Get Almost Free Admission to Luna Park on Opening Day

It's no secret that all of us here like "FREE." We're always on the lookout for free activities around NYC, play spaces, and even summer camps. But Luna Park's March 24 opening day event at Coney Island, Brooklyn, makes the four-letter word all the better, as almost all proceeds from donations will serve the Girls Scouts' 6000 troop.

Read on to find out what's included in this almost-FREE day and who you'll be helping with your small donation.

A Fun Foodie Adventure in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with the Kids

If you’ve been itching to try to decipher signage in a foreign language, step into a market that smells like 15 kinds of sausage, and stuff your face with foods from the Old World, then all you and the kids need to do is hop on over to Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Somehow, despite the fact that neighboring Williamsburg has become the poster child for rampant development and gentrification, Greenpoint has managed to maintain its charm and Polish flavor. That’s not to say that the neighborhood hasn’t changed or that skyrocketing rents haven’t impacted local families, but many of the shops along Greenpoint’s main drag, Manhattan Avenue, are still locally owned markets and restaurants often specialize in Polish foods. If you have Eastern European roots, locals might even address you in Polish. All this makes a day in Greenpoint feel like a trip to the Old Country.

Greenpoint is just one of many ethnic foodie thoroughfares in the city. We aim to help you travel the world airfare-free with the Mommy Poppins Passport Series. We'll spotlight the best international streets in all five boroughs. Introduce kids to the diverse food and fun that immigrants have brought to New York City’s streets, including in Astoria, Manhattan's Chinatown, and even at a Queens mall.

Top Traditional Summer Camps (With Very Modern Offerings) for New York City Kids

New York City has always been the best place on Earth to find uh-mazing summer camps, but the options for families looking for that traditional, all around camp experience have only gotten better over the years. Between city camps with tricked-out facilities, and lots of outdoor time, and accessible-by-bus destinations just outside the city, there are plenty of places that deliver those tried-and-true camp activities and then some, combining canoeing, arts and crafts, sports, and swimming with more modern camp curriculums and amenities.

If you'd like to stay within city limits, there are day camps across the five boroughs complete with 75-foot pools and outdoor ball fields, trips to amusement parks and adventure courses, fully-equipped air-conditioned gyms, and fun-filled days at the beach or the park. Meanwhile, if your kiddo is ready to travel, you'll find completely un-plugged media-free nature day camps, lush 27-acre campuses right nearby, lakes with boating and fishing, multiple-day overnight trips to state parks, and of course, that classic sleepaway camp experience.

The One Reason Families Are Applying to BASIS Independent in Droves

There is an educational renaissance happening in New York City. In the past few years we’ve seen dozens of new schools open, adding more public, private, and charter options to the mix. Two of those new programs are part of BASIS Independent Schools, a network of five independent schools nationwide. Their two brand new campuses in New York City offer a PreK-grade 12 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and a PreK-8 on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Register for Free Swimming Lessons for NYC Kids

The New York City Parks Department offers FREE aquatic programs for children under 18 all year round, as well as adults, but you have to apply through an online lottery for each session. Spring swimming lessons are on the horizon, and the lottery for registration opens Monday, March 12, 2018 at noon through Monday, March 19, 2018 at 11:59pm.

The spring swim lessons will take place Monday, March 26, 2018 through Thursday, June 7, 2018.

Read on for the details on where to swim for free, or check our directory of paid kid swim classes, and mommy-and-me swim lessons for babies and toddlers, including those specifically in Brooklyn and in Queens.

Great News! Good Day Play Cafe Opens in Park Slope

You might be wondering if Park Slope needs another play space, but after you see the inside of a Korean-inspired Good Day Play Cafe, your answer will be a confident, "yes." Think: Stumptown coffee and cold brew, a Hinoki cypress wood cube sensory pit, and a clear view of the entire play area from the minimalist-chic cafe.

The owners, who already have a location in Queens, balance good food, inviting ambiance, and strong coffee with their kid-oriented play area to create a place adults and children can genuinely enjoy. The play cafe trend is booming in Brooklyn and Queens, and we can't get enough of it. Get the details on the new space, including rates and hours, below.

Spring Break Camps for NYC Kids This April Vacation

School holidays seem to pile up this time of the year. You've just gotten back into your routine following February break and it's already time to plan for spring break, which runs from Friday, March 30 through Friday, April 6 for public school kids in 2018.

Whether your kid wants to spend his or her break in the arts or honing sports skills, is obsessed with all things STEM, or all of the the above, New York City seemingly has a camp for every interest. In fact, we've rounded up more than two dozen NYC camps across the five boroughs that are open for spring break and many other school holidays.

Check out our Summer Camp Guide if you're planning for summer's much longer school break!

Easter Egg Hunts for Kids in New York City 2018

Easter Sunday is April 1 this year—no joke! It's just a hop, skip, and a jump away. One of the best ways to celebrate with kids is to attend one of NYC's treat-filled egg hunts. Most are outdoors in playgrounds and parks, zoos, and gardens, but a few are indoors at museums and other cultural spots. Many offer additional spring fun, including seasonal crafts, face painting, and live entertainment.

Remember, Easter egg hunts in NYC are extremely popular so arrive early and expect hordes. If you dislike crowds, avoid the free hunts and opt for those that carry a small fee as they usually cap the number of participants. Or get your photo op with the Easter Bunny in ahead of time at these brunches.

Meet the Easter Bunny in NYC for a Photo Op with the Kids

The Easter Bunny is making appearances all over New York City this spring, including on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to snap a picture with your child cozied up to the festive rabbit.

We've rounded up some of the top places in all five boroughs to take a picture with the Easter Bunny, beginning in March. These range from professional shots you can have taken ahead of time to DIY opportunities at your local egg hunt. Get those reservations booked!

Find bunny brunches or egg hunts in NYC, too! Or lean on our March GoList for more must-do events and activities.

Is Axe-Throwing Brooklyn’s Newest Kid-Friendly Activity?

As you step into Kick Axe Throwing, you will be forgiven for a momentary flash of jealousy pointed at the pretty young things hanging out and drinking beers with their friends in the hipster-chic log cabin–themed spot. New York’s first axe throwing venue is the perfect place for beers with your buds, but I was here to determine if it was equally cool action spot to take kiddos.  

Technically, children aged 7 and up are allowed to participate, so, to test the waters, I had come to Gowanus, Brooklyn with an 8-year-old, a 12-year-old, and a 14-year-old, ready to chuck axes. Consent forms signed, we met our Axpert in the waiting area and headed with anticipation to our axe-throwing range.


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