New York City

10 of Our Favorite Picnic Spots With Built-in Entertainment

As soon as the days are warm and mild enough to eat outdoors (whether or not summer has officially kicked off), dining al fresco is hard to beat. If your kids can't sit still for a restaurant meal even in a kid-friendly backyard, consider packing a picnic or picking up some portable eats and striking out for your nearest greenspace. Here are our 10 favorite parks to picnic, with bonus points for entertainment during or after your meal.

Best Camp Clothing Labels and Name Tags for Kids' Gear

It's just one of those mundane chores that need to be done: labeling every article of clothing, towel, backpack, and other gear that will travel with your child to summer camp—or to school or daycare—in the hopes that when it inevitably gets lost, it will find its way home to you. Nothing's going to make this job of labeling camp clothes, baby bottles, or school supplies fun, but we've rounded up the whole range of different ways you can label your kids' stuff, from swimsuits to water bottles and sippy cups, with beautifully embroidered personalized labels to fun, custom name tags with cute, colorful designs, to ones you can make at home.

Here are a few the best name labels for kids' and baby gear that we've found, and yes, most all offer dishwasher-safe, easy peel-and-stick options!

Still searching for the perfect summer camp for your kid? Check out our local guide to summer camps near you.

Best Water Playgrounds and Sprinklers for Kids in NYC

When we were growing up, New York City playgrounds had sprinklers. Now parks and playgrounds across the five boroughs have "water features"—fountains, geysers, rivers, pumps, and beautiful spraying statues. Kids just love them, and we parents prefer these newfangled playgrounds because they're pretty and cool, and make us feel as if our exorbitant NYC housing costs are justified.

Sprinkler season in NYC parks kicks into gear when the temps reach 80 degrees, although some parks may turn on water features earlier. There are hundreds of water features in NYC parks, and we've highlighted some favorites by borough: the best in Brooklyn, best of Queens, and best of the Bronx. Some are cooler (literally and figuratively) than others, and more amazing ones seem to open every year. When we first published this article in 2008, we had five favorite splashing spots. Now we're up to 27 fancy playgrounds where kids can get wet in NYC. See if your favorites made our list.

35 Fun Things To Do in Atlanta with Kids

Atlanta may be famous as the genteel home of Gone with the Wind, but these days it's a diverse, cosmopolitan Southern city with lots of fun for the whole family. There are museums galore, offering a world of kid-friendly culture and history, and Atlanta is one of only a few US cities where you can see giant pandas and walk through a shark tunnel. Kids will also have a blast at the many outdoor amusements, including the local Six Flags and a stunning children's garden.

There's plenty to do for families in Atlanta, Georgia, for a weekend, a week, or longer. Check out our list of the 35 best tourist sights and hidden fun before your trip. See our US City Guides for more great places to visit with kids.

Statue of Liberty Museum Opens With a New View on Lady Liberty

If you haven't visited Lady Liberty lately, it may be time to add the tourist hot spot to your list of summer must-dos. The brand new Statue of Liberty Museum has now opened, bringing with it an immersive theater, plenty of Statue of Liberty history, and kid-friendly, touchable artifacts that bring a new interactive element to your visit. Read on for a look inside the museum, plus tips on how to visit.

Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers in and Near NYC

For young children, a ride on a carousel’s painted pony, a spin with dad around the bumper car track, and a dripping swirl of frozen custard are the stuff summer memories are made of. No need to seek out the latest scary high-tech roller coasters (which means you can cross Luna Park's most scary rides off your list).

Rides that look mild (or frankly, downright boring) to big people usually provide just the right amount of thrills for toddlers and preschoolers. Happily, there are a number of amusement and water parks in or near the New York City metro area that offer these kinds of tame attractions. Here's our roundup of theme parks perfect for the pint-sized.

Find more seasonal rides in our Theme and Water Parks Guide for families.

