Danielle Valente is Time Out's former New York Kids Editor.

Danielle Valente

Danielle Valente

Articles (308)

The best toddler activities in NYC

The best toddler activities in NYC

Toddlers are always on the move, demanding attention at all times. Navigating public spaces with them can be a challenge, but there are plenty of toddler activities in NYC that ensure fun for the whole family without much hassle. These things to do with toddlers in NYC are crafted with your little ones in mind, offering them the freedom to explore, plenty of engaging stimulation and—thankfully—nothing too fragile. There are both indoor and outdoor options for your toddler adventures, from bustling playgrounds and sprawling parks to family-friendly attractions and museums. There's something to capture every little explorer's interest. The kids will be entertained, enriched and hopefully ready for a nap when you’re all done.

Top spots for peach picking near NYC

Top spots for peach picking near NYC

It’s time for one of the summer’s most cherished traditions: pick-your-own fruit. From blueberries and strawberries to cherries and peaches, everyone loves fruit that’s fresh from the farm. Peach picking in NYC is a fun family outing that’s twice as nice: have fun roaming the orchards and picking fresh fruit, then you’ll go home with your spoils to enjoy a sweet taste of summer all over again. These peach picking spots are all within a two-hour drive from NYC, so it’s easy to make a day of it. Many of these farms offer additional fun-filled activities—think hayrides, petting zoos and fresh-baked treats at the farm cafe. Load up on sweet, juicy peaches and you’ve got yourself a memorable summer activity for kids. Peach season in New York and New Jersey kicks off in late July and extends into August and even September, but always be sure to check each farm to see what’s ready for picking. RECOMMENDED: Full pick-your-own guide for families

The best family movies of all time to stream

The best family movies of all time to stream

One of the great joys of having kids is family movie night – a time when the whole brood can unite around the couch and laugh, thrill and maybe even cry a bit together. But if you’re not careful, it can also be a night full of stress. After all, finding a movie to satisfy every generation gathered on that sofa isn’t easy. Choose the wrong flick, and it can lead to insults, eyerolls and tears that have nothing to do with the emotional power of cinema.  Never fear, though: we’re here to help. Of the 50 movies listed here, you’ll truly find something for everyone, whether it’s an animated classic, something from the Golden Age of Hollywood, live action adventures from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, inspirational true-life tales, comedies with jokes that work for every age group and movies that underscore the importance of family. Throw on one of these flicks, and feel safe in the knowledge that everyone in your house will make a memory they’ll keep forever – or at least all stay on the couch until the credits roll. RECOMMENDED: ✍ The 100 best animated films of all-timeđŸ‘Ș The 50 best kids movies to watch as a familyđŸ’» The best family movies on Netflix for all-agesđŸ€Ł The best family comedy movies🧒 The best kids’ movies from the ’90s

These free family activities in NYC are easy on the wallet

These free family activities in NYC are easy on the wallet

NYC is an amazing place for kids and families, but let’s be real—the cost of living can sometimes be a bummer. Thankfully, there are plenty of free family activities in NYC. There’s always something to do in the city with the kids, from kid-friendly Broadway shows and museums to active pursuits like laser tag and bowling, but we know that wallet-friendly entertainment options are always appreciated. Playgrounds and parks are go-to spots that don’t cost anything, but NYC offers much more. How about free kayaking, storytime sessions or castle tours? Here are some top-notch free family activities in NYC that promise fun without the hefty price tag. Enjoy these adventures and save some cash for a treat later on!

The best things to do in Washington, D.C. with kids

The best things to do in Washington, D.C. with kids

Sure, D.C. is known for politicians in suits and cufflinks, but it’s also a fantastic place for families. Grab the family and dive into all the fun things to do with kids the city has to offer. Think zoos, parks and botanical gardens—perfect for getting some fresh air while exploring the nation's capital. You can also keep it casual with a picnic at one of the many scenic parks. The best part is that most attractions are free, including many D.C. museums. From the interactive exhibits at the Spy Museum to the splash fountains at Canal Park, here are the best things to do with kids in Washington, D.C. right now. RECOMMENDED:📍 The best things to do in Washington, D.C.🍝 The best restaurants in Washington, D.C.đŸ˜ïž The best Airbnbs in Washington, D.C.🚌 The best day trips in Washington, D.C.

