Best things to do with kids in NYC Aug 19–23
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.
Might as well send the kiddos back to school in style! Visit the Rockets of Awesome pop-up (133 5th Ave at 20th St) for garments and accessories that are just that: awesome! Choose from backpacks, outerwear and so much more. While visiting, take advantage of in-store activities, including sneaker personalization, manicures, a braid bar and more! All ages.
The week before the U.S. Open kicks off and makes Flushing the epicenter of the tennis world, The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center opens its doors for a week of free events. Get a peek at practice to see how hard these superstars work to perfect their game, catch some tennis legends return to the court for an exhibition match and check out the Kids’ Zone for plenty of fun activities. There’s also a happy hour and live music events each day to entice those who don’t quite love the game.
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. 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!)
Is there a better summer snack than marshmallows? After an afternoon at Squish, kids will have the most bedazzled s'mores in town. During the marshmallow-decorating class ($50) at the shop (120 St. Marks Pl), kids and adults will learn how to make the delicious treat, morph them into the perfect shape and decorate them with edible glitter, sprinkles and other delicious and colorful pizzazz. The class will take place Aug 20 from 4–5pm. Register online. Ages 4–12 with adult.
No your eyes aren't playing tricks on you: "SuperReal," NYC's latest pop-up experience, is essentially a living dream! The brainchild of Moment Factory and Cipriani, this new photo-worthy attraction features wonky, colorful immersive installations like a fairylike flower garden that'll transport you to another realm. All ages.
Celebrate an Off-Broadway sensation with an interactive exhibit at MCNY! Learn all about your favorite blue New Yorkers who have been entertaining theater-goers with wild antics, paint and original percussion instruments. Visitors can give the PVC pipe a try, just like the Blue Man Group. Be sure to catch your favorite fellas at the Museum's Uptown Bounce event on Aug 7. All ages.
When the 90-degree weather becomes too overwhelming, duck into your local Regal Cinemas for the annual Summer Movie Express. Beginning July 2 in NYC, participating locations (Long Island City, Sheepshead Bay and Staten Island) will celebrate the season with a lovely offer: $1 kids' movies! Visitors will need to make their way to the theater on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10am to participate in the cheap fun. (Films are either rated G or PG.) The 2019 lineup includes Despicable Me 3, Smallfoot, Secret Life of Pets, Trolls, Shrek 2 and plenty of other family movies.
Prepare your taste buds: DUMBO's new, out-of-this-world food hall with spectacular views, created by Time Out Group, is officially open! How cool is that? Time Out Market New York is located at 55 Water St (within Empire Stores), a charming pre Civil War-era building. The new space boasts 21,000 square feet across two floors and includes three bars plus a scenic fifth floor outdoor roof deck. Say hello to views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and Lower Manhattan skyline—and our future-favorite spot to grab a cocktail and a bite with friends at sunset. Grab a bite to eat from Juliana's, Clinton Street Bakery, Mr. Taka Ramen and much more!
Summer is within reach, and the return of our favorite outdoor activities is proof. On May 30 at 5:30pm, Brooklyn Bridge Park will kickstart its 2019 season of free kayaking in NYC. Spectacular views of lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge make the East River one of our favorite places to paddle. From now until August, park-goers are welcome to take advantage of the sport (at no cost!) on Thursdays from 5:30–6:45pm and weekends from 10am–2pm. Venture to Pier 2 and get ready to float across the water.
NYPL is bringing back a beloved service of yesteryear with three new bookmobiles! While various "travelling libraries" were used over the library's 124-year history, its been decades since the last time one has been in service. These new bookmobiles will each be capable of carrying a 1,000 books and will be popping up in locations in The Bronx, Staten Island and Manhattan.
(SPONSOR CONTENT) Hudson River Park will keep little New Yorkers entertained all summer long with a series of free performances and interactive activities. Visit the park on Monday and Thursday afternoons from June to September to take advantage of a wide variety of outdoor fun. Your little ones will love a jam session with Ramblin Dan and the Free Wheelin’ Band (July 8 and 11), they'll get creative with projects from the Children's Museum of the Arts (Aug 26 and 29) and they'll sit for story time with picture book author Elisha Cooper (Sept 16 and 19), among other happenings. Visit the Hudson River Park website for the complete lineup. Meet at Pier 25 on Mondays and Pier 62 on Thursdays. Ages 1–6.
