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Your Complete Guide to Raising Kids in Brooklyn

Your Complete Guide to Raising Kids in Brooklyn

Whether your family just moved to Brooklyn or you've lived here for years, we've got your complete guide to raising kids in the borough. From Williamsburg to Park Slope, Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and beyond, you'll find family fun (things to do each day of the month) after-school activities for kids, family doctors, child care, schools, and more.

 

No matter if you moved from Manhattan for more space for your growing family or are a native of the borough, living in Brooklyn with kids of any age is exciting and full of opportunities (playgrounds, likeminded parent friends, everything Prospect Park has to offer). Culture for every age is constantly at our fingertips, and children’s programming offered daily throughout the borough is easily accessible via public transportation or walking, and the other boroughs, such as Manhattan and Queens, offer even more family-friendly options just a subway or bus ride away.

Here we present your introduction to family life in Brooklyn—consider this your cheat sheet to finding what you want for your kids when you (and they) want it, a virtual table of contents to all of NYMetroParents’ articles, tips, and tools that will help you be the best, most well-informed parent in the borough. We’ve got everything you need to know about raising a child in Brooklyn!

 

Family Fun in Brooklyn

We take fun time with our kids seriously, which means we’re constantly updating our Calendar of Events with fun and low-cost things to do every day with kids from Coney Island to Williamsburg, Park Slope to Sheepshead Bay, and every neighborhood in between. The calendar is searchable, too, so it’s easy to find the events your family is most interested in (concerts, theater, story times), or you can head straight to our Editor’s Picks page to see where we’ll be taking our own kids this month. And hey, NYC living and having kids isn’t cheap, right? That’s why we round up the best FREE events for you monthly, too.

Want our top event picks delivered to your email inbox every week just in time to plan a fun weekend (plus be among the first to know about our annual cover contest for a chance to see your kid on our magazine)? Then sign up for our family activities newsletter.

If you’re looking for something specific, our family fun guides will point you in the right direction. Here are some of our perennial favorites:

Bowling Alleys

Kid-Friendly Museums

Carousels

Volunteering

Zoos, Nature Centers, and Botanical Gardens


Or maybe you just want to know the best things to do every season in the city? We’ve got you covered there, too: Our editors scoured all five boroughs to find the 100 must-do events in New York City throughout the year, including 20 awesome annual events each in summer, fall, winter, and spring!

 

Family Getaways Near Brooklyn

Sure, we love the cozy confines of the borough we call home, but sometimes a weekend or day trip outside the city limits is necessary to keep things fresh. Lucky for us, there are many places within easy traveling distance that are worth braving bridge and tunnel traffic. Here are a few of our best bets:

Historic Richmond Town in Staten Island

Museum of the Moving Image in Queens

Liberty Science Center in Jersey City

Field Station: Dinosaurs in New Jersey

Sesame Place in Pennsylvania


See the full list of family outings here.


If you’re craving some time in nature, check out our seasonal guides to fun on farms: maple sugaring (spring), berry picking (summer), apple picking and pumpkin picking (fall), and where to cut your own Christmas trees in December. There’s even a farm within city limits that might surprise you.

Thinking about sending your kids outside Brooklyn for summer camp? Our camp guide to the New York City area includes nearby sleepaway camps along with specialty camps and traditional day camps.

 

Choosing Classes, Sports, and Camps

When they’re not in the classroom, we schedule our kids’ time to include academic enrichment, sports, and other extracurricular activities during the school year and camp during the summer. There are so many wonderful options in this wonderful borough of ours, but we’ll help you choose the best fit for your child. Check out our guides to:

Sports Programs for Kids in Brooklyn

After-School and Weekend Classes for Kids

Summer Camps in the New York Metro Area


Of course, these extracurriculars look great on a college resume, but the last thing we want to do is overschedule our kids. We’ve got expert tips for avoiding burnout and finding balance.

 

Planning a Birthday Party in Brooklyn

Apartment size often dictates that kids’ parties are held outside our homes, whether it’s at a nearby play space, theater, bowling alley, park, or other venue. You’ll find plenty of fun party places, party entertainment, party stores, and more on our site to help you plan the best party in the neighborhood. Plus, check out the party tips and inspiration section of our site for everything from fun party favors to birthday cake recipes.

 

Brooklyn Schools and Tutoring Services

While New York City is home to some of the best schools in the world, the system can be hard to navigate. We’ve got advice for you every step of the way, from when you’re choosing the right preschool philosophy for your child (Montessori, Waldorf, play-based…) to when you decide to send your child to public, private, or religious school. Plus, we can help you find tutors and learning centers, and help you narrow down the best school for your child with special needs. And check out our archive of education articles for year-round advice updated regularly.

 

Keeping Your Family Healthy

It’s important to have a family doctor and a team of health care professionals nearby that you trust with your family’s well-being. Search our site for:

Doctors and Dentists

Urgent Care Centers

…and more family health services and providers


Also, check out our archive of health articles for a wealth of advice that will help you make the best choices for your family, such as:

10 Tips to Keep Your Kid’s Teeth Healthy

How to Know When to Go to the ER or Urgent Care

10 Ways Good Sleep Habits Benefit Your Child

 

Finding Child Care in Brooklyn

As a busy city parent, you need a nanny, babysitter, or other caregiver that you can trust. Use our site to find:

Nanny and Babysitting Services

Day Care and Child Care Centers

 

Finding Friends and Parent Support in Brooklyn

If you’re new to Brooklyn or just new to parenting, you might be looking for a support network of like-minded parents to answer those burning questions: Is there a public bathroom near my kid’s favorite playground? Which restaurants in my neighborhood have outdoor seating AND allow strollers? Where can we go sledding on a snow day? (Actually, we’ve got the answer to that last one right here.)

Parent Support Groups in Brooklyn

Support Groups for Parents of Kids with Special Needs


Plus, read essays by other city parents who know exactly what you’re going through.

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Getting to Know NYMetroParents

Did you find what you’re looking for above? Feel free to email us your feedback and questions to [email protected].

And remember, NYMetroParents keeps the conversation going beyond our comprehensive website. Make sure to pick up our print magazines (find a copy near you), and join our virtual community on Facebook and Twitter, where the comments are lively and the sneak-peeks are constantly coming!