5 Reasons We Love Harlem
By Melissa A. Kay

5 Reasons We Love Harlem

February 10, 2016   |   Family Outings  

There are tons of reasons to raise a family in Harlem. There’s fantastic food, fun, festivities, fairs, and so much more to explore and enjoy. The bustling lives of its residents and the neighborhood charm makes Harlem so unique and a great place to visit. Here are just five of the reasons we love Harlem and why you should take the family to see some of these attractions.

Harlem's Parks and Playgrounds

Kids love to play outdoors and Harlem is a great place to do so. How about a little fishing? Yes, that’s right, fishing right in the heart of Harlem. Check out Dana Discovery Center and its man-made lake at Harlem Meer for some catch and release fishing fun. The center also boasts a vast playground and pool for swimming season. Next, head over to West Harlem Piers Park for fun in the sun, biking, and a fabulous view of New Jersey. The Riverbank State Park along the Hudson River has tennis, handball, and basketball courts along with a super skating rink and even an amphitheater for shows year-round! Picnic with the family or take a dip in their pool.

Festivals and Fairs in Harlem

Arts and music make Harlem come alive. Pay a visit to the Harlem Arts Festival featuring theater, dance, music, spoken word, photography, mixed media, and everything arts-related. Last year’s festival took place in Marcus Garvey Park during the early summer, so check the site for this year’s dates. Feeling hungry? Drop by Harlem Eat Up! Where food, drinks, and other culinary events featuring the delights of Harlem will wow the whole family. Proceeds from the event go to Citymeals-on-Wheels and Harlem Park to Park. Looking for a little learning with your adventures? Try out the Harlem Book Fair where kids can get free books and meet notable authors. It’s the United States’ largest African-American book fair of its kind.

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Church Services in Harlem

Celebrate religion and bring your family closer together with a sermon. Pray and play at Sundae Sermon with dancing, music, entertainment for families, and social endeavors. Support the Harlem community and lift your spirits while doing so. If you are seeking church services, Renaissance Church has a divrse membership and is active, community-focused and is ready to join your family with others in the area. If gospel music is what you’re after, head on over to Abyssinian Baptist Church, best known for their remarkable choir and passionate pastor.

Classes for Kids in Harlem

For the budding dancer inside your child, a dance class is the perfect way to let that talent blossom. The Dance Theater of Harlem has classes for ages 3 and older in various dance genres. Not only is dancing fun, but it’s great exercise and a wonderful way to meet new friends. My Gym Harlem is another way to mix health and happiness. Kids can take gymnastics, strength building courses, and other coordination-building classes. You can even hold your child’s birthday party at their facilities. For those little artists, Riverbank State Park holds classes and workshops in art, as well as courses in culture and dance.

Harlem Restaurants

Family and food are the perfect combination. Sylvia’s Restaurant is a must-visit for soul food like none other. Selections like southern fried chicken and grits, corn meal dusted catfish, and meatloaf are mouthwatering and tummy-filling. They’ve got a kids menu too. Feeling like some finger-lickin’ BBQ? Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is the best and biggest. Burgers, ribs, chicken, you name it! They also have a great kids menu and even gluten-free offerings. Red Rooster is a Harlem favorite from celeb chef Marcus Samuelsson. The food is all about the roots of American cuisine and menu items like cornbread, shrimp and grits, meatballs, and chowder are sure to please any palate. Be sure to save room for Red Rooster doughnuts!

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