10 Free Perks That Come with Your LA Public Library Card

What’s small and plastic, hides in your wallet, and comes packed with free surprises for the whole family? You may think your Los Angeles Public Library card is all about books—and that’s certainly one of its charms—but it also contains some little-known perks that can save you money and entertain a few restless kiddos. Bonus: Many of these freebies can be enjoyed 24/7, from the comfort of your own couch.

Pier C Park in Hoboken: An Urban Oasis for NJ Kids and Families

Not your typical suburban playground, Hoboken’s Pier C Park has a decidedly urban vibe that will delight little and big kids alike—and adults, too! With the Manhattan skyline as a gorgeous backdrop, this amoeba-shaped oasis sits on a two-and-a-half-acre pier off the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, between Third and Fourth Streets in downtown Hoboken.

The park is separated into two playgrounds and also offers sand and water play. You won’t find any of your standard, primary-colored play equipment here, nor any swings. The landscape has an old-fashioned feel, with lots of rustic wood and metal touches. The promenade, along the eastern edge of the pier, provides grassy lawn areas for families to picnic, play games, and soak in the sights. Use this day trip–worthy park as a launch pad to enjoy all that Hoboken has to offer.

Family Friendly Restaurants in The Hamptons & North Fork

It might please moms and dads to know the East End offers an assortment of family-friendly eateries. These spots offer everything from the traditional lobster roll to a "guppy" menu, ideal for young appetites.

Some of these locations even offer outdoor dining with stunning views, so it's a good idea to venture out early to avoid the crowds. We've rounded our favorite family-friendly locations, where you can sample the catch of the day (or most anything else) and eat with boats shimmering in the marina behind you. (Did we say summer photo-op?)

Before heading out to the East End, be sure to check our guide to the Hamptons and North Fork to help plan your visit. In addition, check out our list of 50 Things to Do with Kids in the Hamptons and North Fork. Bring your appetite, because delicious options are waiting.

20 Ways to Spend a Morning with Your Toddler in Boston

Once you've gotten through breakfast and downed your second (or third) cup of coffee, have you ever looked at your toddler and thought, "what the heck am I going to do with you today?" Too young for many full-time schools or camps, too old to just tag along on errands all day, toddlers are suited for fun, interactive activities that don't require a long attention span and will tucker them out for their afternoon nap. Fortunately for parents and caregivers, there are a plenty of great local activities that will entertain your tot and get you both out of the house.

Paddle On: 5 Places to Canoe or Kayak in Houston

My husband and I both went to college at Texas State University in San Marcos, which (in my obviously unbiased opinion) is arguably one of the most beautiful college campuses in Texas. Being tucked in the Texas Hill Country and surrounded by rivers means there is no shortage of water related activities to do. My husband even took kayaking as one of his electives! Our kayaking adventures came to a dead stop when we moved back to Houston post-graduation, though, largely because we made the same assumption that many people probably make: there's really nowhere to kayak or canoe in the Bayou City. But after doing some research, boy, were we wrong.

One of Houston's best-kept secrets is that it isn't just home to numerous hike and bike trails but also an abundance of waterways perfect for paddling and just waiting to be explored. Here are five of my favorite spots to kayak and canoe in Houston.

Times Square with Kids: What To Do Beyond The Usual Tourist Spots

New Yorkers often dismiss Times Square as too crowded, touristy, and overpriced, but if you look a little closer, there is plenty of kid fun to be found around this NYC hub—even for the most jaded urban dwellers.

We're not talking about expensive tourist attractions such as Madame Tussauds, the Hard Rock Cafe, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Instead, we've got the scoop on 15 cool, reasonably inexpensive things to do with kids near Times Square whether you're killing time before a Broadway show, entertaining out-of-towners, or just find yourself in this NYC neighborhood.

Visiting NYC with kids? Check out more top attractions in our Vistors Guide for Families.

Tubing and Water Rafting Adventures for Philly Families

One of my fondest family-bonding memories was setting out on our first whitewater rafting adventure. I was nine, barely old enough for the rapids my family picked, so when I helped steer the boat past a "dangerous rock" (as our guide put it) I felt incredibly important. The entire day was fun, we worked together as a team, and we still talk about our adventures to this day. All this to say, whitewater rafting is seriously one of the most fun things I can think of to do as a family. Second only to our many adventures tubing. Nothing beats a day on the river, floating, swimming, and basking in the sun. Occasionally catching a little rapid and racing to see who can get to the best spots first.

If you are tired of these 90 degree days and looking for some spectacular fun outdoor activities, we have you covered with our picks of the best rafting and tubing spots in the area. For more water fun, check out our roundup of spots to go canoeing and boating near Philadelphia.

If you decide to head to the Poconos for your water adventures, check out our list of 61 Things To Do in the Poconos for more fun places to check out while you're there.

Weekday Picks: Beach House Picnic, Grunion Run, and Crawfish Festival, July 24-28

It's a shore thing this week for families looking for summer fun. Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica is hosting its Annual Community Picnic on Thursday, featuring games, dancing, crafts, and an epic tug-of-war. Families are invited to pack a picnic and join the revelry at this free event.

For fishy fun, you can start the week looking for grunion to come ashore in San Pedro. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium plays host to its last Grunion Run of the season Monday. Your family is invited to spend the night learning about the legendary fish and then head to Cabrillo Beach to watch for them. July is open season, so grunion may be caught by hand only, if you're lucky and catch a run.

You can then end the week at the Long Beach Crawfish Festival, which kicks off Friday. Besides a Louisiana-style feast, families can enjoy Zydeco, Cajun, and New Orleans-style music (there's a kids' stage, too), and other activities. The festival continues through the weekend.

After you've gone through this list, head over to our Event Calendar and July GoList to find out about more goings-on.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Circus, Fenway Movie Night, and a Fitness Challenge; July 24-28

It's the heart of Sox season, so it's not unusual that our beloved Fenway is in the spotlight. But this week, think art—not baseball. On Monday, a famous children's illustrator helps kids imagine what it would be like if aliens battled the Green Monster. A few days later, all eyes in Fenway will be on the screens, not the field, as the Sox organization brings perhaps the most feel-good, family-friendly baseball flick to a special movie-night audience.

The rest of the week, Boston is celebrating bodies in motion. There's a Flamenco troupe introducing kids to Latin dancing at the Mary Baker Eddy Library, and teenage wunderkinds flipping out under our region's most impressive little Big Top. At week's end, New Balance is inviting kids to Harvard's Cumnock Field, where a roster of pro athletes will be running a variety of fitness challenges. If that doesn't get your heart racing, check out our Events Calendar for other exciting events this week and beyond.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Firefly Festival, Mexican Dance, Fidget Spinners

One of the (many) great things about summer is the longer days and the easy schedule. With no need to race home to do homework or wake up early for school, it's the perfect time to linger late and soak up the fun. Most of our top picks this week are evening programs!

As mentioned in our July GoList, the Dancing at Dusk series has returned, with a dazzling lineup of exotic music and dance performances that also include instruction. This week’s edition introduces families to Mexican performing arts. Another hallmark of summer is catching fireflies, and the Annual Firefly Festival is devoted to that joy (along with some ice cream). And if your kids are obsessing over fidget spinners, you’ll all be glad to create your own (for FREE!) at Design and Print Your Own 3D Fidget Spinner (only a few spots are available).

So pack a picnic and push back bedtime—the fun runs till all hours! Check out our Event Calendar for many more activities at all times of day, and follow us on Facebook!


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