New York City

10 Queens Restaurants with Backyards for Kid Friendly Outdoor Dining

Nothing beats outdoor dining in warmer months, especially with kids in tow, and in family-friendly Queens, there are plenty of spots where you can enjoy alfresco eats. We don't mean a sidewalk table or two—we're talking an actual yard with ample seating and room for families to enjoy a meal. Outdoor dining often provides a more relaxed atmosphere, where kids can be entertained by simple pleasures like a passing butterfly or flowers on a nearby plant, and city noises offer cover for little ones who may forget to use their indoor voices.

We've highlighted several NYC eateries with outdoor seating options in the past (including a whole slew of outdoor eating options in Brooklyn), as well as exceptional spots where kids and families can eat and play. Read on to take a closer look at restaurants in Queens with backyards for dining.

5 NYC Day Itineraries Perfect for Preschoolers

New York can be a big, intimidating place for anyone to visit, but especially our smallest kids like preschoolers. Thankfully, the City That Never Sleeps offers plenty of opportunities to entertain even the most pint-sized of visitors.

Of course, you can visit our top zoos and amazing gardens, the mega stores for a special treat, or our top-notch museums like the American Museum of Natural History. These are all great choices and included in our 100 Things to Do In NYC Before Your Kid Grows Up list of the absolute best children's activities in NYC.

But we wanted to come up with something a little different, and a little more mellow for those preschoolers visiting from out of town, or even locals wanting to check out a new-to-you neighborhood—something that respects the limits of a preschooler's emotional and physical mileage. So we've rounded up five mom-tested itineraries that give you and your kid a glimpse of the city without totally wearing everyone down.

Planning ahead? Check out what special events might be taking place during your visit with our always-up-to-date NYC Event Calendar.

Brooklyn Restaurants with Kid-Friendly Backyards and Patios

Brooklyn boasts its share of restaurants with sidewalk tables, but those of us with kids enjoy those eateries with more spacious outdoor dining. A backyard, picnic tables, roof decks, or sometimes even a bit of grass? We're sold!

Just in time for summer, we've rounded up of our favorite spots from across Brooklyn that feature ample outdoor space, serve delicious food, and welcome families with children. If you're in the mood for variety, we've included a mix of cuisines: Japanese, Mexican, Cuban, Southern comfort and, of course, pizza, BBQ, and New American.

Headed to Brooklyn from a surrounding area? Browse our Brooklyn Kids Guide to take full advantage of the borough while you're there, or peruse our NYC Restaurant Guide for more family-friendly eats.

Macy's July 4th Fireworks 2019: Where to See Them in NYC

Every year, Macy's annual July 4th fireworks show in New York City is an unforgettable highlight of the summer. On Thursday, July 4, 2019, fireworks will light up the sky over the East River with the Brooklyn Bridge serving as the centerpiece: About 25,000 pyrotechnic shells will be launched from its span alone, streaming skyward and creating a cascading curtain of light below the bridge, too. The event celebrates its 43rd anniversary this Independence Day.

Spectators should be able to see the fireworks from many neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan as well as parts of Brooklyn. If you're hoping to watch Macy's 4th of July Fireworks live, it's never too early to start planning your viewing strategy. Tickets for paid viewing options like Fourth of July Fireworks cruises are already on sale and going fast.

Of course, you don't need to spend a penny to see the sparklers, but there are some important things to know before you go. We've got the scoop on how to find the best places to watch, when to go, and what to bring.

And don't forget, there are frequent fireworks shows in NYC during the summer, from Coney Island to Central Park. Read our roundup of where else to see cool displays this summer, including some Fourth of July competitors.

Asheville with Kids: 40 Best Things to Do in Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC, is a popular destination for visitors, including families, with so many fun things to do like the Biltmore Estate, a thriving food and arts scene, a Vanderbilt mansion with extensive grounds, and its kid-friendly local breweries. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the plentiful hiking trails, waterfalls, and swimming holes. I frequently visit my sister’s family in Asheville and get to explore this charming Southern city with my young nephew, so I wanted to share the inside skinny on the best family-friendly attractions, restaurants, and what to do in Asheville with kids.

