Yvette is a freelance writer at Time Out New York Kids. She's passionate about alternative health, and watching golf in a snuggie is her meditation of choice.
The best animated Christmas movies for the whole family
The best animated Christmas movies are a perfect way to ring in holiday festivities. Find your favorite blanket, snag some hot chocolate and kick back with one of many great options: From classics films to what's new on Netflix, this list will keep kiddos busy all season long. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas for kids in NYC While you're at it, be sure to see what's on our December events calendar and check out the socially distanced Christmas events in NYC that are taking place this year. Things might not be what we're used to, but the holidays will go on. Wishing you a happy and healthy season, New Yorkers.
What to do in Central Park in winter with kids
Here's what to do in Central Park this winter with kids Even the biggest curmudgeons have to admit that these great things to do in Central Park can change anyone's tune—there's so much to do. This two and half mile expanse boasts excitement and activity year round! Whether you're enjoying a snowy walk, checking out a cool sledding hill or heading on an adventure to a show at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, you're bound to have a great time.
Time to visit the best indoor water park NY families love most
When the weather outside is frightful, plan a family trip to where it's delightful: Wintertime is the best time for the best indoor water parks close to NYC. Our list of the best of the best includes independent water parks and those that are part of family resorts like Rocking Horse Ranch Resort in Highland, NY and Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos. While most offer day tickets to slide the hours away, some also have stay-and-play packages (or require you to be an overnight guest to use the water park). The newest of the bunch, DreamWorks Water Park at the American Dream Mall in Rutherford, NJ, is now the second-largest indoor water park in the country. With 40 water slides, 1.5-acre wave pool and a water slide with a 142-foot drop it's the most fun water babies can have within 30 minutes of Manhattan. Some of the indoor water parks on our list are even located in the best ski resorts near NYC. Talk about the best of both worlds! RECOMMENDED: The best family vacations from NYC Of course, while winter is the best time to defy the seasonal gods and get swimming, these indoor water parks are open in warmer months, too. When it's so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, the 85 degree indoor temperatures will feel like a respite that outdoor water parks can't match. So pack your swimsuits and get ready: This is one weekend getaway the whole family will enjoy.
The best ice skating lessons for kids in NYC
Ice skating lessons for kids are aplenty this winter! Offerings in NYC cater to all ages and skill levels, from the wannabe-Olympians to the tots who are finally brave enough to step away from the railing (or their parents' hands). Bundle up and make your way to our go-to rinks. Not only do they host open hours, but they have a stellar lineup of group classes, private lessons and even skating teams! After a killer session of the best ice skating lessons NYC has on its roster, refuel with some of the tastiest hot chocolate in NYC and curl up in a warm blanket (while preferably watching one of the best family movies around). If your kiddos are not quite ready to go home after hitting the ice, check out our other favorite winter activities for kids!
The best staycation ideas for NYC families
If you're fortunate enough to call NYC home, you're never far away from a slew of amazing things to do. Thanks to these fabulous staycation ideas—great attractions, delicious eats and relaxing venues—you're going to need a staycation from your staycation! There's a reason NYC is the greatest place in the world, so instead of packing your bags this season, why not explore all that the five boroughs have to offer? Chances are you'll discover something new and irresistible! RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best family vacations from NYC If you are leaving town or want to explore our staycation ideas at another time, check out these all-inclusive family resorts, weekend getaways from NYC and indoor water parks.