This summer, stop by Downtown Brookyln's buzzing public spaces — Albee Square, MetroTech Commons, Willoughby Plaza, and the Plaza at 300 Ashlan — for a mix of culture, fitness, and fun. While many events are more geared toward grown-ups, tweens and teens might love some of the movies presented by Alamo Drafthouse at Albee Square, including Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands (June 25). Meanwhile, the whole family will love showing off their dancing moves at the BK Block Parties (July 13 and August 25). All ages, for the full schedule of events visit here.
Spend your morning getting creative with you little one with this toddler art class. Each class begins with a story time, which inspires the next activity that'll have your mini Picasso using paint, stencils, collage-techniques and more (with a caregiver's help, of course). Each activity focuses on a different kid-friendly theme like rainbows, hearts and fireworks, and your family is sent home with whatever you create. Ages 15 months–3 years.
At the nation's largest science playground, tots learn about technology as they slide and seesaw, climb a giant spiderweb, romp in sand pits and wind their way around big trees. Be sure to bring shoes that can get wet—the water play area is a real highlight of any visit. Note that this feature is weather-permitting. The playground closes at 4pm in November. Ages 6 and up.
'Tis the season for a hot dog at Nathan's and a few (hundred) rides on the Cyclone. Hop onboard a Stillwell Ave-bound F train and embrace the many Coney Island activities for kids that await. Clockworkz and Atlantic Aviator, are two new Luna Park attractions that certainly deserve a spot on your summer bucket list.
Advertised as the "biggest, most realistic dinosaur ride in America," the new attraction shuttles families (with narration) through a wooded area packed with 40 ultra-realistic (read: gigantic) animatronic dinosaurs. One of the most notable features will certainly be the two towering Tyrannosaurus rex—as well as the vegetarian Omeisaurus that stretches an impressive 60 feet long. And to make things as realistic as possible, the Bronx Zoo teamed up with a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History—Don Lessem even served as an advisor on the original Jurassic Park! The experience is topped off with an ADA-accessible fossil dig area for kids to play in, plus some additional dino-themed activities around the zoo. All ages.
Summer in the city isn't complete without a rooftop soiree, and now lil' New Yorkers can embrace the trend. One of our favorite kids' museums is taking the fun to new heights with an epic interactive playscape, just in time for the sunny season. Make your way to the Brooklyn Children's Museum's roof to let little patrons scale the 1,800 jungle gym titled NEST (ideal for ages 2–8). Tri-Lox, a design and fabrication practice, decided to recreate baya weaver birds' nests for NYC kiddos. Needless to say, the awe-inspiring attraction will climb to the top of your outdoor activities bucket list.
Prepare to dig deep like a true paleontologist thanks to "T. Rex: The Ultimate Predator." The Museum of Natural History's new exhibit will give visitors a peek into how the massive creatures came to be. Patrons will get a good look at the new findings about the tyrannosaurs genus, with a special focus on our main man, the T. rex. Unlike what people may think—and what movies led us to believe—T. rex is simply one part of the species' 100-million-year evolution. Who knew that tyrannosaurs species actually include small, agile creatures? For real! All ages.
New York City is going to be treated to a dose of color thanks to "DreamWorks Trolls the Experience." When little visitors enter the 90-minute walkthrough exhibit, they'll fall in love with a bunch of exciting features. Poppy's Party Room will include augmented reality and 3D technology in the midst of musical fun. Before getting wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of Troll Village and playing in the life-size Caterbus, youngsters will want to hit the bright, imaginative Hair-We-Go Salon and Barbershop—which is sure to be an Instagram hit for moms and dads. This will be open until Sept 2, 2019 All ages.
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with a screening of this 20 minute movie. The whole family will be amazed by the Apollo 11's story, as the filmmakers reconstruct the vessel's preparation, launch and return using never-before-seen footage. After the film, take your future astronauts to check out the museum's Search for Life Beyond Earth exhibition. All ages.
