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7 Fun Party Places for Car- and Train-Obsessed NYC Kids

Long before my kids laid eyes on Pixar movies, they were obsessed with cars. Big ones, little ones, toy ones—as long as they were fast and sleek, they'd want to play with them or, better yet, ride in them.

Growing up as public-transit-taking New Yorkers also means a healthy obsession with trains. So no matter the mode of transportation that piques your kid's interest, we've got a party recommendation for you. We've rounded up seven party places in or near NYC where kids can enjoy car- and train-centric activities, from driving go-karts, calling all aboard on a vintage train, and even slot-car racing. Best of all, there's no driver's license required.

Kiddie Science Opens in Lefferts Gardens with Classes for Kids

The Brooklyn-based Kiddie Science has had a roaming presence in NYC since 2013, inspiring children wherever it set up shop. But the nonprofit tot science program finally has a permanent home.

It recently opened a STEM classes and camp spot in Prospect Lefferts Gardens in a bright and renovated space that is welcoming to all ages. The location is a work in progress with plans for outdoor gardening in the small backyard and more active experiences such as yoga in the basement.

Hockey and Ice Skating Summer Camps for NYC Kids

When considering athletic camps for summertime fun, swimming, baseball, tennis, and outdoor team sports come to mind first, but if your kids prefer their summer vacation served ice cold it's totally doable in NYC even when the temperatures are well above freezing. Four of our city's wonderful indoor ice-skating rinks offer figure skating or ice hockey summer camps for your budding Michelle Kwan or Wayne Gretzky.

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.

Penguins, Puppets, and Daniel Tiger! Fall Theater for NYC Kids

Autumn marks the start of a new theater season, but you don't need to shell out big bucks on Broadway shows to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. This fall, preschoolers will go gaga for engaging, page-to-stage adaptations of some of their favorite picture books and TV shows like The Ugly Duckling, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and Mr. Popper's Penguins. Meanwhile, school-age children can catch a pair of steampunk-styled spectacles—Cirque du Soleil's Kurios and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea—plus avant-garde offerings at Lincoln Center and La MaMa. Best of all, 10 of our picks are $20 or less per ticket.

10 Dual-Language and Immersion Preschools in Brooklyn

Whether your child already speaks two languages or you merely want to expand their intellectual horizons, dual-language preschools can help. These schools promote knowledge and language learning in one neat package. Lucky for us, NYC is packed with immersion preschools.

We've already done a roundup of immersion preschools in Manhattan, and now we've pulled together a sampling of those in Brooklyn, the city's most populous borough. To find more preschools with dual-language programs or other preschool options, visit our NYC preschool directory.

Best Fall Festivals for NYC Kids in September

Kick off autumn at one of these fun-filled (and mostly FREE) fall festivals in NYC. Annual family favorites abound this month, including top September picks such as the Richmond County Fair and the Little Red Lighthouse Festival. But there are also plenty of cool under-the-radar events you may not have heard of, including a kite festival in Brooklyn Bridge Park, a sweet honey celebration in Rockaway Beach, and Italian fairs in the Bronx and on Staten Island, both a lot less crowded than San Gennaro. There's also farm fun and even more kiddie rides.

So banish the back-to-school blues by hitting one (or more) of these kid-friendly fetes this September.

5 Brooklyn Cafes with Dedicated Kid Play Areas

If you're looking for a new spot to grab your morning coffee or merely want to enjoy brunch in peace, these five kid-friendly restaurants can't be beat. At these Brooklyn cafes you will find a welcoming environment, great food, and a caffeine jolt, as well as dedicated and safe play areas for your kids. 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, including these 10 Brooklyn spots with ample outdoor seating.

Best Events for Preschoolers in NYC This Summer

New York City is bursting with great activities and events for preschoolers and toddlers this summer, outdoors and in. It can sometimes be more, uh, challenging to haul our littlest New Yorkers around to all of city's great summer day trips, like NYC beaches and nearby water parks or even the sometimes overwhelming street fairs. After all, some of us need to get back in time for nap!

So we're rounding up only the very best 19 happenings for preschoolers and tots this summer like a kite-making festival, tons of great music and performances, live crocodiles, a river cruise and much more.

Check out our June GoList, the 2016 GoList and our Event Calendar for even more summer family fun ideas. 

Nurture Opens in Brooklyn with Classes for Mom and Baby

Whether you're an expectant mother, dad of a toddler or a woman dealing with postnatal life, Nurture{Bklyn} would seem to have a place for you. Located in the quiet neighborhood of Windsor Terrace, Nurture hopes to foster a supportive community of new and expecting families through classes and meet-ups with a special focus on pregnant and new moms and their babies.

Nurture{Bklyn}, which just opened its doors in May, was founded by Elizabeth Mangum-Sarach, an experienced doula and social worker. She is also a mother of two and a Jane of all trades when it comes to childbirth. "I've always dreamed of having a space where women and parents can come together to connect and receive services from many different professionals," Mangum-Sarach says. Nurture is the physical manifestation of her vision, with an inviting backyard and bright child-centric indoor space.

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