Astoria

30 Favorite Places to Have Fun Indoors in New York City

[UPDATED: JANUARY 7, 2013]

We recently asked readers to recommend some of their favorite places for families in New York City. This week we'll be posting some round-ups that include your favorite places and ours. We've already posted 20 favorite family-friendly restaurants and now we're sharing 30 fun spots for indoor play when the weather is too cold, hot or rainy. Make this your to-do list for the winter and you're guaranteed to keep busy and entertained, no matter how brutal the weather gets.

Got a favorite place that didn't make the list? Please add it to the comments below—we'd love to hear additional suggestions!

The Best Family-Friendly Bars in New York City

Just because you have kids, doesn't mean you can't enjoy going out for a beer once in a while. And taking the kids along is fine as long as you choose your watering holes wisely. Bringing your kids to bars is a great way to hang out as a family, while you get to go out and have some fun, too. In order to keep the other patrons happy as well, these are some good general guidlines: arrive early, stick to bars with ample space (outdoor if possible) and bars that welcome kids with kid-friendly food.

If you're game for taking the kids to a family-friendly bar, here are the best ones to try:

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Don't Miss: Bhutanese Dancing Monks on NYC Streets

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Sometimes the streets of NYC can be the most magical place in the world. This will become true for the next nine days when Bhutanese ritual dancers will be appearing throughout the city every day to perform their mesmerizing ancient Tantric Buddhist demon subjugation dance, called Cham. The elaborate costumes of the 13 monks who will be performing are enough to make this event spectacular, but the performance, a kind of danced yoga, makes this a once in a lifetime occurrence.

Bhutan is a tiny, secretive and isolated kingdom in the Himalayas, with very little outside influence and extremely limited tourism is allowed, making the opportunity to see the Bhutanese monks dancing on the streets of our city, for free, an absolutely not to be missed opportunity.

Best Family Friendly Outdoor Bars in New York

It's officially the last weekend of summer and Labor Day Weekend traditionally means barbecuing with friends. While I don't have a place to barbecue, I'm still in the mood to hang out outdoors and drink some beers with friends, while my kids play nearby. So I gathered up some of the best places to get that same backyard barbecue feeling at one of NYC's outdoor family friendly bars, where you can hang out outdoors with some friends, some beer and chow while our kids hopefully play contentedly in the child-friendly space available.

Here are the best family-friendly outdoor bars in NYC to share a beer with kids (well, don't share the beer with your kids, but you know what I mean):

Things to Do in Astoria and Down Under The Triborough

The incredible popularity of DUMBO has created this new love for New Yorkers and that is hanging out in the magical and somewhat creepy space that is created under our massive bridges. If you are one of these LOSUBs (lovers of spaces under bridges), and getting tired of loitering under the various Brooklyn crossings, I have a new one for you that won't disappoint - the Triborough. Head to this neighborhood of Queens for a great day of water fun, ethnic eats, a kid-friendly beer garden, and maybe even a fun Museum stop.

Free Outdoor Movies For Kids

New York City has gone nuts for outdoor movies in recent years and with good reason, there's something magical about lying back on a picnic blanket and watching your favorite movie with hundreds of other New Yorkers.

Outdoor films are also the best way for grown ups to go see kid movies because you can just enjoy being out on a nice summer evening even if you aren't that into the movie. And, depending on your kids, it can be a great way to get out to see a grown up movie without spending the college savings on a sitter, as many kids will enjoy the classic films frequently shown or will just enjoy being out at night enough to sit (or sleep) through it.  Films begin at dusk which is generally at around 8:30 and many of these series include other entertainment.

Here's a rundown of the best free outdoor movies for kids in NYC this summer:

Music for Aardvarks Rocks

 

Last week's post about Little Maestros got a bunch of interesting comments which shows how individual choosing classes for your child can be. Everybody has their particular likes and dislikes, another reason to be thankful we live in NYC where there are so many choices that we can find classes that suit our own tastes. My personal favorite for music classes is Music for Aardvarks. I just love David Weinstone's songs which are fun and groovy for kids and adults. The quirky lyrics and song subjects really relate so well to our lives here as city kids and their grown-ups. Classic songs like the "Taxi" song, "City Kid" and "Subway" celebrate the experiences of growing up in an urban environment, but I also love songs like "Lollipop Doc":

"I said okey dokey you know best 'cuz you're the doc but before I go, I'd like to know, hey, where's my lollipop?"

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