Get Your Game On at Come Out and Play Festival

Experience random acts of fun at the Come Out and Play Festival, a free New York City street game festival running from June 12-14. This event turns the city into a giant playground, with everything from a photo hunt to a jump roping contest. It's not about winning, but about rediscovering the city through play and play through the city. Although Come Out and Play isn't just for kids, there's lots of fun family friendly games that kids will enjoy as much as you will.

Here are some games from the Come Out and Play Festival that are fun for kids: 

Summer Reading List: 5 Great Books for Kids

We have a guest post today from Jay Bushara who has started a new website dedicated to discovering and celebrating the very best children's books, ones that ar hard to find at big box bookstores. Find out about his site and some of his picks for the best children's books this summer. Thanks, Jay!

Children’s picture books are often useful, sometimes glorious, and they are everywhere, the stuff left over from growing up and moving on, proverbial needles in the hay.

Too often we settle for the hay. This is understandable. Still, new parents in particular are likely to be become disenchanted if they go looking for the magic of children’s literature amid the piles and glittery profiles of Hannah Montana biographies and Dora & Diego tie-ins and those books by Madonna where none of the characters have noses - what the heck happened to their noses? Consider, also, books deriving from major motion pictures. What is it these books are meant to accomplish, except, of course, Encourage Reading? Why would anyone choose to look at a photograph of Darth Vader if they can listen to James Earl Jones and that creepy respirator whenever they want with a monthly subscription to Netflix?

Bike Riding in New York City: Rides, Rentals and Resources

Bicycling is having a real renaissance in New York City. We're seeing more bike paths and more nice places to bike, plus more resources and programs to make biking easier, more affordable and fun. Find out below some of the best resources for New York City Bikers from the best places to bike with kids, where to get New York City bike maps, bike rentals, free bikes to borrow and more.

Highlights of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for Kids

There are no gimmicks and the only attractions are the plants, but that doesn't mean a day at a garden is a snore for kids. We took the kids to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and had a day packed with excitement, discovery, beauty and fun. So if you are sick of the same old kid-centric attractions, skip the toddler crowds and try something a little different.

Yes, a garden can be a great destination for a visit with kids. The trick is knowing how to approach it. Here are highlights of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden that will make visiting the gardens with kids more fun:

Family Friendy Arts: Ernesto Neto at the Park Avenue Armory

They've turned the beautiful, historic Park Avenue Armory into a new arts space and are eager to bring the arts to children and families. The Park Avenue Armory is hosting a FREE Family Arts Day and a multi-discipline, teaching artist-run workshop series for elementary school-aged students in conjunction with the Armory's first commissioned installation, anthropodino, a large-scale, participatory work by internationally renowned artist, Ernesto Neto.

Anthropodino is an "epic installation" and large scale interactive work using hundreds of yards of translucent material to form canopies and aromatic "fabric stalactites" and a vast labyrinth of passageways and rooms. The exhibit is enchanting for adults and children alike and touching is OK (phew).

Affordable Date Night Childcare That Helps Others Too

Finding good babysitters for an evening date night can be hard, but there's one solution that's a total no-brainer. Kids for a Cause hosts monthly date night drop-off evening childcare events run by NYU and Columbia University students to raise money for Baby's First Home, a charity that helps provide shelter for NYC homeless teen mothers. And they are Pay-What-you-Wish.

Talk about Win-Win! You get inexpensive, fun babysitting by great college sitters and get to help young mothers and their baby's at the same time.

Gearing up for Bike Month: Family Bicycling Events in New York City

Every May, New Yorkers celebrate Bike Month. This year, it’s more important than ever: With the recession still in full swing, families are looking for cheaper transportation alternatives. But most importantly, bicycling is a fun and healthy way for kids and parents to spend some quality time together. So with that in mind, we present some of our favorite family friendly bike events for May—and beyond.

The Best Family-Friendly Bars in New York City

Just because you have kids, doesn't mean you can't enjoy going out for a beer once in a while. And taking the kids along is fine as long as you choose your watering holes wisely. Bringing your kids to bars is a great way to hang out as a family, while you get to go out and have some fun, too. In order to keep the other patrons happy as well, these are some good general guidlines: arrive early, stick to bars with ample space (outdoor if possible) and bars that welcome kids with kid-friendly food.

If you're game for taking the kids to a family-friendly bar, here are the best ones to try:


Geek Out this Weekend at Kids Comic Con and Big Lightsaber Fight

Being a Star Wars fanatic or a comic book geek is pretty cool in my book. And these cool kid-friendly events celebrate and bring out the geek in all of us. A giant black-lit lightsaber battle? What could be cooler than that? A comic book convention just for kids. Let's go!

There's nothing cooler than these geeky activities:

Take Your Kids to Tibet for the Afternoon

I've decided to homeschool my kids by traveling around the world and letting them learn through exposure to different cultures and experiences. What could be a better education than that? Our first stop on this amazing voyage will be Tibet where we will explore the Himalayas, learn traditional art-forms, get to see first-hand the creation of a Tibetan mandala, learn TIbetan calligraphy, children's games and more. It will be a most enriching experience for my kids and for myself.

Of course, leaving New York is kind of a hassle, and the kids kind of like going to school, so we'll do this homeschooling in New york City and on the weekends. Thanks to The Rubin Museum of Art's Family Day this weekend, we can travel to Tibet to experience the art and culture without having to give up our takeout or DSL.

Rubin Museum of Art Family Day: Celebrate Tibet in New York


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