Battery Park City

NYC Carousels: 13 City Merry-Go-Rounds To Spin You Around

There's something wonderfully nostalgic about kids getting a thrill from a ride on a carousel. There are more than a dozen merry-go-rounds in our city and each offers a unique spin on this traditional kiddie ride. With spring in full swing, it's a great time to take your first carousel ride of the season. With merry-go-rounds in all five boroughs, there's probably one near you.

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 April 29 when it will set up in the Hudson River near Pier 25 in Manhattan for about two months before pushing off for Brooklyn.

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.

Valentine's Day Activities for NYC Kids to Share the Love

​Who said Valentine's Day cards had to feature hearts? This year, locations around NYC are offering some creative Valentine's Day workshops and events. Children can make skyscraper Valentines, develop a love for nature, take part in a self-love project, and even make pink gingerbread houses

Read on for the scoop on the best Valentine's Day outings with kids in NYC. If something piques your interest, click through to the event listing for full details. For more fun happenings this month, check out our February GoList, and remember, our Event Calendar is full of activities and events happening every day in New York City. Search "Valentine" or "love" to find more sweet holiday fun.

Five Country Day Camps within New York City Limits

Sunshine, fresh air, plenty of running around and sports. Those are some of the great reasons to send your child out of the city to one of the many wonderful country day camps that surround the city. If you (or your child) aren't quite ready to head out of the city, here are five camps in NYC proper that approximate the country day camp experience.

Find more options in our Camp Guide and Directory.

Maker Spaces for Drop-In Creator Fun with NYC Kids

The maker movement has been alive and well in NYC for several years, annually bringing one of our favorite festivals, Maker Faire, to the New York Hall of Science. Holiday pop-ups are common, too with the Lego Holiday Experience this year, and Little Bits last year.

But what to do with your inventive child the other 51 weekends of the year? Of course there are after-school classesbirthday parties, and summer camp options, but for drop-in, one-off workshops and tinkering sessions? Not as many. Still, we've dug in and rounded up eight NYC maker spaces offering chances for year-round STEM-inspired making, building, and creating, from robots to 3D printing and creative coding.

If you're looking for a longer-term commitment, check out our STEM Guide to read up on all the options for maker-inspired camps, classes, and DIY fun.

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.

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.

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.

First Birthday Parties: Manhattan Spots to Celebrate Your Tot

By the time you've reached your baby's first birthday, you may be ready to rock out.

After all, you've survived sleepless nights, blowouts, and mounds of laundry and lived to tell the tale. Birthday parties are big business in New York City; where you celebrate that first milestone depends largely on how much of a blowout you desire, and how much cash you wish to blow. Keeping in mind that you've got years of birthday parties in your future, we've rounded up 10 spots in Manhattan to celebrate that all-important first birthday.

Whether the party is about your kid and his or her crew, or you need to cater more to grown-ups than little people, we've got a spot for you. So prime the camera and get ready to celebrate.

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