Hannah Doolin is Time Out's former New York Associate Kids Editor.
The best toy stores in NYC
Whether you’re looking for a gift or taking your little one out to pick out a new toy, the best toy stores in NYC have you covered. They’ll have the hottest must-have toys, toys that will put their STEM skills to use and age-specific toys that will make finding a birthday present a breeze. But these NYC toy stores aren’t just places to buy toys, many offer interactive activities, events, story times, arts and crafts and more. Facing a rainy day ahead? Spending a few hours at one of these toy stores is one of the best things to do indoors with kids. In fact, toy shopping is one of the best things to do with kids in NYC, full stop. Whether it’s the magic of FAO Schwartz, the immersive American Doll Place or the building block wonderland that is the LEGO flagship store, these toy stores in NYC should be on every kid’s list. You’ll find great toys both entertaining and stimulating, and maybe they’ll pick up a new hobby or interest while there.
The best Halloween books for kids
Looking to add a few screams to those nightly bedtime stories? Not a problem: The best Halloween books for kids will gladly do the trick! From classics like Goosebumps and Coraline to beautifully illustrated ghoulish reads like No Such Thing and In the Dead of the Night, this roundup has a story for all the ghosts and goblins in your crew, whether they're looking for something scary or silly. Don't forget to leave the night light on! RECOMMENDED: 🎃 The best kids Halloween movies that the whole family will love🧟 The best Halloween movies for kids on Netflix👻 The best Halloween events in London for kids
The best Thanksgiving movies for kids the whole family will love
Thanksgiving gets short shrift in the American popular consciousness, and from an adult perspective, it’s not hard to see why. It involves a high-stress dinner and the obligation of hosting those annoying relatives who typically get disinvited from other holiday gatherings. For kids, though, it’s quite awesome. First of all, there’s no school. It all kicks off with a televised parade in the morning, then there’s football in the street, followed by a massive dinner where you’re actually encouraged to overindulge. And hey, Uncle Jimmy is here, pulling quarters from behind your ear! Really, what could be better? How about capping the evening with a fun, family-friendly movie? Here are 12 great Thanksgiving movies appropriate for the little ones on this upcoming Turkey Day, to serve either as a nightcap or as a distraction during dinner prep. RECOMMENDED: 🦃 The 20 best Thanksgiving movies for your post-feast viewing📚 The best Thanksgiving books for kids🎄 The 50 best Christmas movies of all-time🎃 The best Halloween movies of all-time
The best water playgrounds in NYC for cool summer fun
Where do you take the kids when summer temps reach unbearable heights? To beat the heat you can take a day trip to one of the many water parks in the region, but leaving the city isn’t necessary to find kid-friendly water activities. These water playgrounds in NYC are just the thing for cooling off on a hot summer day. From splash pads and sprinklers to fountains and water cannons, these water playgrounds will keep your kids cool while offering loads of fun outdoor playtime. Hitting up a water playground is the perfect way to end a day outside, whether hiking, biking or checking out some of the other amazing NYC playgrounds. Cap things off with a treat at one of the best ice cream shops in the city and you’ve got yourself a perfect summer outing.
