20 Best Water Playgrounds and Sprinklers for Kids in NYC

When we were growing up, New York City playgrounds had sprinklers. Now parks and playgrounds across the five boroughs possess "water features"—fountains, geysers, rivers, pumps and beautiful spraying statues. Kids just love them, and we parents prefer these newfangled playgrounds because they're pretty and cool, and make us feel as if our exorbitant NYC housing costs are justified.

As the city's sprinkler season gets into gear, it's good to know where to find the wildest and wettest playgrounds around. There are hundreds of water features in NYC parks. Some are cooler (literally and figuratively) than others, and more amazing ones seem to open every year. When we first published this article in 2008, we had five favorite splashing spots. Now we're up to 20 fancy playgrounds where kids can get wet in NYC. See if your favorites made our list (and if not, clue us in).

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Preschool Directory and Spring Celebration, May 23-27

Big news! We've finally launched our Boston Preschool Guide, and it's chock full of advice for choosing a preschool for your little one. And we now have a searchable Preschool Directory. This means you can easily find what you're looking for – full-time care, Montessori, a co-op, or another type of preschool – in the entire greater Boston area, or narrowed down to your neighborhood. We know that finding the right preschool can be daunting, but we have you covered. If you don't see a listing for your favorite preschool, let us know

This is a great week for music lovers. There's an inspiring spring celebration with the Revels and students of Perkins School, puppets at the Pops, Club Passim's annual community collaboration celebration, and an evening with a Broadway star. There's also a little something for readers, dog-loving do-gooders, art enthusiasts, and LEGO fans. Activities and inspiration are plentiful, even if it rains every day. Take a look at our picks for this week, and if you don't see something intriguing, check out our Events Calendar for more ideas. Or you could just take the kids to see the Angry Birds Movie

Weekday Fun: Fleet Week, Kid Theater, Memorial Weekend Trips

This week NYC rolls into the long-awaited Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer. One of our annual favorite activities for NYC kids is watching the sailors arrive during Fleet Week's incredible Parade of Ships in the New York Harbor. Families can also spend a day in the activity-filled Brooklyn Bridge Park, play a round of miniature golf at Shipwrecked, watch an all-star kid cast in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, gape at the incredible circus show Bianco or head to the New York Botanical Garden to explore its latest exhibit.

This is also opening weekend for many of NYC’s popular summer-season spots, including Governors Island, which, with a bunch of new amenities, looks like it will be even more fun than it was last year!

Looking for a day trip or getaway for the upcoming three-day weekend? Visit a nearby amusement park or water park, many of which open for the season on Saturday. My son was a big fan of Pennsylvania's Dutch Wonderland until he graduated to the larger Hersheypark. Or take in some nearby sights, such as Storm King Art Center and the quaint town Mystic, Connecticut, home to one of our favorite aquariums. Or head further afield. I recently visited Tallahassee, Florida's capital city, and was wowed by the myriad activities for kids. Also, we're giving away a trip to Club Med Punta Cana! Find out how you can win here.

And don't forget: NYC's beaches open for the season next weekend. Read about our seven favorites for families.

There's always more family fun to be found in our Event Calendar and Spring Guide for New York City Kids.

Where To Pick Strawberries with Kids Near Boston

In the realm of pick-your-own, I don't think there's a better fruit for kids to pluck than the strawberry. The plants are close to the ground and the berries are accessible without having to reach way into the plant. Ripe berries are clustered together, so kids have the satisfaction of picking a lot in a short period of time. And no prickers!

June is "strawberry month" and most farms are open for picking by mid-month; some are ready even sooner. Read on for farms where you can pick your own strawberries, followed by tips for getting the most out of the experience. 

FREE Fishing Derbies for Westchester and Lower Hudson Valley Kids

“I betcha’ goin’ fishin’ all the time, baby goin’ fishing’ too …”

With much respect to Taj Mahal, taking kids fishing can be an, ahem, interesting experience if they lack the needed patience. Fishing derbies, however, can be an ideal initiation to the sport. 
At a kids' fishing derby, lakes or ponds are typically stocked with easily caught fish, increasing the chances your son or daughter will have success. We’ve gathered details about some upcoming fishing derbies in Westchester and the surrounding Lower Hudson Valley — all of which are FREE!  

Looking for more tips for fishing with kids in Westchester? We’ve got you covered. If you’ve slacked on getting a license, you can also take advantage of one of New York State’s Free Fishing Days.  

Top 7 Beaches Near NYC for a Family Daycation

Summertime means beach time, but while there are lots of shores near and even in NYC, some are more family-friendly than others. After packing up your gear and schlepping the kids by car, train, bus or ferry, the last thing you want to find out is that your chosen beach has no bathroom or that bathing suits are optional. Skip the guesswork with our roundup of these seven beaches for NYC families, including detailed info on attractions, food, bathrooms and hidden costs. Most are within two hours of Manhattan by car but are easily accessible via public transportation as well.

Does the Angry Birds Movie Soar? Depends on Your Age

My 10-year-old daughter must have sensed my trepidation on the way to the Angry Birds Movie screening, because she said, "Don't worry, Mom. Maybe it will be a pleasant surprise, like The LEGO Movie." She knows I'm not big on movies based on brands. LEGO was an exception because it wasn't locked in to a specific story line. But thanks to the ubiquitous game, Angry Birds has a set premise: the birds are angry, and the pigs are villains. In the eponymous film we find out why. And, while it doesn't always soar, it's definitely not for the birds, either.

That's good news for parents, since every child between the ages of 2 and 12 seems set on flying directly to the theater to catch this animated adventure on opening day. But before you go, you probably have some pressing questions—especially what exactly earns the flick a PG rating, and whether it's worth the extra splurge to see it in 3D. We watched the film with eagles eyes and have the answers.

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