Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Cheap and easy playdates for kids in NYC

Your child's next playdate is booked. Now it's time to plan the afternoon. We have tons of inexpensive ideas that will get you and your charges out and about.

  • New York Transit Museum

  • New York Transit Museum

  • Photograph: Courtesy of One Girl Cookies

    One Girl Cookies

  • Photograph: Jeff Quinn

    Fairway Red Hook

  • Photograph: Jeff Quinn

    Fairway Red Hook

  • JQ

  • Photograph: Jeff Quinn

    Red Hook Waterfront

  • Mahayana Buddhist Temple, Chinatown NY

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Nom Wah Tea Parlor

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Nom Wah Tea Parlor

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Nom Wah Tea Parlor

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Ten Ren's Tea Time

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Ten Ren's Tea Time

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Ting's Gift Shop

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Ting's Gift Shop

New York Transit Museum

7 Trains and treats in Brooklyn


At the New York Transit Museum (Boerum Pl at Schermerhorn St, Downtown Brooklyn; 718-694-1600, mta.info/mta/museum. $6, children 3--17 $4), tots get schooled on the history of our city's public transportation system—the institution is housed in a decommissioned 1930s subway station. The most exciting part: Kids can climb up on an old bus and play driver. Visiting on the weekend? Special free family programs take place every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30pm.

Afterward, walk down trendy Smith Street and window-shop before heading into One Girl Cookies (68 Dean St between Boerum Pl and Smith St, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn; 212-675-4996, onegirlcookies.com). Everyone gets a treat—the pumpkin or chocolate whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting ($1.50 each) won't disappoint.—AL

The breakdown
Entertainment $14
Food $4.50
Total $18.50

8 An adventure in Red Hook


Start by taking the Water Taxi from downtown Manhattan to Brooklyn's Ikea ($5, children under 12 free). Once you've landed, head to the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge (290 Conover St at Pier 44, Red Hook, Brooklyn; 718-624-4719, waterfrontmuseum.org. Free. Tours Sat 1--5pm and Thu 4--8pm), where kids can check out the captain's quarters. They'll also get kick out of the odd sculpture by George Rhoads on display—it has a series of ramps down which balls continuously roll and then jump through a loop.

For waterfront eats, go to Fairway Market (480-500 Van Brunt St at Reed St; 718-694-6868, fairwaymarket.com). Enjoy grilled cheese or PB&J ($2 each) on the patio.—AL

The breakdown
Entertainment $5
Food $6
Total $11

9 A jaunt to Chinatown


Debark the 6 train at Canal Street and start wee explorers on a game of "What the heck is that?" at stalls of mystery whatnots. At Ten Ren's Tea Time (79 Mott St between Bayard and Canal Sts, 212-732-7178), have them sample tapioca taro milk ($3 each). Ting's Gift Shop (18 Doyers St at Pell St, 212-962-1081) lets little ones get a look at cricket cages and elephant teapots—point out that it's one of the area's oldest shops. Introduce the kids to old-school dim sum at Nom Wah Tea Parlor (13 Doyers St betweenBowery and Pell St; 212-962-6047, nomwah.com)—try an assortment of appetizers, including egg rolls and scallion pancakes ($2.50--$3.50 each). Cap off the afternoon by watching tai chi masters at Columbus Park (67 Mulberry St between Bayard and Mosco Sts) and visiting the great golden Buddha at the Mahayana Buddhist Temple (133 Canal St at Bowery).—Lela Nargi

The breakdown
Entertainment $0
Food $18
Total $18

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