New York City

NYC Cat Cafes: Kids Can Visit, Adopt, and Pet Furry Felines

Cat cafes are big in Japan, and it only makes sense that they're catching on in New York City, as well. After all, cats are the ideal apartment pet, and in a big, sometimes anonymous city, it can be comforting to spend some time with feline companions. If your kid is cat-crazy, but you can't commit to ownership, cat cafes may be the ideal solution.

And even if you already own a feline or two, cat cafes are still a fun place to explore your inner cat lady (or cat man). It's a great option for a family winter outing, especially for mature kids, tweens, and even teens, and we've got the scoop on three cat cafes that call the Big Apple home.

Really crazy for cats? Check out the upcoming Cat Camp, an adoption and conference about all things feline happening this March in Chelsea. You might even get to meet the internet famous Lil Bub.

March GoList: Best Things to Do with NYC Kids This Month

It's hard to believe March has arrived, bringing with it signs of spring all around New York City, from melting snowbanks to outdoor play. One thing that doesn't change with the season is our overflowing events calendar, but we're making it easy for you to hit all the fun, spring-inspired events, including the Macy's Flower ShowPurim fests, and of course St. Patrick's Day parades and children's activities as the city turns green March 17.

We've rounded up 14 must-hit happenings in our GoList. Beyond the holidays, it's a huge month for the performing arts. We've got details on the innovative Tilt Festival, plus a pair of huge, new, kid-friendly Broadway debuts with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Anastasia. Brooklyn's BAM is staging a fun-for-the-whole family Peter Pan-inspired show and tween favorite The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is debuting a brand-new Off-Broadway production. Looking for a little-kid friendly theater experience? You're in luck as Paw Patrol Live makes a stop here, too.

We're also highlighting a music fest in Brooklyn, a monthlong pop-up art studio for kids in Queens, a FREE STEAM festival in the Meatpacking District, and mummies arriving at the American Museum of Natural History.

Now get your calendars ready! Here are the top things to do with kids in New York City this March.

Weekday Fun: ARTech, Small Activists, Toddler Dance Party

Coming off the heels of the February winter break, the coming week in New York City provides a bit of a breather before the coming avalanche of spring celebrations in March including St. Patrick's Day, Purim, spring break, and Easter. But nifty events persist—many of them FREE.

Help kids get politicly active in Park Slope, investigate the origins of the $1 bill, create and learn at a brand-new (and FREE) STEM fest, ARTech: Adventures in Art + Technology, and more.

Our best weekday picks are below and more options are available in our Event Calendar. Party planning on the brain? Our NYC Party Guide can help. We have ideas for celebrating baby's first birthday in Brooklyn, or in Manhattan, a variety of party venues in the Bronx, 10 new NYC party places, and more. 

30 Best Things to Do in Queens with Preschoolers and Toddlers

Living in or visiting the borough of Queens is a nonstop international learning experience for little kids, filled with diverse sights, sounds and tastes—and it's super family-friendly.

It's famous for being the most ethnically diverse county in the United States where hundreds of languages are spoken daily. From eating dumplings in Flushing to feeding a goat on a farm, Queens can inspire, teach and feed the spirits of your little ones.

Children of all ages can enjoy Queens, but traveling around the city with a kid 4 or younger can be a challenge. We’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in seasonal order, so you can enjoy Queens like a king, including parks and playgrounds, museums and play spaces, the beach, and even amusement parks perfect for toddlers and preschool-age kids.

Rockin' Jump Ridge Hill: Where Kids can Jump and Climb the Walls

It's beginning to feel a bit more like spring, but that doesn't mean every day will be sunshine and roses (there's still March and its whole lion/lamb thing to endure). When the kids are bouncing off the walls, the best thing to do is bring them somewhere it's encouraged—like an indoor trampoline park!  

We previously told you all about our visit to Mount Kisco’s Rockin’ Jump, and since then another Westchester outpost of this franchise opened at Ridge Hill in Yonkers, near Legoland Discovery Center. We recently hopped on over to the newer—and larger—Rockin’ Jump to size it up.

