Free Admission Days at 20+ Museums in Los Angeles and Orange County

What's better than a day at a museum? A FREE day at a museum! If you have a large family, museum tickets can add up fast—which gets particularly frustrating if you then need to beat a hasty retreat to avoid a meltdown. SoCal has some great museums that have free general admission every day of the year, including The Getty, California Science Center, and The Broad. As for the rest of them (once kids are old enough to have to pay), many LA and OC museums have monthly or even weekly free days or evenings, and we have collected a list for easy reference. Go ahead, bring the extended family, meet friends, or check out a place you have never been before—all for just the price of parking or Metro tickets. And if there's a meltdown? At least it's free. 

25 Fun Things To Do with NYC Kids on Columbus Day

New York City kids have only been in school for a month and weary parents are staring down another day off in observance of Columbus Day and Indigenous People's Day, October 14, 2019. But don’t panic. There are plenty of New York City kid spots and activities ready to entertain you and your brood during the upcoming long weekend.

Fall weather offers the perfect chance to hit one of New York City’s many destination playgrounds, of course, but we’ve also scoured our event and museum listings and combed through our day trip guides to put together a list of 25 things to do with the family on Columbus Day. Read on desperate parent, read on.

Day Trip to Muscoot Farm: Animals and Old-Fashioned Fun for Little Ones

Muscoot Farm is a Westchester gem and a great day trip destination, especially now that we're in prime fall fun season. The 777-acre Somers farm offers enough to keep kids having fun without feeling overwhelmed.

In fact, Muscoot Farm is a great farm introduction for younger children, because it allows them to see animals up close without it being as daunting as say, a trip to the zoo might be for that age group. The best part? Admission is FREE.

Best Pumpkin Patches for Kids Near Chicago

Did you know that Illinois is the number one pumpkin-growing state in the country? So it should come as no surprise that the Chicago suburbs and exurbs boast dozens of locations for intrepid jack-o'-lantern enthusiasts and pie bakers to pick their own pumpkins. Many pumpkin patches also offer an array of additional autumn-themed activities like apple orchards and corn mazes for kids.

Before selecting a pumpkin farm, families should decide how far they want to travel, whether they want to pick their own or choose from preselected pumpkins, and what other attractions they might want to visit while on their pumpkin picking excursion. Many farms offer hay rides to their pumpkin patch, but the patch itself may be muddy or vine-covered, so parents with young children should check to see if the pumpkin patch is stroller-friendly. Some pumpkin patches also offer late night activities for bigger kids.

Here are a few of our favorite pumpkin patches within a two-hour drive of the Loop.

North Pole Express and Christmas Train Rides with Santa in Connecticut

Santa may be known for his sleigh, but when he's here in Connecticut, the big guy is all about trains. Starting in November, he can be found on several Polar Express and other Christmas-themed trains in Connecticut, including the ever-popular North Pole Express and Santa Special Train Ride in Essex.  In between munching on cookies, sipping on cocoa, and chatting with Santa, there is nothing like watching the steam roll and waft in front of the train's headlights—it's a magical holiday experience for kids and parents alike!  

But act fast: Tickets for some of these trains become available in the early fall and sell out even before Halloween. But even if a certain train is sold out, there's likely an available one around the bend, so read on—it's a special holiday experience worth waiting for!

What Ages Get in Free to NYC Museums, Zoos, Amusement Parks

The best things in life may be free—but for families used to the high cost of living in NYC, that sounds like crazy talk. From housing to classes to entertainment, everything here seems to cost so much money...or does it?

The truth is, there's plenty of FREE fun to be had for kids in New York City. And even top family attractions that charge entry fees—like museums, zoos, amusement parks, and water parks—offer no-cost admission for children under certain ages. Those savings can really add up, especially when you have preschoolers or toddlers

Bookmark this list of when your kids are eligible for freebies at New York City's best family destinations, from tourist hot spots like the Statue of Liberty to all of the children's museums and zoos and gardens. We've included a few of our favorite picks in nearby locales, too.

Note: Some places may ask for proof of age. Looking for a 100% FREE outing? Check out our roundup of no-cost admission hours at NYC museums.

Family-Friendly NJ Alpaca Farms for a Cute and Cozy Day Trip

If you're looking to expand your barnyard repertoire beyond cows, horses, and pot-bellied pigs, the Garden State is home to plenty of family-friendly alpaca farms that offer a chance to feed, touch, and spend time with these soft and gentle creatures. 

Native to the Andean regions of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, alpacas found their way to North American back in 1984, when a small group of importers brought a carefully chosen herd to the United States and Canada. As of the end of 2018, that group had steadily grown to 20,000, spread among zoos and private farms, including more than a dozen farms in New Jersey.

Read on for five of our favorites.

Meet the Animals: 6 Great Animal Farms and Petting Zoos near Philly

Springsummer, or fall, when the weather is nice, there's so much to do to get outside: festivals, parks, spray groundsamusement parks, and more. But your little animal lover might be craving some one-on-one time with some cute and cuddlies, and there's no better time to visit the local petting zoo or animal farm than during the warmer months. Luckily, there's a handful of great places in the area for just that.

25 Exciting Things to Do with LI Preschoolers

Long Island is an awesome place to raise a family. From Nassau County to the East End and everywhere in between, there is no shortage of ways to entertain kids, including high-energy toddlers, so we’ve rounded up a list of 25 exciting things to do with Long Island preschoolers

Check out these fun activities around the Island that will keep little ones happily busy, including exploring the great outdoors, discovering something new in a museum, visiting a different playground or parkgetting creative, and much, much more. We hope this list inspires you and your preschooler to take advantage of all Long Island has to offer families.

For more inspiration, check out our guide to entertaining your Long Island preschooler and our Events Calendar.

Legoland New York Announces Summer 2020 Opening

Get ready for brick-tastic fun in the Hudson Valley next summer: Legoland New York Resort will open on July 4, 2020. Situated about 60 miles outside New York City in Goshen, the 150-acre park will be the biggest Legoland yet. 

The amusement park, geared toward ages 2-12, will be the third Legoland to open in the U.S., joining the parks in California and Florida. Visitors to the Hudson Valley park will be able to explore seven themed "lands" featuring more than 50 rides, attractions, and shows—including a brand-new ride exclusive to the New York location. 

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