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.
The best ice cream sundaes in NYC
We have the sweet deets on the most tempting, towering and tasty ice cream sundaes this city has to offer. You ready? Thought so! Dig into our list for the best picks from ice cream shops like Morgensterns, Sprinkles Ice Cream, Jahn's, Big Gay Ice Cream and more—even "personal" sundaes like the waffle cones from Eggloo (until someone snags a bite, that is). Looking for more of a sugar rush? Check out our favorite cookie delivery services, ice cream shops, candy stores in NYC and even these make-at-home popsicle recipes for kids (and you)! Shopping for a birthday? See our roundup of the best shops for kids' birthday cakes.
The best boat rides in NYC
Choose your own adventure: Get a new view of your favorite city with the best boat rides in NYC below—including action-packed (tween and teen favorite) adventures like The Beast and more scenic, low-key (did we mention cost-effective?) picks (best for tykes) like the IKEA and Staten Island Ferry. See below for the full scoop! If you’re looking for a longer stay on the water, check out the best family cruises leaving from the NYC area or hit up NYC beaches this summer!
Summer day trips from NYC
This beautiful season is pretty spectacular in general—why not amp things up even more with an exciting summer day trip? RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best family vacations from NYC When you've checked out all the coolest NYC parks, public gardens and carousels your neighborhood has to offer, plan ahead for a new adventure to one of these family destinations.
25 tips for travel with kids
Family trips that involve travel with kids may conjure up images of constant bickering between siblings and pained sighs of “I’m bored!” at least ten times an hour, but with some planning and a little patience, your family can make exploring a new city or tourist attraction much more enjoyable. Time Out New York Kids spoke with five parenting and travel experts to find out the 25 best tips, tricks and hacks for making family vacations with kids of all ages much easier. Section 1: Planning Get your kids involved in planning. When children feel like they are being included in planning a family trip, they are more likely to get excited about it. “One of our daughters would scour back issues of magazines for scenic byways, while another would try to pick Food Network restaurant locations that would coincide with our travels,” Elizabeth Estelle, mom of four and Christian parenting blogger told Time Out New York Kids. “Our son liked to find caves with extra exploring activities. They did the research as they were able. This saved me time, got them excited about the trip and has led us to some interesting destinations.” Buy tickets for attractions and events ahead of time. Avoid long lines! “We buy tickets in advance for attractions that have a high likelihood of being sold out to prevent ‘meltdown central,’” Amy Rosenow, mom of two and co-founder of Jugl, told us. Consider a house or apartment exchange instead of a hotel. Often, home or apartment exchanges are a lot cheaper tha
The 15 best kids' movies set in New York City
How cool is it that our kids get to walk in the footsteps of great movie characters like Annie and Harriet the Spy? These New York movies, set right in our own backyard, let young Gothamites see their city in ways they never have before. Tackle these 15 fantastic kids' movies one by one to peek inside NYC museums after dark, explore NYC parks from a mouse's point of view and check out family attractionswhile dangling from a spider's web. Click the right arrow on the image below to see the 15 best New York movies.
15 milestones every New York City parent celebrates
Every parent applauds their child’s first steps and first words, but New York City moms and dads know that raising a family in the city that never sleeps comes with its own set of unique milestones. From enduring waitlists for literally everything to learning how to navigate the subway, it's certainly an amazing adventure! We interviewed New York City parents about the specific milestones urban families experience. Enduring the pre-school admissions process, which is somehow more stressful than when you were applying to college. —Megan Cunningham of Magnet Media, New York City mom of one living in Union Square Canceling your plans for Labor Day weekend because that’s when they open applications for pre-school —Jennifer Nevins, a mom of three living in Tribeca, who writes a parenting blog called “Our Savorite Things.” Getting into your first-choice nursery and K-12 programs for all of your kids — “A feat that’s often described as an urban myth!” —Michelle Hale, a mom of one and local business owner living in Chelsea Nursing outside in a public park with the first time and swallowing any awkwardness or discomfort. “When you live in the city and do not have a car to escape to, learning to feel comfortable nursing in a park is something you have to get used to.” —Brianne Manz, the mom of three behind the “Stroller in the City” living in Battery Park City When your kid is learning how to read…and subsequently practices on every storefront sign, street sign an
Fall fun: Enter to win Circle Line cruise tickets from NYC!
