Long Island City

18 Best New NYC Family Destinations That Opened in 2018

City kids are a lucky bunch. The past year saw a huge crop of new kid-friendly destinations popping up throughout the five boroughs. From a major new exhibit at the New York Aquarium to overhauled and brand new playgrounds and even a whole park, plus indoor places to shop, romp, and create, cool new exhibits, exhibitions, and a brand new museum, our kids have got it made. We're just lucky they let us come along for the ride!

Read on on for our top 18 new kid-friendly destinations in New York City that opened in 2018. If you've already conquered these, see what other adventures await on our list of 100 kid-friendly things to do in NYC before your kids grow up.

19 Indoor Party Spots with Mega Playgrounds for NYC Kids' Birthdays

For parents of winter babies, we feel your pain when it comes to birthday party options. While summer baby parents have both indoor and outdoor options (the park! the pool!), those of us with children born in colder months (or even fall and early spring), need to find a space where kids can run off all that pizza-and-cake energy. Enter: mega play spaces.

From bounce houses and trampolines to arcade-packed game spaces, these wide-open spaces give all pint-sized guests a chance to run free. Check out our top picks below—and start booking now.

Four New Indoor Play Spaces to Try This Season in NYC

You’re faced with another chilly, dreary, rainy day and your kids are climbing the apartment walls. You’ve done all of the fun seasonal activities and the playgrounds are out of the question. That's when NYC's indoor play spaces can be real lifesavers. We're always on the hunt for the latest and greatest indoor play spaces, and a handful of new spots have opened up this year that are definitely worth the trip. Pack your socks, because here's the scoop on four new spots where the kids can get all of their energy out—and you can regain your sanity (and even have a cup of coffee).

Awesome Party Places for NYC Kids

New York isn't exactly a cookie-cutter city, so it may not come as a surprise that there are kids' party places for just about every interest under the sun. Sports fanatics can invite guests to hit an indoor ice skating rink or a high-tech golf driving range, while little athletes can celebrate with trampolines and obstacle courses in state-of-the-art gyms. Imaginative birthday boys and girls can mark the day with a fairytale-inspired fantasy ballet party, while tech lovers can throw LEGO- or Minecraft-themed bashes. There are even animal encounters for underwater enthusiasts and mobile pizza parlors for fun-loving foodies.

If you're on the hunt for a venue for your own one-of-a-kind kid, take a look at these awesome spots with packages for tots, tweens, and teens (plus, plenty of help from experienced party pros). For even more ideas, take a look at the New York City Party Guide, or browse our directory for party places, entertainers, and even party supplies.

Free Outdoor Kids Music Concerts in NYC This Summer

What's better than a spectacular, outdoor, family-friendly, FREE music performance? A whole series of free outdoor concerts for kids! We've already told you about the great concerts in June for NYC kids, and now we're rounding up all the free concerts in July and August, to keep the kids grooving all summer.

There are free concert series for kids in parks, playgrounds, piers and plazas across the five boroughs, so scroll, click, and set reminders with your favorites. With top family bands playing annual series like Madison Square Kids and SummerStage Family Workshops, you're sure to find something the whole family can shake a tail feather to. 

For even more free family fun, see our jam-packed Summer Guide and our roundup of 100 free things to do with kids in NYC this summer.

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.

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.

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