New Yorkers love New York. We love moaning about the sky-high rent and smelly garbage on the streets, but mostly we love living in the city that never sleeps – particularly if we’re parents to a mini-New Yorker who also never sleeps. Here are our favorite things about parenting in NYC.

subway-nyc

1. The Subway
It’s fast and it takes you everywhere (except if you have a stroller, or if you need an elevator, or if it is a weekend, or God forbid, if you live in Brooklyn. Also, do not, ever, for the love of all that is holy, take the G train). Who needs a car?

2. The Performers On The Subway
For a $1 tip, it’s a lot cheaper than a music or dance class and keeps kids entertained on long subway rides. Exception: Urban pole dancing performers (stand back and watch out!).

ballet-class

3. Classes For Every Artiste
Got a future picasso on your hands? Or a potential member of the corps de ballet? NYC kids can takes classes from some of the best institutions in the world, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Alvin Ailey School of Dance.

4. Friends In Walking Distance
It’s impossible to step outside without running into someone you know. And as a parent, that’s a good thing. Playdates are so easy to set up that your calling card is always full.

central-park-playground

5. Playgrounds On Every Corner
When it’s one of the four months of the year when it’s warm enough to play outside, we’re lucky to be able to find a playground almost anywhere.

6. It’s A Cultural Melting Pot
You can celebrate holidays from around the world, with kids from every nation, especially at local block parties and festivals. Tolerance begins here.

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7. Kid-Friendly Restaurants
New Yorkers love to eat out, and our kids are mini-foodies in training. Babies at Balthazar are welcome. BYO Cheerios.

8. All Niches Are Covered
Got kids who want to try parkour? Aerial arts? Or who want to be a Broadway star? There’s a class (or five) for that!

central-park

9. Central Park Is Your Backyard
How cool is that?

10. Broadway Shows
Even little kids can enjoy top-quality performances from toddler-age up. Annie? The Lion King? Seen it!

11. The Carousels
Is there anything more fun than taking a spin on an old world carousel? Jane’s Carousel, on the Brooklyn waterfront, possibly has the best location of any carousel in the world.

12. 24-Hour Bagel Shops
A great midnight snack for new parents pounding the pavement to get colicky babies to sleep. Or at least, a place to go in times of late night duress.

fao-big-piano

13. FAO Schwarz
Dancing on the giant piano and taking a selfie with a giant stuffed giraffe is on everyone’s bucket list.

14. Toys ‘R’ Us Times Square
A ferris wheel indoors. A moving T-Rex. Rainy days are sorted.

tom-otterness

15. Tom Otterness Sculptures
His quirky statues pop up unexpectedly in places like 14th Street Station and Battery Park. Instant fun in ordinary circumstances.

16. Eat All Around The World Without Leaving The City
NYC kids grow up eating food from Greece, Japan, Mexico, India, Italy and China, and if they don’t like it, you can order it in after they go to bed.

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17. Governor’s Island, Rockaway Beach, Fort Tryon Park
It’s like taking a refreshing break from the city, but you’re only a short ferry or train ride away.

18. Everything’s In Walking Distance
From museums to 24-hour drugstores, it’s never-ending amusement and supplies, all nearby.

im-so-brooklyn

19. We Wear Our City Pride On Our Chests
Is there a kid in King’s County who doesn’t own an I’m So Brooklyn or No Sleep Till Brooklyn tee?

20. We Live Where Everyone Else Wants To Be
We can whine about the weather and never getting a seat on the subway, but we also know we live in the best city in the world and it’s amazing to say this is where our kids are growing up.

Why do you love parenting in NYC? Tell us in a Comment!

–Christine Knight