Les 51 millors pel·lícules per veure en família
Segur que més d'una vegada heu fet o us han fet aquesta pregunta: Quina pel·lícula em recomanes per veure en família? Doncs aquí teniu mig centenar de recomanacions de cinema del bo, per a tots els públics, és clar. Reuniu els vostres i agafeu un bon bol de crispetes: les millors pel·lícules familiars us estan esperant! Hi hem posat una mica de tot: clàssics, de dibuixos animats, pel·lícules de princeses Disney, nens dels 90... i tot el que us pugueu imaginar! El que voleu és riure? Poseu-vos 'Els Goonies'. El que us ve de gust és una d'animals? Poseu-vos 'Mi perro Skip'. Us garantim que tenim pel·lícules per a tots els gustos i encara que no tingueu xicotets i xicotetes a prop, recordeu que la majoria d'aquestes pel·lícules també mereixen un lloc en la història del setè art. NO T'HO PERDIS: Les millors comèdies i altres pel·lícules amb bon rotllo per veure a Netflix
Las 51 mejores películas para ver en familia
Seguro que más de una vez habéis hecho u os han hecho esta pregunta: ¿Qué película me recomiendas para ver en familia? Pues aquí tenéis medio centenar de recomendaciones de cine del bueno, para todos los públicos, claro. Reunid a los vuestros y coged un buen bol de palomitas: ¡las mejores películas familiares os están esperando! Hemos reunido un poco de todo: clásicos, de dibujos animados, películas de princesas Disney, niños de los 90... ¡y todo lo que os podáis imaginar! ¿Lo que queréis es reíros? Poneos 'Los Goonies'. ¿Lo que os apetece es una de animales? Poneos 'Mi perro Skip'. Os garantizamos que tenemos películas para todos los gustos y aunque no tengáis pequeñajos y pequeñajas cerca, recordad que la mayoría de estas películas también merecen un lugar en la historia del séptimo arte. NO TE LO PIERDAS: Las mejores comedias y otras películas de buen rollo para ver en Netflix
Indoor water parks near New York
No matter what the weather is like, you can still splash around in a wave pool or experience the thrill of a twisty water slide. These water parks are great when the temps are unbearably hot too. So if your family is looking for good old-fashioned water fun, pack your swimsuits and head to one of these indoor water parks regardless of the weather outside. No frostbite, no sunburn, all smiles!
The best water parks near NYC
The heat is on! Looking for things to do with kids in NYC that will keep them cool? Summer means outdoor activities like hiking and biking trails, playgrounds and PYO farms for picking strawberries and other summer fruits, but when temps rise, the focus turns to cool activities. You can take the kids to a water playground or to the beach, but for a thrilling activity that also beats the heat, check out these water parks in NYC and beyond. NYC-area water parks offer adrenaline-pumping adventure with super-fast water slides, thrilling wave pools and more. For the not-so-adventurous, there are lazy rivers and plenty of side pools for simply staying cool. From the largest water park in NY to a gentle, toddler-friendly spot in PA, these water parks in NYC and nearby are the best for a family day trip or weekend getaway. Get ready to make a splash and create fun summer memories!
The best farms for cherry picking in New York and nearby
Because crop availability varies, always call first! What’s better than the taste of sweet, ripe fruit straight from the source? Picking the freshest fruit of the season is something that all ages can enjoy, and it’s one of the best summer activities for kids. Along with strawberry picking and blueberry picking, cherry picking in New York — which usually starts in late June or early July — is a top summer PYO activity. There are plenty of options in the area at farms within a few hours drive from the city in NY, NJ and CT. The perfect destination for a family day trip, these farms offer more than just cherry picking. You’ll find hayrides, animals to visit, wagon rides, farm stands and cafes. But the fresh, ripe cherries are the highlight. After a day at the farm you’ll leave with enough sweet, ripe cherries to snack on or make the best cherry pie ever, plus lasting memories of fun times with the family.
The most fun-filled family resorts in New York
Looking for a little R&R with the family? When planning a vacation with kids, these family resorts in New York and beyond can’t be beat. With everything taken care of and options for all ages, all you and the family need to do is have fun. Easily accessible from the city, these family resorts range from water parks and ranches to amusement parks and campgrounds. Whether you’re looking for chills and thrills or a back-to-nature getaway, there’s a family resort for you. These resorts know that parents need a break, so there are plenty of amenities for the adults to enjoy while the kids do their thing. For a memorable family adventure, pack your bags and head to these NYC area resorts.
