Sunnyside & Woodside Kids' Stores: Best Toy Shops, Children's Boutiques & Thrift Stores

We continue our month-long focus on Sunnyside and Woodside with a look at the best stores for kids in the area. While you'll find lots of big-name national chains like Deals, Game Stop and crafts mecca Michaels, there are cute, small ma-and-pa shops, too, like children's clothing and toy boutique Tiny You, 99-cent spots stocked with inexpensive party favors and stocking stuffers, and a bunch of thrift shops that are fun to dig through.

The main shopping drags are Queens Boulevard, which turns into Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, as well as Skillman and Greenpoint Avenues. In addition to our family shopping picks there are lots of wonderful old-world butchers and international food markets, so keep an eye out for those, too, if you want to cross items off your grocery list at the same time. Here are our top nine kids' stores in Sunnyside and Woodside.

Favorite Family Restaurants in Queens

As a proud Queens native, I'm always looking for new ways to encourage others (including my own family) to explore my home borough. And since it's famous for being culturally diverse, a do-it-yourself food tour is a great way to get a taste of all the different neighborhoods.

Queens boasts some of the best kid-friendly restaurants in New York City—and I'm not just saying that because I was raised here. You can introduce your children to a wide variety of authentic cuisine at reasonable prices, and the portions are so big you always end up with leftovers to take home. Plus there are off-the-beaten path gems that have incredible kid appeal, like coffee house Waltz-Astoria and its family concerts and old New York soda fountains Eddie's Sweet Shop and Jahn's.

I thought about all of the places I've eaten in Queens over the years and came up with my personal list of the top ten restaurants, bakeries and ice cream parlors that are all worth schlepping the kids to, even if you live in another borough. See if your favorites made the cut and feel free to share your additions in the comments as I know there are many, many more.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Latino Culture All Year Long

The problem with giving various groups a designated month—Black History Month, Women's History Month, Gay Pride Month, etc.—is that after 30 or so days the topic is unceremoniously dropped and not mentioned until the next year. Well, we're not going to fall into that trap. While National Hispanic Heritage Month officially runs from September 15 to October 15, there are lots of ways to celebrate Hispanic culture all year round in New York City. (Not surprising since, according to the most recent census report, more than 2 million people of Hispanic descent live in the Big Apple!) Here are some of our favorite places to explore and learn about Latino culture with kids in NYC during National Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond.

Sunnyside Arts Cooperative Offers Cool Classes For Little Queens Kids

As of 2012, it seems like the cooperative is no more. However, Sunnyside Ballet has moved to a new larger space.

Here in Sunnyside, Queens, just steps away from the 40th Street-Lowery Street stop on the 7 train, is a lovely little studio for kids' dance and theater classes. The name of the Sunnyside Arts Cooperative says it all: It was launched in June 2009 by several moms, all working arts professionals, who wanted to share their expertise with neighborhood families.

Their vision is paying off. One of the founders, Catherine Lutton Espinosa—a former performer with the Martha Graham Dance Company who teaches creative movement and is also studying for her master's in early childhood development at Hunter—says that not only the kids are learning, the moms are, too.

Read on for an inside look at this unique community spot.


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