Outdoors

Skiing and Snowboarding with Los Angeles Kids: Ski Day Trips!

On a clear day, as you head east in Los Angeles, you see them beckoning: those glorious snow-capped mountains. If we had bionic vision, we could watch skiers sashaying down the hills—the resorts are that close. And whether you're a seasoned snow veteran or new to skiing or snowboarding—or you'd just prefer that someone else teach your kids to ski—you'll be happy to know that skiing can be easy, close, and occasionally even free.

So if you're ready for winter activities beyond skating and sledding, check out this list of area slopes and snow schools. Plan it right, and you could be on the slope two hours after packing the car—because the mountains are even closer than they look.

Cherry Street Pier Just Opened: Here's Why Families Need to Go

As the temperature drops and the days grow shorter, it becomes all too easy to simply hunker down and stay inside.  But Philadelphia offers a number of alluring public spaces to help you shake off those winter doldrums, helping to get you and the kids off the couch and out into the fresh air.  The recently opened Cherry Street Pier is one of the more intriguing options and makes a great destination for a quick and easy excursion for the whole family.

Cherry Street Pier is the latest product of Philadelphia’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the Delaware River Waterfront.  The nearby Spruce Street Harbor Park is already a popular summer destination, offering food, games, and a floating beach—and even sand and deck chairs.  In the winter, visitors flock by the thousands to WinterFest, coming to skate at the BlueCross River Rink or simply grab a hot chocolate and soak up some holiday charm.  The Cherry Street pier is a more modest, though perhaps a bit bolder, initiative, and it's definitely worth a wintertime visit. Read on to learn more about this latest outdoor Philly space that I recently visited with my own family.

Must-See Holiday Light Shows Worth Paying or Driving for this Christmas

An after-dinner drive to take in one of LA's classic neighborhood holiday light displays is a treat all families should indulge in. It's an easy, cheap way to get in the Christmas spirit (or just enjoy someone else's). Of course, counting on other people to decorate their lawns is only so reliable. To be sure of a full evening of light and good cheer, sometimes it's worth splurging on a pay-to-play light display. Several local destinations indulge us in our desire to see grand-scale holiday lights, from Zoo Lights to walks in the woods. The bigger the group you can round up, the more festive—but also the more expensive it can get. It helps to know which of LA's big public light shows are worth the ticket price this holiday season.

8 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks for Kids and Families in and Around Boston

Whether your family is hitting the rink for the very first time or your kids have already taken several ice skating lessons, gliding on one of the outdoor ice skating rinks around Boston can be a fun, affordable way for families to get outside and stay active in the wintertime. Read on for some of our favorite rinks in the Boston area, with offerings like gorgeous city views and snack bars where you can warm up with a cup of hot cocoa.

Best Houston Neighborhoods and Homes for Viewing Holiday Lights

During the most magical time of the year, there are many ways to get your holiday light fix. Houston has beautiful public lighting displays, but nothing beats driving the family around a neighborhood in your Christmas pajamas. For those evenings when you want to enjoy the beauty of the holiday season at your own pace, it's helpful to know which Houston neighborhoods go above and beyond in the decoration department.

We've rounded up the neighborhoods with must-see lighting displays, so all you have to do is gather the family into the car, turn on some holiday tunes, and explore the Bayou City on your own time. However, many neighborhoods prefer visitors between 6-10 p.m. Lights are typically up from Thanksgiving through New Years. Also, for all things holiday in Houston - from free events to shows - check out our ultimate holiday guide for families.

12 Great Places to Explore the Natural World in the Washington, DC Area

The museums, monuments, and memorials in Washington, DC grab a lot of attention, and rightly so! This city is filled with culture, art, science, and history. But if you're jonesing for some outside time and the kids need to burn off some energy or if your family wants to get up close with some flora and fauna, the DC area has that in spades, too. 

All easily accessible and kid-friendly, these 12 parks, playgrounds, zoos, and open-air theaters are a must for DC families.

The Most Spectacular Holiday Light Displays in NYC

Every year it seems holiday light installations in New York City get more elaborate, making a visit to the top displays a must-do seasonal activity. These days there are even tour buses that will take you to some of the neighborhoods decked out for the season.

We've rounded up some of the best holiday displays in NYC. Some of these attractions are in the more far-flung stretches of the city such as Pelham Gardens in the Bronx, Dyker Heights in Brooklyn and Jamaica Estates in Queens, and there's even one spot on Staten Island. All are definitely worth the trip. We can vouch for it!

So start your own holiday tradition this year by checking out these spectacular sights when dusk hits. Find more seasonal fun, including more holiday lights, such as Midtown's holiday store windows, in our NYC Holiday Fun Guide.

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