Going back to school means the end of summer (and much of your free time!). Thats why we'd love to reward you with four tickets to some family fun right here in town. Send us this year's coolest (or funniest!) first day of school photo from your household, and we'll pick a lucky winner to recieve four Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise tickets. The tickets you'll recieve are good for Liberty, Best of NYC, Landmarks, Landmarks + Brooklyn and Harbor Lights cruises (found here) and can be used together on the same day/experience. *Not valid for special events. TO ENTER: Send your child's 2017 first day of school photo to firstname.lastname@example.org with "BACK TO SCHOOL" in the subject line. Please include your child's first name, age and borough and a little bit about them/the photo in your e-mail for a chance to win! *By entering, you consent to have your e-mail added to Time Out New York Kids' newsletter database.
The best mommy and me classes in NYC
These fun mommy and me classes set your kids up for success! Many focus in on building fine motor skills through play at an early age, so you'll be trying everything from singing to dancing to holding fun yoga poses! It's the perfect way to spend an afternoon, especially if you're looking for fun indoor activities for kids. RECOMMENDED: Kids' fitness centers in NYC Looking to kick back while your kids entertain themselves? (We've been there). Head to these indoor playgrounds or kids' play spaces so they can burn off some energy!
Outdoor art in NYC for families
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to outdoor activities for kids in NYC We're mega-fans of NYC museums of course, with their constant stream of fresh exhibitions that cater to our little ones. But we also relish the city's outdoor art, including everything from massive sculptures to interactive installations, scattered throughout Gotham. They get you and your family out into the sunshine and fresh air, and there's no admission fee! Here are ten installations to visit with the kids—you might even want to sign them up for some art classes for kids to channel their newfound inspiration! And if the weather doesn't cooperate, there are always free museum days to keep them busy indoors.
The 50 best kids' movies to watch as a family
Got a ‘lil film buff on your hands? We thought so. Thankfully, we've created an epic list of the best kids' movies around! There are plenty of classics and new family picks to make each popcorn–packed movie night better than the next. To help you make your selections, we’ve compiled a foolproof lineup of our favorites to please all generations squeezed on the couch (plus the babysitter, if she’s left in charge). As you can probably guess, the competition was pretty fierce—you’ll see a number of blockbusters that are in your regular rotation alongside some newer kid-pleasing flicks, and we have no doubt we may have missed some of your favorites. Weigh in below and let us know what titles you think deserve recognition (or to give us two thumbs up on our selections), and while you’re at it, check out our ideas for other fun things to do with kids in Melbourne and our favorite cheap kids' activities.
The 50 best kids' movies to watch as a family
Got a ‘lil film buff on your hands? We thought so. Thankfully, we've created an epic list of the best kids' movies around! There are plenty of classics and new family picks to make each popcorn–packed movie night better than the next. To help you make your selections, we’ve compiled a foolproof lineup of our favorites to please all generations squeezed on the couch (plus the babysitter, if she’s left in charge). As you can probably guess, the competition was pretty fierce—you’ll see a number of blockbusters that are in your regular rotation alongside some newer kid-pleasing flicks, and we have no doubt we may have missed some of your favorites. Weigh in below and let us know what titles you think deserve recognition (or to give us two thumbs up on our selections), and while you’re at it, check out our ideas for other fun things to do with kids in Sydney and our favorite kids' rainy day activities.
