Outdoors

8 Special Family Campgrounds near Boston with Extras for Kids

For many families, camping is an annual ritual. For others, it’s an interesting (but maybe daunting) possibility. Truth is, camping is a wonderful way to explore the outdoors while spending serious quality time with your family—and you can do it all for much less money than you'd spend at a hotel or rental home. While Massachusetts is home to many campgrounds, these go out of their way to create a kid-friendly experience that combines adventure and creature comforts—with a little something extra for tiny campers! For an even more rustic experience, check out our picks for tent camping spots.

Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Farms in the Philadelphia Area

The start of strawberry picking season in Pennsylvania is a sure sign that summer is right around the corner. Spending a day picking this sweet fruit at a local orchard or farm is a great activity for families. Strawberry picking teaches kids about their food sources, connects everyone with nature, and makes for a fun outdoor experience, and some of the sweetest memories can be made nibbling on fresh berries out in the fields.

We have compiled a list of farms in the Philadelphia area that offer strawberry picking, as well as a few activity-filled strawberry festivals. Read our tips before you go to help make your day at the farm even more enjoyable.

Pick Your Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals on Long Island

Long Island is ripe with places where families can pick their own strawberries. Deciding where to go can be a challenge, so we've handpicked a few of our favorites.

Harvesting your own fruit is not only fun, but it connects you with the source of your food and supports local farmers. And it doesn't get fresher than picking fruit right off the vine. This is especially important for Long Island strawberries, which are sweeter and more delicate than most grocery-store varieties, and have a shorter shelf life.

Many of these farms are located on Long Island's East End, but there are a few festivals in Nassau or western Suffolk counties for families who don't want to travel quite as far. Either way, call ahead or check the farms' websites to confirm that fields are open and the strawberries are ripe.

Great Outdoor Dining Spots for Kids on Long Island

What could be nicer during the warm-weather months than taking the kids to a family restaurant with an open-air atmosphere? There's just something about a warm breeze that makes a tasty meal even more delectable.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite places to eat with kids in Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End. These family-friendly menus, locations, and attractions make them ideal choices for parents with hungry kids. It's just part of our comprehensive guide to Long Island family-friendly restaurants.

If, after dinner, your kids crave some sweets, why not check out our list of old-time ice cream parlors, or for more outdoor inspiration see our guide to summer fun on Long Island.

Petting Zoos Near NYC Where Kids Can See Farm Animals

We're so fortunate to live in a city that offers an incredible array of fun spring activities for kids, but sometimes I fret over the disconnect from nature. I want my daughter to be as comfortable in the country as she is in the urban jungle, so we're always looking for ways to get out of NYC and explore the expansive farmland that borders the city.

While you can meet some furry friends at the city's wonderful zoos, and even get hands-on at their mini petting zoos, there's something particularly special about enjoying an authentic farm setting. We've rounded up our top petting zoos and animal havens to get some serious face time with furry friends. Get ready to load up the family for a day of donkey petting, goat bottle-feedings, and sheep shearing.

Here are our favorite spots for an up-close animal encounter, all within two hours of NYC.

Easy Day Hikes Near NYC for Families To Explore

When the weather is fine, there are few things New Yorkers like better than a day outside with the family. Although NYC has incredible parks and playgrounds to explore, sometimes it's worth taking a day trip outside the city limits.

So pack a cooler and a picnic blanket and find your new favorite kid-friendly hiking destination among this list that takes you to the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, Long Island, and even some memorable parks within the five boroughs. Each of these hikes has something special to offer, and best of all, they are kid-tested and kid-approved! 

Best Houston Playgrounds For Toddlers

Visiting the park with a toddler can be both a blessing and a curse. Toddlers are on the verge of discovering their independence and while a trip to the park may be great for helping them burn off some of their endless amounts of energy, playground sets with tons of tall features that toddlers can easily fall off of can pose a danger to fearless toddlers. That's why parents of toddlers absolutely love finding a park with the holy grail of little kid park features — a toddler-sized play set.

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