Trains, Dinos & Heros

Take the Kids to the EcoTarium for Indoor and Outdoor Fun

The EcoTarium is a museum about an hour west of Boston that tends to get overshadowed by the Museum of Science. That's a shame, because the EcoTarium is a fun destination for kids, with plenty of indoor and outdoor activities. Located on one of the hills of Worcester, the EcoTarium combines elements of a traditional science museum with flavors of an animal habitat and woodland trail. Anyone with kids heading for the main entrance will likely be delayed by the interactive musical and building-block activities just outside the front door, including a xylophone of sorts made of large plastic pipes (pictured).

Once families do get inside, the first thing they might hear are the screams.

Experience NYC in True Princess Style at the Lotte New York Palace

With a 3-year-old and 7-year-old daughter, princesses long ago took over my home. We've got dress-up clothes, dolls, movies, sing-along-microphones, and multiple tiaras, but never have my girls felt quite as regal as they did on a recent stay at the Lotte New York Palace where we were treated to a truly magical experience as royal guests with the luxury hotel's Palace Princess Package.

Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the Lotte New York Palace offers a perfect destination for a staycation (as we enjoyed) to celebrate a birthday perhaps or as a treat for out-of-towners looking to make their visit to NYC extra special for a certain princess. 

Bam! Pow! Zap! This Children's Museum in OC Gives Kids Super Powers

My six-year-old is a longtime superhero aficionado. Over the years, his bedroom has slowly become a shrine to his favorite heroes – Batman, Spiderman, and Iron Man – so he could barely contain his excitement when I told him we were heading to Pretend City Children's Museum to test-drive its new “Super Powers” exhibit. The interactive child-sized city, which includes a make-believe grocery store, farm, art studio and beach, recently opened a brand-new exhibit called Super Powers—a virtual training ground for wannabe crime fighters. If your kiddo also has a closet filled with capes and masks, fly don't drive down the 55 freeway this summer for an action-packed day at Pretend City in Irvine.

Dinosaurs Unearthed: A New Adventure at the Academy of Natural Sciences

If there's one thing we love in my family, it's dinosaurs! If you're anything like us, the idea of life-size animatronic dinosaurs, probably sounds pretty amazing. Dinosaurs Unearthed at the Academy of Natural Sciences features more than a dozen of these massive creatures, and you can see them before you've even walked through the door. Running through January 16, 2017, this exhibit is perfect for the dino lovers in your family.

5 Great Theme Parks For Families in New England

For a memorable family outing jam-packed with fun, head to a theme park. We have some great choices here in New England, and we've rounded up our five favorites for families with kids ranging from toddlers to teens. Some are close enough to Boston for a daycation and others are better suited for a weekend getaway, but they all make for a quick escape from the every day blahs.  

Ride Back in Time with the Kids at Whippany Railway Museum

For those of you with train-loving kids, an afternoon at Whippany Railway Museum will float their boats (or kick their cabooses, maybe?). We spent Father's Day riding the rails, looking at cool old train stuff in a tiny, wonderfully packed-to-the-gills museum, and generally stepping back in time, sans electronic devices.

Read on for the highlights of our fun day spent in the company of Southern Railway steam locomotive No. 385 and friends.

Thomas Land Theme Park: A Magical Day on the Island of Sodor

The kids and I had the pleasure of being invited back to Thomas Land for opening day of this summer. For those who already know Edaville, this brand new section of the theme park is absolutely worth a trip back. Twelve years in the making, Thomas Land – right in our backyard in Carver, MA – is the only one in the United States. The other park is in England, and ours is bigger!

Thomas Land is a treat for the young and the young at heart; the creators have done a great job of making the park fun for all ages. Here are some newly scouted highlights, plus a few tips along the way. All aboard!

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