Timeout New York Kids

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Best of 2013: Best places and things to do in NYC for families

Our best of 2013 list for NYC families, including new playgrounds and reopened attractions, is here! Plus: We crown the winners in our readers' choice poll.

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Best of 2013: Time Out New York Kids critics' picks

    Best all-ages beer garden: Greenwood Park

  • Photograph: Liz Clayman

    Best of 2013: Time Out New York Kids critics' picks

    Best restaurant for playing with your food: Goodfella's

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Best of 2013: Time Out New York Kids critics' picks

    Best ice-cream mashup: OddFellows Ice Cream

  • Photograph: Whitney Lawson

    Best of 2013: Time Out New York Kids critics' picks

    Best new reason to shop in Williamsburg: Cute Attack

  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    Best of 2013: Time Out New York Kids critics' picks

    Best way to relive post-college weekends: Brunch Baby, Brunch

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Best of 2013: Time Out New York Kids critics' picks

    Best chill hot spot: Dominique Ansel Bakery

  • Agaton Strom

    Best of 2013: Time Out New York Kids critics' picks

    Best new Meatpacking District eatery: Bubby's

     

     

  • Photograph: Jennifer Arnow

    Best of 2013: Time Out New York Kids critics' picks

    Best business to come out of a bake sale: Treat House

Photograph: Marielle Solan

Best of 2013: Time Out New York Kids critics' picks

Best all-ages beer garden: Greenwood Park

Best food & shopping for families this year

Best all-ages beer garden: Greenwood Park

Picture this: It’s a warm summer day and you’ve been to that shadeless playground near your apartment (you know the one) more times than you can count. Or how about when it’s too cold to go outside in the winter, even though cabin fever has reached epic proportions? This sprawling auto body shop–turned–beer garden has 13,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, plenty of seating and a three-lane bocce ball court. Don’t let the 60 tap lines serving 24 craft beers fool you. Kids really are welcome (daily before 7pm)—we promise! Over the past year, Greenwood Park has successfully built a stroller-friendly rep for kid-tailored holiday events and concerts, and a daily comfort food option for the whole family. 718-499-7999, greenwoodparkbk.com.—Brian Braiker

  1. 555 Seventh Ave, (between 19th and 20th Sts), 11215
More info
Goodfellas

Best restaurant for playing with your food: Goodfella's

It’s not every day that kids are encouraged (yes, encouraged) to play with their food in public, but waiters at the three city locations of Goodfella’s do just that. At the pizza parlors, little ones who order a personal-sized pizza off the children’s menu ($5 plus $.75 for toppings) get to create their own mini pie at their table. They’re given homemade semolina dough (there’s a gluten-free dough option for kids with allergies), mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and toppings—choose from standards like mushrooms, onions and broccoli, as well as specialty items like artichoke hearts, meatballs and grilled chicken. Pizzaiolos-in-training roll the dough, place it in a tinfoil dish and get creative with the toppings. Their masterpieces are then baked in one of Goodfella’s brick ovens. Parents can enjoy appetizers (think eggplant rollatini, fried calamari and stuffed mushrooms) while their kids are hard at work. 144 Orchard St at Rivington St (212-432-3200, goodfellasusa.com); 391 Second Ave between 22nd and 23rd Sts (212-545-8500); 1817 Victory Blvd at Raymond Ave, Staten Island (718-815-8500).—Rory Halperin

  1. Various locations in the city

Best ice cream mash-up: OddFellows Ice Cream

The fact that inspiration for this shop came from its then pregnant co-owner’s midnight food cravings explains a lot: Here, your family will find kooky combos like chorizo caramel swirl and a spicy lime-tarragon sorbet made the old-fashioned way. Milk, which is locally sourced and pasteurized in-house, is infused with flavor even before the freezing process begins—just the way pastry chef Sam Mason (formerly of wd~50) likes it. Steer kids to the maple bacon pecan or aromatic strawberry lavender sorbet, or splurge for the to-die-for cornbread sundae, topped with blueberry compote, maple syrup and bacon-scented whipped cream. 347-599-0556, oddfellowsnyc.com.—Rebecca Jennings

