Spring has sprung and with it, the long-awaited rebirth of nature in NYC—the trees come back to life, the sidewalk are lined with blooming flower beds and, best of all, baby animals make their debut in zoos and parks around the city. If your little ones get just as excited about cute animals as we do, then here are the places you'll need to visit ASAP before they’re all grown up. Queens Zoo The Queens zoo just debuted one its newest addition to the pack: an Andean bear cub. This little cutie, born over the winter, is the first of his kind to be born in New York City and is part of the Species Survival Plan’s effort to fortify the vulnerable species. Bronx Zoo Six bison calves were born just in time for Mother’s Day this year and four have made their public debut. The calves were born in late April to a herd of seven females and a male that were gifted to the zoo from the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes in Fort Peck, Montana. Four Père David's deer fawns can also be seen romping around the zoo along with teeny baby lemurs. Staten Island Zoo The Staten Island Zoo is celebrating quite a few births this season. Two ring-tailed lemurs named Jyn and Han that were born in February are now on display in the zoo’s Africa wing. These are the first lemurs to be born on Staten Island in zoo’s 80-year history. Pop in for a visit to be treated to these babies along with new geckos, a horned oryx named Beau, and fluffy Shetland lambs, including one named Baalthazar–emphasis on the “Baa.
The goats are back! If your littles are into farm animals, Prospect Park is continuing its tradition of hosting a small herd of adorable goats to help with woodland restoration. Ever since 2012's Hurricane Sandy and other severe storms destroyed over 500 trees in the park woods, invasive plants have been taking over and making it difficult for native plants to grow. The Prospect Park Alliance has been concentrating its efforts on removing these weeds before restoring these native plants that serve as homes for resident wildlife. This year, four goats—Max, a black pygmy goat from last year’s herd, and three Swiss toggenburgs—have moved in to chomp away at the hardy plants in a northeast portion of the park called the Vale of Cashmere. The weeds get weaker each time they’re eaten and will soon have no energy to keep growing back in. Once this landscape has been restored, Lookout Hill will receive similar attention. Apart from aiding in park conservation efforts, this year’s goats are also tasked with the very important role of being the cutest residents in the park. You might not be able to romp and play through the lawn or do yoga with them, but you can definitely meet and say hello to them during the park’s free Fun on the Farm event on Sunday, May 21. If you’re looking for more goat fun, Socrates Sculpture Park just unveiled an exhibit called Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again. Artist Nari Ward has taken over the grounds with five installations, one of which involves a herd of go
Cruises are wonderful choices for family travel—especially Disney’s fleet—but sometimes flying all the way out to a ship’s port first can take the wind right out of your sails. But good news approaches, future cruisers! Pretty soon New Yorkers will be able to hop on a Disney Cruise heading to its private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay straight from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in Hell’s Kitchen. Beginning in fall 2018, three seven-night sailings will travel from New York to Walt Disney World near Port Canaveral, Florida before whisking passengers off to Castaway Cay. Each guest will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and round-trip transportation to and from the theme parks. Bookings open to the public May 18, 2017, so hop on it before the ships fill up! In addition to the new sailings to the Bahamas, Disney Cruise Line will offer trips to Bermuda for the first time. In October 2018, Disney will offer five-night sailings leaving New York City that will include two full days in Bermuda as well as six-night trips that will let you romp around those pink sand beaches for three whole days. With this news, vacation time in 2018 really can’t get here quickly enough. Photograph: Courtesy Todd Anderson If the family is more interested in escaping to another city rather than embracing their inner beach bums, Disney is also launching new cruises between New York and Quebec City, Canada beginning in September 2018. Seven-night sailings on the Disney Mag
You might think we're barking mad, but we couldn't pass up an opportunity to spotlight "dOGUMENTA," America's first art exhibition for dogs, which will open in NYC (yep, it's real!). Fur children count too, right? We'd definitely count this among the best things to do with kids in NYC this season! Photograph: Courtesy Yinka Shonibare - James Cohan The exhibition will open at Brookfield Place on August 11 and run through August 13, and is summed up as "the first [exhibition] in America to ask artists to address the canine community’s concerns, interests and worldview and to make artwork catering to a four-legged sensibility." The artworks on view are intended to engage your pooch (and, of course, you), and experiment with topics including color, scent, touch and sound. Come sniff it out for yourself, and bring your pup! For more fun things to do in the meantime, explore our list of the greatest playgrounds with famous artwork and check out our kids' events calendar.
