New York has gone to the dogs! The famous Westminster Dog Show has taken residence in Madison Square Garden, and the Chinese New Year (Year of the Dog!) celebrations have already started – furry four-legged friends are definitely having a moment! Where’s the best place for dog fans? No need to be on a short leash – New York City has plenty of fun activities for canine loving families to see. From famous statues, themed restaurants, lively dog parks, and even a new dogs-allowed cafe – there are many ways to celebrate man’s best friend! Read on for our ‘Best in Show’ list of our favorite ways to celebrate our fur friends, with our Dog Lovers Family Guide to NYC!
Dog Lovers Family Guide to NYC
Photo Credit: Tilly Grassa/Courtesy of the Westminster Kennel Club
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
It’s quite fitting that the world’s greatest Dog Show is held in the greatest city in the world! Since 1877, The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, an all-breed conformation show that has been held in New York City annually. Currently, the Junior Showmanship and breed competitions are held at Piers 92 and 94, while the group and Best in Show competitions are held at Madison Square Garden. At nearly 3,000 entries, the event is so large that two days are required for all dogs to be judged! This year the show starts on Monday February 12th, and the Best in Show Ribbon is given out at the end of day Tuesday the 13th. Will your favorite breed win? A must see event for dog enthusiasts! Note: competitions start at 8pm, so it is best for slightly older children.
Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Finale Judging takes place at Madison Square Garden. More information HERE.
Doggy Cafe – Boris and Horton
Fetch a seat for yourself and your four legged friend at the recently opened Boris and Horton – NYC’s first dog cafe. Yes – you read that correctly, there no need to leave Fido at home – dogs are welcome to join in on the fun at the new dog cafe in the LES neighborhood. How does it work? Boris and Horton has a wall divider separating the kitchen from the seating area (to abide by NYC animal code). Order you food with your pooch at the take out window, and bring it to the designated seating area – its that simple! Aside from the full restaurant and coffee shop serving pastries, Boris and Horton also has an on-site shop for apparel and dog accessories, and even a doggie bakery case where humans can purchase a specialty cookie treat that doggies can snack on right at the seat.. A tail waging time for canines, and humans alike.
Boris and Horton. 195 Avenue A at 12th Street. New York, NY. More information HERE.
Dog Lovers Art – Visit Balto
There are plenty of dogs to see in Central Park – but no other canine is quite as famous as that of the golden figure you will find on Park Drive North and 67th Street. Climb up the small boulder and give a hug to Balto, the bronzed statue of the sled dog hero, honoring the canine that delivered much needed medicine to children n Nome Alaska through treacherous blizzard conditions.. A personal favorite, that we always visit in the park.
Statue of Balto. On the southeast side of Central Park. Just off Central Park East Drive/Park Drive North, at 67th St.
Dog Lovers Restaurant – Fred’s
Come! Sit! Stay! at this doggone cute American cafe on the Upper West Side. Named for a female black Labrador Retriever, Fred’s restaurant is a dog lovers dream. Each and every inch of the restaurant is covered in dog paraphernalia and pictures that have been brought in of their dogs from loyal customers. With a great children’s menu, brunch specials, and a strawberry butter that you will remember – this is a very special restaurant that you will be barking about after.
Fred’s. 476 Amsterdam Ave, between 82nd and 83rd, New York, NY. More on the restaurant HERE.
Photo credit: Tompkins Square Park
Tompkins Square Park Dog Run
Looking to run into some dogs and to watch them play? The largest dog park in the city is Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. The Tompkins Square Park Dog run is actually the first ever dog run in the city, and it has a huge community following. Dog amenities include a hose and a pool, and plenty of space for some off-leash tail-wagging fun. Be sure to check out the calendar of events – the Dog Park throws many celebrations – including the (very famous) Halloween Dog Parade that is something everyone must experience.
Tompkins Square Park Dog Run. 1st Ave and Ave B between 7th and 10th, New York, NY. More information HERE.
Photo credit: Frolic
Dog Class at Frolic
Does your family have puppy fever? Before getting a furry friend, children can take an ambassador class at the new (and doggone cute) Frolic, where dogs are the stars. No paws about it, Frolic was made for children who really love dogs, as their classes cater to children who want to learn more about dogs, and who are interested in working with dogs! In beginner classes children can learn basic dog commands, proper care, and training techniques with Frolic’s in house furry companions (yes, real dogs are part of the class!). After the basic classes – Frolic offers further education for those looking to become a groomer, entrepreneur, or even a veterinarian.
More of a cat companion? We couldn’t leave felines off this list! Puuurr on over to the Meow Parlour – a cozy café let’s customers rent time to hang out and interact with cats. Cats roam freely throughout the café, jumping up on the tables, strutting their stuff on the cat walk, and snuggling up next to you in hopes of a friendly pet. Check out our review of Meow Parlour HERE.