Time Out New York Kids

The main cover line says it all -- "pancakes, toys, music - and a strong Bloody Mary for you!" Let's face it -- kids, never mind their social lives, are exhausting. And in New York, the sheer number of entertainment options is staggering. When I was a child, my parents pointed to the backyard and told us to be home for dinner. Get this: We had to amuse ourselves! If the cutie in the pink ribbon is anything to go by, she doesn't leave the house without makeup, designer threads and a visit to her manicurist. There are many pressures on kids today -- a salon stop should not be one of them.

However, the goal of Time Out New York Kids isn't to keep kiddies in the loop. It trumpets the mega-events parents can schedule for the fruit of their loins. This month has 500. 500! It's going to take more than a Bloody Mary to motivate the average parent; amphetamines, stat!

Still, the impulse is a good one. The mag, which is an outgrowth of the successful Time Out franchise, a long-ago British import, is to act as the "ultimate" guide for New York City parents -- and the army of caregivers (nanny, manny, Grandma) --responsible for keeping Junior occupied. It succeeds -- mightily. And by success, I mean it details all the zippy city activities, be they cultural -- music, dance, film, theater -- or indulgent -- shopping and dining -- that a kid could want. All just a color-coded tab away.

The 9-year-old who is down with the 92nd St. Y's classical concerts, the life-size animatronic dinosaurs at the Continental Arena and the vegan smoothies at Jill's in Cobble Hill puts the president to shame. Per Alan Greenspan's new tome, Bush lacks intellectual curiosity, a trait one applauds in world leaders -- or your child's best friend. If I thought he'd read it, I'd buy him a subscription to Time Out New York Kids, with all due respect to Camus. Alas, he is a Stranger to urban delights.

However, for New York parents, this mag is a handy-dandy must. The monthly calendar is ripe with good stuff, much of it free. In October alone: a science barge tour, apple festival, story-time yoga -- and that's just for openers. Activities abound in all boroughs, though the focus is Manhattan and Brooklyn. If parents dutifully schlep their progeny to such glories, they'll have less to whine about in future therapy. At least they can't say you didn't try.

Sure, there are trendy eateries, like Bubby's Tribeca and Alice's Tea Cup, but "High Noon" lists best bets for a "speedy midday nosh." Warning: once thousands of readers slap the list it on the fridge, who knows? Here's two: Vynl, a retro diner in Hell's Kitchen, where Kiss and 'NSync dolls line the shells, and the live-music brunch at Superfine in Dumbo, Brooklyn, where kids scarf down Southwestern fare. Such choices! In my day, Dairy Queen was considered nirvana. Now, I feel like a "West Side Story" lyric: "I'm depraved on account of I'm deprived." Mine was a generation that thought "crepe" was paper.

We live and learn -- and here's the takeaway: If you have a child in your life, Time Out New York Kids is essential. What other mag would recommend the silent German Expressionist classic "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" as a family-friendly chiller for the 10-13 set? Its overall presentation is fun and jam-packed with information; the tone is light and upbeat; and the photos cheery and evocative. And, at just $9.95 for 12 issues, it may be the best deal in town.


Published by: Time Out New York Partners
Frequency: Monthly
Web site

Next story loading loading..