Indoor Activities

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A Morning at the Cockrell Butterfly Center

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is known for having a variety of both permanent and traveling exhibits to visit throughout the year. One such museum constant is the Cockrell Butterfly Center, which is an indoor exhibit that consists of the Brown Hall of Entomology and the Rainforest Conservatory. Brown Hall houses a wealth of interactive information about various insects, and conservatory is a living habitat that houses hundreds of different butterflies. 

For the Fire Truck Fanatics: Houston Fire Museum and Fire Station Tours

Fire trucks are a big deal in our house - my toddler loves them - so I had no excuse to not visit the Houston Fire Museum when I found a Groupon deal for discounted admission. Formerly Houston Fire Station No. 7, the facility was built in 1898 by the Houston Fire Department and remained active until 1969. In 1980, it was renovated into its current state as a museum and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Driving up, you can see how well the outside of the building has been preserved, and the station exudes an unparalleled authenticity. The museum itself is small, consisting of four main rooms to tour and a play area for the kids. 

Storytimes for NYC Kids: Read Your Way Around Manhattan

Storytimes are a great free—or super low-cost—kid activity that can often provide the incentive families need to get out of the house on those rainy, cold or snowy days when cabin fever is likely to set in. Hosted throughout NYC at libraries, bookstores, museums, and other fun places, most of these baby and kid reading sessions don't require reservations, making it easy to just drop in. Plus, many of these storytimes incorporate arts and craft projects and, considering the venues that host them, a story hour can easily turn into a full morning or afternoon of fun.

Read on for our most up-to-date list of storytimes for fall and winter 2016 in Manhattan. Also, be sure to peruse our post on NYC's best independent bookstores for kids for more reading inspiration, and if you're in the outer boroughs, we've also written about storytimes in Brooklyn and in Queens.

Me Too! 10 NJ Outings to Appeal to Siblings of Different Ages

The wants and needs of toddlers versus teens couldn’t be more different. One is begging for toy cars while the other is eyeing up the keys to your SUV. When it comes to spending quality family time together, everyone can agree that day trips must be fun for siblings of all ages. Luckily, New Jersey has several destinations on the docket that will have your whole family cheering for more.

Terrific Trampoline Parks in Connecticut

Much as it pains me to admit, my kids have outgrown playgrounds. The slides and swings and zip lines that used to entertain them are now, as they say with rolled eyes, "Boooooring." Be that as it may, they have not outgrown the need to have some fun moving their bodies, and this summer when it was oh so hot outside, we had the pleasure of exploring the new generation of trampoline parks that have cropped up all over the state, from Fairfield County to Hartford and beyond. Keep in mind that parks tend to be particularly crowded on weekends and school breaks, and where advanced reservations are possible, we recommend them in order to avoid disappointment. Be warned that if you are bringing your child's friends, they will need to have signed waiver forms from their parents (most of the parks named below have the forms on their websites) . For more fun indoor play ideas check out our Connecticut Indoor Play Guide.

15 Trampoline Parks and Bounce House Play Zones Near Philly

Trampoline parks and bounce houses aren't just for kids' birthday parties. The entire family can enjoy an afternoon of fun and exercise at one of the many places to jump and bounce around Southeastern PA. Most of these places offer special areas for young kids and toddlers, while some specialize in activities for kids under 12. You can also find arcade games, laser tag, mini-golf, and other family-friendly indoor fun at a lot of these parks and play zones. Here's a list of some our favorite places to get our jump on!


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