New York City

July 4th Fireworks Cruises in NYC: See Macy's Show on a Boat

The promise of NYC summer fun is right around the corner. One of our favorite annual events, the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks display, is ready to light up the city skyline. The display illuminates the East River annually, and nothing quite compares with watching the celebration up close from the water. Plus, you don't have to battle the insane crowds with the kids.

Of course, these special cruises don't come cheaply and many are only open to ages 21 and older. We set out to find the lowest-cost July 4th fireworks cruises in NYC that also welcome children. If you're interested, book quickly. Some already have sold out and the remaining tickets will be gone before you know it.

The Skyscraper Museum: Where Kids Build on Their Love for NYC

Nestled in an intimate gallery space in Battery Park City, amid the soaring structures that comprise Lower Manhattan, the little-known Skyscraper Museum offers insight into the ever-evolving New York cityscape. While the technical information that accompanies its exhibits is geared toward adults, even the littlest urbanites can appreciate the engaging oversize photographs, historic maps, and detailed models of buildings in their world-famous backyard and beyond.

There are also STEM-inspired lessons and workshops for NYC kids as they learn what it takes to create one of those wow-worthy skyscrapers.

Our Favorite Toddler Playgrounds in Brooklyn

It's no secret that Brooklyn is one of the most family-friendly boroughs in New York City. More young families are discovering the rich culture and kid-friendly perks like indoor play cafes that make it a great place to raise your family. It's the reason why these days, strollers outnumber the hipsters in most Brooklyn neighborhoods. And one of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful tree-lined blocks is to go for a walk with your tot in tow to visit some of the amazing playgrounds in the area.

We've already ranked the best playgrounds in Prospect Park and the top playgrounds for your big kids in Brooklyn, but now we're putting together a list of some of our favorite playgrounds sized for toddlers.

Red Hook with Kids: Parks, Play Spaces, Restaurants, Mini Golf

Flanked by family-friendly Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, Red Hook has long been considered "the next big thing" in Brooklyn. Fairway, Ikea, and local shops and eateries brought new life to the neighborhood, but the lack of easy public transportation means this waterfront gem maintains its refreshingly quiet vibe.

This awesome neighborhood is teeming with historic buildings and stellar seafood and is home to waterside parks, an Olympic-size outdoor pool, two mini-golf courses, FREE kayaking and movies in the summer, fun family restaurants, and an indoor play space for children of all abilities. Though it's not easily accessible by subway, visitors can arrive via ferry, bus or Citi Bike via the Brooklyn Greenway—follow the path from Brooklyn Bridge Park if you're feeling adventurous! 

Mother's Day Weekend in NYC: Holi, Outdoor Movies, Garden Brunch

Mother's Day weekend is always especially busy and this year is no exception, from a comprehensive, weekend-long celebration at the NY Botanical Garden to a Mother's Day Community Work Day, Wave Hill's mash-up of birding, yoga and kids' workshops, brunch at Queens Botanical...the list goes on and on. It's enough to send you in search of a family-friendly wine tasting! (Oh yeah, that's a thing.) We have piles of possibilities on the Mommy Poppins calendar. And Happy Mother's Day from all of us!

It's a jolly Holi Day on Saturday when Governors Island will literally be awash with color for the Hindu festival that marks the beginning of spring. All are welcome for the family festival that leaves everyone covered with colored powder, a tradition that is believed to originate with the fabled love story between Krishna and Radha.

Movies under the Stars are starting to shine in earnest, slightly in advance of the summer's outdoor film proliferation. This weekend, you can bring a blanket and a picnic to a FREE screening of Deep at the Samuel Seabury Playground (Lex & 96th St), Despicable Me 3 at the Harry Maze Playground (Canarsie, Brooklyn), or Pixels in Bloomingdale Park (Staten Island). 

Just want some fair and festival options? We feel you. How about the Kids Food Fest at the World Trade (FREE, all weekend), Touch a Truck in Brooklyn, Highbridge Rocks in Washington Heights, the LIC Springs Block Party, the Greek Heritage Fest on the Upper West Side, the Queens Spring Fair, or the East River Esplanade celebration? Again, the calendar has it ALL.

As summer looms, we recommend that you peruse our list of Free and Cheap Summer Sports Programs for NY Kids, the always instructive May GoList or 50 FREE things to do this month, and 35 Things to Do in Brooklyn Bridge Park!

Feast Your Way Through the Best Food at the Queens Night Market

Outdoor food markets and indoor food halls seem to be popping up everywhere in NYC, but the Queens International Night Market is different from others. Fashioned after night markets in Asia, it focuses on the incredible diversity of global flavors that have been making Queens famous as one of the best places to eat in the world.

I’m surprised how many people don’t know about this foodie market. It’s one of my favorite things! The event is family-friendly and even pet-friendly. There’s live entertainment, games, and food stalls representing 80 different countries. Best of all? It's inexpensive. It truly is like traveling the world in one night, although it’d be hard to taste everything in one evening.

Read on for details on the 2018 lineup for this seasonal Flushing Meadows Corona Park food festival.

NYC Carousels: 13 City Merry-Go-Rounds To Spin You Around

There's something wonderfully nostalgic about kids getting a thrill from a ride on a carousel. It's the simplest of amusement park attractions, and there are more than a dozen merry-go-rounds in New York City alone. It's easy to stumble upon them on your next park outing.

Each city carousel offers a unique spin on this traditional kiddie ride, from harbor views to a ride in a iridescent fish. With spring in full swing, it's a great time to take your first ride of the season, so we've rounded up the merry-go-rounds in all five boroughs.

NYC's Financial District with Kids: 30 Fun Things To Do

The Financial District is still considered to be one of the fastest growing Manhattan neighborhoods for families in NYC. Office buildings have been converted into high-end condos and new buildings are constantly being built. There are excellent and thriving elementary schools that have been created in the area to accommodate the influx of children and the neighborhood is rich in off-the-beaten-path museums, parks, and a large number of businesses that cater to families.

Hidden NYC: 23 Fun Things To Do in Central Park

Central Park was created as a respite for the teeming masses of Manhattan. The 843-acre jewel is home to woodlands, meadows, lakes, and wildlife, and years later still offers a reprieve to all New Yorkers. Today, more than 40 million people annually visit the lush expanses of one of the country's earliest public parks. Its 21 playgrounds make it a destination for families from all over the city and world.

Central Park isn’t a place to tire of easily. My family's daily commute to school takes us back and forth across the park—for that, I thank my lucky stars. But it's easy to lose perspective and forget how much this massive green space has to offer locals and visitors alike. With that in mind, we've rounded up 23 fun sites and scenes worth exploring in New York City's big backyard, from the obvious playgrounds and sledding hills to more obscure destinations. Enjoy!

Bucks County, PA with Kids: 25 Top Things to Do as a Family

New and old collide in the pretty Bucks County, Pennsylvania, countryside where young families can play the day away at Sesame Place and older kids can enjoy Revolutionary War history at Washington Crossing. From real castles to playground castles, ice cream shops to kayaking, Bucks County is a sweet spot for a family weekend getaway. Just north of Philadelphia and less than two hours from NYC, it’s easy to access.

Ready to plan a trip? Read on for our list of 25 must-do places to play and see, as well as eat and stay at in Bucks County. We divided it into four family-friendly mini itineraries. Choose one or get some ideas to mix and match an adventure of your own. Explore popular towns like New Hope and Doylestown.

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