New York City

See National Parks for Free in 2019 on These Free Entrance Days

A trip to one of our nation's incredible national parks may already be on your family travel to-do list for 2019. Whether it is or not, you may want to check out the FREE admission days at some of the country's largest parks. Courtesy of the National Park Service, there are five FREE days in 2019, which all take place on easy-for-planning weekends or holiday Mondays, at national parks that typically charge an admission fee.

While many parks have free admission every day of the year, more than 100 of them, including some of the most popular destinations, charge $15 per person or more. Those waiving admission for these holidays include some of those iconic, bucket list spots like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Acadia, Zion, Shenandoah, Joshua Tree, Glacier National Park, Death Valley, and the Cape Cod Seashore. The freebies also extend to a few historical sites under the National Park Service's purview, like the New York home of celebrated American president Franklin D. Roosevelt and national historic parks like Morristown National Historic Park, the scene of an American Revolutionary War battle.

Best Amusement Parks Near NYC Reachable by Public Transportation

If you're feeling nostalgic for a summer adventure filled with cotton candy and Ferris wheel rides, it might be time for some family-friendly fun at a nearby theme park. There's no shortage of amusement parks and water parks for New York City-based thrill-seekers, but if you don't have a car, some parks can seem out of reach. Fear not, we’ve rounded up the best amusement parks that are easily accessible from NYC via public transportation. Remember the sunscreen—and forget the parking (and rental) headaches.

Find more summer fun in our Theme and Water Parks Guide.

21 Things to Do With Kids in NYC on Easter Sunday

On Easter Sunday, many New York City families enjoy a neighborhood egg hunt or watch the wildly popular Easter bonnet parade and festival. And with public school vacation continuing through April 26, Easter is just the beginning of the spring fun afoot in the city.

Read on for 21 ways to spend Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019 with kids in NYC. Find even more inspiration in our Event Calendar or Spring Fun Guide.

Why Legoland Is My Favorite SoCal Theme Park

Southern California is blessed with some of the world's most famous theme parks; families travel from all over to experience Disneyland and the original Universal Studios Hollywood (including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter)—but just 90 miles to the south, in the San Diego suburb of Carlsbad, is a park that has at least as much to offer as the mouse and the wizard. There is a whole lot more to Legoland California than bricks, and truth be told I prefer a day there to any other major theme park.

40 Things to Do on a NYC Staycation With Kids

With spring in the air and NYC public school spring break on the horizon, some parents may be dreaming of a far-flung destination. But if bank accounts or scheduling constraints make local family outings more doable, we've pulled together a gold mine of activities for families looking to keep busy during spring break—or anytime in the Big Apple. The only fare we'll be paying is to the MTA, although even that hurts with the latest fare increases set to take effect during the break.

Looking for year-round fun things to do in the city? Check out our 100 Things to Do with Kids in NYC, and of course, our always packed Event Calendar. Don't forget to peruse our NYC Museum Guide to learn about all the latest exhibits and children's museums, and wrap up your day with our guide to family-friendly city restaurants.

Destination Playground: DeSalvio Playground in Nolita

Nested within Soho, Nolita is a neighborhood best known for its chic cafes and fashion forward boutiques. But it's also a family destination thanks in part to one of the city’s most new and improved playgrounds. After a two-year long, $1.7 million renovation funded by the borough president and city council, the DiSalvio Playground recently re-opened to the delight of both neighborhood kids and kids who have traveled from other parts of the city. Read on for an overview of our recent visit.

Best Mother's Day Brunch Restaurants for Families Across NYC

Mother's Day is fast approaching, on Sunday, May 12, 2019, which means it's time to start planning a special day for the well-deserving mom(s) in your life. Speaking from experience, all moms really want is a little time off. You could choose breakfast in bed, but why not instead forgo chores altogether and hit one of NYC's many delicious brunch spots?

We've rounded up a host of scrumptious, kid-friendly places throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. As if that wasn't enough, we've got tons more picks in our Family-Friendly Restaurant Guide. Pinpoint your special lady's preference, make reservations, and get ready to dig in.

After brunch, head out to one of these great family events happening that Sunday. However you decide to spend the day, Happy Mother's Day from your peers at Mommy Poppins.

12 Great Family Camping Spots Near NYC

Camping trips are great for kids, especially NYC kids. They get to spend time outside in green spaces that may seem, to city kids, to go on forever. Plus they can learn esteem-building skills, including how to canoe, fish, chop wood, cook over a fire, pitch a tent, and more. Although there are a number of campgrounds offering fancy perks these days, from wi-fi to heated swimming pools, many camping trips are low-tech, so they allow families time to unplug and reconnect with one another. Plus, pitching a tent is generally an affordable alternative to a hotel.

Read on for more top campgrounds within a few hours of the city that are packed with things to keep kids busy, and two of which are within city limits. A number of these prime destinations are accessible via mass transit, and one campground even provides nearly everything you need. Remember, some of these favorites book up early!

Weekend Fun: Egg Hunts, Earthfest, Cherry Blossoms, Little League Parade

It's only the middle of April, and the Mommy Poppins Event calendar is bursting at the seams. Easter on the horizon means there are scores of egg hunts around town. This weekend alone, FREE Easter egg hunts are happening in Carl Schurz Park, Fort Greene Park, Highbridge Rec Center, Old Stone House, and more. Or head over to the Macy's Easter Eggs-Perience for crafts, candy, and photo ops with the Easter Bunny.

At the American Museum of Natural History's annual Earthfest on Saturday, Patti Smith and Michael Stipe perform on the main stage, and kids can party with the Pop-Ups, participate in Bash the Trash workshops, and explore interactive carts. Saturday is also Little League Opening Day in Prospect Park, complete with parade and ceremonial first pitch.

One of the cooler, slightly under-the-radar, FREE events this weekend is Columbia University's Community Day on Saturday. Head to the Upper West Side for screenings of Flubber or The Absent-Minded Professor, virtual reality fun, and the chance to hold a brain in your hands. 

Spring festivals are in full swing. On Roosevelt Island, families can check out cherry blossoms as well as traditional tea ceremonies, Japanese performances, and a cultural fair. The Apple Blossom Fest in Queens runs through Sunday, too. Plus, it's time again for the annual Shearing of the Heather. Bagpipes and kilts abound in Fort Tryon's gorgeous heather garden, and it's Spring Sunday at Rockefeller Plaza, with music by Dan and Claudia Zanes, face painting, and art projects for kids.

Of course there's more. Take a gander at the ever-expanding calendar, bookmark our juicy April GoList, nab some inspiration from our Spring Fun Guide, and—if you've been putting it off—let us give you a leg up on summer camp planning.

 

8 Things to Love About the Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York, located near the top of Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue across from the northeastern corner of Central Park, may not look like a kid-friendly place at first glance, with its opulent facade. Look closer, however, and you'll learn it's actually a great destination for children, thanks to its frequent hands-on family programs, robust on-site classes meant to teach tweens about the history of NYC, and easy-to-digest NYC-themed exhibits that remind kids (and parents!) how lucky we are to live in a place with such a rich cultural past and present.

Originally opened in 1923 in Gracie Mansion, the Museum of the City of New York moved to its current, Georgian Colonial-Revival building in 1932. Its permanent collection overflows with drawings, photographs, garments, textiles, paintings, sculptures, furniture and artifacts that all have something to do with the history of our great city. Read on for eight things to love about this cultural gem in the heart of East Harlem.

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