30 Places your kids will absolutely adore.
Living in New York City comes with plenty of perks. If you are a parent, one of the biggest perks is never running out of things to do with your kiddos.
Between hundreds of kid-friendly restaurants, museums and parks... the toughest decision isn’t necessarily finding something to do to keep your little ones happy, busy and always learning but choosing something from the practically never-ending list of things to do.
Don’t fret. Your friends here at Sawyer have created the official New York City Guide for busy parents. No matter what neighborhood you live in or plan to visit... TriBeCa/ SoHo, UES, Chelsea/ Union Square, Cobble Hill, Park Slope or Astoria... we have got you covered. We even put together great in-person and virtual activities your little ones can discover here!
For parents of readers, painters and chefs head to TriBeCa/SoHo.
TriBeCa, is a place in constant change. Standing for Triangle Below Canal Street, the 17,000 person neighborhood is shaped more like a trapezoid than an actual triangle.
What started as Farmland in the early 1900s slowly morphed and morphed and morphed into the vibrant, creative and entrepreneurial community that it is today.
Artists, musicians, creatives, entrepreneurs and even celebrities flock to TriBeCa for the one-of-a-kind vibe that can’t be found anywhere else in New York City.
And, while it is best known for the Tribeca Film Festival that brings thousands of people to the area every spring, the neighborhood has plenty to do for parents of young kiddos.
1. Foster the next generation of wave makers at Nory.
Nory was created by two dads passionate about building the next generation of “wavemakers”. Nory immerses kids in programs and camps filled with hands-on experiences that teach them all the things that traditional education doesn’t... soft skills like resilience, inquisitiveness and empathy.
2. Raise a little book worm at BookNook.
BookNook has created a warm, welcoming and comfortable environment for kids to not only learn how to read but to fall in love with reading.
3. Fun cooking classes without the mess at Freshmade.
If your child has shown any interest in cooking, Freshmade offers fun hands-on cooking classes for kids of all ages. And, the best part is that you don’t have to clean up the mess afterward.
4. For the Picassos in the making head to Children’s Museum of the Arts.
Not all that dissimilar from Freshmade, the Children’s Museum of the Arts offers a hands-on creative experience for your kids (without the clean-up).
5. Finally, if you work up a bit of an appetite head to Bubby’s.
We don’t have to sell this one too hard. Take a look at the website and try to keep your mouth from watering.
Enjoy a day of puppy dogs and a whole lot of magic in the UES.
As a living breathing curation of some of New York City’s best neighborhoods like Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill and Yorkville, Upper East side is renowned for being one of the most affluent areas in New York City.
It sports an impressive lineup of past residents, too. Does the name Andrew Carnegie ring a bell?
And, while it is filled with delicious high-end restaurants and some of the best shopping in New York City, it also offers plenty to do for parents looking to keep their kiddos entertained.
6. Frolic... because who doesn’t like puppy dogs?
If your child is a dog lover there is no better place to explore than Frolic. Their highly-trained staff teaches kids dog training techniques that aren’t only a blast to learn but something they can use when they grow up and have pets of their own.
7. So Fun City where learning doesn’t feel like learning.
Kids learn best when they don’t know they’re learning. That’s what makes So Fun City so special. Your kids will learn through magic, games and play!
8. Dance the day away at Juliette & Ella’s Play Date.
If you’ve got a little one that just can’t stop grooving, Juliette & Ella’s Play Date is where parents go to introduce their kids to dance, movement and ballet.
9. See all of the animals at Central Park Zoo.
New York City is home to one of the best zoos in the world, Central Park Zoo. If you make a day of it, tell the Red Pandas we said hello. They are our personal favorites.
10. A tea party everyone can enjoy at Alice’s Tea Cup.
There’s no such thing as “pretending” at Alices Tea Cup. Both you and your child will enjoy a delicious magical tea time experience.
Dance, ballet and theatre in Chelsea/Union Square.
New York City, as a whole, has long been known as an art haven. Chelsea, a lovely neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan, is one of the city’s artistic epicenters. Along its streets, residents will find over 200 galleries housing some of the most stunning art in the world.
So, if you’re raising a little artist yourself, it’s not a bad place to explore. Here are a few spots worth checking out with your little one.
11. If your baby likes to boogie-woogie... Baby Moves.
If babies have one thing in common, it’s that they love to move and dance. Baby Moves presents a wonderful bonding experience where you and your little one can groove the afternoon away.
