Indoor Activities

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Mall of America's Most Amazing Attractions for Kids of All Ages

Mall of America, located in the heart of the American Midwest in Bloomington, Minnesota, is nothing short of an indoor entertainment epicenter for kids. Sure, it has over 500 stores, but there’s way more to do than just go shopping at the country's largest mall (so big that it requires its own zip code: 55425).

From Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower to the Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee, the Midwest is full of fun, interesting, and educational things that kids and their parents will love. Mall of America might possess a more commercial feel than some of the area's other travel destinations, but it also likely offers the most entertainment per square foot (5.4 million square feet to be exact) with some of the most popular kids' characters and brands on hand, including Lego, Nickelodeon, American Girl, and Paw Patrol. There's an indoor amusement park, aquarium, arcade, mini golf, and so much more, all within just a few minutes of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

Read on to check out our list of the top 25 amazing things that kids of all ages can do at Mall of America.

Indoor Water Parks and Pools for Philly Area Families

Winter certainly has its charms: sledding, building snowmen, skating, and hot cocoa are wonderful, but by February you and your family might be looking to warm up in a more tropical environment. While it might be nice to board a plane to a sunny island destination, it’s not always possible or cost-effective. Luckily, you can enjoy some summertime fun even in the coldest months at a multitude of indoor water parks and pools not too far from Philly. Go dig out your bathing suit from behind your coats and mittens, and get ready to take the plunge at one of these exciting parks!

NYC Bowling Alleys That Welcome Kids and Families

Bowling is a perfect indoor family activity when you find yourself with some spare time (sorry—couldn't resist). At about age 5, children really start enjoying it, making it an ideal family outing. Bowling birthday parties are a hit for the school-age set and most venues offer special packages and pricing.

There are traditional bowling alleys—think leagues, snack bars, pro shops—in the outer boroughs, but Manhattan's spots tend to cater to grown-ups. Don’t worry though: Kids can still find lanes—you just have to know when to go. Here are 16 places to bowl with kids all across New York City.

Indoor Ice Skating Rinks in New York City for Every Season

As much as we love ice skating outside, sometimes it's just too cold, hot, or rainy for New York City's seasonal outdoor rinks. Indoor alternatives let NYC kids skate year-round. Some in-the-know parents with young skate enthusiasts tell me they prefer indoor rinks because the quality of the ice is better, making for a smoother glide, which is especially helpful for newbies.

Here are six NYC indoor ice skating rinks to check out, whether your kid is just starting out on the ice or is practicing their hockey or figure skating moves. Many offer birthday party options, skating lessons, and rentals—plus, most are open in summer if you ever need to cool down.

Chicago Winter Fun List: 50 Things to Do Indoors with Kids

A little bit of winter weather never stopped a true Chicagoan from getting out there and enjoying the city…Except when the city is in the grip of a polar vortex, of course. Or when just getting outside also involves putting boots and five layers of winter gear on a troop of small people.

So yeah, sometimes it can be hard to get motivated to head out into the cold for all the kid-friendly events happening in Chicago. But to help, we've compiled a list of 50 awesome places for kids to run, jump, bounce, learn, create, and get cultured indoors this winter. And some are even FREE.

27 Things To Do with Kids North of Boston in Winter

The cold temperatures and snow have arrived, but that doesn't mean we have to hibernate. There's still plenty to do—inside and out—even when the mercury plummets. And the area North of Boston is no exception. From museums and indoor play centers to parks and skating rinks, these winter-savvy towns flanking routes 95 and 495 northbound have you covered. Cross one or all of these 27 super activities off your Winter Fun list and show Jack Frost who's boss. 

Long Island Destinations for Delicious Hot Chocolate

When the snow starts to fly during a Long Island winter, a tasty hot chocolate can help to take the chill away.

Adults and kids across Long Island enjoy hot chocolate, especially when it’s topped with marshmallows, whipped cream, or both. And while you can make it at home, isn't it nice to get out of the house with the kids? It squashes cabin fever, and there’s no cleanup for you. With that in mind. here are 18 places across Long Island that serve up delicious hot chocolate and other tasty treats.

If hot chocolate isn’t your thing, why not try one of these spots for afternoon tea with the kids? See our guide to family-friendly restaurants for even more dining ideas on Long Island. And for more seasonal possibilities, check out our Winter Fun Guide and Long Island events calendar.

The Best Museums for Kids in Northern New Jersey

When bad weather hits, a trip to a museum can be a great cure for cabin fever. With winter in full force, it's time to check out a few local gems that offer kids hands-on art and science exploration. At these northern New Jersey museums, kids can study the stars at a planetarium, learn about dinosaurs that once roamed New Jersey, create their own works of art, meet animals, make music, and much more. They're guaranteed to learn something—and get nice and tired in the process.

Read on for our favorite spots in northern New Jersey, and be sure to check out our roundup of museums in central and southern NJ, too.

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