Bring some culture to your casa
The best scary movies for kids of all ages
For a frighteningly fun night in, we suggest stocking up on your favorite candy and a few good scary movies for kids...if you dare. We break things down by age, so little ghosts and goblines can enjoy the likes of Monsters Inc and The Addams Family while your teens indulge in the scariest Halloween movies for kids around. (Hint: Pennywise made the list.) Since we typically like to start our Halloween season as early as possible, we recommend taking advantage of awesome fall activities for kids, too. (There's a pumpkin in that patch with your name on it!)
The best kids' movies coming to theaters in 2020
UPDATE: Some movie releases for 2020 have been changed: Learn more about what's streaming early. It looks like it is going to be a boffo year for family films. Amazing animated features and live-action adventures are sure to keep your brood plenty busy. So what are the kids' movies 2020 has in store? There's a lot of cute going on and, of course, a lot from Disney: We'll see which ones become classics and join the ranks of the best Disney movies of all time. Maybe some will enter the canon, and become one of the best 50 films to watch together as a family. If you're in search of more things to watch with your little film buffs, check out where to stream fun old-school cartoons (everything from Popeye to PowerPuff Girls) and find your favorite family spots in these New York movies for families.
The 50 best family movies to watch together
Gather the crew and grab a hefty bowl of popcorn: the best family movies are waiting for you! We've rounded up a little bit of everything: classics, cartoons, Disney princess movies, kids' movies from the '90s and everything else you can possibly imagine. Looking for a few giggles? Try The Goonies. Including Fido in the mix? Put on My Dog Skip. We guarantee we have something for everyone. After a day of embarking on trip to cool kids' museums in NYC, fun playgrounds or your go-to family attractions, you deserve a night in with these amazing family movies (and snacks, of course). If you're not ready to call it quits, check out the cool kids' movies in theaters. In 2020, you can expect: Sonic the Hedgehog, a live-action Mulan, Scoob, Peter Rabit 2 and so many more!
The best family comedy movies your kids will love
Our list of the most hilarious family comedy movies to watch together will have your whole crew giggling! From The Boss Baby to Paddington and everything in between, there's a lot to love about these films—we promise you won't be disappointed with these laugh-out-loud picks! Looking for even more sweet family films beyond our list of the best family comedy movies? Don't miss our roundups of the coolest Disney movies of all time, kids' movies from the 90s, the best animal movies and our favorite movies for tweens. And when your kids have the sillies and you need a little outdoor time, check out these 7 gorgeous playgrounds you should visit in NYC.
Our favorite movies for tweens to add to your watch list
From '80s blockbusters to atypical fairy tales, our go-to movies for tweens will inspire an awesome marathon. In typical adolescent fashion, there's plenty of drama, juicy crushes and adventure (make that misadventure). We've rounded up some of the greatest Disney movies of all time, family comedy movies and plenty of other gems for viewers to choose from: Enchanted, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, High School Musical and so on. Once you grab a bowl of popcorn and find a comfy blanket, you'll be too preoccupied with these tween movies to relinquish your spot. And, when you're all caught up with the best movies for tweens, check out what's happening in theaters: After a day out taking in the best things to do with kids in NYC, why not unwind with a flick?