  1. 175 Kent Ave, (between North 3rd and 4th Sts), 11211
More info

Best new reason to shop in Williamsburg: Cute Attack

Owner and East Williamsburg resident Liza Dare quit her job as a commercial casting director to open Cute Attack, her first children’s store, after seeing the influx of families moving into the Brooklyn nabe over the past five years. Her cozy shop hawks unique threads (for kids ages zero to five) and toys from local and independent brands such as Kate Quinn Organics and the House of Brooklyn Rascals. Parents (and those looking for cool baby gift ideas) will ooh and ahh over Prefresh "Totally Local"–emblazoned tees ($42), Zuzii hats with faux-fur pompoms ($30), Lululuvs circle scarves ($40) and Le Top faux-leather jackets ($59). There are also a plethora of creative gifts, including Estella NYC MetroCard-shaped rattles ($16) and Tattly temporary tattoos made of vegetable-based ink ($5), to choose from. Keep an eye on Dare’s website, as upcoming music and story hours for local kids are in the works. 347-889-6555, cuteattackkids.com.—Elizabeth Denton

  1. 770 Metropolitan Ave, (between Graham Ave and Humboldt St)
More info

Best way to relive post-college weekends: Brunch Baby, Brunch

Brunch at Union Square’s Brother Jimmy’s may conjure up images of twentysomethings devouring omelettes and drinking Bloody Marys after a night out on the town, but this year brought a new set of younger patrons to the BBQ restaurant. Founded by husband-and-wife team Christopher and Victoria Anderson, the Brunch Baby, Brunch series offers a casual environment on select weekend afternoons for families to unwind and enjoy tasty eats, prizes and even a live DJ spinning kid tunes (there’s also a padded dance floor for little movers and shakers). Even better, children under 12 eat free. Various weekends (facebook.com/brunchbabybrunch).—Rory Halperin

  1. 116 E 16th St, (between Irving Place and Park Ave South)
More info

Best chill hot spot: Dominique Ansel Bakery

We know you’ve heard all about the cronut, the hybrid croissant-donut that took NYC by storm over the summer and continues to cause a line to form each morning along Spring Street. What you may not know is that the baker himself, Dominique Ansel, has created a charming spot for breakfast that alone is worth the trip to Soho—even if the cronuts have sold out for the day. You and your kids can watch the staff at work; enjoy Parisian-inspired creations; take a seat at a table outside, in the patio, or indoors; and count your lucky stars you found this place without being led on by fads. 212-219-2773, dominiqueansel.com.—Lee Magill

  1. 189 Spring St between Sullivan and Thompson St

Best new Meatpacking District eatery: Bubby's

We just found another reason to visit the High Line—not that we actually needed one. The popular comfort food restaurant Bubby’s recently opened a second city location (their Dumbo restaurant closed last fall, though their Tribeca spot lives on)  near the entrance to the elevated train tracks and the future Whitney Museum. Open 22 hours a day (perfect for parents whose little ones are still learning to sleep through the night), the eatery offers its signature eats, plus some exclusives. Kids can enjoy homemade egg creams and malteds from the old-fashioned soda fountain, while families can also use the restaurant’s takeout window to pick up treats pre–High Line walk or picnic. 212-206-6200, bubbys.com.—Rory Halperin

  1. 73 Gansevoort St at Washington St

Best business to come out of a bake sale: Treat House

The homemade slabs of marshmallow-laced crispy rice treats two young brothers hawked at a charity bake sale elicited such nostalgia-inducing raves, it led their entrepreneurial parents to spawn a dessert den devoted entirely to the gooey snack. Jennifer and Chris Russell, former owners of the now-shuttered Moomba and TanDa restaurants, partnered with their erstwhile pastry chef, Wendy Israel, to open Treat House on the Upper West Side. Here, tykes and adults alike are enchanted by the urban tree-house setting, perching on tree stump stools to bite into the sweet, toothsome squares ($2.25 each) swirled with gourmet flavors like cool chocolate-mint, S’mores and sea salt–flecked caramel. Early risers can settle in for a less-indulgent breakfast of Stumptown coffee and brown rice bars studded with oats and flax. 212-799-7779, treathouse.com.—Alia Akkam

  1. 452 Amsterdam Ave between 81st and 82nd Sts


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