New York City

Best Lincoln Center Restaurants for Families

Though many of the restaurants and cafés surrounding Lincoln Center might seem too upscale for family dining or a quick, inexpensive snack, there are plenty of affordable, kid-friendly eats hidden in plain sight. As a plus, most of these places cater to the pre-theater crowd, know local productions and schedules, and are more than happy to make sure you're in and out with time to spare before the curtain rises. Whether you're in the neighborhood for a concert, the circus, or the ballet, or just to check out the famous fountain, here are our favorite spots to grab a bite without breaking the bank—or your patience.

Find more great kid-friendly eateries in our NYC restaurant guide.

New Year's Day 2019 with NYC Kids: Things to Do as a Family

One reason we live in New York City (and pay crazy rents, take packed subways, and research early education options as if we're going for a Ph.D.) is to take advantage of all the cultural experiences it offers year-round. If one of your New Year's resolutions is to do more fun things with your kids, why not kick off 2019 by taking advantage of all the great places open on New Year's Day in the Big Apple?

We came up with seven resolutions for families and then found activities to fulfill each one—all at places open on January 1, 2019, in NYC. You can find more seasonal fun, including little kid and big kid ways to celebrate New Year's Eve, in our Holiday Guide, or in our 25 Free Things to Do in NYC with Kids on Winter Break

All of us at Mommy Poppins wish you and your families a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

Netflix New Year's Eve Countdowns Let Families Celebrate Early

Ah, New Year's Eve. What was once a wild night out can be downright grueling for parents already running on empty after weeks of holiday planning and organizing, er, fun. Wouldn't it be nice to convince the little ones that 5pm is the perfect time to ring in the New Year? Break out the confetti and sparkling apple cider, because Netflix has your back with 14 on-demand New Year's Eve countdowns, many of them featuring your kid's (or even your) favorite stars.

It's the no-cry solution to an early bedtime for all, because the new year can now happen any time you want it to happen. It's also a simple way to get kids in on the festivities, celebrating new adventures as a family. 

Looking for more New Year's Eve fun? Venture out armed with our list of the best kid-friendly celebrations in your town: New York City, Los AngelesLong IslandNew Jersey, Boston, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and Houston.

20 Indoor Places Where NYC Kids Play for Free

We're staring down another long Northeast winter, and entertaining the kids during this long, chilly season isn't easy or cheap. Throw in a cramped New York City apartment and a shortage of vitamin D and of course, everyone is eyeing the exit. Luckily, in NYC some of the best things in life are FREE (really).

If your kids are bouncing off the walls and your wallet is screaming for a break after all the holidays, we've got you covered. Check out our list of 20 FREE indoor destinations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island for fun, games, or just a much-needed change of scenery.

For more great indoor places, check out our Indoor Family Fun Guide which is loaded with all-ages drop-in spots.

Holiday Giving: Mommy Poppins Families Give Back to Local Communities

Every year we share articles about how families can volunteer and donate during the holiday season. But, we are also parents raising our children and working to improve our communities ourselves. Even as our website has grown (Hello, DC and Chicago!), we are proud to say that the values and mission of Mommy Poppins have not changed. We are committed to helping children and families, both online and in real life.

This year, we invited team members from each of our local areas to pick a holiday drive or organization that helps children in need. We funded a shopping spree or, if the holiday season was just too crazy, made a direct donation. In order to do as much good as possible, not just for children, but for local businesses too, we targeted some of our favorite local toy stores to make our purchases. Our children were great helpers in picking out gifts and delivering them.

As the founder of Mommy Poppins, I am grateful to our amazing team for rallying during the hectic holiday season and doing so much good. In all, we donated over $8500! Thanks also to all the local businesses, large and small, who support Mommy Poppins with advertising dollars throughout the year. It makes providing this resource to families for free possible, as well as these donations and our other initiatives. We are humbled and grateful for the support of our readers and local business community.

Read on to find out where our local families shopped and donated.

 

New Year's Eve Fireworks in NYC and More 2019 Family Celebrations

There are plenty of ways to ring in 2019 in New York City. We've rounded up the city's best family-friendly options from daytime celebrations for wee ones to Brooklyn fireworks and FREE bike rides to swanky (and admittedly expensive) Times Square parties. 

However you welcome the New Year, we hope it's a blast. You can find even more seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide, and more fun things to do with kids on school break.

Best Family Travel of 2018: Great Cities, Beaches, Hotels, and Memories

Our Mommy Poppins families really traveled this year! We scoped out some amazing cities with our kids in tow, from New Orleans to Santa Barbara, up to Vancouver and over to Chicago.

There were some epic science museums to explore, Christmas towns to make us cheery, gorgeous beaches, fun at amusement parks, and of course, a slew of entertaining family-friendly resorts, from Mexico and the Caribbean to Los Angeles and New England ski resorts.

So if you’re planning your next family vacation, take a look at our favorite destinations from the last year, including these warmer climates for February or spring break. In each profile, we highlight the most kid-friendly activities and events and let you know what to skip with toddlers or what to see with the teens.

Christmas Day Activities with NYC Kids: What's Open, and What's Fun?

The presents have been ripped open, the plastic packaging dismantled, and the batteries installed. Dinner won't be ready for hours and the kids are stir crazy. What else can you do on Christmas Day in New York City with the kids? What is open?

Those who don't celebrate the holiday have asked that question for years, and the answer is traditionally Chinese food and a movie. But there are options, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. Here are 13 fun things to do on December 25 in NYC. You can find even more seasonal activities in our Holiday Fun Guide or Event Calendar, and of course, best things to do all holiday weekend.

Register for Free Winter Swim Lessons for NYC Kids

The New York City Parks Department offers FREE swim lessons for children and adults all year round, but you have to apply through an online lottery for each session. The FREE winter swimming lessons are on the horizon, and the lottery for registration opens Saturday, December 22, 2018, at noon.

Read on for the details on where to swim for free, or check our directory of paid kids' swim classes, and mommy-and-me swim lessons for babies and toddlers, including those in Brooklyn and in Queens.

Best Snow Tubing Spots Near New York City

When there's no snow to be found in NYC, or your neighborhood sledding hills are worn down to dirt, you still can find perfect slopes for snow tubing with the kids just a short drive away.

Sliding down my parents' front lawn is one of my fondest childhood memories, and now our family's winter trek to a nearby snow tubing spot recreates those magical moments. It's a wonderful seasonal activity that, unlike skiing, requires no skill or gear. Everything you need—a tube, a hill, and snow—is provided by the parks. Just dress warmly and you're good to go.

Here are nine ski resorts in upstate New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania that offer snow tubing. Most are less than a two-hour drive from Midtown Manhattan. They typically open in late December or early January, depending on the temperature, so be sure to click through to the listing to read about the day's conditions. You can find more winter sports in our Skiing, Snowboarding, and Snow Sports Guide.

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