The best all-inclusive resorts in the USA
What's the best holiday you could possibly go on? Exploring mystical China with a Shaolin monk as a guide? Spending a month 254 miles above the surface of the Earth onboard the International Space Station? Or maybe just renting an entire Caribbean island for a couple of weeks..? It might be one of these...but what it definitely is, is a holiday that you don't have to worry about. Whether it’s a honeymoon or a family vacation, planning any kind of holiday involves quite a bit of stress. Where will we stay? What will we eat? What will we do? Piecing together the moving parts of a trip can be exhausting. Take the hassle out of vacation planning and choose an all inclusive resort, where your accommodations, activities and meals are all taken care of. Maybe you’re dreaming of fly fishing in the Montana wilderness, seeking out a fabulous foodie destination that also happens to be in the mountains, or looking for somewhere on the beach that offers plenty of activities for the kids. Perhaps a western adventure is more your style, or a coastal retreat with boating and kayaking, or even a health-focused vacation that pairs relaxation with personal fitness. Who has the time to figure out the best places to go for all these activities? These all inclusive resorts have done the planning for you. Just pick a spot and let them take care of everything while you sit back, relax and have a real vacation. RECOMMENDED: The best solo trips in the USA
Best family ski resorts near NYC
Make your next winter getaway with the kids an epic one and hit the slopes. Whether you’re a family of newbies or black-diamond enthusiasts (or anything in between), the best family ski resorts near NYC offer something for everyone once snow season rolls around. You’ll find skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing plus entertainment and amenities for a fun-filled trip. These resorts offer everything from lessons for beginners (book early!) to activities like storytime and crafts for little ones, zip lines and games and of course aprés-ski for the grownups. Some resorts even include an on-site indoor water park for additional entertainment options. All within a one to five hour drive from the city, these family ski resorts are perfect for your next snowy adventure.
Listings and reviews (6)
Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis
Midwestern hospitality reaches new heights at this impressive urban hotel along the Mississippi River. St. Louis’ iconic Gateway Arch has never looked better than from the contemporary guest rooms and suites, outfitted with spacious, marble baths and floor-to-ceiling windows. Kick back on the eighth floor Sky Terrace, where you’ll find an expansive outdoor pool, chic cabanas and sweeping city views. The 12,000-square-foot spa offers relaxing massages, facials and other treatments, while Cielo bar and restaurant provides cooking classes allowing visitors to learn about the art of authentic Italian food. The concierge can help to arrange off-site activities from tickets to a Cardinals game to an outing at the Lumière Place Casino. From $250 per night
The eclectic, artsy vibe of downtown Austin comes through in the country-chic décor at this upscale resort. Perched above the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, the tricked-out hotel boasts a luxury spa, organic farm and an infinity-edge pool overlooking Texas Hill Country. Choose from a variety of fitness classes, from typical yoga and Pilates to adventurous challenges like a mechanical bull–riding workout class. Outdoor offerings include dirt biking, circuit training the Prickly Pear ropes course. Locally grown, organic food at The Preserve Kitchen + Bar onsite, plus bioenergetic toiletries lessen your footprint and let you relax even more during your stay in peaceful canyon- and nature-view rooms.
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
Rosewood Hotel’s flagship property in the heart of Dallas was home to a cotton magnate in 1925 before opening as a hotel decades later in 1981. The 16th century Italian Renaissance–style structure welcomes visitors to its 143 rooms and suites with thoughtful touches like hand-written notes and complimentary refreshments. Carefully preserved historical details and greenery throughout the scenic grounds make it easy to forget about the uptown location, which draws celebrities, artists and other socialites year-round. The Mansion Restaurant is renowned for its contemporary American cuisine, which is made with ingredients from local ranchers and purveyors and rivals the fare served at restaurants across the state. Venture out to the lantern-lit terrace to dine fireside and sample the Mansion Bar’s extensive cocktail list, including the signature gin and tonic, mixed with house-made tonic. From $330 per night
The Hay - Adams
Once a center for conversations surrounding literature, art, science and politics, this historic apartment-hotel remains an important landmark of the D.C. area. John Hay, Abraham Lincoln’s personal secretary, and Henry Adams, historian and Harvard professor, once resided on the grounds where the current Italian Renaissance–style structure was later built in 1928. Now 145 exquisitely detailed rooms overlooking Lafayette Square allow visitors to reside across the street from POTUS during their stay. Dine on upscale American cuisine at The Lafayette, then grab a cocktail and rub shoulders with big political players at Off The Record. If you need to work off your indulgences, hit up the fully equipped fitness facility or take to the streets of D.C. on one of the hotel’s complimentary bicycles for a self-guided tour of the area’s popular sites. From $329
