New York City

Sylvan EDGE STEM Classes (Almost) Too Cool for After-School

We're forever amazed by the things kids are learning to do these days. From coding to building robots, today's kiddos are mastering critical 21st century skills that will help them excel in school and, ultimately, their careers. And the best part of all is that places like Sylvan Learning have figured out how to make engineering, coding, and even math, fun. Sylvan Learning believes that engaging and interactive experiences during this pivotal time help nurture an early love of STEM, which can literally serve kids for a lifetime.

We recently took a bunch of kids to try out a Sylvan EDGE STEM program for an afternoon, and we couldn't believe what they created. Check out the video to see what your little learners could be doing at Sylvan.

Weekend Fun: Arthur Ashe, South Slope Derby, Jazz Lawn Party

Food, nature, history, and sports! This week's events in New York City cover it all. With cuisine, you have the Creative Kitchen Kids Food Festival in the Financial District, or the Indonesian Street Festival on the Upper East Side. With sports, you have Arthur Ashe Kids Day in Queens, and the South Slope Derby in Brooklyn. History is covered by the Battle of Brooklyn commemoration in Green-Wood Cemetery, and nature is covered by birdhouse building on Staten Island.

Don't forget the arts! See a rare screening of Hayao Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky, or sing with Emily Eagen in Carroll Gardens. Stick around in Brooklyn with our new guide to Clinton Hill and Fort Greene. Check a few things off that "before school starts" summer bucket list—or start planning for fall: Tickets for Smithsonian Museum Day Live, offering FREE access to museums all around the city on September 23, are available to download beginning August 25. Get 'em before they're gone!

Our August GoList is ending strong, and our Summer Fun Guide still has some treasures left. For to-dos into the fall, see our Event Calendar.

Destination Playground: Central Park's Heckscher Playground

The Central Park Conservancy has been on a mission of late renovating playgrounds all along its border from south to north, but one playground has stood the test of time, not only in the decade-plus since I've been a parent, but well beyond: Heckscher Playground.

Ask any native New Yorker, and they'll tell tales of their youth spent frolicking on the interconnecting pyramid-like structures in this 1.8-acre kiddie paradise, which is Central Park's oldest and largest playground.

Though originally built in 1926, Heckscher Playground was last renovated in 2006. Featuring different play areas for preschoolers and big kids, the playground is smartly designed. It's pyramids are hard to resist in any season, but it's a particularly cool destination in the summer when the spectacular sprinklers send towering jets of water into the air, and it's water-filled walkways provide a cool respite for tired toes.

Looking for more inspiration for your next playground day? Visit our Parks and Playgrounds Guide.

10 Perfect Fall Weekend Getaways Near NYC for Families

Fall in the Northeast is a lovely time of year as the trees explode in a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and gold. The crisp air and outdoor activities are hard to resist for most kids (and grown-ups). New Yorkers can experience that magic right in the city's gorgeous parks, some of which feel almost like a countryside retreat during a foliage walk. But for a weekend away, perhaps over those fall school holidays, consider a trip north to full immerse the family in falltime fun.

We’ve rounded up 10 options, from a luxury retreat in Connecticut to glamping in New Hampshire to an Adirondack wilderness retreat where you can really unplug. 

PJ Masks Live! Time to Be a Hero Landing at a Theater Near You

Grab your mask and activate your animal amulets: PJ Masks is coming to a stage near your family this fall, and its stars need your help to save the day.

The latest in a line of TV-to-stage adaptations, the first PJ Masks live theater show stars Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko in a 60-plus North American city tour, including shows near Mommy Poppins readers in Connecticut, New York City, Philadelphia, Texas, and Los Angeles.

Battery Park City with Kids: Best Things to Do in this Manhattan Nabe

It's hard to imagine that Battery Park City didn’t exist 50 years ago. Built on landfill, this planned community of high-rise apartment buildings features beautiful parks and a show-stopping riverside Esplanade along the southwestern tip of Manhattan. It offers an almost suburban existence right in Manhattan, with two excellent, BPC-zoned public schools, small supermarkets, and chain pharmacies.

Residents have to cross West Street (a.k.a. the West Side Highway) to get to the subway, Whole Foods, and all of Tribeca, but there are three pedestrian bridges across the highway, one underground pedestrian tunnel from the World Trade Center Oculus, and via a free shuttle bus. It’s not a bad tradeoff for those who dream of a giant communal backyard with river views. And oh, the playgrounds!

There's little mystery why Battery Park City pops up in our 5 NYC Day Trip Itineraries Perfect for Preschoolers, our guide to NYC play fountains, and top NYC playgrounds with shade.

Weekday Fun: Solar Eclipse, Free Broadway, and Seaport Tennis

New York City kids get treated to a major celestial event this week: the first, full solar eclipse over North America since 1979. As expected, there's a load of events to choose from, including a full eclipse shindig at the Hayden Planetarium, a slew of free library gatherings, and a free, super-cool viewing in the garden of Pioneer Works, in Red Hook. Also, see our full guide to watching the eclipse as a family.

That doesn't mean the rest of the week gets blocked out! You have Grand Central's Summer Send-Off starting Tuesday, with free, daily performances from the casts of Broadway's biggest shows, like School of Rock, or The Great Comet of 1812. You also have a free tennis party, at the South Street Seaport, celebrating the U.S. Open. 

Got a summer infant? See our list of 12 surprisingly fun places to hang with your baby in New York City. Meanwhile, our action-packed August GoList isn't done with you yet, and our Summer Fun Guide continues to burst with fun ideas. Catch these 30 must-do summer events and activities before the kids head back to school. For deeper into the future, see our Event Calendar

Summer Bucket List: 30 Things to Do in NYC Before School Starts

With August upon us and the start of a new school year looming, my kids and I are in a panic about all the things we haven't yet crossed off our NYC summer bucket list.

Sure, we've had a lot of fun tooling around the city, enjoying our local swimming pool, reigniting a love for some favorite playgrounds, and soaking up all the FREE entertainment. There are plenty of great activities we haven't gotten to, though.

So as a reminder to us, and to you, we've crafted this list of 30 things to do before summer ends. Some are summer-only events happening all month; others are one-time-only affairs, so read on and get ready to dive in before the summer sun sets!

25 Things to Do with Kids in Rye as a Local or a Tourist

While Rye is probably best known for its famous theme park, Playland, this family-friendly destination features excellent community facilities, parks, shops, restaurants and attractions—all within a 45-minute train ride to Manhattan.

It's no wonder that Rye and the Rye Brook village are among the most sought-after areas to live in Westchester. We've gathered a list of our favorite things to do with kids in Rye, both indoors and out. 

Looking for more family fun? Consult our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

Planetariums Near and In NYC Where Kids Can Stargaze

Stargazing in New York City is more likely to mean a celebrity sighting than watching actual celestial bodies. I grew up in the suburbs and have fond memories of standing in my yard with my dad and my telescope, talking about constellations. Even if you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space here, the light pollution precludes seeing anything but the brightest stars. If you can’t book a trip to some remote, rural location, the next best thing is a planetarium—especially since you also get expert guidance as to what you’re seeing.

As most of us know, a complete solar eclipse will happen on August 21, and it might just be the perfect event to spark interest in the solar system for your family. If your child is fascinated by the eclipse, your next stop should be a planetarium, so they can learn more about the stars and planets. We’ve rounded up the planetariums in and around New York City. Happy stargazing!

Find more local NYC eclipse events in our calendar, including viewing parties at local libraries. (Tip: B&H on Ninth Avenue was still selling eclipse glasses at press time.)

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