Parks & Playgrounds

4 Awesome Places to Explore in Tree Houses Near Philly

With screen time, lessons, daycare, and school it doesn’t seem like there’s much time to explore nature and discover new places, but tell kids that there’s a special house built in a tree for them to discover, and watch their curiosity take over. Tyler Arboretum, Longwood Gardens, Morris Arboretum, and Treehouse World are perfect for kids of all ages because there's plenty of places to explore. Parents who have dreamed of building a tree house in the backyard will find plenty of inspiration, too.

7 Great Tide Pools to Take Kids to in Connecticut

One of my favorite things as a child was searching the seashore for shells. To be honest, I never cared much to go into the deep, dark water. Perhaps this is why I loved tide pools so much- I could spend hours mining through rocks and sand and collecting all the little creatures and shells that the tides left behind. Fortunate for us, we can enjoy the unique ecosystem of the Long Island Sound on many of our Connecticut Beaches  

Now that I am a parent, I love sharing this great New England tradition with my daughter. I love the sense of exploration that tide pools enable without the need for floatation devices. They also provide the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day.  Each one of the beaches in this list offers the perfect setting for your budding marine life expert.  Make sure you check out the tide charts before you hit the road. 

Slide Hill Opens on Governors Island with New Playground Fun

The Hills are alive on Governors Island. July 19 marked opening day for the long-awaited addition of new green spaces and playground fun on this seasonal city play space. Judging by the throngs of people dashing up the granite scramble as soon as the ribbon was cut, we weren't the only ones excited to check out this new section of the island.

Made up of four distinct hills, the 10 acres of parkland include 70-foot-high Outlook Hill, 25-foot-high Grassy Hill, twin 40-foot peaks together dubbed Discovery Hill, and Slide Hill, which is undoubtedly the most family-friendly of them all, packed with four slides.

Letchworth State Park in Upstate New York Is a Must-See

Letchworth State Park in western New York is called the "Grand Canyon of the East" thanks to the 600-foot deep-river gorge that runs the length of the park, which is dotted with some of the state's most magnificent waterfalls.

An hour outside of Buffalo, a trip to Letchworth is a commitment but well worth the effort. The 17-mile-long park runs along the Genesee River gorge, offering spectacular sights at every bend and turn. Letchworth is a New York state park but has the feel of a national park with amenities that include lodging, fine and casual dining, ranger-led programs, a slate of seasonal outdoor activities, a new, state-of the-art nature center and a major WOW factor. With so much to see and do, it's a fantastic outdoor destination with something for everyone to enjoy, no matter how passive or rugged you like to spend your downtime.  

This popular park was on my family's camping bucket list for many years. We're already fans of local camping and familiar with Hudson Valley hikes a bit closer to home. After it was voted the best state park in the country by USA Today in 2015, we decided to make the six-hour drive from our home in New York City to see what the hype was about. 

Peruse our Family Weekend and Getaway Guide for more travel ideas.

Prospect Park in Brooklyn: 25 Things to Do with Kids

Prospect Park is a 585-acre oasis adjacent to Park Slope in Brooklyn, home to the borough’s only forest, bird-life galore, roller-skating, biking, picnicking, and sledding. You name it, Prospect Park has got it. When people ask if we have a backyard, my nature-loving son immediately exclaims, “Yes, it’s called Prospect Park!” How else would we refer to a haven that satisfies our need for fresh air year round? It truly feels like an extension of home for many local Brooklyn kids. We even think it's better than your friend's summer home, and we'll say it again!

Prospect Park was designed by Frederick Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the same duo who designed Manhattan’s Central Park. Many consider Prospect Park their crown achievement and we wholeheartedly agree. Whether you want to ice skate (seasonally, of course!), kayak, or just wile away a few hours with your toddler at an awesome playground or splash pad, Prospect Park welcomes you with green space aplenty.

We put together a list of our top 25 things to do in Prospect Park with children. Though the park offers countless activities and experiences, this curated list showcases our true favorites.

7 Awesome Boston-Area Playgrounds Worthy of Getting in the Car

Having a playground in your neighborhood is ideal. It’s a nice break from playing in your own yard and a great place to meet up for playdates. But going to the same playground over and over can get tiresome. Luckily there are several really special playgrounds near Boston that are worth packing up the snacks and strollers and driving to. Here are seven of the best that are ready to host your kids’ summer adventures.

Swim Philly Pop-Up Pool Project: Public Pools with a Fun Twist

The heat of summer is upon us. Kids haven't been out of school that long yet and already they're getting fidgety. One of the many great things that Philly has to offer its communities is the sheer number of free public pools- there are over 70 outdoor pools! Philadelphia has more outdoor public pools per capita than any other city in the country. All opening between June 22 and July 1, these pools are the perfect respite from summer boredom and sweltering heat. Most exciting, is the new Pop-Up Pool Project initiative, funded by the Knight Foundation and led by Group Melvin Design.

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