New York City

Guide to Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead for NYC Kids

Halloween isn't the only spooky holiday to celebrate this fall. Day of the Dead—or Día de los Muertos as it's known in Spanish—is observed by many Latino cultures and is especially popular in Mexico.

Day of the Dead officially takes place on November 1 and 2 to coincide with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. However, NYC events are spread throughout October and early November and most of them are FREE. Revelers honor friends and family members who have died by building altars, or ofrendas, and adorning them with colorful paper flowers, beautifully decorated skeletons, and candles. It's a joyful way to remember the deceased—without freaking kids out. We've rounded up nine Day of the Dead events where NYC kids and families can celebrate the holiday.

You can find more fall activities in our Fall Fun Guide and check out the Halloween Guide for all the other spooky, kid-friendly happenings in NYC this month.

Postpartum Support Resources for New Moms in New York City

In those final sleepless nights before your baby is born, you might lie awake thinking about what to put in your hospital bag, who will watch the dog...or, heck, whether you really love the name you picked. But the arrival of that baby brings on a whole new onslaught of questions.

Is he getting enough milk? Why won’t she sleep more than 45 minutes at a time? He cries so much….is it an allergy? When will I get this under control? Where can I find a mellow mommy and me class? WTF is that stabbing pain in my pelvis? And once the wave of eager visitors subsides, and you and/or your partner heads back to work, the questions tend to stack up. Who to ask? Where to find help?

Lucky for you, we NYC Mommy Poppins moms have a few babies between the lot of us (we’re not going to say just how many). We've compiled a list of resources that have been helpful to us over the years, from postpartum therapy and lactation consultants to parent support groups. And don’t forget to peruse our Baby and Pregnancy Guide for more NYC resources. Hang in there: It does get easier. Especially if you know where to get a little help.

35 Best Things to Do with Kids in Williamsburg

Williamsburg has a reputation as a haven for the hipster set, but families are just as at home in this buzzy, culture-rich neighborhood. Sprinkled in among all the nightlife and trendy boutiques are lots of family-friendly restaurants, shopping, and activities. And the neighborhood is home to some of NYC's most action-packed parks: McCarren Park, a 35-acre park with playgrounds, sports fields, and a poolEast River State Park, home to Smorgasburg and skyline views; and the newly-opened Domino Park, the exciting waterfront playspace inspired by the former Domino Sugar refinery, a neighborhood landmark.

Williamsburg is easily accessible by subway from the G, J, M. Z, and L lines, so even if you don’t live in the neighborhood, you can experience all of the culture and color of this unique part of Brooklyn. Here are some of the best things to do with kids in Williamsburg.

Are Daycare Kids Better Behaved? This Study Says Yes

Torn between a nanny, daycare, or staying home with your kids? Choosing childcare can be a difficult—and deeply personal—decision for any family, and of course involves a number of factors, from costs to the length of your commute. A new study out of France suggests that daycare might offer some significant advantages in terms of our kids' development.

Researchers at Sorbonne Université in Paris followed nearly 1,500 kids from the womb to age 8 as they either attended a center-based daycare or were cared for by a nanny or family member. The daycare kids, particularly those who attended at least a year before the age of three, were less likely to have problems with peers and other emotional and behavioral issues, according to the researchers.

9 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks to Visit with Kids in NYC

Now that the beaches are closed for the season, it's time to bundle up and sharpen those ice skates. Many of New York City's outdoor rinks are open 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 Lasker Rink, the city offers plenty of options for beginner 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.

Best Kid-Friendly Hotels for a San Diego Family Vacation

Whether you're driving down from Los Angeles or flying in from afar, a weekend in San Diego is the perfect getaway to find rest and relaxation all year long. The SoCal destination offers a wide array of family activities to keep everyone entertained, in between the requisite visits to Seaworld, Legoland, and the Safari Park. Here, we round up eight of our favorite spots to kick back and unwind in this picturesque beach town.

Polar Express and Santa Trains Near NYC This Holiday Season

The magic of Chris Van Allsburg’s popular Christmas picture book The Polar Express comes to life again this winter with festive holiday trains within a whistle's blow of the New York City metro area. A huge hit with kids and parents alike, these trains spark the imagination and holiday spirit with seasonal snacks, stories, even gifts—not to mention a visit from Santa himself.

These old-school cabooses (some harking back to the 1920s) offer a classic holiday ambience. There's a Polar Express just an hour south into New Jersey, as well as the one-day-only Tri-State Santa Train about 50 minutes away. You could also consider a day trip to the Catskills, or a weekend getaway to Pennsylvania Dutch Country for the Santa's Paradise Express. No matter which Santa Train experience you choose, your family can combine the annual Santa Claus photo op with lasting memories of a sweet adventure.

Remember: these train rides sell out quickly, often months in advance, so book now if you want to go.

Trick-or-Treat and Pick Pumpkins on Governors Island This Year

Tis the season for fall festivals and Halloween fun in New York City, and what better place to celebrate the changing seasons than beautiful Governors Island, which has again extended its season through Halloween and filled its October calendar with plenty of fun.

For the second consecutive year, the Friends of Governors Island invite big-city dwellers to hop on a ferry and enjoy a classic small-town Halloween at Pumpkin Point. The fun kicks off the weekend of October 20, with a pumpkin patch in Nolan Park.

10 Great Places for Fall Leaf-Peeping Right in NYC

Signs of fall's arrival are all around us as the leaves in New York City's parks and along tree-lined streets start to turn. This is the time of year when many families plan a day trip upstate or to New Jersey to gaze at gorgeous red, orange, and yellow foliage. But you don't need to leave NYC to take in some stunning autumn sights. In addition to major green spaces like Central Park, Prospect Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Staten Island's Greenbelt and Van Cortlandt Park, there are some wonderful off the beaten path city spots where you can enjoy colorful panoramic views that deliver the full splendor of fall.
 

Weekend Fun: Open House NY, Ragamuffin Parade, Pickle Day

Need a little break from harvest- and Halloween-themed activities? Celebrate NYC architecture this weekend with one of our October GoList picks, Open House NY, a weekend-long event offering FREE access to urban gems like the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, Bartow Pell Mansion, and the African Burial Ground, among other family-friendly options. Kids can create a city at the Center for Architecture, build imagined cities at MOMA, and hit the Cooper Hewitt's Design Fest. All FREE.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled October mayhem:

The countdown to Halloween continues with the 52nd annual Ragamuffin Parade in Bay Ridge, and performances and pumpkins aplenty at the Harvest Festival on Randall's Island. Hop on a horse-drawn hay ride at Carl Schurz Park's Harvest Fest, help make the Haunted Paper House on Governors Island, hit the Earth School Fall Fest or the Bank Street School one (where Laurie Berkner is scheduled to perform), bop over to the Hip Hop Halloween Celebration in Queens, make a scary movie, or scope out the Sunday Social on Montague Street.

Plus, Sunday is Pickle Day on the Lower East Side, packed with all things sweet and sour...in addition to face painters, balloon twisters, and carnival games.

Don't miss our Ultimate Halloween Fun Guide, and our list of the Best Free Halloween Events for Kids. And remember that our Fall Fun Guide and daily event calendar are always excellent resources for family fun!

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