Although kiddos might be disappointed that summer's coming to a close, they'll be pleased to know that a delightful treat is headed their way this fall, and it'll make the back to school season a whole lot sweeter. According to a breaking newsletter from the Museum of Ice Cream, the masterminds who delighted tastebuds with the Pint Shop last summer, a flagship SoHo store will make its delicious debut this autumn and feature exhibits, a shop, a café and naturally, creamy goodness. We have a feeling this three-floor bonanza will land a spot on our favorite ice cream shops for kids. Of course, it will be one of the most highly anticipated fall activities for kids, so sign up for early access and keep an eye on the website for more details. We're getting hungry just thinking about the snacks that await! Sign up to receive great Time Out New York Kids deals in your inbox each day.
If you missed the Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest over the weekend, you have a chance to redeem yourself. Find the SPF, grab a towel and prepare for an overnight stay on the beach. Booking.com is offering an exclusive chance to stay in a sandsion—an eight-foot-tall, 18-foot-wide sandcastle mansion by artist Matt Long, who starred in Travel Channel’s Sand Masters. Arguably one of the coolest Coney Island activities around, the sandcastle sleepover offers an opportunity for you to enjoy your go-to seaside nabe in a new way. The highly-anticipated spectacle is located right near one of your favorite kids' amusement parks: Luna Park, so prepare for a few rides on the Cyclone while you're at it. But you're going to have to act quickly! Bookings begin Aug 22 at noon! Overnight stays take place Aug 23 and 24, so there isn't a moment to waste. In honor of the 29th Sand Sculpting Contest, the cost per night in the sandsion is $29 and includes a queen bed. Visitors must be at least 18 to book, but children are welcome with adult supervision (the accommodations are suitable for two visitors). Like any good vacation, there are perks: dinner for two on the Coney Island Boardwalk, sunrise beach yoga and Luna Park VIP passes. Wahoo! This is certainly a summer vacation for the books. Before the kiddos head back to school, celebrate one last hoorah at your favorite warm-weather destination with this sweet offering. Learn more at booking.com. Sign up to receive great Time Out New
Preparing for back to school in 2018 means shopping for fun school supplies: pencils, notebooks, backpacks, crayons and more. But getting the kiddos ready for the new school year can be stressful if family resources are low and there are multiple tots in the house. Thankfully, there are spots around NYC that offer free school supplies so no child is left behind come the first day of class. Check out these wonderful locations giving out free school supplies around the city so kids can get set for the new year without breaking the bank. Even better? There's plenty of fun surrounding the giveaways, so it's a win-win situation. JCC Street Fair This Marine Park event is the perfect farewell to the summer. Not only will families be able to celebrate with the carnival essentials—rides, games, snacks—but they'll also have a chance to snag free swag for the new school year. Make sure to register to reserve your freebies. Learn more here. JCC of Marine Park, Brooklyn (jccmp.org). Sept 2, 2–6pm. All ages. Habana Works Back to School Bash No need to mourn summer when you have an event like this on the horizon! Celebrate the back-to-school season with half off Habana’s kids’ menu, plus fun crafts and activities hosted by your favorite local vendors. There is also a live DJ during the event so the whole crew can bust a move! Expect free goodies like notebooks, pencils and rulers—kids will leave feeling like they’ve won the lotto. Habana Outpost, Brooklyn (habanaworks.org). Sept
From plummeting down the Cyclone to vying for a stuffed animal during whac a mole, Luna Park activities are some of our favorite things to do in Coney Island. This year, the retro beachside attraction fulfilled our summer wishlist with plenty of fun outdoor activities, including the new Clockworkz and Atlantic Aviator rides. However, it's time to start planning for summer 2020. The go-to kids' amusement park is already thinking about next season, and it's in search of visitors' input. New Yorkers are encouraged to help Luna Park name next year's new rides, including a rope course, log flume and coaster. Thrill-seekers (18+) can visit the park's website to submit their creative, original entries for consideration. Due dates are as follows: Ropes Course: Aug 12–Aug 18 Log Flume: Aug 19–Aug 25 Coaster Ride: Aug 26–Sept 1 Make sure to read all of the rules before submitting! You'll want to take this contest seriously, as you have a chance to win VIP access to the park with 10 of your friends! Winners will be notified via email and have until the end of summer 2020 to take advantage of the super-sweet perk. “These competitions engage the community and allow amusement fans to directly impact Luna Park’s legacy. We look forward to seeing all the submissions," said Alessandro Zamperla, president of Central Amusement International Inc. May the best park-goer win! Sign up to receive great Time Out New York Kids deals in your inbox each day.
