Time In: The best things to do at home with kids

We'll help families make the most out of NYC, even if they're spending time in!

The best family movies on Netflix for all ages
Things to do

The best family movies on Netflix for all ages

Welcome September with new family movies on Netflix! The lineup is top-notch.  Now is the time to dig into classic family movies (like The Muppets), enjoy new cartoons for kids and say farewell to one of the best Disney movies of all time. (Yep, we have to part ways with Christopher Robin, sadly.)  Grab some popcorn and kick back with a fun flick! What's first on your list? (For us, it's The Smurfs.) Movies coming to Netflix in September 2020: Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices (Available September 1) The Boss Baby: Get That Baby! (Available September 1) True: Friendship Day (Available September 1) Back to the Future (Available September 1) Back to the Future Part II (Available September 1) Back to the Future Part III (Available September 1) Barbie Princess Adventure (Available September 1) The Muppets (Available September 1) Muppets Most Wanted (Available September 1) Puss in Boots (Available September 1) The Smurfs (Available September 1) Spirit Riding Free: Riding Academy: Part 2 (Available September 4) StarBeam: Season 2 (Available September 8)Julie and the Phantoms (Available September 10) How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Available September 11)Pets United (Available September 11)Pokémon Journeys: The Series: Part 2 (Available September 11)The Smurfs 2 (Available September 15) Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous (Available September 18) Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Tool Belt: Season 3 (Available September 22)Mighty Express (Available September 22) Last Call in September 2020: Christopher Robin (Leaving September 4) Despicable Me (Leaving September 30) Jurassic Park (Leaving September 30) The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Leaving September 30) Jurassic Park III (Leaving September 30)

The best online classes for kids
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The best online classes for kids

The truth is that not all online classes are created equal: Learning from home can be as fun as it is educational if you know where to look. Our curated list of the best online classes for kids includes amazing sites such as the Smithsonian's Learning Lab, TED Ed, Kahn Academy and Learn at Home from Scholastic. It also has performing arts programs from the New Victory Theater and Tada! Original Youth Theater, plus activities from the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Children's Museum of Manhattan and more. Looking for more online resources? We have more than 36 comprehensive guides of fun things to do at home. From the best virtual storytimes, to the best board games, to the 50 best animated movies to watch as a family, we're here to help you enjoy your time in.  Be sure to catch our weekly storytimes with the New York Public Library—Monday through Friday at 10am. 

Have a virtual party or hangout with Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” on Broadway
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Have a virtual party or hangout with Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” on Broadway

The Great White Way has gone dark and our favorite Broadway shows for kids aren't returning until 2021. Sadly, Frozen will not reopen along with our favorites, but little queens and kings of the cold can still enjoy the theatrical perks of the Disney classic. Thanks to Broadway Plus, kids can participate in a virtual birthday party, singing lesson or digital meet and greet with their favorite stars: Patti Murin, who played Anna in Frozen, has just joined the platform and will gladly spend time digitally with your little Mouseketeers. (Elsa, played by Caroline Bowman, and Hans, played by Austin Colby, are also available for virtual hellos.)  Video shout-outs from Anna are $95, 30-minute meet and greets are $165, hour-long vocal coaching is $250 and birthdays are $400. If your theater buff can't resist the stage, they also have options to enjoy digital experiences from shows such as Wicked, Aladdin, Be More Chill and so much more.  You can also check out Princess & Me, a West coast-based company that schedules Zoom calls with all of your children's favorite Disney princesses. Plus, Nickelodeon characters are also up for a quick Zoom chat!  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

Audible is releasing an exclusive “Sesame Street” podcast this fall
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Audible is releasing an exclusive “Sesame Street” podcast this fall

It looks like there's a new Muppet in town.  Meet Foley, the host of Audible's exclusive Sesame Street Podcast with Foley and Friends. Debuting Oct 15, this new offering allows tots (particularly those in pre-k) to enjoy interactive games, listen to music, and tag along with familiar pals like Elmo and Cookie Monster. Plus, it's the first time our go-to kids' show is dipping into the podcast world. It's just another way to enjoy our favorite friends! “We’re thrilled to expand our children’s content with this exceptional release," Rachel Ghiazza, Audible's executive vice president and head of US content said in a statement. "The Sesame Street Podcast with Foley & Friends delivers what parents need most now: educational entertainment that little ones will love, guaranteed.”  Foley takes the lead with her sidekick Mikee the Microphone during each 15-minute episode to introduce little ones to a variety of topics, some of which include birthdays and the alphabet. We're particularly looking forward to the reoccurring “Elmo’s Joke of the Day" podcast game show, which is sure to deliver laugh-out-loud material.   Download Audible and enjoy! For more ways to keep kids busy during this unusual school term, check out fall 2020 activities—virtual classes, pods and more!  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