Fun things to do with teens in NYC

Fun things to do with teens in NYC

While there are plenty of fun activities for kids in the city, it might be a little harder to find things to do with teens in NYC. The too-cool-for-school age group can be hard to please, but there are still some fun spots around town that even a cranky 13 year old will love. Think fun, active outings that will keep them occupied or teen-oriented programs that take a different approach to exploring some of New York’s gems. From museums to laser tag, here are the best things to do with teens in NYC.

Ideas for family weekend getaways from NYC

Ideas for family weekend getaways from NYC

Going stir crazy? There are so many things to do with kids in NYC that you can keep the kids entertained all weekend, but sometimes you just have to get away and head outside the city. Fortunately NYC offers easy access to many destinations that offer kid-friendly attractions and activities as well as a change of scenery. Sure you can take a kid-friendly day trip to a nearby amusement park or take a hike to get some fresh air, but a full-on family weekend getaway from NYC is sure to shake things up with epic adventures and tons of fun. Whether the fam is into quaint coastal towns, historic landmarks, the great outdoors or resort life, these NYC weekend getaway ideas will satisfy the itch for something new and leave you with lasting memories of family fun.

Family resorts in New York and beyond for a fun-filled getaway

Family resorts in New York and beyond for a fun-filled getaway

Picture it: a fun family vacation where all you need to do is pack your bags and get there. No planning, no corralling, no cooking, no decision-making
 That’s the beauty of a family-friendly resort. Just check in and everything is taken care of. These family resorts in New York and beyond offer tons of fun for the kids—from horseback riding to water activities to themed events—plus plenty of opportunities for relaxation for the grownups. You’ll find cozy cabins and spacious suites, all designed for family comfort. There are activities for kids of all ages, and supervised activities that give parents well-deserved downtime. Dining is a breeze too, with on-site restaurants that are sure to please. A weekend getaway at one of these NYC-area resorts is a perfect blend of relaxation, recreation and convenience, and you’re sure to make plenty of memories. 

The best water parks near NYC

The best water parks near NYC

Looking for ways to keep the kids cool during the summer? While outdoor activities like hiking and visiting PYO farms for fresh strawberries or blueberries are classic summer activities, sometimes you just need to find a place to beat the heat. Water playgrounds and beaches are options, but for an all-around cool summer activity, there’s nothing better than heading to a water park near NYC. These NYC-area water parks offer a thrilling escape with water slides, wave pools and more. If you prefer a more relaxed vibe, there are lazy rivers and shallow pools perfect for cooling off. From the largest water park in New York to toddler-friendly spots in Pennsylvania, these destinations are ideal for a family day trip or weekend getaway. Make a splash (and some amazing summer memories) with the family at one of these water parks near NYC.

The best animal movies for kids

The best animal movies for kids

If there’s one thing all kids love, it’s candy. A close second, though? Cute animals. And if you’re not ready to give in to their incessant pleas and actually bring one into your home, a movie starring a furry, scaly, sometimes smooth and wet friend is the next best thing. So the next time those tiny little voices start nattering about a pet, consider rushing one of these animal-centric films onto the television. Animated or live action, all of them are adorable, and sure to get two paws (or fins) up from the little beasts in your house. Recommended: 🐭 The 50 best Disney movies for family nightđŸ‘Ș The 50 best family films to stream on movie nightđŸ€Ł The 35 best family comedy movies

The best indoor activities for kids in NYC for weather-proof fun

The best indoor activities for kids in NYC for weather-proof fun

Kids in NYC have it made: the city is a giant playground, featuring a slew of parks, plenty of green space, bike paths galore, accessible beaches, nearby hiking trails and of course amazing actual playgrounds. The outdoor options are endless, but what about the times when it’s too hot, too cold or too rainy for outdoor play? Fortunately there are plenty of  indoor activities for kids in NYC that offer a ton of weather-proof fun. Whether you’re looking for educational activities—think kids’ cooking classes or a kid-friendly museum—or an outing that involves some friendly competition—like bowling, arcade games or indoor mini golf—these indoor activities have all the makings of a fun day out. There are even indoor amusement parks in the area for some all-out indoor fun. Whatever your kids are into, they’ll love these indoor activities that keep them entertained regardless of the weather.