We hope there's room in your camera roll. A tech and gaming-inspired pop-up from artist Tianyu Qiu, the former creative director behind the whimsical Wonder World installation in Brooklyn, is set to open in SoHo on Aug 16. With odes to the American Pop Art movement and European Futurism movement, “Pixinity: Pop Futurism” will transport visitors of all ages to a creative universe. This exhibition is one of the most interesting things to do with kids in NYC, and it certainly deserves one of the final spots on your summer bucket list. Photograph: Courtesy Pulse Creative LLC “Pixinity is my artistic expression of our current technological climate and our extreme reliance on social media and digital culture in our daily lives,” the artist said of his first solo installation. “I asked myself what this might look like in the form of an exhibition. How can I interpret this through materials and space? And so, "Pixinity" was created as the ultimate digital playground to show how social media-driven art can be simultaneously meaningful, playful and critically engaging.” So what can visitors expect? Those who swing by will be led through 10 vibrant rooms chock full of sculptures, pixelated pieces, emoji-like figures, digital and gaming icons and computer-inspired work. (Yes, there's even a ball pit!) As much as "Pixinity" makes for a fun day out—for STEM fans and budding artists alike—the exhibition is about more than photo opportunities. Drawing inspiration from a family
We'll confess: We're soaking up the end of summer 2019, but we're already dreaming about next year's vacation! Call us crazy, but when one of the best water parks in NY—and the largest—announces a massive expansion, we can't help but wonder about the tubing, sliding and splashing adventures that await. Empire State Development just revealed that Enchanted Forest Water Safari in Old Forge, New York, will receive a $500,000 upgrade from Upstate Revitalization Initiative Funds that is set to begin this September and wrap up in June 2020. We won't judge if you immediately start planning a few family weekend getaways—this project will be epic. According to the press release, thrill-seekers will have three new features to look forward to: a 300-foot four-lane mat slide with loops (which will replace the venue's current mat attraction), Serengeti Surf Hill, a 200-foot speed slide with a drop launch pad that will replace Killermanjaro and a 295-foot speed slide with loops and a drop launchpad. We hope your towels are hefty, because you'll certainly need 'em. Thanks to the attraction's 50+ rides (and 32 water features), it's a warm-weather destination worth the trip from NYC. In the meantime, you can take advantage of the many thrills at New York's largest indoor water park, Kartrite, which just opened this spring. Be sure to have a gander at our other favorite family vacations, too! Sign up to receive great Time Out New York Kids deals in your inbox each day.
