10 Destination Parks for Westchester Families

Westchester County and the lower Hudson Valley area are brimming with beautiful state, county, and local parks that are wonderful places to spend a day in the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley. We've rounded up several day trip–worthy spots that feature amenities like cool playgroundsswimming in lakes and riversboat rentals, splash pads, picnicking, and hiking trails. Want to extend your stay? Some also offer camping.

Read on for more details about some of the area's best parks for all-day family fun. For even more outdoor activities, check out our Summer Activity Guide for Westchester Kids.

100 Things To Do in New Jersey with Kids Before They Grow Up

Now that my oldest child is a 'tween, I understand that phrase I heard often during those difficult baby/toddler times: "The days are long, but the years are short." Thankfully, filling those short years with quality bonding time is even easier with our top 100 not-to-be-missed family activities right here in New Jersey.

From indoor play to awesome zoos, and from lush gardens to thrill-filled boardwalks and amusement parks, New Jersey offers tons of incredible sights and activities for families and kids. We have beautiful forests for hiking, Jersey Shore beaches for lounging, and cool playgrounds and parks—all of which make for great day trips with Jersey kids.

NEW: We have a free printable version with the best anytime NJ activities from this list. Print it out and stick it on your fridge to inspire you anytime you need an activity idea.

Read on for our 100 best things to do in NJ.

10 Play Fountains Where NYC Kids Can Get Totally Soaked

While all three of my kids love to go for a dip, heading to one of NYC's public pools requires advance planning and me donning a bathing suit. Often, our summer fun is more spontaneous. For those hot summer days when we're out and about or need a last-minute distraction, I keep this list of play fountains in the back of my mind.

A more immersive experience than standard sprinkler parks, these play fountains feature shallow pools of water for wading, plus jets shooting H2O sky high. They're the perfect place for kids to frolic and get completely doused without mommy having to go all in—literally. Best of all? They're all completely FREE.

Here are 10 fun play fountains in NYC where kids can get absolutely soaked. Most opened for the season over Memorial Day weekend, though some start flowing earlier if temperatures hit 80 degrees.

A Tiny House Hotel Vacation Means Big Fun for Families

For traveling families, a tiny house rental can make the perfect hotel solution. It often comes with multiple beds without the cost of a pricey multiroom suite, as well as family-friendly amenities, such as stocked kitchens. It doesn't hurt that they're so very cute and often set among pretty landscapes, from beaches to forests and mountains. 

Tiny houses have grown in popularity in recent years as many of us try to reduce our footprint and that means a tiny house getaway is all the more accessible. There are now villages of tiny houses available for American vacationers. Tiny home resorts have cropped up, too, while some campgrounds and even urban areas have added a handful of rentable tiny homes to their grounds.

So pack light and check out these seven tiny house resorts that allow you and the kids to try on tiny living for size.

Best of the Philly ‘Burbs: Our Favorite Pennsylvania Small Towns to Visit with Kids

While Philadelphia is a worthy destination–there are hundreds of family-friendly things to see and do, events to check out, and beautiful historic sites—sometimes you need a change of pace. And the truly great thing about living here is that whenever we need an excuse to get away, there are wonderful things to see and do across dozens of cute towns and boroughs in the area.

With school out, and hours to kill, it’s the perfect time to take a quick day trip or perhaps even a weekend getaway. Looking to slow things down and indulge in tasty treats? Visit Lancaster. Want to experience a quaint small town vibe? Drive to New Hope! Or would you rather take in some historic sites and nature walks? No matter your ideal out-of-town destination, these 12 suburbs are our favorites, and sure to make for an awesome excursion for you and your family

What's Great About the New Bob Baker Marionette Theater

It was a sad day for Angelenos when the Bob Baker Marionette Theater recently closed its doors after 55 years in its Downtown LA location. But the show must go on, and the puppet troupe has now found a new home in Highland Park that is even better than the original. The theater is planning an official grand opening in November, but this summer you can catch a show during Bob Baker's 'preview season.' Here is why now is a great time to experience this local treasure—and what's new and different at the new venue.

Best Long Island Beach Towns for Families That Aren't in the Hamptons

Long Island has some great beaches…and surrounding these beaches are some really great beach communities. And we’re not just talking about the HamptonsMontauk and the North Fork.

On both coasts of Nassau and western Suffolk counties, there are communities that boast gorgeous seashores and so much more. From bustling boardwalks and marinas to harborfront shopping ... from dining to playgrounds and parks with water views to free outdoor music and events, these beach towns are the perfect stay-cation spots for Long Island families looking for alternatives to the East End.

Best Family-Friendly Houston-Area Resorts And Hotels

Spending a family vacation at a local Houston-area hotel or resort means that you get to enjoy the best of what the city has to offer without traveling too far from home. Stay-cations are all the rage right now because they involve little to no travel time that can often eat away at the precious few days of vacation time that you would rather be spending lounging poolside or eating delicious food.

The accommodations at these Houston-area resorts and hotels are perfect for Houston families of all sizes looking for a vacation experience close to home. Or, if you're visiting Houston from out of town, you can stay at one of these family-friendly hotels and resorts while you tour local museums, visit the zoo, or relax on the beach in Galveston. No matter where you're traveling from, staying at a family-friendly hotel is a must for parents and at these Houston-area hotels and resorts, you're sure to find just what you're looking for. 

11 Queens Water Playgrounds and Sprinkler Parks

Let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t want to live by the schedule of open swim hours at your local NYC pool. Sometimes you just want to tire your kids out so they sleep until 6 (or even 7) in the morning. And sometimes you just want to relax outdoors with iced coffee and a book, but your children aren’t as into that idea as you are. This is why water playgrounds were invented...we're pretty sure, anyway.

While we already have profiled some of the top water playgrounds in other parts of the city as well as some of the top fountains for splashing, we can't forget our Queens families. So in the interest of parenting solidarity we’ve put together a list of eleven spraygrounds and water playgrounds in Queens. They’re all FREE, and as an added bonus most usually have an ice cream truck in the area—for the children, of course, totally for the children. 

Check out our NYC Beaches, Pools, and Water Parks Guide for more summer splashing, or our Summer Fun Guide for more seasonal activities for the kids.

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