Visit these farms for cherry picking season in New York

Visit these farms for cherry picking season in New York

Because crop availability varies, always call first! One of the most beloved summertime rituals is picking fresh fruit from a farm. Spend the day harvesting the ripest fruits and enjoying them fresher than you’ll have them anywhere else. Cherry picking season in New York starts in early June or July, so there’s time to plan your trip to the best cherry-picking spots. There are plenty of options in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, all within a few hours’ drive from the city. These farms offer more than just PYO cherries: you’ll find hayrides, farm stands and even petting zoos. Make a day of it and you’ve got a perfect family day trip. While you wait for the cherries, you can also check out the best spots for strawberry picking and blueberry picking near NYC.

Listings and reviews (35)

"The Nature of Color"

"The Nature of Color"

Color us curious: AMNH is unpacking the meaning behind blues, reds, yellows and so on in its new exhibit, "The Nature of Color." Along with cool interactive features (think color-changing rooms, floor-to-ceiling color play and a light lab), photo-worthy moments and yes, even some live critters, visitors can expect to delve deep into their favorite hues. "Color is one of these under-appreciated things; we take it for granted," said the exhibit's curator, Rob DeSalle. "What we hope that visitors get from this show is a better understanding of color and one that is not just 'Oh, It hits my retina and does stuff to my brain,' but  also that there are far-reaching contexts for color: the cultural context, the social context and the history of our species on this planet through color." All ages. 

FIAF Animation First

FIAF Animation First

Oui, oui. The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) will present Animation First, NYC's French animation festival, and it promises to be tres chic. Families are invited to check out various screenings of feature-length and short films, virtual reality and video games with a French flair. You'll want to catch The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily (Friday Feb 7), The Prince’s Voyage (Saturday, Feb 8, ages 7 and up) and so much more. Check the website for a full schedule Ça te dit? All ages.    

Holi Hooray!

Holi Hooray!

Spring is in the air! Families can make their way to the Brooklyn Children's Museum for Holi Hooray!, a spring Indian Color Festival that will include a day of art, dance and food. The highlight of the afternoon is the outdoor color powder procession and extravaganza, so come dressed in white and ready to get completely covered in (non-toxic, washable) powder to look like a walking rainbow. All ages. 

Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program

Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program

Each child gets a little taste of the arts, nature, history, culture, technology, literature and science when spending a summer at BCAP. This award-winning camp—which works alongside institutions such as the Brooklyn Children's Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden—allows kids to explore, play games and visit two institutions on the program's Cultural Campus. An unforgettable experience is guaranteed. Ages 7–12.  

Lunar New Year with Prospect Park Alliance

Lunar New Year with Prospect Park Alliance

The Prospect Park Alliance is celebrating the Year of the Pig with good-luck crafts, treats and other fun activities that will kickstart Lunar New Year with positive vibes. Additionally, those who attend will have the opportunity to head to the Prospect Park Audubon Center for nature-related games and activities. All ages. 

Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit

4 out of 5 stars

As irresistible as the fresh carrots that grow in Mr. McGregor’s garden, Peter Rabbitgives Beatrix Potter’s classic a modern makeover, complete with intricate animation, cute quips for older audiences and a sweet-natured journey that has you rooting for a happy ending for all involved. Vying for gorgeous grounds and his human next-door neighbor (Rose Byrne), the audacious Peter Rabbit (confidently voiced by James Corden) goes head-to-head with sour Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), who unexpectedly inherits the beautiful property of his estranged late uncle. The only thing the finicky Londoner detests more than the English countryside is the “vermin” inhabiting the land, so naturally we’re braced for a duel. Peter’s shenanigans, though certainly adorable, could have been curtailed for the sake of pacing: One electrocuting gag is plenty. But the lovable supporting crew—Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), Cotton-Tail (Daisy Ridley) and Benjamin (Colin Moody)—makes up for any overdone mischief. Some may cringe at director-cowriter Will Gluck’s modifications (a bunny that twerks, music from the likes of Vampire Weekend and the ubiquitous Rachel Platten), and the heart-wrenching backstory of Peter’s parents might not be appropriate for the smallest of bunnies. (Save this one for young rabbits who can handle more mature content.) It’s certainly a new spin, but those who make the leap will do so vigorously.  

Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit

4 out of 5 stars

  Irresistible como un manojo de zanahorias reciĂ©n recogidas del huerto, 'Peter Rabbit' da al relato ilustrado de Beatrix Potter una nueva vida, y una actualizaciĂłn de las acuarelas tradicionales a travĂ©s de una animaciĂłn preciosista y encantadora. Esta vez, el conejo de la chaqueta azul se las ingenia para comer lechugas y zafarse de la ira de Thomas McGregor, que acaba de heredar la granja de su tĂ­o, de manera inesperada. La audacia de Peter y sus travesuras nos sumergen en un viaje a travĂ©s de los colores del campo inglĂ©s. Es cierto que hay partes que pueden resultar poco indicadas para los espectadores mĂĄs pequeños –que es a quien parecerĂ­a que va dirigida la pelĂ­cul-a, y que hay algĂșn gag recurrente que se puede hacer un poco pesado. Pero los personajes son simpĂĄticos y entrañables –las hermanas de Peter tienen momentos deliciosos–, y el espĂ­ritu de los cuentos originales que tantas veces hemos visto en las librerĂ­as no podrĂ­a haber encontrado, en nuestros dĂ­as, un mejor homenaje. 

Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit

4 out of 5 stars

Irresistible com un manat de pastanagues acabades de collir de l’hort, Peter Rabbit dona al relat il·lustrat de Beatrix Potter una nova vida, i una actualitzaciĂł de les aquarel·les tradicionals a travĂ©s d’una animaciĂł preciosista i encantadora. Aquest cop, el conill de la jaqueta blava se les empesca per menjar enciams i escapolir-se dels renecs de Thomas McGregor, que acaba d’heretar la granja del seu oncle, de manera inesperada. L’audĂ cia d’en Peter i les seves entremaliadures ens submergeixen en un viatge a travĂ©s dels colors del camp anglĂšs. És cert que hi ha parts que poden resultar poc indicades per als espectadors mĂ©s petits –que Ă©s a qui semblaria que va adreçada la pel·lĂ­cula–, i que hi ha algun gag recurrent que es pot fer una mica pesat. PerĂČ els personatges sĂłn simpĂ tics i entranyables –les germanes d’en Peter tenen moments deliciosos–, i l’esperit dels contes originals que tantes vegades hem vist a les llibreries no podria haver trobat, en els nostres dies, un millor homenatge.   

Lillie Mae's Kitchen: Kid's Night Out

Lillie Mae's Kitchen: Kid's Night Out

You don't have to feel guilty about dropping the kids off on Saturday night thanks to Ashley Swagerty's event. In Kid's Night Out, which takes the first and third Saturday of every month, your crew will learn some kitchen skills and work on a few crafts. Cooking, crafting and snacking—what could be better? March 3, ages 3–5 and March 17, ages 6–8. Register online. 

LEGO Live NYC!

LEGO Live NYC!

Want to play with over 4 million LEGOs? Now's your chance. At LEGO Live NYC! you'll be able to get your hands on interactive games, watch demonstrations, take selfies with life-size models of your favorite characters and so much more. Make sure to talk to the LEGO master builders for fun LEGO tips and tricks! All ages. 

