New York City

Battery Park City with Kids: Best Things to Do in this Manhattan Nabe

It's hard to imagine that Battery Park City didn’t exist 50 years ago. Built on landfill, this planned community of high-rise apartment buildings features beautiful parks and a show-stopping riverside Esplanade along the southwestern tip of Manhattan. It offers an almost suburban existence right in Manhattan, with two excellent, BPC-zoned public schools, small supermarkets, and chain pharmacies.

Residents have to cross West Street (a.k.a. the West Side Highway) to get to the subway, Whole Foods, and all of Tribeca, but there are three pedestrian bridges across the highway, one underground pedestrian tunnel from the World Trade Center Oculus, and via a free shuttle bus. It’s not a bad tradeoff for those who dream of a giant communal backyard with river views. And oh, the playgrounds!

There's little mystery why Battery Park City pops up in our 5 NYC Day Trip Itineraries Perfect for Preschoolers, our guide to NYC play fountains, and top NYC playgrounds with shade.

Weekday Fun: Solar Eclipse, Free Broadway, and Seaport Tennis

New York City kids get treated to a major celestial event this week: the first, full solar eclipse over North America since 1979. As expected, there's a load of events to choose from, including a full eclipse shindig at the Hayden Planetarium, a slew of free library gatherings, and a free, super-cool viewing in the garden of Pioneer Works, in Red Hook. Also, see our full guide to watching the eclipse as a family.

That doesn't mean the rest of the week gets blocked out! You have Grand Central's Summer Send-Off starting Tuesday, with free, daily performances from the casts of Broadway's biggest shows, like School of Rock, or The Great Comet of 1812. You also have a free tennis party, at the South Street Seaport, celebrating the U.S. Open. 

Got a summer infant? See our list of 12 surprisingly fun places to hang with your baby in New York City. Meanwhile, our action-packed August GoList isn't done with you yet, and our Summer Fun Guide continues to burst with fun ideas. Catch these 30 must-do summer events and activities before the kids head back to school. For deeper into the future, see our Event Calendar

Summer Bucket List: 30 Things to Do in NYC Before School Starts

With August upon us and the start of a new school year looming, my kids and I are in a panic about all the things we haven't yet crossed off our NYC summer bucket list.

Sure, we've had a lot of fun tooling around the city, enjoying our local swimming pool, reigniting a love for some favorite playgrounds, and soaking up all the FREE entertainment. There are plenty of great activities we haven't gotten to, though.

So as a reminder to us, and to you, we've crafted this list of 30 things to do before summer ends. Some are summer-only events happening all month; others are one-time-only affairs, so read on and get ready to dive in before the summer sun sets!

25 Things to Do with Kids in Rye as a Local or a Tourist

While Rye is probably best known for its famous theme park, Playland, this family-friendly destination features excellent community facilities, parks, shops, restaurants and attractions—all within a 45-minute train ride to Manhattan.

It's no wonder that Rye and the Rye Brook village are among the most sought-after areas to live in Westchester. We've gathered a list of our favorite things to do with kids in Rye, both indoors and out. 

Looking for more family fun? Consult our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

Planetariums Near and In NYC Where Kids Can Stargaze

Stargazing in New York City is more likely to mean a celebrity sighting than watching actual celestial bodies. I grew up in the suburbs and have fond memories of standing in my yard with my dad and my telescope, talking about constellations. Even if you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space here, the light pollution precludes seeing anything but the brightest stars. If you can’t book a trip to some remote, rural location, the next best thing is a planetarium—especially since you also get expert guidance as to what you’re seeing.

As most of us know, a complete solar eclipse will happen on August 21, and it might just be the perfect event to spark interest in the solar system for your family. If your child is fascinated by the eclipse, your next stop should be a planetarium, so they can learn more about the stars and planets. We’ve rounded up the planetariums in and around New York City. Happy stargazing!

Find more local NYC eclipse events in our calendar, including viewing parties at local libraries. (Tip: B&H on Ninth Avenue was still selling eclipse glasses at press time.)

Weekend Fun: Volkswagen Jam, Final Summer Streets, Sand Sculpting

It's a craft-y weekend for New York City kids, from the "Be A Bee" project at Wave Hill to the sand-sculpting contest in Coney Island. The Queens Museum weighs in with a cool aircraft-craft, and you can build your own kite at the Kite Flying Festival on the Upper West Side. On Saturday, there's 2,000 pounds of clay to play with in Long Island City.

