Fall Activities

12 Family Camping Spots Near NYC in State Parks and More

Camping trips are great for kids, especially NYC kids. They get to spend time outside in green spaces that may seem, to city kids, to go on forever. Plus they can learn esteem-building skills, including how to canoe, fish, chop wood, cook over a fire, pitch a tent, and more. Although there are a number of campgrounds offering fancy perks these days, from wi-fi to heated swimming pools, many camping trips are low-tech, so they allow families time to unplug and reconnect with one another. Plus, pitching a tent is generally an affordable alternative to a hotel.

Camping can be dirty and difficult, though, and require plenty of equipment, including a car. That alone can make an overnight trip to the great outdoors a challenge for many NYC families. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are several campgrounds in the tristate area that are perfect for first-timers and families. For example, we recently tried Tentrr, an online site that rents campsites in the New York area, such as the popular Hudson Valley, that are fully equipped with tents, cots, and other equipment. Just reserve your favorite site and show up!

Read on for more top campgrounds within a few hours of the city that are packed with things to keep kids busy, and two of which are within city limits. A number of these prime destinations are accessible via mass transit, and one campground even provides nearly everything you need. Remember, some of these favorites book up early!

There's no excuse not to hit the woods for a family vacation this year.  

Getting Started with Ice Hockey: Classes and Leagues at Rinks around LA and the Valley

Playing hockey on the local pond? Yeah, that'll happen when the Valley freezes over. But just because our kids can't go out back to hit a puck around like their snow-bound counterparts on the East Coast doesn't mean they can't get the ice time to pursue their Olympic hockey dreams -- the LA area produces some of the top figure skaters and hockey players in the country. Here are some top spots for kids to hit the ice and hone their hockey technique.

25 Toddler Approved Places in Fairfield County

When your child takes those first steps into toddlerhood, it becomes obvious that the game has changed. No more baby that sleeps soundly in a carrier, or is amused by being pushed around in a stroller. Toddlers hit the ground running and are ready for some hands-on interactive fun. Those loveable bundles of joy have endless energy and an unquenchable desire to explore their surroundings.  That's why we've rounded up 25 places in Fairfield County we know toddlers will love, from active play options to animal fun to sweet treats. Many of the destinations on our list are free, and some of the activities also appeal to older siblings. And for some more indoor fun options check out our Indoor Fun Guide

Check out our top 25 tot spots and if we missed any of your favorites, please add them in the comments.

Silver Lights Festival Adds Sparkle to the Season

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, gorillas swung from trees, playful penguins surrounded an igloo, and a seal put on a rooftop show. Technically, the time is now, the land is the not-so-distant city of Meriden, and the adorable creatures are more than 300 characters featured during the Festival of Lights. This annual and very family-friendly holiday lights event in the New Haven area is not to be missed due to its charm, great photo opportunities, and affordable price tag (umm, it's free!). 

See Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation with Kids

Thanksgiving in New York City wouldn’t be what it is without the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

If you’re eager to take your kids to glimpse those giant balloons and don’t want to rise before dawn, visit the area near the American Museum of Natural History on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 to watch the giants come to life. Significant changes are in store for the 2017 edition of the balloon inflation, including an early start time and new procession route.

While the balloon inflation isn't crowd-free, it’s an only-in-New York event all its own—and a must-do holiday event for families. Read on for tips on when to go and where to eat. In need of more holiday inspiration? Visit our Thanksgiving Fun Guide.

Exploring Silence at Grace Farms

I don’t know about you, but lately my mind has been racing - my lists have been growing lists and my “to dos”  have been expanding at a remarkable pace. So, when I had the opportunity to Explore Silence with Grace Farms Foundation’s Arts Initiative, I jumped at the chance. 

My daughter and I have been to Grace Farms several times since its opening in 2015. When I try to explain my experience there to people, I frequently find myself at a loss for words. Grace Farms is a completely unique experience nestled in backcountry Fairfield County, and to understand this facility, you truly have to “experience” it.  

Holiday Craft Fairs and Markets In and Around Houston

Ready to get a jump on all of your holiday shopping, but don't want to frequent the same tired stores you always visit? A holiday craft market and fair is the perfect answer. You'll find an assortment of handmade treasures crafted by local artisans that will make unique gifts for everyone on your list. Check out these markets around town.

Thanksgiving Day Runs for Long Island Families

Whether you're a seasoned runner or just looking for a fun run (or walk), a "turkey trot" is a great way to spend Thanksgiving morning. These road races, held in Nassau, Suffolk and the East End, are open to all ages and often feature a "fun run" just for kids.

If you are not trapped in the kitchen waiting for the bird to cook—or if you are, but want everyone out from under foot-—get the family to work off those calories in advance, making room for the feast to come. For more seasonal adventures, check out our Long Island Events Calendar and our November GoList.


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