Staten Island

Register for Free Swimming Lessons for NYC Kids

The New York City Parks Department offers FREE aquatic programs for children under 18 all year round, as well as adults, but you have to apply through an online lottery for each session. Spring swimming lessons are on the horizon, and the lottery for registration opens Monday, March 12, 2018 at noon through Monday, March 19, 2018 at 11:59pm.

The spring swim lessons will take place Monday, March 26, 2018 through Thursday, June 7, 2018.

Read on for the details on where to swim for free, or check our directory of paid kid swim classes, and mommy-and-me swim lessons for babies and toddlers, including those specifically in Brooklyn and in Queens.

Spring Break Camps for NYC Kids This April Vacation

School holidays seem to pile up this time of the year. You've just gotten back into your routine following February break and it's already time to plan for spring break, which runs from Friday, March 30 through Friday, April 6 for public school kids in 2018.

Whether your kid wants to spend his or her break in the arts or honing sports skills, is obsessed with all things STEM, or all of the the above, New York City seemingly has a camp for every interest. In fact, we've rounded up more than two dozen NYC camps across the five boroughs that are open for spring break and many other school holidays.

Check out our Summer Camp Guide if you're planning for summer's much longer school break!

Easter Egg Hunts for Kids in New York City 2018

Easter Sunday is April 1 this year—no joke! It's just a hop, skip, and a jump away. One of the best ways to celebrate with kids is to attend one of NYC's treat-filled egg hunts. Most are outdoors in playgrounds and parks, zoos, and gardens, but a few are indoors at museums and other cultural spots. Many offer additional spring fun, including seasonal crafts, face painting, and live entertainment.

Remember, Easter egg hunts in NYC are extremely popular so arrive early and expect hordes. If you dislike crowds, avoid the free hunts and opt for those that carry a small fee as they usually cap the number of participants. Or get your photo op with the Easter Bunny in ahead of time at these brunches.

Meet the Easter Bunny in NYC for a Photo Op with the Kids

The Easter Bunny is making appearances all over New York City this spring, including on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to snap a picture with your child cozied up to the festive rabbit.

We've rounded up some of the top places in all five boroughs to take a picture with the Easter Bunny, beginning in March. These range from professional shots you can have taken ahead of time to DIY opportunities at your local egg hunt. Get those reservations booked!

Find bunny brunches or egg hunts in NYC, too! Or lean on our March GoList for more must-do events and activities.

St. Patrick's Day Events and Free Parades for NYC Kids

If your days of celebrating until you're green around the gills on St. Patrick's Day are a distant memory, don’t worry: There are plenty of kid-friendly ways to mark the holiday in New York City this March. After all, everyone in the city feels a wee bit Irish around St. Patrick’s Day. Best of all? Most of these festivities are FREE.

This year, St. Patrick's Day—March 17, 2018—is a Saturday, which is when the big Midtown Manhattan parade takes place. However, the festivities begin with a trio of popular parades stepping off on the first weekend of this month in Rockaway and Sunnyside, Queens, as well as Staten Island. In addition to St. Patrick's Day processions in all five boroughs, there are family fests, stepdancing performances (and places to learn), Gaelic workshops, and kids flicks.

Here are our favorite ways to celebrate Irish culture and St. Patrick’s Day with kids in New York City. Sláinte!

Kids' Happy Hour Activities in NYC to Keep 'Em Busy Until Bed

Even for the most innovative parent, the gap between late afternoon and bedtime can be challenging to fill—especially during bad weather. When it's too cold and dark for the park, the "witching hour" can feel like an endless desert of time. Most play spaces, libraries, and museums close the doors before 6pm, so it's hard to justify schlepping across the city for a short window of playtime, especially when getting everyone fed is a factor. What's a parent to do? Well, check out our borough-by-borough breakdown of kid-centric locales that are open "late!" to keep your kids (little and big) busy till bedtime. 

Night at the Museum: 7 NYC Museum and Zoo Sleepovers for Kids

Sleepovers are all the rage—even Governors Island is getting into the overnight game—but while a night of glamping might be on your to-do list, kids will get a big kick out of sleeping over at one of their favorite cultural institutions. From the Bronx Zoo, to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, there's a sleepover to fit any interest and you'll earn some serious cool parent cred with one of these overnight adventures so extravagant, they landed on our splurge GoList.

As you might have guessed, these NYC-style pajama parties aren't just cool, they can also be expensive, and sometimes tough to get into. So if you want to splurge on an amazing overnight experience for your child this year, book early as spaces fill up fast. Each of our picks includes meals or snacks and requires adult chaperones to take part. Note that some are exclusively for scout groups.

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.

NYC Bowling Alleys That Welcome Kids and Families

Bowling is a perfect indoor family activity when you find yourself with some spare time (sorry—couldn't resist). At about age 5, children really start enjoying it, making it an ideal family outing. Bowling birthday parties are a hit for the school-age set and most venues offer special packages and pricing.

There are traditional bowling alleys—think leagues, snack bars, pro shops—in the outer boroughs, but Manhattan's spots err on the side of grown-ups. Don’t worry though: Kids can still find lanes—you just have to know when to go. Here are 16 places to bowl with kids all across New York City.


Subscribe to RSS - Staten Island