New York City

45 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Long Island City, Queens

About 15 years ago, a friend told me Long Island City and Hunter’s Point were the up and coming places to be. At the time, the area seemed too industrial to be the next hot spot, but the subsequent years have proved my friend right. Who would have thought former warehouses would be renovated to become restaurants and boutiques and LIC would be full of young families, eager to enjoy the amazing waterfront parks and amenities? Apparently, not me.

The change is evident. Glass-enclosed condos have remade the shoreline skyline and new amenities seemingly pop up daily. There's so much to see and do in this family-friendly neighborhood. Here's our list of 45 fun things to do in Long Island City with kids. Now, go forth and explore!

25 Water Games for Kids To Play All Summer Long

Water games are an easy way to keep the kids entertained—and cool—this summer. From a simple water balloon toss to fancier DIY fun like sprinkler Twister, these outdoor games are sure to please all ages.

One year, I found myself home with both kids for a whole summer due to a shift in my career path, so we got pretty creative with the water games. There were 10 weeks to fill after all! Read on for our favorites—and you can also download this free printable with all 25 top water games for kids.

Need more free and cheap activities for the kids this summer break? Our family started a Boredom Busters jar: a painted Mason jar full of ideas to keep them busy (and tired out). Anyone complaining of boredom can open it and pick out an activity. Many of the ideas come from the Mommy Poppins' 100 Summer Play Activities List and Free Summer Fun Ideas. But their absolute favorites are the water games for splish-splashy, low-key summer fun.

10 Play Fountains Where NYC Kids Can Get Totally Soaked

While all three of my kids love to go for a dip, heading to one of NYC's public pools requires advance planning and me donning a bathing suit. Often, our summer fun is more spontaneous. For those hot summer days when we're out and about or need a last-minute distraction, I keep this list of play fountains in the back of my mind.

A more immersive experience than standard sprinkler parks, these play fountains feature shallow pools of water for wading, plus jets shooting H2O sky high. They're the perfect place for kids to frolic and get completely doused without mommy having to go all in—literally. Best of all? They're all completely FREE.

Here are 10 fun play fountains in NYC where kids can get absolutely soaked. Most opened for the season over Memorial Day weekend, though some start flowing earlier if temperatures hit 80 degrees.

A Tiny House Hotel Vacation Means Big Fun for Families

For traveling families, a tiny house rental can make the perfect hotel solution. It often comes with multiple beds without the cost of a pricey multiroom suite, as well as family-friendly amenities, such as stocked kitchens. It doesn't hurt that they're so very cute and often set among pretty landscapes, from beaches to forests and mountains. 

Tiny houses have grown in popularity in recent years as many of us try to reduce our footprint and that means a tiny house getaway is all the more accessible. There are now villages of tiny houses available for American vacationers. Tiny home resorts have cropped up, too, while some campgrounds and even urban areas have added a handful of rentable tiny homes to their grounds.

So pack light and check out these seven tiny house resorts that allow you and the kids to try on tiny living for size.

11 Queens Water Playgrounds and Sprinkler Parks

Let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t want to live by the schedule of open swim hours at your local NYC pool. Sometimes you just want to tire your kids out so they sleep until 6 (or even 7) in the morning. And sometimes you just want to relax outdoors with iced coffee and a book, but your children aren’t as into that idea as you are. This is why water playgrounds were invented...we're pretty sure, anyway.

While we already have profiled some of the top water playgrounds in other parts of the city as well as some of the top fountains for splashing, we can't forget our Queens families. So in the interest of parenting solidarity we’ve put together a list of eleven spraygrounds and water playgrounds in Queens. They’re all FREE, and as an added bonus most usually have an ice cream truck in the area—for the children, of course, totally for the children. 

Check out our NYC Beaches, Pools, and Water Parks Guide for more summer splashing, or our Summer Fun Guide for more seasonal activities for the kids.

Best Family Restaurants Near the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Garden

It's no secret that the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo, and Wave Hill are all cultural gems and year-round destinations for families, all located in our city's northernmost borough. The real question on many parents' minds, however, might actually be, “but where do we eat?” As a mother of three in the Bronx, that question is easy to answer. The hard part is narrowing down the plentiful options.

The surrounding neighborhoods of Riverdale and the Bronx Park area are just as picturesque and wonderful, with a wide variety of spots to stop off for a bite. So we've rounded up several dining options near each destination where families can fill up before or after a fun-filled day.

Find more great eats in our guide to Family-Friendly NYC Restaurants, including more near uptown city hot spots like the American Museum of Natural History and Lincoln Center.

Hudson Valley Balloon Festival 2019 Returns to Rhinebeck, NY

Huge, colorful, hot-air balloons will take to the skies above Rhinebeck next weekend for the Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival. This summertime family favorite features synchronized launches that decorate the sky with festive colors and eye-popping designs. Whether you choose to take a ride (tethered or otherwise), or watch with your feet firmly planted on the ground, the experience is well worth a day trip.

The 28th annual festival will continue to be held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck—from Friday, July 12 to Sunday, July 14, 2019. Read on for details about this Insta-worthy festival, and consult our Summer Activity Guide for more fun all season long. If you haven't already, stay in the know about family attractions like this by signing up for our newsletters and following us on Facebook.

50 Free Summer Activities for Toddlers in New York City

New York City is chock-full of exciting summer to-dos for its youngest citizens. Visiting the sprinklers at your local playground, cooling off at one of NYC’s best FREE swimming pools for younger kids, or hitting a destination sandbox can be enough to make your toddler’s day. But when you and your littles are ready for some summer adventure, here are 50(!) FREE things to do with toddlers this July and August.

We've already put together a list of 100 Free Things To Do in NYC This Summer for kids of all ages, but the suggestions that follow are tailored just for little kids. (Looking for additional inspiration? Check out our Summer Fun Guide, Event Calendar, and Free in NYC Guide.)

Best Summer Events for NYC Preschoolers

The days are (finally) starting to feel like summer, and if you have a toddler or preschooler who calls NYC home, we're guessing you'll appreciate a little help planning your days. From free concerts and festivals, to swimming and art-making, not a week goes by without outings and activities that will help make this summer stand out in your family memories.

With this list of our best picks for summer fun with your preschooler or toddler-age kid, you’ll find yourself wanting to stay in town to take advantage of it all. Best of all? Many of the events are FREE.

Be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide for NYC Kids for more fun things to do for every age in every borough.

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36 Best Things to Do With Kids in the West Village and Greenwich Village

One of Manhattan's most picturesque communities, the West Village is filled with historic houses on quaint and crooked tree-lined streets. This former countercultural epicenter is now home to many of New York's priciest restaurants, retail stores, and real estate. But there are still plenty of affordable and even FREE attractions for families to discover as you stroll through the labyrinth of this area and its sister neighborhood Greenwich Village

Beautifully renovated playgrounds pepper the area, including two in iconic Washington Square Park. Treat spots like cupcakeries and candy shops abound. Stretching from 14th to Houston Streets between Fifth Avenue and the Hudson River, this area may be cozy, but it's also packed with so many things to do and places to see, families can spend many days exploring the neighborhoods.

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