This centrally located gem has prime real estate along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The incredible gilded ceiling in the lobby is a bustling gathering place for guests enjoying an afternoon tea. The 20-foot-high, floor-to-ceiling windows overlook an al fresco dining area attached to the Shanghai Terrace restaurant, serving dim sum and more Asian-inspired fare in a smart-casual setting. All 339 stately rooms are decked out in simple and chic décor and feature bedside tablets that let guests adjust the temperature, lighting and music in their cozy quarters. Stay active during your stay thanks to the state-of-the-art fitness center and glass-enclosed pool with views of Lake Michigan—after a sweat session you can indulge your sweet tooth at the decadent chocolate bar on Friday and Saturday evenings. From $374–$1,950 per night
The Jefferson Hotel
Just blocks from the best-known address in Washington, D.C., this storied boutique hotel transports visitors back in time. Built in 1923, the gorgeous Beaux Arts building features furnishings and décor inspired by its namesake, Thomas Jefferson, with layered influences from his Monticello plantation home throughout its 95 rooms. Guests can learn plenty about our founding fathers and the capital’s monuments during their stay via chats with in-house historians or by skimming the leather-bound volumes stocked in the beautiful Book Room. Six documents signed by Jefferson himself hang in the lobby, adding to the authenticity of the space, while seasonal dishes at Michelin-starred Plume and cocktails accompanied by live piano tunes amp up the modern elegance. From $305–$675
Why your family should put a teal pumpkin outside this Halloween
Getting scared is a big part of the fun of Halloween—but parents shouldn't have to be frightened about their youngster's safety when they head out to trick-or-treat. Kids who have food allergies need to be extra cautious before they chow down on their candy haul, and a nationwide campaign called the Teal Pumpkin Project is trying to ensure a sweet and safe Halloween for kids everywhere. To provide options to those who can't enjoy certain sweets due to food allergies, families are urged to stock up on non-food items to drop in kids' treat bags. Those participating should put a teal painted pumpkin out front alongside their jack-o'-lanterns to alert little ghouls and goblins passing by. Don't have a pumpkin? Food Allergy Research & Educate (FARE), the nonprofit leading the project, has printable signs available for use. Get fun non-food treat ideas and pledge to participate online at tealpumpkinproject.org, then make sure to hit up these free Halloween events in NYC! Sign up to receive great Time Out New York Kids deals in your inbox each day.
Watch this little boy demonstrate how we all feel about going back to school
Say it ain't so! Could it really be time to send the kids back to school already? Though some youngsters look forward to picking out new school supplies and getting back to the books, most kids (and parents, too!) dread the end of summer. In the video below, four-year-old Andrew is interviewed by a news station on his first day of pre-K, and he seems excited to head to class...at first. As the reporter questions him, he goes from smiley to distraught in a matter of seconds. We feel you, Andrew! Watch the adorable video and share it if you've got the first-day jitters too! Don't worry, there are still a few more weeks packed with fairs and festivals to round out a fantastic summer.
Shop at this new Tribeca store to dress your kids like the celebs do
We've all had clothing envy when it comes to celebrities, and now the stars are even turning their kids into little fashionistas! The good news is, you can dress your tot to the nines too—without breaking the bank. Swedish-based children's clothing line, Livly, recently set up shop in a gorgeous Tribeca storefront, displaying their cute and comfy styles. The clothes are made with organic, Peruvian Pima Cotton, and you can get everything from casual pajamas and cotton T-shirts to tailored jackets and sweet party dresses for reasonable prices under $200. Celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, Miranda Kerr and Neil Patrick Harris are already fans of the brand—who knows, maybe you'll even spot them when you drop by the 1,500-square-foot space! Photograph courtesy of Livly Stop in to browse the adorable getups at the NYC flagship store (the only one in the US so far), located at 108 Reade St—there's even a little play space in the store to entertain the little ones while you shop! While you're in the area, visit other kids clothing stores like Jacadi and Gymboree—with so much to offer, Tribeca could soon become one of the best New York City neighborhoods for families. Need some kicks to go with the new outfit? Check out the best kids' shoe stores in NYC.
