8 Indoor Water Parks Perfect for a Warm Getaway Near NYC

Indoor water parks offer summertime-style family thrills year-round and many are just a car ride away from NYC.

With winter's icy chill upon us, many families start looking for ways to escape the city for a warmer locale. Jet-setting to a tropical island might seem ideal, but if you're looking to stay a little closer to home, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Hudson Valley indoor water parks and resorts are a closer option for beating the winter blues.

We've found eight warm and wet indoor resorts perfect for kids and families that are less than two-and-a-half hours from Midtown Manhattan, along with a couple of bonus suggestions for further-flung options. Most indoor parks keep temperatures around a hot and humid 85 degrees year-round, creating a perfect beach day in any season! So leave the sunscreen at home, dust off that bathing suit, and hit the water.

Check out our NYC Weekend Trips Guide for more destination inspiration.

Picking the Perfect New Jersey Preschool for Your Child

Selecting the best preschool for your child is no easy task. You can lose sleep over finding an environment that's just right for your little one. The questions are seemingly endless: Will the teachers prepare my child for the academic rigors that lie ahead? Will she be given the proper outlets to express her creativity and independence? Will his transition to preschool be smooth, and will he make friends? Will she nap and eat properly?

The process can be a bit less overwhelming if you first identify a school philosophy that you feel works best for your child, and go from there. To help you get started, we've laid out six of the most popular approaches, from co-ops and Montessori and Reggio Emilia to full immersion programs, along with some examples of New Jersey preschools that follow them. 

Chappaqua with Kids: 30 Things to Do for Westchester Families

Chappaqua is a quaint hamlet located near the center of Westchester in the town of New Castle, just about 30 miles from Midtown Manhattan. Known for its charming neighborhoods, the village maintains a peaceful New England feel, with rolling hills and historic homes and barns.

Chappaqua offers a wealth of public parks, protected wetlands and wildlife sanctuaries with hiking trails, well-maintained playing fields, courts and other facilities for tennis, soccer and skating. It also boasts a walkable village featuring family-friendly restaurants, shops and a farmer’s market. There's no shortage of events or things to do here during the year, and we've gathered our top 30 things to do in Chappaqua with kids.

These Kids at the Women's March Will Melt Your Heart

When I was in first grade a child was killed crossing Seventh Avenue on his way to school by a speeding truck. So, I remember my first protest well. Just a handful of us, moms and kids, walking in a tight circle with signs and chanting to demand a crossing guard. We got that crossing guard and a lesson was learned: Even as kids, we could have a voice and make a difference.

America has been on tenterhooks this election season. It has caused much "unfriending" and, perhaps, drawn even more stark lines between groups. On Saturday, however, I saw Facebook friends from all backgrounds coming together at the Women's Marches across the country and the world. I even saw some who voted for Trump, but wanted to stand for women's rights and also listen to the other side! But of everyone out there, the thing that struck me the most was seeing all the children.

We may never agree on any of the political issues facing this nation, but one thing I hope we can all agree on is that these children are amazing and are learning that you're never too young to enjoy this country's most important freedoms of speech and peaceful protest. Whatever "sides" they may choose to take, I hope this is just the beginning for our daughters (and our sons) to feel powerful, valuable, and able to take constructive action to raise their voices, not to yell and name call, but to try to improve the world for all of us together.

 

Weekday Picks: Handwriting Day, Matilda, and More Indoor Fun, Jan. 23-27

With all the recent (much-needed) rain, we head indoors for the most part with our list of weekday activities. These include the Kids' Handwriting Day Craft Program and Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum at branch libraries, CAAM: After School and Free Day at the Long Beach Art Museum at local museums, and movie screenings such as the Disney Moana Sing-Along and Mulan (Throwback Thursday)

For more indoor inspiration, check out our list of 10 free indoor activities for a rainy LA day and 25 indoor play spaces in LA and OC.

Weekday Picks for Connecticut Kids: Stars, Movement, and Crafts, January 23-27

Explore museum collections, sing and move, or learn about the solar system this week. Whether it's raining, sleeting, or snowing, you'll find lots of fun things to do in our Indoor Family Fun Guide. Our frequently updated Event Calendar and Winter Guide are always full of great info too. Follow Mommy Poppins CT on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so you don't miss a thing. And don't forget to vote for your favorite biz in our Bestie Awards Contest!

Chinese Lunar New Year Parades and Celebrations in NYC

Lunar New Year is one of our favorite winter celebrations in New York City, and we're particularly excited for 2017's family activities.

Often referred to as Chinese New Year, although many Asian nations celebrate it, the holiday takes place Saturday, January 28, 2017, and ushers in the Year of the Rooster. Mark this cultural holiday with a family-friendly celebration. We've got the scoop on the best Lunar New Year parades, family dance parties, museum events, crafts, and more for NYC kids.

Commemorating Lunar New Year is a great way to learn about Asian culture and enjoy the food. We just profiled nearly a dozen NYC eateries where you can enjoy Lunar New Year banquets, snacks, or desserts. With celebrations and parades in almost every borough, it's also an opportunity to get out and explore a new-to-you neighborhood such as Manhattan's ChinatownFlushing in Queens, Sunset Park in Brooklyn, or Midtown Manhattan's Koreatown.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Popovich Pet Theater, Join the Circus

What a motley assortment of fun and enriching activities in store this week for Westchester families! Fortunately, there are five days to take it in; our top picks are below.

Develop a life skill that may come in handy on the job market at Web Design Workshop. Immerse your family in Asian culture at the Chinese New Year Celebration (one of several we’ve identified for the season in our roundup). And just try to stay seated at the dazzling and amusing The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater.

So don’t sit home when you can get out and enjoy all this great stuff! There’s even more to choose from on our Event Calendar.

Weekday Fun in NJ: Winter Festival, StarLab, Valentine's Crafts

Conquer the winter doldrums this week with multiple opportunities for artsy fun and nature exploration. Get the creative juices flowing at a Pop-Up Card Workshop or a Mommy/Daddy & Me Valentine's craft session. Bundle up and discover the nature of winter at Tree Time for Tykes and Maple Tree Tapping. Or, for a taste of arts and culture, stop by the Lambertville Winter Festival all week long.

Read on for our best children's events the week of January 23–27, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar and January GoList for even more midwinter events.

Weekday Fun for LI Kids: Toddler Time, Winter Wonderland, Movies

Finally, a full week of school, but that doesn't mean there's a shortage of fun things to do around Long Island, especially for the littlest ones in your life.

From wintry crafts to open play and sing time for babies, kids and parents have plenty of fun activities from which to choose this week. For additional ideas, don't forget to check our January GoList and our full calendar listing. 

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