Much to kids' dismay—and parents' delight—summer is winding down. But there's no reason to frown, especially when fall family weekend getaways are on the horizon. Kickstart the season with one of New York's most beloved happenings: the Adirondack Balloon Festival in Queensbury from Sept 19–22. The annual tradition began in 1972, and it's certainly worth a drive (so prepare to master those catchy car sing alongs). Photograph: Courtesy Erin Reid Coker The free feast for the senses, much like summer's QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, offers plenty of photo-worthy moments. Watch as the hot air balloons take flight (day and night) and—for a fee—opt to hop in one if you're not easily intimidated by heights (refer to the website's "balloons and rides" section when it is available closer to the event date). Between the gorgeous scenes, live music, craft fair, kids' games and food vendors, the autumn happening certainly doesn't have any shortage of things to enjoy. Photograph: Courtesy LaChapelle If you're thinking about turning the weekend trip into a family camping experience, be sure to explore the nearby RV options for you and your little adventurers. Before you attempt to travel with kids to the event, be sure to familiarize yourself with the festival's rules (no pets, no drones, etc). We certainly hope you have a your phones and cameras at the ready! You'll want to capture a few selfies as the fun lifts off! Photograph: Courtesy Erin Reid Coker
After a decade of hard work, Chelsea residents are finally enjoying the fruits of their labor. Chelsea Green is officially up and running, so add it to your list of summer activities for kids. The new quarter-acre spot on W 20th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves—complete with a jungle gym, spray features and a turf area—will surely become one of your new favorite kids' playgrounds in NYC. Photograph: Courtesy Daniel Avila/NYC Parks “As the first new neighborhood park in 40 years, Chelsea Green provides vital public green space for this growing community,” said Commissioner Silver. “With a play area, shaded seating and a rain garden, this vibrant park celebrates the energy and ingenuity of the New Yorkers who worked to make this possible.” The new $5.8 million park was a result of families in the neighborhood advocating for a much-needed space for their kids. Photograph: Courtesy Daniel Avila/NYC Parks “For decades East Chelsea has been a parks desert, requiring residents to walk a long distance to access green space or a playground,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “Now, after years of organizing and advocacy by Chelsea residents, we finally have a new public park and playground for the community." With the wicked heat swooping back in, you'll want to grab a towel and let the kids enjoy the spray features while you enjoy some r&r on the shaded seating area. Sounds like the perfect summer afternoon to us! Be sure to check out our other favorite outdo
This summer season, don’t be surprised if you see a vending machine filled with something other than chips, candy or soda. Jet Blue’s initiative, the Soar With Reading program, placed six vending machines throughout the five boroughs for the first time since its 2015 founding and packed them with picture books and kids' novels. The selections are for everyone, from toddlers to 14-year-old readers, and they’re completely FREE. Even better? They're yours to keep—no returns necessary! The goal of the program is to promote reading during the summer months, particularly in under-served communities. The book genres and designated age ranges all vary, so there is most definitely something for the perfect storytime for kids. Additionally, the vending machines will be refilled every two weeks, so youngsters can come back for new stories and genres, which may even include kids' books about NYC! Photograph: Courtesy JetBlue Curious about the locales? We'll help you find 'em: Brooklyn:Brownsville Recreation Center on 1555 Linden Blvd Bronx: PAL, Inc. New South Bronx Center on 991 Longwood Ave Manhattan: Riverbank State Park on 679 Riverside Dr Queens: the Queens Public Library (Main Branch) on 89-11 Merrick Blvd and Ocean Bay Community Cornerstone on 67-10 Beach Channel Dr Staten Island: Faber Park on Richmond Terrace If your tiny bookworms are still in search of a great read (and want to leave a few stories in the vending machines for their peers) be sure to check o
In search of an adventure? NYC just debuted two new VR experiences, and they deserve a spot on your list of things to do with kids. Say hello to new places—without leaving Brooklyn! VRBAR, the borough's first virtual reality arcade, allows game lovers ages 8 and up to walk across a plank, hang off a skyscraper and shoot spaceships while trying to dodge bullets during a zombie apocalypse. Yikes! There is no end to the visually stunning and truly immersive explorations offered ($14 for 15 minutes), so let the venue (located at 65 Jay St) take up some real estate on your summer bucket list. The VRBAR is open from Wednesdays to Sundays from noon–8pm and Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment. Another hot VR spot is set to open today! Escape Virtuality, a new state-of-the-art entertainment complex in Chelsea (130 W 29th St), includes simulators, an augmented reality rock climbing wall, virtual reality escape games and high-tech escape rooms (like Ghost Collector and Mission Galaxy Rescue) that are full of surprises.These interactive challenges (various prices), which are delivered from full-motion car racing simulators and multi-directional treadmills with 360-degree views, are great for visitors roughly 5 and up. Each movement in the real world triggers an instant action in the virtual world and fast tracks you to a new world on demand. (Book your experience online!) What are you waiting for? Give these places a go! While you're at it, make sure to stop by our favorite kid-fri