DUMBO

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.

A Lego Pop-Up Has Landed in Brooklyn for the Holidays

An interactive Lego pop-up play zone from the folks behind Brick Fest Live opened in Downtown Brooklyn last weekend for a limited two-week engagement. You'll find Legos to play and build with, video games, a Lego block pit, walk-through exhibits made of Legos, collaborative projects, a Star Wars theme, and yes, shopping options. I visited with my 3.5 year old son over the weekend, so read on for what he (and I) thought of it!

The 1,500-square-foot Lego Holiday Experience is located in Brooklyn’s new City Point Brooklyn, an ongoing development project set to house a Target, Trader Joe’s, movie theater, giant food court, and other retail stores. While the website says it’s “open now," the only store that is actually open is Century 21 and this LEGO pop-up, so don’t count on getting food or much shopping done inside of the complex.

New Children's Play and Art Space Arrives in Dumbo with Spark

The ever-changing Dumbo waterfront just gained a new kid-friendly tenant. Spark, the brand-new annex of the Brooklyn Children's Museum, opened in mid-October with drop-in play hours and educational programming for kids ages six months to 6 years. It's modest in size, with 1,850-square-feet spread out across one floor, but that intimate setting is particularly manageable for those with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

I visited the space on opening weekend with my 3-year-old. Read on for our full review of this new drop-in play spot in Brooklyn.

Dumbo with Kids: 50 Fun Things to Do for Families

The Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood of Dumbo is a draw for both visiting tourists and locals eager to enjoy the water and city views, family-friendly restaurants, shops, and plenty of outdoor activities. Located between the famous Manhattan Bridge (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and Brooklyn Bridge, this neighborhood offers stunning views of lower Manhattan, cobblestone streets, and experiences varied enough to keep the whole family entertained.

The neighborhood's crown jewel is Brooklyn Bridge Park—a stunning waterfront park that boasts lovely walking paths, playgrounds, roller skating, kayaking, swimming, and an impressive sports complex at Pier 5—but this eclectic area also offers an abundance of delicious eats, scores of beautiful shops, indoor play spaces for kids, and so much more. Read on for 50 things to see, do, and explore with kids in Dumbo.  

Where to Trick-or-Treat on Halloween with New York City 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 of 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 still can enjoy that kind of thrilling trick-or-treat experience in many New York City neighborhoods. And which neighborhood is now the best one for Halloween trick-or-treating in NYC? That 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.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum Debuts Kid Play Space in Dumbo

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s new kids' play space is set to open Saturday, October 15 on the ground floor of the One John Street luxury condo building on Dumbo’s waterfront. The 1,850-square-foot one-room annex, dubbed Spark, will offer open play hours, classes, birthday parties, and special events for local families—all with the gorgeous backdrop of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

30 Top Things to Do in Brooklyn with Preschool Age Kids

Brooklyn is full of fun experiences for little kids, whether you live here or are just looking for new adventures. From pedal boating in Prospect Park to sharing Key lime pie along the water in Red Hook, we guarantee you’ll want to take your preschooler or toddler on these 30 must-do activities.

And one of the great things about these early years is that your kids may not be in school every day, so you often can avoid the weekends and enjoy some of these Brooklyn places without crowds.

Free NYC Halloween Parades for Kids

Everyone loves a parade, which means we're all absolutely smitten with Halloween parades. While families with older kids may want to dare to take in the iconic Village Halloween Parade on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, it can be pretty scary—it's always insanely crowded, loud and many of the costumes are risque, gory or in poor taste. If your children aren't up for that big Hallow-baloo, there are plenty of smaller, kid-friendly NYC neighborhood parades, including in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

We've rounded up community-driven Halloween processions for families to watch or march in, most of which are FREE. If you don't live in a great trick-or-treating area, these parades are a wonderful way to hunt for candy in another neighborhood. Find even more seasonal happenings in our Halloween Fun Guide.

Best Brooklyn Storytimes for Kids and Babies

Neighborhood story hours for preschoolers and babies abound in Brooklyn, providing a fun, no-fuss outing, especially on cold or rainy days. Most storytimes are free (or cheap), and many venues offer additional kid activities before or after the reading, including plenty of book-browsing, so the fun can continue even when storytime ends. Read on for our top picks for read-along sessions in Brooklyn at libraries, bookstores, and other tot spots.

Must-See NYC Fall Art: Garbage Trucks, Outer Space, Politics

New York City museums seem to always offer plenty of wonderful art collections, but this fall families in the five boroughs will find interesting exhibits on math, history, and more. Fittingly during this election season, a few museums have focused on past and current presidents.

While you might think kids would find exhibits about our country’s leaders and current events a bit boring, these museums have curated displays that ought to spark curiosity. Plus, if your child is at all like mine, this election has been a surprisingly hot topic among friends, which only proves New Yorkers of all ages love a good political debate.

Whatever your child’s interests, you’re sure to find something on this list that appeals and educates. After all, to quote a karaoke favorite, "the children are our future." (Sorry about the earworm.)

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