Flatiron

Manhattan's Most Captivating, Twinkly Holiday Displays

Manhattan's impressive Christmas trees and department store windows aren't the only things decked out at this time of year. All across New York City, corporate buildings, public parks and outdoor plazas display eye-catching holiday exhibits, offering a perfect family diversion during holiday shopping or even as a fun seasonal destination. 

We've rounded five of the city's best 2015 displays from glowing indoor lanterns in Battery Park to giant, flashing stars on the Upper West Side that you won't want to miss. Even better? These spectacular installations are put on in public spaces, meaning it is FREE holiday fun with the kids.

Free Public Art Exhibit Like Entering a Kaleidoscope

It’s always a great feeling when you find something unexpected and beautiful on the streets of New York. A new art installation in the Flatiron District feels like a little bit of holiday magic dropped onto the busy city intersection.

Nova by SOFTlab is a large aluminum pavilion that pedestrians can walk around and into all holiday season. It feels like being inside a life-sized kaleidoscope, making it an interactive experience that kids and adults will have a blast exploring.

NYC's Summer Streets Kick Off Saturday with a Mega Water Slide

Great news for all the intrepid New Yorkers staying put this August: Summer Streets kicks off this weekend! This beloved annual event is set to take over nearly seven miles of Manhattan streets over the next three Saturdays. As in years past, Summer Streets will be jam-packed with fun and FREE events and activities, including a brand-new attraction, Slide the City, that kids (and parents) are sure to love. We've got the scoop on this new attraction, including what to expect and how to claim a spot.

News: MoMath's New Competition, Free Coding for Teens, Parks Update

As summer kicks into high gear, parks all over NYC are undergoing (or finishing up) major rehab projects—and we've got the details for you here. Other news this week includes an upcoming FREE coding event for tweens and teens, MoMath's songwriting competition and news about test-making company, Pearson, that will affect next year's state standardized tests. Read on for this week's news highlights and be sure to sign up for our free newsletters, if you haven't already, to stay up to date on the latest NYC news, reviews and more. 

10 New NYC Destinations to Check Out with Kids This Summer

New York City is brimming with things to see and explore with kids, from world-class museums to the great outdoors. No wonder our town is called the city that never sleeps! And yet sometimes you fall into a rut, visiting the same old favorites over and over, never leaving your comfort zone.

Well, it's time to break that habit. We've rounded up 10 new-to-NYC destinations that are worth putting on your family's summer fun bucket list. Get ready to trade the familiar for the fresh!

NYC's Flying Tiger Offers Fun, Affordable Household & Kid-Friendly Wares

Kids (and parents, too) will go crazy for Flying Tiger, the new ultra-affordable Danish design store that recently opened its first U.S. location right here in New York City. The 5,000-square-foot Flatiron shop is bright, colorful, fun and, for my two kids, instantly addictive. They wanted one of almost everything, which was okay since 85 percent of the merchandise is under $10.

Here you'll find everything from soup bowls to socks, place mats to Post-its, bike bells to a bevy of brushes—that's paint, tooth, hair, dish and toilet bowl brushes, that last one in the shape of a potted flower, no less. Even kids who usually think shopping is a chore will enjoy browsing this tchotchke paradise.

NYC Doughnut Crawl: 7 Great Shops to Indulge with Kids

As a bona fide foodie, I love going on culinary adventures in NYC. My picky 10-year-old? Not so much. There is no way he would ever hoof it through Queens sampling an array of ethnic eats like Anna and her family recently did. A doughnut crawl, however, was a much easier sell! After all, doughnuts are the new cupcakes, with shops ranging from been-there-forever classics to hot new hipster hangouts in far-flung corners of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Armed with a well-researched list of doughnut shops and a MetroCard, my son, his pal and I set out to sample the city's best rings of fried deliciousness. We hoped to visit more shops, but our goal was bigger than our stomachs. Still, we had a ball trying and will definitely attempt part two soon!

So embrace your inner Homer Simpson and read on to see where we went and how to plan your own doughnut crawl with your family.

Pierogies, Meatballs and Ice Cream Sandwiches: 14 Fun Specialty Savory and Sweet Spots

One-item specialty restaurants aren't anything new in NYC. This city practically invented bagel, doughnut and pizza spots. Since we first told you about the emerging culinary phenomenon back in 2010, the dining landscape has greatly changed. Some of those eateries, like The Meatball Shop, have opened additional outposts; others have sadly closed. (We do have high hopes that East Village mainstay, Pommes Frites, will eventually reopen after being shuttered by the recent gas explosion.)

That said, this super-specialty restaurant trend is here to stay, which is great news for families since most of these dining destinations offer quick service, and kid-friendly ambiance and menus. Dig in to delicious chicken fingers with a variety of unique sauces, plates of gourmet mac and cheese, sandwiches on homemade biscuits or plump pierogies. Finish off your meal with a sweet treat like an artisanal doughnut, ice cream sandwich or bowl of rice pudding.

Here is our list of 14 single-item specialty restaurants that kids will love in NYC.

Green Toy Stores: Shopping for Eco Friendly and Natural Wood Toys in New York City

We recently wrote about some wonderful places to Shop for Handmade Toys and Children's Items in New York City. We wanted to complement that list with some other great suggestions for buying natural and green toys. What's the difference? While some natural toys are indeed handmade, others come from eco-certified production facilities. Most important, all differ from commercially mass-produced, run-of-the-mill wooden toys in terms of quality, origin and construction from sustainable, safe, natural, non-synthetic materials.

Top 10 Cool Kids' Concerts: Laurie Berkner, Suzi Shelton, Pixar in Concert & More Live Family Music for Spring 2014

We finish up our spring culture coverage with a roundup of the ten best kids' concerts taking place this season. They're not all your usual kindie rock suspects, either. There are some seriously awesome-sounding family music shows coming up including a one-day-only concert by the queen of preschool rock, Laurie Berkner; a kid-friendly performance by former 10,000 Maniacs singer Natalie Merchant; an album release party for Brooklyn songstress and mom Suzi Shelton; and the New York Philharmonic's fun classical spin on Pixar movie themes.

As usual, we've kept an eye on the prices. Yes, a few of the special concerts command high ticket fees, but some picks are under $20 and three are 100% FREE. Here are 10 concerts where you can clap, dance and sing along this spring.

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