Chelsea: The Complete Family-Friendly NYC Neighborhood Guide

Chelsea has it all. Those in search of a good meal or quick snack can eat to their heart’s content with the neighborhood’s awesome food spots then burn off some energy strolling along The High Line or checking out the newly opened Chelsea Green Playground! There’s so much to do, so ready, set, go!

For more family-friendly neighborhood guides, check out Chinatown in NYC: A Complete Family-Friendly Guide

Food and Drinks

Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market
75 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

You can’t visit Chelsea without stopping by this amazing food marketmarket. It’s located in the former National Biscuit Company and is now a spot for foodies everywhere. It’s a food hall with options ranging from lobster to baked goods. If you’re craving anything, you’ll be sure to find it here. There are also several shops like Anthropologie and Artists & Fleas. Above all, the location has great historical value with its fountain made using exposed pipe and drill bits from its time as a factory.

Hanamizuka Cafe
143 W 29th St., New York, NY 10001

If you want to try a large array of Japanese foods and desserts, this place is for you. This aesthetically pleasing cafe prides itself on four things: healthy options that make everyone feel beautiful, fresh “fast food” for the ever-busy New Yorker, a modern atmosphere, and affordable dishes. Food includes everything from flavorful rice balls in flavors like cha-shu pork and sweet potato, b.l.t. miso soup, and Japanese roll cakes. Even more, there’s a separate night menu that offers items such as rice bowls filled with meat or grilled rice balls.

The Donut Pub

The Donut Pub
203 W 14th St., New York, NY 10011

Opening in 1964, The Donut Pub’s humble beginnings has transformed into a must-visit for all sweet tooths. Featuring a wall of freshly made donuts, cookies, croissant donuts, and other baked goods — this place is sure to make your mouth water. Flavors include everything from their popular maple bacon to slated caramel. Best of all, everything is peanut and tree nut-free, making it safe for those allergy-sufferers. 

Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market
W 23rd St., New York, NY 10011

What better way to get fresh produce than at a farmers market? Vendors include farms and small businesses from all over New York, all delivering their best. Buyers have access to fresh seafood, olive oil, coffee, and baked goods just to name a few. Moreover, the market has events like cooking demos and the opportunity to sample some items.

BEC
148 8th Ave., New York, NY 10011

Everyone loves breakfast food and almost every New Yorker can attest to ordering a bacon, egg, and cheese from their local deli. Jessica Bologna certainly has anyway. BEC was born out of her love for the sandwich. Specialties include made-to-order organic egg sandwiches. Every sandwich is served over easy and paired with meats that were sourced locally, a variety of cheeses and vegetables. The homemade sauces and spreads are a bonus. If meat isn’t your thing, don’t worry, there are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options on the menu. BEC also has an array of side dishes like baked sweet potatoes, fresh fruits, and avocado toast.

Recreation and Education

Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex
62 Chelsea Piers, New York, NY 10011

Chelsea Piers is a great spot to try your hand at more than 25 different sports, host events and birthday parties. Hence, both parents and kids can find something to do here with the adult leagues and youth classes. There are activities that guests can just drop in for. For example, ice skating, rock climbing for both adults and kids, Rock-n-Roll sessions where kids are grouped and instructed through 45 minutes of gymnastics and 45 minutes of rock climbing, and much more. Some activities require calling for availability like the Toddler Gym and the batting cages, so make sure to do that as a rule of thumb.

Photo via Curbed NY

Chelsea Green Park
W. 20 St. between Ave. of the Americas and 7 Ave.

It’s been 40 years since Chelsea got a new park until the opening of Chelsea Green. It features a playground that’s filled with slides, climbing nets, a rain garden and all sorts of structures perfect for kids. The lawn is made from synthetic turf that’ll be able to handle games of tag without a problem. The area has shaded seating and a space for public art displays and performances, fitting in with the artistic vibes of the neighborhood. It’s a good place to go to get your kids active and happy all day long.

Chelsea Waterside Park Play Area
181 11th Ave., New York, NY 10011

There’s nothing better for kids than a day outside playing to their heart’s content. The Chelsea Waterside Park Play Area originally opened in 2000. After that, the playground had to undergo renovations because it was run down by 2016. With its reopening in the summer of 2018, the playground now features a newly designed play area and a gigantic multicolored wood pipefish. There are numerous fountains and other water areas perfect for kids ages 5 to 12.

