Maureen Dempsey

Maureen Dempsey

Latest posts by Maureen Dempsey

Hex & Co. Is a Board Game Lover's Paradise for NYC Kids

If screen time is getting to be too big of a battle at your place, head out to get back to the old-school gaming model: board games. Hex & Co. recently opened on the upper Upper West Side (Columbia area) and is serving up more than 1,000 board games, from classics to new pop-culture hits, to give your family a chance to sit down, grab a bite to eat, and, you know, talk and make eye contact with one another.

Hex & Co. joins outer borough favorites, Brooklyn Strategist, Brooklyn Game Lab, and The Geekery in Astoria, Queens for classic family fun. (More on this later.) Read our review and get all the details on the fun new spot below.

Best Things to Do with NYC Kids: December GoList

Santa isn't the only one making a list and checking it twice. Our carefully curated December GoList is packed with the absolute best things to do with kids in NYC throughout the month. Our top picks include holiday traditions like the Holiday Sing-Along with Dan Zanes and Friends and the quirky Unsilent Night musical procession in Greenwich Village; great holiday theater; and cool cultural offerings such as Kwanzaa 2017 at the American Museum of Natural History and Bagels From Benny and just plain magic at Jason Bishop's popular new show at the New Victory Theater.

It's also worth rereading our November GoList since many of those festive picks continue through December, including the Dyker Lights holiday displays, Macy's Santaland, and the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show—and various Nutcracker performances around the city.

As always, keep checking our Event Calendar and Holiday Guide for the most up-to-date celebrations, including tree lightingsSanta sightings, and totally FREE holiday events for NYC kids.

Roosevelt Island's Music and Play Station: Where Kids Groove

I'll never knock a good play space. Give my kids a ball pit, some climbing structures, foam blocks, and a clean area (maybe that's just for me)...and we're there. There are definitely neighborhoods overflowing with them—you could easily do a Brooklyn play space crawl, spending most of your time in Park Slope—so that's why I was excited to hear about a new one popping up on Roosevelt Island, the arts-and-movement-centered The Music & Play Station. The owners, Owen and Bridget Johnston, were gracious enough to give me the lowdown on the new space and what parents and kids can expect when they visit. Read on for more info.

An FAO Schwarz Holiday Pop-Up Shop Opens in Bergdorf

The holidays are a delicate balance of memory-making experiences for the family (ice skating and hot chocolate, The NYBG Train Show, checking out massive holiday lights displays, and hitting up Santaland), but also playing Santa himself and hunting/gathering gifts and spreading holiday cheer without going nuts. I might have found the nexus of these two things when I visited the new FAO Schwatz pop-up shop within Midtown Manhattan's Bergdorf Goodman.

Read on to get all the details and to decide whether to add a trip with (or without!) the kids to your to-do list over the next two months.

Best Things To Do with NYC Kids: November GoList

Up until the last week of October, the weather was in complete denial that fall is upon on us. Until the holiday season truly hits (and the temps drop), you'll have plenty to pack in, including mini maker faires, the annual Canstruction, a new Broadway show featuring someone who lives in a pineapple under the sea, holiday train fun, and a bevy of princesses hitting the ice. Then switch over to holiday mode with the beloved Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and other children's holiday events kicking off later this month, including Polar Express train rides and Macy's Santaland.

Trying to rid the kids (and you) of leftover Halloween candy? Donate it to these charities around NYC and globally.

Read on for 16 of the best family outings in November, and for more options, peruse our Event Calendar and Fall Fun Guide

Paw Patrol and Olaf Among Macy's New Thanksgiving Parade Balloons

The countdown to Thanksgiving is in full swing and that means the NYC Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is looming large on the streets of Midtown Manhattan. We've got insider tips for where to watch the parade and how to manage the crowds at the balloon inflation, but now we're sharing a sneak peek at the four new additions set to join the 91st annual parade on Thursday, November 23, for the very first time.

Read on to meet the cast of (new) characters.

18 Indoor Party Spots with Mega Playgrounds for NYC Kids' Birthdays

For parents of winter babies, we feel your pain when it comes to birthday party options. While summer baby parents have both indoor and outdoor options (the park! the pool!), those of us with children born in colder months (or even fall and early spring), need to find a space where kids can run off all that pizza-and-cake energy. Enter: mega play spaces.

From bounce houses and trampolines to arcade-packed game spaces, these wide-open spaces give all pint-sized guests a chance to run free. Check out our top picks below—and start booking now.

Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical Is Perfect for Times Like These

You know how, as a parent, you can explain a concept dozens of times, but until a kid sees it for themselves, they don't really get it? When the topic of discrimination comes up (if it hasn't already), don't bother trying to define it. Just take your children to Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical.

The bright set, costumes, and hair/makeup (blue skin! purple skin! rainbow hair!), as well as the characters' electric personalities will draw kids in immediately, while the 55-minute performance takes a complicated topic and puts it through a kid-friendly lens—without dumbing it down or simplifying it too much.

Read on for our full review, or check out our NYC Theater Guide for more family shows playing now.

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