12. For self-expression, there is I Can Do That NYC.
Ran by Broadway professionals, I Can Do That NYC introduces your children to the wonderful world of dance and theatre.
13. Play, bond and connect at Union Square Play.
Sometimes, families need a little time away from screens and technology, that’s where Union Square Play comes in. It’s a lovely place for you and your family to play and connect.
14. Stand on the shoulders of giants at Chelsea Waterside Park.
When weather permits, there is no better way to spend an afternoon than Waterside Park. Your kids will have a blast climbing on big friendly giants and playing in the shooting fountains.
15. Enjoy some authentic Mexican after a long day of play at Rosa Mexicano.
If you work up an appetite after a long day of play head to Rosa Mexicano for some of the tastiest Mexican food in Chelsea.
Cobble Hill, the perfect neighborhood to let your child’s imagination run wild.
This neighborhood located in Brooklyn is one of the most laid back and chill areas in New York City. It’s tiny, at least for the Big Apple, just 40 blocks. But, don’t let its unobtrusive size fool you... it has a lot to offer busy parents. Cobble Hill is filled with quaint cafes, casual eateries and long leafy streets perfect for a relaxed afternoon stroll.
16. Relax in a safe place at Families First Brooklyn.
It’s been serving parents of Brooklyn since 1979, bringing families closer one visit at a time.
17. Play pretend at Treasure Trunk Theatre.
Your child has an imagination, let it run wild for an afternoon as they play, pretend, act and create at Treasure Trunk Theatre.
18. For your not-so-typical learning environment check out Stomp & Shout.
Stomp & Shout combines music, games and fun with education to keep your kiddo entertained and always learning.
19. Head to Brooklyn Bridge Park/Carousel for a magical experience.
No matter how old you get, you never forget what it feels like to ride a carousel. This one will be just as much fun for your child as it will be for you.
20. Eat at Shelsky’s because it’s awfully hard to beat a good bakery.
All that playing will work up an appetite, load up on some carbs at Shelsky’s with some of the best bagels in New York City.
Unplug for the day in Park Slope.
If you live in New York, you are aware of the fact that Park Slope is easily one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city. Back in 2010, it was ranked as being the number 1 most desirable neighborhood by New York Magazine. It has since only gotten better. If you’re living in Park Slope or are just visiting for the day, here are a few places certainly worth checking out with your little one.
21. Unplug for a day at Brooklyn Game Lab.
Video games are fun but... there is nothing quite like a board game. Brooklyn Game Lab offers some of the best ones in the known universe.
22. Stories BK, where storytelling is like a science.
Stories BK is both a bookstore and a storytelling lab that helps kids fall in love with both reading and writing.
23. Art for both kids and adults at Private Picassos.
It can do parents some good, joining in on arts and crafts time. Private Picassos offer classes for humans of all ages.
24. Brooklyn Botanical Garden where stunning is an understatement.
You nor your child has ever experienced anything quite like this stunning urban botanical garden.
25. Fill up on pizza at La Villa.
All the painting and the flower admiring and the storytelling will make a pair of adventures hungry, grab some pizza at La Villa.
For parents wanting to explore Astoria with their kids...
Astoria is rich with both history and culture and a great neighborhood to explore for parents wanting to expose their children to both. It dates all the way back to the mid-1600s and today it is home to a lovely diverse set of residents, businesses and restaurants.
26. Lots of fun bonding activities at ACD Playspace.
Fun ways to bond with your kid can be difficult to come by... unless you’re at ACD Playspace.
27. Fun while learning at Raising Astoria.
Take your child to an education center where it won’t feel like education.
28. Looking for a place to host a birthday? Let’s Play Playhouse.
If hosting your child’s next birthday at home sounds overwhelming, book a date at Let’s Play Playhouse.
29. Explore the history of film and television at the Museum of the Moving Image
If you and your child geek out over television and movies, you will adore this one of a kind museum.
30. Dine at Sugar Freak for some good Louisiana cooking.
Shrimp po’ boys, gumbo and some super super rich desserts... you’ll be as stuffed as a tick after a meal at Sugar Freak.
Ohh, and one more thing...
If you ever find yourself needing some help with booking your child’s next adventure, that’s what we do here at Sawyer. Just click here and we will take care of the rest.