Eight easy ways to stop a tantrum in its tracks
Whether it happens at home or at the mall, a temper tantrum is never a welcome experience. As anyone can attest, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve encountered it, each creative new presentation feels like the first time, and we flounder, quickly racking our brain for a way to Just. Make. It. Stop! We’ve got your back. Browse our list of tried and true (and sometimes unexpected!) ways to get your little one back on track. 1. A distracting question can be a lifesaving tactic, capable of halting hysterics before they’re fully underway. As we all know, tantrums are not relegated to the terrible two’s. Next time your child begins to stomp and scream, calmly ask them where the dog is, what’s that brown spot on the wall, or "Did Sarah like the drawing you made for her at art today?" Watch the waterworks switch off as they stop to answer you. 2. Have twos, threes and fours? Break out into song. We're not kidding. Watch as they either join in, or watch you in awe. As they say, music soothes the savage toddler. 3. Threats of taking away a coveted toy may sound harsh, but sometimes you've gotta resort to this very effective tactic. It works best on the older set, but be sure to follow through with your threat. You can always return the toy a few hours (or days) later for good behavior. 4. Ignore it. Yes this is a hard one, but a few minutes of raging out to an uninterested audience (you) can make your child give up when the theatrics aren’t garnering the attention they’re looking
21 festive baby names inspired by Christmas
It’s official. The holidays are upon us! Christmas for kids is fast approaching. Festive, twinkling lights illuminate the city, and there’s excitement in the air! If you’ve got a bun in the oven during this special time of year, or even if you’re just snuggling up by the fire all season to—ahem—plan one for next year (that yule log can be pretty inviting...), you’re undoubtedly racking your brain for baby names. With all the activity and overload of the season, who has the extra time to spend? Besides, your brainpower is needed for prepping nurseries or office parties, shopping and feast creation. Read on for a list of baby names so festive, Santa’s already poised to add ‘em to his list! For more baby names, see our top baby name ideas for hipsters and best baby names for die-hard New Yorkers. 1. Noel/ Noelle 2. Ginger 3. Holly 4. Candy 5. Christian 6. Lucky 7. Angel 8. Jesus 9. Pine 10. Grace 11. Star 12. Carol 13. Nick 14. Eve 15. Mary 16. Berry 17. Joseph 18. Bella 19. Joy 20. Coco 21. Faith
Nine places to take a great catnap this holiday season
If you’re like every parent on the planet earth, you’re probably overworked, overextended and overtired on a regular basis. Throw in the extra demands of the holiday season, and you’ve got a tried and true recipe for sleep deprivation if ever one existed. If your one holiday wish is a few minutes of peace and shut-eye, we've got you covered. Here are some sneaky tips for napping that don't require a Christmas miracle. 1. Pick a line, any line. How about the super long one at the supermarket? Or the post office? Zone out with open eyes or hide behind shades, and snooze it or lose it, at least until someone nudges you to move up. 2. Is the baby napping? You should be too. Forget those chores and remember that couch. 3. You know that work or PTA meeting that you go to, but don’t necessarily have to participate in, and you’re kicking yourself for wasting a precious hour of your time? Utilize those moments wisely. Nap with your eyes open. The ‘ol open eye zone out will send you back to your desk refreshed. 4. Is there a library near you? Leave work and find yourself a comfy spot on your lunch break, pick the tallest book on the shelf, hide behind it and get your snooze on. Just don't forget to set your alarm! 5. Barnes & Noble close by? Even better! Sit down on the carpeted floor in a deserted corner, with a book up to your nose as a spouse or friend plays with the kids in the kiddie corner, and then go ahead read the fine print on the inside of your eyelids. 6. Any bus or train c
How to get your hands on Hatchimals, this season's biggest toy craze
This holiday season’s hot-ticket toy has been hatched, and every kid in town is itching to get their hands on one of these unique creatures from SpinMaster, the masterminds behind Paw Patrol. They’re Hatchimals, and they’re ready to become a part of your family, but you’ll have to actually find one first. These elusive cuties are flying off the shelves at a mind-numbing rate! Is anyone else having traumatic flashbacks to Furby? So what’s all the fuss about? Well, these cuddly hybrid animals come encased in a spotted egg and they slowly ‘hatch’ over a period of 30 minutes to an hour of being petted and moved around. When the little owlicorn, penguala, bearakeet, burtle or draggle is born, it acts just like a baby, and takes weeks of love and care to ‘grow’ into a toddler, then a child, teaching your little one empathy, patience and responsibility while having a lot of fun in the process. These fuzzy playthings are available online, but you’re gonna pay a hefty price to get ‘em. You’ll find them going for $180 and up on Amazon and EBay. Walmart is now selling them for more than $200! Yikes! So how can you find one without taking out a second mortgage? Persistence will get you everywhere! Don’t just check websites daily, pick up the phone and call your local Toys “R” Us, Target, Kohls or Kmart to see when the toys might be coming in. Barnes & Noble also allegedly offers a wait list, so you can ask to have your name put in for a new shipment and the store will try to honor it. T
11 reasons why you shouldn't miss the Yule log this season!
