Uptown

Victorian Gardens in Central Park Is a Just-Right Amusement Park for Preschoolers

Manhattan's only outdoor amusement park, Victorian Gardens, is now open for the 2019 season. It's one of those annual summer attractions you think all New York City families know about and go to—until you realize a bunch of your friends have never even heard of it.

Victorian Gardens is especially wonderful for younger children, which is why we included it in our roundup of best theme parks for preschoolers, although elementary schoolers will enjoy themselves, too. The rides are contained in a small, enclosed space so you don't have to worry about kids wandering off (like at Coney Island), and there's little walking between attractions. Most of the rides are gentle (a few have height requirements), and there aren't any teens rushing through the crowd. Plus, you can't beat the location at Wollman Rink in Central Park, just steps from the zoo, Heckscher Playground and the carousel.

8 Things to Love About Japan Society: Visiting the Japanese Cultural Center With Kids

One of the best things about raising kids in New York City is that a unique cultural experience is usually just a short walk, bus, or train ride away. Most cultural institutions in NYC host special family programming, festivals, workshops and language programs, and NYC's Japan Society, formed in 1907, offers a varied and rich calendar of events for kids, all set against a beautiful backdrop of indoor gardens, including a waterfall.

If you are fascinated by Japanese food, film, and folklore, but short on time or money to travel abroad, the Japan Society is an affordable alternative for the culture-seeking family. During my visit, one Japan Society member and father of two children ages 3 and 4 put it best, “It gets me as close as I can to experiencing Japanese culture without having to go to Japan.”

When to Catch Fireworks Shows Across NYC This Summer (Other Than July 4)

There's no denying that when it comes to sparklers, Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks are the main event in New York City. But that's certainly not the only bang-up display in town this season. Some of these fireworks honor our nation's birthday, others just celebrate summer in the city, from ball games to concerts in parks city wide.

Read on for all the places and dates when you and the kids can catch a fireworks show in New York City—besides the East River on the Fourth of July.

13 Best Science Museums and STEM Spots for NYC Kids

Curious NYC kids never need to feel bored—not when there are so many places in New York that encourage kid-focused scientific exploration and creation. From science museums and maker spaces to brain-boosting playgrounds and STEM-focused camps, there are tons of spots for kids to get scientific in New York City. We've rounded up 13 of the best.

Find more great geeky ideas in our STEM Guide.

Kid-Friendly Waterfront Restaurants in NYC for Dinner with a View

After a day of running around in the hot city sun, we're all craving that cool breeze that comes off the water. What better way to end a day full of parks and playgrounds than with a delicious meal at one of NYC's many waterfront restaurants? Whether you're facing the East River, the Hudson, or one of the many basins and other bodies of water that feed the mighty rivers and ocean that outline our great city, there are plenty of places to get dinner overlooking the water (even if you're not literally on the water). Check out our list of family-friendly restaurants around the city, and see below for some kid-friendly dining destinations across all five boroughs to line up your delicious dinner with a water view for the whole family.

How to Get to NYC Beaches by Ferry or Train

Fourteen miles of beautiful beaches can be found in four of NYC's five boroughs (sorry river-locked Manhattan), many easily accessible by ferry or train. As much as we enjoy hitting the Jersey Shore, Fire Island, and other Long Island beaches, we're not big fans of renting cars and sitting in traffic. Luckily it's easy to hit the sand and surf by taking a ferry or subway to the shore. From the "Bronx Rivera" to iconic Coney Island and the Rockaways, these urban seasides often offer just about everything suburban ones do—except the out-of-town commute.

13 NYC Restaurants with Backyards and Patios for Kid-Friendly Dining

Great outdoor dining makes summer in the city tolerable, at least in my book. An hour sitting on a shady patio, sipping a cold drink, steels me for the rest of the week on sweaty NYC subways and dog-pee-scented streets. It's also a great way to savor those first sun-filled days of spring.

Of course, eating out with kids is never as simple as that, so we’ve selected not just sublime outdoor dining spots but ones with enough room to roam. Hopefully, these family-friendly Manhattan restaurants, from the Battery up to Inwood, will make you forget you are in New York City with that backyard living life, even for those of us whose apartments are too small and too dark with nary a leaf to be seen.

We’ve also covered the best backyard outdoor dining in Brooklyn and Queens. See all our restaurant recommendations in the Mommy Poppins NYC Kid-Friendly Restaurant Guide.

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