The New York Hall of Science will take you out of this world when summer begins—and you don't even need to get out of Queens! In honor of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the museum is delving into aviation and aerospace. Visitors can expect a group flying experience via motion-sensing technology, a simulated wind tunnel test, theater presentations and more. This exhibition is presented by Boeing and produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in collaboration with NASA and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Learn more at nysci.org. All ages.
Although the spotlight is oftentimes on the dinosaurs, the Museum of Natural History wants to give patrons a chance to experience life under the waves, too, not just on land during prehistoric times. Thanks to the new film, Oceans: Our Blue Planet, musumer-goers can journey with the OceanX research vessel Alucia as it uncovers what's lurking beneath the sea. This film will be shown daily in the Museum’s Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Theater in 2D at 11:30am and 4:30pm, and in 3D at 10:30am and 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30pm. The schedule is subject to change. All ages.
The amazing life-saving dogs in this immersive 3D movie are like real-life PAW Patrol pups. Find out the remarkable stories of canines and their human companions who work hard everyday to rescue people in snowy avalanches and off the coasts of warm beaches. There's even a pair of Bloodhound brothers who are helping save endangered species in Africa. 45 minutes. All ages
Think your kid has what it takes to crack the code? Thanks to SPYSCAPE's newly opened Spy School, you'll have a budding FBI agent on your hands. Students in middle school through college are invited to the afternoon program that allows them to make and break WWII codes in themed Encryption mission, detect lies in Deception booths and much more. “We’re thrilled by the success of SPYSCAPE in New York City, and delighted to be able to offer this experience for free to students,” Ian Oldaker, COO of SPYSCAPE New York said in a statement. “We have had a lot of requests for this kind of program and we’re excited about creating new educational offerings as we continue to grow.” Spy School is free with a valid student ID, but attendees t must be accompanied by a paid ticket holder. We'll catch you there...or will we? Middle school–college.
NYC's museum dedicated to all-things espionage will soon shed some light on 007. The first James Bond exhibit in New York examines the creativity that went into bringing the movies to life. Car aficionados: You'll be pleased to know that Bond's Aston Martin DB5 will on display. There are also many interactive components to the exhibit: You can check out gadgets and gizmos in the Q's lab, get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Skyfall finale came to be and so much more. All ages.
Batter up! NYC will mark the centennial of Jackie Robinson’s birth with a grand-slam exhibit. The collection of never-before-seen images, Look magazine spreads and personal memorabilia such as home movies will provide a glimpse into the life of the Brooklyn Dodgers MVP, all while exploring the media’s portrayal of the iconic figure. All ages.
In an age where we rely on some type of device to fulfill a task, a group of international contemporary artists take a step back. "Useless: Machines for Dreaming, Thinking, and Seeing," is an exhibit that will feature a variety of unique pieces that ultimately puts utility in question. All ages.
(SPONSOR CONTENT) No, school no problem—Taste Buds Kitchen is open for business! Budding chefs aged 4-17 are invited to get creative while cooking in a day class (roughly three hours) or a full week's course. Running from Memorial Day to Labor Day, these fun-packed cheffing camps teach kids how to make at least one savory and one sweet recipe daily, and those on the week-long camps even get a Taste Buds Kitchen apron to take home. Classes on offer include 'Eid al-Fitr' (breaking fast), in which lasagne cupcakes and apple ginger dumplings make an appearance, and 'Future Celebrity Chef', which features veggie sushi rolls and matcha turtle bread on the menu. Or take the 'All-American Road Trip', a culinary journey on which your little ones will explore cinnamon raisin bagels from New York City, BBQ cauliflower wings from Kansas City and Californian pita pizzas.
Macy's is kicking the summer fun into high gear. STORY, the brand's immersive shopping experience, is helping visitors make the most out of the season with its new theme, Outdoor. This project curates products in a variety of areas—kids, fashion, home decor, to name a few—and offers exciting activities such as indoor gardening and a flower crown workshop. Learn more about the theme here. All ages.
