Parks & Playgrounds

Hidden NYC: 21 Fun Things To Do in Central Park

Central Park was created as a respite for the teeming masses of Manhattan.The 843-acre jewel is home to woodlands, meadows, lakes and wildlife, and years later still offers a respite to all New Yorkers. Today, more than 40 million people annually visit the lush expanses of the country's earliest public parks. Its 21 playgrounds make it a destination for families from all over the city and world.

Central Park isn’t a place to tire of easily. My family's daily commute to school takes us back and forth across the park, for which I thank my lucky stars. But it's easy to lose perspective and forget how much this massive green space has to offer locals and visitors alike. With that in mind, we've rounded up 21 fun sites and scenes worth exploring in New York City's big backyard, from the obvious playgrounds and sledding hills to more obscure destinations. Enjoy.

NYC Carousels: 13 City Merry-Go-Rounds To Spin You Around

There's something wonderfully nostalgic about kids getting a thrill from a ride on a carousel. There are more than a dozen merry-go-rounds in our city and all offer a unique spin on this traditional kiddie ride. With spring in full swing, it's a great time to take your first carousel ride of the season. There are merry-go-rounds in all five boroughs, which means there's probably one near you.

Top Things to Do With Kids on the MBTA Blue Line

The MBTA's Blue Line gets a bad rap: It's shorter than the other T lines, such as the Orange and Green lines, and doesn't pass through any particularly hip neighborhoods. But there is a surprising amount of sights families can enjoy at most of the Blue Line's dozen stations. Here's a quick look at the top eight kid-friendly stops along this subway line.

Chester County Parks Philly Residents Must Visit

Kids love playing outside, and if you live in the city, you probably don't have a ton of outdoor space. Visiting a park or a playground is a great way to get kids outside to run around and play. Of course the city still has plenty of awesome parks, splash pads, and outdoor activities for families, but these Chester County playgrounds are definitely unique. These parks are filled with nature trails, playgrounds, fields to run around on and some even offer pools and lakes for swimming in the summer months! These playgrounds are worth the trip from wherever you live, so hop in the car and get ready for a day of adventure.

Kite Festivals and Places for LA Kids To Fly Kites

"With tuppence for paper and strings / You can have your own set of wings..."

Okay, so the Mary Poppins tune is a bit dated; kites cost more than tuppence these days. But not much. And now that it's spring, and the sea (and mountain) breezes are tickling our cheeks, why not let them lift our kites as well? Read on for suggested places to buy (and ways to make) a kite—as well as where you and your kids can set them to soar—with your fist holding tight to the string of your kite. Come on! Let's go fly a kite!

Giggles: A New Playspace for Kids and Parents in New Jersey

Have you ever dreamed about enjoying a hot cup of coffee while the kids were engulfed in creative play? You know, a cup that you don’t have to reheat 3 times? Get caffeinated while the kids burn energy at Giggles, a brand new indoor activity center in Cranford, NJ that offers both a multi-faceted play arena for little ones and an adjacent coffee bar for grownups. The cafe’s seating is in direct view of the enclosed play area, allowing kids up to age 6 to run free while adults chill out. Open play is pay-as-you-go, with no membership fees. Check out why Giggles is an ideal venue for playdates, mom meet-ups, parties or a little sanity break.

Enjoy Free Family Camping in NYC Parks

Camping is a great way to bond with your kids and commune with nature. Contrary to what you might think, you don't need to invest in expensive equipment or even leave New York City to pitch a tent. The Urban Park Rangers offer free overnight family camping at designated times and locations in all five boroughs. Bonus: They bring almost everything you need for a night spent alfresco, including the tent, dinner and even s'mores!

The annual program kicks off around Memorial Day and although it's free, advance registration is required for all camp outs. Read on to find out how to you can snag a spot at one of these cool camping trips.

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