Timeout New York Kids

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New York's best things to do with the family 2012

We've chosen the best things to do with the family in the city—everything from a must-visit pizza spot in midtown to a toddler dance party in Park Slope.

  • Best place to take a Sunday stroll: Brooklyn Bridge

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Best place to get a haircut: Beehives & Buzzcuts

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    Best over-the-top pizza: Don Antonio

  • Photograph: Courtesy Museum of Modern Art

    Best kids' programming in a non–children's museum: Museum of Modern Art

  • Photograph: Tina Buckman

    Best play space: The Heimbold Family Children's Playing & Learning Center

  • Photograph: Gary Soup

    Best food truck with kid appeal: Solber Pupusas

Best place to take a Sunday stroll: Brooklyn Bridge

New York's best things to do with the family 2012

Brooklyn Bridge

Best place to take a Sunday stroll: Brooklyn Bridge

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is a rite of passage for New Yorkers, and there’s no finer time to walk over the East River than on Sundays, when the narrow, planked pathways are free of speedwalking commuters. Kids can take their time moseying over the 1.13 mile span and linger at the wide platforms beneath the two mighty limestone and granite towers—a fine spot for gazing up at the weblike cables of the landmark structure. If you start your hike on the Brooklyn side, you can drool over the skyline without craning your neck—and, when you touch down in Manhattan, hit the Wafel & Dinges cart outside City Hall Park. Snag a bench to enjoy the snack, rest little feet and watch the local squirrels scrabbling for acorns. • Manhattan pedestrian entrance is at Centre St just south of Chambers St; Brooklyn pedestrian entrances are at Tillary St and Adams St or via the stairs at the underpass on Washington St, Downtown Brooklyn.—Clare Lambe

Best place to get a haircut: Beehives & Buzzcuts

  • Price band: 3/4

After spending 16 years in the corporate world, Karolyn Massey, the former vice president of finance at the Corcoran Group, decided to leave her job and open up this whimsical salon, located across the street from Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town. Inspired by her young niece Corinne, Massey, a new mom herself, worked with an architecture and design firm to give the spot a country-like feel—the salon’s walls are adorned with animal murals and faux trees. Once inside, kids are pampered with more than just the standard wash-and-cut. Little ones getting their locks trimmed choose to sit in a frog- or airplane-shaped car; older kids can opt for special ’dos like mohawks or feather and tinsel extensions. The salon’s adjacent store sells beauty products for kids, hair accessories, and educational toys from companies like Orb Factory and Melissa & Doug. • 646-476-6294, beehivesandbuzzcuts.com.—Rory Halperin

  1. 365 First Ave, (between 21st and 22nd Sts)
More info
Don Antonio Pizza

Best over-the-top pizza: Don Antonio

Master pizzaiolo Roberto Caporuscio (of Kesté Pizza and Vino fame) and his mentor, Antonio Starita (a third generation owner of one of Naples’ oldest and most respected pizzerias), have both critics and customers drooling over their Montanara Starita—lightly fried pizza dough, topped with signature tomato sauce and smoked buffalo mozzarella, then baked in a wood-burning oven. The words fried pizza alone will likely be a dream come true for most kids, but if for some reason that doesn’t do the trick, there are more than 50 other types of pizzas to choose from, including homemade burrato and stuffed-with-ricotta options. • 646-719-1043, donantoniopizza.com.—Amy Sirot

  1. 309 W 50th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves

Best kids’ programming in a non–children’s museum: Museum of Modern Art

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

MoMA’s exhibits may be among the most adult out there—think mind-bending, esoteric and conceptual—but that doesn’t mean kids take a backseat. The museum’s wealth of family programming covers a wide children’s age range (4 to 14) and offers kids and accompanying adults everything from hands-on art workshops—kids ages 7 to 9 are doing mixed-media works of the human form this fall—and gallery tours to special family-only artist talks and kids’ film programs. Even more amazing: All of MoMA’s family programs are free, and entitle participants to free admission to the museum (note that some offerings require advance online registration). Now that’s what we call family-friendly. • 212-708-9400, moma.org.—Lee Magill

  1. 11 W 53rd St, (between Fifth and Sixth Aves), 10019
More info

Best play space: The Heimbold Family Children’s Playing & Learning Center

Nonprofit cultural arts center Scandinavia House, home to a gallery, gift shop and legendary eatery, also runs a toddler play area. Like the rest of the building, the Heimbold Family Children’s Playing & Learning Center places a premium on design, but each beautiful element also has a purpose. Last year’s renovation by Koko Architecture + Design borrowed from a number of childhood education centers in Scandinavia, connecting the fourth-floor spot’s two rooms—one an activity room, the other a “sensory” room—with a fun tunnel; adding lovely birch paneling to several walls; and upping the activity quotient with play-and-pretend shops and kitchens, spiffed-up Brio train table, a cozy mushroom house and a wall that encourages touching, among many other inviting attributes. While membership is required for weekday visits ($125 per year for two adults and their children), we love that the center is open to the public on Saturdays for only $8 per child. • 212-779-3587, scandinaviahouse.org.—Lee Magill

  1. 58 Park Ave , (between 37th and 38th Sts)
More info
Solber Pupusas

Best food truck with kid appeal: Solber Pupusas

City food trucks may be proliferating at an astounding rate, but Red Hook ball fields staple Solber Pupusas, winner of the 2011 Vendy Award, still ranks as one of the best—especially now that the company also has a booth stationed at the Brooklyn Flea all year round. Kids can devour delicious grilled corn-masa patties from El Salvador, filled with either cheese, chicken or, for more adventurous eaters, pork crackling and loroco (an edible flower). Other highlights on owners Reina Bermudez and Rafael Solber’s menu include tamales, hot chorizo, curtido (pickled cabbage) and maduros (sweet plantains). • Go to solberpupusas.com to find the truck’s most current location.—Amy Sirot

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