Maureen Dempsey

Maureen Dempsey

Latest posts by Maureen Dempsey

18 Indoor Party Spots with Mega Playgrounds for 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.

AMC Returns Favorite Disney Princess Movies to Theaters

Disney and AMC Theatres have joined forces to return some of the most popular princess-themed movies of years past to the theater this fall, including the original Beauty and the Beast from (gasp) 1991, and slightly more recent faves like the fiery, bow-and-arrow wielding redhead from Brave (2012).

If you have a gown-loving, but rambunctious little kid in your life, she or he may already know these flicks inside and out, but they were probably too young to catch them on the big screen. Tickets are already on sale for this princess movie fest featuring a diverse set of heroines, which will play in September and October at select AMC theaters across the country, so grab them while you can.

Read on for more info on how you can catch these six fairy tale heroes this fall. 

Big Holiday News! Toys R Us (Briefly) Returns To Times Square

If you're still lamenting the fact that Toys "R" Us left a giant Ferris-wheel-sized hole in Times Square for the past two years, you can get excited again because...it's returning! Well, at least for the holiday season. The big-box toy brand is opening a 35,000-square-foot, three-floor location at 42nd street and Broadway, beginning Saturday, August 26 at 9am, and running through the holiday season. (I guess "just in time for the holidays" means different things to different people.)

The three-story pop-up shop is full of new and classic buys for the little ones on your holiday list, but it's offering more than just a shopping trip.

A Free Shopkins Macaron Café Pop-up Is Coming to NYC

If your child is a serious Shopkins aficionado, the lines have probably blurred for you one one season to the next. (Which one are we on now?) But good news: The manufacturer of all things miniature is opening an adorable pop-up experience in New York City to launch season 8—and get your kids worked up for all the tiny new additions to their current collections.

The French-themed Macaron Café is landing in Tribeca June 17-19, but those serious about getting a spot should reserve their FREE tickets now.

Review: Spring-a-Ding Ding! It's Circus Arts for Younger Kids

If the idea of heading to a full-fledged circus seems overwhelming for younger kids, especially the preschool and pre-K crowd, we might have found the perfect in-between show: Spring-a-Ding DING!

The one-hour performance playing in downtown NYC at the 14Y is filled with lively music, storytelling, acrobatics, dancing, contortions, and more—all performed with a younger audience in mind (Read: They'll be too entranced to wriggle out of their seat or your lap) from the small but mighty circus-arts company Cirque-tacular.

And if they're loving the theater experience, check out the best Broadway shows for kids and families for ages 4 and up.

New York to Offer Free Gear to First-Time Campers

If you’ve ever thought, “I wish we camped more,” but the risk of abandoned tents, sleeping bags, and coolers sitting in the corner of your garage, or your nonexistent storage space if you're in the city, stops you from gearing up and going, New York state’s new First-Time Camper weekends might be just right for your family.

The state's Department of Environmental Conservation is launching a program to reserve a fully stocked campsite at select New York state campgrounds for a weekend getaway this summer, letting families test the waters before investing in the necessities. (And to find out who’s really afraid of the dark. Kidding.)