There are plenty of reasons to celebrate the new decade, and we're giving your our favorite 15! Kickstart 2020 with awesome things to do with kids in NYC. From new Broadway shows for kids to cool offerings at the best children's museums in town, our stellar list will help you map out the perfect year. 1. "Worlds Beyond Earth" Why not start things off with a quick trip to outer space? Beginning Jan 21, the American Museum of Natural History will debut the new Hayden Planetarium Space Show, "Worlds Beyond Earth." Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o narrates the engrossing story about other worlds that orbit the sun. Sounds like this will be quite the expedition! BUY TICKETS Photograph: Courtesy ©AMNH/D. Finnin 2. Krispy Kreme Flagship In early 2020, a 4,500-square-foot, 24/7 Krispy Kreme is slated to open in Times Square. This ain't your average doughnut shop: The 1601 Broadway outpost sports a glazed waterfall, a "doughnut theater" and a much-needed grab-and-go counter. (Now you won't need to worry about being late to practice for snatching an after-school snack!) 3. Cartoon Network Hotel Does your family host the We Bare Bears on a regular basis? Can't refuse a Powerpuff Girls marathon? If so, you'll want to book a trip to the debut Cartoon Network Hotel in Lancaster, PA. The nine-acre family destination includes 165 themed rooms, a resort-style outdoor pool (designed with Finn and Jake in mind), an arcade with nods to Ben 10, a full-service restaurant and h
Time is of the essence, Mom and Dad. NYC's Pre-K for All application process is now open for tots born in 2016 (aka five minutes ago). It's your kiddo's first step into academia, and there's plenty to figure out as you begin this scholastic journey. Fortunately, we're here to help guide you through all-things preschool. First thing's first: Visit the New York City Department of Education to get the process up and running. Applications are due on March 16 for those who are interested in enrolling their child in Pre-K in September 2020. Check out the list of Pre-K open houses, so you can take a look at the school and see if it is an appropriate fit. How to apply: You can apply online, over the phone or in-person at a Family Welcome Center. Questions? Download the 2020 NYC Pre-K Admissions Guide, which will answer all pressing Q's. Email ESEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov if you need assistance. Make sure to print out this handy checklist to keep yourself organized. Now, consider yourself one step closer to the college application process. Not too strenuous, right? We told you we'd be here for help! As your little ones begin a whole new chapter, be sure to visit our favorite kids' library branches in NYC, where you can check out the best kids' books for all ages and sit in for a fun storytime for kids. Happy learning! Sign up to receive great Time Out New York Kids deals in your inbox each day.
Could summer camp be free for all New York City kids? Yesterday, two City Council members introduced legislation that will make camp cost the same as a visit to Central Park or a ride on the Staten Island Ferry: Absolutely nothing. The proposed Universal Summer Youth Programs sets out to accomplish at least two tasks: One, it firms up the budget for current free summer camp programs—right now, that funding is approved as late as June, which leaves families uncertain about what camps are available, and scrambling to apply for spots at the last minute. Two, it will bring free community-based summer camps to all NYC youth by the summer of 2022. This comes at a time of the year when many families are strategizing about what to do with the summer. If you're a NYC parent, you're working out schedules (and budgets) for what your children will be doing in June, July and August—this is when you start enrolling your little ones in academic summer camps NYC kids love, and cool science camps 2020 has in store. In the near future, Universal Summer Youth Programs could be one of your options, offering something like a play-based extension of the school year only with tons of outdoor summer activities for kids: Your little New Yorker would be engaged, learning and having fun all year long. The legislation was introduced by Debi Rose (Staten Island) and Ben Kallos (Manhattan). According to Rose, "Summer programs are invaluable experiences that build self-esteem, social skills, leadership
