New York City

The Top 13 Indoor Play Spaces Across New York City

Whether it's cold or hot or you're just plain tired of the same neighborhood spots, sometimes, you just need to break out of the norm. We feel you.

Though we've long had curated lists of the best spots to play in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, today we present the best of the best: the top 12 indoor play spaces across New York City. So hit your neighborhood spots first, then venture out to the rest of the city to cross every one of these awesome locations off the list.

Visit our Indoor Play Spaces Guide for more indoor fun, or our Family Fun Guide to all of NYC's top family attractions.

Play Fair Returns to Javits Center with New Toys and Interactive Fun

The holidays are coming up fast, and your kids are eager to get to work on their wish lists (of course). But before anyone decides which gifts make the final cut, consider a trip to Play Fair, where the whole family can get hands on with the gotta-have-'em toys and new-to-the-market goodies that'll make this season one for the books!

Play Fair, which returns to the Javits Center on November 4 and 5 after its fun-filled debut last year, offers toy lovers of all ages an action-packed day filled with memorable performances by kid-approved favorites, special movie screenings, character appearances (including Chase and Marshall of Paw Patrol fame), tons of interactive games, and most importantly a chance to play with and buy the toys of tomorrow today. And as if that wasn't reason enough to snag tickets for your family, we have a special discount for Mommy Poppins readers.

Immerse Yourself in Another Dimension at VR World in Midtown

Looking to earn some cool-mom (or dad) cred with your teen or tween? Take them to the newly opened VR World in Midtown Manhattan for an out-of-this world experience.

Whether you choose to climb a mountain in Vietnam (like me) or explore a Matrix-like fighting scene (like my 11-year-old son), you've surely never experienced an afternoon like this in the shadow of the Empire State Building.

25 NYC Restaurants Serving Family Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is a time to count your blessings—and to spend hours in the kitchen, right? Eh, we New Yorkers of small-space fame and rapid-fire takeout options often prefer to let someone else handle our annual turkey fest. Of course, in New York City we can choose from many award-winning restaurants for that amazing dinner. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a number of options in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens to make this November 23, 2017 as easy and delicious as possible.

Now, instead of deep-cleaning your apartment to host those far-flung relatives (and their expectations), you can spend the night before Thanksgiving in a more festive way—say watching the inflation of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloons, sightseeing, or even volunteering. After all, what could be more of a New York City Thanksgiving experience than that?

Find even more family-friendly NYC eateries in our local restaurant guide. Visiting and still looking for a place to stay? Check out these top family-friendly NYC hotels, or these Midtown gems offer views of the Macy's parade.

12 Sweet Events for Babies and Toddlers in NYC This Week

Home with your NYC baby or toddler this week? Break out of your usual routine with these fun events around the city. There are FREE performances and storytimes, multiple sing-alongs, Halloween puppets, and even Halloween parties just for little ones under age 2.

Find more daily events in our continually updated calendar, or head over to the Mommy Poppins Baby Guide for cool classes, play spaces, and more need-to-know info for new parents.

Polar Express and Santa Trains Near NYC This Holiday Season

The magic of Chris Van Allsburg’s popular Christmas picture book, The Polar Express, comes to life again this winter with festive holiday trains within a whistle's blow of the New York City metro area. A huge hit with kids and parents alike, these trains spark the imagination and holiday spirit with seasonal snacks, stories, even token gifts—not to mention a visit from Santa himself.

These old-school cabooses (some harking back to the 1920s) offer a classic holiday ambience. There's a Polar Express just an hour south into New Jersey, or the one-day-only Tri-State Santa Train about 50 minutes away, or consider a day trip to the Catskills or weekend getaway to Pennsylvania Dutch Country for this Santa's Paradise Express. Best of all, families can combine the annual Santa Claus photo op with a sweet adventure sure to create lasting memories.

Remember: these train rides sell out quickly, often months in advance, so book now if you want to go.

Our Ultimate NYC Bucket List is Now a Free Printable

What should we do today? It's the age-old dilemma anyone with kids faces. And even though New York City is seemingly overflowing with things to do, somehow it's still possible to feel at a loss.

Of course, we hope our website, event calendar, Go Lists, newsletters and many guides help you find inspiration whenever you need it, but we also know that sometimes you just want the answer to stare you right in the face. That's why we've made our most popular 100 Things to Do with NYC Kids Before They Grow Up list into a handy printable sheet that you can stick on your fridge (or wherever people stick things now that fridges are often stainless) and access at any time. We've cut down the list to just the top 50 things that are doable on any given day (although some are seasonal). If you need details on the activity just go to the short URL listed on the page and you can click to find all the deets for your activity. 

Jump N Play Is the Latest Must-See Queens Bounce House

Queens already has more indoor bounce houses than any other NYC borough, but it just added another! Jump N Play opened this past summer in Ozone Park, a neighborhood that's also rapidly growing its list of exciting indoor play spaces.

This location, with its fire-engine-red exterior, is impossible to miss. Inside is even harder to resist. The humongous two main rooms offer one bounce house after another. My 5-year-old's jaw dropped and he went speechless for about a full 60 seconds. Read on for our review and important know-before-you-go details about this new play spot.

9 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks to Visit with Kids in NYC

It's time to sharpen those ice skates. Many of New York City's outdoor rinks are open for family fall, er, winter fun.

Whether you prefer to twirl with the tourists at Rockefeller Center and Central Park's Wollman Rink, or go off the beaten path to a Mommy Poppins favorite such as Lasker Rink, the city offers plenty of options for newbies to polished skaters—even a FREE skate spot. If it ever gets too cold to glide outside, you can always hit one of NYC's indoor ice skating rinks.

Disney on Ice Brings Moana and Elsa Show to NYC Metro Area

A Disney on Ice show skates into the greater New York City area this November with some of the entertainment company's most popular female characters. This Dare to Dream production features Moana for the first time, but also Belle of Beauty and the Beast, Elsa and Anna of Frozen fame, and plenty more princesses.

The family show kicks off in the metro region at the Prudential Center in Newark, November 1-5. It then plays Barclays Center in Brooklyn, November 9-12, and finally at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island, November 15-November 26.

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