Indoor Activities

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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. 

Captive with Clues: Family-Friendly Escape Rooms in NJ

Sometimes 15 minutes alone in the car with kids can seem like an hour, especially when they’re in the back seat fighting or asking “are we there yet?” So why would a parent choose to lock themselves in a tiny room with their children? Well, to figure out how to escape, of course.

Escape rooms are the latest entertainment craze for those brave enough, clever enough, and not too claustrophobic to take on the challenge. Up to 10 participants get “locked” in a thematic room with a compelling story line such as finding your way off an island, out of a mysterious location, or escaping before falling victim to a terrible curse. The group has up to an hour to find and solve clues hidden literally anywhere in the room and free themselves. Clues can be as simple as a color or a number; they can be in code; they can be subtly hidden in a picture or painting, on a piece of paper, in a decorative item in the room. A Game Master monitors all the action on video screen and is available to offer help upon request.

Read on for our our list of family-friendly escape rooms in NJ!

The Coop: Toddler-Friendly Cafe Opens in Bay Ridge

The Coop in Bay Ridge goes beyond high chairs and French fries to deliver a truly kid-friendly cafe that families adore. This cozy cafe has a bar-like vibe and friendly staff, delectable food and drinks, and plenty of space to sit back and relax. What really sets it apart from other cafes, though, is the kid-friendly play area in the back. The Coop welcomes parents to relax and dine while their children play in a safe and fun space—all within arm's reach. Peace for the parents, fun and games for the kids.

7 Places Where Long Island Kids Can Be Marine Biologists for a Day

If your children are aspiring marine biologists--or simply obsessed with marine aquaculture--then Long Island is the right place to live. Within a short drive of just about wherever you are, you’ll find a museum, nature center or aquatic facility dedicated to marine life. Kids can do everything from learn about ocean life and touch stingrays to swim with actual sharks. These five places are most appropriate for toddlers and older, but chances are these destinations will draw a learning smile from even the youngest in your family. And for more to do this season, be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide.

Free Museum Days for Families in Los Angeles and Orange County

Love museums, but do the prices make you think twice? If you have a large family, those tickets add up fast—which is particularly frustrating if you need to beat a hasty retreat to avoid a meltdown. SoCal has some great museums that are free every day of the year, plus active-duty military personnel can take advantage of the Blue Star Program at many Los Angeles museums in summertime. As for the rest of them (once kids are old enough to have to pay), many LA and OC museums have monthly or even weekly free days or evenings, and we have collected a list below for easy reference. These times are a great chance to bring the extended family, meet friends, or check out a place you have never been before—all for just the price of parking or Metro tickets.

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