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Dumbo, New York: The Complete Family-Friendly Neighborhood Guide

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Dumbo, New York!

The funny thing about living in New York is that you may know about a special nook but not really know what to do there with the family! DUMBO is one of those neighborhoods where you need an insider to share with you all the cool places. First, Dumbo is gorgeous. It sits along the water with a breathtaking view of the skyline. As a mom and resident of the area, I love that there is never a lack of entertainment that can accommodate my young son.

For those who don’t live there, it is easy to get to by train or by ferry. Visitors can take the 2 or 3 trains to Clark street, the A or C trains to High Street, or the F train to York Street to access the neighborhood. The Jay-Street Metrotech train station is a trek from the area, but offers an elevator for those with strollers and is served by the A, C, F and R trains. Pier 1 is a ferry stop in the heart of the neighborhood that offers stair-free access from various parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

For more family-friendly guides around New York City, visit Chelsea: The Complete Family-Friendly NYC Neighborhood Guide

Eat & Drink

From amazing bagels and pizza, to hole-in-the-wall delis with the world’s best bacon egg and cheese sandwiches to fine dining experiences, there is something for everyone in DUMBO.

Westville Dumbo
81 Washington St.

American restaurant Westville Dumbo, located at 81 Washington Street, offers filling food made with fresh ingredients. From avocado tacos to truffle Parmesan fries, their long menu ensures there is a dish for every palate. The restaurant is on the ground floor and has plenty of open space, high chairs and a handicap restroom that has space for you to change a diaper. The restaurant opens at 9 am Monday through Friday and 10 am on Saturday and Sunday, and stays open until 10 pm.

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Photo by Melissa Hom

The Osprey
60 Furman St.

For dining right along the East River, The Osprey in Brooklyn Bridge Park is just a step away from waterfront views. Its fare includes a range of American dishes, such as Nantucket Scallops or Long Island Duck. It opens early for breakfast and lunch and closes from 3 or 4 pm, depending on the day, until 5:30 pm before dinnertime. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, which offers luxurious lodging and a full-service spa on the cellar floor. The restrooms downstairs are accessible by elevator and include a handicap stall.

Cecconi’s Dumbo
55 Water St.

Cecconi’s Dumbo at 55 Water Street features a gourmet Italian menu and an extensive cocktail and wine menu. Restaurant-goers can wine and dine while gazing over the water at the Manhattan skyline from the outdoor tables. While the restaurant bathroom does not include a changing table, there is a restroom open to the public in the same building that parents can use, should they need access to a changing table. It is open until 11 pm on most nights.

Jacques Torres
66 Water St.

The small Jacques Torres chocolate shop at 66 Water Street sits across a cobblestone street, making it a gorgeous spot for a date night or dessert. Jacques Torres is best known for its unique bonbon assortments, including champagne, fresh coconut, cappuccino and pineapple pastis flavored chocolates. The doors are open from 9 am to 8 pm every day except Sunday, when the shop is open from 10 am to 6 pm.

Shop

The opportunity to shop in New York seems to be around every corner, and stores focused on kids’ clothing and toys are abundant, especially in DUMBO.

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Two Kids and a Dog
65 Pearl St.

On 65 Pearl Street, Two Kids and a Dog offers children’s toys and clothing from name brands, including Patagonia and Rylee + Cru. The store is a perfect stop for birthday gifts, serving newborns through age 10 until 7 pm every day. Started by two New York City parents, the store is a great option for someone looking for curated apparel in a boutique setting.

Egg New York
72 Jay St.

Egg New York at 72 Jay Street features their own brand of chic clothing for babies, toddlers and older kids. The store has multiple locations, including others in New York City and various states across the U.S. Its DUMBO location is open from 10 am to 6 pm daily.

Dumbo Baby
68 Jay St.

Just steps away from Egg New York, clothing boutique Dumbo Baby offers an additional range of baby clothing at 68 Jay Street.

Play

Whether you’re a Brooklyn local or on vacation, kids and babies are most excited by play time. DUMBO offers plenty of space to play and entertaining activities for all ages, such as numerous gyms with open play hours and classes for more structured fun.

Brooklyn Bridge Park
334 Furman St.

In the summer months, kids can run around and swing at a number of playgrounds at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Playgrounds are open from dawn until dusk, and the park path along the water is open all night long. The Pier 1 Playground offers small bucket swings for babies and climbing structures suited for young children, with a view of the New York City skyline for parents to enjoy. Also in the park, the Main Street Playground has larger stairs to climb for older kids, and the playground is still close to the beautiful view of the water at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Aside from designated playgrounds, there are several grassy lawns to spread out on with a blanket and a picnic basket.

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Jane’s Carousel
Old Dock St.

Brooklyn Bridge Park offers activities for the winter as well, with Jane’s Carousel on Old Dock Street housed in glass walls to allow for warmth and a view of the water. The wooden carousel features 48 horses for older babies and kids to sit on and sleigh benches for parents to ride with younger babies. Winter hours, held until May 17, 2020 are Thursday through Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm and tickets are just $2.

Recess d.u.m.b.o.
81 Washington St.

For more freedom of movement, Recess d.u.m.b.o. at 81 Washington Street offers $30 drop-in play sessions and $40 classes with sibling discounts. Activities run from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 11:30 am on weekends. In addition to its spacious play areas with slides and climbing structures, the location has various classes for toddlers including acting, yoga, dance and preschool prep. Babies can attend music classes along with their older peers.

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Photo by The Little Gym

The Little Gym of DUMBO
75 Front St.

Another play space geared toward movement is The Little Gym of DUMBO at 75 Front Street. The gymnasium has classes at various times for babies 4 months and up at $37 per class. Its classes include a range of activities, from parent and child movement courses, pre-k and grade school gymnastics to dance. Both Recess d.u.m.b.o. and The Little Gym offer birthday party packages for toddlers and kids.

Area 53
53 Bridge St.

Older kids and teens can enjoy laser and archery tag at Area 53’s DUMBO location at 53 Bridge Street. While there is no age restriction for laser tag, there is a height requirement of 3’4”. For archery tag, players must be at least 12 years old. A day at Area 53 makes for an energizing birthday party experience or simply a fun family activity on a weekend. To enjoy Area 53, attendees must book a time slot.

That wraps up our top spots for dining, shopping and entertainment in DUMBO! The neighborhood is also walking distance from other areas full of entertainment such as Brooklyn Heights and Vinegar Hill.