Trains, Dinos & Heros

The Expo Line Arrives! Santa Monica to Downtown LA in 46 Minutes

They've been working on the railroad—all the livelong decade, it feels like. There are kids in high school who have heard all their lives about the light rail someday reaching the sea. Well, this weekend, on May 20, 2016 to be exact, the Santa Monica extension of the Expo Line finally opens up, and people will be able to travel between the Pier and DTLA without touching their car keys. Los Angeles Metro is celebrating the much anticipated event with parties and free rides for everyone. In all, 7 new stations are opening up, so that's 7 parties with live music, food trucks, bounce houses, and other entertainment from Culver City to Santa Monica. Hop on a train, and pretty much anywhere you hop off, there'll be a party going on. Yes, that's how novel public transport is to people on the Westside of LA.

The free rides are on offer from noon on Friday through the end of Saturday. After that, riders need to have a TAP card ($1 in vending machines, $2 on buses or at retail locations) loaded up with enough credit for travel; each journey costs $1.75 ($1 for kids in grades K-12), including transfers. And the good news is that several new Big Blue Bus routes have been added to meet the train—as well as a few other creative ways to get to and from the station.

New Cinderella Rocks Sneakers, Sisters in Drag and Inner Beauty

We've probably all seen at least one production of Cinderella, whether in film form or onstage. But have you ever seen the fairy godmother roll in on skates? Or the evil stepsisters played in drag? The Commedia Cinderella, presented by Ragtag Theatre Company, is a raucous and rambunctious adaption on the timeless fairy tale. From a furry, colorful sneaker in lieu of a glass slipper to song and dance numbers performed to pop hits, Commedia Cinderella, kept us in giggles, even if some of the jokes flew right over my kids' heads.

Read on for our full review of this Off-Broadway family show, playing in NYC through mid-summer 2016.

12 New Theme and Water Park Rides and Thrills Near New York

If summertime means theme and water park fun and roller coaster thrills for your family, then you’ll want to check out what’s new for the 2016 season at some of our favorite amusement parks in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.

While the recent cool spring temps along the East Coast have put a hold on opening day for some amusement parks, others are already open for junk food eating, coaster screams and arcade fun. We found two brand-new roller coasters and more little kid friendly fare like a five-slide complex and new home for Jersey dinosaurs in our search across parks in the greater New York City area, including Coney Island’s Luna Park, and a bit beyond, like Six Flags in New Jersey and Edaville’s Thomas Land in Massachusetts to round up more than a dozen new rides, features and thrills for summer 2016.

Read on for all the details, including height requirements and expected opening dates.

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.

Feathered ‘Dinosaurs Among Us’ Opens at Natural History Museum

Bird or dinosaur? Your kid may ask that question a lot after visiting Dinosaurs Among Us, the new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, opening Monday, March 21, on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

The whole premise behind the new exhibit is that dinosaurs never really left. Instead, we can see their “evolutionary legacy” on display in the behaviors and anatomy of thousands of modern-day birds. Think of your annual turkey wishbone, birds' scaly feet with elongated toes, the aggressive, beast-like piercing call of certain species like the peacock and, of course, their egg-filled nests.

The exhibit is made up of dozens of fossils, full-scale dinosaur and bird casts, as well as display cases of eggs and nests, feathers (everywhere) and other elements to help visitors compare today's bird species with their extinct relatives, like a side-by-side display of the three-toed foot of an emu and the similar, but larger, three-toed foot of a Struthiominus altus that lived 78 million years ago in North America.

Hop Aboard the Easter Bunny Express: Train Rides for Kids Near Philly

Spring is in the air, and many of our scenic railroads are celebrating the season with Easter excursions. Families are invited to get outside after a long winter to enjoy a trip through the countryside with Peter Cottontail himself! We have rounded up several Easter-themed trains that will be running special events for kids in the Delaware Valley.

Some of these trains include an Easter Egg hunt at the halfway stop. It is helpful to check whether the railroad provides a photographer and charges for a picture with the Bunny or if you can bring your own camera.

These Easter Bunny Trains can be the start of a great family tradition to celebrate the Easter holiday and to welcome Spring!  Be sure to check our calendar for more fun spring events.

Coolest Boston T Stations for Kids

For many kids, hearing a train rumble through a tunnel as it enters a station can be a moment of excitement, inspiring cries of, “I see the train!” Certain subway and trolley stops on the T exhibit a bit more charm than others, whether it be an interesting station design, convenient vendors, or appealing artwork. With that in mind, below is brief rundown of eight kid-tested stations in Boston's rapid transit system. 

Seven Dinosaur Destinations Near NYC for Kids

My 10-year-old son has been dino crazy for years and I do my best to indulge him. Our latest dino-adventure was counting down the seconds until we saw Jurassic World on opening night last summer. I loved the original Michael Crichton novel and saw the first blockbuster movie on opening night back in the 1990s, so I couldn't wait to experience the thrilling, prehistoric action on the big screen with my son.

The live action of a PG-13 dino movie is too much for most kids, so we've rounded up the top dinosaur attractions in NYC (hello American Museum of Natural History!), or within a three-hour drive of the city, like the tot-friendly Dinosaur Place in Connecticut. If you've got an aspiring paleontologist in your life, you'll want to put these six dinosaur destinations on your must-see list.

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