Long Island City

22 Best Water Playgrounds and Sprinklers for Kids in NYC

When we were growing up, New York City playgrounds had sprinklers. Now parks and playgrounds across the five boroughs possess "water features"—fountains, geysers, rivers, pumps, and beautiful spraying statues. Kids just love them, and we parents prefer these newfangled playgrounds because they're pretty and cool, and make us feel as if our exorbitant NYC housing costs are justified.

As the city's sprinkler season gets into gear, it's good to know where to find the wildest and wettest playgrounds around. There are hundreds of water features in NYC parks, and we've highlighted some favorites by borough: the best in Brooklyn, best of Queens, and best of the Bronx. Some are cooler (literally and figuratively) than others, and more amazing ones seem to open every year. When we first published this article in 2008, we had five favorite splashing spots. Now we're up to 22 fancy playgrounds where kids can get wet in NYC. See if your favorites made our list.

Mini Land Play Gives Long Island City Tots a New Indoor Hot Spot

Like most New York City parents, I’m always on the lookout for new indoor play spaces to occupy my active kid when the weather isn't great. So when I find a unique play area in a cool neighborhood that doesn’t eat up my entire entertainment budget for the month, I feel like an explorer who’s made a groundbreaking discovery. Mini Land Play in Long Island City, Queens is exactly this kind of rare find: a crazy-fun indoor playground with toddler-friendly rides that is only $12 for unlimited play during the week.

Read on to find out how you can discover this new neighborhood gem for yourself.

16 Great Parks and Playgrounds for NYC Kids' Birthdays

Savvy DIYers know that during the warmer months, New York City's parks make a stunning (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.

NYC's Best Playgrounds: 15 Parks Worthy of a Subway Schlep

Playgrounds may be as much a part of childhood as potty training and the tooth fairy, but to city families, finding a go-to playground is a real sanity saver. When you live in tiny apartments, the neighborhood park is akin to a backyard, and while New Yorkers are lucky to have many awesome local play spots, some are a cut above the rest.

These spots offer plenty of space to romp and enough outdoor entertainment to make them worth a schlep on the subway. Without further ado, read on for 15 of the city's best playgrounds—our NYC playground hall of fame.

Queens Party Places: 23 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.

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.

Court 16 Opens Kid-Friendly Tennis Spot in Long Island City

When it comes to family-friendly amenities, Long Island City is experiencing a boom. From inventive play spaces to sprawling parks and cool tot spots, there's plenty to see and do, including a brand-new tennis facility, Court 16.

Four years after opening its flagship location in Gowanus, Brooklyn, Court 16 has opened a new indoor tennis complex geared toward the kids who are rapidly taking over this neighborhood's sidewalks. With nine tennis courts of varying kid-friendly sizes, there's something for tennis players of all ages at this new spot.

Best Family-Friendly Restaurants in Long Island City, Queens

Long Island City is a bustling, young, up-and-coming NYC neighborhood, with plenty of growing families and loads of kid-friendly restaurants. Whether you're hitting a destination playground, having a culturally rich excursion, or going heavy in the arts-and-crafts department, finding a spot to eat is easier than you think. You'll find everything from Thai to Italian, diners to fancy artisanal food, plus great dessert spots.

Since the area is quite spread out, we've also added a pair of restaurants near two of LIC's more out-of-the-way attractions: the Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park.

13 Tween and Teen Birthday Spots for NYC Kids

If you're getting eye rolls just uttering the words "bounce house" to your New York City tween or teen when birthday-party talk comes up, we've found 13 fresh party ideas at venues new and old, all of which are sure to be a hit with the guest of honor and his or her (equally judgmental) friends. With party packages this cool, it's a shame to celebrate but once a year.

Find more awesome kids' birthday ideas in our jam-packed NYC Party Guide.

7 New Summer Camps for NYC Kids in 2018

There may be snowflakes a flying, but it's officially summer camp searching season in New York City. While the metro area and surrounding suburbs don't lack for choices, there's always something new on the horizon for our kids!

In 2018, we've found a number of new summer camps, from cooking to outdoor nature and even coding and science. Without further ado, we present seven new this year camps for city kids.

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