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Bronx Birthday Party Places for NYC Kids

As a Bronx mom with three kids, I find myself in a perpetual state of party planning. And while we've had many a house party, once I factor in food, decorations, favors, and more, it often costs just as much as a destination bash. Besides, destination parties bring a change of scenery and fun perks such as slides, sports, live animals, spa days, and more to make the celebration memorable. Best of all, I don't have to deal with the cleanup.

The Boogie Down borough has a growing list of cool party spots for kids, from old favorites such as the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden, to more recent additions tailored to kids' interests—with a decidedly local flare. We've rounded up more than a dozen party places in the Bronx, with options for kids of all ages and interests.

Please Bring Balloons: A Show Full of Magic and Imagination

Kids are transported immediately upon entering the theater for a showing of Please Bring Balloons, a toddler-friendly production by New York City Children’s Theater.

Whimsical animal cutouts hang from the ceiling: a tiger, a horse, a zebra. The floor is covered in turf, evoking the grass of the park you’re entering. Carousel music and bird noises play in the background. Kids are invited to sit on a shared blanket on the floor, essentially putting them onstage and making them part of the play. An affable carousel operator, played by Brandon Schraml, comes around, crouching in front of kids to take their "tickets" to the merry-go-round, asking them questions and generally getting them relaxed.

Aimed at kids ages 2-5, Please Bring Balloons is one of our top picks for children's theater in NYC this winter, and among the best events for preschoolers this season.

Weekend Fun: Circus, BAM Art, Kid Concerts, Film Fest

For the shortest month, February offers no shortage of kid-friendly events in NYC. This weekend, STEM-like events abound, with the National Museum of Mathematics hosting a polyhedral box-making workshop, the New York Transit Museum offering a chance to build a model subway, and BAM opening the inaugural Teknopolis, an interactive digital art exhibit. Black History Month finishes strong with a free musical at the Brooklyn Public Library.

Outdoor events begin to anticipate spring, like the Brooklyn Bike Meetup, or the She's on Point celebration of girls in sports.

It's also a weekend of unique musical events, though it might be tough to top STEVENSTEVEN at Brooklyn Bowl, where musician and original Blues Clues host Steve Burns joins forces with Flaming Lips drummer Steven Drozd for songs off Foreverywhere, their new kids' album. You can also catch The Gustafer Yellowgold Show at Symphony Space and Elena Moon Park, one of our favorite NYC-kindie artists, on the Lower East Side.

It's also kickoff weekend for the New York International Children's Film Festival and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, and the final weekend for the pop-up Pop Tarts shop!

Our February GoList has more options to help round out the month, and please continue to avail yourself of our roundup of 35 fun things for kids over school break, as this weekend technically qualifies. More fun can be found in our Winter Fun Guide and, as always, see our Event Calendar.

Love That Dog: A Poignant Comedy About Finding Your Voice

New York City Children's Theater's latest production for school-age kids, Love That Dog, is a one-actor play that manages to be both entertaining and poignant. Jack is a 10-year-old boy whose class is learning about poetry in school. He's not thrilled, to say the least, but as he listens to and writes poems he becomes caught up in the magic of words, eventually sharing his story with the audience.

It's one of our top picks for children's theater this winter in NYC. Find out why.

8 Rock Climbing Walls for Kids in New York City

Indoor rock climbing is a great way for kids to get some needed activity in the dead of winter or year-round. Why not let them bounce off someone else’s walls for a change, right? Plus, it takes concentration, discipline, and strength, all qualities we're happy to expose them to.

New York City boasts more than half a dozen indoor boulders, at least one in almost every borough, plus a brand-new outdoor, seasonal spot. The best part? Kids tend to love the activity and it isn't too pricey. Try it out in a drop-in program, or sign up for one of the many after-school classes or break camps offered at the eight rock climbing facilities profiled below.

Find more active fun in our Kids' Sports Centers Guide.


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