The High Line
New York, NY 10011. There are multiple entrances that you can check here.

The High Line is a park built on a 1.45 mile-long elevated rail structure. Founded by the residents of the neighborhood, it stopped the track from being demolished. Due to that, it’s now a public area that is welcome to all. Visitors can enjoy the amazing view, experience art, and nature. The High Line lawn is a great place to settle down and picnic with the family or for kids to play. They also have events every month like free stargazing and their “From Freight to Flowers” tour for instance. If you have a sudden craving, you’re in luck because The High Line also has food and dessert options.

Rubin Museum of Art

The Rubin Museum of Art
150 W 17th St., New York, NY 10011

For all who want to spend a quiet day looking at art from the past, this museum is a great place to do that. Showcasing pieces from the Himalayas, India, and neighboring regions, this museum does its best to promote cultural understanding and provoke thought. Guided experiences offer a deeper understanding of the displayed art. Tour guides are also available for more casual chats about the pieces. If you prefer to guide yourself, The Rubin Museum has a free audio guide app as well. After that, you can dine at Cafe Serai (this doesn’t even require admission!) and eat delicious meals like tandoori chicken, coconut shrimp, and matcha ice cream. Children 12 and younger get in for free, students pay $14 and adults $19.

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014

Focusing on works from living artists, the Whitney Museum presents a full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art. Located right along the High Line, the Whitney gets sweeping views of the city and the Hudson with tons of natural light — even on a gloomy day it’s beautiful. There are tons of events for kids to interact with the exhibits from activities for kids who are on the autism spectrum to several art-making projects. They even have stroller tours that welcome parents/caregivers and their crying babies to explore the Whitney in the morning before they open their doors to the public.

Pier 62 Carousel
Hudson River Park between 22nd & 23rd Street

This 36 ft carousel was created using 33 hand-carved wooden figures of various animals and one chariot. It also seats many, allowing for up to 36 passengers, per ride. Guests can ride with their families or even get a ticket discount on large groups. There’s even an option to have a VIP birthday party with unlimited rides and a private party area!

Kids at Work
123 W 20th St. #2e, New York, NY 10011

Founded in 2007, Kids at Work has since grown into a loving community of parents, caretakers, and children. The classes at the facility are focused on education in subjects like art, music, and cooking. Kids also have the opportunity to partake in sports programs or even learn sign language. Every teacher undergoes ongoing training to make sure that the kids are well-taken care of and that they can learn to the fullest. Kids can go to any class at any time with a reservation, or register for a drop-in package at a discount. Kids at Work also host summer camp, birthday parties and more.

Attractions

CAMP
110 5th Ave., New York, NY, 10011

CAMP is much more than just a retail store! It’s an immersive place for families to explore with tons of activities for a one-of-a-kind experience. Here, the kids will never get bored because CAMP keeps an ever-changing theme going on that keeps them on their toes. Enter through a magical door that will lead to a variety of workshops, interactive areas, and more! Right now, kids can travel the world at CAMP through crafty events from making DIY Tibetan prayer flags to making macaroons out of clay. Even better, if you become a member, you’ll get to reap some of the many perks such as Milk Bar or dropping the kids off for ‘Date Night’ events.

Chelse

Annex Markets: Chelsea Flea Market
29 West 25th Street New York, NY 10010

This flea market is open every weekend and has an entrance fee of just $1 to get access to around 100 vendors. If there’s a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, the market will still be open. In other words, you’ll have a place to get any unique last-minute gifts should you need to. The original market was opened in 1976 under the name of The Annex Antiques Fair & Flea Market. Currently, vendors sell everything from art, vintage clothing, antiques, jewelry, collectibles and more. Most noteworthy, the market does allow some haggling if you want a deal. However, the market does ultimately respect the vendor’s set prices.

