New York City

Best Shows for NYC Kids and Families for Spring 2019

The spring is always a great time for family theater, but the 2019 spring season looks particularly exciting. There are page-to-stage adaptations of young-adult favorites (The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, Anne of Green Gables); wordless spectacles to captivate all ages (Snap, Cirque du Soleil's new extravaganza); and a few thought-provoking choices for young teens (The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik, Deep Sea Explorer, Silent Voices: Lovestate).

While on Broadway it's all Beetlejuice and Be More Chill, there's no need to shell out big bucks to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. Most of the 22 shows we're spotlighting are just $25—or less—per ticket.

15 Super Easy April Fools' Day Pranks to Play on Your Kids

There are few things more satisfying than pulling a fast one on your own kid, but elaborate prep work is sure to sap the fun out of any good April Fools' Day joke. In the past, we've shared ideas for old-school gags and fun tricks to play on children, but more recently, we've found that the very best pranks are also the simplest.

Here, we run down 15 easy ways to show kids that we still have the upper hand—at least when it comes to April Fools' Day!

Spring Break in NYC: 50 Fun Things to Do With Kids

Worried about keeping the kids entertained over NYC's 10-day spring break? We've got it covered for you.

If you're sticking around the city, there's plenty to keep every age group busy. From interactive exhibits and hands-on museum programs to cool family theater shows, parks, playgrounds, and indoor play spaces, we've rounded up 50 things to do with kids in New York City during the break. Some of our picks only take place on specific dates; others run the entire duration, but all are engaging ways to get out and celebrate spring.

If you're thinking of heading out of town for a last-minute vacation, or just a day trip or two during the break, which technically runs from Friday, April 19, to Sunday, April 28, you can find great nearby getaways in our Day Trips Guide and more far-flung destinations in our Family Travel and Resort Guide.

Spring Festivals, Fairs, and Carnivals in April for NYC Kids

New York City's spring outdoor festival season kicks off this April with more than a dozen fun and mostly FREE fairs, festivals, parades, and carnivals. Some annual Mommy Poppins favorites take place too, including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Cherry Blossom Festival, the Queens County Farm Museum's Children's Carnival, Staten Island's St. George Day celebration, and the annual Street Games in East Harlem.

These events aren't just fun, they also foster community spirit by bringing folks together. Many fairs include old-fashioned games, eco-activities, homemade treats, and live performances. Here's your guide to the awesome NYC fairs, carnivals, and festivals happening for families this April.

Click through to our listings for all the details, including address, time, and recommended ages. And by the way, you can also find loads of fun spring festivals to our north in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, as well as out on Long Island.

Governors Island: Playgrounds, Camping, Art, Adventure, and More 2019 Highlights

Governors Island opens to the public on May 1 this year and its season, which again runs through October 31, promises plenty of family-friendly programming, plus the return of spectacular overnight accommodations that give you even more time to play on the island!

The opening of Governors Island is an event we anticipate annually as the island seemingly reinvents itself with new attractions and old favorites return. The aforementioned glamping accommodations are sure to be a big draw; while The Yard returns, plus inventive new family-friendly programming and an always jam-packed events calendar stocked with family-friendly events.

Read on for the scoop on the very best things to do on Governors Island with kids, plus important visitor tips, such as ferry schedules, and where to score free biking and kayaking. Note: Details are still being finalized for Governors Island's 2019 season and we'll update this post as more information is released. 

8 Fun Day Trips From New York City Without a Car

Although New York City is home to wonderful museums and cultural centers, destination day trips are a fun and easy way to give kids a change of scenery, while giving the whole fam the chance to explore nearby cities and towns. Maybe you have a touch of cabin fever, or just want to explore someplace new—either way, we've rounded up close-enough-to-home adventures for a quick trip out of the city. And the best part is, you don't even need a car! All of our picks are accessible by public transit, so no need to wrestle with traffic jams—just enjoy the commute with the kids and make getting there part of the adventure.

Pip's Island Interactive Theater Experience Makes Kids the Stars

There's no shortage of great theater here in New York, but there are very few shows where children actually get to play an interactive role in the story. Enter Pip's Island, a production in which young audience members become characters—no, stars—themselves, engaging with the actors in a roving, room-to-room adventure.

After a successful trial run in 2016, the show has re-opened in a custom-built space giving Pip, his friends Finn and Pebble, and countless kids a whole new immersive environment where they can play out their adventure as they attempt to save Pip's Island from the villainous Joules Volter.

Weekend Fun: Flower Show, Purim, Kids' Theater, Circus...and Desserts!

It's officially spring! While the weather might not have gotten the memo (yet), the Macy's Flower Show is blooming again with a space-inspired floral fantasy featuring marvelous celestial blooms, and kids can take a trip to outer space with Peppa Pig on opening day this Sunday.

This weekend dishes up plenty of great theater for kids too, including Colors at BAM, The Magic SchoolbusWhile You Were Out at LaMama Kids, and Underneath a Magical Moon, a re-imagining of Peter Pan (sign up for the interactive pre-show workshop). The New Shanghai Circus takes a bow in Queens on Saturday and Staten Island on Sunday. 

If you're looking for FREE fun (who isn't?), make balloon cars at Brooklyn's MakerSpace, catch a free concert and screening of Up in Queens, sing songs from around the world with Mr. Patrick at the Children's Library, take in lion dancing (and popcorn!) at Sunset Park's Lantern Cultural Fest, or check out Philosophy for Kids as part of the Tilt Festival at the Brooklyn Library.

Purim parties on at the Riverdale Temple and Rock and Roll Playhouse on Sunday, or make holiday masks all weekend at the Children's Museum of Manhattan. And for the cherry on top, confections rule at the Dessert Goals Festival, all weekend in Long Island City.

For more, more, more, peruse the March GoList, FREE things to do this month, and our ever-expanding calendar.

What to Do in the Flatiron and Union Square With Kids

The adjacent Flatiron District and Union Square neighborhoods are two of Manhattan's most unlikely kid-friendly areas. Even though both are filled with office buildings and chain stores, there are lots of amenities for families if you know where to look. Both boast beautiful parks with destination playgrounds, a great selection of family restaurants, and one-of-a-kind attractions like the interactive Museum of Mathematics, kid-lit haven Books of Wonder and the statue-filled Lego Store.

Because the nabes encompass less than a mile together, families can easily explore both in one day, even with a short-attention-span toddler in tow. Of course with so many things to see, do and experience in this 15-block stretch from 11th to 26th Streets between Fifth and Park Avenues, you'll probably need more than just a day to hit all our recommended stops.

Macy's Flower Show and 6 More NYC Spots to See Spring's Blooms

After so many hours spent indoors during cold winter months, springtime in New York City is one of my family’s favorite seasons. Besides the warmer weather and increased outdoor playtime, we love spotting the season’s first snowbells, crocuses, and blossoming trees

While plenty of flowers poke through the earth in neighborhood parks and along city sidewalks—not to mention community gardens—there are a few spots in the city where spring blooms are downright outstanding. Springtime also brings the annual flower show at Macy's, which kicks off this weekend on Sunday, March 24. To celebrate the arrival of spring, we've rounded up our favorite places to enjoy springtime

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