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Zip Lines, Ropes Courses, and Outdoor Adventure Parks Near NYC

We all need a little excitement in our lives. For some, any of these 13 carousels around New York City will deliver all the excitement in the world. For others, the idea of zip-lining through the air ranks high on their to-do list. Of course, adventure parks aren't for everyone, but there's proof they help children learn problem-solving and collaboration skills. Plus, it's just plain fun to play together as a family and create unforgettable memories.

New York City may not be the epicenter of adventure parks, but it's making strides, especially with the new Adventures on Governors Island, the Bronx Zoo's Treetop Adventure, and a seriously high-flying outdoor zip line in Queens. Meanwhile, just outside the city limits, there are dozens of rope and zip line courses.

We've rounded up a handful of our favorite outdoor adventure parks either in the city or reachable within a quick day trip. Also make sure to see our brand new guide to 25 outdoor adventures in the city for NYC kids.

Lush Arboretums and Gardens To Explore with New Jersey Kids

New Jersey is teeming with amazing outdoor places to take active kids—everything from nature centers to Jersey Shore lighthouses offer a multitude of fun events for little ones. But our beautiful state arboretums and gardens are often overlooked. These fabulous green spaces offer a great opportunity for children to see nature up close. Many locations also host educational and engaging programs, featuring activities such as gardening, hiking, and scavenger hunts.

As spring shifts into high gear, gather the kids and head to these beautiful local gardens. We're not known as the Garden State for nothing!

Visiting Glen Cove: Nassau County's City on the North Shore

Although some Long Islanders might think of Glen Cove as just another community on the North Shore of Nassau County, it is formally known as the City of Glen Cove. This year it celebrates the 350th anniversary of its founding and the 100th anniversary of its incorporation.

Once the home to famous wealthy residents including J.P. Morgan and F.W. Woolworth, you’ll still find many Gold Coast mansions and estates dotting the landscape. Today, Glen Cove remains a great place for families and offers the best of Long Island, from gorgeous beaches and well-equipped playgrounds to kid-friendly museums.

Mini Land Play Gives Long Island City Tots a New Indoor Hot Spot

Like most New York City parents, I’m always on the lookout for new indoor play spaces to occupy my active kid when the weather isn't great. So when I find a unique play area in a cool neighborhood that doesn’t eat up my entire entertainment budget for the month, I feel like an explorer who’s made a groundbreaking discovery. Mini Land Play in Long Island City, Queens is exactly this kind of rare find: a crazy-fun indoor playground with toddler-friendly rides that is only $12 for unlimited play during the week.

Read on to find out how you can discover this new neighborhood gem for yourself.

New NJ Spray Park Will Provide Fun for Kids of All Abilities

Construction of a new spray park in Toms River was recently announced, and kids of all ages and abilities have something to celebrate. The park is slated to be all-inclusive, meaning accessible for children with disabilities. “We are focused on all abilities being able to interact with each other at this splash pad,” says Erica Cirillo, co-president of Fountains of Hope, the organization fueling the project.

Trash and Recycling Events: Sanitation Yard Open Houses for Kids Who Love Garbage Trucks

Vroom Vroom! Does the sound of the garbage truck coming down the street send your kids running to watch? Do they dream of grabbing a ride? Earth Day kicks off city yard open houses and recycling fair season, and these events are hugely popular with kids of a certain age. More than 6,000 residents attend an open house in an average year. If your kiddos have any curiosity about what goes on in a garbage truck, this is their chance to satisfy it.

Ten Things My Preschooler Loves at the California Science Center

We've talked before about our teen and tween favorite features at the California Science Center, but there are at least as many things to fascinate preschoolers and toddlers at LA's oldest, freest science museum. Never underestimate the appeal of science to the preschool set, and amazingly, with the exception of IMAX films and special exhibits, the California Science Center is free and open to the public 7 days a week, 362 days a year. 

Don Your Dresses and Crowns for a Medieval Fantasy Ball at the Please Touch Museum

On Sunday, April 22, Please Touch Museum is hosting a magical celebration with its annual Storybook Ball- Medieval Fantasy. This enchanted event transports guests back to the time of knights and ladies, princes and princesses. Step into a storybook ball and meet your favorite medieval characters like Sleeping Beauty, Maid Marian, and even a real knight in shining armor!

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