Downtown

Spring Theater for NYC Kids: Peppa Pig, Acrobats, Peter Rabbit

Beloved children's characters spring to life this season. Our top theater picks for the coming months include page-to-stage adaptations of classic kid stories like Peter Rabbit and the oeuvre of Dr. Seuss. There are also a number of immersive, multi-sensory productions created specifically for preschoolers while tweens can thrill to offbeat circus performances and the just-opened The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, which we highlighted in our winter theater roundup.

While the highly anticipated family musicals Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Anastasia both open on Broadway this month, there's no need to shell out big bucks to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. Most of the 15 shows we're spotlighting are just $25—or less—per ticket.

Swale: The Floating Food Forest Is Coming Back to NYC

Swale is back, or rather it will be this spring. NYC's first and only floating food forest and garden barge is set to return in April (dates are tentative) when it will set up in the Hudson River near Pier 25 in Manhattan for about two months before pushing off for another borough.

We visited Swale with the kids in Brooklyn Bridge Park when it first docked in NYC last year and had a blast. It's one more example of New Yorkers getting creative about where they can squeeze in a little more green space.

Choco-Story New York: The City's First Chocolate Museum

New York City boasts plenty of sweet spots, and even places where kids can make their own chocolate or ice cream. But now it has its very own museum dedicated to chocolate.

Choco-Story New York: The Chocolate Museum and Experience recently opened within Jacques Torres’ Soho shop, offering tours, classes, and a healthy serving of history about one of our most revered sweets.

Maybe you saw the headlines about its opening March 7, but wondered, “Is it kid-friendly?” Read on for our review and tips to find out.

Spring Break Camps for NYC Kids This April

School holidays seem to pile up this time of the year. You've just gotten back into your routine following February break and it's already time to plan for NYC's extra long spring break, which runs from Monday, April 10 through Tuesday, April 18 for public school kids in 2017.

Whether your kid wants to spend his or her break performing center stage or honing sports skills, is obsessed with all things STEM—or all of the the above—New York City seemingly has a camp for every interest. In fact, we've rounded up over two dozen NYC camps across the five boroughs that are open for spring break and many other school holidays.

Looking for more spring activities? Check out our Spring NYC Guide for more break ideas, or visit our Summer Camp Guide if you're planning for summer's much longer school break!

Play Retro Video Games at NYC Museums and Family Arcades

Does it bother you that your kids don't know all four of the ghosts in Pac-Man (say it with me: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde), or all the characters in Mortal Combat, or what the game Asteroids even is? We're here for you. We've found a handful of old-fashioned family-friendly arcades around NYC, some straddling the line between retro and cutting edge video games.

Of course, you can also find arcade games at Chuck E. Cheese and Dave & Buster's. Check out our roundup of more birthday-oriented video game spots with laser tag and cheesy pizza for more of these game fun zones. You can also find small arcades at many of the city's bowling alleys.

But consider one of the retro spots below if you're in the market for some parental nostalgia and old-school family fun.

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at These NYC Spring Brunches

Looking to kick off your Easter celebration a little early? Join one of the city's handful of Easter Bunny brunches and get into the spirit with a festive, springtime meal. We've rounded up several special New York City bunny breakfasts—from inexpensive pancake affairs to a lavish spread at a high-end restaurant—where families can enjoy photo-ops with the holiday mascot along with other seasonal activities.

Regardless of which option you choose, bring your camera, and your appetite. Check our Event Calendar for more seasonal and holiday fun.

Both Western and Eastern Christian denominations will celebrate Easter this year on Sunday, April 16. Three of these five brunches take place on the first weekend of April, so grab tickets or make your reservations now.

10 Birthday Cake Bakeries in NYC with Stunning Designs for Kids

Looking for a kids’ birthday cake takes the cake, doesn't it? Call off the search, because we’ve scoured the five boroughs to find the most mind-blowing confections that pair perfectly with that awesome party spot you found.

Whether you want a twist on a classic treat, gluten-free goodies, or a sculpted replica of your child's favorite character, there's something for everyone in this delicious roundup of New York City bakeries and studios.

ARTech: A Pop-Up Maker and Play Space for NYC Kids

ARTech: Adventures in Art + Technology is a new STEAM-inspired pop-up activity center in Manhattan's Meatpacking District. After a visit with three experts (my kids, ages 13, 9, and 7), I can assert it's definitely a cool, if temporary, addition to the neighborhood, where kids can explore, create, tinker, and play for FREE.

Science- and technology-inspired fun is in high demand, as evidenced by the opening of several new maker spaces last year alone, including Geek Forest and Skill Mill NYC, plus new offerings in science and robotics. Sponsored by the Meatpacking Business Improvement District, ARTech taps into that enthusiasm with programming designed by two established NYC institutions—the New York Hall of Science and the Children's Museum of the Arts—and it definitely deserves its spot on our March GoList.

We've got the scoop on what to expect, when to visit, and how to reserve your spot at ARTech before this pop-up bids adieu at the end of April.

Rock Out to a New Alice in Wonderland Musical

Lewis Carroll's trippy adventures of Alice in Wonderland have been adapted a lot. But often the magic of his nonsensical world gets buried under special effects and heavy-handed attempts at poignancy. Not so in Wonderland: Alice's Rock & Roll Adventure, a new family musical playing in NYC this March that retains the most celebrated vignettes from Carroll's books while adding catchy songs and a relatable story line about a tween anxious to come of age.

Produced by Atlantic for Kids, the family theater arm of the renowned Atlantic Theater Company, this 75-minute show invites audiences of all ages to experience a familiar tale from a fresh musical perspective.

Best NYC Children's Bookstores to Spend an Afternoon In

Only a small number of dedicated children's bookshops exist in NYC—Books of Wonder and Bank Street Bookstore, we're looking at you!—but there are a number of other indie stores with impressive children's book sections. Many of these lit havens host children's activities, including read-alongs but also author events, and writing workshops.

My kids have a particular weakness for books, possibly because it's the one thing I never deny them—as evidenced by the overflowing bookshelves at home. We love exploring new-to-us, local shops and spending lazy afternoons getting lost in the stacks, so we've rounded up some of our favorite bookstores around the city, including two new ones coming soon.

Whether shopping for a birthday gift or looking for a local storytime, the neighborhood independent bookstore is a great bet for NYC families.

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