Trains, Dinos & Heroes

A Visit to Amish Country: 13 Fun Things To Do with Kids in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

A trip to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, offers a surprising number of family activities, from farm visits and more country fun to train rides and cool museums. My family, including two little ones, recently tried to squeeze as much of the area's top attractions into a day trip as we could, and we're already planning a return trip to see more.

Whether you love that rural vibe or are just looking for an alternative to the standard beach-type of family weekend getaway, I can assure you that Pennsylvania Dutch Country and Amish Country make for a sweet destination with kids in tow. It's not just fields, pastures, and cows!

Read on for the top family sights, including The Science Factory, Strasburg Railroad, Dutch Wonderland, and even a train-themed hotel. 

Looking for more family getaways? Check out our travel guide with real parent reviews of resorts and destinations. Find more Pennsylvania family fun with our Poconos Guide.

7 Fun Party Places for Car- and Train-Obsessed NYC Kids

Long before my kids laid eyes on Pixar movies, they were obsessed with cars. Big ones, little ones, toy ones—as long as they were fast and sleek, they'd want to play with them or, better yet, ride in them.

Growing up as public-transit-taking New Yorkers also means a healthy obsession with trains. So no matter the mode of transportation that piques your kid's interest, we've got a party recommendation for you. We've rounded up seven party places in or near NYC where kids can enjoy car- and train-centric activities, from driving go-karts, calling all aboard on a vintage train, and even slot-car racing. Best of all, there's no driver's license required.

The Lightning Thief Review: Percy Jackson and Demigods Return

Percy Jackson fans rejoice: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical has returned to the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Greenwich Village. You don't have to have read the books to enjoy this full-length musical production, though my son and I adore the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. We were disappointed we missed the Theatreworks hourlong production in 2014, so when we heard it was expanded and heading back to the stage we knew we had to check it out.

With amazing talent, catchy pop-rock songs, heaps of humor, and a storyline with themes kids can relate to, demigod or mere mortal, it's a must-see for fans, according to my 13-year-old son. Read on for our full review, or find more kid-friendly NYC theater in our spring theater picks for families

Brand-New LEGOland Discovery Center Opens Near Philadelphia

LEGOland Discovery Center at Plymouth Meeting has been building up to be the destination for every nearby LEGO-loving kid. From 9-foot tall replicas of city landmarks, to a 4D cinema, Ninjago training camp, and more, brick lovers from all over are excited about this brand-new attraction. My almost 5-year-old daughters have asked to go back multiple times a day, every day since we visited.

Wild West City: A Cowboy Theme Park in New Jersey

New Jersey is filled with fun amusement parks, boardwalk fun, and more attractions for kids, but one of the more unique options might just be Wild West City. This western-themed outdoor mini amusement park in rural Sussex County, New Jersey, lets families experience life in a frontier town circa 1880.

Attractions include live-action shows; stagecoach, pony, and train rides; mini golf; a barnyard zoo; and fun events for kids, including a dress-up day. Ever since Toy Story made its way onto our Netflix queue, my boys have been fascinated with Woody, so we took our two little Wild Bills and headed to Wild West City to check it out.

5 Train Rides to Take with your Preschooler

Living in Connecticut, with kids, chances are you've taken a train ride or two. Whether you rode on Percy at Essex Steam Train and Riverboat's Day Out With Thomas or the Naugatuck Railroad's Northern Lights Limited, there are plenty of incredibly sweet themed and scenic railroad experiences across the state.

But, have you ever hopped on a Metro North train on a Tuesday? Chances are, while you may have made the rounds of the seasonal train excursions, you might not have considered the trains running through Fairfield County every hour on the hour. In off-peak hours, you might spend an average of $7 or less on a round trip ticket between Milford and Greenwich. And your kids will LOVE the impromtu ride on the shiny silver choo-choo. We've rounded up some kid-friendly stops off Metro North to turn an everyday train ride into a full-fledged adventure for your preschooler. And make sure to check out the new Hartford line and our suggestions on where to visit at each stop.

Glitter & Glam Opens a Spa Just for Kids in Paramus, New Jersey

Got a little prince or princess in need of some pampering? Glitter & Glam, a kids' salon that opened in the Paramus Park mall late last year, serves up a posh but affordable splurge for New Jersey families.

The new kids’ spa offers manicures and pedicures, hair styling, makeup (or face painting), facials for tweens, and of course, birthday party packages. The interior is all glammed up in princess pink, with touches of tulle and glitter everywhere.

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