Move over Prince Charming! This LGBT short Rosaline shares a new kind of fairytale
Most of us were raised on kids’ movies depicting the love stories of handsome princes and beautiful princesses—Cinderella and Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip—but times have changed since then. Frozen fanatics are now pleading for Queen Elsa to have a girlfriend in the sequel, and it seems that, more than ever, there’s a need for LGBT representation in animated flicks. Luckily, there’s a heartfelt fairytale with a different kind of heroine to answer the call! Rosaline, a brand-new animated short on Hulu, tells the story of a brave girl who ventures through the woods on the way to her sweetheart. But Rosaline doesn’t face a tricky witch and a hungry wolf in pursuit of a prince—another young lady has stolen her heart! Michael Scanlon Written by best-selling children’s author, Daniel Errico (who also wrote the storybook and Hulu series The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived), Rosaline features the familiar voice of Teri Polo (Meet the Parents, The Fosters) as narrator—an actor also known for her advocacy for equality. The film might help youngsters to better understand their identity or even spark family discussion of LGBT issues, so check out the video below (and on Hulu) for a first look at the adorable short. It’s the perfect flick to hold you over while we wait for Disney’s first lesbian princess to come along!
Check out the lineup for this year's BAMkids Film Festival, coming in February
The BAMkids Film Festival is a hot-ticket event that draws young cinephiles to Brooklyn each year, and we’ve got a sneak peek of the 2016 lineup! The 18th annual fest returns over the weekend of Feb 27–28, screening 71 films from 25 different countries. Get ready to see animated and live-action feature films as well as themed collections of shorts—many even include dialogue in foreign languages to stimulate your little one’s noggin. Check out some highlights to look forward to below, and hold yourself over until then with our list of the 50 best kids movies and the best family movies on Netflix. Grab tickets early for feature flicks like The Secret Society of Souptown—a quirky story about four brave kids who use their hide-and-seek skills to help save their city. It's perfect for kids ages 8 and up and will definitely remind moms and dads of Little Rascals with a mysterious twist. Don't miss Miffy the Movie, an adorable animated movie starring the lovable rabbit from Dutch author Dick Bruna's baby books. Youngsters ages 4–7 will love the interactive aspects as they follow Miffy and her friends on a fun-filled treasure hunt through colorful landscapes. Northwest Film Forum curated several themed series of shorts with motifs such as "Magic Potion" and "Imagine That!" There's something for every age, from mini animal adventures to make-believe worlds to secrets and spells. Make sure to check out more shorts, pulled together by TIFF Kids International Film Festival! Tiny tots age
Watch the first trailer for Finding Dory and get excited for the long-awaited sequel!
Finding Nemo is high up on our list of the 50 best kids' movies to watch as a family, and we've been waiting patiently for a sequel since its release. Good news—the wait is almost over! Pixar finally released a trailer for Finding Dory, a follow-up focusing on our favorite forgetful fish, voiced by Ellen Degeneres. Marlin, Nemo and more lovable sea creatures will swim back onto the big screen on June 17, 2017 to dive further into Dory's history, including the story of where she came from and who her family is. Watch the trailer below for a sneak peek and get ready for the film to hit theaters this summer. Until then, keep busy by watching the best family movies on Netflix and seeing real fish at the New York Aquarium—and don't forget to just keep swimming!
Snag free ice cream on Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day!
Spring is taking a bit longer than usual to arrive this year, but in our opinion, it's never too chilly for ice cream! Ben & Jerry’s is bringing everyone a weekday pick-me-up by doling out free scoops of their wacky flavors on April 12 from noon to 8pm. We know from our ice cream taste test that kids love the stuff, but there's no reason moms and dads can't grab a free scoop, too! Head to the location nearest you to claim your treat—participating shops in NYC include Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Upper West Side (104th and Broadway), Penn Station, the Jamaica Multiplex, Concourse Plaza Multiplex in the Bronx and even JFK Airport. And if Phish Food isn't your favorite, you can always hit up the best ice cream shops in NYC to try other inventive flavors, then keep the day cheap by hitting up these 50 free things to do with kids in the city.
