12 Great Family Camping Spots Near NYC

Camping trips are great for kids, especially NYC kids. They get to spend time outside in green spaces that may seem, to city kids, to go on forever. Plus they can learn esteem-building skills, including how to canoe, fish, chop wood, cook over a fire, pitch a tent, and more. Although there are a number of campgrounds offering fancy perks these days, from wi-fi to heated swimming pools, many camping trips are low-tech, so they allow families time to unplug and reconnect with one another. Plus, pitching a tent is generally an affordable alternative to a hotel.

Read on for more top campgrounds within a few hours of the city that are packed with things to keep kids busy, and two of which are within city limits. A number of these prime destinations are accessible via mass transit, and one campground even provides nearly everything you need. Remember, some of these favorites book up early!

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Book Fair, Earth Day, and Cowboys

Look, I can vamp for three paragraphs about all the amazing stuff going on this weekend, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s all Book Fair, all the time. The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books has favorite authors showing up for meet and greets, readings on the free stages, ticketed panels if you can spare two bucks, books books books, and then some more books. It's one of the few times when my kid says, “Mommy may I buy that?” and I say “Why not get two?!”

The Book Fair is mostly in the daytime hours, so if you want to attend a movie or see a show, your nighttime is totes clear. And I suppose there are a few other happenings that are worthy of your attention, such as the rootin', tootin-est Cowboy fest this side of the Mississippi, egg hunts at Kidspace, Pershing Square, and the Point Fermin Lighthousea Whale of a day, and a tribute to first responder heroes, a tribute to the Great Spirit and Torrance's sister city, a Jamboree, multiple egg-stravaganzas, an arty open house, and celebrations of spring time and mother Earth.

Oh, and it’s also like a day before your taxes are due so, if you haven’t done them: yikes, and er, get on it? Maybe you can find a book on taxes at the Book Fair (if you're looking for something to do).

Book it to the rest of this post to check out our book-marked events....

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Houston Art Car Parade, Spring Fling Festival, April 13-14

If you're a theater lover, this weekend is for you! There are no shortage of amazing plays, ballets and musicals spanning a variety of genres happening all weekend long. Standouts include: The Diary of Anne Frank at Crighton Theatre in Conroe (word to the wise: this play does contain sensitive material), Finding Neverland at Jones Hall and Goosebumps at MATCH (both downtown), and Willy Wonka at UHCL Bayou Theater in Clear Lake. For the film buffs, this weekend also features the 52nd Annual WorldFest happening in Memorial. 

It's also prime crawfish season, and if a trip down towards the Island is in order for your weekend we recommend checking out Kemah's Crawfish & Zydeco Festival before heading down to Pleasure Pier for their Crawfish Crazy Weekend for mudbugs upon mudbugs and festivities galore. 

Two other favorites for this weekend: Family Space Day at George Observatory and Stargazing with the Houston Astronomical Society.

Don't forget to check out our event calendar (it's always being updated!), April GoList, FREE Things to Do roundup, and our Spring Fun Guide

With so many amazing options, it's hard to narrow down just what to do! 

Patriots' Day Weekend Fun for Boston Kids

History buffs, lovers of liberty, marathon runners, and cheering spectators: Welcome to your favorite weekend of the year! Commemorating the opening engagement in the American Revolution, Patriots' Day is celebrated with various events, from parades to battle reenactments. To cheer on runners rather than revolutionaries, scope out a family-friendly spot to watch the racers with kids at the 123rd Boston Marathon.  

If you and your kids' tastes run more toward the arts, grab your seats to Tap Dogs, put on your dancing shoes at the New England Folk Festival. Of course, April is a month filled with opportunities to soak up the increasing sunshine. Do not forget to check out our April GoList: Best Things to Do With Kids in Boston and the spring fun guide. For even more ideas, browse our Event Calendar, like our Facebook page, and subscribe to our free newsletter.

Weekend Fun: Bunnies, Fairies, and Egg Hunts; April 13-14

There have been widespread sightings of a certain bunny hopping around Connecticut! The Easter Bunny sure is making his rounds! Just about everywhere has a brunch, breakfast, train, or hunt this weekend. Now that the weather has warmed up a bit, you can get the whole family outside and explore more. Our Spring Guide is loaded with seasonal fun from fairy signings in Putnam to Spring Play Dates in Greenwich.

This weekend also kicks off Spring Break for many public schools in the Nutmeg State. If the kids are home from school, make sure to check out our 20 Fun Spring Break Events and Family Day Trip Ideas. We update our Events Calendar frequently so be sure to check back for even more great suggestions. To keep up with the latest family-friendly events and activities, sign up for our newsletters, and follow us on Facebook, and Instagram. Have a fantastic weekend!

Weekend Fun: Egg Hunts, Earthfest, Cherry Blossoms, Little League Parade

It's only the middle of April, and the Mommy Poppins Event calendar is bursting at the seams. Easter on the horizon means there are scores of egg hunts around town. This weekend alone, FREE Easter egg hunts are happening in Carl Schurz Park, Fort Greene Park, Highbridge Rec Center, Old Stone House, and more. Or head over to the Macy's Easter Eggs-Perience for crafts, candy, and photo ops with the Easter Bunny.