It’s that time of year again! The air is crisp, the hot chocolate is—er—hot, and all around there’s excitement and anticipation for the holidays to come! Snuggling with our little ones around a roaring fire at Christmastime sounds like the perfect thing to do—but as city dwellers, the vast majority of us don’t have fireplaces in our living rooms, much less a chimney for Santa to slide down. But oh those TV geniuses thought of everything, even our deepest comfy cozy holiday desires! As you may or may not know, each year on Christmas morning, PIX 11 airs a program called the Yule Log, which is basically raw footage of a picturesque, cracking fireplace, burning for four hours with soothing Christmas music playing in the background. It’s a gift to us city folk who want that full on quaint and charming holiday morning experience. So gather around the TV kiddies, and you better not pout, you better not cry, you better not miss the Yule Log...read on to find out why! 1. Although the TV does not actually emit heat from the Yule Log fire, your heart will, in fact, be warm with happiness when you watch it. 2. The special Yule Log you’ve been watching all these years was reshot in 1970, because the original 1966 footage was lost for the last 50 years—until now! For one hour on Christmas Eve, and one hour on Christmas morning, PIX 11 will air the original footage from 1966! 3. Since this lost footage is included in the comfy line up, for the first time EVER, Yule Log will air for 5 hour
Get your kid to eat more veggies with these sneaky tips
If you’re like any parent in America, you may just have a picky eater on your hands. Getting your child to try your favorite family dinner ideas can be one of your greatest challenges (second only to getting them to to bed every night). We’ve all seen it: pushed around peas, broccoli hidden under mashed potatoes, and carrots mysteriously appearing in the dog bowl. Our futile attempts to include vegetables in our children’s meals—and actually have them consume and enjoy them—is an exhaustingly uphill battle. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve often had to resort to sneaky tactics to get my little one to partake. Read on for a few tried and true stealth methods that you’ll wish you known sooner! 1. Brownies are the perfect place to hide veggies while feeling confident they’ll be eaten with glee and appreciation. Just puree enough of any mild-flavored veggie—like cauliflower or zucchini—and substitute it for half the wet ingredients in your recipe. Mix everything up and bake as usual. They’ll be none the wiser, and all the healthier! 2. When baking french fries, slice some carrot sticks and bake them off together. Serve with ketchup and look out for an empty plate. 3. Making muffins? If you finely grate ¼–½ cup of carrots, using the side of your box grater that has the teeny tiny holes, and fold them into the batter just before baking, they’ll melt in like butter. The kiddos will never taste or see ‘em coming. If the muffins are not chocolate, just be sure to darken the batter w
14 adorable fall baby names you’ll love
There’s nothing quite like the scents, sights and sounds of fall. Just the thought of this spicy season's arrival reminds us that the holidays are drawing near, invoking our insatiable desire to sip hot cocoa while wearing a sweater. If you’re a mama to be and due during the ‘cozy’ months, then have we got the perfect fall baby names for your new little bundle of joy! Read on for a few of our (admittedly hipstery) favorites. Cute fall baby names for kids: Autumn Lief Amber Cinnamon Maize Daphne (means bay tree or laurel bush) Maple Gold or Goldie Pavo (means Turkey in Spanish!) Forrest Indigo Hunter Mica Sage For more baby name fun, visit our list of the top baby names for die-hard New Yorkers and baby name ideas for hipsters.