Toys "R" Us Times Square will close at the end of December
Say it ain't so! After waving farewell to F.A.O. Schwarz last summer, New Yorkers now must say goodbye to another beloved NYC toy store—Toys "R" Us Times Square. A visit to the glitzy, three-story location is on our list of 101 things to do with kids in NYC, so make sure to stop by before the store closes its doors on Dec 30, 2015. Though other Toys "R" Us locations will remain in the city, this one is outfitted with a way-cool, 60-foot ferris wheel that kids adore. Make a final trip this month to take one last spin and, of course, pick up some holiday gifts for kids. Luckily, once the behemoth store is gone, you'll still have these fantastic toy stores in NYC to peruse.
Watch the evolution of toys over 100 years in this cool video
The latest and greatest holiday gifts for kids have changed a ton over the years, which has a lot to do with the evolution of toys. This way-cool video, created by Mode, reminds us which toys were coveted during each decade, from 1910 through the present. Some old-school playthings like marbles lost their luster as time passed, but a few are still childhood favorites decades later—I mean, who doesn’t still love a Slinky? Check out the video below to revisit beloved toys like Tinkertoy, Etch A Sketch, Beanie Babies and beyond. All the nostalgia will have you running to the best toy stores in NYC—don’t forget to stop by Toys “R” Us Times Square before it closes at the end of the month!
Save on postage and have the kids text Santa their Christmas wish list this year!
Apparently delivering all those iPads and PlayStations each year got Santa Claus thinking about ways to become more tech-savvy! Instead of writing out and mailing their Christmas wish lists, kids can get in touch with the big guy via text this holiday season. Zipwhip, a Seattle-based text messaging provider, hooked him up with a toll-free phone number so youngsters can get their requests to the North Pole at lightning speed (with help from Mom and Dad, of course). Are your kids ready to send their list? Shoot a text to the Wish List Texting Line at 844-YO-SANTA (844-967-2682), and even include a picture of a Rudolph drawing to help him decorate his North Pole call center! Santa can receive up to 1,000 texts per second, so kids all over the world will be able to reach him. Make sure to keep the phone on hand to see Santa's response—the kids will receive a confirmation text with a link to a video message from Kris Kringle himself. What a fun way to kick off Christmas for kids! For more ways to get in the spirit, check out our favorite Christmas books and Christmas movies for kids.
Enjoy story time with Elmo and friends at the New York Public Library
If your little ones love listening in at story time events, they'll flip for the chance to attend this extra-special gathering with Elmo and his friends from Sesame Street! In celebration of new episodes of the iconic series coming to HBO in January, the furry gang will stop by the New York Public Library to put on a super story time and live performance for families. Youngsters will also have the chance to join the new Everyday Heroes Club, which just requires small acts of kindness to become a member. To reserve a spot at story time, call 866-717-6106, then head to the Celeste Bartos Forum in NYPL's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on December 8 to visit with the friendly characters from 1–2pm. Make sure to tune in to HBO to see exclusive 30-minute episodes starting January 16 (at 9am), and keep an eye out for changes including new themes, fresh opening and closing songs, an updated set and a brand-new castmember named Nina! To keep the tots occupied until then, check out more family-friendly programming from HBO Kids and tune into some of the best kids' shows on TV.
This new NYC service is like ClassPass for kids...and it's awesome
With so many amazing after-school programs on offer in this city, it can be difficult for your youngster to choose just one or two. Luckily, a way-cool, Brooklyn-based startup makes it so they don't have to! The Kid's Passport is virtually ClassPass for kids, allowing families to try out all types of classes (not just at the gym!) in their neighborhood when they pay a flat membership fee. For $99 per month, kids can get in on five classes, ranging from tennis and soccer lessons to theater workshops or music classes—there are even some Mommy and Me classes for parents who want to participate with their little ones. Families can sign up multiple children under one account, so siblings and friends can give it a try, too! Sign-up is easy through the online schedule, which provides information on the class time and location, appropriate age range and what activities or themes to expect. Parents can register their kids as far as two weeks in advance and if you need to cancel, just make sure to do so at least an hour before class time. Though most Kid's Passport classes are currently offered in Brooklyn (Park Slope, Dumbo, Fort Greene, and everywhere in between) you can find classes at a few Manhattan venues on the schedule. Some of our favorite local learning centers, including Baby DJ School, Carmelo the Science Fellow and Super Soccer Stars are offering classes through the system already—your kiddos will have an endless supply of indoor activities to keep them busy all winter!