New York City

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.

25 Fun Things to Do in Buffalo, New York with Kids

In Western New York, hugging the shores of Lake Erie, awaits Buffalo, the second largest city in the Empire State. Famous for its spicy chicken wings, this vibrant area is also known for its history, art deco architecture, great restaurants, and plenty of family-friendly fun, indoors and out. The nearby Niagara Falls usually attracts the most tourist attention, but do not skip a visit to Buffalo, which makes the list for being one of our favorite family getaways in upstate New York.

Below are nearly two dozen suggestions of kid-friendly activities for a great family trip to Buffalo, New York.

Free Outdoor Concerts for Families This Summer in NYC

What's better than a spectacular, outdoor, family-friendly, FREE music performance? A whole season of free outdoor concerts! We're rounding up all the free concerts in June, July, and August, to keep the kids grooving all summer.

There are free concert series for kids in parks, playgrounds, piers, and plazas across the five boroughs, so scroll, click, and set reminders with your favorites. With top family bands playing annual series like Madison Square Kids and Hudson RiverKids, you're sure to find something the whole family can shake a tail feather to.

Best Water Parks for Toddlers Near NYC

When temperatures soar, there's always New York's FREE neighborhood pools or sprinklers for a quick cool down with the kids, but on particularly hot summer days, nothing beats the heat like a trip to a water park near NYC

Families with toddlers in tow aren't looking for big slides or big waves, though, so we've rounded up our top splash pads for the preschool set. Prepare to find toddler-sized attractions, along with perks such as nursing stations and FREE mini life jackets—and don't worry, there's plenty of big-kid fun to go around, too. So read on for details on 12 parks within two hours of New York City that cater to the littlest water explorers.

Check out our NYC Beaches, Pools, and Water Fun Guide for more family-friendly ideas on how to cool down in the city and beyond.

13 NYC Restaurants with Backyards and Patios for Kid-Friendly Dining

Great outdoor dining makes summer in the city tolerable, at least in my book. An hour sitting on a shady patio, sipping a cold drink, steels me for the rest of the week on sweaty NYC subways and dog-pee-scented streets. It's also a great way to savor those first sun-filled days of spring.

Of course, eating out with kids is never as simple as that, so we’ve selected not just sublime outdoor dining spots but ones with enough room to roam. Hopefully, these family-friendly Manhattan restaurants, from the Battery up to Inwood, will make you forget you are in New York City with that backyard living life, even for those of us whose apartments are too small and too dark with nary a leaf to be seen.

We’ve also covered the best backyard outdoor dining in Brooklyn and Queens. See all our restaurant recommendations in the Mommy Poppins NYC Kid-Friendly Restaurant Guide.

Noom Review: 5 Things I Loved About the Noom Weight Loss Program (And Some I Didn't)

If you listen to podcasts as much as I do, you’ve probably heard ads for the weight loss program Noom, which says it uses psychology to help you lose weight and keep it off for good. I was curious to try it for myself, so when Noom reached out, I jumped at the chance to review it. I’ve used the program for two weeks now and below are the pros and cons of my experience so far.

Noom is not a diet and it doesn’t promise you’ll lose tons of weight fast. The goal of Noom is to teach you how to make better choices and build habits that you can maintain for permanent weight loss and better health.

Memorial Day Weekend Fun for NYC Kids: Fleet Week, DanceAfrica, Festivals, Parades

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 playground sprinklers might be on, too.

On tap this weekend only: Fleet Week, Marine Day in Prospect Park, DanceAfrica, and a passel of parades, including the always entertaining Loisaida on Sunday, and Memorial Day marches on Monday in Brooklyn and QueensMamapalooza rocks Riverside Park's Pier 1 on Sunday, and Much Ado about Nothing sets the stage for this summer's Shakespeare in the Park productions.

This holiday weekend is also the perfect time to visit the FREE Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens or The Yard, an adventure playground open for the season on Governors Island. By the way, Governors Island also hosts weekend programs where kids can make slime and superhero art. If you're hopping ferries anyway, why not check out the new Statue of Liberty museum?

Our NYC Parks and Playgrounds Guide is always a safe bet for staycations, 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 in the Hudson Valley, as well as our favorite nearby beaches 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. Even more family fun can be found via our Event Calendar, Spring Fun Guide, and our fresh-out-of-the-oven Summer Fun To-Do List.

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

Autism-Friendly Museum Hours and Cultural Programs in NYC

New York City is one of the most bustling places in the world, which can make outings with any child tough, but things get particularly tricky for parents of kids on the autism spectrum, who might worry about overstimulation in kid-friendly settings. That’s why many museums and cultural centers have created comfortable, safe spaces for families with special needs to explore, often in tandem with educators and specialists.

We’ve gathered up some of the best of the bunch, from The Met to the Brooklyn Children's Museum to an after-school "Subway Sleuths" program, as well as several FREE options. Peruse our NYC Special Needs Guide for more helpful tips and local programs.

10 New and Updated NYC Playgrounds You (Probably) Haven't Visited Yet

Are your kids suffering from a bit of "been there, climbed that" playground fatigue at their tried-and-true favorite play spot? It may be time to explore a new romping ground. Fortunately, the NYC parks are ever changing. Here, we present 10 new (or nearly new) and updated playgrounds you probably haven't visited yet.

And of course, you can find all our favorite spots, old and new, in our Parks and Playgrounds Guide.

Destination Playground: Zucker Natural Area in Prospect Park

Most New York City kids may not have backyards, but they do have no shortage of entertaining and engaging playgrounds and parks, including some playgrounds that are truly special. The Donald and Barbara Zucker Natural Exploration Area in Prospect Park definitely ranks high on our list of destination playgrounds worth a subway ride.

Located on Nellie’s Lawn in the northeastern section of the park, the Zucker Natural Area isn’t your traditional playground, so no swings, slides, or brightly colored plastic. The nature-based play space, opened in 2013, features romping spots made from some of the 500 trees that were downed during storms like Hurricane Sandy, along with other recycled natural materials that have been collected throughout the park.

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