Bed Stuy

Best Places to Trick-or-Treat on Halloween with NYC Kids

One of my favorite childhood memories from growing up in NYC was Halloween in Greenwich Village. Back then, the Village Halloween Parade was just a couple hundred artists and others who marched through the neighborhood. Afterward, we would trick-or-treat up and down the brownstone blocks. Everyone was friendly, and we would come home with our shopping bags completely filled. It was magical.

Although the parade and Greenwich Village have changed a lot since then, your kids can still enjoy that kind of thrilling trick-or-treat experience in many New York City neighborhoods. Which neighborhood is the best for Halloween trick-or-treating depends on who you ask. New Yorkers love to bicker over the best coffee shops, the best (and worst) train lines, and yes, the best places to take their kids on Halloween. We also love to find that secret gem.

So we asked our astute readers and collected recommendations from our parent-driven NYC staff over many, many years to bring you a list of our favorite trick-or-treating spots so you'll know where to bring your kids this October 31.

Join one of the local Halloween parades and then go trick-or-treating throughout the community with local families. Or hit one of the neighborhoods or streets listed below: We have a slew of spots to try in all five boroughs. For more seasonal fun, check out our jam-packed Halloween Guide, showcasing FREE events, haunted houses, pumpkin patches, and more.

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn with Kids: Fun Things to Do as a Family

From the quiet, tree-lined brownstone streets to the bustling business districts along Fulton Street and Nostrand Avenues, Bedford-Stuyvesant has something for everyone. Young families in NYC are discovering Bedford-Stuyvesant as one of the best corners of Brooklyn to settle, drawn by its rich cultural history, beautiful architecture, and close-knit community.

Bedford-Stuyvesant is bordered by Flushing Avenue to the north, Atlantic Avenue to the south, Classon Avenue on the west, and Broadway on the east. Most of the neighborhood is easily accessible by the A and C trains, along with several bus lines. But one of the best ways to experience Bed-Stuy, as it is affectionately known, is on foot. You can find yourself in Bed-Stuy with just a short walk from nearby Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, or Williamsburg. And once you have a chance to experience the sights and sounds of this vibrant community, you may never want to leave.

Even as gentrification brings new real estate developments, coffee shops, and wine bars to the neighborhood, Bed-Stuy is committed to maintaining its unique neighborhood identity. From creative classes to free activities to family restaurants, here are some of the best things to do in Bed-Stuy with kids.

7 NYC Puppet Theaters Every Kid Should Experience at Least Once

Even if your kids can't sit still for more than five minutes, chances are they'll make it through a puppet show. It's the perfect first-time theater experience: The colorful characters are captivating, the stories are usually adaptations of familiar fairy tales, the tickets are cheap (or FREE), the shows are short, and if your kids make silly faces at the stage, the puppets won't get offended.

While the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre in Central Park is the best known children's puppet troupe in New York City, there are many other companies regularly mounting puppet shows for families. We've got the scoop on seven places where you can see puppets in action, including marionettes, shadow puppets, and hand puppets.

Many NYC children's theater venues, such as the New Victory Theater and Symphony Space, also offer puppet shows, so don't forget to check our Event Calendar for new shows, including the magical The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show.

Play Cafes: Shops in Brooklyn and Queens with Kid Play Spaces

If you're looking for a new spot to grab your morning coffee or merely want to enjoy brunch in peace, these kid-friendly restaurants can't be beat. At these Brooklyn and Queens cafes you will find a welcoming environment, great food, and a caffeine jolt, as well as dedicated and safe play areas for your kids. Several of them are actually play spaces first, and cafes second.

So turn your meal into a play date with a friend, or just sit back and take some well-deserved breathing space. Either way, both you and your kids are sure to have a good time.

Check out our NYC Restaurant Guide for more great eateries, or our Play Spaces Guide for more romper rooms.

Brooklyn Leaf-Peeping with Kids: Top Streets for Fall Foliage

When fall arrives in the tristate area, serious leaf-peepers tend to head upstate. But when you have little kids, the idea of packing them into the car, with all the snacks, for a long drive through traffic, to try to point out clusters of colors in the distance, is often less than appealing. What if we told you that you don't even have to leave Brooklyn to see some genuinely beautiful fall foliage? The reds, oranges, yellows, and purples of maple trees, oak trees, and more are right here. You just have to know where to look.

