New York City

Hanukkah Celebrations and Menorah Lightings for NYC Families

New York City knows how to celebrate the holidays, and Hanukkah is no different. The Festival of Lights arrives early in 2017, with the first night on Tuesday, December 12. But have no fear: we've rounded up nearly two dozen ways to celebrate this wonderful Jewish holiday, and most of them are free.

Some cool new and newish events this year! There's the first-ever Menorah on the High Line, and the Chabad of DUMBO has transformed its yearly Hanukkah celebration into Fire and Ice at Jane's Carousel. We also have the annual mainstays, from the World's Largest Hanukkah Menorah Lighting, to Chanukah on Ice and Hanukkah Family Day at the Jewish Museum

A Cozy Kid-Friendly Bookshop Arrives in Kew Gardens, Queens

Queens has never been short on fun adventures, places to discover, and educational havens… but it does lack in one area: bookstores. After titan Barnes and Noble vacated the entire borough, only a handful of brave little bookshops remain. so most children's story hours take place at the local library.

Vina Castillo, Natalie Noboa, and Holly Nikodem saw the shockingly low number of general interest bookstores in Queens, and these ingenious book lovers set out to create an independent reading refuge for their community.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign supported by the community, Kew & Willow Books opened its doors in October 2017, offering adults and kids alike a beacon of book hope.

6 Outrageous Holiday Light Displays in the Lower Hudson Valley

‘Tis the season for checking out all the awesome holiday light displays in the area. And we’ve got some great ones for you: Along with a some decked-out houses in Westchester, the Lower Hudson Valley has its own share of festive light shows—including a house with over half a million (!) lights, a drive-through Christmas Wonderland and even some brightly lit bugs.   

For more holiday fun, be sure to check our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook. Know of any other light displays we should check out? Drop us an email, and be sure to sign up for our newsletters to stay in the loop. 

Best Sledding Hills Across NYC

The best thing about a snow day is, of course, sledding! Hit these neighborhood hills across New York City for some wintertime fun with the kids.

In compiling this list, we asked our readers, family, and Mommy Poppins writers and editors for their top recommendations for sledding hills across the five boroughs, but we're always looking for more suggestions. Feel free to chime in if you're favorite isn't here.

Not sure if school is on or off? Read our post on how to know if snow has canceled class or not.

12 Hotels Around the World That Will Blow Your Kids' Minds

When planning a family getaway, where you stay can easily be as exciting as the vacation destination. Amazing hotel suites, bungalows, and villas abound, offering one-of-a-kind experiences for kids and families—they may even end up becoming the main attraction!

We've rounded up 11 splurge-worthy options from across the globe—and one more that's coming soon. These rooms are designed to spark imaginations and ignite adventure for kids of all ages, with plenty to offer for mom and dad, too. For more travel ideas, check out our Family Travel Guide.

The Most Spectacular Holiday Light Displays in NYC

Every year it seems holiday light installations in New York City get more elaborate, making a visit to the top displays a must-do seasonal activity. These days there are even tour buses that will take you to some of the neighborhoods decked out for the season.

We've rounded up some of the best holiday displays in NYC. Some of these attractions are in the more far-flung stretches of the city such as Pelham Gardens in the Bronx, Dyker Heights in Brooklyn and Jamaica Estates in Queens, and one spot on Staten Island. All are definitely worth the trip. We can vouch for it!

So start your own holiday tradition this year by checking out these spectacular sights when dusk hits. Find more seasonal fun, including more holiday lights, such as Midtown's holiday store windows, in our NYC Holiday Fun Guide.

Best Restaurants Near Rockefeller Center for Families

Some of those who visit regularly or work near Rockefeller Center admit they find the dining choices less than exciting. But whether you're there over the holidays to see the famed Rockefeller tree, ice skate, check out the holiday windows, or to enjoy one of the other fun experiences in this action-packed complex, you'll need to eat eventually, and there are some good restaurant options if you know where to look.

Here are our top picks for kid-friendly eateries near Rockefeller Center, and for more family-friendly restaurant options in NYC, check out our Restaurant Guide.

Drop-in Play Spaces for Kids in NYC That Cost $12 or Less

New York City is packed with fun indoor play spaces to keep kids active all year. Unfortunately, the average price at these parental lifesavers keeps creeping up. Admission often runs $20 to $25 per child for a single drop-in. Pricey fees or membership commitments can quickly ruin your plans for a quick escape from the staying-in doldrums.

Of course, we're here to help. We've rounded up a dozen options for drop-in play—all for under $12 a visit, and a few that cost significantly less!

Read on for open play sessions that won’t break the bank in nearly all five boroughs, and find more indoor fun spots in our local NYC guide, or at-home boredom buster games and crafts for those days when you really want to pinch a penny.

Minecraft Lovers Get Something New for Hour of Code 2017

The annual Hour of Code is entering its fourth year next month, and Microsoft is adding something for 2017 that your little Minecraft lovers will surely go nuts over. Whether your family is new to this free international mass coding phenomenon or you've explored it before, the 2017 campaign has new and exciting features for everyone—including coding projects about Moana, Star Wars, and Minecraft.

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