Moms Tell All: My Bronx Zoo sleepover experience
Hey there, readers! My family tried the Bronx Zoo’s Family Overnight Safari, and I’d love to share our experience with you! I’m going to be honest: When I signed on for this adventure, I was excited, but as a novice camper I wasn’t quite sure how prepared we were. I’d ordered a tent on Amazon a few months prior but hadn’t used it yet. Would the other families have bigger and better tents? Would my five year old wake up crying in the middle of night to go potty? Did I bring enough layers of clothing if the temperature suddenly dropped? Read on below to see how things went. Photograph: Courtesy Nicole Perrino The details: Since we have a two-person tent, I decided to make our Family Overnight Safari a mother-daughter experience with my five and 11-year-old. That afternoon, my husband dropped us off at the main gate at 4:30pm, just as the zoo began to empty out. A cart was there to throw our belongings in and drive them over to the Mouse House Lawn, where we’d be setting up camp for the night. I had practiced putting the tent together the night before—but staff members were on hand to help if need be. Plenty of zoo visitors asked questions while we set up our tents, and giraffes grazed in the distance. We then headed to the Dancing Crane Cafe where families enjoyed their meals brought from home (dinner is not provided, but coffee, tea and water are offered during the dinner hour). There was also an ice cream cart filled with Nestle classics like ice cream and chocolate chip
No, I won't move to the suburbs if I have another kid—here's why
One child in a NYC bedroom is understandable—two are deemed impossible. Everywhere I go, I hear of families leaving the city because they want to have a second child. It’s understandable that they feel as though they won't have enough space. However, for every one of these suburb-bound families, there are plenty who want to make it work in the city. Some have no choice, yet others simply have different priorities. There are lots of ways to utilize small spaces with one (or several) kids, and even more reasons to call NYC home for the long run. Here are a few of mine: You can't find these experiences anywhere else. Where I grew up, the options were limited; you could take swimming lessons at the YMCA or join the school band. Here, my daughter learn to surf, go to classes in however many languages I can imagine and visit friends from all over the world—all in one afternoon. It's a wonderful place for her to set up her roots. NYC is the best backyard out there. Sure backyards are great, but I could never have one like Prospect Park. There's room for so many amazing adventures here. Let's not forget about the wildlife, boats, ice skating, birds and most importantly, hiking and ice cream in the same hour. We ski in the park, head to the bodega on the way home and never need to get in a car. Imagine going carless in the suburbs! The silent communion is powerful. In the city, you can be all alone without being lonely. Everywhere I go, I see other moms and we talk—or we don’t—but
The top 3 times I seriously considered moving to the suburbs
I’ve lived in both the city and the suburbs for 30 years, and trust me—I’m a city girl at heart. Where else except for a vibrant, thriving city can you find Drag Queen Story Hour or roving carolers with boom boxes? Plus, as a parent, there is something magical about raising a kid in a city. I’d rather that my kid has the words “bodega” and “train” in her vocabulary than, say, “drive-thru” or, “empty field.” Although nothing lights up my heart like traffic signs and fluorescent lights glowing from empty office buildings after everyone’s left for the day, there are times when I’ve thought fondly back to my days of living in the ‘burbs and felt downright nostalgic. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve quickly shaken off those nostalgic feelings, steeled myself against an unforgiving, tough metropolis, and headed out into the nitty gritty streets that I love, kid in tow. But there is something to be said for the simple life, and these are the top three times I’ve considered settling down in the suburbs. 1. When a rat showed up under my kitchen sink It looked like a crime scene; blood was splattering my paper towel rolls and Windex, guts had been flung onto the cabinet walls, like the rat trap snapping down on this guy’s neck was a crime of passion. Like this rat had done something bad to a family of rat traps, and the rat traps were out for revenge. Or, at least, that’s what my husband told me, because as the lady of the house, there are two things I don’t do: windows and cleaning up rat corp
Win tickets to Play Fair's toy-filled wonderland
On November 4th and 5th, the Javits Center will be transformed into a kid's entertainment and play paradise with Play Fair. Every morning and afternoon session offers exciting opportunities to check out cutting-edge toys, a Minecraft virtual reality experience and enjoy plenty of photo ops with your kid's favorite cartoon characters. While tickets for each four hour session usually go for $30 each, you can enter for your chance to win two tickets to either the AM or PM session on us! That's a $60 value. Enter for your chance to win here: Fill out my Wufoo form! Official rules: CONTEST RULES: One entry per person. These competitions are open to any U.S. resident (unless otherwise stated) except employees of Time Out and sponsoring organizations, their agents or anyone directly connected to these promotions. No purchase required for this promotion. Contest valid 10/17/17 through 11/11/17 at 11:59:59pm EST. Prizes are as described above; no cash alternatives will be given. Prizes may not be sold, traded, transferred or refunded. Any and all federal, state and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. If for any reason winners are unable to use prizes within the time specified, the participating organizations are not responsible for providing replacement prizes. No make goods will be given in the event of a canceled or rescheduled event. Approximate
Why aren't lunches free in NYC's public schools?
