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100 Things to Do in New York State with Kids Before They Grow Up

We might be biased, but we think New York state has it all for families. From the gorgeous Hamptons beaches to the rugged state forests, serene lakes, and deafening Niagara Falls to the culture and arts found in New York City on up through the river towns and beyond—we feel pretty lucky.

Plus, we’re pretty good at making delicious food items from ramen burgers and bagels to ice cream, and even wine at family-friendly vineyards on Long Island and through the Finger Lakes. There are children’s museums galore. Kids have no shortage of water and theme parks, cool playgrounds, zoos, outdoor art, and nature, of course.

And yet, the thing about childhood is that it’s finite. The kids grow up, maybe move away. Sniff, sniff. We want to soak up every moment. So we put together this list of 100 of our favorite things to do around New York, from upstate and the Adirondacks to Long Island and NYC. We collected suggestions from the many Mommy Poppins contributors, past and former, to fuse it all together just for you (OK, for us, too). Whether you're planning a long-weekend getaway or a family day trip, you're sure to find some ideas here. Enjoy!

30 Fun Ways to Get NYC Kids Ready for Back to School

Summer is ending, and with school just around the corner, we can hear the kids' groans (and parents' cheers) already. But making that leap from summer funlike water slides to the classroom chair isn't always easy. All summer we've been sharing great ways to keep the kids engaged with brainy, but fun activities through our Summer Slide Busters guide. From storytime to science experiments, we've collected plenty of activities to keep little ones busy and learning. Need book suggestions for the rest of the summer? The NYPL even shared a host of summer reading book lists for all ages, including grown-ups. 

What else can you do to prepare your kids for school? Well now we're sharing 30 ideas for fun stuff to do around NYC with the rest of the summer that will get the kids' brains back in gear, from cool free drop-in classes to outdoor learning that will hardly feel like school even as they soak up a bit of biology. So read on to get started on one, five, or all of these 30 activity ideas.

20 Free Things To Do in Orange County this Summer with Kids

Today's kids lead busy lives; from school to sports to playdates, practically every moment of the school year is scheduled. So when summer finally rolls around, we can't think of a better way to take advantage of the downtime than to play together as a family—for free! Premium passes to Disneyland may not be in the cards for everyone, but there are still plenty of ways to stave off boredom in Orange County this summer.

From outdoor movies to free bowling to concerts at the park, The OC has plenty of ways to keep kids entertained, all without spending a dime. Here are 20 of our favorites.

Roosevelt Island: What to Do with Kids After Taking the Tram

New York is a city of islands. Many of them, like Governors Island, City Island, Randall's Island, and even the infamous Rikers Island, get lots of attention; however, low-key Roosevelt Island manages to slip under the radar. It’s time to get cozy with this narrow, 2-mile long sliver of land in the East River nestled between Manhattan and Queens.

The Roosevelt Island Tram is a familiar site for many New Yorkers and the aerial ride alone is great fun for kids, but what about when you disembark on the isle? Over 11,000 people call this peaceful community home. The vibe is urban, but there are open spaces perfect for rambling. Self-contained, it has its own school, newspaper, and library. My family and I found plenty of cool things to keep us entertained and we've pulled together our top picks for things to do on the isle. 

Paris with Kids: 39 Fun Things to Do for Families

Paris is consistently one of the top visited tourist destinations in the world, but it’s not always considered particularly kid-friendly. Parisians have a reputation of being snobby and not tolerating misbehaving children. If you make an effort to bridge the cultural differences, though, Paris has its own unique stripe of kid fun. One of the gratifying things for families visiting France is that kid fun is never totally kid-centric, but typically has a level of sophistication that means parents can find it as gratifying as their children.

In light of the recent attacks on Paris and France, we thought it was a perfect time to celebrate our love of the City of Lights with a list of the most amazing kid-friendly fun in Paris.

12 Outstanding Outdoor Dining Spots for You and the Kids in Fairfield County

There are two things that every child needs to thrive: fresh air and food. Sure, they also need unconditional love, education, support, etc, etc, etc, but lucky for us, fresh air and food are pretty easy to come by in Fairfield County.  

Some of our first family dining experiences were at outdoor restaurants - the atmosphere just seemed a little bit more relaxed than being stuck inside with a screaming infant.  Take advantage of the extra hours of light this summer by enjoying these outdoor dining experiences. From the traditional lobster roll, to the not-so-traditional walking nachos, to lakefront, to beachfront, Fairfield County has a little bit of everything.  Make sure you check out the Facebook and Instagram accounts of these restaurants to take advantage of special events and menus.

100 Things To Do in NYC with Kids Before They Grow Up

The number of family-friendly happenings in New York City on any given day is enough to overwhelm most parents. Our city plays host to top-notch museums and art, creative play spaces, amazing parks and playgrounds, and even amusement parks, all of which pump out fun children's programming year-round. Even NYC restaurants get into the game, hosting dedicated kid play spaces, events, and cool DIY opportunities like ice-cream and chocolate making.

Yet every year, our kids suddenly grow up on us a little more. They age out of one activity after another, whether it's storytime at the library, the carousel, or just needing to hold our hand as they cross the street. That's why we're focused on finding ways to take advantage of all the amazing things to do in New York City with kids, creating meaningful memories as we go. I created this "life list" of all the things I want to experience with my kids before they grow up. It's not just the stuff that is fun to do, but also the stuff that I think will be important to do with them—things that will shape them and be formative in their experience as little New Yorkers. We're also big fans of FREE fun, so we included as much of that as possible!

So enjoy this list of 100 things to do in NYC, whether you're a local or a visitor trying to experience the very best of our city. Now, off I go to wring every drop of goodness from that damp, dirty rag that is New York City.

Visiting Philly: A Basic Guide of Things To Do for First Time Visitors

Philadelphia is walk-able, easy to navigate, filled with kid-friendly attractions and museums, gardens and parks, restaurants and activities. It's full of rich history, and is the perfect destination for families. Whether you're planning a day trip or a long weekend (even a whole week) there's plenty to entertain and inspire the whole family. With so many awesome places to see, adventures to take, and things to eat, planning a trip to Philly can be overwhelming, so here's a few tips and ideas to get you started.

While you're in town, be sure to check out our event calendar to see a listing of all the special events happening.

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