Here are the reopening plans for the best kids' museums in NYC
New York City continues to reopen, but it's not always clear what families can and cannot do. Parents and kids can go to a playground and spend time running around at one of the 50 best in NYC. Families can eat outside and enjoy a meal at one of our favorite outdoor restaurants. But as for a visit to one of the best kids' museums in NYC, that's more complicated. While some locations have announced opening plans, others will remain closed for the immediate future. Here is our guide to the reopening plans of kids' museums in NYC. Be sure to check back regularly for updates. American Museum of Natural History Members will be able to visit beginning Sept 2 and the general public will be able to visit beginning Sept 9. Learn more about its opening and new safety features. Brooklyn Children's Museum BCM will reopen on Oct 10. Advanced registration is recommended, as only a limited number of tickets will be sold at the front desk. Learn more on brooklynkids.org. Photograph: Courtesy Wendy Connett Children's Museum of the Arts CMANY won't reopen its doors in 2021. Learn more about its virtual programming online. Children's Museum of Manhattan To be determined. CMOM will continue its online programming with CMOM at Home. Jewish Children's Museum JCM will reopen on Aug 24 with limited capacity. Advanced registration is required. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum The Intrepid will reopen Sept 25 at limited capacity. Advanced registration will be required. Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock Liberty Science Center LSC will be reopening Labor Day Weekend. The museum will continue its online programming with LSC in the House. Museum of Mathematics To be determined. MoMATH will continue to offer online programs and virtual field trips. The New York Hall of Science The New York Hall of Science does not plan to reopen until mid 2021, according to its website. NYSCI will continue its online and outdoor programming. Check out the New-York Hall of Science Home Resources for more. Photograph: Andrew Kelly/NY Hall of Science New-York Historical Society DiMenna Children's History Museum at the New-York Historical Society will remain temporarily closed. However, the New-York Historical Society will reopen on Sept 11. Staten Island Children's Museum To be determined. SICM will continue its online programming with At Home with SICM. Sugar Hill Museum of Art & Storytelling To be determined. The Sugar Hill Museum of Art & Storytelling will premiere the online exhibit "Children's Art Exhibition for Justice" on July 28. Most popular on Time Out - The best hiking trails for NYC families to explore - The best strawberry picking in New York for families - Six Flags Great Adventure's Safari will reopen as a drive-through experience - The 2020 Summer Reading program from the NYPL is the best yet - NYC pools might reopen this summer after all according to Mayor de Blasio Sign up to receive great Time Out New York Kids deals in your inbox each day.
The Museum of Natural History has a reopening date
We have some dino-mite news to share with you, NYC: One of our favorite family attractions is getting ready to open its doors for the first time since March! The American Museum of Natural History took to Instagram to share its forthcoming plans. Pending approval from New York State, members will be able to visit beginning September 2 and the general public will be able to visit beginning September 9. Obviously, we're making a b-line for T.rex when we get there. View this post on Instagram T-riffic news! 🦖 The Museum is preparing to open on September 2 for Members and on September 9 for the general public, pending approval from New York State & New York City for indoor museums to open. There will be some changes for your health + safety! Learn all the details with the #linkinbio.👈 A post shared by Am Museum of Natural History (@amnh) on Jul 30, 2020 at 11:49am PDT The beloved kids' museum revealed that its procedures will be different come September: The pay-what-you-wish tickets (which will be non-refundable) must be reserved online and they will be for a timed entry. Hours are going to be the typical 10am–5:30pm, however, it's only for Wednesday–Sunday. Plexiglass is been installed at ticketing counters and new ventilation systems are being put in place. (Check out all of the safety measures online.) Now guests will finally have the opportunity to check out the brand-new exhibit, "The Nature of Color," which debuted several days before the museum closed in March. Along with cool interactive features (think color-changing rooms, floor-to-ceiling color play and a light lab), photo-worthy moments and yes, even some live critters, this new experience lets visitors delve deep into their