New York City

Ennis Playground Gives Gowanus a Freshly Updated Playspace

We're suckers for a destination-worthy playground, but we also have big love for NYC's smaller neighborhood playgrounds. In a city like ours, a playground doesn't necessarily need an elaborate theme or deluxe play features to be a huge boon to the neighborhood. The newly renovated Ennis Playground in the heart of fast-changing Gowanus is one such gem. Ennis Playground reopened last month after an 11-month, $2.9 million renovation—here's a look at what's new.

Go Fish: Where to Go Fishing with NYC Kids for Free (Even If You Don't Have Gear)

Fishing is a classic family activity, but it can only be done outside of NYC, right? Wrong. My husband and I have been fishing with our 9-year-old son in the five boroughs since he was a preschooler. It's relaxing and a great way to bond, plus it teaches patience (you definitely need it for this sport).

Not only does NYC offer different kinds of fishing experiences (freshwater, salt water, catch-and-release), there are organizations that even supply the rod, reel, tackle and bait so all you need to bring is a good attitude. Our rivers, lakes, ponds and beaches are truly teeming with fish, and we've got the scoop on where you and your kids can catch them.

Central Park's Top Playgrounds Ranked for NYC Kids and Visitors

When out-of-towners ask me how I have managed to stay sane with three kids in Manhattan, my answer is always easy: Central Park. It's been our family playground for more than a decade. My son's first steps were taken there, and every day of elementary school in our house has started with a trek across the urban oasis. Our afternoons just don't feel quite right without a stop at the East 110th Street Playground, where my daughter finally conquered the monkey bars.

Central Park is our family's collective happy place, thanks in large part to its diverse array of playgrounds, which always keep us coming back for more (sanity-saving) playtime. In the spirit of our posts ranking the playgrounds in Prospect Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park, we present our top playground picks for Central Park.

These Hotel Pools Will Wow the Kids on a Family Vacation

When you have kids, finding a hotel with an awesome swimming pool is usually right at the top of the vacation-planning list. After a long day of activity, you can kick back and watch them splash around at the hotel pool. On a rainy day, hotels with indoor swimming pools will be a saving grace. While most kids will be satisfied with any hole that contains water, impress them with something unique to make that next family vacation one that they won't soon forget.

Here are some of our favorite U.S. hotels with pools sure to satisfy the whole family. We've included both outdoor hotel pools, indoor options, and even those hotels that let you swim in the pool without staying there overnight. The options run from a Las Vegas hotel pool to a Texas-shaped rooftop pool in Houston to a day-pass-friendly NYC hotel pool.

For more vacation ideas on where to stay, check out our Hotels & Resorts Guide.

Roosevelt Island: What to Do with Kids After Taking the Tram

New York is a city of islands. Many of them, like Governors Island, City Island, Randall's Island, and even the infamous Rikers Island, get lots of attention, while low-key Roosevelt Island manages to slip under the radar. It’s time to get cozy with this narrow, 2-mile long sliver of land in the East River nestled between Manhattan and Queens.

The Roosevelt Island Tram is a familiar sight for many New Yorkers, and the aerial ride alone is great fun for kids, but what about when you disembark on the isle? Over 11,000 people call this peaceful community home. The vibe is urban, but there are open spaces perfect for rambling. Self-contained Roosevelt Island has its own school, newspaper, and library. My family and I found plenty of cool things to keep us entertained and we've pulled together our top picks for things to do on the isle. 

Great Party Spots in Brooklyn for Baby's First Birthday

Let’s face it: Your baby's first birthday isn’t just about celebrating the start of toddlerhood. It’s about acknowledging the fact that you’re still standing after a whole year of parenting, even if you can’t remember the last time you slept!

At this age, the kids in attendance probably won't be running in circles (in fact, many of them might not be walking), so you don't need as much space as you will in a few years, and there’s a good chance that your guest list is heavy on the grown-ups. We've already rounded up great best first birthday spots in Manhattan, and now we've put together a list of top Brooklyn baby-friendly first birthday bash spots that adults and kids will appreciate.

Looking for more party-perfect ideas? Take a look at these Brooklyn gym parties, or visit our handy Party Guide and Directory to find entertainers and more.​​

Favorite Mommy and Me Classes in NYC

Mommy and Me (or Daddy and Me) classes rule, and not just because little ones learn something new. In a city like NYC, taking a swim class or music class with your infant or toddler is a great way to meet other parents, and a social baby is a happy baby. Extra plus? All that learning and making friends sometimes translates to excellent sleeping (for both of you).

The hardest part of signing up for parent-child classes in New York City might be choosing from one of the hundreds of options, so we've rounded up a few of the spots our community of expert parents recommend most. Some of our favorite spots even multi-task, so you can move from a swim class at Bronx House to a creative movement or art class, for example, or bop from a music class at Kids at Work to "Mess it Up" (art) or Mandarin lessons.

If you need something close to home, remember that YMCAs and JCCs all host classes for little humans, from swimming to gymnastics (special shout out to the 14th St and 92nd St Ys for their dazzling range of programs).

As always, you can find even more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

Destination Playground: East 110th Street Playground Is a Central Park Gem

As a Harlemite, the northern edge of Central Park has always held a special place in my heart. It's a little off the beaten path, far from the tourist draws in Midtown, but it's still teeming with activity and attractions, including one of our very favorite playgrounds, the East 110th Street Playground. This playground, which was completely rebuilt in 2013, is a prime romping spot for school-age kids, whether they are uptown residents or visitors to this scenic edge of the park.

Things to Do This Weekend: Harlem Fest, Sand Castles, Kites, Math Fest, Honey

We're counting on having a great time at the fourth annual Math Festival hosted by MoMath on Saturday, with laser cutting, giant mazes, music, and roller coaster design to make STEM irresistible.

Also this Saturday: Watch the colors fly at the Upper West Side's annual Kite Flying Festival. Scoot down to the third (and final) Summer Streets Fest. Skip through the sprinklers at Asphalt Green's second splashy free-for-all. Or head down to Coney Island to enjoy the sunshine and artistry at the annual Sand Sculpting Contest.

Harlem Week romps through uptown all weekend long, with a children's festival on Saturday and daily performances that run from hip hop to poetry to tap dance. And Wave Hill is literally buzzing—it's Honey Weekend again, and that means candle-making, sweet treats, and the traditional Be a Bee workshop and parade.

All this, plus over a hundred other events (50+ each day) are baked into the Mommy Poppins Calendar. Check out our list of the 50 best places to cool off this summer, and don't forget the fun-packed August Go List. And the outdoor movies that were canceled due to all the rain earlier this summer are now being scheduled through September—bookmark our Free Outdoor Movie page to see what's playing (for free!) near you.

Free Admission to NYC Museums on Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

The best way to see some of this fall's best museum exhibits for kids? Why, for free, of course. On Saturday, September 21, 2019, hundreds of museums and cultural institutions across the country will be offering free admission, including more than 20 spots right here in New York City as part of Smithsonian Magazine's annual Museum Day, and passes are available to download starting this week, on August 15.

In addition to a handful of big institutions, such as the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, there are lots of cool, off-the-beaten-path places participating, like the Museum of the Dog. Museum Day is the perfect time to check out a new-to-you museum or visit an old standby for at no cost. We've got the scoop on which museums are offering free admission and how to get your tickets for Museum Day.

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