Hudson Yards
Between 10th and 12th Avenues from West 30th to West 34th Streets

The hype was everywhere when Hudson Yards opened this past year. If you haven’t already explored this new addition right on the border of Chelsea neighborhood, what are you waiting for? This architectural icon has it all from retail, attractions, living, gardens, and more! Make sure to visit the Public Square and Gardens that span over five acres of public space with plazas, gardens, and groves. One of the biggest attractions that is hard to miss is the Vessel! You can climb and explore to the top and catch some unique views of the newly developed area. Once you make it down, replenish by visiting some of the kid-friendly restaurants inside like Shake Shack, or grab a treat at Dylan’s Candy Bar! You can also hit up the several stores inside which has an H&M with a kid’s department (located on the 3rd and 4th floor).

Relevant Directory Listings

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New York Society of Play Summer Camp and Classes

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Summer Game Camp</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">There are many who do not feel safe sending their children back out into the world with summer camp, this year. To serve those parents and keep the children connected and stimulated during this challenging time, we are offering NYSP Digital Summer Camp. The name of the game with NYSP Summer Camp is community. We have made a large effort to make our camp feel like a living space, with features including –</p> <p dir="ltr">- Role-Playing games familiar and new, led by our master storytellers!</p> <p dir="ltr">- Enriching electives such as Chess, World Building, Character Acting, Crafts, Drawing, and more!</p> <p dir="ltr">- Discussion and media screening rooms during lunch!</p> <p dir="ltr">- A digital campus!</p> <p dir="ltr">- Moderated chat hours!</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">Join us for a summer of games, friends, and more!</p> <p dir="ltr">Mon - Fri 10am - 2:30pm</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Roleplay Expeditions: Dungeons & Dragons</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">No experience is required to join one of our Dungeons & Dragons games. Our game masters have pre-made character sheets, so you'll be able to start playing the game right away! We adapt the rules of traditional Dungeons & Dragons to make them more approachable to children of various ages. Battle in dungeons, search for relics, and make new friends in our one-of-a-kind Dungeons & Dragons workshop! </p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">Public games meet once per week, with different groups every time. Private games meet 1 to 2 times per week with the same group of kids. Since the players and the storyteller in the group are consistent, this enables us to tell epic tales of adventure together!</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Dungeons & Dragons Junior</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">No experience is required to join one of our drop-in Dungeons & Dragons games. Our Dungeons & Dragons Jr. game provides a D&D storytelling experience without character sheets. Battle in dungeons, search for relics, and make new friends in our one-of-a-kind Dungeons & Dragons workshop! A great way to introduce young children to D&D so they can eventually move onto the main game.</p>

Super Soccer Stars

<p>Soccer Stars is New York’s most popular youth educational soccer program! With 24 years of experience under our cleats, we have positively impacted over one million kids in our local community by putting the FUN in FUNdamentals in our weekly classes and camps.</p> <p>At Soccer Stars, we use the soccer ball as a vehicle to help children not only improve their soccer skills, but develop self-confidence and physical literacy, improve gross motor skills, build teamwork, and hone socialization skills. Our highly trained coaches and early childhood experts lead an age-specific curriculum with a low kid-to-coach ratio so every child gets individual attention and can grow at their own pace.</p> <p>Kids ages 1-12+ can join our seasonal programs, including Parent & Me, FUNdamentals, Development Training, and Travel Soccer. Join us at one of over 80 locations in neighborhoods across New York, available 7 days-a-week:</p> <p>·       Upper West Side</p> <p>·       Upper East Side</p> <p>·       Tribeca</p> <p>·       East Village & West Village</p> <p>·       Brooklyn Heights</p> <p>·       Park Slope</p> <p>·       Queens</p> <p>·       The Bronx</p> <p>·       Staten Island</p> <p>·       Jersey City & Hoboken</p> <p>·       Long Island</p> <p>·       The Hamptons</p> <p>·       Westchester</p> <p> </p> <p>Can’t find a class or location that fits your schedule? Soccer Stars also offers private classes for small groups or individual training. Let our coaches come to you with a completely customizable program, anytime, anywhere. Birthday parties are also available!</p>