favorite hues. According to a press release, the museum will keep its theaters (including the Hayden Planetarium), certain halls with a high proportion of touchable interactives (such as the Ross Hall of Meteorites, the Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth, and theCullman Hall of the Universe), and the Museum’s public education laboratories closed. When the time does come for it to reopen, we suggest checking out "World's Beyond Earth," the first new planetarium show in seven years. The show transports guests beyond our solar system as Lupita Nyong’o narrates the journey. We are counting down the days, AMNH! Most popular on Time Out - The Bronx Zoo will bring back free Wednesdays - The best summertime cherry picking NY families love- The NYC DOE is hosting a virtual information session about returning to school - Sesame Place is reopening with new safety measures- NYC to provide free daycare for children ages 3 and up
LEGOLAND will pick three lucky New York classrooms for a virtual build session
LEGOLAND New York is looking to help with those back-to-school jitters. Since this experience has been overwhelming for little learners, the forthcoming family attraction is planning to surprise kiddos with a cool LEGO build—a welcome addition to the school day. (And a great way to put STEM lessons to good use.) Three classrooms in New York State, ranging from fourth to sixth grade, will be selected for a virtual session with a professional LEGO Master Model Builder. The students will receive toy bricks and learn how to make scaled-down versions of the theme park's rides, such as the Red Dragon Coaster and the LEGO Factory Adventure. The first winner will be chosen in October. Speaking of rides, you'll certainly want to take a sneak peek of the highly-anticipated LEGO Factory Adventure. The New York-exclusive feature is housed in the Bricktopia section of the park and provides a "brick's eyes view" for visitors. When entering the ride, guests will magically feel minifigure size and learn how the toys are created. We'll keep our fingers crossed that your kiddos are one of the lucky winners this fall! Until the classrooms are chosen, make sure to check out the best after-school activities for kids this year, including virtual classes, pods and more. This is a great way for them to hone their love for all-things STEM. To stay up-to-date on LEGOLAND's selections, visit its website. Most popular on Time Out - NYC DOE reaches a new decision about the return to school - Will NYC teachers go on strike? Here’s what you need to know - The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is opening a second location this year - Take a peek inside NYC’s Krispy Kreme flagship in Times Square - Farmers’ Almanac reveals when New Yorkers can catch the best fall foliage
These renderings show how creative kids reimagined NYC landmarks
Big Rentz has proven that the inimitable New York City skyline is more unique from a kid's vantage point. The equipment company decided to task youngsters with recreating their favorite landmarks from their own perspective. Once the children submitted their concepts, Big Rentz in turn created renderings of the family attractions, and these kooky takes are nothing short of lovable. Check out the Empire State Building... Courtesy: Big Rentz ...and its early blueprints. Courtesy: Big Rentz Recognize the Statue of Liberty? Courtesy: Big Rentz Lady Liberty got a makeover. Courtesy: Big Rentz Make sure to see Mount Rushmore if you're going out of town! Courtesy: Big Rentz It's a great nod to our nation's history! Courtesy: Big Rentz Kids aren't the only ones who are reimagining their cities in new ways. Global design firm WATG held an internal design competition to transform urban spaces in a post-pandemic world, and the Flatiron District received quite a green makeover. On the other hand, if you're looking to go back in time rather than fast forward, here's what every spot in the five boroughs looked like in the '40s, courtesy of The New York City Department of Taxation. Most popular on Time Out - NYC DOE reaches a new decision about the return to school - Will NYC teachers go on strike? Here’s what you need to know - The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is opening a second location this year - Take a peek inside NYC’s Krispy Kreme flagship in Times Square - Farmers’ Almanac reveals when New Yorkers can catch the best fall foliage
Visit your favorite kids' museums in NYC right from home
