Museums

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Valley Relics Museum Is the Kid Playground You Never Knew Existed

If you live in LA, chances are good that you know every nook and cranny of such kid-friendly museums as LACMA, California Science Center, the Discovery Cube, and Kidspace Children's Museum—but you may never have been to the Valley Relics Museum. This museum, housed in two airplane hangars next to the Van Nuys Airport, will send you down Memory Lane and give your kiddos an insight into all things retro-cool—including a whole lot of free pinball!

50 Fun Things to Do to Cool Off in NYC This Summer with Kids

As summer weather begins to sizzle, there's no denying the heat and humidity can get under the skin of even the most tropical-weather-loving New Yorker. To beat the heat, my kids (and my inner child) insist any outing includes water, industrial strength air-conditioning, or sweet frozen treats.

While we enjoy hitting our local public pool and running around the sprinklers (oh yes, I get in there, too), lately we've been longing for more diverse destinations. That inspired us to round up our favorite ways to cool off in New York City.

Our list includes a variety of destinations; some are brand-new, while others are old standbys. The list includes outdoor spots like extra-special water playgrounds, awesome pools, and splashy boat rides, and indoor havens such as kid-friendly museums. Many of our suggestions are FREE and we even included exceptional frozen-treat spots, so you can indulge in ice cream and more. So strike while the weather's hot: Here are our top 50 ways to cool off with kids in NYC this summer.

40 Ways to Beat the Houston Heat This Summer

We don't have to tell you that during a Houston summer, the heat and humidity come at you at full force. Staying cool with the kids is top priority these days, and while the area has plenty of splash pads and pools, sometimes it's nice to just be out of the sun. And enjoying someone else's air conditioning. Even though we love them, we know it can get expensive at indoor playgrounds and gyms, so we've included an entire section of free indoor fun ideas to help you beat the heat without breaking the bank. And if you don't mind dishing out some dollars for fun indoor experiences, the second half of this list includes our favorite paid entry Houston-area venues where you can beat the heat this summer. 

Find yourself in need of even more ideas? Be sure to check out our guide to free summer fun and full guide of things to do with Houston kids in the summer.

Cool Public Art to See in NYC with Kids This Summer

Summer in the city means endless outdoor fun, countless street festivals, and some pretty rad splash pads. But summer also brings some seriously cool public art to the streets of NYC, making it easy to sneak some culture into a day of play. Check out our roundup of some of the many free art exhibits around town and dazzle your kids with colorful displays that also just happen to flex those left-brain creative muscles. And be sure to follow us on Instagram if you don't already—we're always finding new exhibits, pop-ups, and interactive installations to explore with kids.

Best Children's Museums for Families to Visit in New York City

New York City doesn't lack for world-class museums and cultural institutions. While I've been to The Met more times than I can count (and still haven't seen it all) and can while away an afternoon at The Whitney no problem, sometimes my kids need something with a little more action.

That's where New York City's many family-friendly children's museums come in. We've rounded up a dozen of our favorites, ranging from totally interactive playspaces to spots for making art, studying history, and much more. All of NYC's kid museums provide plenty of fun things to do, and are great indoor activities whether you're beating the summer heat or escaping winter's chill.

8 Things to Love About Japan Society: Visiting the Japanese Cultural Center With Kids

One of the best things about raising kids in New York City is that a unique cultural experience is usually just a short walk, bus, or train ride away. Most cultural institutions in NYC host special family programming, festivals, workshops and language programs, and NYC's Japan Society, formed in 1907, offers a varied and rich calendar of events for kids, all set against a beautiful backdrop of indoor gardens, including a waterfall.

If you are fascinated by Japanese food, film, and folklore, but short on time or money to travel abroad, the Japan Society is an affordable alternative for the culture-seeking family. During my visit, one Japan Society member and father of two children ages 3 and 4 put it best, “It gets me as close as I can to experiencing Japanese culture without having to go to Japan.”

13 Best Science Museums and STEM Spots for NYC Kids

Curious NYC kids never need to feel bored—not when there are so many places in New York that encourage kid-focused scientific exploration and creation. From science museums and maker spaces to brain-boosting playgrounds and STEM-focused camps, there are tons of spots for kids to get scientific in New York City. We've rounded up 13 of the best.

Find more great geeky ideas in our STEM Guide.

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