Whether you call New York home, or dream of moving to the big apple, it’s undeniably one of the best cities to raise your children. At Urban Jungle, we know there are a ton of factors that go into deciding which neighborhood in NYC is perfect for you and your family, like should you gravitate towards the Upper West Side or flock toward the East Village; whether it’s almost never in your best interest to take a taxi over the subway if you want to get somewhere faster; the atmosphere; whether or not you’re within walking distance of a park. All crucial. To get all the intel on which neighborhood is right for your family, we polled our resident locals on the Upper East Side for their kid’s absolute favorites. Check out what they recommend below.
With everything from burgers and pancakes to banana splits, this old-school Candy Shop will take you back to a time when soda fountains and luncheonettes were on every corner in NYC. Enjoy the variety of vintage knickknacks and appliances while sipping on “THE Milkshake,” voted best in NY by USA Today.
Looking to stray away from the hustle and bustle of city life, without actually leaving it? The Art Farm NYC is NYC’s only indoor petting zoo, with open play time every Monday through Thursday from 12:30-3:30pm, six months and older. These drop-ins include animal time, arts and crafts, and creative play. If you’re stopping by on a Friday, definitely check out some of the Fun Friday Activities including a sing-along with the Art Farm’s guitarist and arts & crafts and baking with the Art Farm’s chef.
While this activity may not be the most out of the ordinary experience for your family, what makes movies at 86th Street Cinema so special is their Crybaby Matinee screenings. Finally, you can sit back and relax while your little one throws a temper tantrum in the middle of Ralph Breaks the Internet. You don’t have to worry what other parents will think because they will likely be experiencing the same meltdown from their kid, and it’s totally acceptable!
Mary Arnold Toys, AKA America’s oldest toy store, is a must-see when on the Upper East Side. You’ll be sure to find a toy for everyone in the family, from traditional, old-school favorites like play trucks and trains to STEM inspired games.
You’ve heard of Eloise at the Plaza, but what about Madeline at the Carlyle? This high-class but kid-friendly tea party pays tribute to the creator of the Madeline children’s book series Ludwig Bemelmans. Murals by Bemelmans surround you as you and your family enjoy kid-friendly foods like mac and cheese, pancakes, cupcakes, and, of course, lemon madeleines. You’ll also be surrounded by Madeline dolls, books, napkins, and plates and join in for a sing-along with Tina deVaron, singer and pianist.
Photo: Cascabel Taqueria
Looking for a kid-friendly restaurant that doesn’t look kid-friendly? Cascabel Taqueria is the perfect family compromise because the main dish is something that will make everyone happy: tacos. Perfect for even the littlest of hands, these tacos are available in mix and match options for your pickier eaters.