Kids

Best Biking for Kids on Bucolic Governor's Island

Imagine what Central Park would be like if you had it practically to yourself. And, instead of being surrounded by tall buildings, imagine it's surrounded by the NYC harbor, so every time you catch a glimpse through the trees, you see sailboats and ferries gliding by. While we're dreaming, imagine that every weekend a free concert or event takes place, but unlike every other event in NYC, there aren't huge crowds. Wouldn't that be nice?

Well, pinch yourself, you're not dreaming. This is the perfect description of Governor's Island and we highly recommend it as a family outing destination, and possibly the best place to bike with kids in NYC.

9 More Free Museum Programs in All 5 Boroughs

Wrapping up our week of free museum family programs, we're sending you off with some frequently overlooked museums that offer free classes for kids and toddlers. We're traveling to all five boroughs for lots of free family fun.

The Queens Museum is home to the NYC panorama and World's Fair memorabilia. They have free family drop-in art classes on Sundays and weekend scavenger hunts. Website is not updated, so check or call for summer schedule.

In addition, in July and August The Queens Museum resumes their Passport Fridays, a dance and music festival that features the culture of a different country every week. Brazil, Columbia, India, Mexico, South Africa and Tunisia will all be celebrated with live music and dancing followed by a film. Free children's art workshops are offered between 6:30 and 8PM.

MoMA's Free Family Programs Are Great for Parents, Too

The Museum of Modern Art hosts many incredible free family programs that introduce children and adults to the richly varied world of modern art through guided walks, art workshops, artist talks, film screenings, special events, activity guides and Web sites. Programs provide an approach to looking at and talking about art that enable people of all ages and all levels of experience to enjoy art together. Moms and dads will truly get as much from these fantastic art classes as children will. These are no "let's glue tissue paper to construction paper" workshops. Added bonus: these free classes include free admission to MoMA for kids and adults.

Children Blossom at Free Brooklyn Botanic Garden Programs

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden's outdoor adventure garden is designed especially for young children to explore plant life from a kid's perspective. Filled with butterflies and birds, The Discovery Garden allows children and toddlers to pump water down a bamboo waterfall to a stream, hide under a tree, and hike a nature trail, all while exploring the wonders of plant life around them. The Brooklyn Botanic Discovery Garden hosts drop-in programs throughout the week for children 3-10. The programs are free with admission (which is always free for children under 12 and $8 for adults, but if you go on a Tuesday Adults are free too.) All of their free children's programs are from 2-4 and no registration is required. In addition to their free kid programs, they offer gardening classes and camps for a fee which you can find at The Brooklyn Botanic Garden website.

Free Family Programs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is not just one of the greatest museums in the world, it also is one of the most child friendly museums. And it doesn't end with the incredible exhibits. The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a slew of fantastic free programs for toddlers and kids of all ages. These are classes turely worthy of the institution which hosts them, world-class art classes for kids available at your fingertips absolutely for free. And they are highly underused. These classes should be packed, but many of them are not even full. So, take full advantage of these fabulous free art classes for kids and toddlers.

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Free Outdoor Movies to Take the Kids to This Summer

There's something just totally magical about outdoor movies. Maybe it's just that we don't get to go out after dark that much any more since becoming parents, but sitting outside on a summer evening in New York under the stars and relaxing to enjoy a movie is just the kind of old fashioned, yet hip, kind of fun we love.

It's the best way for grown ups to go see kid movies because you can just enjoy being out on a nice summer evening with a nice picnic and the stars even if you don't care for the film. And, depending on your kids, it can be a great way to get out to see a grown up movie without spending the college savings on a sitter, as many kids will enjoy the classic films frequently shown or will just enjoy being out at night enough to sit (or sleep) through it.

Here's a rundown of the best free outdoor movies for kids in NYC this summer:

RiverFlicks in the Hudson River Park is the only kid-only film series. Shown at Pier 46 on Fridays, the 2007 series will be Charlotte's Web, Open Season, Back to the Future, Babe, Wizard of Oz, Happy Feet, and Willy Wonka. Grown-up movies are shown on Wednesdays at Pier 54 and a few, such as Rocky Balboa, Nacho Libre, Stripes and Superman Returns, might work for kids.

Bryant Park Film Festival shows classic films that many kids will at least tolerate if not enjoy. Not all of them are appropriate, but kids might like The Thing-From Another World, Paper Moon, The Sting, Bus Stop or Casablanca. You can buy a picnic dinner at kiosks and the park is a wireless hotspot to help pass the time while reserving your spot. Films are free every Monday starting June 18th.

Movies with a View, at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park under the Brooklyn Bridge, has some real winners for family movie viewers, including The Princess Bride, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Hair, The Natural, and West Side Story. The setting is lovely, there's DJ music to entertain you while you wait for the movie to start and child-friendly food from RICE restaurant is available. Free films are on Thursdays in July and August.

Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell only has three films this summer, but all are accompanied by live music adding an additional level of magic. Another nice thing about this venue is that the screen is so large that you can sit back on the lawn behind the general audience and little kids can run around and play. The best bet for kids would be the Laurel and Hardy shorts.

Movies Under the Stars are shown in that other Hudson River Park, Hoboken Pier A Park. If you're coming from Manhattan just hop on the PATH train and watch films like Happy Feet, Flushed Away, and Charlotte's Web with Manhattan as your backdrop. Films are shown on Wednesdays beginning June 13th.

Summer on the Hudson shows films on Wednesdays at Pier 1 in Riverside Park South (72nd St) in July and August. All the films offered require parental discretion, but the best bets for kids would be North by Northwest, Caddy Shack, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

 

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