10 Underrated NYC Parks You (Probably) Haven't Visited Yet

Central Park, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park—even if you only just arrived in NYC, we probably don't need to tell you that these are all must-see green spaces. But did you know that according to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, 14 percent of the city is parkland? That's more than 30,000 acres!

So if you're looking for a new-to-you outdoor destination to explore, we've got 10 off-the-beaten-path parks worth putting on your NYC family bucket list. Some are massive and boast a wide array of attractions for all seasons; others are small but picturesque and host popular annual events for families. With months of outdoor play weather ahead of us, check out this list and visit some of the city's best hidden gems.

Weekend Fun: NJ Renaissance Faire, Mayfest, Ocean Fun Days

A busy May weekend is a "shore" thing, with oceans of fun taking place Saturday and Sunday. Head to the Jersey Shore for delicious eats at the 33rd Annual New Jersey Seafood Festival, family-friendly nature activities during Ocean Fun Days, and a lively Mayfest in Historic Smithville. 

Whether your brood is into vehicles or fairies and pirates, this something for everyone to enjoy this weekend. Climb aboard all kinds of vehicles at touch-a-truck festivities in Scotch Plains and Westville, and explore aircraft at Open Cockpit Weekends. Have fantasy-filled fun at the 10th Annual Princess and Pirate Festival and The New Jersey Renaissance Faire. And take time to take in performances, including The Illusionists, Laurie Berkner, Roxey Ballet's Cinderella, and a live version of Double Dare

Find even more weekend options in our Spring Guide, including 13 NJ Restaurants with Kid-Friendly Backyards and Outdoor Dining. And look to our May GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Splash Parks, Sprinklers, and Water Playgrounds in Orange County Parks

When summer finally hits, Southland families are looking for water, water everywhere. There's hanging at the beach or playing in a pool, but fun places with splash pads and water features rank pretty high on a summer bucket list. Little kids, bigger kids, and even the occasional parent (yes, you!) can cool off on a hot day without tons of planning or tons of waste. Let's face it: playing in the water is just plain fun—and if you keep an extra towel in the car, you're always ready.

Check out some of these free water play parks and sprinklers around Orange County. Most are open Memorial Day to Labor Day, though we recommend calling to confirm before heading out, as water conservation efforts may sometimes be in effect.

Top Long Island Playgrounds for Toddlers

Toddlers seem to have endless energy and the power to play all day. They might want to do all that older kids can, but with wobbly legs and arms that can't quite reach, they require special playgrounds.

From Nassau to Suffolk counties and all the way to the East End, designers of Long Island's parks have been thoughtful in creating play spaces for our littlest residents. So as the weather gets warmer, why not take your toddlers to a spot designed with their needs in mind?

We have done the legwork and scouted out the top toddler playgrounds across Long Island. Be sure to check our full list of parks and playgrounds on Long Island, then get out there and enjoy these beautiful days.

7 Best Children's Gardens in NYC Where Kids Can Dig, Grow, Explore, and Play

While we’re beyond grateful to live in a city with endless amounts of theater and museums to expose little ones to, sometimes it’s essential to get outside and let them be one with nature. Thanks to beloved children's gardens throughout New York, our city kids have a chance to explore different plants, participate in workshops, and get their hands in the dirt.

Now that the city is in full bloom, it’s the perfect time to head to one of the many children’s gardens in NYC. So bring your nature-obsessed kiddos to one of these top children’s gardens in NYC.

10 Places to Host a First Birthday Party in the Philly Area

It's here! Your baby is turning 1. This birthday is a huge, bittersweet milestone for you and your babe, and your family and friends will love to celebrate with you. Your baby may even be walking by now and it's a great time to get together, eat cake, and have fun. If you are looking to celebrate your triumph of making it through the first year, you can always opt for a great family-friendly dining spot (especially one with outdoor space in warmer months). But if you are looking for the traditional birthday experience, we've rounded up some great places in the area to host a first birthday party for your growing little bean.

July 4th Fireworks Cruises in NYC: How to See Macy's Show on a Boat

The promise of NYC summer fun is right around the corner. One of our favorite annual events, the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks display, is ready to light up the city skyline. The display illuminates the East River annually, and nothing quite compares with watching the celebration up close from the water on a family boat ride. Plus, you don't have to battle the insane crowds with the kids.

Of course, these special cruises don't come cheap, and many are only open to ages 21 and older. We set out to find the lowest-cost July 4th fireworks cruises in NYC that also welcome children. If you're interested, book quickly. Some already have sold out and the remaining tickets will be gone before you know it.

Top Things to Do in Galveston With Kids

Sand, seaweed, and sun may be the first images that pop into your head when you think of spending a day in Galveston, but the little island is jam-packed with a lot of fun for visiting families that extends far beyond visiting the beach. We pinpointed kid-friendly activities throughout the city and compiled a list of 10 things to do the next time you travel off the mainland.

For more ideas on summer activities, check out our Summer Fun Guide for Houston families.

CAMP Store in Flatiron Reopens With Sweet Hands-On Cooking Theme

One of our favorite NYC stores where kids can play for FREE (and one of our favorite new additions to NYC last year, period) is the Flatiron District's CAMP Store, which has recently unveiled its second theme: Cooking Camp, as well as a membership program, with the promise of a second location coming to Brooklyn in the fall.

Situated on the corner of 16th and Fifth Avenue, CAMP looks like just another retail shop; albeit one with an onsite Milk Bar and a funky collection of merchandise—from toys and games to books and clothing—but there's something spectacular hiding behind a secret door. Find the entrance (with the help of a super-friendly CAMP counselor) and you're in for hours of fun and a cool new indoor place to play.

17 Splash Pads and Spray Grounds to Beat the DC Summer Heat

DC isn't called a swamp just because it was built in a flood-heavy area. Anyone who lives in or has visited the DC area during the summer months knows that DC weather is hot, humid, and sticky! And while heading indoors to explore the area's many museums or indoor play spaces is a great option on those swampy days, jumping into some water is the best way to keep cool. But time doesn't always permit for a daylong excursion to one of DC's many public pools so splash pads and spraygrounds offer a welcome and quick cool down and some summer fun.  

To help you locate one in your area, we've put together a list of our favorite splash pads and spraygrounds in DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland. Check out our picks and escape the swamp-like temps and enjoy outdoor fun with the entire family!

Remember: Unless noted, all splash pads listed are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and are free. Always check venue website for additional information, such as rules of play and closures.

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed