You’re faced with another chilly, dreary, rainy day and your kids are climbing the apartment walls. You’ve done all of the fun seasonal activities and the playgrounds are out of the question. That's when NYC's indoor play spaces can be real lifesavers. We're always on the hunt for the latest and greatest indoor play spaces, and a handful of new spots have opened up this year that are definitely worth the trip. Pack your socks, because here's the scoop on four new spots where the kids can get all of their energy out—and you can regain your sanity (and even have a cup of coffee).
Katie Nave Freeman
Katie Nave Freeman
Latest posts by Katie Nave Freeman
As the weather cools and those freezing playground slides become less appealing, we’re all scrambling for indoor activities to keep our little ones entertained. Luckily, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum has added another family-friendly NYC activity to the to-do list.
TapeScape, open now through December 30, 2018, is an explorable structure made from scaffolding and 480 rolls of packing tape. My daughter and I had the pleasure of visiting the museum’s newest exhibit and it’s exactly as promised. We loved climbing through the tens of thousands of feet of clear tape that is intricately woven around a metal frame. There are many tunnels and passageways to explore, which inspired my three year-old's sense of adventure. She even asked if we could replicate the structure in our own kitchen. Uh, no.
Raising kids in New York City isn’t without challenges, but it’s certainly never dull. Each weekend, we have the luxury of choosing between a variety of playgrounds, museums, and events—and lately, it seems like the city has been awash in Instagrammable popups. In the past six months alone, new museums and experiences devoted to dreams, candy, color, tea, and even optical illusions have opened here.
But it's New York, which means there's always room for one more cool thing to do. Since my family is always on the hunt for dog-friendly activities, we were excited to check out Human’s Best Friend, a new pop-up experience for dogs and the people who love them, located in the West Village. Read on for an inside look at NYC's latest pop-up for pooches—and their paparazzi.
Neighborhood story hours for preschoolers and babies abound in Brooklyn, providing a fun, no-fuss outing, especially on cold or rainy days. Most storytimes are free (or cheap), and many venues offer additional kid activities before or after the reading, including plenty of book-browsing, so the fun can continue even when storytime ends.
Read on for our top picks for read-along sessions in Brooklyn at libraries, bookstores, and other tot spots, and find more story hours at these Manhattan spots.
One of my greatest priorities in raising a young girl is to give her a strong foundation, so that she has a positive self-image and feels empowered to be herself. Part of that work involves seeking out girls-only spaces across the city where she feels heard, valued, and has the opportunity to meet strong-minded, brilliant female role models.
There are more than enough opportunities to keep kiddos busy in the city, but girls-focused programs are specifically designed to allow girls to explore their world freely. From STEM to sports, many of these programs are run by women who, of course, know what it’s like to be a young girl coming into her own.
We've rounded up our favorite activities, camps, and programs that pack major girl power. Be sure to click through to the listings for all the details, including times, locations and recommended ages. You can search through dozens of classes by type or location in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings as well.
Few city playgrounds can compare to what Brooklyn Bridge Park has to offer. Running 1.3 miles along the East River on a defunct cargo shipping and storage complex, the 85-acre waterfront space is host to a water paradise, Tarzan swings, slides, tunnels, and the city’s largest sandbox. Plus, the Lower Manhattan skyline view never fails to give me major city feels.
If you’ve packed your sunscreen and stamina, you can take the family to experience them all, but if you want to prioritize, we’ve ranked them for you. All of the Brooklyn Bridge Park playgrounds are fun, but our faves at the top of the list offer the most equipment, most variety, amenities, and wow-factor.
Riding the subway is a major part of the magic of being a city kid. In fact, my daughter has taken to begging for F train rides each sweltering afternoon, which isn't quite my idea of summer fun. Luckily, we found a favorite museum to scratch the itch.
Since 1976, the New York Transit Museum has been capturing the evolution of mass transportation in our city. Housed underground in an actual subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, the train museum has a rotating collection of 20 vintage subway cars for the entire family to board, explore, and imagine a city life of the past.
Pier 3 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the final pier to be refurbished in our favorite 1.3-mile, 85-acre waterfront park, is now open for summer fun. The added five acres of open space includes a great open lawn, an exploratory labyrinth for kiddos of all ages, and a dedicated outdoor space for performances and events. This latest addition brings the park of epic playgrounds to 90% completion.