Although New York Fashion Week is winding down, stylish urbanites—particularly parents—have quite a bit to celebrate. February 12 marks the grand return of Gymboree, the beloved children's clothing destination that announced it was going out of business in 2019. We can't think of a better way to enjoy its relaunch than by scoping out some adorable outfits for your little ones (12 months to 8 years)! We have to say: Ice cream-clad dresses and jackets make the perfect ensemble for a spring outing. Photograph: Courtesy Gymboree If you're looking to update your kiddo's wardrobe, visit the online store, which is officially back up and running with a whopping 25 percent off. If you're out and about, you can find the brand's cute outfits in-store at over 200 Children’s Place locations across North America (including the Staten Island Mall, Queens Center and Kings Plaza in NYC). In addition to the cute garments, added perks like an updated loyalty program, free shipping and returns, and a new mobile app make this news all the more sweet. “Gymboree was successfully built on capturing the essence of childhood in its product design," Jennifer Groves, senior vice president of design and brand creative, said in a statement. "Childhood passes by in a moment, and because of this, we want to capture family memories that will last forever as kids run, dream, explore and imagine...all in Gymboree.” What are you waiting for? One of our favorite kids' clothing stores in NYC is back
The Brooklyn Children's Museum is listening to its animal instincts. After the successful run of "Survival of the Slowest,"—a traveling exhibit that explored evolutionary science from the perspective of nature's slowest creatures—the popular family attraction has decided to provide a glimpse into the rainforest, right from NYC. "Under the Canopy," which will run from Feb 11–May 17, takes a look at the ecosystem as a whole, as well the critters who populate it. Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Children's Museum / Winston Williams In other words, get ready for more animal meet and greets (think snakes, lizards and other cool creatures)! The new exhibit in partnership with Little Ray's Nature Centres is guaranteed to be a hit because of a familiar face: Roger. The super-cute sloth, a popular member of the "Survival of the Fittest" exhibit, plans to continue his lethargic ways in Kings County (definitely not how New Yorkers operate, but perhaps we can learn a lesson or two from him). If you were too slow and missed him (see what we did there?), now is the time to make up for it! After striking a pose with Brooklyn's coolest resident, you'll be able to learn about temperature regulation, the water cycle, oxygen production and more rainforest-themed tidbits. While you're at it, make sure to see what else is happening at our other go-to kids' museums in NYC. (Apologies: We cannot guarantee that there will be sloths.) Sign up to receive great Time Out New York Kids deals in
The reports of print's death have been greatly exaggerated: The Strand Bookstore, the legendary literary emporium, will open a second location on the Upper West Side at 450 Columbus Ave by the end of March 2020. The Strand is taking over the space formerly occupied by Book Culture, which will continue to operate three locations in New York. The 12-year lease begins next week. The Strand will start renovating the store immediately, and the signature apple-red awning should be up before too long. Photograph: Courtesy the Strand Bookstore Take note that this is going to be a mini-Strand, with a main floor clocking in at 3500 square-feet—this will be fairly intimate, with the scale and the character of a neighborhood bookstore. Good news for families: There will be a children's section, with weekend storytime just like at the flagship Strand close to Union Square, which is one of the best storytime for kids locations in New York City. Times for the new locale have yet to be revealed. So, get ready to welcome the Strand when it opens. Browse our newly updated list of the 101 best books for kids of all ages, and make a list of the books you want to get for your kids, and to give away—books make for perfect birthday presents! The timing couldn't be better. When April showers come to town, this new location of the Strand will give families that want to get out–but don't want to get wet–a new option to add to the list of the best indoor activities for NYC kids. After all, a d
UPDATE: After receiving major social media backlash, Barnes & Noble has decided to pull its Diverse Editions campaign, which was in partnership with Penguin Random House. February 5 not only observes World Read Aloud Day—a global celebration for little bibliophiles—but it also marks some changes for NYC's largest bookshop. Barnes & Noble Fifth Ave has joined forces with Penguin Random House and TBWAChiatDayNew York to present a reimagined collection of classic young adult books. In an effort to make literature an inclusive experience, the following titles have been recreated with new diverse covers: Alice in WonderlandRomeo and JulietThree MusketeersMoby DickThe Secret GardenThe Count of Monte CristoDr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeEmmaThe Wizard of OzPeter Pan Treasure IslandFrankenstein Throughout Black History Month, these limited-edition Diverse Edition offerings will be on view in the storefront windows and available for purchase. Plus, illustrators in the making can upload their own designs to the store website for a chance to be featured in the display. For those who can't make it to the shop to secure a copy of these titles, there's an opportunity to download and print a copy of the covers online for free. When the month is over, the remaining books will be donated to local schools in the tristate area. Upon its announcement, the effort has been met with both praise and criticism. The bookstore will also host an event, Diverse Editions Launch & Panel Discussion this