Esaie Couture

Esaie Couture

When Esaie Couture isn't helping new designers show their collections at New York Fashion Week or providing models with the confidence they need to walk the runway, it's encouraging little ones and teens get creative with fashion design classes, camps and a STEAM fashion program. All ages. 

The New York Sewing Center

The New York Sewing Center

While adults are styling the perfect leather clutch or mastering the basics at Sip & Sew, little designers in the making (10–14) can attend a sewing summer camp or celebrate their birthdays with a kids' group party. Make sure to sign your high schoolers get a spot at one of the teen designer series—teen prom dresses is next on the list. 246 W 38th St, Fifth Floor (917-864-6420, thenewyorksewingcenter.com). Various ages. 

News (658)

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

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

When will NYC schools reopen?

When will NYC schools reopen?

On Nov 19, the NYC DOE went remote for a second time in 2020. Now, the question on everyone's mind is, "When will NYC schools reopen?"  Although there isn't a particular date for parents to mark in their calendar, Mayor Bill de Blasio did provide an update on what it will look like to return to buildings. "We can and we will bring back our schools. It will take a lot of work. I just want people to understand that from the beginning," he said during his Nov 23 press briefing.  Join me at City Hall for the latest on #COVID19 in New York City. https://t.co/ZZ3aR7o07e — Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 23, 2020 The core vision will intensify the health and safety measures already in place, which will include a lot more testing in schools. The mayor urged parents to fill out the DOE's COVID-19 testing request form, as it is required for all those who plan to return to buildings. (If your child is one of the 35,000 students who opted back into hybrid learning, this is a must.)  Although the mayor acknowledged that there are still details to work out between the city and state, reopening schools will most likely happen in phases, with a focus on D75 schools, 3k, pre-k and elementary school getting back to the classroom first. As we know, a lot could change in a short amount of time. Should NYC be upgraded to an orange zone by state standards, extra precautions will be required.  For the latest information, visit the NYC DOE online.  Most popular on Time Out - The best fal

American Dream kicks off the new year by debuting famous New York eateries

American Dream kicks off the new year by debuting famous New York eateries

American Dream is keen on setting records.  The Jersey activity oasis—home to North America's largest indoor water park and the nation's first indoor snow park, among other facilities—is kicking off the new year with a focus on food. Taking a page from its neighbor's book, American Dream has welcomed Van Leeuwen and Best Pizza, two NYC eateries, to their first locations outside of the Empire State. Polishing off an afternoon of entertainment with a New York slice and a scoop or two of creamy goodness is certainly the way to go, if you ask us. At Van Leeuwen, visitors can expect classic and vegan flavors, sundaes, shakes and other goodies. Current specials include chocolate key lime pie and royal wedding cake. A menu for Best Pizza isn't available just yet, but if the regular and white pies are anything like their counterparts at the Williamsburg flagship, customers are in for a treat.  Like its extensive food options, which is expected to grow in the coming weeks, American Dream offers a lot of other things to do on its menu.  Out of This World Blacklight Mini Golf Photograph: Courtesy American Dream Make your way to the new intergalactic-themed mini golf course. Catch 3-D astronaut sculptures, planet murals and a splash of color at every hole while you work your way toward victory. Oh, did we mention that it's completely glow in the dark? Angry Birds Not So Mini Golf Photograph: Courtesy American Dream Kids will love taking a swing amongst familiar friends of the Angry B

