New York City

18 Family-Friendly NYC Food Halls for an Easy, Delicious Meal

You want to grab a bite out with the kids and the local pizza joint isn't going to cut it—but asking your wriggly, tired kids to sit quietly in a nice restaurant is like lighting a firecracker and then hoping it won't explode. 

Food halls are the perfect solution. In spite of their historic mall­-culture reputation, the model of a casual hall with multiple food options is enjoying a bit of a renaissance, and not just in suburbia. Right here in NYC, food halls are gaining major foodie clout with excellent vendors, artisan marketplaces, and appealing perks (and sweet treats) for families with kids. It's the perfect eatery for families: there's a food option for everyone, minimal wait times, multiple bathrooms, and no one notices if your kid tantrums or drops half their meal on the floor.

We've rounded up and sampled 18 outstanding food halls that offer top-notch eats, spacious seating, and lots to do in the surrounding neighborhoods, including Battery Park, Chelsea, MidtownFort Greene, Brooklyn, and more.

Check out our NYC Restaurant Guide for even more family dining options in just about every neighborhood—and every finicky palate. 

Outdoor Kids' Birthday Party Ideas for Summer Babies

Throw an amazing kids' birthday party right in your own backyard or local park with these outdoor party ideas.

Take all the fun (and the mess) of party games for kids outside and add a little summertime twist for inspired themes, such as camping, sprinklers, outdoor movies, and lawn games. We put together a list of seven sizzling kids' birthday party themes for outdoor parties below, including activity suggestions, decoration ideas, and some memorable munchies that will make your kid's party the event of the summer season.

50+ Ways to Keep NYC Kids Off Screens This Summer

"Brain drain." "Summer slide." No matter what you call it, the phenomenon of students losing months of math and reading skills during the eight-week summer vacation scares parents and teachers alike.  

Luckily, we live in a city that offers tons of opportunities for summertime excitement and learning, many of them FREE. We've put together a list of more than 50 of our favorite NYC activities, events, and even at-home challenges that get kids to exercise their brains, and keep them (and us) off our screens!

So get out there to try some of these ideas for enriching exploration and edu-tainment around NYC with kids this summer. You can find even more ideas in our STEAM Guide, and don't forget to check out our NYC Schools Guide as September approaches.

Family-Friendly Hotels in the Hamptons and North Fork

If you’ve ever visited the Hamptons and North Fork on Long Island, you know there is lodging to meet just about every need. There are hotels near fishing resorts, country inns near golf courses and bed-and-breakfasts within walking distance of the North Fork’s celebrated wineries. Families visiting the East End have options, too, from chain hotels near kid-favorite attractions to mom-and-pop guesthouses with private beaches and pools. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Hamptons and North Fork hotels, motels and guesthouses for families. 

Disney Cruise to Alaska? 12 Things To Know Before You Go

A Disney Cruise is a memorable experience for any kid (or, really, any grown-up) whether the ship stops in the Bahamas, EuropeJamaica, or some other exotic port—like Alaska. My family recently cruised Alaska Disney style, and if you're considering this particular Disney Cruise, I have a few tips that should make your vacation even more magical. 

11 Spots for Peach Picking Near NYC

Peach picking season is upon us in the Northeast, the perfect excuse for NYC families to plan a sweet summertime day trip before kids head back to school.

Starting in July or early to mid-August, depending on the farm and the weather, the peaches begin to ripen, and peach season typically runs into September. Peach picking, a perfect activity after berry picking season has peaked, is often a less commercial and more straightforward outing than some of the more popular fruit seasons like apple picking, meaning you're not going to run into as many hayrides, face painting, or crowds, but you will get a more authentic farm life experience.

We've rounded up 11 peach orchards, all under two hours by car from NYC. Several are accessible by mass transit, so you're really out of excuses! 

American Dream Mega-Mall Finally Set To Open This Fall in NJ

It's been a long time in the making, but the mega entertainment complex in the New Jersey Meadowlands, now known as American Dream, announced it will finally open its doors to the public on October 25, with additional offerings added into the new year. 

Its many family-friendly attractions will include the western hemisphere's largest indoor amusement park AND North America's first indoor snow sports center—not to mention an indoor water park, ice skating rink, aquarium, mini-golf, LEGO Discovery Center, and much, much more.

Camp Rockaway Brings Family-Friendly Glamping to Riis Beach

If you love family camping, but don't love the thought of hauling all that gear (or even if you're not a huge fan of camping, but you sure do love the beach) good news: Camp Rockaway has returned for a third season of family-friendly glamping with a side of urban beach. Located in a sandy courtyard behind the historic Jacob Riis Bathhouse, Camp Rockaway offers families a chance to sleep over at at the beach, with comfy tents, queen-sized beds, and hot showers, all just steps from the waves. Read on for a peek inside the tent flaps.

Kid-Approved Rockaway Beach Restaurants

Headed to the family-friendly beaches of the Rockaways this weekend? Be sure to pack an appetite along with your bathing suits. Queens' Rockaway dishes up plenty of options. You'll find typical beach fare of course, with hot dogs and burgers aplenty, but the area has also earned a reputation with foodies for its more adventurous eats. Whether you're looking for the best eats on the boardwalk or a delicious dinner to cap off a day of splashing in the waves, here are the best places to eat in the Rockaways with kids. 

Weekend Fun: Sprinkler Day, Moon Landing, Open Gardens, Sharks

It's mid-July, which means the time is ripe to race through some sprinklers. This weekend marks the return of one of NYC's water fun highlights: the (FREE!) salute to shower power, Sprinkler Day at Asphalt Green (there's another one in August, if this weekend doesn't work for you). Midsummer also produces a bounty of, well, produce—so what better time to hold the annual Open Gardens Day? Saturday's your chance to explore a few of the city's gorgeous green community gardens.

PLUS: It's the 50th anniversary of America's trip to the moon, so the American Museum of Natural History is hosting a day packed with performances, hands-on activities, and presentations dedicated to the wonders of space. Kids can also make moon models and more with Science Teacher Sarah—for free! Or head out to Staten Island to make exploding moon rocks and eat moon pies!

Is that all, you ask? Well, no, of course not. There's a whole parade of family-friendly events trooping through town: The Paley Center is unveiling its Shark Week exhibit, the Rubin Museum hosts its annual Block Party, Dumbo hosts the annual Come Out and Play Family Day, and the (air-conditioned) American Gargoyles story time and workshop at the Skyscraper Museum invites kids to take another look at familiar buildings (author Neil Cohen visits Long Island City on Sunday, too).

Our ever-expanding summer fun calendar has lots more in store, including free outdoor movies in every borough. Keep an eye on our July GoList. And if the heat is getting to you, don't miss our list of 50 fun things to do to cool off in NYC.

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