Long Island City

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.

11 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. Why not let them bounce off someone else’s walls for a change, right? Plus, it takes concentration, discipline, and strength, all qualities we're happy to expose them to.

New York City boasts more than half a dozen indoor boulders, at least one in almost every borough, and more are due to open in 2018. 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.

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.

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 or even practicing their hockey or figure skating moves. Many offer birthday party options, skating lessons, and rentals and most are open in summer if you ever need to cool down.

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.

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 are aplenty, and indoor play spaces with open play hours are strong in number: In fact, it has more than Manhattan and is gaining on Brooklyn.

We found 15+ 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.

LIC Welcomes Playday, an Art Center for Kid Creators

Once just a neighborhood of sprawling factories and warehouses, Long Island City, Queens, has transformed into a hot spot for young professionals and families. New things seem to open every day. We love the outdoor thrills at Gantry Plaza State Park and the rest of the waterfront to indoor romps at the Noguchi Museum and play spaces like City Owlets.  

But now there's a brand-new, distinctly unique creative environment in LIC: Playday. Is it an education center? Is it an art school? Is it a kids' crafting club? It’s all those things and more.

Find Free Classes for Kids at NYC Stores and Public Spaces

We'll just say it: Raising a kid is expensive. Weekend classes, summer camp, after-school care, and dance and music lessons can add up. According to the 2016 Backpack Index, parents spend an average of $739 a year on average per child on extracurricular activities. And let’s face it New Yorkers, we’re most likely paying much more than that.

That’s why we’ve rounded up more than a dozen FREE classes that run year-round in NYC to lighten the financial load. All the classes listed here are free within free-to-access stores and public places, but there are also plenty of free and low-cost activities inside of NYC museums and gardens that have monthly-memberships. Don't forget that your IDNYC card will give you free or discounted access to many of these cultural institutions.

Peruse our Free in NYC Guide for more budget-friendly family fun.

Play Cafes: Shops in Brooklyn and Queens with Kid Play Spaces

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

Best NYC Holiday Shows for Kids: Elf, Charlie Brown, and More

'Tis the season to get the gang all dressed up to see some holiday shows. While there are plenty of spectacles to splurge on like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and all those Nutcrackers, if you've got young children you may not want to blow all of your bucks on theater tickets.

That's why our roundup includes a range of productions, from inexpensive, low-key offerings perfect for fidgety preschoolers, to extravaganzas that are worth the investment. Bonus: We've got the scoop on how to save money on a few of the higher-priced offerings.

From live stage adaptations of holiday classics such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the movie Elf, to tot-friendly fairy tales and Hanukkah tales, to amazing magic tricks, here are our top 14 holiday shows for NYC families.

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