The tiny toy craze is heading to the stage this fall for some live action fun! The Shopkins Live! tour will kick off in September and make its way through the U.S. Its first stops will be in the Tri-State area, and even though the adorable Shopkins and Shoppies won’t be gracing our New York City stages (boo!), there will be plenty of shows nearby to attend with the kiddos. In this theater production, Jessicake, Peppa-Mint, Rainbow Kate, Cocolette, Polli Polish and their friends prepare for the "Funtastic Fun and Fashion Fair" in Shopvil. Beauty pros Shady Diva and Lippy Lips will be on hand to share their expert advice with the locals while Kooky Cookie tries to steal away for some beauty rest. When a secret celebrity guest is nowhere to be found and someone is trying to sabotage the fashion pageant, it’s up to the Shopkins and the Shoppies to get the show on the road! Catch the adorable characters during their double-header in Tarrytown, New York September 26. The Metro-North’s Hudson line stop is a 20-minute walk (or quick Uber ride) from the venue, Tarrytown Music Hall. The Shoppies will be slightly closer to town when they take the stage at the Bergen Performing Arts Center September 28. Buses leaving from Port Authority Bus Terminal head into Englewood, New Jersey. Don’t want to stray too far from home? Catch Shopkins Live! during its stop in Westbury, New York for two shows October 1. Take the Long Island Railroad into town and then catch the N22 bus (or grab a Zipca
Attention bookworms! Brooklyn Public Library's Park Slope branch just unveiled a brand new reading circle and storytelling garden, and it's a little slice of heaven! You'll now find lush grass, a small podium or speaker area and eight curved stone benches encircled by beautiful trees and flowering bushes. It's all safely located within a 3,700-square-foot gated area adjacent to the library so your crew can run and play freely! Photograph: Courtesy Gregg Richards Brooklyn Public Library's Communications Coordinator Adam Leddy kindly filled us in on the great things to come at this gorgeous new space, including multilingual story time events, gardening and other how-to–type classes, kids' concerts, stargazing meetups, art programs, author talks and even quiet reading hours for patrons (yes, truly heaven!). One of the first things visitors will see upon entering the garden is a series of laminated pages from Leo Lionni's children's book Inch by Inch, and we also hear that a Knuffle Bunny statue may be in the works (permission pending) for 2018. Photograph: Courtesy Gregg Richards “We thank Council Member Lander, the Friends of Park Slope Library and the Department of Design and Construction for helping us create a space that is ideal for children to learn, play and explore the natural environment. We encourage patrons to enjoy the garden by attending an event, taking in a performance or simply relaxing outside with a good book," said Brooklyn Public Library Pr
Brooklyn Bridge Park has just given us another reason to swing by for a visit ASAP. "Descension," a public art installation in the shape of a giant whirlpool, just opened up at Pier 1 and it is quite captivating—especially if your little one is into the soothing sounds of water or is in that phase where flushing is the greatest thing since sliced bread. The piece, created by artist Anish Kapoor, features a 26-foot-diameter pool of water that's endlessly spiraling down into a center void, energizing the negative space left in its wake. It would be borderline terrifying if it wasn't so mesmerizing. Never fear, parents...there's a safety rail! Photograph: Courtesy James Ewing The artist's name might not sound familiar, but if you've ever been a tourist in Chicago, chances are you've seen Kapoor's work up close; he's the artist who created Chicago's mirrored "Cloud Gate," also known as "The Bean," that's installed in Millennium Park. "Descension" was originally created in 2014 as a smaller installation in India and was later included in Kapoor's 2015 exhibit in Versailles, France. This is the first time it's being unveiled in North America. "Descension" will be on view until September 10. If this inspires your little one to go on a hunt for more public art around the city, check out our list of outdoor art in NYC for families.
Naming your child is no simple task. You want to choose a timeless name that your child will like, a name that can be easily pronounced and spelled and one that is as close to bully-proof as possible. It’s a huge responsibility, and one that your child will hold you accountable for as long as you both shall live. Essentially, try to avoid any of the world's worst baby names as you're narrowing things down, and let our list of the top baby names 2017 has to offer guide you in your search. Anxious about making your final pick? You're not alone. Never fear, fretful parents, for there are ways to make sure you don’t completely mess this up! Nameberry.com has listed its most popular baby names of 2017 based on the monikers getting the most love on its site, and there are some solid picks in this pack. 2017’s most popular baby names for girls are: 1. Olivia 2. Amelia 3. Charlotte 4. Ava 5. Isla 6. Isabella 7. Arabella 8. Aurora 9. Mia 10. Adeline 2017’s most popular baby names for boys are: 1. Ezra 2. Asher 3. Declan 4. Atticus 5. Oliver 6. Milo 7. Silas 8. Jack 9. Levi 10. Wyatt If you’re still not impressed, you might want to check out the best baby names for New Yorkers or the top baby names of 2016. We know you’ll find your winner before your baby leaves the hospital!
If you’ve ever wanted to feel what it’s like to train for a professional football league, you'll definitely want to check this new NFL-themed attraction out. The NFL Experience, which will be debuting in Times Square in November, will guide visitors through an immersive journey as they train for the faux pro leagues and emerge a reigning champion. Football fans will take on various challenges to prove they can properly handle the pigskin. Test your passing skills as a quarterback and see how your speed and accuracy compares to the actual quarterback on your selected team. Photograph: Courtesy NFL Experience Want to imagine yourself suited up as a part of your favorite team’s roster? An installation will film your image and display it on a screen in front of you. Afterwards, select your team of choice to have your live image rock that team’s uniform. Now strike a pose! Photograph: Courtesy NFL Experience A digital whiteboard will grant those who live to coach from the couch a chance to prove they’ve got the know-how to win the game. Watch as the moves drawn out in X’s and O’s play out on the computerized match. If you start doubting the strategies in your playbook, don’t worry. A digital coach will chime in with tips to beat the opponent and special moves to try. Photograph: Courtesy NFL Experience The space will feature other interactive displays with multimedia touches, artifacts and a 4D cinematic experience offering up exclusive content from NFL Films. T
Your favorite eco-friendly women's clothing brand just announced something big (well...little) that you'll definitely want to be in on. On May 5, Reformation will launch a whimsical, limited-edition, five-piece Mother's Day collection for kids, so little girls can dress just like their ultra-fashionable mommies. The Ref Baby Collection sizes will run from 2T to 5T and offerings include kid versions of the site's most popular dresses. See below for some of the items on offer: Photograph: Courtesy Reformation Photograph: Courtesy Reformation Photograph: Courtesy Reformation Photograph: Courtesy Reformation Photograph: Courtesy Reformation All "Little" styles will retail for $68. On the hunt for even more cute kids' stuff? Check out our favorite kids' clothing stores, baby stores and kids' consignment shops.