him as he learned the foundations of swimming and water safety.

For all the parents and caregivers out there who want to try out infant and toddler swim lessons and be involved in the process, read on for seven different places you can enroll your kiddos in baby and me swim lessons. Ready to have your little one tackle the water solo? Head over to our swim lessons and camps post instead!

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