New Yorkers know resiliency, and NYC families and kids are hanging tough right now with grace and style. But we also deeply love our city— yes, even the things we kvetch about on the reg. Here are some of the things we’re day-dreaming of from the couch, and where we’re headed when it’s safe to go outside again.

Central Park

NYC's back yard isn't quite the same when we can't enjoy it all together. Tackling Heckscher Playground, zipping down the granite slides at Billy Johnson Playground, climbing the "forts" of the Tarr Coyne Wild West Playground with other families—not to mention scaling some of the exposed bedrock to a peak or storming Belvedere Castle—sounds like a great way to spend the day. 

Street Fairs

The crowds! The endless tents of sort of useless for sale! The smell of fry and NYC summer in the air!  

Coney Island

The sun, the sand, the surf, the Cyclone. (Even if they're too hot, too crowded, too cold, and too expensive/scary—what's not to love? Man, we could go for a Nathan's.)

The Clay Bar at The Children's Museum of the Arts

We miss the whole museum of course, but a clay bar that needs a reservation is a pretty special thing. 

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Brooklyn Bridge Park

From the jammed Water Lab at Pier 6 to the sand box, playgrounds for little and big kids, roller skating, room to run, and amazing views, we're ready to pitch a tent here to make full use of the park. 

Bodegas

Yes, you can still go to the bodega, but we want to go sans mask and gloves, get a bacon egg & cheese, pet the cat, chat with the owners, and not worry about close quarters. 

Our Gorgeous Gardens

Sitting in the big nest in the Children's Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, exploring the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, harvesting in the Children's Garden at the Queens Botanical Garden! (Plus smelling the roses, watching the koi, and running through the manicured grass.) 

Brunch

Brunch, any brunch: greasy spoon, hoity-toity, hour-long wait in hipsterville, al fresco with a healthy side of people-watching and a bottomless cup of coffee. Our sad bowl of cereal is not cutting it. 

Trader Joe's

Ah, to be standing in a long line as you placate your child with Scandinavian Swimmers and Inner Peas, peruse 10 different kids of moderately-priced olive oil and jam to hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Bliss. 

The American Museum of Natural History

We're thinking the Blue Whale, the Alaskan Brown Bears and the Titanosaur are wondering where everybody is at these days. (Maybe even the Willamette Meteorite, too.) 

photo: Mimi O'Connor

A Kid's Show at MSG, Barclays Center, The Beacon Theater, etc.

Remember when you kind of dreaded being packed into a room full of cheering/screaming/crying kids on a weekend morning and shelling out big bucks for popcorn and a plastic thing that lit up? (That got lost or broken or abandoned immediately upon returning home.) Those were good times. 

The Bagel Store

The early weekday efficiency, the weekend chaos, the politics of the line, we want it all, just like it used to be. 

photo: Schenck

Governors Island

Technically, this offshore Shangri-la opens for the season May 1. Whenever we can get there, we're going to get messy at The Yard, laze in a hammock, go crazy at Slide Hill, take in some mind-expanding art and do a quick zipline run. (And yeah, maybe have a cold beer.) 

Mani/Pedis at the Local Salon

Everyone's nails are looking a little rugged right now. Plus: Are we the only ones for whom our local salon is kind of like the neighborhood watering hole? They know us, our kids, our business. 

Smorgasburg

Jianbing, Ramen Burger, Big Mozz mozzarella sticks, beef short rib with chimichurri, Dough doughnuts, Red Hook Lobster Pound Lobster Roll. We love all these foods (and many more) and we will be back with dollars to support the vendors that create them! 

A Carousel...Any Carousel

We've got so many special ones to choose from: The magical Sea Glass Carousel in Battery Park, the buggy ride at the Bronx Zoo, the tres francais  Le Carrousel in Bryant Park, the Carousel for All Children in Staten Island, the glass-enclosed gem Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Totally Kid Carousel in Riverbank State Park. 

Beer Gardens

While it's true beer garden season hadn't really begun at the start of this, after we make it through, a nice cold beverage with friends (and strangers) will be especially refreshing. 

Chinatown

While it's not quite fair to say there's no place like NYC Chinatown (there are at least a couple in NYC itself), this neighborhood bustles with great food, lots of hustle, grit and culture. We're dreaming about Nom Wah dim sum, the broth and noodles at Great New York Noodletown, the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai and some dessert at the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. 

The Subway

Yeah, we said it. The ugly orange seats, rush hour, platform musicians (authorized and not), the views, Poetry in Motion, the sight of a train coming and that gust that comes with it—and of course, Showtime! 

 

feature photo: Daniel Torres Bonato via Flickr

—Mimi O’Connor

RELATED STORIES:

Live, From the Living Room: How Real NYC Kids Are Having Fun at Home

We Got You: Online Activities & Classes for Indoor Fun

100+ Indoor Things to Do with Kids