Downtown

The Top 15 Indoor Play Spaces Across New York City

You've probably already bookmarked our lists of the best spots to play in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. (Oh, you haven't yet? Hint: Now's your chance.) To cap off your indoor-fun inspiration and ensure you never hear the words "I'm bored" again, we present the best of the best: the top 15 indoor play spaces across New York City. So when you need a break from your neighborhood spots, 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.

Best Gaming Spots for Kids in NYC

The growing popularity of gaming stores and cafes around NYC should come as no surprise, particularly to kids. With their active minds, kids crave more than video games and social media, especially in wintertime, when parks and playgrounds often take a back seat to indoor activities. For curious, engaged kids, gaming spots are a place to play, imagine, make new friends, and develop new skills.

Most game spots, whether they be stores or cafes, tend to lean toward 8 and 9 year olds (and up), and don’t really include the space even the most game-loving younger kids might need for intermittent dancing around. But they’re all friendly. Read on for a few of our favorite game cafes and stores for kids in NYC.

Family-Friendly Restaurants in Tribeca

Tribeca has no shortage of great places to eat with the family. In general, places to eat in Tribeca either tend to be upscale or little holes-in-the-wall, with a handful of options in between. Since Tribeca is such a family-oriented neighborhood, many eateries welcome kids and even offer children's menus. Plus there's a wide range of cuisine to try, from good old American comfort food to French bistro dishes to authentic Cuban eats, plus incredible bakeries. Read on for our favorite places to eat with kids in Tribeca.

Where to Donate Kids' Clothes, Toys, and Gear Across NYC

With two adults and three kids in my family's typically small NYC apartment, the holiday season stresses me out. Not because of all the things I need to do, but because of all the extra "stuff" that I know is about to flood our home. That's why this is my favorite time of year to donate my kids' gently (or sometimes never!) used clothes, toys, books, and other items so we can free up some space, support worthy charities, and get the whole family in a giving mindset.

We've gathered details on several organizations where you can donate quality used items during the holidays and beyond. Be sure to contact the charities directly to confirm what they accept and how best to drop off. 

Best Toy Stores in NYC: 14 Family Favorites and Destination Toy Shops

Whether your toy shopping trip is a winter day activity, a pre-birthday party stop, a bit of Santa research, or a special family outing, NYC's toy store options do not disappoint. From painstakingly curated indie experiences to unforgettable big-brand toy extravaganzas, we’ve rounded up over a dozen of our favorite go-to toy stores across New York City, where you’re sure to find the perfect item for your little one or the winning gift for a birthday party

35 Fun Things to Do with NYC Kids Over the Holiday Break

Few places rival New York City for winter holiday activities, and the school break offers families plenty of free time to sample them all. We’ve rounded up 35 of our favorite winter break activities, most of which can be accessed with the swipe of a MetroCard. Fill your vacation with awesome museum outings, live stage shows, fancy meals, and magical holiday experiences. My family even braves the crowds at popular tourist attractions such as the Rockefeller Center tree and rink and department store holiday windows.

Remember, NYC public school kids are out of school from Saturday, December 22 through Wednesday, January 2, so if you need more fun things to do over the 2018-2019 winter break, check out our December GoList, free December fun, and our daily Event Calendar.

Nutella Cafe Brings New Level of Chocolatey Goodness to NYC

Hang out with my 5-year-old long enough, and she'll inevitably ask for a Nutella sandwich. The creamy, chocolatey spread is practically its own food group in her eyes, so the arrival of a Nutella Cafe in the Union Square neighborhood was cause for a sugar-high induced happy dance.

It took us two trips—thanks to the down-the-block line on our first visit—to get inside the sweet new eatery. Read on to find out if it deserves a spot on our list of must-try sweet spots for New York City kids.

Santa in the City: 50 Awesome Santa Activities for NYC Kids

Christmas in New York is nothing short of magical. From fabulous holiday windows to dozens of tree lightings, magical seasonal shows, and multiple iterations of The Nutcracker, New York is the place to be during the holiday season. The biggest star of all is, of course, Jolly Old St. Nick. We've rounded up plenty of spots to take a photo with him or even break bread, but have never compiled all the ways you can share a special holiday moment with the big guy...until now. So grab a hot cocoa and read on for 50 awesome Santa experiences to enjoy before he takes flight from the North Pole on Christmas Eve.

Best Hot Chocolate Spots Around Manhattan

A cup of molten chocolaty goodness is one of the best ways to thaw out and warm up—in fact, it's one of the best things about winter and the holiday season.

We took on the heinous job of running around Manhattan taste-testing hot chocolate (don't say we've never done anything for you) and narrowed it down to nearly two dozen of our favorites. These spots are definitely worth the brief trip out into the cold, so read on for our recommendations for cafes and restaurants that have turned hot cocoa sipping into an experience not to be missed.

By the way, we've also rounded up our favorite Brooklyn hot cocoa cafes and those in Queens. Find more great eats in our NYC Restaurant Guide for Families.

12 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market, an enormous food hall and marketplace located in the former factory that was the birthplace of the Oreo cookie, has a little something for everyone, from fancy chocolates to grilled cheese. The building’s unique architecture and convenient location near the High Line make it a popular NYC shopping and eating spot. But one of the best things about shopping at Chelsea Market is that you don’t have to worry about anyone leaving with an empty stomach. Even the pickiest eaters can find something they love among the bakeries, pizza shops, and burger joints inside.

If want to introduce your kids to a variety of delicious foods from around the world—or you're just looking for an indoor activity (that's not another indoor play zone or museum), there is enough here for a fun afternoon or morning outing. Pro tip: It's best to avoid lunchtime when it is really crowded, or better yet try a weekend morning when the place is a ghost town. Here's what to taste, see, and do at Chelsea Market with kids.

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