New York City

March GoList: Best Things to Do with NYC Kids This Month

It's hard to believe March has arrived, bringing with it signs of spring all around New York City, from budding daffodils to outdoor play. Our overflowing events calendar makes it easy for you to hit all the best spring-inspired events, including the Macy's Flower Show, girl-powered ways to celebrate Women's History Month, and of course St. Patrick's Day parades and children's activities as the city turns green March 17. 

We've rounded up over a dozen must-hit happenings in our GoList, including the innovative Tilt Festival, the return of Pip's Island, and the opening of the fearsome new T.Rex exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. We're also celebrating Dr. Seuss on March 2 with nearly two dozen wacky activities.

Don't forget to get a jump on spring break planning with our Getaways and Day Trips Guide, as well as our roundup on Spring Break Camps for NYC Kids. Grab early bird summer camp rates by perusing the rest of our Summer Camp Guide, which includes FREE camps and brand-new ones for the 2019 season.

Now get your calendars ready! Here are the top things to do with kids in New York City this March.

20 Birthday Party Spots for Brooklyn Toddlers and Preschoolers

Your toddler is another year older, which means it's time to throw a birthday party! Entertaining the under-age-5 crowd, plus a small army of their closest friends (and parents), can be tricky. Lucky for us, the borough of Brooklyn is filled with party places to please even the most diverse pack of enthusiastic toddlers and preschoolers.

Animals, arts and crafts—even just tumbling around for a few hours—are all options at these creative venues across Brooklyn. Read on for our list of favorites, and find even more birthday party inspiration in our NYC Party Guide.

8 Museums With Special Needs Programs for NYC Kids

Parents of special needs kids take note: Many cultural institutions are raising the bar when it comes to accessibility. While a crowded museum can be overwhelming or inaccessible for special needs kids, some of our favorite kid-centric museums go the extra mile, modifying their educational offerings to accommodate kids of all abilities.

Take, for instance, the Children's Museum of the Arts, where weekends go way beyond the fantastic dot paintings and clay bar sculptures. Here, a trio of programs caters to special-needs visitors with inventive programming meant to meet kids where they are, and encourage artistic exploration for all.

Read on to learn more about the programs at CMA and seven other city museums. While the increased access is priceless, most of the programs are FREE for kids and their families, though some programs may require advance registration. Be sure to click through to the websites for more details.

8 Things to Love About the Brooklyn Children's Museum

As the world’s first children’s museum, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum has been a beloved NYC destination since 1899. This Crown Heights institution offers three floors of rotating and permanent interactive exhibits and hands-on cultural and science programs for little ones, ages 6 months to 10 years. BCM aims to inspire children to ask questions and discover answers through exploration and play.

My daughter and I have passed countless hours in the Totally Tots exhibit, designed for children under six. This pint-sized paradise features water, sand, and is usually filled with thrilled toddlers and bleary-eyed parents. Read on to see our top reasons why BCM is one of our top NYC must-see museums.

Play Retro Video Games at These Family Arcades

Does it bother you that your kids don't know all four of the ghosts in Pac-Man (say it with me: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde), or all the characters in Mortal Combat, or what the game Asteroids even is? We're here for you. We've found a handful of old-fashioned family-friendly arcades around NYC, some straddling the line between retro and cutting-edge video games.

Of course, you can also find arcade games at Chuck E. Cheese's and Dave & Buster's. Check out our roundup of more birthday-oriented video game spots with laser tag and cheesy pizza for more of these game fun zones. You can also find small arcades at many of the city's bowling alleys.

But consider one of the retro spots below if you're in the market for some parental nostalgia and old-school family fun.

Weekend Fun: Kids' Film Fest, Black History, Teknopolis, Lego Movie 2

There's a still a weekend left in winter break to fill with fun and memories! For those of us who didn't get to vacation on the islands this year, the Children's Museum of Manhattan celebrates Caribbean traditions this weekend. And Kids Week at the Intrepid rolls to a close on Saturday—stop by for roller coaster physics, a meet-and-greet with Snoopy, mad science shows, and rocket building. 

The International Children's Film Fest kicks off this weekend too. While the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Theater is the main hub for the festival, hosting piles of screenings and special programming, families can also watch some of the best new kid flicks at Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn and Scandinavia House in Manhattan. 

Black History Month closes with interactive performances, art-making, and more at the Black Future Festival at the Brooklyn Children's Museum. At Wave Hill, learn about the African term Ubuntu, which means humanity towards others, and create mixed-media tributes to loved ones. Learn about Jim Crow at the Historical Society, or take a spin back in time to the Civil Rights Movement and the music that roused a generation at Lincoln Center's Soundtrack '63.

Barnes and Noble stores around town celebrate the new Lego movie with workshops to build Emmet's Dream House. Pirate Pete's Parrot squawks in Long Island City on Saturday, and Humpty Dumpty Cracks Up all weekend in Brooklyn. The New Shanghai Circus sommersaults in to the Schimmel Center on Sunday. And BAMKids' Teknopolis invites kids to experiment with technology in a series of virtual reality and multi-sensory installations.

Need more ideas for family-friendly fun to fill your weekend? Our fun-packed events calendar and Winter Fun List are here to help.

Low-Cost Summer Camp Lottery from NYC Parks Opens March 1

Summer is on the horizon and that means parents are scurrying to finalize summer camp placements. While we've got plenty of options in our Summer Camp Guide and Directory, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better full-summer deal than the one offered by the New York City Parks Department, which is set to open a low-cost camp lottery on Friday, March 1.

Read on for more details on this summer camp option that's budget friendly but full of over-the-top-fun for kids.

10 Things to Love About the DiMenna Children's History Museum at the New-York Historical Society

Kids are naturally intrigued by history—the "who, what, and when" of how the world as they know it came to be. Curious history buffs in the making (and their parents) take note: One of our favorite children's museums in NYC is actually tucked into the basement level of the the New-York Historical Society in the heart of the family-friendly Upper West Side, just steps from Central Park. If you haven't visited yet, read on for 10 reasons we love the DiMenna Children's History Museum at the New-York Historical Society, a hidden gem with plenty for kids to explore.

10 Best Brooklyn Craft Studios for Kids

In need of a little creative inspiration? Drop-in craft studios offer a great alternative indoor activity for wintertime when you've worn out the mat at your local indoor playspace and your home collection of broken crayons no longer thrills. 

Luckily my family lives in Brooklyn, which just may be the crafting mecca of the world (or at least New York City). There are a slew of craft studios where kids can paint pottery, work with wood, try fiber arts like knitting and sewing, or make something more offbeat (robot trash can anyone?)—and best of all, someone else cleans up after them. Although some spots require that you sign up for an entire semester of classes, many offer drop-in options for occasional crafters, summer camps, school break programs and even birthday party packages. Here are our top Brooklyn craft studios where kids can get creative.

NYC Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free

Most NYC kids have a diet that's heavy on eating out, and why not? New York City has some of the best kid-friendly restaurants anywhere. Of course, dining out doesn't come cheaply, especially in this town—unless you happen to be a child. For NYC kids, there really is such a thing as a free lunch, brunch, and sometimes even dinner ... if you know where to go. At these local eateries, you can feed those hungry mouths for the unbeatable price of $0, while you get a break from playing chef. We know what you'll be making tonight: reservations.

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