DOWNTOWN

Cool kids can explore indoor and outdoor public art, shopping, pop-ups and lots of inventive food between Canal & 14th street. 

See our neighborhood map to plan, but leave time for fun discoveries in these funky streets.

Also see our guides to FiDI & Seaport.

EVENTS

Museum of Ice Cream

558 Broadway at Prince Street

Explore a sweet pop-up with 13 interactive installations across 3 floors (plus a 3 story slide). Eat as many ice cream treats as you want in 5 different shapes and forms and play among hula hoops, a game room with mini golf and jungle gyms, a rainbow sprinkle pool with a slide and more interactive…

Feast of San Gennaro

Mulberry Street between Houston and Canal Lower Manhattan

Celebrate Italian-American culture at the 95th annual Feast of San Gennaro.

Watch colorful parades, hear live music, try carnival style rides, cheer at meatball and cannoli eating contests and sample molto gustoso food including fried dough, torrone (a honey nougat candy usually flecked with almonds) and sausage-and-pepper sandwiches. See the online schedule for special…

Radiolab Presents: Terrestrials LIVE – Bugapalooza

44 Charlton St

Join Radiolab host Lulu Miller to celebrate the launch of her kids’ show, Terrestrials. Meet and play with with entomologist and educator, Sebastian Echeverri, as well as a live Chilean rose-hair tarantula, jumping spiders, a “roly-poly,” scorpion and Madagascar hissing cockroaches, along with some preserved bugs.

Terrestrials, a podcast series for kids &…

Off-Broadway Week

340 W 50th St

Get 2-for-1 tickets on Off-Broadway shows (including kid-friendly Gazillion Bubble Show, Blue Man Group, The Play That Goes Wrong and Stomp) a Sept 26-Oct 9 with code OBW22.

See our ages recs for Broadway shows and more options for family-friendly theater.

Little Amal Walks NYC: Lower East Side/East Village

114 Norfolk Street

Little Amal, a traveling giant puppet of a 10 year old Syrian refugee girl, explores the Lower East Side.

At 1 pm, Amal gets entangled in lines of laundry that are hanging from Lower East Side and Chinatown buildings, discovering two parallel NYC traditions that have flourished in the Lower East Side as words in…

Museum of I-Scream

558 Broadway at Prince Street

For Halloween, the Museum of Ice Cream features shocking, unexpected tricks and sweet, magical treats. Costumes welcome.

Receive an ice cream mask and treat bag to collect unlimited candy and melt into a world of pink skeletons, happy jack-o-lanterns and legen-dairy limited time games, tricks and treats among the 13 interactive installations across 3 floors.…

Movement & Music

5th Avenue & Washington Square North

Join Miss Debbie for an afternoon of dancing and movement in the large playground. Get your body moving to kid-friendly songs, try out some instruments, and sing along in the great outdoors.

At the large playground (or alcove across from the playground depending on crowd size).

Adventures from The Shed

344 East 14th Street at First Avenue

Talented Chickenshed teaching artists lead preschoolers and their families through an immersive and inclusive performance with puppetry, music, movement, storytelling and a bit of American Sign Language.

JAPAN Fes Ramen: East Village

4th Ave & 10th Street

Sample a variety of ramen dishes plus other Japanese, pan-Asian and global street food.

Try takoyaki (juicy octopus balls), Tonkatsu Me (breaded, deep-fried pork and chicken cutlets with teriyaki sauce), Yakitori Tatsu (Japanese meat skewers with vegetables, crispy tempura vanilla scoops and more. Other global cuisines include Korean-style corn dogs by Oh K-Dog and Taiwanese…

POP UPS

Koneko

26 Clinton St

Play with roaming (adoptable) cats in three cat-centric spaces: the sunlit Upper Cattery, the warm and cozy Lower Cattery, and a first-of-its-kind outdoor Catio. Food from a Japanese- influenced menu, house-made desserts, plus beer, wine, and sake available for purchase.

Wednesday-Sunday 11 am –  3 pm & 4 pm – 8 pm

Museum of Ice Cream

558 Broadway at Prince Street

Explore a sweet pop-up with 13 interactive installations across 3 floors (plus a 3 story slide).

Eat as many ice cream treats as you want in 5 different shapes and forms and play among hula hoops, a game room with mini golf and jungle gyms, a rainbow sprinkle pool with a slide and more interactive…

Wilson NYC Flagship

594 Broadway at Houston

Play in a 6,400-square-foot atrium in the new Wilson NYC Flagship store. Hit tennis balls, shoot hoops on an indoor court and test out products among cool design.

