New York City

9 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks to Visit with Kids in NYC

Time to bundle up and sharpen those ice skates: Many of New York City's outdoor rinks open in October for family fall, er, winter fun.

Whether you prefer an iconic New York City destination like the ice rink at Rockefeller Center or something off the beaten path like the rink at Riverbank State Park, the city offers plenty of options for beginners and experienced skaters alike—there’s even a FREE skate spot. And if it ever gets too cold to glide outside, you can always hit one of NYC's indoor ice skating rinks.

The Catskills with Kids: 25 Family-Friendly Things To Do

When you're up for a road trip, the Catskills offer a slew of great things to do for families in the New York metro area. Whether you have young kids or tweens and teens—or all of the above!—there’s so much to do in, including hiking, camping, river rafting, and more.

Covering 600,000 acres and encompassing most of Ulster, Sullivan, Delaware, Greene, and Schoharie counties, the Catskills are rich in natural beauty and historical significance. You'll find family-friendly skiing and picturesque resorts—including the brand-new Kartrite Resort—as well as many charming small towns, including Saugerties, Woodstock, Phoenicia, Tannersville, and Delhi.

Most destinations are about a two- to three-hour drive from central Westchester. Here’s a look at 25 ideas for fun with the kids, no matter your family’s interests.   

Looking for even more places to visit in your area and beyond? Check out our travel guide.

Pittsburgh with Kids: 40 Fun Things To Do in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has been racking up the cool points lately, landing on "best cities" lists and topping rankings for top spots for sports, restaurants, and even tech. It isn't just college kids flocking here. The Rust Belt city offers plenty of fun things to do for kids and families, including a thriving arts and culture scene.

The Pittsburgh Zoo is a longtime attraction for families, along with the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, but unique offerings like the Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary, and Andy Warhol Museum are a draw, too. We've long touted the city as one of our top Pennsylvania weekend getaways for families, but we recently revisited and enjoyed exploring old favorites and finding more fun things to do in Pittsburgh. Read on for a list of 40 things to do, see, and eat in Pittsburgh!

What's New at the NYBG Holiday Train Show in 2019

Manhattan's Central Park is the star of this year's Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden, opening November 23, 2019 and running through January 26, 2020. We may still be a few weeks from Halloween, but the annual train show is a NYC Christmas tradition worth looking forward to.

The iconic landscape of the park includes architectural treasures like Belvedere Castle, the Dairy, the Old Bandstand, the Angel of the Waters sculpture atop the Bethesda Fountain, and two graceful pedestrian bridges, arrayed in a winter wonderland tableau alongside existing Central Park replicas in NYBG’s collection, including the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater.

Read on for a peek at what else is new, plus everything you need to know about visiting this popular holiday attraction with kids.

Best Places to Eat with Kids Near Times Square and Rockefeller Center

It's hard not to end up in either Times Square or near Rockefeller Center at some point during the holiday season given the number of seasonal attractions in these Midtown hot spots. But if your family is hungry after a day of shopping, ice skating or taking in the NYC holiday sights, you'll need to find a tasty, kid-friendly restaurant fast before the hangry sets in! 

This is often no easy feat in Midtown, we know. While we've covered dining options near Rockefeller Center and Times Square in the past, we wanted to give you even more suggestions for this time of year, especially those that don't require reservations, meaning you can pop right in. With a full belly, you'll be ready to start again, tackling a holiday show or maybe a tour of the holiday department store windows.

4 Holiday Lantern Shows Coming to NYC This Season

I'm the kind of mom who leaves the decked-out family Christmas tree up until Easter... and I'm Jewish. I just adore anything that lights up, which is why I made the schlep from our East Harlem apartment to Staten Island's Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden last holiday season to check out the inaugural NYC Winter Lantern Festival, a massive installation of illuminated art. Happily, my daughter, her friends, and I all thought it was worth the trip.

Apparently, last year's holiday lantern festival kicked off a trend. This year, there will be four places to see holiday lanterns in the city: There's the return of the Snug Harbor event, as well as the brand-new Hello Panda Festival in Queens, and the LuminoCity Festival on Randall's Island. Plus the Bronx Zoo's Holiday Lights display promises animal-shaped lanterns, too! Read on for a peek at the new holiday lights coming to NYC this year, plus what to know before you take the kids.