New Yorkers are resilient, but this new stay-at-home lifestyle is enough to make even the toughest urbanites go a little bonkers...especially when kids are in the picture. Apartments might start to feel smaller and smaller now that the little ones are home 24/7, but there's good news for parents who are starting to break a sweat: We might not be able to have physical access to our favorite family attractions and kids' museums right now, but Google Arts & Culture lets curious kiddos gain access to their favorite destinations with a click of a mouse. An afternoon or night at the museum (see what we did there) is possible, even amid these strange times. Google: City moms and dads thank you. Happy museum-hopping! American Museum of Natural History Home to our favorite dinosaur activities for kids, AMNH offers a virtual glimpse at the pre-historic creatures, mammals, insects and plenty other beloved areas of its Upper West Side digs. Be sure to peruse the online exhibit, "Picturing Science: Museum Scientists and Imaging Technologies." The museum's OLogy science website lets families take a peek at different lessons and activities in a wide range of subjects—archeology, anthropology, astronomy and more. Plus, the attraction will host previously recorded tours of its halls and collections on Facebook Live at 2pm ET. Sounds like the perfect afternoon at the museum to us! (Get it?) Brooklyn Children's Museum Although a trip to this interactive kids' museum—the first of its kind in the U.S.—is always a hit, a peek at home is pretty cool, too. Your mini geologists will love taking a gander at specimens in the online exhibit, "Fluorescent Minerals: Spices of the Mineral World." Children's Museum of the Arts This gem of a museum in SoHo now offers free online activities through CMA Live! Also, the CMA makes "Leon Bibel Collection" and "With Liberty and Justice for Some" available for viewing. Children's Museum of Manhattan This NYC favorite now offers CMOM from Home, a lineup of online programming that features a new video, game, sing-a-long or online activity every day! The Cloister Museum and Gardens Kids love perusing this medieval attraction, and they can get to the heart of the museum thanks to this Street View-like feature. It's pretty amazing what technology can do, huh? The Guggenheim Museum The Guggenheim Museum has taken its children's education programs online—enjoy art classes, family tours and more. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Hop aboard the Concorde G-BOAD, check out the Submarine Growler and much more while visiting the (virtual) Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. For more ways to keep the kids busy at home, check out these DIY activities and virtual storytimes. MoMath The National Museum of Mathematics is giving kids a chance to learn at home with a variety of online offerings in neat subjects: think Rubik's Cubes, statistics and more. Check out the offerings on its website. New York Botanical Garden Botanists of all ages will find something to love on NYBG's online hub. Little chefs will get a taste of healthy recipes—fruit smoothies, herb popcorn, handmade tortillas—from the garden's Edible Academy while little artists can use the garden's herbarium (the largest in the world) as inspiration for fun crafts like connect the dots. Plus, kiddos can check out the fundamentals of gardening with tips and tricks from the pros. New-York Historical Society The Upper West Side attraction is keeping busy with a slew of activities for young learners: Little New Yorkers @ Home, which is available every Tuesday and Thursday at 3:30pm offers cool activities for kids while History @ Home provides real-time classes for students of all ages from kindergarten through high school. New York Hall of Science The wide selection of at-home games, activities and projects from the New York Hall of Science is geared to all age groups, and are completely free. One World Observatory The viewing station launched One World Explorer, stylized online vignettes with fun facts and cool trivia written by Jay McInerney covering more than 35 of the city’s most iconic sites and landmarks including the Central Park Zoo, Citi Field, The Museum of Natural History and more. Snug Harbor Staten Island's popular cultural center has plenty of digital fun to dig through (no shovel or topsoil required). Virtual tours, kids' activities (like identifying parts of a flower) and even live events are on the schedule, so take a peek! South Street Seaport Museum Tune in to social media on Fridays to explore #SeaportMuseumAtHome which gives patrons an inside look to what the museum staff is working on remotely. Wave Hill While we can't attend weekly family art projects at Wave Hill right now, the experts are bringing the fun home thanks to its popular Branching Out hub. Check out the "Nature Activities from Home" and keep little farmhands/artists busy with projects like a biomimicry comic strip or a community science bird count. Each activity is split up according to age and grade levels. Sign up to receive great Time Out New York Kids deals in your inbox each day.
