Astoria

Queens Welcomes New Fun Factory Okabaloo for NYC Kids

Astoria and Long Island City have seen a tremendous leap in child development venues over the past five years, including play spaces and sports centers. Yay! But even so, there are a few nooks and crannies of these two Queens neighborhoods that are still activity deserts, in need of family-friendly fun.

Nestled on the border of these two neighborhoods is Okabaloo, a new child-enrichment center and play space that brings art, music, and discovery to the neighborhood. Read on to find everything you need to know before you head over.

Prince Tea House Arrives in Astoria for Fancy Family Eats

For the past few years, Astoria has been at the forefront of culinary trends. You can eat around the world, from Columbia and Hawaii to Egypt and Germany. But there are a few things that Astoria still hasn’t pegged yet – really good pizza, really good Chinese food, and a really good tea spot. You can finally at least cross that last one off the list.

Prince Tea House soft-opened its doors on Steinway Street in September 2017 and officially took off in November. My family and I can’t say no to teatime and had to pay a visit on a perfectly chilly and dreary afternoon.

Read on hear about our experience and what you need to know before you go with the kids.

Find a Baby CPR Class for Parents and Caregivers in NYC

As a parent, you hope you’ll never need to use CPR or first aid. But the scary truth is that if your baby chokes, or suffers a trauma like drowning or an electrical shock that knocks him unconscious, you'll want to know what to do, rather than rely on the availability of a knowledgeable stranger while you wait for the ambulance. 

Have we freaked you out yet? The good news is NYC boasts plenty of infant CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and first-aid classes and refreshers for parents and caregivers, such as grandparents and nannies, where life-saving skills are taught and practiced until you feel as prepared as possible. So read on for our top picks on CPR and first-aid classes in the city.

Also check out our list of babyproofing companies around the metro area, as well as our Baby & Pregnancy Guide for more essential NYC parenting tips.

Eat Around the World in Astoria at Kid-Friendly Restaurants

New York City has always been called a melting pot, drawing immigrants from diverse backgrounds. But beyond the name, few people are aware that the most diverse part of the world lives in one particular borough: Queens! More languages are spoken in Queens than ANYWHERE else. People from around the world are attracted to Queens and have been growing their families here for generations. And everyone knows—with culture and language, comes food.

I asked my fellow Astoria moms to name their favorite eats and I received over 50 responses! With their help, I compiled this list of tried-and-true establishments that have friendly service, approachable menus for picky eaters and kid-friendly atmospheres.  

Welcome to “Eat Around the World in Astoria,” one of Queens’ most unique hodgepodge neighborhoods, with an extraordinary range of restaurants to please everyone.

Musical Theater Classes Where NYC Kids Sing, Dance, and Act

We love musical theater in our family and feel lucky we live just a few subway stops from the Great White Way. But in New York City, kids can do more than just watch a show—they can become budding Broadway babies.

New York City offers a slew of musical theater classes for children than run practically from birth through high school. We could never cover every one of these programs in one post, but we have rounded up our favorites, with options in all five boroughs.

Find more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

Much-Awaited Jim Henson Exhibit to Open This Summer at MoMI

The wait is over for Muppets fans! The long-anticipated permanent exhibit showcasing the late Jim Henson and his beloved characters will open in July at The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

A successful Kickstarter campaign, along with generous donors, including Henson family members, will bring it to fruition at last. Although the exhibit offers something for everyone—nearly 300 artifacts—kids will probably be most excited about the 47 original Muppets, which include Kermit, Miss Piggy, Big Bird, Elmo, and other favorites. Other material on display at MoMI, including sketches, storyboards, scripts and costumes, will highlight the process Henson followed to bring his visions to life.

12 Mother’s Day Brunch Spots in Queens

Just as its population is diverse, so are options for Mother’s Day brunch in Queens. It’s mom's special day, and she'll want to relax with family, sip a mimosa and eat great food knowing that spills won't be met with rolling eyes. So we’ve curated this family-friendly list of brunch options in the borough, offering inventive twists on traditional favorites. Don’t worry, omelets and French toast still are represented.

Check out our suggestions for how to spend the rest of your 2017 Mother's Day in NYC, or peruse Brooklyn or Manhattan brunch options if you're thinking of hopping boroughs.

The Geekery HQ: A Board Game Treasure Trove in Queens

In 2017, nerd = cool. Game boards and tabletop gaming seem to be at an all-time high. When I was a young adult, I would have done anything to have a place like The Geekery HQ in my neighborhood. Where was it in 1997?  Combining games, communal play and collectibles, The Geekery HQ in Astoria is a haven for tweens and teens with a penchant for Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), Magic the Gathering (MTG) and all things geeky.

10 New Kids' Birthday Party Spots Around NYC

I'm always looking for birthday party ideas that don't involve a potential slideshow of my Pinterest fails, especially for my 9-year-old who is blossoming into a mini Martha Stewart. Luckily, NYC seems to open new party spots monthly for the kids.

We've rounded up a sampling of some of the top new locations around the city that are offering kid party packages or room rentals, including a rock climbing spot and cool preschool-age play spaces.

Need further inspiration to kick that birthday fatigue to the curb? Check out our NYC Birthday Party Guide, or peruse these special occasion options, from dine-in movie theaters and fancy high tea to museum sleepovers.

So read on for a list of great birthday party venues that might just save your couch, the dog, the cat, your relationship with your downstairs neighbor, and your sanity!

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