See Bronx Zoo Like a Local: Top Tips for a Great Visit with Kids

First opened in 1899, the Bronx Zoo has been a top destination for local NYC families, tourists, and animal lovers of all kinds for generations. I've been a regular at this zoo since I was a child, and now that I'm a parent of three kids in the Bronx, we consider it an extension of our backyard. With its very own show on the Animal Planet channel (the irresistible The Zoo)the Bronx Zoo is arguably the world's most famous zoo.

Located in the heart of the Bronx at the southern end of Bronx Park and near the borough's own Little Italy, the Bronx Zoo is easily accessible via public transit or by car. One visit is sure to leave a lasting impression, though you'll need more than one trip to experience all there is to see and do. And since it is the nation's largest urban zoo, it helps to have some pointers before you go—especially if you are visiting with kids. So read on for 10 tips on visiting the Bronx Zoo like a local.

Things To Do in NYC this Weekend: Open House, Pumpkin Point, Halloween

It's Open House New York weekend, and there's so much to see! NYC's landmarks open their doors for (mostly) FREE tours, and we've hand-picked a few of the best options for families in all five boroughs, including the Edgar Allen Poe Cottage in the Bronx, the Little Red Lighthouse in Manhattan, the Noguchi Museum and Gallop Sunrise Stables in Queens, Historic Richmond Town and the National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island, and the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, we're running full speed toward Halloween in New York City, costumes flapping behind us, with Pumpkins and Potions on the Upper West Side and Pumpkin Point on Governors Island. Pet lovers can trot to Carl Schurz's Halloween Howl or Washington Square Park's Dog Day Halloween Costume Party and Parade, or pitch in at the Sean Casey Animal Howl-o-ween Bark Block Party. Museo del Barrio has you covered for Dia de los Muertos face painting and performances.

There are family-friendly fall festivals all over town this weekend, too: Saturday, head to the Harvest Festival in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Red Hook Harvest Fest, Staten Island's 6th Annual fest at Clay Pit Ponds, Juniper Valley Park's Halloween Fest, Cooper Hewitt's Design Fest, or Atlantic Terminal Plaza's HarvestFest—complete with pony rides! On Sunday, it's Old Home Day in Historic Richmond Town, Harvest Homecoming (formerly Ghouls & Gourds) at Brooklyn Botanic, and Astoria's 4th annual Batty over Halloween bash.

Need a break from Halloween? Taste of the Seaport beckons on Saturday, with kid-friendly activities, live music, and food. The Little Orchestra Society kicks off its season this weekend with music from The Magic Flute. You can get a special sneak peek of R.J. Palacio's new graphic novel, White Bird, at Symphony Space.

As always, our October GoList features the month's best picks, and our Fall Fun Guide has the lowdown on seasonal must-dos. If you want to start planning for Thanksgiving or even December holiday events, dig into our Event Calendar.

Socrates Sculpture Park: A Hidden (and Free) Gem in Queens

It’s a total cliché to say something is a hidden gem, but in the case of Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens, it’s hard to find a description that’s more apt. For years, I drove right past the park, which is somewhat concealed behind a tall fence on Vernon Boulevard and Broadway, on the way to my daughter's school. Finally, my family decided to investigate.

We weren’t expecting to find a five-acre, open-air art park with amazing views of the East River and Manhattan. The artwork on display changes regularly, and visitors can easily spend a day here wandering among the sculptures, sunbathing, reading, or strolling the gardens.

Best of all, Socrates Sculpture Park is totally FREE, and is open year-round for amazing waterfront views, public art, and cool family-friendly programs and events. Read on for even more reasons why you should go. 

Haunted Houses and Not-Too-Spooky Halloween Walks for NYC Kids

Looking for a not-too-scary Halloween fright for the kids? A tricked-out haunted house or slightly spooky Halloween trail just might be the right kind of boo for you.

Haunted houses long have been a popular suburban Halloween stapleLong Island and Westchester have dozens. And while NYC has several spooky haunted houses of its own, including Blood Manor, most are definitely grown-ups only. There are, however, a handful of haunted houses in New York City that offer gentler Halloween chills for families.

You're sure to find spooky, family-friendly attractions at pretty much every Halloween festival and fall fair. But we're skipping those to tell you about the best of the city's more elaborate and kid-friendly haunted houses and other Halloween attractions for kids this year. Read on for the scoop—and heed the age warnings. While grade-school kids can attend most of these, not all are suitable for preschoolers.


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