Even for the most innovative parent, the gap between late afternoon and bedtime can be challenging to fill—especially during bad weather. When it's too cold and dark for the park, the "witching hour" can feel like an endless desert of time. Most play spaces, libraries, and museums close the doors before 6pm, so it's hard to justify schlepping across the city for a short window of playtime, especially when getting everyone fed is a factor. What's a parent to do? Well, check out our borough-by-borough breakdown of kid-centric locales that are open "late!" to keep your kids (little and big) busy till bedtime.
Latest posts by Louise Finnell
Your toddler is another year older, which means it's time to throw a birthday party! Entertaining the under-age-5 crowd, plus a small army of their closest friends (and parents), can be tricky. Lucky for us, the borough of Brooklyn is filled with party places to please even the most diverse pack of enthusiastic toddlers and preschoolers.
Animals, arts and crafts—even just tumbling around for a few hours—are all options at these creative venues across Brooklyn.
Find more birthday party inspiration in our NYC Party Guide.
The zoo is a great place for an animal lover, and cat cafes have popped up from Brooklyn to Manhattan... but what about dogs? Enter Frolic, a new spot brimming with dogs that is now open on the Upper East Side!
Frolic is a colorful, sunshine-filled space in Manhattan, easily accessible by the Second Avenue Subway. Owned by adjacent Biscuits & Bath (though independently run), their mission is simple: learn about dogs, and have fun while doing it!
Sandwiched between the famously family-friendly enclaves of BoCoCa and Park Slope, Gowanus is holding its own in terms of cool hangouts and play spaces for kids. With the promise of a $500 million Superfund cleanup of its odoriferous waterway, the area is transforming from an industrial pass-through to a destination in its own right, complete with new condo development. Following in the footsteps of nearby Red Hook, warehouses have become art houses, and boutiques and restaurants are opening up left and right. Mixed-use buildings are providing more residential options than ever, so it's no surprise that this Brooklyn neighborhood is attracting young families in droves.
Gowanus spans the area from Baltic Street to the north and the Gowanus Expressway to the south, Fourth Avenue to the east, and Smith and Hoyt Streets to the west. Despite all the development in this formerly industrial neighborhood, Gowanus maintains its status as a hotbed for artists, makers, and entrepreneurs. Easily accessible by subway, and walking distance from the Barclays Center, the area is exploding with activities for families and kids of all ages. Enjoy an ice cream cone, explore the art scene, or get busy creating in the up-and-coming 'hood.
As real estate in Park Slope skyrockets out of reach, many families have been turning their sights on its southern neighbor, Sunset Park. Its crown jewel, the 25-acre namesake green space, boasts an outdoor Olympic-size pool, sports fields, a recently renovated playground and one of the highest points in Brooklyn, from which you can see the Statue of Liberty and New York Bay. The historic 478-acre Green-Wood Cemetery is also a highlight, and even hosts annual family events like its Memorial Day Concert and Battle of Brooklyn reenactment.
Dive into the culturally rich neighborhood with our top 25 activities, play spaces, restaurants, and nature spots.
It's how we understand the world around us. Now the Upper West Side's American Museum of Natural History is delving deep into the fascinating mechanics of our bodies with a new exhibit that some have called a little "trippy," Our Senses: An Immersive Experience. Eleven interactive galleries within invite visitors to touch, smell, see, listen, play, and challenge their senses as they wander through.
Whether you have a large brood that ranges from babies to tweens or simply a few who have somewhat of an age gap, finding activities and restaurants that cater to each and every age and stage can be challenging. The desire to go out and spend time together in NYC can sometimes be overshadowed by the task of finding place that will keep babies, toddlers, preschoolers, older children, and parents entertained.