What is color? How does it work? Why do diamonds look they way they do? Do some colors really make us sad? Why do animals use color to blend in, or stand out? Why is pink considered a color for girls? These and other heavy questions are addressed by "The Nature of Color," a new exhibition opening at the American Museum of Natural History this March. This family-friendly show features interactive exhibits that invite kids to play and experiment with the science of colors. You can go into an immersive color-changing room that responds to movement, explore a light lab, play an interactive game show and more. You can spend some quality time with some creatures that use coloration for survival: the leaf-tailed gecko, which looks like dried leaves and tree bark; the golden poison frog, which is one of the most colorful things on Earth; and iridescent blue beetles, which look like they’re lit from within. "The Nature of Color" will open to the public on Monday, Mar 9. Museum Members will be able to preview the exhibition starting on Friday, March 6, through Sunday, March 8. While you’re visiting, be sure to check out “Worlds Beyond Earth,” the space show at the Hayden Planetarium that premiered in January. There’s a reason why the Museum of Natural History is so popular when these colder weeks roll into town. An afternoon in the castle-like complex exhibition halls is one of the best winter activities for kids in NYC, and one of the best indoor activities for kids anywhere.
Good news for the Rebel Alliance: The Star Wars Day at Sea will return in 2021. Select seven-day Caribbean cruises will include a special day-long celebration of Star Wars that includes character encounters, movie screenings, trivia sessions, spectacular live shows, a ship-wide Porg-themed adventure, flight simulators and a thrilling mix of children's activities. (Jedi training, anyone?) Every Star Wars Day at Sea will end with a bang when the "Summon the Force" deck party culminates in a fireworks show. Photograph: Matt Stroshane This is the ultimate cruise for Star Wars fans of all ages. Your little Lukes and Leias will want to bring their favorite costumes—not only will they want to show off their love of the intergalactic saga, you'll get to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime photo ops when you hang out with the heroes from some of the best Disney movies of all time. Isn't that Chewbacca on the Fiesta Deck? Sea, sun, Stormtroopers: A Star Wars Day at Sea is one of the best family vacations for New Yorkers. As always, Disney makes travel with kids a delight for children and grownups—it doesn't matter if the Disney Cruise is along one of the great rivers of Europe or reliving the interstellar battle between the forces of good and evil. The inclusive features in these cruises include the entertainment, activities and food that make cruising with Disney such a blast(er)—you do know that there's all-you-can-eat soft serve ice cream? Best of all, the Kids Clubs let the
Soft serve favorite Mister Dips will open a second location this spring (dates TBA) at Pier 17, the glammed-up entertainment venue that's a part of the Seaport development on the East River in Lower Manhattan. This will be the first brick-and-mortar Mister Dips, which has operated out of an Airstream trailer set up on the rooftop park of the William Vale in Williamsburg during the warmer months. Soon, you can get your Dips on year-round. Don't worry: The Airstream will be back, dishing up the goopy burgers, crunchy chicken, crispy waffle fries and drippy soft serve–plus some nice beers and a burger-friendly rosé–that packs 'em in during the summer. This second New York location–plus another soon-to-open shop close to the Shinola Hotel in Detroit—simply increases your dipportunities. Courtesy: Mister Dips It's a good bet that this will become one of the best ice cream shops in NYC, and one of the most-Instagrammable dessert spots in town. The opening is slated for the spring, but there's no firm date yet—check the Mister Dips feed to keep up with the latest news. When it does open and you want to treat the fam to a round of towering dip cones, you'll be faced with the happy dilemma of choosing between heading to Williamsburg for a sweeping Midtown view, or going to the Seaport to gaze across the East River at Brooklyn Heights. Or you can have your cake cone and eat it too: Go to one, then jump on an NYC Ferry and cruise to the other. It will be one of the best things