Queens

Play Cafes: Shops in Brooklyn and Queens with Kid Play Spaces

If you're looking for a new spot to grab your morning coffee or merely want to enjoy brunch in peace, these kid-friendly restaurants can't be beat. At these Brooklyn and Queens cafes you will find a welcoming environment, great food, and a caffeine jolt, as well as dedicated and safe play areas for your kids. Several of them are actually play spaces first, and cafes second.

So turn your meal into a play date with a friend, or just sit back and take some well-deserved breathing space. Either way, both you and your kids are sure to have a good time.

Check out our NYC Restaurant Guide for more great eateries, or our Play Spaces Guide for more romper rooms.

Worth It? Family Memberships in NYC to Consider for Winter

After visiting NYC's top play spaces, museums, and other fun zones, we've rounded up the various membership deals at 20 kid-centric destinations. These places will keep your kids entertained, active, and out of the cold. Some even offer short-term memberships, so you only have to pay until spring arrives.

In the dead of winter, it can be daunting to schlep somewhere new every weekend, so a membership to one (or two) of your favorite kid play spots makes sense. We've already done the math so you'll know exactly how many visits it takes until these investments pay off—and whether or not the "deal" works for your family. If the math doesn't work out for you, consider buying one of the play spaces' bulk passes instead, which usually knocks a few bucks off the daily drop-in price.

Need more ideas? Check out our Indoor Play Spaces Guide for more romper rooms by borough, bounce houses, and year-round family entertainment.

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.

There's no need to leave town: We’ve rounded up 35 of our favorite seasonal 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. Our family even braves the crowds at popular tourist attractions such as the Rockefeller Center tree and rink and department store holiday windows.

Be sure to click through the links for details, including locations, dates, and prices.

Remember, the NYC public school kids don't go back to school until Tuesday, January 2, so if you need more fun things to do over break, check out our December GoList, free December fun, and our daily Event Calendar.

Hanukkah Celebrations and Menorah Lightings for NYC Families

New York City knows how to celebrate the holidays, and Hanukkah is no different. The Festival of Lights arrives early in 2017, with the first night on Tuesday, December 12. But have no fear: we've rounded up nearly two dozen ways to celebrate this wonderful Jewish holiday, and most of them are free.

Some cool new and newish events this year! There's the first-ever Menorah on the High Line, and the Chabad of DUMBO has transformed its yearly Hanukkah celebration into Fire and Ice at Jane's Carousel. We also have the annual mainstays, from the World's Largest Hanukkah Menorah Lighting, to Chanukah on Ice and Hanukkah Family Day at the Jewish Museum

A Cozy Kid-Friendly Bookshop Arrives in Kew Gardens, Queens

Queens has never been short on fun adventures, places to discover, and educational havens… but it does lack in one area: bookstores. After titan Barnes and Noble vacated the entire borough, only a handful of brave little bookshops remain. so most children's story hours take place at the local library.

Vina Castillo, Natalie Noboa, and Holly Nikodem saw the shockingly low number of general interest bookstores in Queens, and these ingenious book lovers set out to create an independent reading refuge for their community.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign supported by the community, Kew & Willow Books opened its doors in October 2017, offering adults and kids alike a beacon of book hope.

The Most Spectacular Holiday Light Displays in NYC

Every year it seems holiday light installations in New York City get more elaborate, making a visit to the top displays a must-do seasonal activity. These days there are even tour buses that will take you to some of the neighborhoods decked out for the season.

We've rounded up some of the best holiday displays in NYC. Some of these attractions are in the more far-flung stretches of the city such as Pelham Gardens in the Bronx, Dyker Heights in Brooklyn and Jamaica Estates in Queens, and one spot on Staten Island. All are definitely worth the trip. We can vouch for it!

So start your own holiday tradition this year by checking out these spectacular sights when dusk hits. Find more seasonal fun, including more holiday lights, such as Midtown's holiday store windows, in our NYC Holiday Fun Guide.

Drop-in Play Spaces for Kids in NYC That Cost $12 or Less

New York City is packed with fun indoor play spaces to keep kids active all year. Unfortunately, the average price at these parental lifesavers keeps creeping up. Admission often runs $20 to $25 per child for a single drop-in. Pricey fees or membership commitments can quickly ruin your plans for a quick escape from the staying-in doldrums.

Of course, we're here to help. We've rounded up a dozen options for drop-in play—all for under $12 a visit, and a few that cost significantly less!

Read on for open play sessions that won’t break the bank in nearly all five boroughs, and find more indoor fun spots in our local NYC guide, or at-home boredom buster games and crafts for those days when you really want to pinch a penny.

Ho, Ho, Smile! Best Places to Take Pictures with Santa in NYC

Santa Claus is coming to town, and he’s not camera shy. New York City parents have a host of options for posing with Santa, from the popular Santaland at Macy's to more casual events, where you can take your own festive photos of the kids and Jolly Old St. Nick.

We’ve rounded up nearly dozen of our favorites from across the five boroughs, including options for those who want to splurge, bring their pets, or just get it over with, as well as those with special needs. With so many alternatives, chances are, wherever you are, your kids won’t be far from Santa.

Find more seasonal fun, including a Santa brunch or tea, in our NYC Holiday Guide.

25 Free Holiday Events for Families and Kids in NYC

It's the most wonderful time of the year and New York City is gearing up for a magical holiday season. There's just something about the sheer delight and excitement in kids' faces that can make even dodging tourists and taxis fun.

While there's no shortage of things to do around the holidays in the Big Apple—annual train displays have begun and we're looking forward to exciting holiday events, cozy brunches with Santa, spectacular Nutcracker productions, and more—we know FREE fun can often be the best kind, especially with kids in tow. So we've rounded up 25 holiday activities for the family to enjoy gratis now through New Year's Eve. Consider it our holiday gift to you. For more seasonal fun, be sure to check out our Holiday Guide.

10 Things to Do on Thanksgiving Day with NYC Kids

Other than the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, is there really anything else New York City can offer on the holiday? Of course! We found 10 fun ways to spend the day with your kids that don't involve eating turkey or watching giant balloons. And by 10 events, we mean almost 20, as you'll see below. Many of these events are FREE, and some of them occur only this year. Some, like Ai Weiwei's Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, are both free and here only in 2017.  

Read on for our picks, from zoos to bowling alleys, or movies, and even an exhibit dedicated to Downton Abbey. Got a car? Loads of events right outside New York City are open on Thanksgiving. See our guide to 10 picture-perfect holiday day-trips near NYC

Oh, also: A Happy Thanksgiving to your family from all of the parents at Mommy Poppins NYC. Here's to a happy holiday season

Find more Thanksgiving weekend events in our Event Calendar and November GoList.

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