Indoor Activities

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A Dozen Museums for Kids and Families in Central and Southern NJ

Winter's not over yet, and if you're running out of ideas, don't despair—there's plenty of indoor fun to be found at museums throughout central and southern NJ. At these wonderful and varied spots, you can explore a battleship, learn all about insects, ride a vintage train, see the stars, and even see a shrunken head.

For more educational fun, check out our list of the best museums for kids in northern NJ, or take a ride across the river to check out one of the many excellent museums in Philadelphia.

12 Books that Make Kids Proud to be Bostonians

Boston is a city steeped in history, and one of the best ways to learn about all of its famous landmarks and residents is through books. Next time you head to one of our city's great libraries or bookstores, look for one or more of these 12 great children's books, including a brand-new, beautifully illustrated story about the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. From landmark lore to rich biographies, these great reads will inspire hometown pride in Boston kids in different, age-appropriate ways.

Theaters with Sensory-Friendly Performances for NJ Kids

Taking littles to the theater opens up opportunities for exposure to the arts, building social skills, and learning about appropriate audience behavior. For children with autism, developmental disabilities, or sensory sensitivities (such as difficulties with bright lights, loud noises and sudden, surprising bursts of volume or activity), the theater can be an intimidating place.

Luckily, NJ is home to several performing arts spaces that offer exclusive performances for kids with special needs, so the entire family can experience the arts together. These sensory-friendly performances often include accommodations such as lowered volume and raised lighting, the ability to move about the theater freely, dedicated quiet areas, and trained staff to lend a helping hand should the need arise.

Read on for a list of theaters and upcoming performances where you can know that your child will feel welcomed and loved, just as they are. We hope you enjoy the show!

Kids' Happy Hour Activities in NYC to Keep 'Em Busy Until Bed

Even for the most innovative parent, the gap between late afternoon and bedtime can be challenging to fill—especially during bad weather. When it's too cold and dark for the park, the "witching hour" can feel like an endless desert of time. Most play spaces, libraries, and museums close the doors before 6pm, so it's hard to justify schlepping across the city for a short window of playtime, especially when getting everyone fed is a factor. What's a parent to do? Well, check out our borough-by-borough breakdown of kid-centric locales that are open "late!" to keep your kids (little and big) busy till bedtime. 

14 Best Indoor Birthday Party Ideas for LA Kids

There is a special kind of stress—both emotional and financial—that planning a birthday party can cause if you have kids born between the months of November and March. Oh sure, everyone struggles with the great birthday party question, but those moms who gave birth in LA in August are pretty safe claiming a corner of a public park or throwing down some blankets on the beach. If you have a December baby, you may have tried that, but at some point probably cried "Never again!" LA might not have a proper winter, but it has a proper Indoor Birthday Party season, if only for the sanity of the parents. Allow us to share some of our favorite options for entertaining the masses without stressing about the weather.

Indoor Play Spots for NYC Toddlers with Weekend Hours

Indoor play spots are essential for NYC families with young children (and limited square feet) as temperatures begin a steady decline into winter.

Unfortunately, so many of the city's indoor play spots are limited to weekday hours. That's great for caregivers Monday through Friday, but mom and dad are left out in the cold, scrambling to fill up those chilly fall, rainy spring or snowy winter weekends with their preschoolers in other ways.

Luckily, we've uncovered nearly two dozen fantastic play spaces that get it, and are keeping weekend, drop-in play hours for kids, no membership required. All include playthings sized just right for the little ones, including for babies in many instances. They are stroller-friendly and equipped with changing stations, making them no-fuss options for the toddler squad.

Thrilling Family Fun: 5 Escape Rooms and Quests to Do With Boston Kids

As kids get older, it gets harder to find indoor family activities that aren’t “boring” or “stupid.” Fear not; there’s good news. If you’re the parent of older school-age kids or 'tweens, you might want to try an escape room adventure. People all over America are paying to be locked in a room for an hour—to try to get out, together. Escape rooms are the newest trend, and your family might love it. We’ve found five nearby escape rooms, or similarly-themed quest activities, where you and your kids can test your quick-thinking and problem-solving skills (and maybe do some bonding at the same time).

New Kids' Gym in Paramus Lets NJ Parents Drop and Shop

Shopping with kids can be a chore. When they’re not running around the sales floor or playing hide-and-seek in the clothing racks, they’re complaining or asking you to buy them something. Instead of dropping $20 on snacks and small toys to keep them happy, why not put that “treat” money toward something both of you can enjoy—a drop-off gym class at the mall. PopFit Kids, which recently opened in the South Court at Paramus Park Mall, offers this and more—including drop-in and weekly classes that offer kids plenty of active, indoor fun. It just might help both kids and parents enjoy a trip to the mall once again. 

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