Best Water Theme Parks Near NYC for Families

While there are no full-fledged water theme parks in NYC (yet), you don't have to go too far to find some awesome ones. We've rounded up 13 of our favorites for kids in the tristate area, mostly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and all are less than a two-hour drive from Midtown Manhattan. No two are alike: Each one offers different experiences and thrills.

For more water fun, check out these toddler-friendly water parks and year-round indoor water parks near NYC.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Kids in NJ

May is right around the corner, so don your sombrero, dust off that marimba and head out for some Cinco de Mayo family fun! There’s music to dance to, food and drink to consume, monarch butterfly celebrations and more. With all this activity, your kids may enjoy a relaxing siesta while you mix up that margarita you so richly deserve. For even more seasonal fun, check out our list of 25 things we can't wait to do with kids this spring in NJ.

5 Fun STEM Activities To Get Preschoolers Excited About Engineering

Activities based on engineering principals offer a great way for kids to learn art, science, technology and concepts of literacy, while also strengthening fine motor, critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork skills. That’s the thinking behind STEM-based schools, like our sponsor BASIS Independent Brooklyn, which starts teaching engineering in its PreK classes. But learning engineering principles can happen at home, too, and BASIS Independent Brooklyn teachers have shared some of their favorite engineering-based activities from their preschool and K-4 classrooms to try with your family.

"With increased screen time in PreK-12 environments, there is a growing and important movement to build in time for actual 3D play into children's days," says Hadley Ruggles, head of school at Basis Independent Brooklyn. "Not only is engineering important for asking larger questions about the world around you, but it keeps important parts of kids' brains and bodies active." So challenge yourselves with these fun engineering activities, perfect for your preschoolers and older kids, too.

6 Mother’s Day Brunch Spots in Queens

By Elizabeth O'Connor

Just as its population is diverse, so are Mother’s Day brunch options in Queens for families with kids. It’s mom's special day, and she'll want to relax with family, sip a mimosa and eat great food knowing that spills won't be met with rolling eyes from staff. So we’ve curated this family-friendly list of brunch options in the borough, offering inventive twists on traditional favorites. Don’t worry, omelets and French toast are still represented.

Check out our suggestions for how to spend the rest of your 2016 Mother's Day in NYC, or peruse Brooklyn or Manhattan brunch options if you're thinking of hopping boroughs.

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations and Events for LA Kids

First let's set the record straight: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. Mexico celebrates its independence on September 16, and—while the festivals might look similar—confusing the two holidays is as gringo as, say, putting pastrami in a taco. (Actually, scratch that—LA is pretty darned proud of its pastrami tacos.) Let's simply agree that just because the US named its independence holiday 4th of July doesn't mean that Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) is Mexico's independence day. What the day actually celebrates is an underdog Mexican victory over a French military attack on Puebla, Mexico in 1862. The holiday is mostly observed in Puebla and in Southern California, where there's little mention of the French, but much swinging at piñatas and dancing to mariachis. After all, by the first weekend of May, who needs more excuse than that to revel in the sunshine?

Discover the Magic of Pixar at The Franklin Institute

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes of your favorite animated films? Now's your chance to find out at the Franklin Institute's The Science Behind Pixar exhibit. See how Finding NemoToy StoryA Bug's LifeMonster's Inc. and more were created. From concept, to design, creation and the finished product this exhibit offers insight on even the most minute details of the process.

7 Must-Do Long Island Day Trip Ideas for Families

For those of us lucky enough to live on Long Island (especially during the summer months), there’s plenty of time to explore everything our beautiful home has to offer. But for families who might be coming in for just a few days, it's essential to make the most of your time here. With that in mind, we’ve come up with our top seven must-see locations for those taking a quick trip to Long Island.

Exploring these places—and we've included both indoor and outdoor fun so you don't have to worry about the weather—will leave you making plans for another visit ASAP. And for more to do in the area, be sure to check out our Events Calendar and Long Island Spring Fun Guide.

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