Zoos & Gardens

The Butterfly Pavilion Ushers in Spring at the Natural History Museum

Everyone's all a-flutter at the Natural History Museum. The seasonal re-opening of the Butterfly Pavilion takes place this month, giving us six months of access to the unfettered joy that is an afternoon among the butterflies. The old pavilion was replaced by an entirely new screened structure last year, still on the museum’s South Lawn, and the doors open once more for some delightful flutterby time on the site that was the creepy Spider Pavilion in autumn. From chrysalis to butterfly, the pavilion is full of magical moments, which is why it rates as one of our 100 things to do with LA kids before they grow up.

Meet the Easter Bunny in NYC for a Photo Op with the Kids

The Easter Bunny is making appearances all over New York City this spring, including on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to snap a picture with your child cozied up to the festive rabbit.

We've rounded up some of the top places in all five boroughs to take a picture with the Easter Bunny, beginning in March. These range from professional shots you can have taken ahead of time to DIY opportunities at your local egg hunt. Get those reservations booked!

Find bunny brunches or egg hunts in NYC, too! Or lean on our March GoList for more must-do events and activities.

Night at the Museum: 7 NYC Museum and Zoo Sleepovers for Kids

Sleepovers are all the rage—even Governors Island is getting into the overnight game—but while a night of glamping might be on your to-do list, kids will get a big kick out of sleeping over at one of their favorite cultural institutions. From the Bronx Zoo, to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, there's a sleepover to fit any interest and you'll earn some serious cool parent cred with one of these overnight adventures so extravagant, they landed on our splurge GoList.

As you might have guessed, these NYC-style pajama parties aren't just cool, they can also be expensive, and sometimes tough to get into. So if you want to splurge on an amazing overnight experience for your child this year, book early as spaces fill up fast. Each of our picks includes meals or snacks and requires adult chaperones to take part. Note that some are exclusively for scout groups.

The New IDNYC Card Perks for Families You Don't Want to Miss

It's no secret that living in New York City and raising kids here isn't cheap. So one of my favorite finds has been the IDNYC program, which, among other things, offers FREE and reduced-price memberships more than 40 cultural institutions across the city.

Since the municipal ID program launched in 2015, more than 1 million people have turned up at IDNYC centers to get their free ID cards and the benefits that being a card-carrying citizen of this great city brings. In 2018, the city introduced several new institutions to the program, including two that might interest NYC families: Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn and Chelsea Piers are now IDNYC partners. At Aviator, you can nab an individual membership for 20 percent off and score 15 percent off party bookings. Chelsea Piers invites you to enjoy 2-for-1 admission at its indoor ice skating rink as well as discounts at its driving range.

The IDNYC card offers more than cultural benefits: Families can take advantage of discounts on prescription drugs, car-share memberships, movies, sporting events, and more. It even acts as a public library card and can help you open an account at a bank or credit union.

I've put my card to use to take advantage of these benefits and more, so read on for a dozen reasons to sign up for your FREE card, including discounted admission to some of the city's best children's museums and zoos.

NYC Kids Can Frolic with Dogs at This New Upper East Side Spot

The zoo is a great place for an animal lover, and cat cafes have popped up from Brooklyn to Manhattan... but what about dogs? Enter Frolic, a new spot brimming with dogs that is now open on the Upper East Side!

Frolic is a colorful, sunshine-filled space in Manhattan, easily accessible by the Second Avenue Subway. Owned by adjacent Biscuits & Bath (though independently run), their mission is simple: learn about dogs, and have fun while doing it!  

10 Family Memberships Worth Having As You Raise Your LA Kid

It can be hard to find places to go with the whole family without breaking the bank. So when your kids let you know they love a place, you're going to want to go back there again and again (and again). If you find yourself hitting up the same spots, you might as well become a member to enjoy all the perks and discounts that entails (plus the tax write-off). Here are a few of the most affordable and enjoyable places in LA to get memberships for the whole family. 

Day Trip to NJ's Adventure Aquarium: What's New and Best to See

With the grip of cabin fever feeling stronger every day—the struggle is real—the search for ways to get the kids out of the house in winter becomes a bit more desperate. Indoor play spaces are great for whiling away a frigid day, but what if we tempted you with a more exotic destination, somewhere warm and humid, but still within a short drive?

That place is Brazil, by way of Camden, New Jersey. (Stay with us.) Piranha Falls, the centerpiece exhibit at Adventure Aquarium, is a full-on immersion into the vibrant ecosystem along the Amazon. We're talking two waterfalls, hundreds of native plants, abrupt thunderstorms, and a school of spectacular-looking piranhas. The kids will be awed. You'll be transported. Everyone leaves a little refreshed—at least until you step back out into the bitter cold. 

Read on to learn more about some of Adventure Aquarium's most impressive attractions, which include the East Coast's largest collection of sharks, a couple of charming hippos, and several ways to get up close and personal with sea creatures. And, if your visit to Adventure Aquarium happens to spark a new interest in life under the sea, check out our rundown of the Best Aquariums for Your Next Family Vacation.

25 Toddler Approved Places in Fairfield County

When your child takes those first steps into toddlerhood, it becomes obvious that the game has changed. No more baby that sleeps soundly in a carrier, or is amused by being pushed around in a stroller. Toddlers hit the ground running and are ready for some hands-on interactive fun. Those loveable bundles of joy have endless energy and an unquenchable desire to explore their surroundings.  That's why we've rounded up 25 places in Fairfield County we know toddlers will love, from active play options to animal fun to sweet treats. Many of the destinations on our list are free, and some of the activities also appeal to older siblings. And for some more indoor fun options check out our Indoor Fun Guide

Check out our top 25 tot spots and if we missed any of your favorites, please add them in the comments.


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