Trains, Dinos & Heroes

Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes in New Haven County

The autumn sun, colorful foliage, crisp air, giggling children, and a cup of hot cider -- this is the antithesis to the workweek grind. Add a pumpkin or two into the mix, and whether you're decorating it or turning it into a baked delight, you have the recipe for a great fall. Some of the spots we found in the New Haven area are the definition of agri-tourism, so they also made our list of Apple Picking Orchards in central Connecticut. Whether you are looking for slender pumpkins or plump, sprawling farms or cozier ones, New Haven County has what you seek. For even more ideas, sign up for our weekly newsletter and check out our Halloween and Fall Fun Guide.

Eloise Hops Off the Page and into the New-York Historical Society

If you're drawn to classic children's literature, it's time to don your fanciest frock and head over to the New-York Historical Society where a rawther special guest has taken up residence.

Eloise, the brain child of cabaret singer-turned author Kay Thompson and illustrator Hilary Knight has taken over the museum's second floor, bringing her precocious spirit and side kicks Weenie and Skipperdee along to the gallery, which was previously home to other beloved NYC characters like Mo Willems' Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny, and Elephant and Piggie.

Big Apple Circus Readies Its Return to NYC

The past few years have been rough on circus lovers. After flying high since 1977, NYC's homegrown troupe, Big Apple Circus, announced last summer that it was folding up its tent and selling off its assets due to financial woes. And just last month, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey took its final bow after 146 years.

But this news should turn your sad clown frown upside down: Big Apple Circus is set to return this fall under new management, with a spectacle-studded show under the big top at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park. And longtime fans should be particularly thrilled to hear that the company's veteran comic star, Grandma, who bid Big Apple adieu in 2012, is rejoining the circus. We've got the scoop on what to expect when you take a bite out of this overhauled Big Apple.

While you wait for the new show to debut, stay busy with our Summer Fun Guide.

Travel Town in Griffith Park: Train Rides for Little Tank Engines

Have a train-obsessed kiddo? If riding back and forth on the Metro line isn't enough for your little engine, it's time to explore the train options in Griffith Park—the crown jewel of which is the park’s train-filled Travel Town Museum. The museum itself is free, and rides on the miniature trains costs less than $3 per person, making it a perfect place to visit with toddlers, or host a birthday party full of tank engine fans.

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.

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