Hotels & Resorts

Hotel Rooms with Views of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Chances are you're not even thinking about Thanksgiving yet. After all, we still have Halloween to get through! But as anyone in the NYC hotel industry will tell you, families looking to book a hotel where they can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Midtown Manhattan do so up to a year ahead of time! For a room with a view of Snoopy, Spidey, Hello Kitty, and their other inflatable pals, you've really got to plan in advance.

It's not just NYC tourists who splurge on hotels for the Thanksgiving parade, either. Over the past few years, we've had many New Yorkers write in asking which hotels looked out on the Macy's Parade route (it sure beats watching from the street). While most of these hotels still have availability at the time of this writing, call right away as they'll most likely sell out soon. And if you do get shut out, it's worth checking closer to Thanksgiving since there are sometimes last-minute cancelations.

For a budget-saving alternative, catch a prime viewing spot the night before the parade as the giant balloons are inflated on the Upper West Side.

Queen Mary's Dark Harbor: Are Your Kids Ready for this Scary Halloween Haunt?

No parent likes to contemplate it, but the day will come for our kids when trick-or-treating is no more. If your family is as hooked on Halloween as ours is, you'll want to find a way to keep the magic going, even once your baby starts to look really big to other people (particularly people opening their doors at night). Filling this void is the main reason for the many seriously spooky big kid haunts around the Southland—haunts like Universal Horror Nights, Knott's Scary Farm, and Dark Harbor. But how to transition? You can't just hit the brakes on collecting candy with Elsa and suddenly start running from chainsaw wielding zombies.

I had a theory (having visited a few of these fright nights) that Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary might be the perfect tween transition to a different way of celebrating All Hallows' Eve, and I committed so fully to this theory that I booked our whole family (and some friends) for an overnight on the haunted, haunting ship. And guess what? It worked! Three tweens I know had the time of their lives screaming with the spooks all night at the Queen Mary. The evening was enormous fun, and I think a few things we did to prepare helped stack the deck in favor of success.

Las Vegas Babysitting Services That Let Parents Enjoy Vegas, Baby

Our daughter feels like Vegas is her second home, and it’s no wonder: we've been visiting Sin City a couple of times a year since she was a baby. We fit in lots of family outings during our visits, like riding the High Roller Las Vegas Ferris wheel, watching the Bellagio fountains, and checking out the flamingoes at the Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. My husband and I usually do the rotation thing when it comes to gambling (one of us goes and one of us stays with our daughter), but every now and then it's nice to splurge on childcare and enjoy Las Vegas as a couple.

Family Weekend Getaway: River Rafting with Kids in the Catskills

I've wanted to take my kids river rafting since my teenage son was a toddler, yet we never managed to get around to it—until this summer. After spending a wonderful day on the Delaware River in the Sullivan Catskills, my only regret is that we didn't go sooner.

With three kids ranging from 8 to 13, finding an outing we can all enjoy is sometimes a challenge. River rafting hit the mark beautifully, providing a completely unplugged experience that's fun for all ages. Plus, clocking in at just under two hours from New York City (and even less for Westchester residents), rafting in the Catskills is an easy day trip or a quick weekend getaway. We opted to make a weekend out of it, so we've got the scoop on where to go rafting and what to expect, plus where to stay overnight.

For more weekend getaway ideas, consult our Day Trips & Getaways Guide and sign up for our newsletters.

Farm Stays Near NYC: Enjoy a Farm-Themed Family Vacation

For New York City area families, it only takes a few hours to arrive in the bucolic countryside, where the landscape seems thousands of miles away from the crowded subways and packed playgrounds. Farm stays are an increasingly popular vacation option to enjoy that countryside and a back-to-nature experience. For children who’ve never been around livestock, farm stays provide a firsthand way to learn about the animal world in a casual fashion. It also often comes with a few more amenities when compared to camping.

If you're interested in the source of your food, farm holidays offer a fine way to connect with what you eat and sometimes even pick your own fresh fruit, veggies, and eggs. You're not required to work during your farm stay, but many visitors find farm chores so different from their regular routines that they are eager to participate. Curious kids should relish the opportunity to gather eggs, watch cows be milked, and pick fresh peaches off the tree. 

Consider these eight farm stay options in the Hudson Valley and Catskills, New York, and in Pennsylvania for your next family vacation

10 Perfect Fall Weekend Getaways Near NYC for Families

Fall in the Northeast is a lovely time of year as the trees explode in a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and gold. The crisp air and outdoor activities are hard to resist for most kids (and grown-ups). New Yorkers can experience that magic right in the city's gorgeous parks, some of which feel almost like a countryside retreat during a foliage walk. But for a weekend away, perhaps over those fall school holidays, consider a trip north to full immerse the family in falltime fun.

We’ve rounded up 10 options, from a luxury retreat in Connecticut to glamping in New Hampshire to an Adirondack wilderness retreat where you can really unplug. 

Special Campgrounds With Kid-Friendly Extras Near Westchester

"Getting away from it all" and spending time camping in the woods sounds idyllic, but let's face it: Sometimes—especially when kids are involved—you just need something a little extra.

Whether it's a place to do laundry or a game to keep the kids happy, these campsites are all within a reasonable distance and have plenty of amenities and activities. You'll still feel like you're getting away from civilization, but with any luck you won't hear the never-ending cries of "I'm bored!" 

For more summertime fun, like us on follow us on Facebook and sign up for our sign up for our newsletters.

5 New England Resorts with Great Kids Camps

Still looking for the perfect summer getaway? To us, a vacation that combines family fun with opportunities for grown-up-only time can't be beat, but a lot of hotels and resorts seem to specialize in one type of experience or the other. So we did some digging to find regional hotels that are best for parents looking to spend quality time with their kids—and each other.

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