Indoor Activities

Indoor Activities: 25 Ways to Spend a Rainy Day in NJ

The truth is, I love a rainy day.  Winter or summer, fall or spring, there's much fun to be had when the showers are pouring down, so get out and take advantage of some of the great indoor adventures that NJ has to offer. Here's a bunch of our favorites, some for the warmer days of winter, some for the wetter days of summer, and with a few at-home ideas thrown in. Enjoy your inside time, New Jersey!

Busy Bodies in Clinton Hill: New Play Space for Brooklyn Kids

There's no doubt that Brooklyn is the play space epicenter of New York City, boasting about two dozen indoor romping spots for little ones to shake their sillies out. Even so, when Clinton Hill momtrepreneur noticed a need in her Brooklyn nabe, Busy Bodies was born. Offering drop-in play, a full range of kids classes, and even workshops for parents, Busy Bodies is a welcome addition to local families. 

Dinosaurs Unearthed: A New Adventure at the Academy of Natural Sciences

If there's one thing we love in my family, it's dinosaurs! If you're anything like us, the idea of life-size animatronic dinosaurs, probably sounds pretty amazing. Dinosaurs Unearthed at the Academy of Natural Sciences features more than a dozen of these massive creatures, and you can see them before you've even walked through the door. Running through January 16, 2017, this exhibit is perfect for the dino lovers in your family.

Museum of Ice Cream Brings Swings, Pool and More Treats to NYC

Update: Unfortunately, all dates and times are SOLD OUT. The museum is at capacity and is no longer offering opening day free admission. Only ticketed visitors will be allowed in.

Clearly someone was listening in on our dreams. A Museum of Ice Cream dedicated to the frozen treat of the season will pop up in the Meatpacking District for a month in the dog days of NYC's summer, running July 29 through August 31. It's described by organizers as a "whimsical urban ice cream playground." Tickets are going fast, so read on for the scoop.

New 53rd Street Library Opens with Children's Room, Teen Zone

The New York Public Library opened its brand-new 53rd Street branch in late June, offering some great features for families in a busy NYC corridor, including a spacious Children’s Room, Teen Zone, laptop bank, and programming and events for kids of all ages in a modern, subterranean setting. The 53rd Street Library replaces the longstanding Donnell Library that was razed in 2008. A series of setbacks, including the financial crisis of 2008 caused a lengthy delay in the construction of the new library, which sits below a luxury hotel and condo, but we think it might have been worth the wait.

Free, educational, and engaging library activities were indispensable during the early days with my son, so I was excited to check out the new library in Midtown West and learn more about its many offerings. Read on for a little preview of this gorgeous library, and don't forget to check out the trove of book suggestions, for babies to teens, for summer reading from the NYPL before you head in. Our Summer Slide Busters guide has even more library and STEAM-related fun activity ideas for NYC kids.

5 Brooklyn Cafes with Dedicated Kid Play Areas

If you're looking for a new spot to grab your morning coffee or merely want to enjoy brunch in peace, these five kid-friendly restaurants can't be beat. At these Brooklyn cafes you will find a welcoming environment, great food, and a caffeine jolt, as well as dedicated and safe play areas for your kids. Turn your meal into a play date with a friend or just sit back and take some well-deserved breathing space. Either way, both you and your kids are sure to have a good time.

Check out our NYC Restaurant Guide for more great eateries, including these 10 Brooklyn spots with ample outdoor seating.

Five Children's Museums Outside of Busy Boston

Sure, the Boston Children's Museum is lots of fun. It can also be crowded and hectic, and parking is a challenge. The good news is that there are a handful of other great children's museums in eastern New England – all within a reasonable drive – for those days when you're looking for something a little more relaxed.

Here's a rundown of five kid-centric museums outside of Boston. If you're a member of the Boston Children's Museum, it's worth checking whether your membership offers free entry into any of these other museums. Local libraries may also make free or discounted passes available.

A Visit to the Connecticut Historical Society

Whether you’re looking to give your child a head start on local history studies, or refresh lessons already learned, a visit to the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford is an informative and enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours immersed in our state's legacy. Because the museum is located only 1 mile from the gorgeous Elizabeth Park (where you can dine at Pond House Cafe), and less than 4 miles from Westmoor Park, an outing to CHS can easily turn into a great day spent in the West Hartford area. 

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