Governors Island: Playgrounds, Camping, Art, Adventure, and More 2019 Highlights

Governors Island opens to the public on May 1 this year and its season, which again runs through October 31, promises plenty of family-friendly programming, plus the return of spectacular overnight accommodations, increased ferry service, and even more time to play: Summer Friday and Saturday nights feature extended hours, so you'll be able to blow bedtime and stay and play well after dark!

The opening of Governors Island is an event we anticipate annually, as the island seemingly reinvents itself with new attractions and old favorites, like The Yard, return. Plus, every year the island's jam-packed events calendar is stocked with inventive new family-friendly programming.

Read on for the scoop on the very best things to do on Governors Island with kids this year, plus important visitor tips—such as ferry schedules, and where to score free biking and kayaking.

Weekend Fun: Dino Day, Sesame Street Live, Earth Day Festivals

On your mark, get set for one of the busiest weekends this year to date! April's final weekend is jam-packed with Earth Day celebrations, festivals, street fairs, concerts, and more. 

Party for our planet at Earth Day festivals in Jersey City, Tenafly, Mountainside, and throughout Monmouth County. Learn about healthy habits while having fun at both Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA and Fairview Lake YMCA Healthy Kids Day events.

Spring festival season is well underway this weekend with bustling festivities like Rutgers Day, Smithville's Renaissance Faire, Morris County Park Palooza, and the Cranford Street Fair. And kick back to live music at Rockin' for Autism and the Laurita Bacon Festival

Find even more weekend options in our Spring Guide, including where to see Baby Animals and More at Family-Friendly NJ Farms. And look to our April GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Mother's Day Freebies on Long Island

While moms should be honored every day, they all deserve to be extra spoiled on Mother's Day. And it just so happens, there are a few places on Long Island offering FREE items and/or admission to moms on this special day. Some even extend the courtesy all weekend, from Saturday, May 11 to Sunday, May 12. 

If you're looking to treat mom to a Mother's Day brunch, check out our roundup of select local restaurants, complete with kid-friendly menus.  Of course, if the outdoors is more mom's thing, check out our roundup of spring fairs and festivals. Either way, pamper mom on her special day. 

Easy Day Hikes Near NYC for Families To Explore

When the weather is fine, there are few things New Yorkers like better than a day outside with the family. Although NYC has incredible parks and playgrounds to explore, sometimes it's worth taking a day trip outside the city limits.

So pack a cooler and a picnic blanket and find your new favorite kid-friendly hiking destination among this list that takes you to the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, Long Island, and even some memorable parks within the five boroughs. Each of these hikes has something special to offer, and best of all, they are kid-tested and kid-approved! 

Best Houston Playgrounds For Toddlers

Visiting the park with a toddler can be both a blessing and a curse. Toddlers are on the verge of discovering their independence and while a trip to the park may be great for helping them burn off some of their endless amounts of energy, playground sets with tons of tall features that toddlers can easily fall off of can pose a danger to fearless toddlers. That's why parents of toddlers absolutely love finding a park with the holy grail of little kid park features — a toddler-sized play set.

Top 10 Delaware County Playgrounds Your Family Needs to Check Out

Delaware County, often referred to as Delco, may be on the small side, but it is one of the most populous counties in the state as many families of young children are opting to live or move to Delco for the beautiful parks and trails. And with this abundance of young families and parks comes loads of fun playgrounds to choose from. A great bonus is many of these playgrounds are ideal for families with multiple children, supporting various ages and stages. While there are a ton to choose from, a few are real standouts and worth the trip even if you don't live in the area—here are our top 10 picks!

Best Destination Sandboxes at Local Parks for NYC Kids

There's no denying it—kids love diving into a sandbox, running their shovels and hands through the grains of sand, dumping a full bucket over and generally getting their hands dirty.

Though NYC parents might get grossed out at the thought of what could be lurking in our uncovered, urban sandboxes, it's hard to refuse one of a preschooler's most beloved sensory experiences. So pull up a bench (and your cup of coffee; you'll be here a while!), and check out these eight toddler-tested, mom-approved NYC sandboxes. We've done our best to find the cleanest ones across the city. Besides, you can always wash their hands in the nearby sprinklers or park bathrooms when you're finally able to get them out.

And hey, you don't have to hoof it out to the local beach to reach this sand, which just means more time for other NYC kid activities. Find more destination playgrounds in our NYC Parks & Playgrounds Guide.

From Parties to Scouts, Why Annenberg PetSpace Is Such a Great Place To Bring Kids

We just got word that Annenberg PetSpace's new summer camp is already full for the season—that didn't take long! But even if you missed it, there are still a whole bunch of wonderful reasons to bring kids to explore this unique, critter-focused community space, many of which are free. The center has educational programs and play opportunities that include story hours, classes, scavenger hunts, birthday parties, and more—all created to strengthen the bond between pets and people. If you thought Annenberg PetSpace was just an adoption center, get ready to take a closer look.

Best Playgrounds in Chicago: Destination Play Zones Worth the Trip

Chicago families are lucky to have a world-class parks system with hundreds of great playgrounds. Thanks to a city initiative, over 300 playgrounds in Chicago have been refurbished or newly built since 2013, with the goal of ensuring that every Chicago kid has a place to play within a ten-minute walk of home.

But even in a city packed with great parks, some Chicago playgrounds are a cut above the rest. The spots on our best-of list have plenty of space to climb, slide, swing, and play, while also offering something special or unique that makes them worth the trip. Check out our Chicago playground hall of fame, and get out to play at a new-to-you park this weekend.

Free Cinco de Mayo Celebrations that Are Great for Families

First let's set the record straight: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican 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? Many of the Cinco de Mayo events you'll see advertised are pub crawls, but we've hunted down celebrations the whole family can enjoy.

There are free Cinco de Mayo fests throughout LA and the OC, starting as early as a week before, so get in the spirit to dance, watch parades, and (of course) eat.

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