New York City

Prospect Park Zoo: Best Things to Do at the Brooklyn Zoo

Peppered with playgrounds, woods, and large open spaces for kids to roam free, Prospect Park is a pastoral escape smack dab in the middle of Brooklyn. The park is more than just green space: The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Lefferts Historic House, and the Prospect Park Carousel are great places to visit for families. Need one more reason to love Prospect Park? How about a perfectly kid-friendly zoo, just the right size and pace for younger children?

The Prospect Park Zoo is much smaller than its northern counterpart, the Bronx Zoo, which means it's just right for pint-sized animal lovers. The whole interior is comfortably walkable in a few hours, so you can see everything before nap time. We've got tips for visiting with kids, including the best entry points, what to see, and the best times to visit.

27 Reasons Yorkville May Be The Most Family-Friendly Neighborhood in NYC

With the long-awaited arrival of the Second Avenue subway, Yorkville has become the best of both worlds -- a slightly off-the-beaten-path enclave with zippy Manhattan train access. The cozy Upper East Side neighborhood between East Harlem and East 79th Street has also seen an influx of kid-friendly amenities, like new restaurants and play spots, adding to the established old-time favorites, wonderful parks, and great schools.

To meet the demand, beautiful new luxury buildings, like Citizen360, offer zen-inspired design, envy-inducing views, spacious apartments and a long list of top-notch features — think relaxing residents' lounges and private entertaining suites, yoga studios, infrared saunas, and stress-free on-site parking. Surprisingly, with so much going for the neighborhood, apartments still go for less than Manhattan averages, making Yorkville a smart choice for families looking to have it all.

Weekend Fun: Dance Parade, Movies, Fairs, and Superheroes

Dance is everywhere this weekend in New York City, from the spectacular 12th Annual Dance Parade, which ends with a flourish in Tompkins Square Park, to the debut of Tetris at Lincoln Center. There's also a family dance matinee at NY Live Arts and the Parsons Family Matinee at the Joyce.

Fairs and festivals are everywhere, too! The 9th Avenue International Food Festival sprawls through the west side all weekend—though vegetarians might want to detour to 18th Street for the Vegetarian Food Fest. Family-friendly fests in Queens promise bouncy castle and face painting fun at three locations (St. Albans Park and Turtle Playground on Saturday, Rufus King Park on Sunday). Superhero wannabes can don their capes to join the NYSoM's SuperHero Showdown in Brooklyn. Plus, the weekend-long ImagiNATIONS! Children's Festival debuts a brand-new activity center at the National Museum of the American Indian.

On Sunday, don't miss Brooklyn's Fabulous Fifth Street Fair, the 35th Annual Hippo Playground Spring Fair, and the Children's Museum of the Arts' annual FREE Kids' Fair or its CMA Family Day spring benefit. There's also a Party on Wheels benefit happening at the NY Transit Museum.

Looking for evening entertainment under the stars? Shakespeare dips his initial toe into summer park programming with an abbreviated version of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Bryant Park. Bring blankets and other critical movie watching paraphernalia to FREE evening screenings of Coco on the UWS or Sing in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. On Sunday, catch a screening of the new Jumanji in Brooklyn's Coffey Park or Indiana Jones at Habana Outpost.

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!).

Let's hope the rain stays away, so we can enjoy all these great outdoor events.

12 NYC Restaurants with Backyards 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.

Things to Do in Fort Tryon Park & Fort Washington Park with Kids

Two of the biggest attractions in Upper Manhattan boast a combined 250 acres of lush lawns and gardens, winding tree-lined paths, multiple ball fields and playgrounds, and three iconic NYC sights: the famed Little Red Lighthouse, the George Washington Bridge (or for fans of the beloved picture book by Hildegarde H. Swift, the Great Gray Bridge), and the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's branch dedicated to medieval art and architecture. Because of the waterfront location at the highest points in Manhattan, the two green spaces—Fort Washington and Fort Tryon Parks—were important strategic points in the Revolutionary War. Today the parks offer visitors spectacular views of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades.

So take the A train up to Washington Heights and Inwood and discover all the wonderful things to do in Fort Washington Park and Fort Tryon Park, with a little bit of help from our guide below.

Top 35 Things to Do in Flushing, Queens with Kids

The Flushing neighborhood of Queens has a bustling commercial center along Main Street filled with a wide variety of restaurants, chain stores, and culture spots like Flushing Town Hall. The north-central nabe is particularly well-known for its Chinatown section around Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, where you'll find lots of dim sum eateries, specialty shops, and the borough's annual Lunar New Year Parade.

But Flushing, like all of Queens, is a true melting pot with residents and businesses from a multitude of diverse backgrounds. It's also home to many lovely landmarked buildings built in different eras and architectural styles. You can walk through history at the 17th-century John Bowne House, the Victorian Voelker Orth Museum, and iconic relics from two 20th-century World's Fairs held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

We've rounded up our top 35 family-friendly things to do in Flushing, Queens, including our favorites spots to play, eat, explore, and experience with kids. We're also highlighting the major family attractions in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, such as the New York Hall of ScienceQueens Museum, and Citi Field. 

5 Baby Gear Essentials for a Small One Bedroom Apartment

When I was pregnant the question I was asked most often—after "What are you having?"—was, "When are you going to move out of the city?" So many people, especially non-NYC dwellers, wanted to know where we planned to put all of the baby's stuff in our small, one bedroom Manhattan apartment. They were shocked to see the baby registry and find out that we planned to get by without so much of the "stuff" they told us we needed.

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.

30 Things To Do in Milwaukee with Kids

John Steinbeck once wrote that Wisconsin is full of surprises, and the state's largest city, Milwaukee, is no exception. With a cosmopolitan feel and midwestern charm, and just an hour and a half drive north of Chicago (plus one of the easiest airports you'll ever travel through), families looking for a new vacation spot should put Milwaukee high on their consideration list the next time they're planning a trip.

Check out our list of 30 fun and interesting things to do with kids in Milwaukee (plus five bonus spots if you're willing to drive a little outside the city). Whether you're looking for the arts or the sciences, a great day outside, soaking up the sun on the shores of Lake Michigan or a fun day in, sampling some of the country's best frozen custard, you'll find something for everyone in the family in Milwaukee.

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