Find more family fun destinations in our Family Travel City Guides, and be sure to check our picks for North Carolina's best beaches for families.

35 Summer Day Trips to Take With NYC Kids

It’s summer road trip season! Once school is finally out, we’re itching to get outdoors to explore beyond NYC’s limits. Lucky for you, our Mommy Poppins reviewers know all the best spots in the tri-state area, from beaches and water parks to cool nature spots and pick-your-own fruit farms.

We’ve rounded up over three dozen of our favorites for summertime, including a few indoor options for (shudder) rainy days, or if you really just need to freeze in the a/c for a bit. All of these spots are less than two hours away, because, well, who wants to day trip for longer than that with kids in the backseat?

Find more ideas in our full Day Trips and Getaways Guide, or try checking off something from our 100 Things to Do with Kids in New York State list.

Morningside Heights is the Latest Hotspot for NYC Families to Live and Play

Morningside Heights, a homey Manhattan neighborhood steeped in history, is now one of the most desirable areas for families in NYC. Sandwiched between the Upper West Side and Harlem, and running from West 110th Street to West 125th Street, the neighborhood offers an abundance of green space, from the iconic Morningside and Riverside Parks, to the manicured lawns of Columbia and Barnard. Paired with the energy of the universities' students and the area's many family friendly-amenities, it's the perfect spot for both children and adults to live and play.

Adding to the appeal, stunning, classically New York prewar buildings like 30 Morningside Drive offer luxury living in sunny, spacious apartments with large windows, 11-foot ceilings, custom-designed furnishings by Restoration Hardware, and breathtaking park and city views. If amenities such as a 24-hour concierge, a gorgeous garden and roof deck, a gym with sauna, a motion studio, a pet spa, and a children's playroom are calling your name, you might want to consider Morningside Heights your new home.

Keep reading to find out what exactly makes Morningside Heights much more than just a "college town."

Register for Free Summer 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 summer swimming lessons are on the horizon, and the lottery for registration opens Monday, June 10, 2019, at 7am.

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.

How Can I Find Free Summer Meal Programs for Kids?

Many parents rely on the free breakfast and lunch available through the local school system to keep their kids' engines running—but what happens in the summer? Thankfully, there are still free meal programs available when school lets out.

Parents will find free breakfast, lunch, and sometimes afternoon snacks and more meals served up at certain parks, schools, community centers, hospitals, and elsewhere this summer. Many of the summer meal programs are federally funded through the USDA's Summer Food Service Program, but administered by local organizations, cities, or states. Read on for tips on how to find a free kids meal near you.

Weekend Fun: Pride Celebrations, Bus Festival, Riverfest, Family Fairs

Looking for a party? June's second weekend is packed with kid-friendly celebrations. The Riverdale RiverFest features boat rides, mini-golf, a bounce house, and more in the Bronx. The Children's Museum of Manhattan hosts a weekend-long celebration of Puerto Rican culture. Brooklyn toasts Coney Island's immigrant past with performances and music on the boardwalk for History Day. In Queens, the Green Day Festival salutes Mother Earth with kid-friendly activities and demos. On Sunday, the NY Transit Museum brings vintage buses to Dumbo.

June is Pride Month, and the second weekend in June kicks off Pride celebrations around town. On Saturday, Brooklyn's 23rd Annual Pride Celebration lights up Park Slope with a street fair and parade, and the Brooklyn Children's Museum gets in on the fun too. On Sunday, the Children's Museum of the Arts hosts its own Pride Cultural Festival, complete with a mini-Vogue Ball and a drag queen storytime. 

Randall's Island offers tours of FDNY's Training Academy on Saturday, where fire engine fans can learn all about how fire fighters train to keep the city safe. Stick around for a free outdoor screening of Mary Poppins Returns as the sun goes down. Other movies al fresco this weekend also include Avengers: Infinity War in Manhattan and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on Staten Island. Check out our growing lists of FREE concerts and outdoor movies around town.

For more ideas, see our Summer Fun Guide, and keep an eye on our endlessly expanding calendar! Plan ahead for Father's Day with our handy guide to the top things to do in the city with your favorite dad.

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