My stout athletic son turned 13 in March, but as I write this note, I’m thinking about him when he was a stout athletic 4-year-old and we used to shoot down the corkscrew slide together at the local playground, twisting as we went, and ending up as a big happy mush at the bottom.
This issue—between our annual Ultimate Guide To Raising Children In The City and our annual Summer Fun Guide—is jam-packed with good ideas for family time. But before we go there, I’d like to begin with a simple suggestion to remember the playground. Of all the wonderful ideas you will come upon in these pages, none can beat the idea of a childhood in NYC filled with lots and lots of visits to the playground. For fun, for tears, for learning to share, for seeing friends, for making friends, for the sandbox, the jungle gym, the water sprinkler, and the guy selling ice scream, for the unscheduled random joy of it all, the playground is the jam of early childhood. And the library is the close second, with its children’s section and family programming.
Now that we’re clear on that, my second suggestion is to read the issue with pen in hand, with the goal of circling at least five ideas that you’d like to see or do as a family in the year ahead. From birthday party suggestions to classic borough landmarks, from children’s theater to museum exhibits, there’s much to discover and be excited about.
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As we saunter from spring to summer, it feels only right that we also offer you some light, some humor, and some adventure, and for those qualities I, respectively, recommend our cover interview with Ellie Kemper, the star of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” Marjorie Ingall’s LOL-worthy essay on obsessing about online camp photos of her kids, and a recap of my family’s big trip to London, Normandy, and Paris last summer.
And when you’re done with all that, I have one more suggestion: Parks! For they usually have some great playgrounds as part of the package.
Editor, New York Family