Winter Activities

Where to Celebrate Maple Sugaring Season with Kids in Connecticut

Soon, sugar houses all across the state get to work on the process of collecting and evaporating clear watery sap into tasty, golden syrup. The traditional maple sugaring season extends from February until late March, though that depends greatly on the weather (freezing nights and warm, sunny days are necessary to provide good sap yields). If you and the kids are interested in learning more about this sweet New England tradition, choose among the many open housesdemonstrations and festivals in LitchfieldHartford, Fairfield, and New Haven counties. Some sugar houses invite you to stop in anytime the evaporator is running (but call before heading out).

15 Fun Indoor Playgrounds for Kids North of Boston

When winter won't budge, and you've run out of at-home craft and project ideas, it may be time to hit an indoor play space. Head north and you can have your pick: From trampolines to crazy mazes to inflatables, Boston's North Shore is home to tons of play zones where kids can get their energy out. In addition to exercise and entertainment, many of these venues offer special events (like parents' nights out), healthy snacks, birthday parties, workshops, and classes. Here are 15 of our north-of-town favorites; for dozens more options in and around Boston, check out our indoor fun guide.

Get Out and Drop In! Best Queens Play Spaces and Gyms for Kids

From Queens' formerly industrial waterfront to deep in the borough, family-friendly spots and amenities are on the upswing. There are wide-open spaces to run with abandon, playgrounds aplenty, and indoor play spaces with open play hours are strong in number: In fact, Queens has more indoor play zones than Manhattan and is gaining on Brooklyn.

We found 20+ indoor romping locations in the borough that offer drop-in sessions open to the public (no membership required). Bonus: All of these spots host birthday parties, too, and most are much more affordable than their Manhattan competitors.

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.

Hunter Mountain Expansion Offers New Family Skiing in New York

It’s expensive to expand a ski resort. The folks at Hunter Mountain invested $9 million to construct an 80-acre addition to New York’s second most-visited ski destination.

Did they get their money’s worth without compromising all that made Hunter one of the top ski destinations for families near New York City?

After visiting the now 320-acre Catskills resort that is 2½ hours north of the city, one is tempted to say, yes.

Indoor Gardens Where Boston Kids and Families Can Escape Winter

Could your family use an escape from the New England chill? A warm, green space is closer than you may think. Several fabulous indoor gardens around Boston keep their greenhouse and atrium doors open throughout the winter. With controlled balmy temperatures—be sure to bring a bag for stashing ski jackets!—these sunlit spaces feature exotic plants and animals as well as plenty of space for children for roam, discover, and daydream.

25 Free Activities to Check Out During Midwinter Break

Midwinter break always seems to sneak up on me. We're barely into a post-holiday groove and yet again we've got a full week off from school to fill. While we've already rounded up 35 fun-filled activities for the week, many of them come with a high price tag. To give your budget a bit of relief, we've got 25 more ideas for the February school break that are completely FREE. Visit our Free in NYC Guide for more money-saving options for school break...or any day.

Maple Sugaring Events for Westchester and Hudson Valley Kids

Here in the Northeast, what apple picking is to fall, maple sugaring is to winter. The season begins in February and runs through late March. Ideally, temperatures must dip below freezing at night and warm up during the day to stimulate sap flow. Thus, the maple-sugaring season is brief. And to make just one gallon of pure maple syrup, it takes more than 40 gallons of sap!

We've rounded up maple-sugaring fun in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Read on for details on where to learn about and celebrate this centuries-old tradition. Looking for more seasonal fun? Check out our Westchester Winter Fun Guide, and look to our Event Calendar for new events added daily. 

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