New York City

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.

Memorial Day Weekend in NYC: Parades, Festivals, Beaches, Cirkus

Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, is here at last! New York City's big seasonal attractions open on Saturday, like local beaches, Prospect Park's Splash Pad, and the Victorian Gardens in Central Park. If it reaches 80 degrees, the city's destination playground sprinklers might be on, too. Need more water play options? Dynamic H2O, with its 16-foot interactive water table, opens for the summer at the Children's Museum of Manhattan this weekend.

While beaches are open all summer from this weekend on, events like Fleet Week, Governors Island Family Fun Day, Memorial Day in Prospect Park, DanceAfrica, and a passel of parades (the always entertaining Loisaida on Sunday, and Memorial Day marches on Monday in Brooklyn and Queens) are on tap this weekend only. There's also a floating glass museum with live demos parked in Brooklyn Bridge Park through the long weekend, and a rooftop Imagination Playground at the Brooklyn Children's Museum.

This holiday weekend is also the perfect time to visit the FREE Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, the floating food forest known as Swale in Brooklyn, or The Yard, an adventure playground open for the season on Governors Island. By the way, Governors Island is debuting an ice rink this weekend! Yes, really—the synthetic ice rink will be here all season and even offer FREE weekday morning skate sessions.

Our NYC Parks and Playgrounds Guide is always a safe bet for staycations, too, as is our Indoor Play Spaces Guide for the possible rain headed our way. Unless... thinking about a last-minute getaway? We've pulled together great family day trips on Long IslandWestchester, and the Hudson Valley, as well as our favorite nearby beaches like Fire Island's Ocean Beach and those down the Jersey Shore. You might also try a day at a nearby amusement park or water park for early summer fun!

Read on for our top picks for Memorial Day weekend events for kids in NYC. Oodles of family fun can also be found in our Event Calendar, Spring Fun Guide, and our fresh-out-of-the-oven Summer Fun Guide.

However you spend the three-day holiday weekend, we hope you have a blast!

Free Kayaking, Canoeing, and Rowboat Options in New York City

With all the water surrounding New York City, it's no wonder there are so many sightseeing cruises and fun ferry rides to great kid destinations. For times when you want to be your own captain, there are many seasonal opportunities for NYC families to get out on the water by themselves with kayaking, rowing, and canoeing. Much of the fun kicks off Memorial Day weekend or early summer.

We've rounded up 11 great New York City organizations that offer boating sessions on our wonderful waterways—and they're all FREE. Ahoy!

City Island with Kids: Best Things to Do on This Bronx Isle

Minutes from Pelham Bay Park, City Island is known for its seafood restaurants, Victorian architecture, and quaint fishing village vibe, making it an excellent destination for families looking to take a break from NYC's busy pace without straying too far from home.

Originally purchased from the Lenape Indians in 1654, the isle has evolved from an oyster epic center to a shipbuilding and yachting hub and is now a day-tripper's paradise. Located in the Bronx and a short 30-45 minute ride (via car or train from midtown Manhattan), City Island is an accessible destination to add to your family’s NYC bucket list.

25 Good-to-Know Tips for New Parents in New York City

Whether you moved here as a 20-something, or are a lifelong New Yorker, you might think you've got this city figured out. After all, you know the ins and outs of roommate searches, you can score theater tickets on the cheap, or find the nearest happy hour or trendy bite to eat with the blink of an eye, but once you become a parent, New York City a foreign land.

I've been in your shoes, going from a carefree young professional to a diaper-bag toting mom seemingly overnight. Really, it was nine months of staring down my "new" New York while fighting off morning sickness and simultaneously searching for birthing spotspediatricians, day cares, and baby gear. That was (ahem) 13 years and three kids ago...so I've picked up a few tricks and tools of the trade.

Here are 25 nuggets of NYC new parent advice. Find more baby and new parent hacks in our NYC Pregnancy and Baby Guide.

42 NYC Summer Camps with Availability (Some with Savings Too!)

You've all heard the hype: Parents standing in line at the crack of dawn vying for a spot in their chosen summer camp. But the reality is, even if you haven't spent one minute thinking about summer camp, there's no need to panic—yet.

Sure, some programs fill up quickly with returning campers who get first priority, but there are so many amazing programs out there now. You'll find specialty camps for every interest, camps for preschoolers, and even toddlers, cooking camps, tech camps, arts camps, or traditional, general interest country day camps where you're kids will breathe fresh air all day and come home dirty and tired...you name it.  We've rounded up over 40 of our NYC area camp partners of all different kinds that still have spots for summer 2018 as of this writing. Some are even offering special discounts for Mommy Poppins readers. To find by location, click to open the map at the bottom of the post.

To find even more New York City-area camps, check out our comprehensive Summer Camp Guide and browse hundreds of programs by location, age and type in our NYC Summer Camp Directory.

Take the Subway to NYC Beaches: Coney, Rockaway, Orchard Beach

Fourteen miles of sparkling sand and crashing waves can be found in four of the five boroughs (sorry river-locked Manhattan), which is good news for NYC families. Because as much as we enjoy hitting the Jersey Shore, Fire Island, and other Long Island beaches, we're not big fans of renting cars and sitting in traffic.

New York City's beaches are just a subway, bus, or ferry ride away. From the "Bronx Rivera" to iconic Coney Island and the Rockaways, these urban seasides often offer just about everything suburban beaches do except the out-of-town commute.

The Grove Resort and Water Park Is a Worthy Disney Alternative

When planning a family vacation to Orlando, Florida, you and the kids might have just one destination on the brain: Disney. But actually, as we’ve pointed out before, there’s more to Orlando than theme parks, including plenty of family resorts from which to choose.

If you’re looking off-park for a hotel, consider The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando. The 106-acre resort is just a few miles down the road from the entrance to Walt Disney World, but sits on a pretty tract of land set back from the major highways in a natural marsh and wooded landscape. It has all the favorite perks of a great family resort, including suites for housing extended family, pools, on-site restaurants, a spa, activities for kids, and even a water park.

We just returned from a long weekend at the resort and are happy to share our review.

22 Best Water Playgrounds and Sprinklers for Kids in NYC

When we were growing up, New York City playgrounds had sprinklers. Now parks and playgrounds across the five boroughs possess "water features"—fountains, geysers, rivers, pumps, and beautiful spraying statues. Kids just love them, and we parents prefer these newfangled playgrounds because they're pretty and cool, and make us feel as if our exorbitant NYC housing costs are justified.

As the city's sprinkler season gets into gear, it's good to know where to find the wildest and wettest playgrounds around. There are hundreds of water features in NYC parks, and we've highlighted some favorites by borough: the best in Brooklyn, best of Queens, and best of the Bronx. Some are cooler (literally and figuratively) than others, and more amazing ones seem to open every year. When we first published this article in 2008, we had five favorite splashing spots. Now we're up to 22 fancy playgrounds where kids can get wet in NYC. See if your favorites made our list.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - New York City