Outdoors

Best Long Island Camping and RV Sites for Families and Kids

Families have for generations bonded over camping. On Long Island, where campgrounds offer oceanside views, hiking trails, historic landmarks, and lighthouses, experienced camping families or first-timers can enjoy roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, making shadow animals on tent walls, chasing after fireflies, and otherwise celebrating nature.

We've compiled a list of the best camping destinations in Nassau and Suffolk counties just waiting to host you and your family. Some are located in state or county parks, where residency restrictions might apply. Others are private or corporately run and open to all. Regardless, camping is especially popular on Long Island from May to October, so call ahead for availability and other essential information.

For tips on other LI outdoor activities, see our guide to Long Island playgrounds and parks. For exciting day trip possibilities and other nature-related activities, see our Long Island getaway guide.

NYC's Best Playgrounds: 18 Parks Worthy of a Subway Schlep

Playgrounds may be as much a part of childhood as potty training and the tooth fairy, but to city families, having a go-to playground is a real sanity saver. When you live in a tiny apartment, the neighborhood park is like your backyard.

While New Yorkers are lucky to have many awesome local play spots, some NYC playgrounds are a cut above the rest. These spots offer plenty of space to romp and enough outdoor entertainment to make them worth a schlep on the subway. Without further ado, read on for 18 of the city's best playgrounds—our NYC playground hall of fame.

All-Day Fun: Destination Parks in Houston

Houston is home to a ton of parks. A ton. (Including some pretty great splash pads.) And some are better than others if you're looking to spend more than 30 minutes at an unshaded playground, so we've rounded up 13 parks where you can easily spend a few hours, or even the entire day.

Water Feature: 16 Water Playgrounds and Parks with Splash Pads in LA

Remember those great summer afternoons running through a sprinkler with the neighborhood kids? Over in New England and Nebraska that’s probably still happening, but here in SoCal turning on the hose for entertainment is frowned upon these days. Instead, packs of puddle-loving Angeleno kids splash through hot days at parks with free and fabulous water features, like the ones below—many of which are open year-round. So if a pool or a water park sounds like too much work today, cool those kids down at a splash pad!

The Best Animal Farms and Petting Zoos on Long Island

Whether you are looking for a low-key petting zoo or an exotic experience with wild animals, there's no shortage of places on Long Island where children can interact with nature's noble creatures. If they want to, Long Island kids can do everything from feed a giraffe to visit with an alpaca, and even ride a safari train. 

Be sure to check our directory of zoos and gardens on Long Island, and peruse our pick-your-own guide for more local farm fun. And, for more seasonal fun, be sure to check our event calendar

10 Things To Do at Harvard's Arnold Arboretum with Kids in Boston

Do you know that one of the area's most beautiful and peaceful parks is inside city limits—and absolutely free to visit? The second largest "link" in the Emerald Necklace of green space that encircles Boston, the Arnold Arboretum is 281 rolling acres of four-seasons fun, operated by Harvard University and located in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. The Arboretum is most well-known for its springtime blooms, especially lilacs, but families also flock here for summer hikes, fall foliage, and wintertime sledding. Here are 10 ideas to while away a day in nature, just a short drive or subway ride from downtown.

Dinosaur Tracks in Texas: Family Fun at Dinosaur Valley State Park

Deep in the heart of Texas runs the Paluxy River, a small tributary of the Brazos River. And on in its shallow bends and shores lie one of Texas' best kept secrets - dinosaur tracks! Dinosaur Valley State Park - located in Glen Rose, Texas - remains one of my personal favorite state parks for family camping trips because of the fossilized treasures its holds and its natural beauty. You don't even have to be a dinosaur fanatic to appreciate all this park has to offer. Add it to your family's travel bucket list, and plan to visit again and again.

Top Things to Do in The Woodlands With Kids

Visiting The Woodlands can feel like traveling to another world - there are so many trees! (Depending on where you live in Houston, this may be a huge change of scenery.) About 45 minutes north of Houston, The Woodlands is full of fun for the whole family. It's close enough that you can spend the day here without much of a drive time but offers enough to do that you could stretch it into a weekend getaway. Read on for of our favorite things to do in The Woodlands with our kids. 

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