IKEA is coming to Queens and it'll help you map out the perfect kids' room

IKEA is coming to Queens and it'll help you map out the perfect kids' room

It's time to channel your inner HGTV, Mom and Dad.  Following the delay of its summer 2020 debut, IKEA will open the doors to its Rego Center store—its first location in Queens— later this month. The small shop is meant to embrace New Yorkers' lifestyles and cater to their specific needs. One feature we're anxious to explore? Appointment planning.  Currently, shoppers are able to book free online appointments with IKEA employees to help map out a room of their choice: children's rooms, bedrooms, home offices, storage areas and even entire apartments. We're so ready for those tips and tricks!  Since it's likely that your little scholars are still learning remotely, you'll also want to take a few pointers from Apartment Therapy CEO Maxwell Ryan while you redecorate: Keep a desk as close to natural light as possible and make sure your academics have two options: a sturdy desk and comfortable chair. You never want them to end up sitting in history class in bed under the covers! Even if your space is comfy and functional, chances are high that the kiddos are still driving you a bit crazy. Although there might not be a home design solution for that (or is there?), NYC's best parenting bloggers will help you navigate this unusual WFH environment.   Most popular on Time Out - Awesome things NYC families can’t miss in 2021- New kids’ movies coming out in 2021 that you can’t miss- The best places for snow tubing near NYC- The best hot chocolate in NYC- January events calendar for kids

NYC DOE changes quarantine requirements

NYC DOE changes quarantine requirements

The new year is bringing changes to the classroom. The New York City Department of Education has announced that it reduced the number of days school communities need to quarantine if they're exposed to the coronavirus. As of Jan 3, it has dropped from 14 to 10 days. This complies with changes from the CDC and New York State.  Earlier this week, families were made aware of other revised regulations: According to Governor Andrew Cuomo's Jan 4 press conference, schools in counties across New York State will be able to stay open if the virus positivity rate exceeds the 9 percent threshold—a plan that was once reverse. If testing in a particular school shows that its positivity rate is below the community average, it is permitted to stay open. This will be at the district's discretion.  Currently, the United Federation of Teachers is fighting against this plan: On Jan 2, the Solidarity Caucus of the UFT started a petition on Change.org that urges the mayor and governor to close all NYC school buildings and switch back to remote learning. Stay tuned for more forthcoming information.  UFT President Mulgrew makes it clear the UFT will oppose any attempt to keep schools open if the city infection rate hits 9%. pic.twitter.com/UDxclgT033 — UFT (@UFT) January 5, 2021 Most popular on Time Out - Awesome things NYC families can’t miss in 2021- New kids’ movies coming out in 2021 that you can’t miss- The best places for snow tubing near NYC- The best hot chocolate in NYC- January events c

Brooklyn's new ice skating rink for kids is the perfect winter hangout

Brooklyn's new ice skating rink for kids is the perfect winter hangout

Brownstone Brooklyn's newest attraction is a win-win for kids and parents.  While you're sipping a hot chocolate (perhaps with a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream), your kiddos can whip around Court Street Tavern's debut ice skating rink. The newly opened Carroll Gardens restaurant has taken outdoor accommodations and upped the ante; while most eateries have opted for heated tents, this South Brooklyn spot has created its own destination for winter fun.  Meet the Court Street Ice Rink. Photograph: Time Out / Danielle Valente Photograph: Time Out / Danielle Valente Photograph: Courtesy Emily Bartlett Perfect for ages 13 and under, the super-cute "glice" rink from Matt Shendell of Paige Concepts is open daily from 12:15–7:15pm for $25 per child (including skate rentals). Parents can make reservations on Resy for 45-minute sessions and walk-ins are welcome. For an additional $10, moms and dads can rent a skate aid seal—an adorable buddy looking to help your little skaters keep their balance. Note that lockers are not available, so be prepared to hang onto those winter boots.  Plus, there's more good news. TVs are stationed right above the rink, so you can have your eyes on the game, your lil' winter Olympian and that tasty Hot Toddy. We told you this would be a win-win for everyone! Court Street Tavern is located at 449 Court St in Carroll Gardens.  Most popular on Time Out - Awesome things NYC families can’t miss in 2021- New kids’ movies coming out in 2021 that you can’t miss

Will NYC schools stay open as virus positivity rates rise?

Will NYC schools stay open as virus positivity rates rise?

