Flushing

Best Summer Festivals for NYC Kids This August

Many families flee the city in August for end-of-summer vacations, but it's actually one of my favorite months to be in NYC. With summer staples like swimming, play fountains, and Governors Island, plus hundreds of free summer activities and only-in-August favorites like Summer Streets and Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, there's plenty to do if you stick around.

So we've rounded up a dozen FREE family-friendly festivals happening throughout the Big Apple in August to help you get the most out of NYC with kids during the last month of summer.

Best Children's Museums for Families to Visit in New York City

New York City doesn't lack for world-class museums and cultural institutions. While I've been to The Met more times than I can count (and still haven't seen it all) and can while away an afternoon at The Whitney no problem, sometimes my kids need something with a little more action.

That's where New York City's many family-friendly children's museums come in. We've rounded up a dozen of our favorites, ranging from totally interactive playspaces to spots for making art, studying history, and much more. All of NYC's kid museums provide plenty of fun things to do, and are great indoor activities whether you're beating the summer heat or escaping winter's chill.

Best NYC Playgrounds for Children with Special Needs

There's certainly no shortage of wonderful playgrounds and parks in New York City. But when you add a child with special needs into the mix, the selection of truly great playgrounds suddenly seems much smaller. As a mom of of a special needs child, I've explored quite a few of the city's playgrounds in search of the ones with the best play-for-all features and equipment.

Happily, many NYC playgrounds meet or exceed the Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and there are literally hundreds of special needs-friendly playgrounds throughout NYC. Some also include accessible JennSwings, those big plastic swings that offer full-body positioning support for kids up to 125 pounds. But the adaptive swing doesn't always appeal to my son, so there need to be other attractions for a playground to be cool in his book.

I'm spotlighting 17 playgrounds that I feel truly are the best. Not only are they accessible (half the battle), they're fun for all ages, with and without special needs. Grab some sunblock, towels, sand toys, and running shoes and get exploring: Your kids will thank you for it!

Best Free NYC Swimming Pools for Toddlers and Kids

It's summertime and the livin' is easy—beaches, sprinklers, and awesome days at the playground. Oh the hard life of a New York City kid. And the NYC Parks Department is poised to open its outdoor pools on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, the day after public schools let out.

We've rounded up our picks for the best free pools in the city. These are all places we've visited personally, or have come highly recommended by families we know. The city hosts more than 50 outdoor pools this summer, so it will be hard not to find one you like. Time to get swimming!

Beyond Macy's: (Mostly) Free Fireworks Across NYC This Summer

There's no denying that when it comes to sparklers, Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks are the main event in New York City. But that's certainly not the only explosive display in town this season. Some of these fireworks honor our nation's birthday, others just celebrate summer in the city, from ball games to concerts in parks city wide.

Read on for all the places and dates when you and the kids can catch a fireworks show in New York City—besides the East River on the Fourth of July.

Top 35 Things to Do in Flushing, Queens with Kids

The Flushing neighborhood of Queens has a bustling commercial center along Main Street filled with a wide variety of restaurants, chain stores, and culture spots like Flushing Town Hall. The north-central nabe is particularly well-known for its Chinatown section around Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, where you'll find lots of dim sum eateries, specialty shops, and the borough's annual Lunar New Year Parade.

But Flushing, like all of Queens, is a true melting pot with residents and businesses from a multitude of diverse backgrounds. It's also home to many lovely landmarked buildings built in different eras and architectural styles. You can walk through history at the 17th-century John Bowne House, the Victorian Voelker Orth Museum, and iconic relics from two 20th-century World's Fairs held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

We've rounded up our top 35 family-friendly things to do in Flushing, Queens, including our favorites spots to play, eat, explore, and experience with kids. We're also highlighting the major family attractions in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, such as the New York Hall of ScienceQueens Museum, and Citi Field. 

Feast Your Way Through the Best Food at the Queens Night Market

Outdoor food markets and indoor food halls seem to be popping up everywhere in NYC, but the Queens International Night Market is different from others. Fashioned after night markets in Asia, it focuses on the incredible diversity of global flavors that have been making Queens famous as one of the best places to eat in the world.

I’m surprised how many people don’t know about this foodie market. It’s one of my favorite things! The event is family-friendly and even pet-friendly. There’s live entertainment, games, and food stalls representing 80 different countries. Best of all? It's inexpensive. It truly is like traveling the world in one night, although it’d be hard to taste everything in one evening.

Read on for details on the 2018 lineup for this seasonal Flushing Meadows Corona Park food festival.

NYC Carousels: 13 City Merry-Go-Rounds To Spin You Around

There's something wonderfully nostalgic about kids getting a thrill from a ride on a carousel. It's the simplest of amusement park attractions, and there are more than a dozen merry-go-rounds in New York City alone. It's easy to stumble upon them on your next park outing.

Each city carousel offers a unique spin on this traditional kiddie ride, from harbor views to a ride in a iridescent fish. With spring in full swing, it's a great time to take your first ride of the season, so we've rounded up the merry-go-rounds in all five boroughs.

Flushing's Peek-a-BooO Play Area Brings Super-Sized Kid Fun

Kids in New York City are used to making the most out of small spaces, so when you find a wide open place where they can roam free, it’s a real treat. At over 6,000 square feet, Flushing’s new play space, Peek-a-booO, is a super-sized delight. And it’s not just huge, it’s filled with modern, bright, fun climbing equipment, ball pits, interactive games, toys, and so much more!

Read on to find out all the details about this massive new Queens indoor play area.

Best Destination Sandboxes at Local Parks for NYC Kids

There's no denying it—kids love diving into a sandbox, running their shovels and hands through the grains of sand, dumping a full bucket over and generally getting their hands dirty.

Though NYC parents might get grossed out at the thought of what could be lurking in our uncovered, urban sandboxes, it's hard to forbid preschoolers one of their most beloved sensory experiences. So pull up a bench (and your cup of coffee; you'll be here a while!), and check out these eight toddler-tested, mom-approved NYC sandboxes. We've done our best to find the cleanest ones across the city. Besides, you can always wash their hands in the nearby sprinklers or park bathrooms when you're finally able to get them out.

And hey, you don't have to hoof it out to the local beach to reach this sand, which just means more time for other NYC kid activities. Find more destination playgrounds in our NYC Parks & Playgrounds Guide.

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