New York City

Free NYC Weekend Events for Kids May 15-17: Cultural Festivals, Fairs, Fairy Tea Party, Free Mini Camp, Farm Fun, More

This weekend there are more than the usual share of great free events. While there may be no desks and talking may actually be encouraged, make no mistake, this city is filled with opportunities to learn--even on weekends. So ditch the books and let them learn the old fashioned way, through exploring.  Don't miss a Gallery Walk, cultural events like the Korean American Children's Festival, a Native American Festival and an American Indian Children's festival, not to mention It's My Park Day, Raptors, more Spring Fairs, a Dance Parade and Festival, a fairy tea party, a free mini camp and lots more. Don't forget to check our event calendar for even more fun stuff to do this weekend. Happy exploring!

Affordable Date Night Childcare That Helps Others Too

Finding good babysitters for an evening date night can be hard, but there's one solution that's a total no-brainer. Kids for a Cause hosts monthly date night drop-off evening childcare events run by NYU and Columbia University students to raise money for Baby's First Home, a charity that helps provide shelter for NYC homeless teen mothers. And they are Pay-What-you-Wish.

Talk about Win-Win! You get inexpensive, fun babysitting by great college sitters and get to help young mothers and their baby's at the same time.

Gearing up for Bike Month: Family Bicycling Events in New York City

Every May, New Yorkers celebrate Bike Month. This year, it’s more important than ever: With the recession still in full swing, families are looking for cheaper transportation alternatives. But most importantly, bicycling is a fun and healthy way for kids and parents to spend some quality time together. So with that in mind, we present some of our favorite family friendly bike events for May—and beyond.

Learning about our world: Sheep Shearing Events and Felt Exhibit

We think of New York City as the "real" world, but then there's that other real world: the one where our food is grown and our clothes are made. We can be fairly isolated from these everyday realities. But even in New York, there are ample opportunities to learn about where things come from.

This weekend is Sheep Shearing Weekend with a couple of events to learn about how wool is turned from a sheep's winter coat into the fabric that makes our clothes and other things. Find a sheep shearing event in the city or drive out for one in the 'burbs. For extra credit check out an art exhibit about felt that takes it to the next step to show how wool is made into felt and many beautiful objects made from felt.

Free NYC Weekend Activities for Kids May 1-3: Cherry Blossom Festival, Wildflowers, Spring Fairs, Free Comic Books & Bikes

Yeah, it might rain, and you've been thinking about getting surgical masks to even take the whole family out to the grocery store...but there is too much going on this weekend to just stay at home. So get the family, grab the Purell--and probably an umbrella or two--and brave the elements for an amazing weekend of cherry blossoms and wildflowers, spring and school fairs, ring swinging, a block party and bike tour, a family festival to end all festivals and free bikes and comic books.

If you're concerned about public places and swine flu, sani-hands is giving out free samples of their sanitizing wipes on Friday, May 1 in Times Square from 10am-1pm, or just make sure to wash your hands frequently.

The Best Family-Friendly Bars in New York City

Just because you have kids, doesn't mean you can't enjoy going out for a beer once in a while. And taking the kids along is fine as long as you choose your watering holes wisely. Bringing your kids to bars is a great way to hang out as a family, while you get to go out and have some fun, too. In order to keep the other patrons happy as well, these are some good general guidlines: arrive early, stick to bars with ample space (outdoor if possible) and bars that welcome kids with kid-friendly food.

If you're game for taking the kids to a family-friendly bar, here are the best ones to try:

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Check out the Beautiful First Entries from The Kids of Hanami Photo Contest

The weather is going to be beautiful this weekend and what better reward than to spend a wonderful afternoon in the beautiful Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, especially now that the Cherry Blossoms are in their prime. Of course, visiting the Cherry Blossoms could lead to its own reward if you enter your photographs of your children and the cherry blossoms into our Kids of Hanami Photo Contest.

Let me spell it out for you; the reward would be a Brooklyn Botanic Garden Pass, Mother's Day Luncheon at the Gardens and a generous prize package of beautiful gifts from the BBG store.

Take a look at some of the beautiful entries we've received:

Geek Out this Weekend at Kids Comic Con and Big Lightsaber Fight

Being a Star Wars fanatic or a comic book geek is pretty cool in my book. And these cool kid-friendly events celebrate and bring out the geek in all of us. A giant black-lit lightsaber battle? What could be cooler than that? A comic book convention just for kids. Let's go!

There's nothing cooler than these geeky activities:

Take Your Kids to Tibet for the Afternoon

I've decided to homeschool my kids by traveling around the world and letting them learn through exposure to different cultures and experiences. What could be a better education than that? Our first stop on this amazing voyage will be Tibet where we will explore the Himalayas, learn traditional art-forms, get to see first-hand the creation of a Tibetan mandala, learn TIbetan calligraphy, children's games and more. It will be a most enriching experience for my kids and for myself.

Of course, leaving New York is kind of a hassle, and the kids kind of like going to school, so we'll do this homeschooling in New york City and on the weekends. Thanks to The Rubin Museum of Art's Family Day this weekend, we can travel to Tibet to experience the art and culture without having to give up our takeout or DSL.

Rubin Museum of Art Family Day: Celebrate Tibet in New York

How to get on TV in New York City

To be on TV: for some people it’s a life long dream. For a kid in New York, it’s a few hours diversion. All you have to do to grab your fifteen seconds of fame in New York is be at the right place at the right time. Sitting in a studio audience might not be kid-friendly, but you can get your mug on the morning shows just by standing outside the studios while they are filming.

Here are some of the right places and right times:

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