Brooklyn

Preschooler Fun in NYC this Winter: 25 Top Events

Winter in the Big Apple can seem daunting when you have a preschooler in tow. Luckily, the winter season is full of tot-friendly fun throughout the city, from kid-friendly MLK celebrations, to museum exhibits, live concerts designed for young ears, loads of theater, and so much more.

To help make your planning easier—and curb that urban cabin fever—we've rounded up more than two dozen top event picks for outings with kids under the age of 5. For more ideas, be sure to check out Winter Fun Guide, January GoList, and daily Event Calendar.

Best Winter Shows for NYC Kids: Dinos, Circus Acts, Peter Pan

Winter 2017 in New York City is loaded with cool children's theater. Recently, we spotlighted a pair of high-profile family musicals coming to Broadway this season: long-running London hit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a screen-to-stage adaptation of the animated movie Anastasia.

But you don't need to shell out big bucks to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC—plenty of engaging family productions are playing Off-Broadway for a lot less. This winter there are wonderful options for toddlers to tweens, including interactive shows created specifically for the preschool set (Shadow Play and Ear, Nose, and Tail ), eye-popping spectacles for all ages (Erth's Dinosaur Zoo Live and Cirque-tacular's Snowkus Pocus), and stage adaptations of popular picture books such as Elephant & Piggie and Please Bring Balloons. Best of all, most of these shows cost $25 or under, so you can take the whole family for less than the price of one Broadway ticket.

22 Brooklyn Drop-In Play Spaces and Kiddie Gyms

Brooklyn can't be beat for indoor play spaces. While Manhattan and Queens have about a dozen drop-in indoor playgrounds apiece, Brooklyn boasts nearly twice that number, and 2016 brought a slew of exciting newcomers to the scene, from the Brooklyn Children's Museum's outpost, Spark, to Busy Bodies in Clinton Hill, Curiosity on Court, and more.

While we've included a couple of the more mellow tot spots with crafts or storytelling, this best of Brooklyn list is focused on active play spaces, where toddlers, preschoolers, and even bigger kids can conquer multilevel mazes, swoosh down slides, climb up rock walls or just turn around in circles until they fall down exhausted, ready for a nap.

Read on for nearly two dozen drop-in indoor romper rooms for kids in Brooklyn. Find play spots in our Indoor Family Fun Guide.

NYC Winter Fun List: 50 Things to Do Indoors with Kids

Cooped up in a tiny apartment with your kids hanging off the furniture, and you, is no way to spend the winter. We know it can be hard to put on all that winter gear, head out into the cold, and hit up one of the million daily kid events happening in NYC, but we're here to help. 

To inspire you, we've compiled a list of 50 awesome drop-in spots in the five boroughs, where kids can run, jump, bounce, learn, create, and get cultured. Some are even FREE.

Still not willing to open that door? Try one of these indoor craft projects at home as a family to keep those little hands busy, or one of our 40 Indoor Snow Day Boredom Busters.

Of course, you can always find more winter fun ideas in our Indoor Family Fun Guide, or even sign up for a new class.

Worth It? Family Memberships in NYC to Consider for Winter

After visiting NYC's top play spaces, museums, and other fun zones, we've rounded up the various membership deals at 18 kid-centric destinations. These places will keep your kids entertained, active, and out of the cold. Some even offer short-term memberships, so you only have to pay until spring arrives.

In the dead of winter, it can be daunting to schlep somewhere new every weekend, so a membership to one (or two) of your favorite kid play spots makes sense. We've already done the math so you'll know exactly how many visits it takes until these investments pay off—and whether or not the "deal" works for your family.

Need more ideas? Check out our ultimate Winter Fun List, featuring 50 cool (make that warm!) things to do indoors with kids throughout the freezin' season.

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.​​

Basketball Classes and Lessons for NYC Kids

Baseball may be our national pastime, but drop by any of NYC's parks and it seems like basketball is our local favorite.

In New York City, there are many basketball programs that teach kids the basics in friendly, non-competitive environments. They differ from basketball leagues, which assume players are ready for full-on competition. With these intro-to-basketball classes, kids learn the rules and fundamentals, and work up to one-on-one or small-team play.

Here are 16 basketball programs for kids in NYC, along with info on where to find one-off FREE clinics. You can find more posts about kids' sports classes in our Classes Guide and Directory of Class Listings

New Year's Day 2017 with NYC Kids: Things to Do as a Family

One reason we live in New York City (and pay crazy rents, take packed subways, and research early education options as if we're going for a Ph.D.) is to take advantage of all the cultural experiences it offers year-round. If one of your New Year's resolutions is to do more fun things with your kids, why not kick off 2017 by taking advantage of all the great places open on New Year's Day in this incredible city?

We came up with seven resolutions for families and then found activities to fulfill each one—all at places open on January 1, 2017, in NYC. You can find more seasonal fun, including little kid and big kid ways to celebrate New Year's Eve, in our Holiday Guide. All of us at Mommy Poppins wish you and your families a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

NYC New Year's Eve Celebrations for Preschoolers and Little Kids

Ringing in the new year at the iconic Times Square ball drop or at an impressive fireworks display are on many a native and traveler's NYC bucket list. But for new parents? Or those with a preschooler or toddler in tow? Let's be honest, you'll be lucky to be awake at 10pm.

Still, there are plenty of events in New York City for early-to-bed families. From museums to restaurants, read on for our best bets for ringing in 2017 with toddlers, preschoolers, and any kid or parent who prefers getting extra ZZZs over sticking around for the annual fireworks barrage.

Find family events happening all weekend in our New Year's roundup, and more seasonal fun in our Holiday Fun Guide.

Best New Destinations for NYC Kids That Opened in 2016

You’re forgiven if you don’t count 2016 among your favorite years. There was Zika, ISIS, the Orlando massacre and more shootings than we care to count, the ongoing Syrian tragedy, the untimely deaths of public figures like David Bowie and Carrie Fisher, and yes, our acrimonious presidential election. But if you’re looking for a little glimmer of light, something to brighten your way into 2017, there sure were some positive signs in NYC when it came to new destinations for kids and families.

Even as we lost some of those quirky spots that make New York, well, New York, such as The Morbid Anatomy Museum and local bookstores BookCourt and P.S. Bookshop (all three in Brooklyn), the completely revamped 53rd Street NYPL reopened with a lovely children’s room and teen programming. We also gained several new playgrounds, including this whopper on the Upper West Side and a piano-shaped sprayground in Queens—and more than a dozen new kiddie gyms and play spaces across the five boroughs. And don't forget about Slide Hill on Governors Island, along with the city's first ever adventure playground. Certainly there seems to be an upward trend and more diverse lineup in terms of destinations when compared with 2015.

We’re looking forward to 2017 when the Bronx Zoo will gain a zip line (woot!), a miniature block-long city (Gulliver's Gate) will open for your gawking pleasure, downtown Brooklyn will add a new food court, and some spectacular family shows will arrive on Broadway. And let’s hear it for the Second Avenue subway, eh? Onward all, and onward to our favorite openings last year.

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