Trains, Dinos & Heroes

Halloween and Fall Foliage Train Rides for New Jersey Kids

Halloween and hayrides go hand in hand, but if you really want to up your game this year, take a trip on a Halloween train! If you have a junior conductor in your family, don't miss out on one of these four seasonal NJ railway adventures. From spooky to scenic, these rides offer a unique bit of fall fun for the whole family: passengers can take a seat in a vintage caboose, travel through gorgeous fall foliage, visit a pumpkin patch, and even trick-or-treat onboard. After the ride, round out the day with autumn activities like corn mazes, crafts, and a costume party.

Check out our NJ Fall Fun Guide for even more seasonal family fun around the state.

Best Family Theater in NYC this Fall: Paw Patrol to Shakespeare

Autumn marks the start of a new theater season, but you don't need to shell out big bucks on Broadway shows to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. In fact, this fall boasts more high-quality productions for young audiences than in recent years—so many in fact, we have a whopping 22 picks, and that's after whittling down the contenders!

Preschoolers will go gaga for return engagements of popular stage incarnations of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Pete the Cat, and Paw Patrol. Older kids can get schooled in the classics with creative, kid-centric adaptations of Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde. There's funky fare for tweens at Lincoln Center and BAM, plus everyone in your family can cheer the highly anticipated return of the Big Apple Circus. Best of all, most of our picks are $25 or less per ticket.

Rad Women and Civil Rights Heroes: Children's Books for Right Now

By Gwen Glazer, recommendations librarian in the Readers Services unit of the New York Public Library.

Fred Rogers’ famous advice to "always look for the helpers" has never seemed more important. In the wake of recent events in Charlottesville and beyond, parents may be looking for ways to engage their children with the social justice efforts—and also to talk about positive examples of activism and leadership.

We put together a list of 13 books for a wide range of children, from picture books for toddlers to nonfiction series for middle schoolers. These books address some of the most familiar human- and civil-rights leaders, like Malala and Gandhi, as well as some lesser-known activists who deserve more attention. All of them inspired others to create change in the world around them.

Halloween, Fall Foliage, & Bonfire Train Rides for Philly Families

As cooler weather reaches the Delaware Valley, Philly families are reminded of their own autumnal traditions. Perhaps picking apples at a local apple orchard, raking leaves in the backyard, and carving pumpkins on the kitchen table come to mind. This year, consider adding a new experience to your fall 'must do' list by climbing aboard one of the many train rides available throughout our region. From viewing fall foliage to picking pumpkins to eating brunch or dinner onboard, there are several unique train experiences that are sure to delight children of all ages. Looking for more trains? Check out New Jersey's Halloween Train list for even more fun.

Be sure to search our event calendar for plenty of additional family activities for the fall season.

The Griffith Park Ghost Train Is Back for Halloween 2017!

It's ba-ack!

If your family is a die-hard Halloween-loving crew, you probably never miss the fabulous, kitsch-as-a-witch Griffith Park Ghost Train—except last year when you sorely missed it. We certainly pined for it last October, when the all-volunteer crew of train enthusiasts at Los Angeles Live Steamers took a year off from their annual, spooktastic labor of love. But whether you love the ride or had never heard of it, we can all share in the wonderful news that the Ghost Train rides again in 2017!

Go-Kart and Slot Car Racing Destinations for LI Kids

Want to go for a spin? Then check out one of Long Island’s go-kart or slot car tracks.   

Parents of kids who love being in the driver’s seat will love what these high-speed destinations offer. Inexpensive and thrilling, they’re ideal for kids who refuse to take a back seat to anyone. Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines. 

For more indoor fun, see our guide to play spaces and fun zones. If your kids prefer to pedal, our guide to Long Island biking trails offers great rides in Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End.

Angels Flight Opens Again, in Time for a Labor Day Ride!

UPDATE: As of 9/4/17 Angles Flight is again closed for repairs! The website says the closure will last "several days."

Anyone can root for the Dodgers or skirt traffic on the 405; proof of a real Angeleno is whether you've been on Angel's Flight. The quirky, ostensibly pointless little funicular train shoots straight up Bunker Hill and only makes sense to locals (a train in Downtown LA that travels 300 feet—uh, why?); transplants from other states generally don't even know it's there. For an LA native, though, a ride on Angels Flight is a must, whether or not you have any need to be on Bunker Hill. This is especially true this week, when the 116 year-old railway revs up its two little cars again after a long absence.

AMC Returns Favorite Disney Princess Movies to Theaters

Disney and AMC Theatres have joined forces to return some of the most popular princess-themed movies of years past to the theater this fall, including the original Beauty and the Beast from (gasp) 1991, and slightly more recent faves like the fiery, bow-and-arrow wielding redhead from Brave (2012).

If you have a gown-loving, but rambunctious little kid in your life, she or he may already know these flicks inside and out, but they were probably too young to catch them on the big screen. Tickets are already on sale for this princess movie fest featuring a diverse set of heroines, which will play in September and October at select AMC theaters across the country, so grab them while you can.

Read on for more info on how you can catch these six fairy tale heroes this fall. 

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