Sports

9 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks to Visit with Kids in NYC

Now that the beaches are closed for the season, it's time to bundle up and sharpen those ice skates. Many of New York City's outdoor rinks are open for family fall, er, winter fun.

Whether you prefer an iconic New York City destination like the ice rink at Rockefeller Center or something off the beaten path like Lasker Rink, the city offers plenty of options for beginner and experienced skaters alike — there’s even a FREE skate spot. And if it ever gets too cold to glide outside, you can always hit one of NYC's indoor ice skating rinks.

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.

Classes for Kids with Special Needs in LA: After School and Weekend Sports Activities

I have a child on the Autism Spectrum, or, as I like to call it, the Anxiety Spectrum. Every quirk and disability on the Spectrum—from OCD to sensory issues to ADD to dyslexia—goes hand in hand with lots of anxiety. So if you're like me, you can't simply throw your little one into any ol' extracurricular activity and assume it will go well. Noise levels, group-think, verbal directions, physical coordination... these can be overwhelming challenges for some children.  

Over the last few crazy years with my family, I've discovered many classes and sports around town for special kiddos. And while I'm no PhD-degreed expert, parent-to-parent I would like to share some ideas with the Mommy Poppins community as we immerse ourselves in another school year.

Indoor Obstacle Courses, Rock Walls, and Ninja Warrior Training for LI Kids

Are your kids using the couch as a jumping-off point for back flips? There are several spots in Nassau and Suffolk counties that offer obstacle training, where your little ninja can test his or her balance, vaulting, tumbling and more. Let the little daredevils try out these indoor courses while keeping your walls scuffmark-free.

In the meantime, check out our roundup of birthday party venues for active kids or open-play spaces for those seeking an adrenaline rush. For more indoor fun, especially for toddlers, see our list of the best indoor play spaces on Long Island.

Free and Cheap After-School Programs for NYC Kids and Teens

Back-to-school season is also back-to-after-school season, as families look for enriching and fun programs for their children. There are tons of sports, arts, academics, and other kinds of classes for New York City kids, many of them reasonably priced. In fact, a handful of high-quality after-school programs are actually free or super inexpensive!

Some places, like the New York City Parks Department, offer after-school coverage Monday through Friday. Other programs only meet once or twice a week. We've rounded up 15 organizations that offer complimentary or reasonably-priced classes to kids and teens throughout the five boroughs.

Bounce Houses and Trampoline Spots Where NYC Kids Can Jump

As any veteran NYC parent knows, there's only so much in-apartment bouncing your downstairs neighbor can handle. If you've got active kids and hop-happy toddlers to entertain during spring's showers, summer's heat, or winter's freeze, what's a parent to do? Nothing cures the bad-weather blues like a trip to a big old bounce house.

These inflatable favorites are a staple of outdoor festivals and street fairs, but it's such a bummer waiting on a long line to shell out several dollars for a two-minute session. Luckily NYC is home to several high-flying play spaces. You'll find all kinds of fun, including trampolines, long bouncy slides, tunnels, and obstacle courses at these spots. Best of all each location hosts regular open-bounce sessions, so your kids jump all they want for one low price.

Girl Power: Classes, Camps, and Workshops Just for Girls in NYC

One of my greatest priorities in raising a young girl is to give her a strong foundation, so that she has a positive self-image and feels empowered to be herself. Part of that work involves seeking out girls-only spaces across the city where she feels heard, valued, and has the opportunity to meet strong-minded, brilliant female role models.

There are more than enough opportunities to keep kiddos busy in the city, but girls-focused programs are specifically designed to allow girls to explore their world freely. From STEM to sports, many of these programs are run by women who, of course, know what it’s like to be a young girl coming into her own.

We've rounded up our favorite activities, camps, and programs that pack major girl power. Be sure to click through to the listings for all the details, including times, locations and recommended ages. You can search through dozens of classes by type or location in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings as well.

Best Kid-Friendly Fishing Spots Around Houston

Looking for a FREE outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike? Grab a pole and head to one of these fabulous fishing spots where the fish are plentiful and families can enjoy being outdoors together. Fishing can foster a sense of achievement and accomplishment in kids. It's a great way to teach patience and persistence while having fun and connecting either one on one or with the whole family. Most of the fishing spots listed here are at local parks, so it's easy to pack a picnic, let kids burn off some steam at awesome playgrounds, and spend the day with a fishing pole in hand.  

While these ponds and lakes offer free fishing, please note that adults ages 17 and older must possess a valid fishing license unless fishing inside of a state park per the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. Be sure to note any posted regulations for specific parks relating to catch limits or catch and release requirements. 

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