Battery Park City with Kids: Best Things to Do in this Manhattan Nabe

It's hard to imagine that Battery Park City didn’t exist 50 years ago. Built on landfill, this planned community of high-rise apartment buildings features beautiful parks and a show-stopping riverside Esplanade along the southwestern tip of Manhattan. It offers an almost suburban existence right in Manhattan, with two excellent, BPC-zoned public schools, small supermarkets, and chain pharmacies.

Residents have to cross West Street (a.k.a. the West Side Highway) to get to the subway, Whole Foods, and all of Tribeca, but there are three pedestrian bridges across the highway, one underground pedestrian tunnel from the World Trade Center Oculus, and via a free shuttle bus. It’s not a bad tradeoff for those who dream of a giant communal backyard with river views. And oh, the playgrounds!

There's little mystery why Battery Park City pops up in our 5 NYC Day Trip Itineraries Perfect for Preschoolers, our guide to NYC play fountains, and top NYC playgrounds with shade.

8 Great Indoor Places to Have a Kid’s Birthday Party in or Near Boston

If you want to have a wonderful party for your child, but you’re overwhelmed by the choices and don't have time to mine for information, I have a gift for you: Recommendations for eight great indoor birthday party places in the Boston area, and everything you need to know about them.

The places featured are different in many ways, but they all have some things in common: They have been recommended by local parents, are indoors (so you don't have to worry about the weather), minimize the amount of work you have to do, and offer parties that kids with a wide range of interests enjoy. So read on, pick a place, and have a party your child will be talking about for a long time to come. Since prices may fluctuate and there's a range of packages at many places, we give you an idea of costs ranging from $ (inexpensive) to $$$ (more pricey).

If your child is a little older and prefers parties with more of a sporty spin, you may want to also consider our picks for indoor parties for active kids in Boston, the North suburbs, South suburbs, and MetroWest.

New Jersey's Liberty State Park: A Perfect Family Day Trip

With majestic views of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty, acres of sprawling green lawns, a riverfront walkway, picnic areas, and a huge playground, Liberty State Park in Jersey City is ideal for a memorable family outing. Spend a day exploring the park, or board a ferry to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty. You can also head indoors for an afternoon at Liberty Science Center, followed by a bite at one of our favorite family-friendly restaurants in Downtown Jersey City.

Read on for tips for visiting Liberty State Park, and for even more family adventures, check out our Summer Fun Guide or favorite picnic spots in North Jersey.

Riding the Rails at the Galveston Railroad Museum

Located at the end of Galveston's historic Strand district, the Galveston Railroad Museum is a true treasure for kids and adults alike. Larger-than-life trains give kids the opportunity to get up close and personal with the same machines they may play with models of at home. While there are many Houston-area museums to choose from, seeing little eyes light up when they board real rail cars and get hands-on with these historical locomotives is well worth a trip to Galveston

CORNucopia at Philipsburg Manor: A-Maize-ing Family Fun

Labor Day weekend ushers in the return of one of our favorite fall festivals, CORNucopia. The annual festival at Philipsburg Manor in the picturesque Sleepy Hollow is filled with all manner of old-fashioned fun set in the 18th century. Not sure about the fun factor at an event devoted to corn? You’ll be a-maize-d!

This year's festival will be held Saturday, September 2,  through Monday, September 4, 2017. My family and I attended last year and can't wait to return. Expect corny—and quality—fun, from music to corn-shucking contests.

Read on to learn from my family's visit and the inside scoop! Be sure to check our our Event Calendar for more ideas, and follow us on Facebook.

Indoor Play Spaces for Babies and Toddlers in Montgomery County, PA

From moon bounce centers to indoor toddler playgrounds to swing set superstores, Montgomery County has plenty of inside play options for babies and preschoolers. Whether your goal is exercise for the kiddos, creative stimulation, peer social opportunities, or just to escape the confines of the house, our list of indoor play spaces is certain to have a fit for every family.

Be sure to also check our lists of indoor play in Bucks County, Delaware County, and Philadelphia. Many of these play centers are well worth the drive from Montco.

Weekday Picks: Solar Eclipse Parties, Plus Concerts, Movies, and Fiesta La Ballona

Unless you live on the dark side of the moon, you probably know that most of the country is being treated to a rare solar eclipse on Monday morning. While Angelenos don't get to witness the total eclipse this time around, the 60-70% blockage of the sun we're getting is still a significant event. Public viewings of the partial solar eclipse include gatherings with experts on hand to explain and answer questions at Griffith Observatory, Caltech's Beckman Institute and Lawn, California Science Center, and the Glendale Community College Planetarium. Kidspace Museum in Pasadena is doing a joint event with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as well. Some locations have a limited supply of protective eyewear on hand, but do bring your own if you can, as it is never okay to look at the sun without the proper eye protection.

Of course, there is plenty to do after the eclipse is over as well. The rest of the week still holds free outdoor movies, and theater, and concerts. It is still summer, after all.

Here are some of our favorite picks for the week; be sure to visit our Event Calendar for more.

Total Eclipse of the Weekday Picks: Astronomy, Concerts, and Trolleys, August 21-25, 2017

This is not a drill. I repeat: this is not a drill. It is the last full week before my kids go back to school so I am ready to blow out all the parenting stops. Ice cream for dinner? Check! Midday movie? You bet. A stroll through the sunflower maze? You got it. Even though we've been talking about the eclipse for weeks, I somehow neglected to order the protective viewing glasses so we'll be heading out to the Discovery Museum, Stepping Stones Museum, or the Stamford Museum and Nature Center to celebrate the day (for some more eclipse hints, click here). In non-astronomical fun, there's a concert just perfect for preschoolers to check out in Greenwich as well as the final Melissa & Doug Children's Concert at the Levitt Pavilion, which is a wonderful evening out on the town.

For more options, be sure to check our Event Calendar, which we update constantly with the latest and greatest local fun, and follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterPinterest, and Instagram so that you don't miss a thing. Have a great week!

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Eclipse Parties, Children's Fest, and a Dance Carnival; Aug 21-Aug 25

Not exactly rejoicing over school's looming start? This week of parties will keep you in a celebratory mood. No doubt you've caught wind of Monday's big cosmic event: Commemorate it with other humanoids at a solar eclipse party around town. Or, meet up with other families for a fete for kids in one of our city's great parks. If music and movement capture your child's imagination, don't miss the always-rollicking dance carnival capping a local orchestra's summer events season.

If you and yours are actually psyched for pencils and books and all that, the week concludes with two super events for story lovers. Some famous children's illustrators will be at a meet-and-greet in Watertown Thursday, and one of Disney's most beloved princesses will be reading aloud at a carousel near the beach.

Soak up your free days before they slip away! Our Events Calendar has lots more ideas to make the most out of this week and beyond.

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