Outdoors

11 Outdoor Water Parks in New England

In two hours or less by car, you can get to any of the following outdoor water parks to cool off and have a blast this summer with your kids. Although there's no shortage of thrill rides and slides at these places, you don't have to be a daredevil (or of a certain height) to enjoy them. There are play areas for young children, wave pools, family raft rides, and lazy rivers for those of us who don't need to plummet a down a very tall slide to have fun. Some of the parks are dedicated to water attractions and others are part of a larger theme park, but they all offer plenty of chances to get completely soaked. 

35 Ways To Keep Summer Going after School Begins

Whether you're relieved by the quiet or disturbed by the abrupt ending, most LA families are using those three little words (back to school) a whole lot earlier these days. Of course, dropping our kids off at school doesn't change the weather; there might be no child left behind at the beach, but it's still summer until close to Halloween. So if your family is not yet ready for summer to end, pick a few items off our Endless Summer List and go have some fun while the sun still shines!

Visiting Sunken Meadow State Park: Picnics, Playgrounds, Beaches

A trip to Sunken Meadow State Park on the rocky, picturesque North Shore of Long Island can be whatever you want it to be.

There's a different feel to this beach than those on the South Shore. It's quieter, more relaxed, and less trafficked than Jones Beach or Robert Moses state parks. The Long Island Sound waters are calm and clear. Families with children of all ages line the shore with beach chairs and umbrellas. 

 Kids can enjoy watching the water rush over them as their feet dig into the sand. If excitement is what you're after, you'll find it at Sunken Meadow State Park, which boasts a little something for everyone.

Nature Preschools and Kindergartens in Philadelphia

Over the last few years, nature preschools and outdoor education have received some serious attention. The concept allows kids to learn all or most of their lessons in the great outdoors-- no matter the weather. Lessons often incorporate the outdoors and feature plenty of adventurous activities such as hiking, canoeing, climbing, and ropes courses. What's awesome about this trend is that kids get to spend tons of time outside instead of sitting in a classroom. In addition, it also teaches kids practical outdoor survival skills. Some of these forest schools even go all the way through 12th grade. While it's still a relatively new phenomenon (and maybe not for the faint of heart), the Philadelphia area has multiple options. 

Super Skate Parks for Long Island Kids

If your adventuresome little skater dude or gal likes to carve and ollie, turning your furniture and household items into a skating playground, then this post is for you.

Take them instead to one of these skate parks across Long Island, where roller skaters, bladers, skateboarders, trick bikers, and more can show off their stunts, fully padded and protected of course. Note: Most of these facilities are skate at your own risk and require parental waivers for skaters 16 and younger. Check requirements before heading out.  

And for more fun in the area, check out our list of great go-kart and slot-car destinations on Long Island, and be sure to check out our Long Island Events Calendar.

Outdoor Paintball Fields Where Houston Kids Can Have a Blast

Keeping older kids engaged in something other than video games and electronics can be tough. But what better way to entice kids to get out of the house than to let them get messy shooting paintballs at each other? Luckily, Houston has several great spots to take older kids, tweens, and teens where they can run off some steam and engage in a rousing game of paintball. Racing around rugged terrain, ducking and darting around obstacles, and feeling the rush of competition while trying to dodge splattering paintballs at every turn can make for a fun family outing, group event, or birthday party. Read on for some of our favorite places around Houston to get kids in on the thrill of playing paintball. 

Nature Trails & Giant Playgrounds: Playing at Spring Creek Park in Tomball

Nestled into the side of a slow, winding road in the small town of Tomball northwest of Houston, you'll find Spring Creek Park, an expansive park that is bursting with things to do. It's also home to some of my fondest memories growing up, as I used to frequent it often with my family, and being able to bring my kids to this park is like stepping back in time. This isn't just any park, though; it's a place that begs for adventures, appeals to kids of all ages, and could just be your next camping trip - all without having to very far from the city. 

The sprawling 114-acre facility is home to a plethora of activities set amongst the trees (which is why it's already claimed a spot on our list of parks with LOTS of shade - a must for any Houston park in the summer!) making it the perfect spot to settle in for the day; just pack a picnic and get ready to explore!

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