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If you typically order children’s books online (or scoop up hand-me-downs from friends and relatives), you’re missing out! Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, and Connecticut all have something unique to offer, whether your little one is just learning to read or pursuing a new favorite. (Bonus: These options are fun for Mom and Dad, too!)
Each of these made-in-NYC kids' gifts is sure to thrill the recipient while you support local artisans and commerce--so go ahead, go shopping and show your city pride!
UPDATED APRIL 2015: Explore zoos, nature centers and botanical gardens in New Jersey and Staten Island. Read through our guide to find petting zoos, arboretums, nature preserves, farms and public gardens, all packed with fun nature activities for the whole family. Let your little ones loose to try their hands at zoo feedings and touch tanks, explore wooded trails, and learn about exotic plants. The spring season is the perfect time to explore the outdoors.
UPDATED APRIL 2015: Celebrate the great outdoors with a family day trip to one of these seasonally splendid spots in the New York metro area, including New York City; Long Island; Westchester and Rockland Counties, NY; and Fairfield County, CT.
From museums and parks to festivals and beaches, this list has something for everyone, all within easy traveling distance from the New York City area, including Upstate New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania.
Bowling alleys across the country have upgraded to appeal to kids and youth players, and New York City is no exception. Check out our list of the best bowling alleys for families in the New York metro area.
UPDATED JUNE 2015: What better way to cool off this summer than at the beach? Pack up your suits, towels, and sunscreen and head to one of these family-friendly sandy spots for a day full of sun, swimming, and sandcastle construction. There are many places to enjoy the miles of coastline in the New York City area, including Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, New Jersey, and Westchester and Rockland Counties.
UPDATED NOVEMBER 2014: Find local Christmas tree farms in the New York metro area and head out to cut your own Christmas tree this holiday season. Cutting your own Christmas tree is a great family activity at Christmastime. There are Christmas tree farms in the New York City area, including Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Southeast New York (Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster Counties). These cut-your-own farms have a selection of live Christmas trees and allow you to pick your own tree from its natural setting, cut it down, and cart it home. Most Christmas tree farms in the New York City area are slated to open on Thanksgiving weekend, but please call to confirm dates and availability before visiting.
Miniature golf promises a fun time for all. Here's a listing of putt-putt courses throughout the New York City area, including indoor and outdoor mini golf in NYC, Long Island, Westchester County, and Rockland County.
Our guide features horseback riding stables in the New York City area, including NYC, Long Island, Connecticut, and the NYC suburbs of Westchester, Rockland, and Bergen County, NJ. Find where to take a riding lesson or pony ride near you.
UPDATED OCTOBER 2014: Looking for a great place to ice skate with your kids? We've rounded up indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks in the New York City area, including NYC, Long Island, and the suburbs.
Find u-pick apple orchards and farms in the NYC area, including Long Island, Southeast New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, that offer pick-your-own apples in the fall. In addition to apple picking, many of these farms also offer fun fall extras like hay rides, corn mazes, animal petting zoos, and apple cider pressing.
UPDATED FALL 2014: With Halloween on the horizon, October is the perfect month to take an adventure to the farms and fields for a little pick-your-own family fun. Spend a day in the pumpkin patch and bring home gourds small and large for painting, carving, and cooking. Many of the locations listed here also offer corn mazes, hayrides, and tons of other fall activities. Please note: Dates and availability are subject to change due to weather and demand. We recommend calling ahead before visiting these farms.
UPDATED JANUARY 2015 - Skiing and snowboarding with the family this winter? Our guide includes resorts and mountains just outside of the New York metropolitan area, to the slopes of Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. Beginner lessons and kid-friendly slopes for new skiiers and snowboarders are readily available at most mountains. No need to haul your gear, either—you can rent skis, snowboards, helmets, and all of your winter sporting needs right on site. Please note: Hours and programs are subject to change. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details before your visit.
Lend a little hand in your community, and make it a family affair! We've put together a guide to some places around the New York Metro Area that need your help, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester County, Rockland County, Fairfield County, CT, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. Volunteer opportunities are available for kids and adults alike - and remember, big or small, everyone has the power to make a difference!
UPDATED APRIL 2015: The Minor League Baseball season in the New York metro area runs through September and many of these venues have special offers for families, making one of these games a perfect family outing when the kids are off from school. Check out the minor league baseball teams that play in New York and NYC, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.
UPDATED JUNE 2015: Consult our comprehensive guide to amusement parks, theme parks, and water parks in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Our guide to amusement parks covers all the excitement your family needs this summer all within reach of the New York Metro area.
Our guide includes carousels and merry-go-rounds in New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. You'll find details on each carousel, including its location, hours it's open, price per ride, and a description.
Before you battle the lines at the grocery or department store, consult our comprehensive list of Manhattan's seasonal markets, including greenmarkets, farmers' markets, and flea markets throughout the borough.
UPDATED JULY 2015: Find u-pick farms and orchards near NYC that offer pick-your-own berries, including strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and more in the summer and fall. Our list includes berry picking in New York state and Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Take a trip with your family to a railroad museum or train exhibit in the New York City area, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Westchester, and beyond, where young and old train lovers can ride trains and explore the scenic area aboard a train.
UPDATED FEBRUARY 2015: A comprehensive selection of kid-friendly museums in the New York City area, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester County, Rockland County, Long Island (Nassau County and Suffolk County), Fairfield County, CT, and beyond. Our museum guide features science exhibits, nature, transportation and technology innovation, and art exhibits; you'll find something for every member of your family.
Your 2009 guide to Maple Sugaring in the NYMetro area.