Long Island City

Queens Party Places: 33 Top Spots for Kids' Birthdays

We've profiled cool NYC party places in the past, but there are so many awesome birthday spots in good old Queens alone that it deserves a post of its own.

These Queens birthday party places cater to all kinds of kids, from active to artsy to animal lovers. As a Queens mom with two children, I've been to many of these spots personally. You can find additional birthday inspiration in our NYC Party Guide.

16 Great Parks and Playgrounds for NYC Kids' Birthdays

Savvy DIY parents know that during the warmer months, New York City's parks make a fun (and inexpensive) backdrop for a birthday bash. Granted, this type of party requires more work than booking one of those all-inclusive packages, but you get to control most of the details, including the cost (though sadly, not the weather).

Find more party spots in our NYC Birthday Guide, including inexpensive room rentals for when bad weather threatens the fun.

19 Best Family Hotels in New York City With Perks for Kids

As a born and bred New Yorker who is raising children here myself, my out-of-town friends always ask my advice when planning their NYC family vacation. They want to know everything: the best things to do, places to eat, museums to explore and, perhaps most important, where to stay.

New York City is, of course, loaded with hotels, many of which are kid-friendly. And while it's nice to have options, there are so many it can feel overwhelming. That's why we've compiled this list of 19 NYC hotels for families based on a combination of personal experience, trusted recommendations from friends, and great reputations. These hotels offer kid-friendly amenities such as pools, free strollers, and even bunk beds. A number of our choices are located right next to top kid attractions; some are more budget-friendly and others a splurge.

Our picks aren't all in Midtown Manhattan. We included places to stay with kids in Lower Manhattan, the Upper West Side, and Upper East Side, and even hotels that are in hot neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens.

Crafts for Kids in Queens: 9 Awesome Drop-in Art Spots for Families

Despite NYC's long list of great indoor play options, sometimes kids want to do more than just run and jump around. An art project is a great way to spend a winter or spring afternoon, when the usual roster of play spaces, kiddie gyms and museums is feeling a bit tired. Get busy at a local drop-in art studio to pass some indoor time. Kids can get their hands dirty doing pottery, painting, collage and more. 

For drop-in art studios and kids' craft spots, Queens is a worthy rival to Brooklyn and Manhattan. From museums with regular family art programs to places to paint plaster to FREE workshops at the Queens Library, here are nine spots where kids of all ages can flex their creative muscles. 

12 Favorite Baby and Toddler Classes in Queens

Searching for an engaging baby and me class in Queens to take with your infant, crawler, or toddler? This diverse and ever-changing NYC borough offers up plenty of options for the littlest ones including music, art, movement, and even science. 

We've rounded up a dozen of the most popular and unique baby and toddler classes in Queens, including an outdoor nature program and an infant movement session. If you call Queens home, check out these classes, and find one that works best for you (or your caretaker) and your child. And don't forget to check out the other drop-in play spaces in this family-friendly borough.

Need more inspiration? Check out our NYC Baby Guide or directory of classes across NYC.

Get Out and Drop In! Best Queens Play Spaces and Gyms for Kids

From Queens' formerly industrial waterfront to deep in the borough, family-friendly spots and amenities are on the upswing. There are wide-open spaces to run with abandon, playgrounds aplenty, and indoor play spaces with open play hours are strong in number: In fact, Queens has more indoor play zones than Manhattan and is gaining on Brooklyn.

We found 20+ indoor romping locations in the borough that offer drop-in sessions open to the public (no membership required). Bonus: All of these spots host birthday parties, too, and most are much more affordable than their Manhattan competitors.

12 Rock Climbing Walls for Kids in New York City

Indoor rock climbing is a great way for kids to get some needed activity in the dead of winter or year-round. Let them bounce off someone else’s walls for a change! The sport takes concentration, discipline, and strength, all qualities we're happy to expose them to.

New York City boasts more than half a dozen indoor bouldering and rock-climbing spots, at least one in almost every borough, and more are due to open in 2019. A couple of these are only open during the summer months, but most are open year round. The best part? Kids tend to love the activity and it isn't too pricey. Try out a drop-in program, or sign up for one of the many after-school classes or break camps offered at the rock-climbing facilities profiled below.

Find more active fun in our Kids' Sports Centers Guide.

Play Cafes in Brooklyn and Queens: Play Spaces for Kids, Coffee for Grownups

If you're looking for a new spot to grab your morning coffee or merely want to enjoy brunch in peace, these kid-friendly play cafes 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.

Indoor Ice Skating Rinks in New York City for Every Season

As much as we love ice skating outside, sometimes it's just too cold, hot, or rainy for New York City's seasonal outdoor rinks. Indoor alternatives let NYC kids skate year-round. Some in-the-know parents with young skate enthusiasts tell me they prefer indoor rinks because the quality of the ice is better, making for a smoother glide, which is especially helpful for newbies.

Here are six NYC indoor ice skating rinks to check out, whether your kid is just starting out on the ice or is practicing their hockey or figure skating moves. Many offer birthday party options, skating lessons, and rentals—plus, most are open in summer if you ever need to cool down.

11 New Summer Camps for NYC Kids in 2019

Seasoned New York City parents know that summer camp search season starts when snow is on the ground and summer seems like a distant memory. Still, every year, I tend to put off summer planning until the February mid-winter school break shocks me into action.

Fortunately, the NYC area and surrounding suburbs offer tons of summer camp choices, from cooking to coding, from science to sports, and everything in between. And because NYC is always changing, there are always new camps opening. We've found a number of new summer camps for 2019, including some new locations for old favorites. Summer break will be here before you know it!

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