I grew up in the south, in a lovely family friendly area. I do wish and want that for my children – but not yet. There is a beauty to raising children in NYC. If you disagree, hear me out…
Our children will have many years to work on their ‘book smarts’. They will learn to read, write, and go through the textbook content just like we did. [*yawn*] When it comes to ‘street smarts’ it’s a different game. Being here in a big city has taught my littles so many different things and allowed them to have a skill set that they wouldn’t have from being in the burbs. I do see small things like the fear of grass, or not loving the mud, but those things will come as we explore our next chapter. [Dang, they’re bougie!] For now, I like that they have a sense of city direction, they look at both sides before crossing a street, and hell, they can hail a cab! It’s cute.
For those of us in the city, there are MANY things to do to keep our little ones entertained and educated, taking advantage of all that the city offers. You see a slew of strollers on the sidewalks for a reason. There are kids out and about keeping very busy.
There are so many parks that go unnoticed. Many public parks and spaces are available for you to have your kids run around and get their energy out. [This is literally also what I do with my dog…]
Pack your blanket, some toys/bubbles, and snacks. With younger kids you’re up early as it is. We like to grab coffee and bagels then head to Central Park on a nice day. It’s usually not as crowded at this time, and really is just other families with kids.
Lions and tigers and dinos…
Even at a young age, museums and zoos are great places full of learning lessons and memories. Here are a handful of New York Area things we’ve done with the kids, and they can’t wait to go back.
- Children’s Museum of Manhattan
- Liberty Science Center
- NYC Fire Museum
- Central Park Zoo
- Bronx Zoo
- NY Botanical Gardens
Teach me, Mama!
Kids love structure and activities… and parents don’t love to be the ones to make it happen. During lockdown, we found many great ways to entertain our kids, but now it’s time to let someone else enjoy it! [Ohhh so this is why you keep asking me to come over??]
- Best music class, with both indoor and outdoor options is Little Maestros. They have been the music class go to for both of my kids and have also done lockdown zoom birthday parties and classes. Super high energy and always have the kids dancing!
- Gym membership for kids – we love MyGym! They allow kids to do drop in gym time, which is great for a rainy day where you can’t be outdoors at a park. A part of the membership is also a weekly class where the teachers work on exercises and various skills in a very padded environment.
- Cleats on! We are big fans of outdoor soccer classes and pods, we’ve done a few. The one we keep going back to is Super Soccer Stars. With catchy songs and mini drills my son loved the energy of their teachers.
- Baby Shark needs to learn how to swim. We have done swim lessons each spring with the kids to get them ready for the pool and general water safety. SwimJim is our go to. They make the pool fun, as it can be scary to kids at times. They teach them water safety and general skills. We’ve enjoyed our experience over the years!
Please share any ideas you have in the comments, we’re always open to new classes and adventures in this lovely city!!