Outdoors

Stretch the Legs with a Philly Walking Tour of Ben Franklin, Art, and History

Benjamin Franklin and Philadelphia go hand in hand. Franklin’s fingerprints are all over the City of Brotherly Love, from the nation’s first hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, on the east end of the city to the University of Pennsylvania on the west. Franklin helped found both institutions and, unsurprisingly, the city is full of public art paying tribute to one of its favorite sons. The Association for Public Art has put together a wonderful interactive map of “Benjamin Franklins” in the city, and there is no better way to spend a crisp fall day then a walking tour to check some of them out.

There are 14 potential sites to visit, which may be a bit ambitious for all but the most dedicated Franklinophiles. Read on for some kid-friendly highlights of the Ben Franklin statue tour of Philly.

New Adventure Park Planned for Jones Beach

An adventure course at Jones Beach State Park is scheduled to open at the beachfront attraction in 2019. WildPlay Element Parks will install the gravity-defying East Mall Adventure Course, facing the Atlantic Ocean.

There are plenty more thrill-seeking destinations on Long Island. Check out these spots for little (and big) adrenaline junkies in your house. Or visit another state park on Long Island and embark on an adventure of your own.

14 Best Things to Do in Staten Island's Greenbelt with NYC Kids

At 2,800 acres, Staten Island’s Greenbelt is one of the largest public parks in New York City. Like Central Park in Manhattan, Brooklyn's Prospect Park, the Bronx's Pelham Bay Park, and Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, the Greenbelt is considered one of NYC's flagship green spaces. However, it's actually several parks linked together in Staten Island’s interior, including the popular Willowbrook Park, home to the Carousel for All Children, the wild High Rock Park, and Bloodroot Valley named for its large population of signature flowers.

The Greenbelt makes for a great staycation destination for NYC families. It's jam-packed with attractions, including 30 miles of groomed hiking trails, a nature center, a recreation center, a public golf course, a merry-go-round, barbecue grills, a lake for fishing, a living history museum, and playgrounds. It's also filled with a wide variety of plants, flowers, and wildlife, such as Great Blue Herons, muskrats, hawks, owls, woodpeckers, frogs and turtles. It's possible to see most of the Greenbelt's big attractions on foot in one day, but it's more relaxing to choose one area to explore at your leisure. Here are our top 14 things to do in the Greenbelt with kids.

America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College: Up-Close Animal Encounters for LA Kids

This may come as a surprise, but LA has more than one zoo. You probably know the one in Griffith Park. And if you haven’t been to the one in San Diego, it's doubtless on your SoCal wish list. You may even have made the trip up to the see the one in Santa Barbara. All great zoos. But have you ever wondered where the people who work at these zoos learn their trade? And, if so, have you considered that the college offering a degree in zoo skills might be right in our backyard – with a teaching zoo open to the public and much cheaper admission than any other SoCal zoo?

16 Boston-Area Beer Gardens and Oktoberfests that are Fun for Families

Boston has seen an absolute boom in beer gardens (or biergartens) in the last few years, and luckily for anyone with kids, many are welcoming to families. If you like to sip a craft brew outside, these are the places to go with little ones in tow: Many have live music, lawn games, and great views. From the heart of the city to several of the suburbs and mountain resorts nearby, there’s likely a beer garden near you that's open from summer through fall or just in celebration of Oktoberfest. Sip—and play!

Best Fall Corn Mazes Near Philly for Hayrides, Pumpkins, and More

As cool crisp nights begin to make outdoor excursions more bearable, fun fall-themed activities for families to enjoy seem to pop up all over. You can choose traditional favorites such as apple picking,  pumpkin picking, or enjoying the fall colors or go on an adventure, exploring a corn maze as a family.

The corn maze is a Pennsylvania tradition—quite literally. The first corn maze as we know it today was built in our state in 1993, and 25 years later, the Keystone State boasts some truly impressive mazes. The largest occupies twenty five acres, and many of them feature special themes, games, and activities. The sheer variety of these mazes offers something for kids of all ages, and some farms even offer nighttime hours, where kids can work their way through the darkened maze with flashlights. Some mazes even offer thrills and chills for the truly adventurous. All told, there is something for everyone.

Campgrounds Near Houston to Make Your Family Fall in Love With Nature

My family is a camping family. We also are a family that loves to book our weekends full of things to do, whether that's taking advantage of activities around Houston or traveling elsewhere. Camping started as something fun and cheap (emphasis on the cheap) to do in college with my then-boyfriend and current husband, and it slowly morphed into our preferred way to get out of town and see various parts of the city as the years passed. As our family has grown, we've gone from tent camping to trailer camping and tried out everything else possible in between.

Pumpkin Patches in the Hartford Area

The farm fields are brimming with bright orange pumpkins just waiting to be picked and painted, carved, or baked into scrumptious desserts. Pumpkin picking is one of the most beloved fall activities and there is no shortage of patches in the greater Hartford area. Head out on a crisp autumn day and find just the right pumpkin to decorate with your child. Don't forget to roast and enjoy the seeds! For even more fall fun, check out our CT Fall Fun and Halloween Guide.

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