New York City

Great Party Spots in Brooklyn for Baby's First Birthday

Let’s face it: Your baby's first birthday isn’t just about celebrating the start of toddlerhood. It’s about acknowledging the fact that you’re still standing after a whole year of parenting, even if you can’t remember the last time you slept!

At this age, the kids in attendance probably won't be running in circles (in fact, many of them might not be walking), so you don't need as much space as you will in a few years, and there’s a good chance that your guest list is heavy on the grown-ups. We've already rounded up great best first birthday spots in Manhattan, and now we've put together a list of top Brooklyn baby-friendly first birthday bash spots that adults and kids will appreciate.

Looking for more party-perfect ideas? Take a look at these Brooklyn gym parties, or visit our handy Party Guide and Directory to find entertainers and more.​​

Favorite Mommy and Me Classes in NYC

Mommy and Me (or Daddy and Me) classes rule, and not just because little ones learn something new. In a city like NYC, taking a swim class or music class with your infant or toddler is a great way to meet other parents, and a social baby is a happy baby. Extra plus? All that learning and making friends sometimes translates to excellent sleeping (for both of you).

The hardest part of signing up for parent-child classes in New York City might be choosing from one of the hundreds of options, so we've rounded up a few of the spots our community of expert parents recommend most. Some of our favorite spots even multi-task, so you can move from a swim class at Bronx House to a creative movement or art class, for example, or bop from a music class at Kids at Work to "Mess it Up" (art) or Mandarin lessons.

If you need something close to home, remember that YMCAs and JCCs all host classes for little humans, from swimming to gymnastics (special shout out to the 14th St and 92nd St Ys for their dazzling range of programs).

As always, you can find even more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

Destination Playground: East 110th Street Playground Is a Central Park Gem

As a Harlemite, the northern edge of Central Park has always held a special place in my heart. It's a little off the beaten path, far from the tourist draws in Midtown, but it's still teeming with activity and attractions, including one of our very favorite playgrounds, the East 110th Street Playground. This playground, which was completely rebuilt in 2013, is a prime romping spot for school-age kids, whether they are uptown residents or visitors to this scenic edge of the park.

Things to Do This Weekend: Harlem Fest, Sand Castles, Kites, Math Fest, Honey

We're counting on having a great time at the fourth annual Math Festival hosted by MoMath on Saturday, with laser cutting, giant mazes, music, and roller coaster design to make STEM irresistible.

Also this Saturday: Watch the colors fly at the Upper West Side's annual Kite Flying Festival. Scoot down to the third (and final) Summer Streets Fest. Skip through the sprinklers at Asphalt Green's second splashy free-for-all. Or head down to Coney Island to enjoy the sunshine and artistry at the annual Sand Sculpting Contest.

Harlem Week romps through uptown all weekend long, with a children's festival on Saturday and daily performances that run from hip hop to poetry to tap dance. And Wave Hill is literally buzzing—it's Honey Weekend again, and that means candle-making, sweet treats, and the traditional Be a Bee workshop and parade.

All this, plus over a hundred other events (50+ each day) are baked into the Mommy Poppins Calendar. Check out our list of the 50 best places to cool off this summer, and don't forget the fun-packed August Go List. And the outdoor movies that were canceled due to all the rain earlier this summer are now being scheduled through September—bookmark our Free Outdoor Movie page to see what's playing (for free!) near you.

Free Admission to NYC Museums on Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

The best way to see some of this fall's best museum exhibits for kids? Why, for free, of course. On Saturday, September 21, 2019, hundreds of museums and cultural institutions across the country will be offering free admission, including more than 20 spots right here in New York City as part of Smithsonian Magazine's annual Museum Day, and passes are available to download starting this week, on August 15.

In addition to a handful of big institutions, such as the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, there are lots of cool, off-the-beaten-path places participating, like the Museum of the Dog. Museum Day is the perfect time to check out a new-to-you museum or visit an old standby for at no cost. We've got the scoop on which museums are offering free admission and how to get your tickets for Museum Day.

