With a mix of urban city streets, suburban space and beach towns, Queens has plenty to offer families with small children. Unless the weather is bad, there is no reason to keep your toddler cooped up in the house, driving you crazy, when the borough is a toddler haven. Check out some of these spots where you can have a blast with your little one in New York City's largest borough.
Toddler Play Time
There's a toddler gym or Mommy and Me class on every other block in Queens, but a few stand out for the different types of classes they offer. At Bamboo Moves (bamboomovesyoga.com), a yoga studio in Forest Hills, toddlers ages three to six years old can learn how to downward dog like a pro. At the Flushing Meadow Aquatic Center (usapools.com/flushingmeadows), Mommy and Me swimming classes are offered for infants and toddlers from three months to four years old. Not only do these swim classes help your child get comfortable in the water, they also teach them essential survival skills.
The Queens Zoo (queenszoo.com) offers plenty of stimulation for toddlers who are learning about animals and the sounds they make. The zoo offers a Toddler Time program where two- and three-year-olds can get up close and personal with various zoo animals, learn some quirky animal songs and do arts and crafts. Another cool place in the borough is the New York Hall of Science (nysci.org), which offers plenty of exhibits and play spaces ideal for the curious toddler. Their Preschool Place features science-themed hands-on exhibits including a fossil area and discovery boxes. The museum also offers toddler-friendly classes such as Kitchen Chemistry and Little Makers.
The Artistic Toddler
Keep your toddler from drawing on your walls with arts and crafts classes that will allow him to get all of his creative energy out. In Astoria, the Raising Astoria (raisingastoria.com) clothing boutique, known for its maternity and baby gear, offers children's art classes regularly. Its First Art class teaches toddlers from 12 to 24 months beginner art concepts such as textures and grabbing tools. At the Queens Museum of Art (queensmuseum.org), check out the MetLife Second Sundays for Families, where parents and children of all ages can participate in art projects, as well as enjoy live music and dance performances.
Get Out of the City
Sometimes it is nice to get out of the urban jungle and expose your kids to nature or the country. Head to Green Meadows Farm (visitgreenmeadowsfarm.com) in Floral Park, located on the largest working farmland in the city with plenty of country-style activities for tots. The farm features a petting zoo, pony rides, cultural festivals, and age-appropriate games and activities. In the fall, each child can pick out her own free pumpkin to take home. The Alley Pond Environmental Center (alleypond.com) in Bayside Park gets your toddler in touch with nature. Programs include Mommy and Me classes where you and your toddler can learn how to decorate pine cones and make applesauce.