Museums

7 Free Outdoor Art Exhibits to See with NYC Kids Now

Want to see some art with your kids, but can’t handle the hordes of summer tourists? (Guilty!) Believe that museums make more sense during the frigid winter months? (Also guilty.) Just not able to make your work hours or the kids' naps coordinate with FREE hours at NYC museums? (Hand raised.)

Here’s the solution: check out these seven outdoor art exhibits on display in NYC now. Since they’re located in city parks and other public spaces, they’re FREE! All have art that is interactive (to some degree), educational, and fun for kids. At one exhibit—Swale, a traveling barge with a “floating food forest”—you can even feed your kids healthy food they pick themselves. What could be better? Maybe the fact that you're outside and your children can run around afterward and get tuckered out? (Guilty again.)

End-of-Summer Programs to Help Kids Re-engage With School

While the past few months may have been filled with camp activities, vacations and carefree days, the lazy, hazy days of summer are coming to an end and that means the kiddies need to get used to school again. Beat summer brain drain with these educational and inspirational events and activities to help get those wheels turning again. Be sure to check out our Summer Guide for more warm weather ideas.

Take the Kids to the EcoTarium for Indoor and Outdoor Fun

The EcoTarium is a museum about an hour west of Boston that tends to get overshadowed by the Museum of Science. That's a shame, because the EcoTarium is a fun destination for kids, with plenty of indoor and outdoor activities. Located on one of the hills of Worcester, the EcoTarium combines elements of a traditional science museum with flavors of an animal habitat and woodland trail. Anyone with kids heading for the main entrance will likely be delayed by the interactive musical and building-block activities just outside the front door, including a xylophone of sorts made of large plastic pipes (pictured).

Once families do get inside, the first thing they might hear are the screams.

What Ages Get in Free to NYC Museums, Zoos, Amusement Parks

How's the old adage go? The best things in life are free. But for families in NYC, that may sound like crazy talk. From housing to classes to entertainment, everything here seems to cost so much money...or does it?

The fact is, there's plenty of FREE fun for kids in New York City. And even top family attractions that charge entry fees like museums, zoos, amusement parks, and water parks offer no-cost admission for children under certain ages, and those savings can really add up, especially when you have preschoolers or toddlers

So, we decided to make a list of when the freebies end for kids at New York City's best family destinations, from tourist hot spots like the Statue of Liberty to all of the children's museums and zoos. Yet another reason to wish your children could stay young forever! We've even included a few of our favorite picks in nearby locales, too.

Note: The cut-off ages imply that once kids reach that age, they no longer qualify for free admission, and some places may ask for proof of age. Looking for a 100% FREE outing? Check out our roundup of no-cost admission hours at NYC museums.

The Roosevelt Ride: Day Trip Celebrates FDR in Hudson Valley

FDR looms large in many Americans' minds as the man who led the country through the Great Depression and the only president to serve three terms. For New Yorkers, the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the nation's 32nd president, is perhaps even more pervasive.

He was born in Dutchess County's Hyde Park and his family was deeply connected to the Hudson Valley. He served in the New York State Senate and later as the governor of the state before ascending to the White House. Today, the area boasts several historic Roosevelt sites that help introduce visitors to our longest-serving president and First Lady Eleanor, including the FDR Presidential Library and Museum and the Franklin Roosevelt Park. Even a number of NYC sites carry his name. Time for a visit to Roosevelt Island?

A visit to Hyde Park, though, is a unique educational opportunity for children and parents—and don't count out a visit with young children. The shady grounds of the various Roosevelt sites offer plenty of room to romp in the fresh air. How to see it all, you ask? On the Roosevelt Ride, of course! This efficient shuttle takes visitors on a tour of the most important historic Roosevelt sites in and around Hyde Park—for FREE. We've got the scoop on catching the Roosevelt Ride as well as details on sites along the route, all adding up to a car-free, family-friendly day trip that’s heavy on history with a side helping of nature.

Roosevelt Island: What to Do with Kids After Taking the Tram

New York is a city of islands. Many of them, like Governors Island, City Island, Randall's Island, and even the infamous Rikers Island, get lots of attention; however, low-key Roosevelt Island manages to slip under the radar. It’s time to get cozy with this narrow, 2-mile long sliver of land in the East River nestled between Manhattan and Queens.

The Roosevelt Island Tram is a familiar site for many New Yorkers and the aerial ride alone is great fun for kids, but what about when you disembark on the isle? Over 11,000 people call this peaceful community home. The vibe is urban, but there are open spaces perfect for rambling. Self-contained, it has its own school, newspaper, and library. My family and I found plenty of cool things to keep us entertained and we've pulled together our top picks for things to do on the isle. 

A Peaceful Trip Back in Time at Boscobel House and Gardens

 Overlooking West Point, Constitution Island and the Hudson River, Boscobel House and Gardens is a wonderful place to step back in time and take a break from our modern rush-around world. Originally built in Montrose, N.Y., and moved to its current location in Garrison in the 1950s, Boscobel House dates back to the early 1800s.

Throughout the year Boscobel hosts a variety of family-friendly events, in addition to the tours, picnicking, hiking and sight seeing opportunities that are available April through December. We have what you need to know about visiting these immaculately restored grounds, which reflect the grandeur of when it was home to one of Westchester’s wealthiest women. 

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