Midtown West

Macy's Santaland NYC: When and How to See Santa at Herald Square

There are few places to see Santa in New York City that compare with Macy's Santaland. It's a magical experience for tourists and natives alike during the Christmas season.

'Tis the season for Macy's to open its 13,000-square-foot winter wonderland, which overflows with holiday cheer from its live "elves," to an enchanted forest, animatronic toys, and a train display. Santa holds court from Friday, November 23, 2018 (the day after Thanksgiving and the parade) through Monday, December 24, Christmas Eve.

For the second year in a row, visitors must book a FREE reservation to visit with Santa at Santaland, which requires some advance planning but does mean a much shorter wait when you get there. Read on for everything you need to know about visiting Santaland this year.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2018: Where to Watch, What's New

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade celebrates its 92nd anniversary this November, taking over the streets of Manhattan on Thursday, November 22, 2018, and decorating the city with its boisterous marching bands, extravagant floats, and giant balloon characters. Every year brings a mix of old and new characters to the parade, and 2018 is no exception, with a mix of new balloons, floats, and balloonicles set to make their NYC debuts.

If you're planning to attend the parade with the kids (and millions of others!), read on for the most up-to-date information on the route, best viewing locations, and other highlights. Check out our in-depth inflation post for an overview of the Wednesday-night festivities. You'll find more holiday inspiration in our Thanksgiving Fun Guide.

Best Dance Parties for Kids in NYC

Who doesn’t love a good family dance party for shaking off the rainy day blahs? While you could always ask Alexa to crank up the tunes in your living room, it's even more fun to hit the dance floor with kids at a venue that caters to tail-shakers of all ages. You will be dancing the day or night away with a great family fun vibe. Who can resist that?

Read on for a list of venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn where families can get their groove on.

9 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks to Visit with Kids in NYC

Now that the beaches are closed for the season, it's time to bundle up and sharpen those ice skates. Many of New York City's outdoor rinks are open for family fall, er, winter fun.

Whether you prefer an iconic New York City destination like the ice rink at Rockefeller Center or something off the beaten path like Lasker Rink, the city offers plenty of options for beginner and experienced skaters alike — there’s even a FREE skate spot. And if it ever gets too cold to glide outside, you can always hit one of NYC's indoor ice skating rinks.

NYC Hotel Rooms with Views of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Chances are you're not even thinking about Thanksgiving yet. After all, we still have Halloween to get through! But as anyone in the NYC hotel industry will tell you, families looking to book a hotel where they can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Midtown Manhattan do so up to a year ahead of time. For a room with a view of Snoopy, Spidey, Hello Kitty, and their other inflatable pals, you've really got to plan in advance.

It's not just NYC tourists who splurge on hotels for the Thanksgiving parade, either. Over the past few years, we've had many New Yorkers write in asking which hotels looked out on the Macy's Parade route (it sure beats watching from the street). While most of these hotels still have availability at the time of this writing, call right away as they'll most likely sell out soon. And if you do get shut out, it's worth checking closer to Thanksgiving since there are sometimes last-minute cancelations.

For a budget-saving alternative, catch a prime viewing spot the night before the parade as the giant balloons are inflated on the Upper West Side.

The Best Family Shows of Off-Broadway's New Victory Theater 2018-2019 Season

For the past 23 years, the award-winning New Victory Theater in the heart of Times Square has been the premier destination to catch entertaining and affordable productions for all ages. But the beloved New Vic is much more than just a place to "go catch a show." Through hands-on workshops, interactive pre- and post-show activities, and performances tailored for children with special needs, the nonprofit organization is raising the bar for what children's theater can be. As a parent who has been taking my daughter to the New Vic for over a decade, I'm pleased to share a preview of its 2018-2019 season, including the best shows for different ages and how to save on tickets.

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.

Preschoolers will be excited for the return of old friends Pete the Cat and Angelina Ballerina, plus the debut of a new show based on a Laurie Berkner song. 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 also 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, many 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 January 6, 2019. 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!

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