In-store services include racket stringing, leather ball customization, and glove personalization.

Monday-Saturday 11 am – 8 pm
Sunday 11 am – 6 pm

Banksy: Building Castles in the Sky

250 Bowery

Explore the witty works of enigmatic British artist Banksy. Discover the mysterious universe of the Bristol-born street artist through a private collection of original and authenticated pieces. His anonymous work has appeared on streets, walls, and bridges throughout the world with his distinctive stenciling technique. Look for animals, balloons and rubber duckies among satirical street…

Color Factory

251 Spring Street

This truly interactive colorful pop-up with fun activities and sweet treats in twelve unique rooms designed by different artists and a giant blue ball pit (now with a slide) is an all-ages adventure for babies to grown-ups.

Well designed, thoughtful and, at over 20,000 square feet,  less crowded than many other pop-ups with activities, not…

Sloomoo Institute

475 Broadway between Broome & Grand Streets

This interactive slime emporium repopens after a revamp with a new glow-in-the-dark cove, scent scape, ASMR booths, AR and more.

* Explore a sensory playground centered around slime. Walk & crawl through an obstacle course with a vat of slime, take photos with slime-inspired art, play with a slime catapult and more.

* Make an…

Arcadia Earth

718 Broadway at West 6th Street

Explore a large scale, multi-sensorial journey through underwater worlds, fantasy lands, and inspirational art installations. Powered by augmented reality, virtual reality, projection mapping, and interactive environments, learn how small lifestyle changes can have a massive impact on the future of our planet. Interact with holograms in every room with HoloLens, Microsoft’s augmented reality headset.

For…

Museum of I-Scream

558 Broadway at Prince Street

For Halloween, the Museum of Ice Cream features shocking, unexpected tricks and sweet, magical treats. Costumes welcome.

Receive an ice cream mask and treat bag to collect unlimited candy and melt into a world of pink skeletons, happy jack-o-lanterns and legen-dairy limited time games, tricks and treats among the 13 interactive installations across 3 floors.…

PLAY

Pier 25 Playground

227 West St

The longest pier in Hudson River Park hosts an awesome playground with eight different water features (including some very unpredictable fountains), rock climbing walls, swings, monkey bars, a big sandbox, geodesic-dome-shaped climbing net and more. Also explore an 18-hole miniature golf course, a snack bar, sand volleyball courts, berthing areas for historic ships and…

DeSalvio Playground

Spring Sreet &Mulberry Street

This small park has cool design, a big includes a big jungle gym with monkey bars atop rubber matting, lots of shaded seating area, a basketball court (with two hoops), checker board tables and sprinklers.

Pier 25 Mini-Golf

227 West St

Manhattan’s only 18-hole miniature golf course features waterfalls, streams, a pond, foot bridges, sand traps and even a cave plus a stunning location on Hudson River Park’s Pier 25. Lemonade, ice cream & other snacks available or purchase. Also on the pier, find a great playground with lots of water features and a large…

Wilson NYC Flagship

594 Broadway at Houston

Play in a 6,400-square-foot atrium in the new Wilson NYC Flagship store. Hit tennis balls, shoot hoops on an indoor court and test out products among cool design.

In-store services include racket stringing, leather ball customization, and glove personalization.

Monday-Saturday 11 am – 8 pm
Sunday 11 am – 6 pm

Downtown Boathouse

North Moore Street & West Street

Take out free sit-on-top kayaks in protected Hudson River embayments with an all-volunteer nonprofit organization. Brief instruction and all necessary safety equipment provided as well as changing rooms, lockers and locks, bike locks, sun block, and first aid equipment.

Reserve online in advance, walk up, or reserve a spot for later in the day. Each…

Watson Adventures’ Ghosts of Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt

5th Avenue & Washington Square North

Kids and adults work together to uncover the stories of creepy places and the ghosts that have haunted them. As a team, follow clues in search of answers to tricky, humorous questions about hidden cemeteries, looming skeletons, the haunted homes of Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain, bats on a building, Dickensian door knockers, Harry…

MUSEUMS & ART

East Village/LES/Noho Street Art

Orchard Street between Delancey and E. Houston Lower Manhattan

Look for lots of cool murals around this hip neighborhood, on walls, sliding metal gates and on the sidewalk. Current favorite include:

* I ❤️ NY mural at The Jones NYC (Great Jones Street & Bowery),

* a swing you can sit on among tulips at Bloomeffects (Bowery & Bleecker)

* double-vision Mickey Mouse…

First Street Green Art Park

33 East 1st Street

Nestled between two buildings and lined by interchangeable murals and fence art, this art and cultural park emerged from a derelict building lot and hosts frequent community events. Bring chalk art to add to the colorful vibe.