The best bands for kids that deserve a spot on your playlist
Things to do

The best bands for kids that deserve a spot on your playlist

In search of the best bands for kids? We know a thing or two about jam-worthy musicians your little ones will love! Whether they're craving pop tunes or want to rock with a hip, punk rock group, our roundup offers plenty of suggestions that'll take family karaoke to new levels. If you're looking to spruce up that playlist of karaoke songs for kids or dance songs for kids, now's the time.  Even better? These aren't your typical bands for kids. Mom and Dad—you will swoon over our go-to singers and will find something to love: the Beatles' influence in Recess Monkey, indie-rock undertones courtesy of the Not-Its. Start listening ASAP! If you're trying to plan one of the best birthday parties for kids or simply hosting an afternoon playdate in your apartment, check out these awesome recs!

Time In: Activities

Stay cool with the Museum of Ice Cream's virtual ice cream making classes
News

Stay cool with the Museum of Ice Cream's virtual ice cream making classes

Nothing is sweeter in the summertime than a scoop of ice cream.  We love frequenting our favorite shops and leaving with a cone of soft serve or a tasty shake. But for those who are searching for both an activity and a dessert, you're in luck.  Here's the scoop: The Museum of Ice Cream is hosting virtual ice cream making classes for those 7 and up Thursday–Sunday at 4:30pm PST (1:30pm New York time). For $25, up to two participants can tune in for step-by-step instructions from a scoop master, fun games and riddles and other creamy goodness.  Here's what you'll need from the kitchen:  A large and small Ziplock bag One kitchen towel One bowl One spoon  Grab these goods from the grocery store:  Half and half Milk  Salt  Granulated sugar  Vanilla extract  Ice  Four of your favorite toppings (i.e. nuts, sprinkles, gummies, etc.)  Powdered mixes (if you're craving a flavor other than vanilla)  Once you snag the necessities and get Zoom fired up, you're ready to go! Head online to purchase your tickets. If you're in search for more summer activities for kids, we suggest having a gander at these DIY popsicle recipes, which are great ways to refuel after a visit to your family's favorite splash pad.  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

Disney's free drawing classes teach you how to sketch your favorite princesses
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Disney's free drawing classes teach you how to sketch your favorite princesses

Although you can't visit the happiest place on earth right now, that doesn't mean Disney can't come to you.  Resourceful parents—who understand the challenges of working from home—will be pleased to know that their little Disney princesses have access to a plethora of entertainment right at their fingertips. (Phew!) It's simple: All kids need to do is grab a piece of paper, sharpen a pencil and hop online. The Disney Parks How to Draw Series on YouTube will keep little illustrators busy all afternoon (once their homework is complete, of course). The pros at The Magic of Disney Animation walk viewers through what it takes to draw famous characters: Anna, Elsa, Bell, Tinker Bell, Goofy, Winnie the Pooh, Jack Skellington and, of course, Mickey Mouse! (Walt Disney did say, "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse.) These 10-20 minute-long videos will be a saving grace for moms and dads who are not only working and taking care of their families, but stepping in as substitute teachers while their kiddos are learning remotely. It can seem challenging, but we'll help keep your crew busy (and sane!) while spending time in. Be sure to also check out the greatest Disney movies and strengthen youngsters' art appreciation with virtual museum tours and digital classes. Don't forget to tune in with famed author and illustrator Mo Willems, who hosts a drawing class online every day at 1pm!   Sign up to receive great Time Out New York Kids deals in your inbox each day.

Take a tour of the International Space Station thanks to Google Earth
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Take a tour of the International Space Station thanks to Google Earth

Since there wasn't an option to hop onboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon, we're here to show little astronauts the next best thing. If your kiddos are curious about the cosmos, log onto Google Earth for a tour of the International Space Station. Apparently, the sky is not the limit when virtual activities are in question.    Photograph: Shutterstock   This offering from Google Earth is fairly comprehensive: Within the table of contents, you'll find facts and stats about different areas of the ISS: the Columbus Research Laboratory, the Copula Observation Module, docking compartments and so on. To accompany the text, viewers will actually be able to (digitally) step inside astronauts' offices—consider it a Google Street View from space. Trust us, this online research is out of this world! If your children are interested in other areas of astronomy, check out digital offerings from the Kennedy Space Center, NASA and your favorite kids' museums. If you're anxious to travel to other locales without leaving home, check out Google Earth's tour of real-life Harry Potter locations!  Houston, we're going to be busy.         Most popular on Time Out - Disney's free drawing classes teach you how to sketch your favorite princesses- Tour the real-life locations of Harry Potter's world with Google Earth- Celebrate the 100th birthday of Deno’s Wonder Wheel with a free coloring book- New York's kiddie salons share advice on how to cut your child's hair at home- Best family restaurants in NYC doing delivery Sign up to receive great Time Out New York Kids deals in your inbox each day.

