New York City

25 Things to Do for Mother’s Day 2019 in New York City

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 12, 2019, and mothers everywhere (is it fair to say especially in NYC?) deserve to have a great weekend—and an edible, or at least Instagram-worthy, breakfast in bed. 

Depending on the success of that breakfast in bed, you might also want/need to grab brunch before launching fully into the day—and we found some great options in Manhattan and the rest of the city (not to mention delicious special events, below). Then, tummies pleasantly sated, you'll be ready to focus on the 25 excellent options we found to enhance your Mother's Day celebration.

10 Budget-Friendly Staten Island Birthday Party Spots for Kids

Although we have a ton of ideas for kids' birthday parties for every budget in New York City, celebrations in Manhattan or Brooklyn typically cost more than they do in other boroughs, especially when compared to Staten Island. You might not already know it unless you live on Staten Island, but this borough offers a ton of great, affordable birthday party options—ice skating, roller skating, bowling, museums, park and zoo parties, and even a few surprises.

If you're not a Staten Island resident, getting to the island for a party may take a little more effort and planning to schlep a group of kids on the ferry (which will probably be totally cool to them, by the way) or by car, but with the cash you'll save, it just might be worth it. And if you do live on Staten Island, read on for a few ideas to bookmark for your next birthday party.

Weekend Fun: Car-Free Earth Day, Arbor Day, and Festivals Galore

National Arbor Day is April 26, so naturally this weekend includes lots of tree-themed outings. For starters, the massive Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri festival takes place all weekend, celebrating those fleeting cherry blossoms and Japanese culture. More tree hugging can be accomplished at Wave Hill's Arbor weekend, at The Evergreens Cemetery, and at the Queens Botanical Arbor Fest. While you're in Queens, stop by the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck for a snack.

All that, plus Car Free Earth Day is back in Manhattan and Brooklyn on Saturday, and every borough is hosting festivals galore, including this weekend's Street Games in Harlem, the Puppetry Arts Fest in Park Slope, the free NYFEST (about all things soccer) in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Prospect Park's Earth Day fest, the Jack and Jill School Spring Fair in Stuyvesant Town, and Staten Island's How To Festival, to name just a few. And something more to chew on: the Brooklyn Public Library celebrates the Very Hungry Caterpillar's 50th anniversary on Sunday.

Check out our Spring Fun Guide, the best upcoming family festivals this season, events for the pre-K and toddler crowd, and more outdoor fun like the May 1 opening of Governors Island, or maybe a little mini golf (did you know there are now 14 miniature golf courses in NYC—at least one in each borough?)! And don't forget the calendar, which gets fatter every day as summer approaches!

The NYC Public School Calendar for 2019-2020 Is Here

If you've got a child in public school, you live by the school calendar. Many local NYC preschools follow the public school schedule too. The New York City Department of Education's calendar for the 2019-2020 school year was (finally!) just released, and you'll want to bookmark it now, for next year's family vacation plans and, if you're really on the ball, to help with advance planning for school break camp coverage

With the exception of the occasional unplanned snow day or case of the sniffles, these are all of the dates you can count on your kiddos being out of school during the 2019-2020 school year.

Governors Island 2019: Playgrounds, Camping, Art, and Adventure

Governors Island opens to the public on May 1 this year and its season, which again runs through October 31, promises plenty of family-friendly programming, plus the return of spectacular overnight accommodations, increased ferry service, and even more time to play: Summer Friday and Saturday nights feature extended hours, so you'll be able to blow bedtime and stay and play well after dark!

The opening of Governors Island is an event we anticipate annually, as the island seemingly reinvents itself with new attractions and old favorites, like The Yard, return. Plus, every year the island's jam-packed events calendar is stocked with inventive new family-friendly programming.

Read on for the scoop on the very best things to do on Governors Island with kids this year, plus important visitor tips—such as ferry schedules, and where to score free biking and kayaking.

Easy Day Hikes Near NYC for Families To Explore

When the weather is fine, there are few things New Yorkers like better than a day outside with the family. Although NYC has incredible parks and playgrounds to explore, sometimes it's worth taking a day trip outside the city limits.

So pack a cooler and a picnic blanket and find your new favorite kid-friendly hiking destination among this list that takes you to the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, Long Island, and even some memorable parks within the five boroughs. Each of these hikes has something special to offer, and best of all, they are kid-tested and kid-approved! 

Best Destination Sandboxes at Local Parks for NYC Kids

There's no denying it—kids love diving into a sandbox, running their shovels and hands through the grains of sand, dumping a full bucket over and generally getting their hands dirty.

Though NYC parents might get grossed out at the thought of what could be lurking in our uncovered, urban sandboxes, it's hard to refuse one of a preschooler's most beloved sensory experiences. So pull up a bench (and your cup of coffee; you'll be here a while!), and check out these eight toddler-tested, mom-approved NYC sandboxes. We've done our best to find the cleanest ones across the city. Besides, you can always wash their hands in the nearby sprinklers or park bathrooms when you're finally able to get them out.

And hey, you don't have to hoof it out to the local beach to reach this sand, which just means more time for other NYC kid activities. Find more destination playgrounds in our NYC Parks & Playgrounds Guide.

NYC's Best Playgrounds: 18 Parks Worthy of a Subway Schlep

Playgrounds may be as much a part of childhood as potty training and the tooth fairy, but to city families, having a go-to playground is a real sanity saver. When you live in a tiny apartment, the neighborhood park is like your backyard.

While New Yorkers are lucky to have many awesome local play spots, some NYC playgrounds are a cut above the rest. These spots offer plenty of space to romp and enough outdoor entertainment to make them worth a schlep on the subway. Without further ado, read on for 18 of the city's best playgrounds—our NYC playground hall of fame.

Orlando with Teens: Top 15 Things to Do at the Theme Parks and Beyond

I used to think of Orlando as a destination for little kids, but I discovered Orlando is even better with teens. Amusement parks are so much more fun when you can go on all the rides and don’t have to worry about the dreaded “theme park meltdowns.” My big kids were also able to pack in lots of other adventures and hipster shopping areas as we explored all the fun there is in Orlando beyond the theme parks.

We spent our recent spring break in Orlando with two teens and had a blast.

Life-Size Robot Dinos Roar at New Dinosaur Safari at the Bronx Zoo

They roar, brandish their teeth, and swing their tails and claws at you, but these prehistoric giants can't hurt anyone...we think. They’re all part of the new Dinosaur Safari opening at the Bronx Zoo on April 19, just in time for spring break.

Families board an open-air wagon to hit the trail in the Bronx for a ride through a prehistoric-themed display of 40 life-size, animatronic dinosaurs. Read on for all the details on this fun new attraction for kids at NYC’s largest zoo, including how to get tickets and must-know tips for families.

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