It's true: NYC is ultra expensive, and beyond a free ice cream scoop or sprinkle-covered donut every once in a while, it's hard to imagine "free" and "NYC" in the same sentence. This being said, free resources for city kids do exist, and are (by far) one of the most important things our city has to offer. After all, kids are the future! The topic of discussion today is how we take care of our kids at school, and whether or not all NYC kids have enough energy to focus on their studies. Could free lunch for all city public school students be on the horizon? Each of NYC's borough presidents recently signed a letter to Mayor de Blasio asking for budget to be used for universal free lunches in every NYC public school in 2018. Substantial meals are proven to help kids concentrate and perform academically, and this new movement could help those who choose not to accept free or discounted meals for fear of being judged by their classmates. According to NY1, a portion of the letter sent to de Blasio contends: "The schools that offer universal free lunch see an increased participation rate across all grade levels, including a 15 percent difference in high school, a 20 percent difference in middle schools, and a 10 percent difference in elementary schools." What do you think? Is free lunch actually feasible in NYC public schools, and should it happen next year? For more ways to explore your city, see our NYC kids' events calendar, plus our favorite things to do with kids this spring.
The 5 most exciting things coming to NYC in 2017 for families!
This year, New York is wasting no time in coming up with the most fun, innovative and even unusual ways to help NYC families get the most out of their city—but have you heard about them yet? Check out our roundup of happenings around town 1. Trader Joe’s locations in Chelsea, Union Square and at Court St. are introducing a “Parent Pass” in May that allows moms and dads with one or more child in tow to skip the line. Simply grab a blue “Parent Paddle” when you walk in and wave it over your head when you step in line to be rescued by a Trader Joe’s employee and shuttled to the next open cash register. It’s time to say buh-bye to long waits and hello to that bottle of pinot. 2. Ultra-private Gramercy Park will host an out-of-this-world Easter egg hunt for kids this year (first come, first served). Here’s the kicker: One of the hunt’s eggs contains a key to the actual park that the recipient’s parents will then be able to borrow for one year of park access...though your kids will probably be more pumped about the chocolate and temporary tattoos. Talk about bragging rights…start training now! 3. If you thought the ‘Slope wasn’t celebrating its tiniest residents enough, you need to batten down the hatches for J.J. Byrne Playground’s very first ToddlerFest, a celebration of all humans small, adorable and ever-prepared for a debate on where to find New York’s best slice of pizza (binkys will be thrown!). Apart from local vendor booths boasting all their favorite finger foods (think m
Welcome, Staten Island FunPark
Staten Island Go Karts just got a makeover, and its grand reopening as Staten Island FunPark will be here just in time for spring! The FunPark will continue to offer great stuff like an 800-foot Go-Kart course, nine outdoor batting cages with softball and baseball pitching and an 18-hole landscaped minigolf course, and it's soon to have even more great stuff to enjoy as a family. The new and improved park, which reopens April 1st, 2017, will offer instant-win games, plus a snack bar for families called the "19th Hole Snack Bar." The look and feel of the park will also get a modern makeover in terms of design and guest experience. While we don't have a ton of information on the new look of the park, it definitely seems worth exploring. Learn more about it here before you visit! Want more? Sign up here to get Time Out New York Kids' newsletter!
Kids can ride on a real Thomas the Tank Engine this spring
Parents of tykes who freak out over Thomas the Tank Engine—and trains in general—will be delighted to know that CT's Essex Steam Train & Riverboat is hosting several Thomas-themed events this spring and summer. If you're down for a weekend trip, or planning a fun family vacation, the Day Out with Thomas: The Friendship Tour will be happening just 2.5 hours from the city (on April 22–23, 29–30 and May 6–7, 9am–6pm; $24, children under 2 free)...meaning your wait for our favorite annual holiday train show events may not be so bad after all. The annual celebration offers rides on Thomas (for both children and families) plus full access to the grounds and a petting zoo from Circle K Farms, five carnival rides, storytelling, face-painting, live music, balloon animals, a magic show...even Megablok + Thomas & Friends toy play areas and a craft area. Train departure times are every 45 minutes, and departure times can be selected when you go to purchase your ticket. See a video below from previous years! Day Out with Thomas - Essex Steam Train from Essex Steam Train on Vimeo. You'll even be able to meet Sir Topham Hatt (controller of the railway) and Percy the Small Green Engine, too. We'd recommend arriving before your scheduled ride time to enjoy all of the sweet activities this event has to offer, since the events are going on most of the afternoon. Photograph: Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Want more? Sign up here to get Time Out New York Kids' newsletter!
