Best Family Restaurants Near the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Garden

It's no secret that the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo, and Wave Hill are all cultural gems and year-round destinations for families, all located in our city's northernmost borough. The real question on many parents' minds, however, might actually be, “but where do we eat?” As a mother of three in the Bronx, that question is easy to answer. The hard part is narrowing down the plentiful options.

The surrounding neighborhoods of Riverdale and the Bronx Park area are just as picturesque and wonderful, with a wide variety of spots to stop off for a bite. So we've rounded up several dining options near each destination where families can fill up before or after a fun-filled day.

Find more great eats in our guide to Family-Friendly NYC Restaurants, including more near uptown city hot spots like the American Museum of Natural History and Lincoln Center.

Outdoor Water Parks in Connecticut for Kids and Family Fun

New England has plenty of big, splashy water parks from Rhode Island to Maine, but if a nearby summer adventure suits your family best, look no further than Connecticut. Ranging from a large theme park to a lakeside retreat, these water parks offer both thrilling slides and little-kid-friendly fountains. For more ideas for cooling off this summer, check out our Connecticut Beach and Water Fun Guide and  Mommy Poppins Theme and Water Park Guide

Hudson Valley Balloon Festival 2019 Returns to Rhinebeck, NY

Huge, colorful, hot-air balloons will take to the skies above Rhinebeck next weekend for the Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival. This summertime family favorite features synchronized launches that decorate the sky with festive colors and eye-popping designs. Whether you choose to take a ride (tethered or otherwise), or watch with your feet firmly planted on the ground, the experience is well worth a day trip.

The 28th annual festival will continue to be held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck—from Friday, July 12 to Sunday, July 14, 2019. Read on for details about this Insta-worthy festival, and consult our Summer Activity Guide for more fun all season long. If you haven't already, stay in the know about family attractions like this by signing up for our newsletters and following us on Facebook.

25 Things to Do on the Boston Seaport and Fort Point with Kids

Boston's neighboring Seaport District and Fort Point neighborhoods are bursting with cool new spots to play, learn, and eat, and families are flocking to live here. So it's no surprise that this waterfront district just across the channel from Faneuil Hall and the Freedom Trail is becoming a day-trip hot spot with young kids. Between awesome playgrounds, kid-friendly art installations, world-class museums, and drool-worthy restaurants, these 25 ideas for enjoying the Seaport and Fort Point area with kids will keep your family plenty busy when exploring the area. Warning: If you don't already live here, you may find yourself thinking about a move after reading this list!

Free Beaches in New Jersey: No-Cost Family Fun in the Sun

If your summer bucket list includes camp, vacation, and trips to our beloved Jersey Shore, summertime can be a season of major spending. Jersey Shore excursions are a must for summer fun, but prices of beach badges and passes can really add up. Luckily, New Jersey is home to some free beaches—that's right, no admission fees required (though some do have parking fees). While some of these free beaches are found in popular vacation hotspots, other quieter and unguarded ones are located by swimming lakes and bays. Read on for 10 of our favorites.

12 Kid-friendly Beaches for Families in Los Angeles & Orange County

Beach is what SoCal is all about, but with so much sea and sand around it can actually be hard to choose which is the best spot to stake the family beach umbrella. In the years when sand-filled diapers and tired little legs feel challenging, you want to be sure you've chosen a beach that will pay off with those great summer memories. You could head for a beach with a playground (we know some good ones), but for just enjoying the wonderful Pacific Ocean with easy parking, bathrooms, snacks, or other amenities, we love to return to the dozen beaches below. Gather the shovels, sandwiches, and sunscreen, and go west, young families!

50 Free Summer Activities for Toddlers in New York City

New York City is chock-full of exciting summer to-dos for its youngest citizens. Visiting the sprinklers at your local playground, cooling off at one of NYC’s best FREE swimming pools for younger kids, or hitting a destination sandbox can be enough to make your toddler’s day. But when you and your littles are ready for some summer adventure, here are 50(!) FREE things to do with toddlers this July and August.

We've already put together a list of 100 Free Things To Do in NYC This Summer for kids of all ages, but the suggestions that follow are tailored just for little kids. (Looking for additional inspiration? Check out our Summer Fun Guide, Event Calendar, and Free in NYC Guide.)

Best Summer Events for NYC Preschoolers

The days are (finally) starting to feel like summer, and if you have a toddler or preschooler who calls NYC home, we're guessing you'll appreciate a little help planning your days. From free concerts and festivals, to swimming and art-making, not a week goes by without outings and activities that will help make this summer stand out in your family memories.

With this list of our best picks for summer fun with your preschooler or toddler-age kid, you’ll find yourself wanting to stay in town to take advantage of it all. Best of all? Many of the events are FREE.

Be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide for NYC Kids for more fun things to do for every age in every borough.

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The Best NJ Zoos and Aquariums for Animal Encounters with Kids

Treat your kids to a real animal adventure at one of New Jersey's amazing zoos, aquariums, and animal preserves. At these day trip–worthy spots, little animal lovers can meet their favorite furry friend, check out exotic wildlife from other continents, or swim with the sharks (yes, really!). We've rounded up the best places in the Garden State for New Jersey kids to have an up-close-and-personal encounter with animals of every kind. 

Fourth of July Weekend on Long Island: Fireworks, Festivals, and Parades

Start off the Fourth of July weekend with a bang at fireworks shows across Long Island. Spend Independence Day at one of Long Islands's lush parks or beaches before settling in for a barbecue and some lights in the sky. These are just a sample of some of the great family-friendly entertainment on Long Island this Fourth of July weekend.

Elsewhere, enjoy food and live music, and see who will be crowned Little Miss and Mr. Mattituck at Mattituck's Old Fashioned Street Fair. In honor of Independence Day, kids can create patriotic crafts at the Whaling Museum's self-serve stations all weekend long.

Maybe even take in a FREE outdoor community concert or movie. Whatever you choose, have a great Fourth of July

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