Freeman Alley

Freeman Alley between Bowery & Chrystie

Look for all sorts of tags & paste-ups at one of the most famous graffiti spots in NYC, a storied alley on the north side of Rivington Street between Bowery and Chrystie Street. The walls of former horse stables turned marble factory turned residences are crammed with images and messages. Find ‘rugged clandestine colonial American…

M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden

Rivington Street between Chrystie Street & Forsyth Street

Look for cool art nestled among the flowers and trees this beautiful garden–almost a city block long–nestled in Sara Roosevelt Park.  Up to 50 volunteer gardeners including community groups maintain individual beds, and contribute to the upkeep of communal areas. Highlights include a small pond with koi, goldfish and turtles, a chicken coop (that donates…

The Museum at Eldridge Street

12 Eldridge Street

Step inside history and explore an icon of New York City resilience. Learn the story of the grand 19th-century Eldridge Street Synagogue and the Jewish immigrants who built it. Look for elements from different eras in the building’s storied history, such as Kiki Smith’s monumental stained glass window replacing an earlier intervention from the mid-19th…

Back to the Garden

Allen Street between Broome and Hester Streets

Installed in several locations on the Allen Street Malls between Broome and Hester Streets, this group exhibition features seven artworks by eight artists addressing themes of nature. Artists include Alberto M. Bursztyn, Sarah Haviland, Elizabeth Knowles and Eric David Laxman, Elaine Lorenz, Judith Peck, Daina Shobrys, and Michael Wolf.

Presented by NYC Parks Department Art…

Wilson NYC Flagship

594 Broadway at Houston

Play in a 6,400-square-foot atrium in the new Wilson NYC Flagship store. Hit tennis balls, shoot hoops on an indoor court and test out products among cool design.

In-store services include racket stringing, leather ball customization, and glove personalization.

Monday-Saturday 11 am – 8 pm
Sunday 11 am – 6 pm

Klara Kristalova: Flora and Fauna

130 Orchard Street

Find a horse girl, mouse man, limbed tree and other fantastical characters in Klara Kristalova’s sculpture and drawing with Perrotin. Glazed stoneware figures fill the spacious gallery with emotion.

Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am– 6 pm

Not far from legendary Economy Candy.

 

Manscaping

312 Bowery

See dozens of distinct depictions of landscape today with a whiff of gender nonsense in yearly thematic group extravaganza. Look for swirling magical realist paintings, discrete and symmetrical shapings, whimsical planets, plastic “live walls” and intriguing digital art.

Wednesday–Sunday, 12 – 7 pm

Sami Havia: Estranged

136 Eldridge Street

Make up back stories for the mysterious figures hiding among light-filled landscapes in a solo exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Finnish artist Sami Havia. Soak in summer vibes among Surrealist greenery (including kissing trees).

Thursday- Sunday 12 – 5 pm

Tenement Museum

103 Orchard Street

Join educator-led apartment tours inside two historic tenement buildings and walking tours within the Lower East Side neighborhood to learn about immigrant experience in the United States.

Explore historically restored apartments and discover how immigrants and migrants lived on the Lower East Side in the 19th and 20th centuries. Glean insights from educators who offer…

Fire Museum

278 Spring Street

Learn all about fire fighting at the official FDNY museum, located in a renovated 1904 firehouse.

* Two floors trace the development of firefighting in New York from the early bucket brigades to the present day. See objects that document the history of the volunteer and paid departments, from painted leather buckets to early motorized…

EAT

Cafe Gitane

242 Mott Street

This bright, friendly French-Moroccan is known for its tasty avocado toast and couscous but we always get the all-day waffles. Table-service, expect waits during peak hours.

Max Brenner

841 Broadway at East 13th Street

Select from nine hot chocolates – Italian Thick, Oreo, Peanut Butter and more – at this huge cafe and store that feels like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, with tubes of liquid chocolate criss crossing the space. Choose from a variety of creative, high-quality chocolate concoctions to fo, gift or to eat on site.

