Brooklyn

35 Free Family Events in New York City This November

As we usher in the holiday season in New York City, it can also seem like we're entering the spend-and-splurge time of year. Thankfully, this month also ushers in some of our favorite FREE annual events for families in NYC, such as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and Macy's Santaland. You'll also find plenty of non-holiday (and non-Macy's) fun for the kids, or even visiting families, such as Pumpkin Smash 2018 and the Commemoration of the Battle of Fort Washington.

Read on for more of our top FREE event picks for the month, and don't forget to hop over to our just-released November GoList, featuring the very best of the month, including those with an admission fee. You can always find more freebies in our FREE NYC Guide, from play spaces and gratis admission hours at museums to birthday perks.

Note: Each event is listed by the week it falls in, and roughly in calendar order. Everything listed is FREE, but some events may require tickets or other advance planning. Click through to the event listings for details.

TapeScape Opens at the Brooklyn Children's Museum

As the weather cools and those freezing playground slides become less appealing, we’re all scrambling for indoor activities to keep our little ones entertained. Luckily, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum has added another family-friendly NYC activity to the to-do list.

TapeScape, open now through December 30, 2018, is an explorable structure made from scaffolding and 480 rolls of packing tape. My daughter and I had the pleasure of visiting the museum’s newest exhibit and it’s exactly as promised. We loved climbing through the tens of thousands of feet of clear tape that is intricately woven around a metal frame. There are many tunnels and passageways to explore, which inspired my three year-old's sense of adventure. She even asked if we could replicate the structure in our own kitchen. Uh, no.

Best Dance Parties for Kids in NYC

Who doesn’t love a good family dance party for shaking off the rainy day blahs? While you could always ask Alexa to crank up the tunes in your living room, it's even more fun to hit the dance floor with kids at a venue that caters to tail-shakers of all ages. You will be dancing the day or night away with a great family fun vibe. Who can resist that?

Read on for a list of venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn where families can get their groove on.

Family-Friendly Restaurants Near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Even if you brought a bag full of snacks to your Brooklyn Botanic Garden excursion, kids will be hungry after all that time running through the grass, collecting sticks, and chasing butterflies.

The good news is that there are plenty of family-friendly options for a bite in the nearby Crown Heights and Prospect Heights neighborhoods, many with high chairs and changing tables available. These restaurants are also close to the Brooklyn Museum, and a short walk from the Brooklyn Children's Museum and Prospect Park.

25 NYC Restaurants Serving Family Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is a time to count your blessings—and to spend hours in the kitchen, right? Eh, we New Yorkers of small-space kitchens and rapid-fire takeout options often prefer to let someone else handle our annual turkey fest. Of course, in New York City we can choose from many award-winning restaurants for that amazing dinner. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a number of options in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens to make this November 22, 2018 as easy and delicious as possible.

Now, instead of deep-cleaning your apartment to host those far-flung relatives (and their expectations), you can spend the night before Thanksgiving in a more festive way—say, watching the inflation of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloons, sightseeing, or even volunteering. After all, what could be more of a New York City Thanksgiving experience than that?

Find even more family-friendly NYC eateries in our local restaurant guide. Visiting and still looking for a place to stay? Check out these top family-friendly NYC hotels, or these Midtown gems offering views of the Macy's parade.

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.

Park Slope Restaurants: Where to Eat with Kids

Brownstone-lined Park Slope has long been known for its family-friendly vibe, boasting plenty of fun indoor play spots, playgrounds, kid events—and great Brooklyn eats. Need to find a child-friendly restaurant after an energy-burning romp in Prospect Park? No problem.

We've eagerly rounded up and taste-tested a list of our favorite family restaurants in Park Slope. Our curated list includes the best dining spots for kid staples like pizza, tacos, and gelato, but also plenty of more exotic fare for adventurous NYC eaters. Plus we tell you who has highchairs and where the baby changing tables are (and are not). Read on and you might just discover your new go-to Brooklyn eatery.

Museum of Pizza Opens in Williamsburg

NYC's long list of fun, immersive pop-up experiences is growing by the day—this year alone there have been Instagram-worthy pop-ups devoted to color, candy, tea, and dogs. The Museum of Pizza, which just opened in Williamsburg, may be the tastiest one yet: Every ticket holder gets a free slice. If there's anything more city-kid-friendly than a pizza inspired funhouse that comes with a slice of pizza, don't tell me what it is. Read on for a sneak peek inside NYC's latest pop-up, and tips for visiting the Museum of Pizza with kids.

Guide to Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead for NYC Kids

Halloween isn't the only spooky holiday to celebrate this fall. Day of the Dead—or Día de los Muertos as it's known in Spanish—is observed by many Latino cultures and is especially popular in Mexico.

Day of the Dead officially takes place on November 1 and 2 to coincide with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. However, NYC events are spread throughout October and early November and most of them are FREE. Revelers honor friends and family members who have died by building altars, or ofrendas, and adorning them with colorful paper flowers, beautifully decorated skeletons, and candles. It's a joyful way to remember the deceased—without freaking kids out. We've rounded up nine Day of the Dead events where NYC kids and families can celebrate the holiday.

You can find more fall activities in our Fall Fun Guide and check out the Halloween Guide for all the other spooky, kid-friendly happenings in NYC this month.

35 Best Things to Do with Kids in Williamsburg

Williamsburg has a reputation as a haven for the hipster set, but families are just as at home in this buzzy, culture-rich neighborhood. Sprinkled in among all the nightlife and trendy boutiques are lots of family-friendly restaurants, shopping, and activities. And the neighborhood is home to some of NYC's most action-packed parks: McCarren Park, a 35-acre park with playgrounds, sports fields, and a poolEast River State Park, home to Smorgasburg and skyline views; and the newly-opened Domino Park, the exciting waterfront playspace inspired by the former Domino Sugar refinery, a neighborhood landmark.

Williamsburg is easily accessible by subway from the G, J, M. Z, and L lines, so even if you don’t live in the neighborhood, you can experience all of the culture and color of this unique part of Brooklyn. Here are some of the best things to do with kids in Williamsburg.

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