Museums

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Quogue Wildlife Refuge: Get Up Close With Nature, Animals

The Quogue Wildlife Refuge is one of our favorite hidden Long Island gems. Set back from a curved road, the 300-acre nature preserve on the East End boasts FREE family fun via wildlife, water, and wonderment.

Continue to foster a love of learning outside with our favorite outdoor classrooms and nature centers. Looking for more ways to experience nature? How about a visit to one of our favorite places to interact with birds and butterflies on Long Island? Or consider our favorite family-friendly hiking trails and bikes trails for Long Island families. Of course, you can keep exploring with our guide to more day trips on and near Long Island.  

Free and Cheap After-School Programs for NYC Kids and Teens

Back-to-school season is also back-to-after-school season, as families look for enriching and fun programs for their children. There are tons of sports, arts, academics, and other kinds of classes for New York City kids, many of them reasonably priced. In fact, a handful of high-quality after-school programs are actually free or super inexpensive!

Some places, like the New York City Parks Department, offer after-school coverage Monday through Friday. Other programs only meet once or twice a week. We've rounded up 15 organizations that offer complimentary or reasonably-priced classes to kids and teens throughout the five boroughs.

Kids Age 10 and Up Are Now Eligible for IDNYC

Big news for tweens (and their parents!): IDNYC, the municipal identification card, which comes with a ton of family-friendly benefits, has lowered its minimum age for eligibility to 10 years old. This means middle schoolers are now eligible for the FREE ID.

When the IDNYC program was Initially launched in 2015, the minimum eligible age was 14. Read on for more details on the application process, and the reasons why you should book your tween's appointment now.

Color Factory in Soho: A Peek Inside NYC's Most Colorful Pop-Up

The Big Apple is one of the most colorful cities in the world: Its beautiful spectrum of diversity is reflected in all the city's sights, sounds, tastes, and smells. And now you can see, hear, taste, smell, and touch your way through a rainbow of NYC-inspired installations at the Color Factory, an interactive art experience in Soho. Based on the popular exhibit of the same name that ran in San Francisco last year, NYC's Color Factory opened on August 20, 2018 and has been extended through the end of May 2019.

Photo-ops abound at almost every turn as different color-filled environments invite you to shake your groove thing, create a sound vibe, find your soul color, and more. Each installation flows into the next, ultimately leading to the grand finale, which features illustrations by Tamara Shopsin and a massive ball pit filled with 500,000 sky blue balls, where visitors can dive and play. My daughter and I visited right around opening day: Read on for a sneak peek inside this delightful display of color.

Marine Nature Study Area: An Outdoor Lab for Family Adventure

Explore the great outdoors at the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside, a South Shore seaside environment preserve ripe for a self-guided expedition.

The education and conservation of marine life have played such a large part in Long Island's past, and we are fortunate to have places such as the Long Island Aquarium, South Fork Natural History Museum, and Quogue Wildlife Preserve to help keep it alive in the present.

For more FREE fun, check out our list of playgrounds, boardwalks and fishing spots. After Labor Day, most beach fees on Long Island are not collected. Before heading out, peruse our calendar for a list of updated events.

Long Island Explorium: Port Jefferson's Rebranded Learning Center

Take your tiny tinkerer on a hands-on adventure to the newly rebranded Long Island Explorium.

Located in the historic and charming Chandlery Building at Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson,  the previously named Maritime Explorium offers kids the chance to discover how much fun learning can be. Its STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) programs, classes, and exhibits aim to spark creativity and ignite imaginations. Don't worry about telling wee ones to keep their hands to themselves here: Touching is encouraged. 

Check out more STEM programs on Long Island here. Likewise, many schoolscamps, and museums across Long Island offer classes and workshops with a focus on STEAM education. While in quaint Port Jefferson, check out our visitor's guide to see what else is a must-do, see, or eat.

Candytopia Arrives in NYC for Hungry Fans: Is It Worth a Visit?

There’s always something exciting and exclusive going on in NYC – something a little more special than another trip to the playground. Whether it be an outdoor concert, a Broadway show, or a special pop-up museum event, there’s an endless supply of something "new."

Candytopia, made famous during its run in Los Angeles, has made its way to New York City. Tucked inside Penn Plaza, over a dozen rooms are lined up for your candy-filled enjoyment. The tasty extravaganza opened on August 15 and runs through January 6, 2019. Read on for details of my family’s Candytopia NYC visit.

35 Things to Do with Kids in Soho and Little Italy

Spend the day roaming around Soho and Little Italy with kids and you'll realize just how kid-friendly NYC can be. Of course there are tons of shops and restaurants, but if you look closer you can see that the area is teeming with tons of fun activities for the whole family: You just need to know where to look! Here are 35 of the best places for families to visit, shop, and eat in Soho and the adjacent neighborhoods of Little Italy and Hudson Square, including family-friendly restaurants, must-see museums, playgrounds, and neighborhood institutions. 

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