25 Boston-Area Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free

Letting a restaurant take care of family dinner is the dream—until the kids find "nothing good" on the menu, everyone is antsy before drinks are even served, and a fat check arrives anyway. Luckily, Boston and the surrounding 'burbs are home to some fantastic, family-oriented restaurants. Some feature play areas where children can get their energy out while you linger over your meal. Others, listed here, allow kids to eat for free. At these local eateries, children dine gratis on certain days or times, allowing you to enjoy family time without stressing about the bill. We know what you'll be making for dinner tonight: reservations.

Free and Cheap Summer Camps for NYC Kids

Summer camp can be especially stressful for your family's finances—while we want our children to have a fun, rewarding, and safe experience, we don't want to dig into our retirement fund to pay for it. Even if your family's swimming in money (and if you are, congrats), we all appreciate a good bargain.

Although there seem to be fewer FREE New York City summer camps than in years past, our list of inexpensive or cheaper camps for local kids is still substantial. Some wonderful New York City programs are subsidized by arts and education funding so that all children can experience the amazing resources of this city.

Read on for all the info on our picks for FREE and bargain summer camps for NYC kids. You can find even more summer options in our jam-packed Summer Camp Guide and search for programs by interest, age range, and location in our Camp Directory.

Weekend Fun: Lunar New Year, Chocolate Expo, Maple Sugaring

Chocolate, hot cocoa, and maple sugar make for a sweet ending to the month of January. Indulge in chocolate treats at Garden State Plaza's Chocolate Expo, and sip hot chocolate at Liberty Hall's Frozen Ball. Maple sugaring season kicks off at Reeves-Reed Arboretum and Great Swamp.

Keep everyone warm and entertained this weekend at performances of The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Stories, The Sleeping Beauty, Pete the Cat, and The Magic of Adam Trent. Monster truck and comic book enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to this weekend as well!

Find even more weekend options in our Winter Fun Guide, including 35+ Indoor Play Spaces for Kids in Northern NJ. And look to our event calendar and January GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Sayville With Kids: Explore This Four-Seasons Destination in Suffolk

Nestled comfortably on the South Shore between Nassau and the East End, Sayville makes a great day trip any time of the year. Whether you're searching for something to do with littles younger than 5 or looking to entertain your teens, Sayville would seem to do it all. 

About 5 miles west of Patchogue, Sayville might be overlooked for the more popular central Suffolk destination. However, Sayville also has a booming downtown area full of restaurants and shops, as well as ferry service to central Fire Island. With delicious eateries, seasonal festivals, and play areas for kids, you can find something for every member of the family. 

Once you're done exploring all Sayville has to offer, check out one of Long Island's other great family-friendly communities, such as Port Washington, Glen Cove or Port Jefferson

Kid Film Festivals and Indie Movie Theaters in NYC

A visit to the movies is tempting in the cold of winter, but big-budget family film options can be lackluster. Why not rediscover the magic of the movies at a children's film festival?

City kids can sit back and enjoy the carefully curated lineup at the 2019 BAMkids Film Festival and New York International Children's Film Festival. These showcase international and offbeat shorts and features. You'll also find cool classics every Sunday at Film Forum Jr., as well as a mix of indie and classics at BAM with its BAMkids movie matinee series. Each offers dozens of picks for preschoolers up to tweens. Plus, ticket prices can be less costly—most are less than $15 per person.

Read on for details on these festivals, plus a special discount just for Mommy Poppins readers on this year's New York International Children's Film Festival. 

10 Must-See Offbeat Museums NYC Kids Will Love

New York City doesn't lack for world-class cultural institutions, amazing children's museums, or cool immersive art experiences, but sometimes you just. can't. deal. with the crowds. And sometimes, let's face it, you and your hard-to-impress NYC kids might just be in the mood for something a little different or off the beaten path...a little weird, even. After all, what do we live in New York City for?

For those days, we present our list of weird, wacky, and wonderful under-the-radar museums city kids will love. Read on for 10 picks you're unlikely to find in the tourist guidebooks.

Texas' Largest Indoor Playground Opens in Houston and It Lives Up to the Hype

When we got wind of that the largest indoor playground in Texas was opening just south of Houston in Webster, we knew a visit needed to be at the top of our to-do list for the new year. The Play Space is part playground, part imaginative play area, part arcade, and exactly everything we love about our favorite local indoor play spaces all rolled into one 16,000-square-foot space. Located in the middle of a shopping center, the exterior is completely unassuming, but as soon as you step inside, you're in for Texas-sized fun!

Three New Swim Class Options for Kids in North Jersey

Looking for an indoor activity to keep your kids fit this winter? Head to the newest pools in town.

Not only is swimming a fun, year-round sport; it’s a life skill that can keep kids safe. So whether your child is an infant dipping his or her foot into the water for the first time or a high-schooler wanting to work on competitive strokes for swim team, these three new options in North Jersey are welcome additions. In may be cold outside, but inside these swim centers kids will no doubt feel the fun of summer.

Looking for more lessons? Check out our Guide to Classes and Enrichment Programs for NJ Kids, including a roundup of swim classes throughout the state.

35 Best Winter Activities for Kids (and Their Grown-ups)

It's finally winter, and you know what that means as a parent, right? Get ready for soggy snow pants, slurping cocoa, building snowmen, taking the kids sledding, and all things cozy for the family.

But if the thought of another long winter spent hibernating indoors with the kids swinging from rafters, leaves you shivering in fear, we want to help. Whether you're planning fun indoor activities for a school snow day at home, or just looking to entertain the kids on another winter weekend, we've rounded up nearly three dozen fun things to do.

These super simple ideas (many of them FREE) will come in handy when cabin fever strikes and make it easy to avoid the indoor entertainment pitfalls of more screen time and complaints about boredom of which we're all so familiar. Get ready to turn the long, dark days of winter into a season the whole family can enjoy.

The Best Los Angeles Area Hiking Trails for Families

We've all found ourselves—on long weekends, spring breaks, sick days, you name it—feeling like we might be ready to climb the walls. If that's not an option, maybe it's just time to take a hike

We've compiled a list of some of LA's best hiking destinations for you and your little cherubs (though if you're pushing someone up that mountain, you may want the stroller-friendly hikes). Each of the self-led hikes below is an LA classic. Of course, if you like to add a goal to hike toward, you might try this list of hikes with waterfalls, or maybe even do a little geocaching along the way.

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