12 reasons NYC is a great place to be a single mom
As single moms, raising our children with a sense of community is right up there with good values, a good education, or making sure our wee ones finish their broccoli at night. With strength beyond words, we have the innate ability to create a loving home for our little ones in any environment, but ahh, the hustle and bustle that is NYC! Teeming with activity and a palpable buzz of energy and life, our beautiful concrete jungle is a veritable self-contained support system, essential for life as a single mom. Read on to find out why! 1. If you’re looking for day care, you’ve come to the right city! Whether you reside on the island, or in one of the outer boroughs, you can find a plethora of quality care close to home or work—many larger companies even offer in house child-care, so there’s no need to schlep too far out of your way! 2. We’re always on the hunt for something enjoyable for our kids to do, and as the epicenter of child friendly fun, NYC offers no shortage of enriching entertainment and seasonal events for kids of all ages. 3. Like a little piece of country within our incredible city, the NYC parks here are plentiful—and the perfect place to check our phones while our kids enjoy themselves! Being a sane single mom calls for the occasional serene moment surrounded by nature, and although NYC is known for the gorgeous greenery that is Central Park, you can find a slew of them in all shapes and sizes, in every borough. 4. NYC = mom friends! Our lovely city is such a gr
19 reasons we’d like to quit our mom jobs (but hang in there anyway!)
Being a mom is a blessing. It’s a privilege and a gift, like experiencing a rainbow-hued sunset or inhaling the delicate scent of a fragrant rose petal, or…okay...let’s just be real. Being a mom is all those things, yes, but it’s also a whole lot more. And it’s not always pretty or fancy. We love our little mini mes with a desperate wolf-like intensity, so how come there are moments during our mom life that we’d happily take a long walk on a short pier? The hardest job you’ll ever love is fraught with complex emotions. Here are a few reasons why we moms may silently yell “Check, please!” to ourselves on a daily basis. 1. The bath time tantrum arrives like clockwork. Just when your reserves are low and you’re looking forward to a little "me time" after the kids are asleep. Well don’t check that DVR or fluff those couch cushions just yet. Your little one has other plans for you, and they involve a bathroom flooded with soapy water—and tears. 2. You get slapped, or punched or kicked—hard—by your tiny tot. Yes they are cute and small, but they pack a wallop when they’re mad! Look at the bright side—waiting for the sting to pass gives you the opportunity to model a few calm down methods for them, like quietly counting to ten or breathing it out. 3. Your diamond engagement ring, or earrings or necklace is at the bottom of the toilet bowl, swimming in fresh poop. ‘Nuff said. 4. You’re sick as a dog but you can’t call out sick on your kid. Children still need to be dressed, played wi
11 sure signs your child's playdate is over
Nothing puts a smile on your little one's face like that precious word "playdate." This sometimes helpful, other times nightmarish childhood rite of passage summons visions of laughter, toy sharing and silly surprises—for the kids at least. While having friends over can give you a few peaceful moments to sip coffee in the kitchen, it can also be daunting if things go awry. A fight over a doll, a hot chocolate spill on your new rug, or a sudden bloody nose, and the tide can quickly turn. Here are a few hilarious ways to tell that your child's play date is definitely over. 1. There's new artwork—all over your freshly painted white walls. While a little color is usually a good thing for any room, it's not exactly what you had in mind when you gave your child and her friend a box of day glo crayons to express themselves with. 2. What's that smell, you say? Well, it certainly didn't come from the dog. Your child's friend is enjoying themselves so much that they've left you a steaming stinky package behind the sofa as a token of their appreciation. Poop anywhere other than in the toilet is usually reason enough to pull the plug on any playdate. 3. The bedroom room looks like a tornado hit it...twice. Walking into your child's room to find a foreign land where Oscar the Grouch would feel more at home than in his own trash can is never a good sign. While the kids may be having a blast in the eye of this storm, all you'll be thinking of is the all night cleanup session ahead of you.