New York City

Pete the Cat Comes to Life in Free Off-Broadway Musical

Kids love music. And most of them love Pete the Cat. And pretty much every parent adores any FREE city activities. So my family was very excited to see the skateboard-riding, guitar-playing feline from the popular picture books come to life onstage in this year’s show by Theatreworks USA as part of its FREE summer series.

The 45-minute musical, recommended for ages 5-8, is nonstop action, with lively singing and dancing throughout, and plenty of funny jokes and scenes guaranteed to make kids laugh.

Weekend Fun: Robots, Double Dutch, Lollipops for Breakfast

There's plenty of adventure and athletics on tap for kids in New York City this final weekend in July. On Saturday, July 29, kids can take a free ride on the zip line at Alley Pond Park Adventure Course's 10th-Year Extravaganza, or enjoy a FREE hula-hooping event in Bryant Park. All weekend, Lincoln Center celebrates the art of double Dutch. If you can't make those, or just want unscripted, outdoor physical play, see our guide to the New York City playgrounds with the most shade.

If athletics isn't your thing but being outside is, check out the 7th Annual New York Poetry Festival on Governors Island on Saturday and Sunday, especially its Children's Festival. On Sunday, there's an art party on the roof of the Brooklyn Children's Museum, and on the same day, in Fort Greene Park, kids can learn how to make a glass mosaic

Keep cool as we enter the dog days of the summer, aka August, with our Guide to Best Beaches, Pools, Splash Pads and Water Parks. Please continue to avail yourself of our packed Summer Fun Guide, and maybe even begin to peek at fall events via our Event Calendar.

Don't forget to check out our brand-new local DEALS page where you can score discounts on camps, classes, birthday party packages, and more for NYC kids. Check back often as we're constantly adding new ones.

Diggerland: A NJ Amusement Park for Construction-Loving Kids

If your kids can't get enough of trucks and dirt, head to Diggerland USA, a construction-themed amusement park in West Berlin. Diggerland is a child's construction-site fantasy, with a setup designed to fulfill the dreams of little builders ages 2 and up.

My 2-year-old son and I recently took the ride to West Berlin to see what it was all about, and we had a blast. However, we'll probably wait another year before returning so as to avoid the temptations of the rides he wasn't big enough to go on just yet. That said, if you're looking for a unique alternative to traditional amusement parks this summer, a trip to Diggerland is definitely in order. 

20 Things Your Kid Can Do to Support the Paris Climate Accord

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." -Dr. Seuss

When it comes to making a difference in our world, even grown-ups can feel pretty small sometimes. It's hard to imagine that a single act could really change much of anything. But looking at the big picture can help. Imagine if everybody on your street did the same small things every day. And imagine if each of those neighbors told a friend, who started doing those small things, too. Before long, all of those individual little acts start to add up to big change. With the U.S. government's recent decision to back out of the Paris Climate Accord, an agreement in which individual countries pledge to do their part to curb global warming, now more than ever we need to think of ways we can start living a little lighter. Set aside a half-hour with your child and read this list of simple things kids and parents can do, together, to support the efforts and spirit behind the Paris Climate Accord.

25 Water Games for Kids To Play All Summer Long

Due to a recent shift in my career path, I'm staying home with my kids this summer—all 10 weeks of it! There will be no camp to tire them out or sitter to entertain them. Luckily, we have access to one thing really works for filling out long summer days: water. My kids—and yours, I bet—like to get wet.

Our family started a Boredom Busters jar: a painted Mason jar full of ideas to keep the kiddies busy. Anyone complaining of boredom can open it and pick out an activity. Many of the ideas come from the Mommy Poppins' 100 Summer Play Activities List and a few from the list of '70s Outdoor Games. But their absolute favorites are water-based, like the 25 cool and splishy-splashy activities below. 

Times Square with Kids: What To Do Beyond The Usual Tourist Spots

New Yorkers often dismiss Times Square as too crowded, touristy, and overpriced, but if you look a little closer, there is plenty of kid fun to be found around this NYC hub—even for the most jaded urban dwellers.

We're not talking about expensive tourist attractions such as Madame Tussauds, the Hard Rock Cafe, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Instead, we've got the scoop on 15 cool, reasonably inexpensive things to do with kids near Times Square whether you're killing time before a Broadway show, entertaining out-of-towners, or just find yourself in this NYC neighborhood.

Visiting NYC with kids? Check out more top attractions in our Vistors Guide for Families.

Weekday Fun: Reptiles, Native American Pow Wow, Cupcake Club

Events for New York City kids include a heap of dancing this week! Boogie to the celebration of great music by women at NPR's outdoor Turning the Tables concert on Wednesday, July 26. Dance along with the American Indian Thunderbird Pow Wow at the Queens County Farm Museum on Friday July 28, or cut a grass rug to the City Stompers in Bushwick on Thursday, July 27. And don't forget: the Children's Museum of Manhattan celebrates the art of dance all summer long.

Cool off after all that outdoor dancing with our guide to the best water playgrounds in New York City. Leaving the city? See our guide to the best water parks for toddlers near New York City. As always, check our July GoList for the month's best events, and keep our Summer Fun Guide close. Our Event Calendar also stands at the ready with things to do and see into the far future. 

Check out our local DEALS page, too! We've created a spot for some of our favorite NYC businesses to give you a deal on their services, including camps, classes, and even birthday party packages. Check it out, and check back often as we're constantly adding new ones.

50+ Ways to Keep NYC Kids Off Screens This Summer

"Brain drain." "Summer slide." No matter what you call it, the phenomenon of students losing months of math and reading skills during the eight-week summer vacation scares parents and teachers alike.  

As we hit mid-summer, we wanted to put together a list of some off our favorite NYC spots, events, and even at-home challenges that get kids to exercise their brains. More importantly, the activity has to be engaging enough to keep them (and us) off our screens!

So get out there to try these more than 50 ideas for enriching exploration and edu-tainment around NYC . You can find even more ideas in our STEAM Guide, and don't forget to peruse our NYC Schools Guide as September (gasp!) approaches.

NYC Playgrounds with Shade: Shady Park Benches and Equipment

While kids can always cool off in NYC's many sprinklers, we parents are stuck baking in the sun all day during the heat of the city's summer as we supervise outdoor play. It's a problem our readers know too well—each summer we get requests for recommendations of shady spots to play.

Although we know of a couple playgrounds that offer exceptional amounts of shade—Hippo Playground in Riverside Park and Discovery Playground in Fort Washington Park come to mind—we decided to ask our readers if they knew of any super-shady playgrounds in New York City. After clarifying that we were talking about shelter from the sun's rays, not sketchy parks, they came through with a number of great suggestions.

Please keep in mind that the name of the game here is comfort on a hot summer day; though we have visited plenty of destination playgrounds, with a few exceptions, these shady suggestions tend to be neighborhood standbys and small playgrounds that have plenty of shade, but perhaps not too many bells and whistles.

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