New York City

11 Spots for Peach Picking Near NYC

Peach picking season is upon us in the Northeast, the perfect excuse for NYC families to plan a sweet summertime day trip before kids head back to school.

Starting in July or early to mid-August, depending on the farm and the weather, the peaches begin to ripen, and peach season typically runs into September. Peach picking, a perfect activity after berry picking season has peaked, is often a less commercial and more straightforward outing than some of the more popular fruit seasons like apple picking, meaning you're not going to run into as many hayrides, face painting, or crowds, but you will get a more authentic farm life experience.

We've rounded up 11 peach orchards, all under two hours by car from NYC. Several are accessible by mass transit, so you're really out of excuses! 

American Dream Mega-Mall Finally Set To Open This Fall in NJ

It's been a long time in the making, but the mega entertainment complex in the New Jersey Meadowlands, now known as American Dream, announced it will finally open its doors to the public on October 25, with additional offerings added into the new year. 

Its many family-friendly attractions will include the western hemisphere's largest indoor amusement park AND North America's first indoor snow sports center—not to mention an indoor water park, ice skating rink, aquarium, mini-golf, LEGO Discovery Center, and much, much more.

Camp Rockaway Brings Family-Friendly Glamping to Riis Beach

If you love family camping, but don't love the thought of hauling all that gear (or even if you're not a huge fan of camping, but you sure do love the beach) good news: Camp Rockaway has returned for a third season of family-friendly glamping with a side of urban beach. Located in a sandy courtyard behind the historic Jacob Riis Bathhouse, Camp Rockaway offers families a chance to sleep over at at the beach, with comfy tents, queen-sized beds, and hot showers, all just steps from the waves. Read on for a peek inside the tent flaps.

Kid-Approved Rockaway Beach Restaurants

Headed to the family-friendly beaches of the Rockaways this weekend? Be sure to pack an appetite along with your bathing suits. Queens' Rockaway dishes up plenty of options. You'll find typical beach fare of course, with hot dogs and burgers aplenty, but the area has also earned a reputation with foodies for its more adventurous eats. Whether you're looking for the best eats on the boardwalk or a delicious dinner to cap off a day of splashing in the waves, here are the best places to eat in the Rockaways with kids. 

Weekend Fun: Sprinkler Day, Moon Landing, Open Gardens, Sharks

It's mid-July, which means the time is ripe to race through some sprinklers. This weekend marks the return of one of NYC's water fun highlights: the (FREE!) salute to shower power, Sprinkler Day at Asphalt Green (there's another one in August, if this weekend doesn't work for you). Midsummer also produces a bounty of, well, produce—so what better time to hold the annual Open Gardens Day? Saturday's your chance to explore a few of the city's gorgeous green community gardens.

PLUS: It's the 50th anniversary of America's trip to the moon, so the American Museum of Natural History is hosting a day packed with performances, hands-on activities, and presentations dedicated to the wonders of space. Kids can also make moon models and more with Science Teacher Sarah—for free! Or head out to Staten Island to make exploding moon rocks and eat moon pies!

Is that all, you ask? Well, no, of course not. There's a whole parade of family-friendly events trooping through town: The Paley Center is unveiling its Shark Week exhibit, the Rubin Museum hosts its annual Block Party, Dumbo hosts the annual Come Out and Play Family Day, and the (air-conditioned) American Gargoyles story time and workshop at the Skyscraper Museum invites kids to take another look at familiar buildings (author Neil Cohen visits Long Island City on Sunday, too).

Our ever-expanding summer fun calendar has lots more in store, including free outdoor movies in every borough. Keep an eye on our July GoList. And if the heat is getting to you, don't miss our list of 50 fun things to do to cool off in NYC.

Best Bike Riding Paths for NYC Families

When our family moved back to NYC from Boston last summer, we sadly left our bicycles behind and removed the bike rack from the car, believing that we had to trade in our bike wheels for scooters (which at least are compact, foldable, and easy to store in our apartment). Even though we have embraced rollerblading, skateboarding, rip sticking, and scooting like every NYC family, there is still nothing like a good old fashioned bike ride.

Imagine my delight when I rediscovered bike paths for NYC families—many of which can be used not only on bikes but on scooters, rollerblades, and skateboards, too. This summer as part of our staycation, I planned a week of excursions exploring NYC bike paths with my growing family of five.

Where to Eat With Kids in Dumbo

Cool and hip Dumbo is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Brooklyn, where international families and old-time New Yorkers come together. And one thing this eclectic population does well is eat.

While there is a vibrant late-night scene in this bustling enclave, it is also increasingly home to children and their families and restaurants that like serving them. Dining with kids in Dumbo means scrumptious food, often with breathtaking, one-of-a kind views of Manhattan. Our favorite eateries fall into three essential-to-life-with-children categories: pizza, lunch or brunch, and dessert. 

So whether you're visiting the nabe to check out all that Brooklyn Bridge Park has to offer (like a carousel, destination-worthy playgrounds, and wide-open green spaces), or you're a recent transplant to the hood, you'll want to try out these family-friendly places to eat in Dumbo.

The Best Zoos and Aquariums in NYC

Ever think you would spot a seal in Manhattan, or a giraffe in The Bronx? Did you ever hope you'd be surrounded by sharks at Coney IslandNew York City zoos offer families the chance to get up close and personal with animals from all over the world. Each borough boasts its own unique zoo experience. Whether your children are big or small, there is a zoo somewhere in NYC suited to their age, interests and attention span. Best of all, access to these creatures doesn't have to break the bank. Free admission can be as easy as picking the right afternoon to visit. Check out our insider tips for making the most of New York City's zoos.

7 Smart Summer Screen Time and Tech Tips for Families

Summertime often means screen time, amirite? School's out, the days are long, and even moms and dads are feeling a little more laid back. With the relaxed phone, tablet, and TV rules, a media overdose starts to become inevitable without some thoughtful boundaries.

So, how do you make tech work for your family over the summer instead of against it? With a little help from our sponsor, Verizon, we've put together 7 smart tech tips to help your crew make the most of screen time for kids without going over the top.

Bonus tip: Get an extra $200 off a premium device when you sign up to Fios* — not to mention crazy fast internet speeds, custom TV plans for kids and teens, and reliable cell service to keep everyone safe and connected.

50 Fun Things to Do to Cool Off in NYC This Summer with Kids

As summer weather begins to sizzle, there's no denying the heat and humidity can get under the skin of even the most tropical-weather-loving New Yorker. To beat the heat, my kids (and my inner child) insist any outing includes water, industrial strength air-conditioning, or sweet frozen treats.

While we enjoy hitting our local public pool and running around the sprinklers (oh yes, I get in there, too), lately we've been longing for more diverse destinations. That inspired us to round up our favorite ways to cool off in New York City.

Our list includes a variety of destinations; some are brand-new, while others are old standbys. The list includes outdoor spots like extra-special water playgrounds, awesome pools, and splashy boat rides, and indoor havens such as kid-friendly museums. Many of our suggestions are FREE and we even included exceptional frozen-treat spots, so you can indulge in ice cream and more. So strike while the weather's hot: Here are our top 50 ways to cool off with kids in NYC this summer.

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