City Hacks

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, while 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 sight 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 Roosevelt Island 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. 

10 Best Hotel Pools in Los Angeles with Day Passes for Families

Hotel pools have a certain magic for kids; in fact, book a hotel without a pool at your peril. Whether you're vacationing in the City of Angels, or just looking for a staycation that puts your kids' swim lessons to good use (while waiters bring you delicious food and decadent adult beverages), there's always a good reason to take advantage of LA's bounty of hotel pools. Any of the hotels below is worth a weekend for the pool alone. Don't want to spend the night? These hotels are not only great spots to base a vacation or staycation—they all offer day passes for their pools, too. And while not all hotel pools are kid-friendly, this list of family favorites can turn any swim day into a family vacation, whether you're staying or day-playing.

How Can I Find Free Summer Meal Programs for Kids?

Many parents rely on the free breakfast and lunch available through the local school system to keep their kids' engines running—but what happens in the summer? Thankfully, there are still free meal programs available when school lets out.

Parents will find free breakfast, lunch, and sometimes afternoon snacks and more meals served up at certain parks, schools, community centers, hospitals, and elsewhere this summer. Many of the summer meal programs are federally funded through the USDA's Summer Food Service Program, but administered by local organizations, cities, or states. Read on for tips on how to find a free kids meal near you.

10 Free Pools in Houston Kids Will Love

I grew up in Northern Michigan in a town that often makes the news for beating the record for the most snowfall and the coldest temperatures, and somehow I was lucky enough to have a pool in my backyard. I loved jumping into that pool after working out or having friends over to swim, and now that I live in a city with weather that could accommodate an almost endless pool season, there is, unfortunately, no pool outside my back door. Instead, we take advantage of Houston's many free community pools.

The city of Houston has 37 FREE community pools open June 1- Aug. 11 (in the 2019 season) from 1-8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday and from August 17- Sept. 1 on Saturdays and Sundays only, and 29 water spraygrounds that are open year round.

Without further ado, here is a list of some of the best FREE pools with great features and amenities. And be sure to check out our recommendations for Houston splashpads and playgrounds, as well as our Summer Fun Guide, which has water park recommendations, parks with shade, and more!

Trash & Recycling Fun: 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? Spring kicks off city yard open houses and recycling fair season, and these events are hugely popular with kids of a certain age. If your kiddos have any curiosity about what goes on in a garbage truck, this is their chance to satisfy it, at one of the most eagerly awaited free activities in LA. Public tours (also detailed below) are often available throughout the year (call first); but the spring open houses are a must-do for little one who live for the roar of the garbage truck.

Family-Friendly Beer Gardens: 9 Spots for LA Kids and Parents To Chill Together

After a long week of parenting, there’s nothing more rejuvenating to me than sitting outside in sunny California gorgeousness and tossing back a cold beer and pretzel while my toddler runs around like a maniac. If our recent review of family friendly wineries sounds great but too far, a kid-friendly brewery in town may be just the ticket. Here's a list of inviting places in the Los Angeles area to drink outside with the kiddos, ranging from super traditional German beer gardens to family-friendly brewpubs with outdoor spaces. 

7 Single Parent Hacks for Entertaining Kids (and Staying Sane) Every Day of the Week

March 21st is National Single Parent Day. Yes, that's a thing. It even has a hashtag #NationalSingleParentDay. Yipeee, let's celebrate you! The holiday was created in 1984 to "honor the sacrifices and diligent work of single parents across our country" with the hopes that it would become just as popular as Mother's Day or Father's Day. Okay, that's pretty cool. Except, you know, when you're single... there's no one to actually go out and get you roses or candy or take you to dinner or even draw you a bath...on National Single Parent Day, on Mother's Day, on Father's Day, or any other day... because, you're SINGLE. But you deserve to be celebrated—if not with roses then at least with a few helpful hacks to get through the week.

Where Nursing Moms Can Find Private Lactation Rooms in NYC

Raising kids in New York City isn't for the faint of heart. City parents have plenty of worries to contend with that our suburban counterparts don't, from car seats in cabs to finding the right stroller for your lifestyle, and how, exactly, to navigate the subway with a baby in tow.

But one thing city mamas shouldn't have to worry about is where to feed their babies, specifically where to breastfeed or pump when you're on the go. While state law protects a mother's right to breastfeed in public, saying "a mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be," not all mothers are particularly comfortable baring it all, and certainly pumping isn't easy on a city bench. When mama's not comfortable, neither is baby.

To help ease the stress of breastfeeding or pumping on-the-go, we've rounded up some private or semi-private spots for you to feed your wee one while you're out-and-about checking things off our NYC baby bucket list.

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