For purely outdoor events, Park Slope closes off its northernmost streets for a festival, and Governors Island hosts a fleet of vintage Volkswagens. And don't forget: this is the final weekend for Summer Streets. Not enough? Check our guide to great places to play laser tag.

Our August GoList and our Summer Fun Guide continue to list the best kid- and family-friendly to-dos of August, and our Events Calendar bursts with activities while it now begins to fill with pre-fall events. Close out summer with one trip to the beach, pool, or water park, or some of the going-fast FREE fun, from music to movies to kayaks.

We're counting down the days to back-to-school for NYC kids, so register for those fall programs with our NYC Classes Guide, or shop for a new school or preschool.

25 Things To Do with Kids in Cape May, NJ

Charming Cape May is one of the Jersey Shore's top family destinations for good reason. With its wide beaches, quaint boardwalk, mini-golf courses, arcades, and ice cream shops, Cape May can entertain kids of all ages. The shopping and family-friendly dining options can't be beat. Head down to Exit Zero, on the southern tip of the Jersey Shore, and enjoy all this town has to offer, from its fabulous beaches and amazing zoo to the historic lighthouse and blazing sunsets.

Read on for our list of 25 can't-miss things to do during your visit to Cape May. For even more fun at the shore, don't miss our summer fun guide.  

35 Things to Do with Kids in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill

Known for picturesque tree-lined streets and historic architecture, adjacent Brooklyn neighborhoods Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have an abundance of attractions for families. There's the amazing Fort Greene Park, a 30-acre oasis with two playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, a nature center, a running track, soccer fields, and great hills for sledding. The park's active conservancy organizes popular annual events for families, like the beloved Halloween Festival and the Music in the Grove kids' concert series during the summer.

The area is also home to some outstanding cultural institutions, notably the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with its BAMkids series and annual BAMkids Film Festival, the Mark Morris Dance Center, and the state-of-the-art Barclays Center, which hosts live Disney extravaganzas, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and Brooklyn Nets home games. On top of that, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have great kid-friendly restaurants and easy access to almost every subway line in the borough!

We've rounded up our favorite spots to play, eat, and learn in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. For the purposes of this post, our geographical boundaries are Flushing Avenue to the north and Atlantic Avenue to the south, between Flatbush Avenue and Bedford Avenue.

12 Surprisingly Fun Places in NYC to Hang with Your Baby

Yes, infanthood is a wonderful time, full of snuggles and milestones. But entertainment options for non-walkers and even early walkers can start to feel repetitive day after day. Once you've tried all the baby play spaces and gymsplaygrounds, and even stroller tours at museums, what's next?

The thing about New York City, is there's always something open, always something going on, and always something new to try. We've rounded up some out-of-box ideas to shake up your daily routine with your NYC kids ages 12 months and under—many of these ideas are 100% FREE things—and most will also entertain your toddlers. Each destination is loaded with sights and sounds or another cool sensory experience for little ones, plus a change of scenery for the grown-up. So read on to plan the next city adventure with your little one.

Peruse our NYC Baby Guide for more need-to-know info and cool activities for the littlest New Yorkers.

The Solar Eclipse: Getting Kids Psyched and Watching as a Family

What's all too fleeting, potentially a bit hazardous, and absolutely something you need to experience with your kids? We're talking about the solar eclipse on August 21st, of course! For the first time since 1979, parts of North America will be treated to a total solar eclipse—a rare moment when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, temporarily blocking the sun. 

How dramatic the eclipse is will depend on where you are located geographically. People in the states that fall in a diagnonal line from Oregon to South Carolina are in the path of "totality," meaning they'll be exposed to a complete blocking of the sun. The rest of us will see a crescent shape as the moon partially blocks the sun from our view. Nevertheless, scientists and educators nationwide are encouraging everyone to plan to watch this astronomical phenomenon. So we tapped John Aviste, a civil engineer who runs the popular Edge on Science camps in New York and Massachusetts, to help us understand why—and how—families in all of Mommy Poppins' nine regions should witness the eclipse. Whether you've been preparing for this moment for years or are just catching up now, read on for some useful tips—from explaining eclipse science to little ones to ensuring that everyone's peepers stay protected.

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