Caring for Each Other
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Caring for Each Other

Need a good read? Your favorite Muppets can help with that. Thanks to the “Caring For Each Other” initiative by Sesame Workshop, little bibliophiles and their parents are able to scope out books in a variety of subjects—numbers, music, etc.—for a variety of age groups. Plus, the 100+ selections available on Amazon Kindle, Google Play, Apple Books, Kobo and Barnes & Noble Nook are free! Be sure to also check out "Caring for Each Other's" additional resources including videos, games, activity pages and more. Visit the website for more information. 

50 Best family movies of all time
Movies

50 Best family movies of all time

Gather the crew and grab a hefty bowl of popcorn! We've rounded up classics, cartoons, Disney princess movies and everything else you can possibly imagine.

Time In: All-things Harry Potter + Disney

Tour Harry Potter's (real) world
News

Tour Harry Potter's (real) world

Diagon Alley is real...sort of!

Try a Harry Potter digital escape room
News

Try a Harry Potter digital escape room

You'll wander through Hogwarts!

See “Harry Potter: A History of Magic”
News

See “Harry Potter: A History of Magic”

The whole exhibit—right from home!

Schedule a Zoom call with your kids' favorite Disney princess
News

Schedule a Zoom call with your kids' favorite Disney princess

Move over, Santa—you're not the only one taking house calls.  It turns out, your children's favorite Disney princesses are also up for a quick hello via Zoom. If you're going to be stuck inside, might as well make it magical, right?  Princess & Me, a West Coast-based entertainment company, decided to bring its character visits to the virtual realm.  Now's the time to let the little ones chat with Elsa, Ariel, Moana and their other favorite fearless heroines. If they're getting a little anxious with this at-home learning routine and miss their pals, what better way to lift their spirits? Even better? Disney's leading ladies are also available for group video calls, so if you're hosting a virtual birthday party in the near future, this is the perfect entertainment option. (Singing, crafts, magic tricks are on the list!)  If you're looking for other ways to keep your Mouseketeer entertained, try these free Disney drawing classes from professional animators and catch up on the greatest Disney movies of all time.  Most popular on Time Out - Disney's free drawing classes teach you how to sketch your favorite princesses- Tour the real-life locations of Harry Potter's world with Google Earth- Celebrate the 100th birthday of Deno’s Wonder Wheel with a free coloring book- New York's kiddie salons share advice on how to cut your child's hair at home- Best family restaurants in NYC doing delivery
 Sign up to receive great Time Out New York Kids deals in your inbox each day.

The best Disney songs of all time
Music

The best Disney songs of all time

There's no doubt about it: The best Disney songs are certainly supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!  Adjust your crowns, channel your inner prince or princess and prepare for a karaoke session fit for a king and queen! These jams are truly magical.  We've rounded up our favorite family movies and their catchiest tracks: "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story, "Reflection" from Mulan and of course, "Let It Go" from Frozen, to name just a few. From classics to new hits and everything in between, all of these flicks offer something to love and a new tunes to sing. (We have to say, our 35 picks make for great car sing alongs!) When you're done belting out the coolest Disney songs in existence, make sure you've watched the best Disney movies of all time (yes, this subject is certainly cause for a debate).  Happy singing!

The greatest Disney movies of all time
Movies

The greatest Disney movies of all time

Make every night a movie night with the greatest Disney movies of all time! Our list of the Magic Kingdom's most memorable films will keep your family entertained and laughing. Whether you're partial to a classic like 101 Dalmatians, a newer movie like Zootopia, or an amazing Pixar hit like Coco, we have it all. These family movies are good fun for everybody! Why not settle in for Lady and the Tramp (1955), then follow it with Lady and the Tramp (2019)? Our list of Disney flicks features cool animated movies for kids and family comedy movies. Be sure to check out the best feel-good movies to stream on Disney+ right now!

Best activities

The best books for kids of all ages
Things to do

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
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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
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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
Things to do

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!