Child's Play NY Virtual Classes

<p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-f0d8558c-7fff-41d5-daea-321d9ce61efc" style="white-space: normal; font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Child's Play NY is a Brooklyn-based company founded in 2009, committed to offering a diverse array of theater arts classes for children. They believe studying the art of acting encourages kids to be even more creative, collaborative and compassionate human beings. Since its inception, Child's Play NY has touched the lives of hundreds of students, worked inside dozens of schools and is consistently ranked as among the top theater arts programs. </span></span></span><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap;">It is the 2019 winner of Brooklyn Family's Choice award for Best Performing Arts Class.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Fall/Winter 2020-21 Virtual Class Guide</span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">:</span></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Make a Movie Class</span></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Experience creative fulfillment and movie magic with Child’s Play NY! Kids get to make and star in their own film, with professional actors, directors and designers. From development to design to editing choices too, kids can take ownership over the creative process. Their friends and family get to celebrate their accomplishments at a final watch party premiere! Deep project-based learning and peer-connection is at the heart of this 9-week experience which can be done remotely or in-person.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Fall and Winter Virtual Classes</span></strong></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-left: 36pt; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><strong>Hogwarts School (grades 1-3)</strong>: Come get sorted into your favorite house, jump on your Firebolt and let’s make some magic! Class culminates in a movie montage featuring our original scripted work from the session.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Create Your Own Class</span></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Make your own custom group to support social-emotional growth and play. Child’s Play NY provides a dynamic teacher and their lauded curriculum that puts peer-interaction at the front and center. Custom classes are a special way to nurture what your child loves most and share that excitement with their friends, in-person or online.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Playwriting (Grades 4-6)</strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Students will use their creativity, compassion and confidence to build a story they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. Individually, each student will craft a play, and together they will workshop their scenes, exercising their acting, directing, and most importantly, imagination skills. Over the course of the sessions, students will learn the basics of playwriting and be able to present any and all parts of their theatrical story. All classes will include individual assignments and collaborative opportunities. Each day will be structured so that all participants have the chance to learn and study other writers’ work, write for 10-15 minutes and share their words with each other. By the end of the semester they will have used their bodies, intellect and imagination to come up with an original play. By being confident, vulnerable and creative with each other and actively supporting and encouraging each other’s work, students will emerge with meaningful connections to each other and a strong sense of their writing and collaborative abilities.<br />Class culminates in a montage and packet of students’ original work.<strong><br /></strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Musical Theater Lab (Grades 4-6)</strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Learn how to be a triple threat in this dynamic class for budding performers with Child’s Play NY. Students focus on songs, dances and characters from Broadway’s most celebrated and kid-friendly shows. They work alongside professional performers with years of experience bringing their passion to children. Class culminates in a movie showcase of scenes and songs.<br />Join for the full session, or enroll as a drop-in!<strong><br /></strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Shakespeare Scene Study (Grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12)</strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Young people become confident with Shakespeare’s world, language and characters as they learn how to interpret a role with technique and courage. Classically trained professional actors assist the players in their physical, vocal and emotional transformations. All Shakespeare teaching artists are classically trained professional actors and have performed Shakespeare both on and off Broadway and in regional theaters across the country.</div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Students jump into the worlds of Shakespeare in this robust mash-up of improvisation and classic text scene study class. After learning the plot and characters from several plays, they rehearse and memorize scenes from the original text. New material, devised by the cast, adds a contemporary through-line to their show and highlights the universality of Shakespeare’s themes.<br />Class culminates in a movie showcasing their work.</div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>The Big Twist: A New Musical (Grade 1-4)</strong></div> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">In this acting class, students get to perform a brand new musical based on The Wizard of Oz.<br />The Wicked Witch of the South wants to return Oz to a time when WITCHES reigned supreme, and all was evil. Summoning a dark magic Tornado, the Wicked Witch of the South sends Oz hurtling into an alternate Oz. With the Yellow Brick road destroyed, the Wizard left powerless, and the citizens of Oz scattered to the Wind, our heroes are forced into unlikely partnerships to stop the Witch and restore the world to order. The Wizard of Oz meets The Tempest.  Class culminates in a premiere of a movie starring the students, filmed over the last few days of the session.</div> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-57c50323-7fff-79ce-175a-5e25408c0e29"></span></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-84ebe141-7fff-03c2-24cf-fead86e88df2"></span></p>