Upper West Side Kids
Julliard Summer Dance Intensive
60 Lincoln Center Plz., Upper West Side
For three weeks in the heat of a New York City summer, young dancers can gain a glimpse of life at one of the finest dance institutes in the world. This program is not for the novice. For teens studying ballet for years, Julliard can take their craft to the next level. There are some limitations on who can apply—at least one year of high school under the belt, and no high school graduates—leaving a range of fifteen- to seventeen-year-olds for a mini-college experience, complete with optional on-campus housing. Students meet in one of Juilliard's six dance studios for classes that combine classic ballet technique and pointe, with training in yoga and improvisation. Camp wraps with a final performance choreographed by Julliard faculty and renowned guest artists. Outside of the studio, there’s plenty of time to explore New York City—an intensive summer experience all on its own.
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
212 W. 83rd St., Upper West Side
This interactive museum touches on everything from the science of sleep to jazz. During warmer months, there’s also an outside water park, where kids can sail boats and study erosion through sand. With 38,000 square feet, there’s plenty to keep little ones occupied.
American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West, Upper West Side
COVID-19 update: Most exhibits are open for socially distant viewing, but the virtual program is full of exciting options for kiddos at home. The museum’s virtual camp program is broken up into two options: Adventures in Science (for elementary school students) and Middle School Institutes (for middle school and junior high students). Weeklong sessions for younger children revolve around themes like Key to the Kingdoms of Life and Building Biodiversity. Meanwhile, older campers will dig into more advanced programming, like Coding Climbing Change. Each day lasts four hours, with a mix of live, educator-led discussion, guest scientist talks, animal encounters, and peeks behind the scenes at the museum, plus offline activities kids can work through on their own or with the support of an on-call educator. A fantastic way to support both your child’s interest in STEM and a museum losing IRL visitor support this summer. COVID-19 disclaimer: We are working hard to keep our listings as up to date as possible (deliveries, outdoor dining, etc.), but given the evolving nature of local COVID-19 restrictions, we recommend double-checking the information in this guide with any business you plan on visiting. Also,…
Alice’s Tea Cup
102 W. 73rd St., Upper West Side
These Alice in Wonderland-themed spots are pretty cute (there are now three outposts), making them a great option for a mid-afternoon snack or a birthday party destination. Pioneered by Lauren and Haley Fox, these teashops offer perfectly brewed teas, healthy snacks, and prettily arranged sweets—from cupcakes to cookies. There is a second location on the Upper East Side (on 81st Street), and one on the Upper West Side.
Alice’s Tea Cup
102 W. 73rd St., Upper West Side
These Alice in Wonderland-themed spots are pretty cute (there are now three outposts), making them a great option for a mid-afternoon snack or a birthday party destination. Pioneered by Lauren and Haley Fox, these teashops offer perfectly brewed teas, healthy snacks, and prettily arranged sweets—from cupcakes to cookies. There are also two locations on the Upper East Side.
410 Columbus Ave., Upper West Side
This under-the-radar Japanese brand puts out all sorts of cool and totally quirky prints and graphics that are both great and at times hilarious. (I.e., the tag in your toddler's pineapple-printed shorts might read: Big Goals Every Day.) The other big appeal is the cut: The pants and jeans in particular are good for skinnier, harder-to-fit babies and kids. There's also a location in the Financial District and Soho.
Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle, Upper West Side
Big, bustling, and long-standing, Landmarc is one of those spots that can appease even the fussiest of palettes. Beyond the fact that they're never annoyed by the presence of young ones, they're quick with the crayons and the kid-friendly menu, which includes hits like macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers, and peanut butter and nutella sandwiches. Did we mention they serve cotton candy? Meanwhile, parents will find plenty that appeals, too, as well as a really nice wine list. It's great for groups as the one in the Time Warner Center in particular is huge—and open until 2am. The original is in Tribeca.
Bank Street Bookstore
2780 Broadway, Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is home to some of the best teaching programs in New York, and with it comes one of the best bookstores for little ones. You’ll find everything from kids classics to the newest and best titles selected by the store’s knowledgeable staff.