A Visit to KidsPlay Children's Museum in Torrington

When my kids were looking for something to do, they rarely (okay, never) asked: “Can we go to Torrington?” But that has changed since we recently discovered KidsPlay, a children’s museum located downtown in Litchfield County’s largest city. After just one visit, KidsPlay became a favorite destination. Though it occupies an unassuming building, it packs an incredible amount of creativity and fun in a compact space. From the moment we entered through its doors (monitored by security cameras), the details packed into each play area left us all impressed and giddy. The museum is designed for ages 2-10, and without a doubt, the persons behind its establishment know what makes children happy. 

Free Kayaking, Canoeing and Rowboat Options in New York City

With all the waterfront surrounding New York City, it's no wonder there are so many sightseeing cruises and fun ferry rides to great kid destinations. For times when you want to be your own captain, there's no need to hijack a boat; there are many opportunities for NYC families to get out on the water by themselves, kayaking, rowing and canoeing. We've rounded up 11 great New York City organizations that offer boating sessions on our wonderful waterways—and they're all FREE. Ahoy!

Free Beaches in New Jersey

Get out the beach bags and towels, New Jersey. It’s almost summertime, summertime, sum sum summertime! If your fun-in-the-sun bucket list includes camp, vacation, and trips to our beloved Jersey shore, summertime can be a major season of spending. Jersey shore excursions are a must in the summer, but prices of beach badges and passes can really add up. Luckily, New Jersey is home to some free beaches-- that's right, no admission fees required. While some of these free beaches are found in popular vacation hotspots, other quieter and unguarded ones are located by lakes and bays. Soak up the sun at some of these budget-friendly beach options. Please note that parking fees may apply.

More Than Swan Boats: Things to Do in the Public Garden With Kids

You've walked into Boston's Public Garden and taken the kids for a ride on the Swan Boats. You can check that off your list of things to do with kids in Boston before they grow up,  but now what? Well, there's good news: Families can actually enjoy a lot more in the Public Garden. The 24-acre park – which lies between Arlington and Charles Streets, and across from Boston Common – is a stroller's delight, with winding paths among tremendous horticultural sights. 

13 Dual-Language and Immersion Preschools in Manhattan

Whether your toddler already speaks a second (or third) language at home, or if you’re simply hoping to give your monolingual child the gift of another language, there are plenty of great preschools where NYC kids may begin, or continue, learning another language. 

As with mastering any new skill, regular (and fun) practice makes a big difference in how quickly a child becomes comfortable speaking another language. We previously rounded up great Spanish language learning centers for school-aged kids, as well as Spanish sing-alongs for toddlers. Now, we're turning our attention to the preschool set, pulling together a sampling of immersion and dual-language preschool programs available in Manhattan. All our picks accept a mix of children at different levels of language proficiency, including absolute beginners.

Read on to find out where your tot can learn German, French, Mandarin and Spanish, and be sure to look through our NYC Preschool Listings and Directory for even more options, including dual-language playgroups and preschool alternatives. 

Hiking and Biking the Delaware Valley with Kids: The Best Parks, Trails and Picnic Spots

With summer just around the corner, there is nothing I look forward to more than those long hours of sunshine, taking the kids outside, walking to our local farmer's market and just enjoying the outdoors without the rain and pollen that have kept us housebound for the past few weeks. Hiking, biking and picnicking are great activities for children of any age and can provide years of fun family memories. Here are some of our favorite spots.

Strawberry Fields: 4 Strawberry Picking Farms on Long Island (and a Couple of Festivals)

The East End of Long Island is ripe with places where you can pick your own strawberries. Deciding where to go can be a challenge, so we've handpicked a few of our favorites. Harvesting your own fruit is not only fun, it connects you to where your food comes from and supports locals farmers. It also allows you to experience food at its freshest, right off the vine. This is especially important for Long Island strawberries, which are sweeter and more delicate than most grocery-store varieties, and tend to have a shorter shelf life. Be sure to call ahead or check the farms' websites to confirm that the fields are open and the strawberries are ripe.

For more places where you can pick your own fruit and vegetables in the tri-state area, check out our Farm Guide.

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