Museums

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8 Fun Day Trips From New York City Without a Car

Although New York City is home to wonderful museums and cultural centers, destination day trips are a fun and easy way to give kids a change of scenery, while giving the whole fam the chance to explore nearby cities and towns. Maybe you have a touch of cabin fever, or just want to explore someplace new—either way, we've rounded up close-enough-to-home adventures for a quick trip out of the city. And the best part is, you don't even need a car! All of our picks are accessible by public transit, so no need to wrestle with traffic jams—just enjoy the commute with the kids and make getting there part of the adventure.

When Kids Get in Free at Chicago Museums, Zoos, and Parks

Chicago's museums, zoos, and parks rank among the best in the country—and lucky for busy, cash-strapped parents, many museums, zoos, gardens, and cultural institutions offer FREE or reduced admission at least once a month. Plus, many of the "grown-up" museums let kids in for free year-round, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, and most of the big institutions, including the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and the Field Museum, host popular free days just for Illinois residents throughout the year.

It can be hard to keep track of when and where these freebies are available, so we've compiled a list of reduced or FREE admission days and times at favorite Chicago cultural spots from the Art Institute to the Museum of Science and Industry.

The Butterfly Pavilion Ushers in Spring at the Natural History Museum

Everyone's all a-flutter at the Natural History Museum. The seasonal re-opening of the Butterfly Pavilion takes place this month, giving us six months of access to the unfettered joy that is an afternoon among the butterflies. The new, expanded pavilion which debuted in 2017 is still on the museum’s South Lawn, offering delightful flutterby time on the same site where the creepier Spider Pavilion sets up in autumn. From chrysalis to butterfly, the Butterfly Pavilion is full of magical moments, which is why it rates as one of our 100 things to do with LA kids before they grow up.

New Interactive T. Rex Exhibit Opens at Natural History Museum

Just three years after making waves with the debut of Titanosaur, one of our favorite family-friendly museums is upping the ante. The American Museum of Natural History is kicking off its 150th anniversary with a fantastic new exhibit dedicated to the ferocious king of all dinos. The interactive exhibit T. rex: The Ultimate Predator opens to the public on Monday, March 11—read on for more details on this not-to-be missed exhibition that will impress dinosaur-obsessed kids and adults alike.

Boston's New England Aquarium: Guide to What's New and What to Do with Kids

My son loves animals of all kinds, so I knew we had to take him to the New England Aquarium as soon as he was old enough for the outing. Our trip did not disappoint! He was enthralled by the beautiful sea creatures and even got to experience some up close at the touch tanks. Here’s what I learned when we went to the Aquarium, including which exhibits are "must-sees," where the best kid-friendly dining options are, and how you can score discounts. With a new, 9,000-gallon Indo-Pacific coral reef display opening this spring, it's an especially exciting time to hit the Aquarium. Interested in more of our favorite kid-friendly Boston attractions? Check out our museum guide.

These DC Museums Are Free Every Day (Seriously)

When it comes to Washington, DC, museums are not in short supply, and thankfully, neither is free admission! If you're looking to explore the wonderful museums that DC offers without breaking the bank, then you've come to the right place. We've compiled the best museums that are free everyday (yes, really, everyday). 

Take a look at our list below and find someplace fun - and free! - to check out with the family.

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, gaze at 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.

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