Parks & Playgrounds

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10 Great Family Campgrounds in and Near Westchester

If camping is on your summer bucket list, you’re in luck: There are lots of campsites both in and around Westchester and the Hudson Valley, which means you’ll never be at a shortage for places to pitch your tent for a few nights.

Next time you’re ready to pack up your sleeping bag and s’mores provisions, consider staying at one of these area campgrounds, some of which offer even more fun activities for kids, like playgrounds and beaches.

Prefer something a little different? Check out these alternative camping ideas—and our entire summer activity guide!

10 Awesome Accessible Playgrounds for New Jersey Kids

New Jersey has a growing number of parks and playgrounds that cater to every outdoor adventurer, particularly children with special needs. Every child has a right to play in his or her own special way, so we’re recognizing some of the best all-access playgrounds the state has to offer.

Featuring ground-level playthings, wide ramps for wheelchairs, belts and buckles for added protection, and plenty of rest and reflection areas to retire to between bouts of fun, these playgrounds are beyond special and well-deserving of their shout-outs!

And now that summer is on the horizon, find more inclusive outdoor fun at the Watchung Sensory Trail, and at Van Saun Park's Harmony Playground, featuring a pond-themed, ADA-accessible splash pad

10 New and Updated NYC Playgrounds You (Probably) Haven't Visited Yet

Are your kids suffering from a bit of "been there, climbed that" playground fatigue at their tried-and-true favorite play spot? It may be time to explore a new romping ground. Fortunately, the NYC parks are ever changing. Here, we present 10 new (or nearly new) and updated playgrounds you probably haven't visited yet.

And of course, you can find all our favorite spots, old and new, in our Parks and Playgrounds Guide.

Ready for 'Glamping'? Glamorous Camping Coming to LI

If you’ve avoided taking your family camping because the thought of pitching a tent, sleeping on a hard floor, and eating roasted wieners for a week wasn’t your idea of a vacation, we’ve got some good news. A family camping trip no longer means you have to rough it: Glamorous camping, or “glamping,” has made its way to Long Island.

To Cedar Point County Park in East Hampton, to be exact.

Destination Playground: Zucker Natural Area in Prospect Park

Most New York City kids may not have backyards, but they do have no shortage of entertaining and engaging playgrounds and parks, including some playgrounds that are truly special. The Donald and Barbara Zucker Natural Exploration Area in Prospect Park definitely ranks high on our list of destination playgrounds worth a subway ride.

Located on Nellie’s Lawn in the northeastern section of the park, the Zucker Natural Area isn’t your traditional playground, so no swings, slides, or brightly colored plastic. The nature-based play space, opened in 2013, features romping spots made from some of the 500 trees that were downed during storms like Hurricane Sandy, along with other recycled natural materials that have been collected throughout the park.

10 of Our Favorite NYC Picnic Spots With Built-in Entertainment

As soon as the days are warm and mild enough to eat outdoors (whether or not summer has officially kicked off), dining al fresco is hard to beat. If your kids can't sit still for a restaurant meal even in a kid-friendly backyard, consider packing a picnic or picking up some portable eats and striking out for your nearest greenspace. Here are our 10 favorite parks to picnic, with bonus points for entertainment during or after your meal.

Houston-Area Water Parks: Cool Off at These Hot Spots

As we all painfully know, summer in Texas is HOT. Playing in the water isn't only a fun activity for the kids, it's almost a necessity. When it comes to water fun, nothing is more exciting for kids than visiting a water park! There are several water parks around Houston that will make for an easy day trip and even more that are just a few hours away. If you are looking for something closer and quicker, then check out our list of the many great splash pads at local parks. There are also many free pools throughout the city where kids and parents can keep cool.

For more ideas on kid-friendly activities this summer, like fun summer day trips or parks with the most shade, visit our Summer Fun Guide for Houston families.

Best Spray Parks and Water Fountains for Preschoolers in Boston

Boston has a lot of big, splashy, exciting spray parks and fountains that can be great fun for families in summer. But I've learned the hard way that not every water playground is suited for preschoolers. 

A few years back, when one of my sons was 4, I took him and his brothers to the Christian Science Plaza fountain along Huntington Avenue. To me as a parent, it was a wise selection: awesome fountain, I didn't have to walk far from the parking spot, and bathrooms were nearby in the Prudential Center. But my 4-year-old kid was horrified by the fountain and how big it was. It took him a half hour to even wander up to the where the water shot out of the ground, and soon after he got soaked and was freezing. It was not the best choice for a young child. 

With that thinking in mind, we've rounded up some gentler, preschooler-friendly local fountains and splash pads. Be sure to check out these outdoor pools with fun slide and spray features for more ways to cool off this summer, or if a climate-controlled environment is more your family's speed, consider a visit to a preschooler-friendly indoor water park. There are plenty of ways to get wet around Boston—without tears!

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