9 important things your child's pediatrician wishes you knew
You are bombarded with rules and guidelines you should follow to ensure your child's safety the moment you become a parent. Some of the these rules are easy to follow, some are definitely more challenging. As parents, we all have the best intentions of doing what is right for our children and keeping them as safe as possible. However, we have all been put in a position where we do something that we wouldn't normally do to diffuse a situation or to soothe a hysterical baby. Working in the pediatric emergency room, Dr. Katie Friedman, board certified pediatrician and co-founder of foreverfreckled.com, is often faced with the consequences of these common mistakes. See Dr. Friedman's top tips below to avoid common safety issues below: 1. Proper Positioning for Sleep (Infants) Parents underestimate the importance of placing their child on his/her back to go to sleep. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a very real and tragic event that occurs in newborns. Losing a child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a horrifying event for a parent, made worse by the fact that there is no known cause that can explain why a baby dies for no apparent reason. Research has shown that placing your child to sleep on their back with a light blanket significantly reduces the chance of a fatal event. 2. Placing Bed Bumpers on Cribs: Many parents question me about the newest recommendations of removing bed bumpers from cribs. There is a valid concern that if bed bumpers are removed, there is an inc
Disney just unveiled a Marvel-themed cruise from NYC
Love Disney? Dig Disney cruises? Turns out there's a big surprise rolling in for families in NYC! There will be several special cruises in 2017 that include Marvel Day at Sea, a specific Marvel-themed day on the cruise where cool characters from your favorite comics interact with your kiddos. On board, you'll enjoy superheroes (and their foes) in costume, a super fun family-friendly deck/dance party, Marvel-themed activities for kids (like trivia and arts & crafts) and tasty food and beverage offerings. There will even be at-sea screenings of Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider-Man. The Marvel Day at Sea offering will be available on cruises that depart from NYC on October 6, 14, 28 and November 4, 11 and 18. Each of the cruises will also make a stop at Disney's Castaway Cay in Port Canaveral Fl and Walt Disney World Resort. Visit the cruise website at disneycruise.com for more details. For more family fun, check out our favorite Disney princess movies for kids, family movies on Netflix and family comedy movies.
IKEA is recalling this dangerous dresser used in many kids’ rooms
After several toddler deaths due to unanchored dressers sold by IKEA, the company is now recalling a variety of its home furnishings products. Following fatal incidents, IKEA released a free wall-anchoring kit in 2015 for the products to help protect families from accidents, though more fatalities have occurred since then as a result of the product toppling over (in situations where parents did not use or claim a wall-anchoring kit). Six types of MALM dressers manufactured between January 1 2002 and June 28 2016 are eligible for refund, including MALM 3-drawer dresser, MALM 4-drawer dresser, MALM 6-drawer dresser, MALM 6-drawer dresser (wide), MALM 6-drawer dresser (tall, narrow) and MALM 5-drawer dresser (tall, narrow) (all pictured in IKEA’s recall here). The company advises to immediately stop using any recalled MALM dresser that is not properly anchored to the wall and to place it in an area that is not accessible to children until it is properly anchored with this free wall-anchoring repair kit. If you own one of the products mentioned above, you are also eligible for a full or partial refund, which you can apply for here. For more information, visit the IKEA recall page or contact them at email@example.com/call (866) 856-4532 from 9 a.m. to 12 midnight ET. Be safe!
At this free Times Square game fest, you’ll play hopscotch on a NYC subway map and compete in human Pong
Nothing’s better than a free NYC festival! PlayTimesSquared will have your family making new friends and trying exciting interactive games right in the heart of bustling Times Square! Visitors will be able to participate in a Symphonic Picnic, where littles can explore astroturf and blankets while interacting with “nature” (musical mushrooms—no joke!) to make their own music. In another (more active) game dubbed Subway Chaos, your crew will play hopscotch across a large subway map in a race to Times Square, complete with game challenges and unexpected roadblocks that reflect NYC rush hour traffic. All of the games are free to play (see below for dates and times), and here’s the full roster of stuff that’s available: Faces of New York Help to draw fractions of an image that’ll be combined into a huge mural throughout the day. High5Zone This game (similar to freeze tag) requires high-fives to race around through play zones—no one can move without high-fiving a passerby, so expect to make some new friends. Museum of Missed Connections Listen to headphones that help you navigate Times Square and interact with people, props and artifacts. Prom Game Best-suited to the older set, this funny game has players mingling and getting to know strangers using questions from different love tests. Eventually, two players will prevail and win as Prom King and Prom Queen. Real Pong Teams of 3–4 will hit a huge beach ball back and forth to get it past their opponents. All team members