Access MoMA's free family art-making activities right from your living room
Even though the Museum of Modern Art remains temporarily closed during the city-wide shutdown, the famed destination launched a programming series called The Museum from Home. That's right: The best modern art museum in the world is available right from your couch. From guided tours led by world-renowned curators to projects that will bring out the little Jackson Pollock in your kid, MoMA is going virtual. Here's what families need to know: Taking a page out of the when-life-gives-you-lemons playbook, MoMA now offers Art-Making Activities Families Can Do at Home and line drawings you can download, print and color yourself. The museum even sets you up with a soundtrack, MoMA's Art Tunes playlist, which will inspire your tiny Louise Bourgeois. Looking for more family-friendly art activities? Check out these ideas for projects from the museum. This could hold you over until MoMA reopens, and you can once again access the reimagined MoMA that was unveiled last October after a $450 million expansion, including the fully-renovated Heyman Family Art Lab for young visitors and an all-new Paula and James Crown Creativity Lab for older kids. The Museum from Home is yet another example of how the cultural heavyweights of NYC are responding to this moment in the city's history by bringing the arts into your home. From Arts Break by the New Victory Theater, to #ConcertsForKids from Lincoln Center, to virtual storytimes, to CMOM at Home from the Children's Museum of Manhattan, New Yorkers can have fun with the fam and expand those little minds all from the comfort of your living room. Sign up to receive great Time Out New York Kids deals in your inbox each day.
The best books for kids of all ages
Here it is, the 101 best books for kids of all ages! We compiled the best picture books, chapter books and graphic novels for every kind of reader. Our list includes timeless classics from your childhood, and new releases that will be read for generations to come. Our favorite picks include Newbery and Caldecott winners, bestsellers every kid should read and kooky books you didn’t even know existed! Goofball kids, taco-eating dragons, legendary spacegirls, spooky urban legends, mischievous boy robots: These books are filled with characters that will spark young imaginations. Our advice? Make a list of the books that tickle your fancy, then visit the best libraries for kids in NYC, sit in on storytimes for kids or head to your local indie to learn more about the coolest book clubs for kids. And if your little one sneaks under the covers with one of these books and a flashlight, you should be proud of your little bookworm—wait a few minutes before “catching” them. Be sure to check out our virtual daily storytimes with the New York Public Library, every Monday through Friday at 10am.
Best podcasts for kids of all ages
This is the golden age of podcasts, and the selection for kids has never been better! The best podcasts for kids will spark imaginations, or teach new ideas, or make kids laugh so hard they snort apple juice out of their nostrils. Sometimes, a podcast like Wow in the World will accomplish all three! Our list of the best podcasts for kids has something for everybody to enjoy. From mysteries and comedies, to fairy tales and scientific quests, these podcasts are so riveting the whole family will want to tune in. After listening to a podcast like Smash Boom Best, you can take an adventure IRL and go to one of these amazing museums for kids. These podcasts are perfect for car trips, dinnertime or just chillaxing. Some can help at bedtime as well, and set the mood for when you crack open one of the best children's books to read your kid to sleep. There are so many great podcasts on this list you can listen to a new one every day. When the weekend rolls around, you could have a movie night, and watch one of the best family movies to watch together. The family that streams together, stays together. Be sure to also check out our daily storytimes with the New York Public Library!
Our favorite TV shows for kids and families
Welcome to the golden age of TV for kids. Thanks to something called the internets, you can watch everything from creative new programming with out-there themes to classic old-school cartoons that bring you back to your childhood. It's time to settle into your comfiest chairs and start streaming! The fact is, these shows are so good you'll want to watch them, too. That's totally Time Out Kids-approved. It's also perfectly OK to let your moppets have a little screen time while you attend to other tasks. Looking to watch more kid-friendly fare? Then check out our definitive list of the 50 greatest animated films to watch as a family, and the 50 best Disney movies of all time. You'll find these and so much more on our Movies page!
The 15 best kids' board games
Ready, set, strategize! Check out our favorite kids' board games and bring on the competition. All you need is a few friends or siblings and you're set. Kids can test their vocabulary with Scrabble, solve the who-done-it mudery mystery in Clue and so much more. Options are endless, really, and there are plenty of board games for kids of all ages. Mom and Dad, you might be inclined to join the fun yourself (or play without the kiddos—whichever)! After the battle for victory has ended, be sure to check out other cool things to do at home, including fun family movies or free coloring book activities. Reach out to one of these board game cafes in NYC if you need a few pointers!