Midtown West

Best Family Theater in NYC This Fall

Autumn marks the start of a new theater season, but you don't need to shell out big bucks on Broadway shows to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. In fact, this fall boasts more high-quality theater productions for young audiences than ever—so many in fact, we have a whopping 25 picks, and that's after whittling down the contenders for fall's best shows.

Preschoolers will be excited for the return of old friends Pete the Cat and Angelina Ballerina, plus the debut of a new Laurie Berkner musical. Older kids will be inspired by That Inventions Show, the interactive improv piece Show Up, Kids!, and the immersive Gumshoe, which takes place throughout the 125-year-old Henry Street Settlement. There's even funky fare for tweens at Lincoln Center and the New Victory Theater, plus everyone in your family can enjoy the Big Apple Circus. Best of all, most of our picks are $25 or less per ticket.

Candytopia Arrives in NYC for Hungry Fans: Is It Worth a Visit?

There’s always something exciting and exclusive going on in NYC – something a little more special than another trip to the playground. Whether it be an outdoor concert, a Broadway show, or a special pop-up museum event, there’s an endless supply of something "new."

Candytopia, made famous during its run in Los Angeles, has made its way to New York City. Tucked inside Penn Plaza, over a dozen rooms are lined up for your candy-filled enjoyment. The tasty extravaganza opened on August 15 and runs through November 15. Read on for details of my family’s Candytopia NYC visit.

Where to Find Awesome Classes for NYC Kids This Fall

Back to school season isn't just new backpacks and long lists of school supplies. It's also time to get your little New Yorkers signed up for fall classes!

Thankfully, this city's got something for kids of all ages, from babies and tots to tweens and teens. Whether you're looking for a morning mommy-and-me class or an awesome after school program, there's no shortage of sports, dance, art, theater, and academic options to keep everyone happily busy.

You can search through dozens of classes by type or location in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings, but we've also rounded up some of the top options for fall 2018. Take a look at these family favorites!

NYC Playgrounds with Shade: Stay Cool With Shady Park Benches and Equipment

While kids can always cool off in NYC's many sprinklers, we parents are often stuck baking in the sun all day during the heat of the city's summer as we supervise outdoor play. It's a problem our readers know too well—each summer we get requests for recommendations of shady spots to play.

Although we know of a couple playgrounds that offer exceptional amounts of shade—Hippo Playground in Riverside Park and Discovery Playground in Fort Washington Park come to mind—we decided to ask our readers if they knew of any super-shady playgrounds in New York City. They came through with a number of great suggestions.

Please keep in mind that the name of the game here is comfort on a hot summer day; though we have visited plenty of destination playgrounds, with a few exceptions, these shady suggestions tend to be neighborhood standbys and small playgrounds that have plenty of shade, but perhaps not too many bells and whistles.

Tickets on Sale Now for New Trolls Experience Near Times Square

Fans of Poppy, Branch and Guy Diamond, hold onto your glitter-filled hats, because the Trolls are coming to New York City. Opening on Thursday, November 15, DreamWorks Trolls The Experience, an interactive Trolls extravaganza, will open a stone's throw from the only place befitting all its sparkle and shine—Times Square. While you’ll have to wait until the fall to shimmy down the rainbow path with DJ Suki, you can grab your tickets now (and have some indoor fun to look forward to when the weather turns cool).

Read on for details on all the glittery goodness.

Best Hudson River Park Playgrounds and Piers for Families

Running 5 miles down Manhattan's west side, the beloved Hudson River Park is the longest waterfront park in the United States (who knew?), packed north to south with parks, playgrounds, and splash pads, and family-friendly activities from bicycling from kayaking. Each pier is unique and worth exploring, and most attractions and activities are open year-round. So, hop on a bike or a scooter and travel along the bike paths to the following piers, our picks for the best of the Hudson River Park for families.

Kid Explorers Dig Into the New Ripley's Relic Game in Times Square

A new interactive experience has come to Ripley's Believe it or Not! Times Square just in time for summer (believe it or not, Times Square isn't just for NYC visitors!). The museum that's widely known for being the home of all that's unusual just launched Ripley's Relic, a high-tech escape game that is designed to bring out your inner explorer.

My kids have never met an adventure they didn't like, so I trekked to Times Square with my 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son in tow for the opening of Ripley's Relic to take a crack at solving the puzzle in person. 

5 Inspiring Firefighter Museums Near New York City

Kids love firefighters. And who can blame them? Brave men and women who drive around in shiny red trucks—and actually save lives—are kind of like real-life superheroes. And a chance to try on equipment, climb aboard fire trucks, and have questions answered by some of these superheroes themselves could be your little firefighter fan's dream come true. Luckily, the New York area is home to several museums dedicated to firefighters that are great for the whole family.

If you're looking for fun indoor activities to help you beat the heat (or the rainy day blues), here are some of the kid-friendly firefighter museums in our area where you and your kids can learn how firefighters do their jobs, plus how to prevent fires in your own home, and how to act in a fire emergency. 

Best Summer Theater and Shows for NYC Kids 2018

Think the dog days of summer are a cultural wasteland and that all the cool new openings won't start again until fall? That's not the case when it comes to the stage—New York City's family theater scene is hotter than a heat wave.

There are shows for all ages, interests, and budgets throughout the summer season, including a number of FREE options such as no-cost high-quality Shakespeare, and alfresco shows for tots inspired by Peter Pan and Little Red Riding Hood. Plus enjoy eye-popping indoor spectacles for the whole family like MOMIX and Mummenschanz. Best of all, many of our picks cost less than $25 per ticket, and six are 100 percent FREE!

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