Get your rain boots ready! Springtime means muddy puddle stomping and mud pie making season for kids—even NYC children. It's a great excuse to get outdoors for some unstructured, messy playtime. So we’ve rounded up 25 dig-in-dirt, you're-gonna-need-a-bath-tonight ways for city kids to enjoy the coming warm days beyond just the usual ramble through the neighborhood park.
Sarah Gonser - NYC Writer
Sarah is a Brooklyn-based health, education and parenting journalist. A former business reporter, she finds writing about parenting and kid-related happenings a whole lot more fun and engaging. She loves the flexibility of freelance writing as it leaves plenty of opportunities (between deadlines) to spend quality time with her two sons. With Prospect Park their daily stomping grounds and Manhattan just a few subway stops away, she and her husband feel lucky to be raising their kids in NYC.
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After so many hours spent indoors during cold winter months, springtime in New York City is one of my family’s favorite seasons. Besides the warmer weather and increased outdoor playtime, we love spotting the season’s first snowbells, crocuses, and blossoming trees.
While plenty of flowers poke through the earth in neighborhood parks and along city sidewalks—not to mention community gardens—there are a few spots in the city where spring blooms are downright outstanding. Springtime also brings the annual flower show at Macy's, which kicks off this weekend on Sunday, March 24. To celebrate the arrival of spring, we've rounded up our favorite places to enjoy springtime.
Tribeca has no shortage of great places to eat with the family. In general, places to eat in Tribeca either tend to be upscale or little holes-in-the-wall, with a handful of options in between. Since Tribeca is such a family-oriented neighborhood, many eateries welcome kids and even offer children's menus. Plus there's a wide range of cuisine to try, from good old American comfort food to French bistro dishes to authentic Cuban eats, plus incredible bakeries. Read on for our favorite places to eat with kids in Tribeca.
Two of the biggest attractions in Upper Manhattan boast a combined 250 acres of lush lawns and gardens, winding tree-lined paths, multiple ball fields and playgrounds, and three iconic NYC sights: the famed Little Red Lighthouse, the George Washington Bridge (or for fans of the beloved picture book by Hildegarde H. Swift, the Great Gray Bridge), and the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's branch dedicated to medieval art and architecture. Because of the waterfront location at the highest points in Manhattan, the two green spaces—Fort Washington and Fort Tryon Parks—were important strategic points in the Revolutionary War. Today the parks offer visitors spectacular views of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades.
So take the A train up to Washington Heights and Inwood and discover all the wonderful things to do in Fort Washington Park and Fort Tryon Park, with a little bit of help from our guide below.
Parenting takes a village. Finding the right parent group can give you an instant support network to share the highs and lows of parenthood, especially if you’re new to the game and especially if you live in a busy, overwhelming urban area like New York City! Many parent groups host events and social gatherings, while some offer valuable seminars and discussions. Other groups serve as classifieds where you can swap and sell baby gear, and many offer a place to simply connect with like-minded people.
We've pulled together a sampling of some of the city’s best neighborhood and citywide groups for moms and dads. Fortunately, there are so many great ones that we had a hard time whittling down the list. Most are free or include low annual dues. Read on for more details, and be sure to check out our NYC Baby Guide for more ideas for exploring and enjoying NYC from pregnancy to preschool.
As a parent, you hope you’ll never need to use CPR or first aid. But the scary truth is that if your baby chokes, or suffers a trauma like drowning or an electrical shock that knocks him unconscious, you'll want to know what to do, rather than rely on the availability of a knowledgeable stranger while you wait for the ambulance.
Have we freaked you out yet? The good news is NYC boasts plenty of infant CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and first-aid classes and refreshers for parents and caregivers, such as grandparents and nannies, where life-saving skills are taught and practiced until you feel as prepared as possible. So read on for our top picks on CPR and first-aid classes in the city.
Known for picturesque tree-lined streets and historic architecture, adjacent Brooklyn neighborhoods Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have an abundance of attractions for families. There's the amazing Fort Greene Park, a 30-acre oasis with two playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, a nature center, a running track, soccer fields, and great hills for sledding. The park's active conservancy organizes popular annual events for families, like the beloved Halloween Festival and the Music in the Grove kids' concert series during the summer.
The area is also home to some outstanding cultural institutions, notably the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with its BAMkids series and annual BAMkids Film Festival, the Mark Morris Dance Center, and the state-of-the-art Barclays Center, which hosts live Disney extravaganzas, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and Brooklyn Nets home games. On top of that, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have great kid-friendly restaurants and easy access to almost every subway line in the borough!
We've rounded up our favorite spots to play, eat, and learn in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. For the purposes of this post, our geographical boundaries are Flushing Avenue to the north and Atlantic Avenue to the south, between Flatbush Avenue and Bedford Avenue.
When we heard a 12-foot high outdoor climbing wall had landed on the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park, my tree-climbing, monkey-bar-swinging son had to give it a try. As longtime Brooklynites, we’ve been taking advantage of the ever-expanding Brooklyn Bridge Park and great Dumbo eats for years. The addition of Dumbo Boulders offers yet another great reason to visit the neighborhood.