These Queens birthday party places cater to all kinds of kids, from active to artsy to animal lovers. As a Queens mom with two children, I've been to many of these spots personally. You can find additional birthday inspiration in our NYC Party Guide.
Kelly O'Neil - NYC Writer
Kelly is a proud native New Yorker who was raised in Queens, just like her parents. She also lived on the West Coast and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Bolivia before returning to her home borough. She now resides in Sunnyside with her husband (also a Queens native) and their two daughters. Kelly's passions include sampling new cuisines and discovering stimulating things to do wherever she goes.
A New York City public school teacher, Kelly is currently on child-care leave and loves going on local family adventures. She is always on the hunt for the most economical kid-friendly places and activities all around the city, and she shares her finds on Mommy Poppins. Follow her on Google+.
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Despite NYC's long list of great indoor play options, sometimes kids want to do more than just run and jump around. An art project is a great way to spend a winter or spring afternoon, when the usual roster of play spaces, kiddie gyms and museums is feeling a bit tired. Get busy at a local drop-in art studio to pass some indoor time. Kids can get their hands dirty doing pottery, painting, collage and more.
For drop-in art studios and kids' craft spots, Queens is a worthy rival to Brooklyn and Manhattan. From museums with regular family art programs to places to paint plaster to FREE workshops at the Queens Library, here are nine spots where kids of all ages can flex their creative muscles.
From Queens' formerly industrial waterfront to deep in the borough, family-friendly spots and amenities are on the upswing. There are wide-open spaces to run with abandon, playgrounds aplenty, and indoor play spaces with open play hours are strong in number: In fact, Queens has more indoor play zones than Manhattan and is gaining on Brooklyn.
We found 20+ indoor romping locations in the borough that offer drop-in sessions open to the public (no membership required). Bonus: All of these spots host birthday parties, too, and most are much more affordable than their Manhattan competitors.
New York City doesn't lack for awesome family events and institutions, from the many children's museums and zoos and gardens to only-here street and art fests. But as a mom of two children younger than 5, I'm always looking for fun activities that appeal to the city's youngest children. It's such a special window of time, and I want to create lasting memories—within budgetary reason, and manageable enough for kids who sometimes still need a nap and a sippy cup of milk.
So, inspired by our roundup of 100 things to do with kids in NYC before they grow up, we came up with a list of 25 things to do with toddlers and preschoolers around the city before they turn 5 and head to kindergarten. A few of our selections are well-known favorites with specific under-the-radar attractions for preschoolers, while others are more off the beaten path, but all are things we've enjoyed doing or aspire to try soon!
Families flock to Astoria, Queens, for its parks, pool, and great restaurants, but also the trove of family-friendly indoor entertainment, from top museums like the Museum of the Moving Image to creative kids' classes and fun play spaces.
We can't possibly list all of the wonderful programs on tap, but we're highlighting locations that offer drop-in sessions, as well as a few perennial family favorites that require longer commitments. Many of these spots attract residents from all over Queens, including my kids and I, who come from Sunnyside to hit The Yoga Room and the inexpensive but fun play space, Kids Playhouse Astoria.
I first learned about Good Day Play Cafe in Bayside, Queens from three friends who raved after its June 2016 opening. They had me at Stumptown coffee and cold brew, but after hearing about the Hinoki cypress wood cube sensory pit and indoor play area, I knew I had to check it out with my kids, ages 6, 4, and 9 months. The thoughtfully designed space features an engaging and unique play area and a cafe serving delicious eats, making it an ideal destination for families with young kids.
Western Queens just gained a new indoor play space for kids with the opening of Sunnyside Plays in, of course, Sunnyside. My family was super excited to have a new indoor playground so close to our neighborhood. In fact, we were amazed when we saw our 7-month-old son start crawling there for the first time. We are already making memories.
The spacious location on 48th Avenue, which just opened this month, is close to Sunnyside Library and Lance Cpl. Thomas A. Noonan Playground. Sunnyside Plays, founded by local parents Ed Kim and Vanessa Quinn, is 1,700 square feet of open, rectangular floor space with 16-foot ceilings. LED track lighting and the studio's vibrant colors give it a refreshing artsy loft feel. Kim and Quinn have art backgrounds and use their knowledge to offer events and classes for kids and adults.
Disney’s Frozen sequel isn’t due out for several years, but that hasn’t slowed down the Elsa and Anna fever in my household where “Let It Go” is the nightly bathtub refrain. If your kid is pining for the snow queen’s return, then it might be time to whip up a Frozen-themed party or activity.
Sticky summer weather only makes us crave a chill-inducing Frozen scenery more. Besides, Olaf would approve of the summer setting, wouldn’t he? So pop on the soundtrack, think ice cold thoughts and check out these five Frozen-themed kid party ideas and activities, some simple, some messy, but all 100 percent fun.