Jody Mercier

Jody Mercier

Jody Mercier's picture

When asked to illustrate her career goal as a first grader, Jody drew a picture of a mom with one kid on each hip and another clinging to her leg. All these years later, that is her reality, raising three kids in this crazy city. Since her dream job only pays in hugs and kisses, she has spent her professional career as an editor at SI.com, espnW.com and SportsonEarth.com, and also freelanced for Care.com.

Latest posts by Jody Mercier

Worth It? Family Memberships in NYC to Consider for Winter

After visiting NYC's top play spaces, museums, and other fun zones, we've rounded up the various membership deals at 20 kid-centric destinations. These places will keep your kids entertained, active, and out of the cold. Some even offer short-term memberships, so you only have to pay until spring arrives.

In the dead of winter, it can be daunting to schlep somewhere new every weekend, so a membership to one (or two) of your favorite kid play spots makes sense. We've already done the math so you'll know exactly how many visits it takes until these investments pay off—and whether or not the "deal" works for your family. If the math doesn't work out for you, consider buying one of the play spaces' bulk passes instead, which usually knocks a few bucks off the daily drop-in price.

Need more ideas? Check out our Indoor Play Spaces Guide for more romper rooms by borough, bounce houses, and year-round family entertainment.

35 Fun Things to Do with NYC Kids Over the Holiday Break

Few places rival New York City for winter holiday activities, and the school break offers families plenty of free time to sample them all.

There's no need to leave town: We’ve rounded up 35 of our favorite seasonal activities, most of which can be accessed with the swipe of a MetroCard. Fill your vacation with awesome museum outings, live stage shows, fancy meals, and magical holiday experiences. Our family even braves the crowds at popular tourist attractions such as the Rockefeller Center tree and rink and department store holiday windows.

Be sure to click through the links for details, including locations, dates, and prices.

Remember, the NYC public school kids don't go back to school until Tuesday, January 2, so if you need more fun things to do over break, check out our December GoList, free December fun, and our daily Event Calendar.

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.

18 Ways Families Can Volunteer and Donate in NYC for the Holidays

During the holiday season, families gather to enjoy delicious meals, exchange gifts, and celebrate the year gone by. But for a number of underprivileged New Yorkers, the holiday season can be a particularly difficult time. Volunteering is a wonderful way to help others in the community and an ideal opportunity to teach children the true spirit of the season.

We've rounded up some of our favorite kid-friendly volunteering opportunities. No matter where in the tristate area you live, the age of your children, or your family's interests, chances are there is a program to fulfill your holiday volunteering desires.

Macy's Santaland NYC: When and How to See Santa at Herald Square

Few places to see Santa in New York City compare with Macy's Santaland. It's a magical experience for tourists and natives, so why not take your kids for the holidays?

'Tis the season for Macy's to open its 13,000-square-foot winter wonderland, which overflows with holiday cheer from its live "elves," to an enchanted forest, animatronic toys, and a train display. Santa holds court from Friday, November 24 (the day after Thanksgiving and the parade) through Sunday, December 24, aka Christmas Eve.

This year visitors are treated to a brand-new reservation system to hopefully foil those pesky long lines of the past. A major bonus: There are great photo-ops all along the way, so the kids barely have time to squirm or fuss.

25 Free Holiday Events for Families and Kids in NYC

It's the most wonderful time of the year and New York City is gearing up for a magical holiday season. There's just something about the sheer delight and excitement in kids' faces that can make even dodging tourists and taxis fun.

While there's no shortage of things to do around the holidays in the Big Apple—annual train displays have begun and we're looking forward to exciting holiday events, cozy brunches with Santa, spectacular Nutcracker productions, and more—we know FREE fun can often be the best kind, especially with kids in tow. So we've rounded up 25 holiday activities for the family to enjoy gratis now through New Year's Eve. Consider it our holiday gift to you. For more seasonal fun, be sure to check out our Holiday Guide.

Santa Claus Brunches, Teas, and Cruises for NYC Kids

A picture with Santa can be thrilling for a little kid. But if your child wants a heartier visit with the big red guy, a tasty breakfast, brunch, or tea might be in order.

We've found eight spots in New York City where families can enjoy a special holiday meal with Old St. Nick. These range from inexpensive pancake brunches hosted by local organizations to lavish spreads at Rockefeller Center and the Plaza Hotel. You can even hop on a cruise with Santa.

All require advance reservations and sell out quickly. Whichever one you choose, bring your camera—and your appetite—and for more seasonal family fun check out our Holiday Guide.

American Girl Debuts a Sparkling New Store at Rockefeller Center

Just in time for the holiday season, American Girl gave fans citywide a shiny new gift with the opening of its brand-new mega store in Rockefeller Plaza.

The 38,000-square-foot, two-story store opened November 11, replacing its old digs on Fifth Avenue, and is sure to be a destination for lovers of these iconic dolls for years to come. While the original location offered shopping, dining, and salon services, the upgraded spot serves up even more treats for kids (matching makeovers!) and adults (plush benches!) alike.

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