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.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Children’s Book Day, Hurray for Jane, Apr. 25-29

All ages have activities to look forward to this week in Westchester, with cleverly designed events for families to choose.

Whether your teen is considering college, an advanced degree or a role in the military, the College Conference is your one-stop destination for fact-finding. For cultural immersion without leaving home, bring your kids to Children's Book Day, where they’ll be treated to education and entertainment about Salsa music and more.  For biographical immersion, celebrate the anthropologic contributions of Jane Goodall at Hurray for Jane!

More good news: As is often the case, all of our top picks for the week are FREE—and there are many more where that came from on our Event Calendar! Read on and click through for more of our weekday faves.

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Weekday Picks: Sea Creatures, Trampolines, and a Circus of Joy, April 25-29

As if you couldn't have guessed from the advertising and heated rhetoric, Tuesday is the primary here in Connecticut, and as a result quite a few school districts have the day off. Fortunately, there's all manner of entertainment available after you've done your civic duty from Sea Creature Storytime to trampoline adventures to a very special circus theater performance. The touring production of Matilda, the fantastic musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's novel, arrives at The Bushnell on Tuesday, and is a wonderful splurge for children of all ages (as of this writing, there were still a smattering of tickets available for the weekend's matinee performances).

To make sure you don't miss out on any fun across the state, check our frequently updated Event Calendar and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Arts, Fairy Gardens and Architecture, April 25-29

With the start of the Harvard Arts First Festival, Somerville Open Studios, CraftBoston Spring Show and Spring ArtWeek Boston, this week is all about celebrating the arts in Boston. National Poetry Month is coming to a close, but there's still time to learn to speak in Shel and pop a poem into your kid's pocket. Also in honor of National Poetry Month, the rest of this post is written in verse. (Just kidding.) 

There's still one more week to experience the whimsical and artful fairy gardens in Providence, and since the older kids are back in school, it's the perfect time to take the little ones to enjoy the gardens sans crowds. Speaking of whimsy, Frank Gehry is being awarded the Harvard Arts Medal this Thursday, and a field trip to the MIT campus this week to see the Stata Center is a great way to introduce the kids to his work. 

Our Event Calendar shares many more delights for families, artsy or otherwise. Give it a peek!

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Science, Movies, Trees Apr 25-29

Political calls, lawn signs, billboards and flyers. It is difficult to escape the fact that Tuesday is Election Day for Pennsylvanians. It also is a day off from school for many Philly children. Why not plan out the week's activities with a little help from our Events Calendar.

Consider spending an afternoon with the kids at one of the local libraries featuring Philadelphia Science Festival fun. Learn about Colonial Sheep Shearing at Thompson-Neely House and Farmstead. Take in a matinee or be inspired by some talented kid filmmakers. If your children have Election Day off, sign up for a day-long camp at Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education or Darlington Arts Center.

Be sure to consult our 25 Things We Are Excited To Do With Philly Kids this Spring guide as well as our April Go List so as not to miss out on any springtime fun. Friday is also Arbor Day, so be sure to check out some outdoor activities. Enjoy this last full week of April. And, don't forget to vote!

Weekday Fun: Spring Break, Free Museums, Cool Kid Concerts

Many kids are off this week for the long-awaited public school spring break, and NYC is brimming with family fun. Check out our 50 Things To Do on Spring Break or these staycation ideas to start planning your week.

Need more inspiration? Museums, parks and other NYC institutions are offering up plenty of ways to stay busy. Explore Prospect Park through FREE naturalist-led activities; catch one of the final performances of the roving whodunit, The Trial of Typhoid Mary, at the New-York Historical Society; or finally visit the Staten Island Children's Museum, for FREE, where Patrick and the Rock-a-Silly Band will perform, too.

The coming week is also ideal for a public art hunt. We know you don't want to miss the giant inflatable bunnies at Brookfield Place! Or take a spin on one of NYC's myriad bike paths. Don't have wheels? No problem. We've rounded up the best places to rent cycles and gear like baby seats. 

Don't forget, there's more family fun to be found in our Event Calendar and Spring Guide, or try to cross something off your bucket list this week with our 100 Things To Do with Kids in NYC Before They Grow Up.

Spring Fun at the 2016 Tarrytown Duck Derby and Y Healthy Kids Day

Nothing says spring in the suburbs like a team of rubber ducks bobbing and bumping down a river. The annual YMCA Healthy Kids Day and Rotary Duck Derby, a four-hour affair at Sleepy Hollow’s Patriot Park, is a family favorite of ours. The event typically draws more than 1,500 people, all of whom come to enjoy the live music, vendors, crafts, entertainment and, of course, hordes of rubber ducks. 

Kid-Friendly Cinco de Mayo Celebrations in Boston

Cinco de Mayo is typically associated with bottomless margaritas and bar crawls, which are not exactly family friendly. But there are ways to celebrate the holiday that don’t involve adults-only activities. In fact, it’s the perfect time to get a little history and cultural lesson in with a dash of fun—and a great way to welcome spring.

Cinco de Mayo is often mistakenly thought to be Mexico’s Independence Day, but it’s actually a celebration of the Mexican Army’s surprising victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Learn more about the holiday and have some fun celebrating at these five Boston-area kid-friendly Cinco de Mayo events.

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