At the American Museum of Natural History's annual Earthfest on Saturday, Patti Smith and Michael Stipe perform on the main stage, and kids can party with the Pop-Ups, participate in Bash the Trash workshops, and explore interactive carts. Saturday is also Little League Opening Day in Prospect Park, complete with parade and ceremonial first pitch.

One of the cooler, slightly under-the-radar, FREE events this weekend is Columbia University's Community Day on Saturday. Head to the Upper West Side for screenings of Flubber or The Absent-Minded Professor, virtual reality fun, and the chance to hold a brain in your hands. 

Spring festivals are in full swing. On Roosevelt Island, families can check out cherry blossoms as well as traditional tea ceremonies, Japanese performances, and a cultural fair. The Apple Blossom Fest in Queens runs through Sunday, too. Plus, it's time again for the annual Shearing of the Heather. Bagpipes and kilts abound in Fort Tryon's gorgeous heather garden, and it's Spring Sunday at Rockefeller Plaza, with music by Dan and Claudia Zanes, face painting, and art projects for kids.

Of course there's more. Take a gander at the ever-expanding calendar, bookmark our juicy April GoList, nab some inspiration from our Spring Fun Guide, and—if you've been putting it off—let us give you a leg up on summer camp planning.

 

Weekend Fun for Chicago Kids: Star Wars, Egg Hunts, Earthfest, Robots

So. Many. Egg. Hunts. The weekend before Easter, there's hardly an open field, a public park, or a patch of grass in all of Chicagoland that isn't hiding eggs and treats for kids to find. See our roundup of egg hunts in Chicago neighborhoods and out in the suburbs for the full list—two of our top picks are a leisurely, FREE egg hunt at Cantigny Park, and a "vertical" climbing egg hunt for all ages at Brooklyn Boulders Chicago. If you're not into the thrill of the hunt, there are other Easter events to enjoy, from brunches and lunches to Easter bonnet decorating and cookie making, and of course photo ops with the Easter bunny.

While we're waiting for the bunny's arrival, some visitors from a galaxy far, far away are in town: Star Wars Celebration at McCormick Place has lots to see and do for aspiring Jedis and Resistance fighters. For even an more hands-on droid experience, visit the Robot Block Party at the Museum of Science and Industry. The annual Earthfest at the Adler Planetarium is a chance to celebrate our beautiful home planet and learn about ways to protect it, no lasers or X-wings required.

For dancers and music lovers, there are special kid-friendly performances this weekend by the American Ballet Theater and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, plus a family dance party featuring the music of Prince. And for even more April fun, see our list of spring carnivals and events for families, or our ever-expanding event calendar.

Weekend Fun: Sheep to Shawl Fest, Egg Hunts, Family Fun Day

With Easter right around the corner, this weekend offers several related events for Westchester and Hudson Valley families. Among these are the The Great Green Eggstravaganza; ways to dine, pose, and even skate with the Easter Bunny; a culinary lesson in the Italian tradition Cassatedde for Easter; and numerous area egg hunts.

Among the spring fairs and festivals we’ve told you about is Sheep to Shawl, happening this weekend. Expect assorted woolly fun throughout the two-day event.

Looking for more FREE fun? Take advantage of the workshops and entertainment available at Family Fun Day.

Many more fun ways to spend the weekend lie ahead. Consult our Event Calendar for many more options to choose from, use our April GoList to help plan the rest of the month, and depend on our Spring Break Guide to help keep your kids occupied while school is out!

Easter Egg Hunts in Chicago and the Suburbs

Celebrate Easter with kids at one of Chicago’s fun, treat-filled egg hunts. Most are outdoors at neighborhood parks and offer additional spring fun, including crafts, music, and photo ops with the Easter Bunny.

Easter egg hunts tend to be fast-paced and crowded, so arrive early and expect competition for those eggs. If you or your little one are crowd-averse, consider one of the hunts that costs a small fee, since they usually limit the number of participants and tend to be a bit less crowded than the free egg hunts.

While Easter Sunday is April 21 this year, most of the Easter egg hunts in Chicago are scheduled for the weekend before Easter. Our list is organized into hunts alphabetically by 'hood, with hunts in downtown Chicago neighborhoods as well as Easter egg hunts in the Chicago suburbs.

Be sure to click through to our listings for all the info, including prices, addresses, and times. Sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.

Weekend Events: Spring Festivals, Earth Day, Easter Egg Hunts

Touch a truck, enjoy a marine touch tank, explore a tiny house, and more this weekend at the Family Earth Day Expo at Heckscher Park. 

Celebrate Earth Day at Tackapausha Museum and Preserve with trail walks, animals presentations, science activities, a nature playground, crafts, and more. Sayville Spring Fest features a petting zoo, talent stage, a magician, arts, crafts, and more. Enjoy a spring festival in Stony Brook at The Ward Melville Heritage Organization with a petting zoo, balloon artists, dance performances and market.

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