Midtown East

Best Kid Eats Near Times Square and Rockefeller Center

It's hard not to end up in either Times Square or near Rockefeller Center at some point during the holiday season given the number of seasonal attractions in these Midtown hot spots. But if your family is hungry after a day of shopping, ice skating or taking in the NYC holiday sights, you'll need to find a tasty, kid-friendly restaurant fast before the hangry sets in! 

This is often no easy feat in Midtown, we know. While we've covered dining options near Rockefeller Center and Times Square in the past, we wanted to give you even more suggestions this year, especially those that don't require reservations, meaning you can pop right in. With a full belly, you'll be ready to start again, tackling a holiday show or maybe a tour of the holiday department store windows.

NYC's Summer Streets Kick Off Saturday with a Mega Water Slide

Great news for all the intrepid New Yorkers staying put this August: Summer Streets kicks off this weekend! This beloved annual event is set to take over nearly seven miles of Manhattan streets over the next three Saturdays. As in years past, Summer Streets will be jam-packed with fun and FREE events and activities, including a brand-new attraction, Slide the City, that kids (and parents) are sure to love. We've got the scoop on this new attraction, including what to expect and how to claim a spot.

Must-See Outdoor Art: 9 Exhibits Kids Will Love

Those seeking alfresco art have plenty of options to choose from this summer as a slew of brand-new, kid-friendly displays just debuted in New York City.

So skip the indoors, and make the city's parks and streets your summer museum while you check out these nine public works of art, including a giant Hello Kitty and a cheerful canopy of colorful umbrellas. Our list includes uptown and downtown spots, Times Square, Brooklyn, Governors Island and the Bronx.

Find even more outdoor public art in New York in our earlier list of spring debuts.

Indoor Tennis for NYC Kids: 10 Programs with Youth Lessons & Family Play

Summer feels like the height of tennis season: FREE outdoor lessons abound, and watching tournaments like Wimbledon and the US Open always inspires my family to hit the court. Then, just as we're getting back into the (literal) swing of things, the cold weather comes—but there's no need to put away our rackets. NYC is home to many indoor facilities that offer high-quality tennis lessons for kids year-round. A few even offer family game play!

Find more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

Pierogies, Meatballs and Ice Cream Sandwiches: 14 Fun Specialty Savory and Sweet Spots

One-item specialty restaurants aren't anything new in NYC. This city practically invented bagel, doughnut and pizza spots. Since we first told you about the emerging culinary phenomenon back in 2010, the dining landscape has greatly changed. Some of those eateries, like The Meatball Shop, have opened additional outposts; others have sadly closed. (We do have high hopes that East Village mainstay, Pommes Frites, will eventually reopen after being shuttered by the recent gas explosion.)

That said, this super-specialty restaurant trend is here to stay, which is great news for families since most of these dining destinations offer quick service, and kid-friendly ambiance and menus. Dig in to delicious chicken fingers with a variety of unique sauces, plates of gourmet mac and cheese, sandwiches on homemade biscuits or plump pierogies. Finish off your meal with a sweet treat like an artisanal doughnut, ice cream sandwich or bowl of rice pudding.

Here is our list of 14 single-item specialty restaurants that kids will love in NYC.

Holiday Markets in New York City 2014

New York City is a flurry of holiday shopping at this time of year. There are wonderful seasonal markets all over town selling crafts, unique boutique goods, food and more. These cool local spots aren't just in Manhattan either; there are several markets in the outer boroughs, too.

Unlike the craziness of Black Friday, these shopping experiences are much more relaxed for families. Plus, you're often supporting local businesses and artisans. We love shopping local so much, we made it the focus of our Holiday Gift Guide. Read on for our round-up of New York City holiday markets.

Join Christmas Carolers for Holiday Songs and Cheer in NYC

You don't have to be Christian to love Christmas carols. Crooning these classic songs on a brisk evening amongst neighbors, pals or friendly strangers is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season.

Carolers of all levels mingle at these events—wannabe Broadway stars and shyer singers blend together to serenade the city with a message of peace and joy. While caroling is often thought of as a rural or British tradition, there are actually many Christmas caroling events right here in New York City, and everyone is welcome to chime in.

Here are a dozen gatherings where you can literally sing in the holidays. Also consider attending a Christmas tree lighting. Many illuminations end with impromptu caroling.

MTA Nostalgia Trains: Take a Ride Back in Time in NYC

Among the many things we romanticize during the holidays, trains are right up at the top, but usually it's the "choo-choo" kind, not the "screech-screech-unh-unh-eh" variety, a.k.a. the subway.

The exception is the MTA's annual Holiday Season Nostalgia Trains, vintage subway trains running along the Sixth Avenue line from Long Island City, Queens to Lower Manhattan. Read on to find out how you can catch a trip back in time courtesy of the MTA, all for the price of a regular fare!

Offbeat Holiday Events and Multicultural Celebrations for NYC Kids 2014

Editor's note: We're in the process of updating this post for 2015. Check back soon for the latest news. The holiday season is a great time to expose our kids to what it means when we say, "It takes all kinds."

From a traditional Mexican celebration to boombox Christmas caroling, you know you're in New York City when your family's holiday traditions include some of these fun, multicultural, artsy or just plain wacky events. Enjoy!

Midtown East Family-Friendly Restaurants

We finish up our spotlight on Midtown East with a roundup of the best family-friendly restaurants in the neighborhood. Since the area is full of office buildings and tourist attractions, it overflows with quick lunch places and gourmet eateries that cater to business types and visitors. But if you go further east into the residential communities of Murray Hill and Tudor City, you'll find cozier, casual spots where families can enjoy a leisurely meal without worrying that your tots' cries will interrupt the next big corporate merger.

As longtime residents of Murray Hill who eat out frequently, my family and I have tried all of these restaurants personally. Frankly, it was hard to pick my favorites since there are so many wonderful diners, burger joints and other low-key, non-exotic eateries where even the pickiest kids (like mine) will find something to please. When I first started researching this post, I had two pages of possibilities! But, with my son's help, I've pared it down to the top ten places to eat with kids in Midtown East.

You can find kid-friendly restaurants all over NYC in our Family Restaurants Guide.


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