Salads, paninis,…

Milk & Cream Cereal Bar

159 Mott Street

Live your childhood breakfast fantasies with soft-serve ice cream, milkshakes & bowls of milk with classic sugary cereal and other topping mix-ins. Signature flavors include ‘Froot Berry Bliss’ (With froot loops, strawberries, blueberries, fruity pebbles and gummy bears) and ‘Apple Jack Avalanche’ (Apple Jacks, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Granola Crisp topped with a caramel drizzle)…

Levain Bakery NOHO

340 Lafayette Street at Bleecker Street

Everything is baked on-site throughout the day at this Noho outpost of the legendary UWS bakery, from an array of rustic breads to the world-famous, super-gooey, six-ounce cookies in four flavors: Two Chip Chocolate Chip, Walnut Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip & Oatmeal Raisin (plus a gluten-free chocolate chip…

Maman

237 Centre Street

Stop in for brunch or grab a quick bite to-go at this lovely café with rustic décor touches around every corner & beautiful floral installations indoors and in the gorgeous garden.

Warm cookies, including a large legendary chocolate chip, are baked all day. Plus enjoy an assortment of pastries, excellent coffee, hot chocolate (look for special…

Doughnut Plant

379 Grand Street

Choose from three types of handcrafted doughnuts daily: yeast, cake and filled in a variety of flavors at this beloved bakery. Yeast doughnuts are light, airy, fluffy yeast-raised doughnuts, with a slight chew. Cake doughnuts are leavened with baking powder, and have a texture somewhere near the intersection of a classic birthday cake and a…

Dominique Ansel Bakery

189 Spring Street between Sullivan & Thompson

French bakery Dominique Ansel has delicious classic and post-modern pastries and specular seasonal desserts like hot chocolate with a blossoming marshmallow flower, frozen s’mores and milk in a chocolate chip cookie cup.

If you see a line down the block it’s probably for a cronut, the rightly famous croissant-doughnut hybrid pastry with flavors that change…

Essex Market

88 Essex St

Sample fresh, affordable, and high quality food and other items from 40+ small businesses in this Lower East Side fixture.

Shop vendors with individual stories and distinctive personality for delicious treats like cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine, cheeseburger empanadas from Dominican Cravings, ube ice cream from  L.E.S. Ice Cream…

Shopsin’s

88 Essex St

This whimsical, family-owned restaurant features a legendary 900-item menu with dozens of wacky (and delicious) pancakes varieties filled with s’mores or mac n’cheese. Small seating area; expect waits on weekends (but lots to explore in the indoor Essex Market while you wait).

Supermoon Bakehouse

120 Rivington Street

Try classic and inventive doughnuts, croissants, cruffins (croissant muffins with different fillings), pies, and other pastries hand-rolled and hand-crafted from grain, flour, fruit and vegetables sourced from local farms & mills in Upstate New York (except the butter, imported from a farm in Normandy, France).

Almost spherical doughnuts come in three rotating flavors, from good…

Ladurée Soho

398 W Broadway

Escape to Ladurée’s pastel Parisian wonderland, where the only stress is choosing among the 25+ colorful flavors, from salted caramel to strawberry marshmallow – plus chocolate covered macarons, fancy French ice cream, macaron ice cream sandwiches, sorbets and more sweet treats.

Get your treats to go or dine on casual yet sophisticated French fare including…

Stick With Me Sweets Bonbons

202A Mott St

Gorgeous bonbons in an array of colors and artisanal flavors taste as good as they look in this small Nolita chocolate shop.

 

 

 

Roni-Sue’s Chocolates

148 Forsyth Street

Try delicious truffles, bars and caramel corn in inventive flavors inspired by specialty and local markets at this women-owned and run shop. All the chocolate is made by local artisans using organic Mayan cacao from Belize-based MOHO Chocolate Company, direct-trade, single-origin and socially responsible.

Favorites include Pig Candy AKA Chocolate Covered Bacon, fruity Razzle…

Taiyaki

119 Baxter Street

Unicorn lovers can get their sweet fix with edible horns & ears in artisanal soft serve served in fish-shaped Japanese waffle cones. Smoothies in a mini unicorn pool float and seasonal creations like Christmas Tree and Easter Bunny cones also available.

Also in Williamsburg and Flushing.

MarieBelle

484 Broome Street

Sip on thick, delicious signature hot chocolate made from pure cacao shavings instead of chocolate powder to go or in an elegant, antique filled Cocoa Bar. Choose from four different flavors; Aztec, Milk Hazelnut, Spiced Chocolate and White Chocolate.