A safe bet to find those stunning fall colors will always be your local park or garden, such as the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (the Japanese garden is typically gorgeous at this time of year). But for a FREE neighborhood walk, consider these blocks in Brooklyn for family walk. We've even pointed out top spots to stop for a break along the way.

Coding Classes and Camps for NYC Kids

In our increasingly tech-driven world, knowing how to code is an invaluable skill. But kids who code don't really look at it that way—they just think it's lots of fun to design video games, create websites, and make robots move. Take my 10-year-old: He first caught the coding bug in second grade after attending a demo led by RoboFun where he learned about the wonders of Scratch, an easy-to-use programming language specifically aimed at children ages 8 to 16. Ever since, he's continued to learn how to code at home thanks to FREE educational websites like Scratch's official site at MIT and CodeAcademy.

Even though he can work on his own, I'm a big believer in kids learning from other kids (not to mention the benefits of socializing with peers and getting him out of my hair for a few hours). So I recently researched coding classes for children in New York City to locate a program or two that would work for him. What I found were 11 high-quality classes and camps for kids who have an itch to try Scratch or another computer programming language. You can find even more tech fun for kids in our Geek Guide and more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

Brooklyn's Best Hot Chocolate Spots

Delicious, steaming hot cocoa topped with pillowy marshmallows is a kids staple during the winter months, warming little hands from the very first sip. You can make it at home, of course, but foodie Brooklyn offers a multitude of independent chocolatiers, coffee shops, and cafes serving up rich, creamy and inventive hot chocolates.

We recently covered the best spots to get hot chocolate in Manhattan, as well as Queens, but Brooklyn, home to the city's artisanal food scene, has plenty to offer, too. Read on for 10 of our favorite spots to pick up a cup of hot chocolate with the kids in this family-oriented borough.

Busy Bodies in Clinton Hill: New Play Space for Brooklyn Kids

There's no doubt that Brooklyn is the play space epicenter of New York City, boasting about two dozen indoor romping spots for little ones to shake their sillies out. Even so, when Clinton Hill momtrepreneur noticed a need in her Brooklyn nabe, Busy Bodies was born. Offering drop-in play, a full range of kids classes, and even workshops for parents, Busy Bodies is a welcome addition to local families. 

NYC Doughnut Crawl: 7 Great Shops to Indulge with Kids

As a bona fide foodie, I love going on culinary adventures in NYC. My picky 10-year-old? Not so much. There is no way he would ever hoof it through Queens sampling an array of ethnic eats like Anna and her family recently did. A doughnut crawl, however, was a much easier sell! After all, doughnuts are the new cupcakes, with shops ranging from been-there-forever classics to hot new hipster hangouts in far-flung corners of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Armed with a well-researched list of doughnut shops and a MetroCard, my son, his pal and I set out to sample the city's best rings of fried deliciousness. We hoped to visit more shops, but our goal was bigger than our stomachs. Still, we had a ball trying and will definitely attempt part two soon!

So embrace your inner Homer Simpson and read on to see where we went and how to plan your own doughnut crawl with your family.

Breaking: Spots Available at NYC Parks Experience Summer Camps, Possibly New York's Most Affordable Day Camp

With so many great summer day camps in NYC, finding a good one isn't an issue, but it's hard to find a camp that's as great a deal as NYC Parks Experience Summer Day Camp at just $500 for the entire summer. Usually parents have to enter a lottery to get a place at these coveted camps, but the Parks Department has given Mommy Poppins the inside scoop that there are some select spots still available.

Run by the New York City Parks Department, this seven-week program has multiple locations throughout the five boroughs. Campers enjoy outdoor adventures like hiking in local parks, a variety of sports including swimming, as well as educational activities like field trips to museums and other cultural destinations.

You can no longer apply through the Parks' Department website. The only way to snag one of these spots is with the information in this post. So read on to find out about NYC Parks Experience Summer Day Camp locations with availability, and how you can register your child.

Or check out other hot deals on cool summer camps where kids can engage in a wide range of activities, from chess to pottery to language immersion to circus.

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