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9 Family-Friendly Hiking Trails on Long Island

In addition to its vast waterways, one of Long Island's other treasures is an abundance of hiking trails. A family could spend a whole summer exploring trails in Nassau and Suffolk counties and still not hike them all.

Hiking is not only a great way to spend quality time together, it is also great exercise. So pack up some snacks and drinks, strap on your hiking shoes, and bring the family along for one of these hiking adventures.

For more family-friendly activities this season, check our Spring and Summer Fun Guides.

Sweet Mother’s Day Brunch Spots in Brooklyn for Kids and Mom

Celebrating mom with a special brunch is a time-honored tradition. This year we’ve rounded up 11 of our favorite Brooklyn restaurants, where the food is outstanding and the vibe is special yet still family friendly. Mark your calendars: Mother's Day is Sunday, May 14.

Each of our picks serves a standout brunch—and offers high chairs. Be sure to reserve or show up early as these spots fill up quickly. If you’ve got young kids in tow, consider packing a few snacks and small toys to keep them busy while you wait to be seated.

Need more ideas? Check out our suggestions for Mother's Day brunch in Manhattan.

May GoList: Best Things To Do with Kids in Connecticut

May brings Mother's Day and Memorial Day weekend, which we all know marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Everywhere you turn throughout the month, there are fairs and festivals. Here are 21 of our favorite things to do with kids in Connecticut this May. If you click through to the full listings, you can add them to your calendar. Of course, our Event Calendar always has more fun listed each and every day. Have fun planning!

Finding Poland in Connecticut

About 4,200 miles away, across the Atlantic Ocean, you will find a country defined by delicious cuisine, lively music, and rich traditions. Of course, you can forgo a passport and save yourself the $1,500 airfare by enjoying an all-Polish experience in the heart of New Britain. Since most children are always up for adventure, they will likely enjoy peeking into another culture, trying to make sense of foreign labels, tasting new foods, and perhaps learning a few words in a new language.

This Program Meets Kids at Eye Level to Help Learning Take Off

We love the philosophy behind Eye Level: that successful learning happens at the eye level of the child. The example of an elementary school teacher who kneels down in front of paintings at a gallery the day before bringing his students to an exhibit, to make sure he sees the work the way they will, is the type of engaged teaching we all want for our children. Maybe that's why more than two and a half million children have participated in Eye Level's individualized supplemental math and English program across the globe. With thirty locations in New Jersey, more local families are discovering the confidence and self-directed learning habits that Eye Level programs can provide.

Easy, Exciting Blue Hills' Hikes with Kids

We'd all like to be the sort of family that hikes together—what can be more healthy and wholesome than that? But with little kids, it can be a challenge to traverse a large parking lot, much less uneven or steep terrain. The nice thing is, one of the closest legit hiking spots to downtown Boston happens to also be among the most kid-friendly: Blue Hills. Stretching across 7,000 acres and four towns—Quincy, Dedham, Milton, and Randolph—Blue Hills' only problem may be its vastness: It can be hard to figure out the best spots for a short-but-sweet journey. Today, we're zeroing in on our three favorite Blue Hills' family hiking trails that can be done in a single morning or afternoon—and make kids feel like great adventurers.

Queens Sensory Gyms for Kids with Disabilities

Sensory gyms are a great resource for children with special needs or a developmental delay or concern. The specialized play equipment entertains as it provides treatment, and it's often a supportive environment for families, too. While there are many activities parents and children can do at home, a sensory gym offers equipment not usually available in a New York City apartment. Some facilities even offer time with trained therapists. 

Queens doesn't have as many sensory gyms as Manhattan or Brooklyn, so it can be difficult to find quality classes or even an indoor play space where kids can play safely with other youngsters. It does, however, have a growing number of well-equipped gyms run by experienced therapists; we rounded up six for you below.

FREE Bilingual Story Times for Westchester Kids

Because a public library’s mission is to serve the varying interests of its community, it’s fitting that many offer bilingual programming for children, especially in towns with diverse communities. Bilingual programming for Westchester families, however, is often attended not only by native speakers but also by those wishing to expose their children to a second language from an early age. One local mom we know strategically hired a Spanish-speaking nanny for her toddler and brought him to Spanish story time to increase this exposure.

Beyond the 30 to 60 minutes of weekly immersion, these programs can also provide a cultural hub—an opportunity for families to connect with others from their heritage and socialize both within and outside of the library setting. And since most are intended for young learners accompanied by a caregiver, you're sure to pick up some new phrases yourself!

We’ve explored the bilingual programs offered by Westchester libraries to round up some highlights. Though Spanish-language programs are the most abundant, a variety of languages are in focus—and one in particular offers a smattering of more than 20 languages, from Dutch to Urdu and Ashanti! One note: Although we confirmed with the libraries that these are ongoing programs, be sure to check before you go because dates can change.

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