5 Kid-Friendly Urban Farms Right Here in New York City

Times—and the food industry—have changed from when I was a kid. In the 1980s, everything we ate came from the freezer section, cans, and boxes. Microwaves were hot kitchen appliances. I didn't even know what an unpicked strawberry looked like or what type of plant blueberries grew on. Trees, maybe? Now, knowing where your food comes from, understanding sustainability, and eating local are all hot topics that parents are passionate about. New York City offers plenty of farmers' markets, gardens, and parks to get close to nature. But did you know there are plenty of farms, too?

We've compiled a list of open-to-the-public farms within NYC that all deserve a visit. Each one has a special and interesting hook. Make sure to check seasonal hours/days-of-operation before you travel. 

If you really want that full country vibe, you can always head out to the nearby farms of Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester for pick-your-own apples, tractor rides, and petting zoos.

13 Coolest Places in NYC to Take Photos of Your Kids

Not to brag, but New York City is pretty darn photogenic. The glittering buildings, the amazing public art, the bright blue rivers, the buzzing neighborhood streets...It might just be the coolest family photo studio on Earth. No wonder you can hardly turn a corner in this town without running into a movie shoot.

Whether you're looking for the perfect backdrop for a family photo or just looking to take your Instagram game up a notch, we've rounded up a list of the best spots in the city to take pics of your kids (way beyond the classic "waving in front of the Statue of Liberty"...not that there's anything wrong with that). But of course, it's not just about getting that perfect shot—it's about having a perfect NYC memory, too. Each of these spots is also a great family destination in its own right, with playgrounds, parks, and museums to explore.

Be sure to follow Mommy Poppins on Instagram for more cool places to discover in NYC with your kids, with or without your camera.

Iceland with Kids: 10 Things You Will Want To Do on a Family Trip

Iceland has become the place everyone talks about. It's dramatic. It's beautiful. It's rugged, unspoiled, totally different, and the perfect stop between North America and Europe. In fact, it's where the two continents actually meet (cue photo op)! But without amusement parks, warm weather, or any kind of branded entertainment, will it hold your kids' attention? The answer is heck yeah—tell the kids you're bringing them to the Land of the Midnight Sun, and check out as many as you can of the 10 extra-special Icelandic highlights below.

Best Things to Do in NYC With the Grandparents

A visit from the grandparents can be a special time for everyone. Parents get a break and kids get to spend time with family members who aren't mom or dad. That may mean slightly different ground rules, like snagging treats they aren't allowed at home, but it's also an opportunity to hear stories about what mom and pop were like as children. Plus, we live in a city where grandparents can actually explore history with their grandchildren by visiting museums and other enriching destinations that highlight a variety of cultures, interests, and time periods, including the immigrant experiences so many American families share.

Whether your kids' grandparents drop by all the time or are only able to visit once in a while, the next time they ask where to take the kids, skip the usual playgrounds or play spaces, and suggest one of these meaningful outings, which help the generations find common ground while having fun.

Mommy and Me Swim Classes in New York City for Babies and Tots

Mommy and me swim classes (or daddy and me) are a wonderful way to spend time with your baby or toddler. Ideally, these lessons should be enjoyable, stress-free, educational, and a good source of exercise for kids and parents.

During the summer, swim lessons offer overheated families the chance to cool off while young kids become comfortable in the water, a skill they'll certainly use a lot in the coming years, what with all the great swimming pools and beaches in NYC. Parent-child swim classes are also offered around the city throughout the fall, winter, and spring, both on weekends and after school.

Most classes for wee ones and their caretakers take place in indoor pools. Except for the free swim lessons offered via lottery by the New York City Parks Department, mommy and me classes invariably cost something. We've rounded up the top parent-child swim programs across the city (and for more options, see our roundups of swimming classes for all ages in Brooklyn and Queens).

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - New York City