It isn't always smooth sailing in high school, but what if you had the power to change those cringe-worthy moments? Jeremy takes the chance in Be More Chill...with some less-than-satisfying results. Ned Vizzini’s YA bestseller (which had a previous Off-Broadway run) will graduate to the Great White Way and dazzle audiences with upbeat music, neon-colored sets and feel-good moments. Get ready for a coming-of-age tale with an epic sci-fi flair. Ages 12 and up.
A sea of toilet paper, neon paint splashes and three blue men have kept audiences laughing and amazed in this long-running Off-Broadway hit. Stand by as these other-worldly fellows learn about the environment around them...and make a bit of noise in the process (largely thanks to the large tubs of paint). You'll laugh, you'll catch one of the group members in the audience and you'll love the wonky happenings throughout the performance. If you catch a show in the first row, wear the poncho—chances are you're going to get splattered with something! Ages 5 and up.
Stomp takes percussion to a whole new level. A small cast of characters makes use of atypical objects—wooden polls, push brooms—to create a unique musical experience. A catchy rhythm, impressive dance moves and laugh-out-loud moments prove why this Off-Broadway show is such a crowd pleaser, even if there isn't any dialogue. Your kiddos might be inspired to take household items and start a jam session of their own! Ages 4 and up.
Pint-sized swimmers can attempt their best doggy paddle among the rainbow at Manhattan Park's outdoor pool—located at 30 River Rd in Roosevelt Island—which is officially open for the season. The tradition of bringing color to the pool deck began five years ago. Since then, kiddos and parents have enjoyed splashing in a kaleidoscope of color! Those who are not from the island can enjoy the blissful space for $40 on weekdays and $60 on weekends. (For residents, weekday rates are $25 and weekend rates are $30.)
Don your best astronaut outfit and launch your little readers into a universe of stories and adventure! Instead of the Milky way, let New York City’s libraries serve as a scene for exploration to avoid the dreaded “summer slide." New York Public Library’s annual Summer Reading Challenge, titled Blast Off! Discover a Universe of Stories, has officially taken off. Be sure to explore its offerings and guidelines. Don't forget to see what the BKLYN Public Library and Queens Public Library has in store for little bookworms!
A Little Princess, a musical based on the famed novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, will debut at the Pershing Square Signature Center. The musical follows a young girl Sarah, who, after living in India, moves to London with her father, the wealthy Captain Crewe. Sarah, who begins attending Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies, faces an array of challenges after unfortunately losing nearly all of her wealth—ultimately learning that a true princess is determined by her own actions and outlook on life.
This summer, embrace patriotism with the New-York Historical Society's "Revolutionary Summer" exhibit. Patrons will journey back in time and take a glimpse at a replica of an outdoor Continental Army encampment, a replica of George Washington’s tent headquarters, view 18th-century artifacts and more. Visit the museum's website for a list of themed-programming for families, including a scavenger hunt, trivia and more. All ages.
Visitors will gain a deeper understanding of Mexican history and culture through a new perspective thanks to arist Justin Favela. His piece, "Recuérdame," recreates popular landscapes with a unique touch courtesy of piñata-cut tissue paper. There will be a variety of additional family programming in conjunction with "Recuérdame." To learn more, click here. All ages.
Horticulturist and resident wildlife expert, Maryanne Stubbs leads this walk through the High Line's spectacular gardens. Stubbs will point out various wildlife and explain how bees pollinate the plants and how migratory birds and other critters use the habitat for food. All ages.
Fergus Mundingle and his furry companion Puss are making their way to the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre for a performance of Puss In Boots. In this delightful puppet show, the feline snags a pair of shoes that takes him and his other half on a magical journey. Visit the City Parks Foundation page for any scheduling changes.
No stage, no problem—the PuppetMobile comes to you! The CityParks' brainchild hits the road beginning May 1 for a spring and summer of performances, workshops and so on. This year, young audiences will be treated to Bessie’s Big Shot, the story of a cow who is willing to try any stunt in order to land a spot in the circus. Visit the City Parks Foundation online to learn when the PuppetMobile is making a pitstop near you! All ages.