Downtown

Christmas Tree Lightings in New York City This Holiday Season

You don't have to brave the Rockefeller Center commotion to witness a fabulous Christmas tree lighting in New York City.

We've rounded up some tree lightings that are much less crowded and every bit as hip, from Brooklyn and Queens to the Bronx and everywhere in between. These community holiday celebrations are festive and (mostly) FREE, and there’s no need to stand on your car to glimpse the goings-on. So grab that cup of hot chocolate and cozy up to one of these holiday illuminations in New York City. Find even more seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide.

Best High Tea Spots in NYC to Enjoy a Cup with Kids

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a memorable experience, afternoon tea—sometimes called high tea in New York City—can be a fun outing with kids. It's an especially great winter outing and particularly fitting during the holidays.

Several places serve high tea in New York City, with varying degrees of appropriateness for children. From the fancy Eloise Tea at the Plaza Hotel to the less frilly Russian Tea Room, there are teas—and the goodies that come along with them—for children of all ages and parents of all budgets. Here's our take on some of the best spots for an afternoon outing in NYC.

Teen Spirit: 16 NYC Activities Even a Teen Will Call On Point

It can be tough to be a teen in New York City. They're too old to want the 'rents (that's you, mom or dad) to accompany them everywhere, but many destinations don't allow adolescents without adult supervision. If your high schooler's idea of a night out on the town has been reduced to hanging with friends and watching Netflix, help them mix it up by sharing this roundup of sweet 16 drop-in activities they can do on their own, a few of which were created by NYC teens. Worried that your teen never listens to you? Print this list out and leave it for them to find—perhaps they'll like these ideas better if you don't actually tell them to go out and try them.

Bonus: Many of these options are FREE or inexpensive, so you won't have to raise their allowance.

Cry Baby Matinee: Where to See a Movie with a Baby in NYC

I hadn't been to the movies in 10 months since having a baby and I missed it. I missed debating over the listings with my husband. I missed smuggling in Duane Reade candy and rating the preview trailers. I missed the dark that settles over the theater like few other places in this city, allowing you to escape for two hours, even though you're rubbing elbows with a stranger in the next seat.

Still, while I miss Fandangoing, I have a hard time justifying a babysitter when there is Netflix, so I was intrigued when a friend told me about a local movie theater that not only allows, but encourages, parents to come with their babies, and there are actually several spots around New York City where new moms can arrive with infants and all the gear for a matinee showing—judgement free.

The Museum of Chinese in America: A Chinatown Gem for Kids

New York City has a rich and diverse heritage, and the city's museums are often the keepers of this ongoing story of its people and origin tales. The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), for example, explains the Chinese immigrant story. Being multiracial, with a father from mainland China, I always felt drawn to learn more of the journey of my people, and I've visited several times.

The museum opened in 2009 and has been attracting visitors from all over the world ever since. On my most recent trip to MOCA, I was amazed at how much this beautiful and unique NYC establishment had expanded; particularly by incorporating more children focused programs.

Find a Baby CPR Class for Parents and Caregivers in NYC

As a parent, you hope you’ll never need to use CPR or first aid. But the scary truth is that if your baby chokes, or suffers a trauma like drowning or an electrical shock that knocks him unconscious, you'll want to know what to do, rather than rely on the availability of a knowledgeable stranger while you wait for the ambulance. 

Have we freaked you out yet? The good news is NYC boasts plenty of infant CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and first-aid classes and refreshers for parents and caregivers, such as grandparents and nannies, where life-saving skills are taught and practiced until you feel as prepared as possible. So read on for our top picks on CPR and first-aid classes in the city.

Also check out our list of babyproofing companies around the metro area, as well as our Baby & Pregnancy Guide for more essential NYC parenting tips.

The Top 13 Indoor Play Spaces Across New York City

Whether it's cold or hot or you're just plain tired of the same neighborhood spots, sometimes, you just need to break out of the norm. We feel you.

Though we've long had curated lists of the best spots to play in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, today we present the best of the best: the top 12 indoor play spaces across New York City. So hit your neighborhood spots first, then venture out to the rest of the city to cross every one of these awesome locations off the list.

Visit our Indoor Play Spaces Guide for more indoor fun, or our Family Fun Guide to all of NYC's top family attractions.

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 fame 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 23, 2017 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 offer views of the Macy's parade.

9 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks to Visit with Kids in NYC

It's time to sharpen those ice skates. Many of New York City's outdoor rinks are open for family fall, er, winter fun.

Whether you prefer to twirl with the tourists at Rockefeller Center and Central Park's Wollman Rink, or go off the beaten path to a Mommy Poppins favorite such as Lasker Rink, the city offers plenty of options for newbies to polished skaters—even a FREE skate spot. If it ever gets too cold to glide outside, you can always hit one of NYC's indoor ice skating rinks.

25 Top Things to Do with NYC Preschoolers Before They Turn 5

New York City doesn't scrimp when it comes to creating awesome family events and institutions, from the many children's museums and zoos and gardens to only-here street and art fests. But as a mom of two children younger than 5, I'm always looking for fun activities that appeal to the city's youngest children. It's such a special window of time, and I want to create lasting memories—within budgetary reason, and manageable enough for kids who sometimes still need a nap and a sippy cup of milk.

So, inspired by our roundup of 100 things to do with kids in NYC before they grow up, we came up with a list of 25 things to do with toddlers and preschoolers around the city before they turn 5 and head to kindergarten. A few of our selections are well-known favorites with specific under-the-radar attractions for preschoolers, while others are more off the beaten path, but all are things we've enjoyed doing or aspire to try soon!

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