CozyKin Makes Finding Childcare Stress Free— Get Our Promo Code

Finding childcare for your infant or toddler can be totally overwhelming. Deciding between enrolling your kiddo in daycare and hiring a nanny is enough to make your head spin, but there's another popular option that could save you some stress: a nanny share.

Not familiar? While a nanny share can mean a couple of different things, I'm talking about one nanny caring for two children at the same time. This smart set-up combines the socialization and curriculum you expect from a daycare environment with the personalized care and flexibility that comes with a nanny—plus, it's convenient and cost-efficient. Now, a service called CozyKin makes finding a nanny share, getting set-up, and managing the share super easy (the service even handles contracts, training, taxes, and sick and vacation time). Read on to learn more about CozyKin nanny shares and, if it's the right childcare option for your family, how you can save. Hint: they're giving Mommy Poppins readers up to $700 off their deposit!

Weekend Fun: Spring Flings, Dance Parades, Food Fests, Ninja Turtles

Spring fling takes on a whole new meaning this weekend at Saturday's spectacular 13th Annual Dance Parade, plus Brooklyn's Spring Fling in Prospect Park, and the bound-to-be-wild Swamp in the City Cajun Family Dance in Red Hook. Speaking of swamp things, the Paley Center's new Teenage Mutant Ninja celebration may be right down your manhole—er, up your alley, with giveaways and a meet-and-greet with the rad reptiles on Saturday.

Fairs and festivals are everywhere, of course. The 9th Avenue International Food Festival takes over the west side all weekend—though vegetarians might want to detour to 18th Street for the Vegetarian Food Fest. Truck afficionados can touch their fill at PS 295's Touch-a-Truck extravaganza, and the Bronx Kid Fest promises deep sea VR fun in addition to the usual kids' activities.

On Sunday, don't miss Brooklyn's Fabulous Fifth Street Fair, the Annual Fleece Fest at the Prospect Park Zoo, and the National Museum of the American Indian's annual Children's Festival. Ferry to Ellis Island for the Asian American & Pacific Islander Fest. Or get your barbecue on at the Essex Street Market Block Party.

Looking for evening entertainment under the stars? Shakespeare in the park kicks off with an abbreviated, female-led Hamlet: Princess of Denmark in Bryant Park. Bring blankets and other critical movie-watching paraphernalia to FREE evening screenings of Sing in Queens, Ralph Breaks the Internet and Teen Titans Go! to the Movies in Brooklyn, or Incredibles 2 on the Upper East Side, in the Bronx, and in Brooklyn

Planning ahead? Today would be the perfect time to sign up for a 4th of July cruise to maximize fireworks fun (before they all sell out!).

Meanwhile, the MommyPoppins events calendar continues its breakneck buildup of spring and summer events. Dig in! 

The Wonder Opens in Tribeca: New Members-Only Family Hub

Play spaces are big business in NYC, with new kid-friendly play spots popping up annually. Some offer drop-in play while others are members-only, and all are seemingly kid-centered, with padded walls and brightly colored playthings. Now there's a new kid on the block attempting to reinvent family fun, with the arrival of The Wonder in the stroller-packed Tribeca neighborhood.

This new members-only space offers an ultra-cool hangout spot that aims to cater to both adults and children. Co-owned by two NYC moms who wanted somewhere other than their apartments to connect with each other—and their kids—over a glass of wine and playtime, The Wonder isn't cheap, but it just might be a new model for play spaces in NYC. Read on for a peek inside.

10 Underrated NYC Parks You (Probably) Haven't Visited Yet

Central Park, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park—even if you only just arrived in NYC, we probably don't need to tell you that these are all must-see green spaces. But did you know that according to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, 14 percent of the city is parkland? That's more than 30,000 acres!

So if you're looking for a new-to-you outdoor destination to explore, we've got 10 off-the-beaten-path parks worth putting on your NYC family bucket list. Some are massive and boast a wide array of attractions for all seasons; others are small but picturesque and host popular annual events for families. With months of outdoor play weather ahead of us, check out this list and visit some of the city's best hidden gems.

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