Bite size bonbons decorated with unique, colorful cocoa-based design and tins of hot chocolate shavings make…

Economy Candy

108 Rivington Street

At this legendary family-owned LES sweets emporium, founded in 1937, shop over 2,000+ items, including international gummies, unique candy bars, a color-sorted jelly belly bar, chocolate covered graham crackers (with and without jelly), bacon and kale lollipops and so much more.  Also find unique toys, Pez, gifts and vintage trading cards featuring fan favorites from…

Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream Flagship Store

88 West Houston St between Bowery & Elizabeth

Choose from 88 inventive flavors of texture-driven small-batch ice creams like Tahini Caramel and Black Coconut Ash and even French Fry (plus ‘American Classics’ including five variations of vanilla), in an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
Samples available (two per customer).

The extensive dining menu also includes elaborate sundaes, ice cream pies, floats and ice-cream…

Cones

272 Bleecker Street

Argentinean-style small-batch ice cream and sorbet  comes in traditional and adventurous flavors including sweet potato with brie cheese, yerba mate  and the popular sweet corn with cinnamon.

Monday-Friday 5 pm–10pm
Saturday & Sunday 1 pm–10 pm

Molly’s Cupcakes

228 Bleecker Street

Try moist cupcakes in a multitude of flavors in this cute, yellow bakeshop.

Customize your own cupcake- choose a base (chocolate, vanilla, carrot, red velvet or banana), frosting (classic vanilla, chocolate, cream cheese, brown butter or french buttercream) and toppings (chocolate chips, m&m’s® reese’s pieces, gummy bears, brownie chunks or chocolate chip cookie chunks) or…

Koneko

26 Clinton St

Play with roaming (adoptable) cats in three cat-centric spaces: the sunlit Upper Cattery, the warm and cozy Lower Cattery, and a first-of-its-kind outdoor Catio. Food from a Japanese- influenced menu, house-made desserts, plus beer, wine, and sake available for purchase.

Wednesday-Sunday 11 am –  3 pm & 4 pm – 8 pm

The Pickle Guys

357 Grand Street

Try free samples of old-fashioned pickles, barrel cured from an old Eastern European recipe at this unique friendly LES spot. Rows of barrels features pickled turnips, pineapples and other items along with a wide variety of pickled cucumbers.

They even have pickle-flavored cotton candy for sale. Or head next door to Doughnut Plant for…

Sour Patch Kids NYC

665 Broadway at Bond Street

Create-your-own candy mix, pose with oversized Sour Patch Kids in fun NYC-themed photo ops and shop limited-edition merchandise in this spacious colorful celebration of the classic candy.

A special Sweets Bar menu serves with waffles, cake shakes and more crazy desserts featuring Sour Patch Kids.

Sunday-Thursday 11 am – 8 pm
Friday-Saturday 11 am…

Mikey Likes It Ice Cream

199 Avenue A

A pop-cultured inspired ice cream shop uses premium ingredients and building lasting relationships with local businesses, customers and other great people. Innovative rotating flavors with catchy names include Ice Ice Mikey (a blend of 3 types of vanilla beans), Pink Flloyd (strawberry & cheesecake) and Brady Bunch (banana pudding, Vienna Fingers, and crushed vanilla wafers).

il laboratorio del gelato

188 Ludlow Street

Choose from 48 classic and creative flavors of creamy, dense gelato and sorbet, as well as sundaes and shakes at a ‘lab’ where flavor creation and recipe development take center stage. This provider of hand-crafted, small-baach gelato for top NYC chefs and restaurants uses high-quality ingredients, from vanilla beans to purple ube to avocado, sourced…

Museum of Ice Cream

558 Broadway at Prince Street

Explore a sweet pop-up with 13 interactive installations across 3 floors (plus a 3 story slide).

Eat as many ice cream treats as you want in 5 different shapes and forms and play among hula hoops, a game room with mini golf and jungle gyms, a rainbow sprinkle pool with a slide and more interactive…

Funny Face Bakery

319 Lafayette St

The artistry is amazing on these pop culture frosted sugar cookies – choose from NYC icons, celebrity faces, pizza rat, iphones, clever phrases and so much more. Custom creations available for anything (or any face- just upload a photo). Watch cookie artists at work behind the counter in the cute purple dream of the store.…