New York City

Weekend Fun: Winter Jam, Winter Blast, and Winter Spooktacular

Winter! It's what New York City kids do in January, and this weekend there's a Winter Jam in Central Park, a Winter Carnival in Bryant Park, a Winter Spooktacular in Queens, and a FREE Winter Blast at the National Museum of the American Indian in lower Manhattan. We even have an early Lunar New Year celebration at the Japan Society.

There's warmer fun, also in Manhattan, with the free show celebrating Haiti, featuring Claudia Eliaza (maybe you've seen her with Dan Zanes). On the Upper West Side, Symphony Space hosts a stunning lineup of the 2018 Grammy-nominated children's musicians. In Park Slope, join a theater performance, or head to Boerum Hill for a FREE storytime with a special guest.

If it's football you crave, catch the NFL experience in Times Square. If you're more into the equations than touchdowns, check our full lowdown on the National Musuem of Mathematics

By the way, this weekend, we'll continue to suffer through this crazy "weather whiplash," with both rain and sunny skies of 50 degrees predicted, so we're giving you all the tools you might need to keep the kids entertained: Indoor Play Spaces Guide, 50 Fun Things to Do Indoors on a Rainy Day....and our Parks & Playgrounds Guide!

Meanwhile, our January GoList is in the home stretch, but our Winter Fun Guide and Event Calendar will hold you over until February.

Toys 'R' Us to Close 182 Stores Nationwide – See the Full List

On the heels of its bankruptcy filing last year, Toys "R" Us says it will close more than 180 stores nationwide, according to court documents submitted this week by the retailer. The restructing includes the closure of the Babies "R" Us in New York City's Union Square, the Toys "R" Us in the company's hometown of Wayne, New Jersey, more locations in the NYC suburbs of Westchester and Long Island, and across the country, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Texas, and California.

Best Indoor Play Spots for Toddlers and Preschoolers in Manhattan

The playground isn't always an option for keeping antsy little New Yorkers (and the grown-up variety) busy. When the weather turns and the stir-craziness sets in, it's time to search out indoor options that are not your apartment. 

After finding myself searching for indoor play options a few too many times, I'm offering my mom-tested picks for the top spots for the toddler-and-preschool set in Manhattan. None of these places—kid gyms, museums, and even atriums—require a membership, and all will help you, your little one, and, most importantly, your apartment survive a long, cold winter or rainy day.

Read on for a dozen of the best places to play with your preschooler in Manhattan, including FREE spots.

31 Things To Do in Gowanus, Brooklyn with Kids

Sandwiched between the famously family-friendly enclaves of BoCoCa and Park Slope, Gowanus is holding its own in terms of cool hangouts and play spaces for kids. With the promise of a $500 million Superfund cleanup of its odoriferous waterway, the area is transforming from an industrial pass-through to a destination in its own right, complete with new condo development. Following in the footsteps of nearby Red Hook, warehouses have become art houses, and boutiques and restaurants are opening up left and right. Mixed-use buildings are providing more residential options than ever, so it's no surprise that this Brooklyn neighborhood is attracting young families in droves.

Gowanus spans the area from Baltic Street to the north and the Gowanus Expressway to the south, Fourth Avenue to the east, and Smith and Hoyt Streets to the west. Despite all the development in this formerly industrial neighborhood, Gowanus maintains its status as a hotbed for artists, makers, and entrepreneurs. Easily accessible by subway, and walking distance from the Barclays Center, the area is exploding with activities for families and kids of all ages. Enjoy an ice cream cone, explore the art scene, or get busy creating in the up-and-coming 'hood.

Best Off-Broadway Shows Playing in NYC for Kids

Taking kids to a Broadway show is an exciting and memorable experience. It's also a pricey one. That's why it's worth looking beyond the Great White Way to Off-Broadway, where there are a handful of long-running, kid-friendly shows that are less expensive, more offbeat, but no less special.

From a surefire toddler hit to a Harry Potter parody for tweens to those world-famous blue dudes, there are options for all ages and interests, and we've even shared ways you can get deeply discounted tickets. All of these Off-Broadway productions make great birthday party activities, too.

Chinese Lunar New Year Parades and Celebrations for NYC Kids

Lunar New Year is one of our favorite winter celebrations in New York City, and we're particularly excited for 2018's family activities. School-aged kids ought to be excited, too, as the holiday gives them an extra day off from school.

Often referred to as Chinese New Year, although many Asian nations celebrate it, the holiday takes place on Friday, February 16, 2018, and ushers in the Year of the Dog. Mark this cultural holiday with a family-friendly celebration. We've got the scoop on the best Lunar New Year parades, family dance parties, museum events, crafts, and more for NYC kids.

Commemorating Lunar New Year is a great way to learn about Asian culture and enjoy the food. Check out one of these dozen NYC eateries where you can enjoy Lunar New Year banquets, snacks, or desserts. With celebrations and parades in almost every borough, it's also an opportunity to get out and explore a new-to-you neighborhood such as Manhattan's ChinatownFlushing in Queens, Sunset Park in Brooklyn, or Midtown Manhattan's Koreatown.

9 Best Florida Beach Vacation Destinations for Families

Sure, we all love a good spa resort or ski trip, but if the relentless winter has worn you down, know that there are balmy breezes, sandy beaches, and palm trees awaiting you in Florida

February's rounding the bend and spring is not quite ready to make an appearance; I can't think of a better time to the south for a fun family vacation—maybe for the kids' spring break from school. As a mother of two little ones living in Florida, I know the best spots for families on both coasts. Check out my favorite beach destinations for little and big (that means you!) kids alike.

Get Out and Drop In! Best Queens Play Spaces and Gyms for Kids

From Queens' formerly industrial waterfront to deep in the borough, family-friendly spots and amenities are on the upswing. There are wide-open spaces to run with abandon, playgrounds are aplenty, and indoor play spaces with open play hours are strong in number: In fact, it has more than Manhattan and is gaining on Brooklyn.

We found 14 indoor romping locations in the borough that offer drop-in sessions open to the public (no membership required), including newcomer Jump N Play, which opened in Ozone Park this past summer.

Bonus: All of these spots host birthday parties, too, and most are much more affordable than their Manhattan competitors.

Get Inside the Game at the New NFL Experience in Times Square

New York may lay claim to a pair of NFL teams, but catching them in action and experiencing the thrill of an NFL game day has long required a trip on NJ Transit or hopping in a car and heading across the river. That is, until now.

The opening of the NFL Experience in the heart of Times Square in December gives New Yorkers a taste of what an NFL game day looks, feels, and tastes like—all just a subway ride away.

A New Indoor Water Park Is Coming to the Catskills

Families who'd rather swap their snowsuits for bathing suits will soon have one more option: the Kartrite Hotel & Indoor Waterpark, which will open in Monticello, New York, in early 2019.

The best part? It's located in Sullivan County, an easy family-friendly destination for both daytrippers and those in need of a weekend getaway.

Read on for more details, and sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date.

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