Drive-in theaters in and near New York City
Treat your kiddos to a magical night at an old-school drive-in movie theater and a double-feature under the stars. Once the epitome of entertainment, drive-in movie theaters have suffered some over the last generation, with many of the classic mid-century venues rolling up their screens for good. But one of the best things to come out of the COVID-19 epidemic is a renewed interest in the drive-in. The launch of a new generation of movie-watching venues makes it easier than ever to sit back in your car and enjoy the best family movies. In fact, many of the films they show are the same ones you treasured as a kid, movies like Back to the Future, Jaws, Jurassic Park and other family comedies your kids will love. Some of the drive-ins, including Shankweiler's Drive-In in PA and Hyde Park Drive In, have been around for more than 50 years. Others, such as the Greenville Drive-In, Jericho Drive-In and Four Brothers Drive-In, are newer additions with delicious food and craft beers (soft-serve ice cream, anyone?) And some, such as the Skyline Drive-In and BelAire Diner are parking lot pop-ups with food on site. So go ahead and buy tickets for a pop-up drive-in, a new-school drive-in or a classic one. No matter where you decide to go, the night out together is definitely one of the best things a family can do in NYC right now.
Coin-operated rides in NYC
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9-11:30amTiny City Island has such quaint, anachronistic charm, it's a wonder it's within NYC limits. Take a daycation here by hopping the 6 train to Pelham Bay Park (the last stop on the line) and transferring to the BX29 bus, which takes you directly into town. Stop one: Sugar and Spice (536 City Island Ave, 718-885-9229, sugarandspiceonline.com), a cozy caf that serves pastries for the kids and coffee for you. Next up: fishing. At Jack's Bait and Tackle (551 City Island Ave, 718-885-2042, jacksbaitandtackle.com; $60 for 12 hr rental on weekends), families can rent a four-person fishing boat. Rods are available for purchase. 11:30am-1pmAfter you've caught (or at least pursued) some flounder and bass, make your way to P.S. 175's nautical-themed playground (200 City Island Ave). (Bring a small cooler to keep your catch fresh.) Tykes can steer a fake ship and splash around in an anchor-shaped sprinkler while younger visitors lay claim to the baby swings. 1-2pmGrab a picnic bench overlooking the water at Johnny's Famous Reef Restaurant (2 City Island Ave, 718-885-2086). Clam chowder and fried calamari make great lunch picks. 2-3:30pmStroll down City Island Avenue, the neighborhood's main drag, and hit Kaleidoscope Gallery (280 City Island Ave, 718-885-3090); it sells Melissa & Doug toys, jewelry, art supplies and a big collection of kaleidoscopes (and kits to make your own). A few doors down is local fave Lickety Split Ice Cream Parlor (295 City Island Ave, 718-885-9195). Treat
*Unless noted, parties are for ten kids 13th Street Repertory Theater Includes The show!Cost $10 per child, plus a $50 fee for using the area to eat lunch and cakeLength 90 minutes After filling up on BYO pizza and cake in the theater's lobby, the lights are dimmed and kids take their seats for a production of Wise Acre Farm, a play about Foxy the fox, a critter who steals Cliffy the pig's birthday cake. Junior thespians then join the cast onstage to hunt for the missing confection. 50 W 13th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-675-6677, 13thstreetrep.org) Adventurer's Family Entertainment Center Includes Food & dessertCost $22 per child, plus $30 for a cakeLength Two hours Coney Island isn't the only Brooklyn spot to have an amusement park. This renovated entertainment center (you may remember it from its days as Nellie Bly) sports a Tilt-A-Whirl, a carousel and a water slide. Parties include an hour of unlimited rides and another hour for treats. 1824 Shore Pkwy at 25th Ave, Gravesend, Brooklyn (718-975-2748, adventurerspark.com) Alice's Tea Cup Includes Food & dessertCost $20 per childLength 90 minutes All three of these beloved uptown cafs host special "Wee Tee" birthdays (or unbirthdays) for little Alice in Wonderland fans, but the 64th Street location is your best bet for a party of ten. While sipping a cup of tisane (and donning a pair of angel wings), children enjoy sandwiches, scones and chocolate mousse—all served on three-tier stands. No need to purchase a separat
The best NYC authors of all time
Numerous writers have penned books about New York. If you feel like you’ve spotted characters from J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye walking the streets or were charmed by the perennial Upper East Side explorer depicted in Harriet the Spy or the single ladies struggling in 1940s in the cult classic Valley of the Dolls, you’re among the many who feed on great tales of this bustling city. But the writers on this list didn’t just write the great New York City novels, they define the city in both their writing and their lifestyles. From activists to journalists, these authors and their books have shaped and added flavor to the greatest city in the world.
Best doughnuts in New York City
My kids and I toured NYC in search of the boroughs' best doughnut shops (hey, someone had to do it). Our cross-cultural journey led us to a Polish bakery in Brooklyn, a Korean caf in Queens, a Manhattan patisserie—and not a single store with the initials DD. Here, we present our somewhat idiosyncratic and rather biased doughnut awards. Old-school favorite: The Donut PubThis mom-and-pop shop—with its namesake toy truck in the window—has been a fixture on 14th Street since 1964. We go for the renowned honey-dip variety (pictured) as well as the excellent chocolate glazed ($1.10 each, $13 a dozen). Can't make up your mind? Get six doughnut holes for $1.50. 203 W 14th St at Seventh Ave (212-929-0126) Hipster hang: Doughnut PlantChoose yeast (lighter, fluffier, stickier) or cake (denser) at this funky outlet decorated with colorful handmade tiles shaped like the signature pastry ($2.25--$2.50). My kids and I like to split the banana-pecan cake-style number (pictured) and a vanilla-bean-glazed yeast doughnut filled with raspberry jam. But any flavor—how about a peanut-butter glaze? crme brle?—is worth the hassle of braving the long lines. 379 Grand St at Norfolk St (212-505-3700, doughnutplant.com) For weekend warriors: Bouchon BakeryThis Time Warner Center retail counter's doughnuts taste all the sweeter for their rarity. Available Friday through Sunday, the delights here are truly decadent: A huge Boston cream doughnut (pictured; Saturdays only) arrives studded with chocolate n