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
Get your calendars ready! Here are the top things to do with kids in New York City this June, and many are 100% FREE. The first month of summer brings a slew of incredible outdoor activities. But while no-cost festivals, fairs, and parades abound, there are a handful of truly spectacular ones that are musts for families.
Many of our favorite FREE annual events take place this month, including Coney Island's Mermaid Parade, the Lower East Side's Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival, and the Museum Mile Festival, as well as Figment NYC, held this year on Roosevelt Island.
Curious NYC kids never need to feel bored—not when there are so many places in New York that encourage kid-focused scientific exploration and creation. From science museums and maker spaces to brain-boosting playgrounds and STEM-focused camps, there are tons of spots for kids to get scientific in New York City. We've rounded up 13 of the best.
Find more great geeky ideas in our STEM Guide.
When temperatures soar, there's always New York's FREE neighborhood pools or sprinklers for a quick cool down with the kids, but on particularly hot summer days, nothing beats the heat like a trip to a water park near NYC.
Families with toddlers in tow aren't looking for big slides or big waves, though, so we've rounded up our top splash pads for the preschool set. Prepare to find toddler-sized attractions, along with perks such as nursing stations and FREE mini life jackets—and don't worry, there's plenty of big-kid fun to go around, too. So read on for details on 12 parks within two hours of New York City that cater to the littlest water explorers.
Check out our NYC Beaches, Pools, and Water Fun Guide for more family-friendly ideas on how to cool down in the city and beyond.
Are your kids suffering from a bit of "been there, climbed that" playground fatigue at their tried-and-true favorite play spot? It may be time to explore a new romping ground. Fortunately, the NYC parks are ever changing. Here, we present 10 new (or nearly new) and updated playgrounds you probably haven't visited yet.
And of course, you can find all our favorite spots, old and new, in our Parks and Playgrounds Guide.
As soon as the days are warm and mild enough to eat outdoors (whether or not summer has officially kicked off), dining al fresco is hard to beat. If your kids can't sit still for a restaurant meal even in a kid-friendly backyard, consider packing a picnic or picking up some portable eats and striking out for your nearest greenspace. Here are our 10 favorite parks to picnic, with bonus points for entertainment during or after your meal.
When we were growing up, New York City playgrounds had sprinklers. Now parks and playgrounds across the five boroughs have "water features"—fountains, geysers, rivers, pumps, and beautiful spraying statues. Kids just love them, and we parents prefer these newfangled playgrounds because they're pretty and cool, and make us feel as if our exorbitant NYC housing costs are justified.
Sprinkler season in NYC parks kicks into gear when the temps reach 80 degrees, although some parks may turn on water features earlier. There are hundreds of water features in NYC parks, and we've highlighted some favorites by borough: the best in Brooklyn, best of Queens, and best of the Bronx. Some are cooler (literally and figuratively) than others, and more amazing ones seem to open every year. When we first published this article in 2008, we had five favorite splashing spots. Now we're up to 27 fancy playgrounds where kids can get wet in NYC. See if your favorites made our list.