NYC schools are back after winter break, and questions are already swirling about what's to come.  According to Governor Andrew Cuomo's Jan 4 press conference, schools in counties across the state will be able to stay open if the virus positivity rate exceeds the 9 percent threshold—a plan that was once reverse. If testing in a particular school shows that its positivity rate is below the community average, it is permitted to stay open. This will be at the district's discretion. (Look for the information at the 24-minute mark of the news conference.)  In Albany holding a COVID briefing. Watch live: https://t.co/OG0KlkQrUQ — Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 4, 2021 So what does that mean for NYC schools? During Mayor Bill de Blasio's Jan 4 press briefing, he stated that children have started returning to class (though middle school and high schools are still remote) and that the the positivity rate in NYC schools is at 0.68 percent—"much, much, much lower than anything we're seeing in NYC." Several weeks ago, he has indicated that he'd like NYC schools to remain open, even if the city enters a shutdown similar to last spring.  Happy New Year, New York City! Join us at City Hall. https://t.co/F3xnVrlW1G — Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 4, 2021 The United Federation of Teachers, however, disagrees. On Jan 2, the Solidarity Caucus of the UFT started a petition on Change.org that urges the mayor and governor to close all NYC school buildings and switch back to remo

The New York Public Library shares this year's top kids' and YA checkouts

The New York Public Library shares this year's top kids' and YA checkouts

We can all agree that 2020 was the pits. But fortunately, great reads kept us going when we needed it most.  If you're searching for things to do with kids in NYC this winter break wanting to spend some time in, we have good news. The New York Public Library joined forces with the Brooklyn Public Library and the Queens Public Library to reveal the top checkouts of the year. The lists for adults are stellar (so make a mental note, Mom and Dad), but we're particularly jazzed about the children's books and YA selections.  If your kiddos need some reading inspo while they're off from school, have a gander at the titles below. (You'll notice some of our favorite kids' books of all time are on the list!) Pick 'em up at using the grab-and-go app or download the books with SimplyE. NYPL: Children's books  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK RowlingWonder by R.J PalacioGuts: Smile Series, Book 3 by Rena TelgemeierWrecking Ball (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 14) by Jeff KinneyHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK RowlingThe Giver by Lois LowryDog Days: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, Book 4 by Jeff KinneyCabin Fever: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, Book 6 by Jeff KinneyThe Ugly Truth: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, Book 5 by Jeff KinneyThe Meltdown (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 13) by Jeff Kinney NYPL: YA books American Royals by Katharine McGeeThe Hate U Give by Angie ThomasThe Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne CollinsChildren of Blood and Bone: Legac

The NYC DOE will continue its free meals program for the new school year

The NYC DOE will continue its free meals program for the new school year

Update: Hours for meal pick-ups are changing for the holidays. The hours are as follows:  December 23: 3pm-5pmDecember 24: 12pm-3pmDecember 25: no serviceDecember 28-31: 12pm-3pmJanuary 1: no service REMINDER: Free holiday meals to go will be available to ALL New Yorkers this season:đŸ”čDecember 23: 3pm-5pmđŸ”čDecember 24: 12pm-3pmđŸ”čDecember 25: no serviceđŸ”čDecember 28-31: 12pm-3pmđŸ”čJanuary 1: no serviceLearn more: https://t.co/ZOQdtTFMTQ. pic.twitter.com/NbGXPWV38m — NYC Public Schools (@NYCSchools) December 23, 2020 As of Nov 19, families can pick up meals from 9am–noon on the weekdays at any school and members of the community can get grab and go meals from 3–5pm at various locations throughout NYC. Learn more about times, availability and rules on the NYC DOE website.  ----- Whether your child is learning remotely this fall or participating in the blended learning model, he or she will have access to free grab-and-go meals from the NYC DOE.  Meal hubs, which are listed on the DOE's website by borough, will operate Monday through Friday from 7:30–11:30 for children and families and 11:30am–1:30pm for adults. Identification is not required and those who stop by will be able to pick up several meals at a time. Vegetarian and Halal options are up for grabs, as well as pizza kits.   The health of our students is our first priority this fall, and that includes making sure every student has access to nutritious meals no matter where they are learning-- remotely or in-person. pic.

Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park is getting a new roller coaster in 2021

Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park is getting a new roller coaster in 2021

Little thrill seekers have a lot to look forward to in the year ahead.  Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park will add a new ride to its roster in 2021, a 68-foot-tall, 34-mile-per-hour roller coaster named Phoenix—a sign of rebirth. The Coney Island attraction announced the big news following USA Today's roundup of the country's most anticipated new coasters.  We're thrilled to announce exciting news for 2021 via @USATODAY's @AboutThemeParks: A new roller coaster, Phoenix at @WonderWheelPark! “It’s an important time to rebuild,” says DJ Vourderis. “We’re betting on the future of New York City and Coney Island.” https://t.co/5pUZcTyj2V pic.twitter.com/uTXt0bkCi8 — Denos Wonder Wheel (@WonderWheelPark) December 21, 2020 Although fun and exciting, Phoenix is meant to be a family-friendly attraction (or suitable for those who are too afraid to visit the neighboring Cyclone at Luna Park). Guests will fasten themselves into ski lift-like cars of the suspended coaster and let their feet dangle as they whip about. We're getting anxious just thinking about it!  Kids' amusement parks in New York had a difficult year, as they were not permitted to open for the 2020 season. But as we start to heal and return to a somewhat normal lifestyle, this gives kiddos (and parents) a lot to look forward to during the summer. Might we suggest a visit to Nathan's after a ride on Phoenix?  Most popular on Time Out - The coolest drive-thru Christmas lights near NYC- Where to find a Christmas tree farm

Is school open tomorrow? NYC DOE reveals the Thursday plan

Is school open tomorrow? NYC DOE reveals the Thursday plan

One thing's for sure: Snow days are off the table in NYC this year.  After a delayed start to the 2020-2021 term, NYC schools are now required to spend "snow days" learning remotely. This will ensure that the requirement for 180 days of instruction is fulfilled. (We know, it's a bummer.)  Although kiddos will still be studying hard while the snowflakes fall, they do not have to report to buildings tomorrow. Those who are participating in hybrid learning will be learning remotely. Additionally, Meal Hubs will be closed according to the DOE.  With a powerful winter storm on the way, we're going to CANCEL in-person learning for @NYCSchools on Thursday, December 17.I know we all grew up with the excitement of snow days, but this year is different. Tomorrow will be a FULL REMOTE learning day for our students. — Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 16, 2020 ⚠ UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, @NYCschools buildings will be closed tomorrow Thursday, December 17, 2020. All students will learn remotely, and are expected to log on and engage with their work from home as they do on other remote days. All Meal Hubs will also be closed. pic.twitter.com/IDZ6QVrmJn — NYC Public Schools (@NYCSchools) December 16, 2020 Meanwhile, the debate is on whether or not students will attend school if NYC faces a second shutdown. Mayor Bill de Blasio would like to keep schools open, but ultimately it will be the state's call.  "Right now we're seeing extraordinary success in keeping our school

Will NYC schools remain open if the city shuts down?

Will NYC schools remain open if the city shuts down?

Vaccinations have begun in New York, but virus cases are on the rise.  Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo are alluding to the possibility of another shutdown after the holidays.    "I don't say it with anything but sorrow, but I do think it’s needed. We're going to need to do some kind of shutdown in the weeks ahead—something that resembles the pause we were in in the spring," the mayor said during his Dec 15 press briefing.  So what does this mean for NYC schools? Younger students and all grade levels in District 75 schools have begun returning to class following the November closures, though middle school and high school students are still learning remotely. The city is working to bring back in-person learning for five days per week, but another shutdown would seemingly put a stop to this plan.  Although the final decision will be up to the state, Mayor de Blasio said on Tuesday that he would like to leave the schools open.  "Right now we're seeing extraordinary success in keeping our schools safe. I want to keep them open," he said. "If we do have a pause that will be a decision the state makes, as I said, that could be as soon as right after Christmas, but the schools with all the layer upon layer of health and safety measures with this gold standard of health protections that we've put in place, schools can effectively keep serving kids and kids need it." The United Federation of Teachers, however, disagrees with this proposal. Michael Mulgrew, the presi