Chicago

St. Augustine, Florida: 25 Best Things to Do with Kids

Florida has its “Emerald Coast,” its "Space Coast," its “Treasure Coast,” and even its “Forgotten Coast.” But unless you spend time in its northernmost section, you might be unaware of its “Historic Coast,” home of the haven of St. Augustine.

About an hour south of Jacksonville, whose sizable airport services most major carriers, sits America’s oldest city. St. Augustine, founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, is one of but a handful of American cities to have the flags of five nations fly above its buildings at one time or another. (Bonus points if you can name the countries: Answer below.)

To visit the city’s charming cobblestone streets and seemingly ancient architecture is to be reminded of Florida’s multicultural history. Of course, these days visitors are better welcomed than the 17th-century pirates who sailed in for plunder; these days, St. Augustine opens its doors to all types of boaters, pilots, campers, cyclists, and even the occasional camping and RV vacationers.

Things to Do This Weekend With Chicago Kids: Robots, Greek Fest, Kids' Tri

Summer isn't over yet—there's still a lot of sunshine, splashing, and fun to be enjoyed, so let's just ignore those back-to-school vibes for one more weekend, shall we? There's the annual Taste of Greektown festival to dig into this weekend, as well as the Logan Square Social with a full roster of live music performances. End-of-summer festivals and neighborhood bashes include Parkpalooza in Elmhurst, the Glen Ellyn Festival of the Arts (celebrating its 50 year anniversary this summer), the Naperville Family Summer Finale, the Bolingbrook Park District Day of Play, Villapalooza in Little Village, and the River Forest Food Truck Rally, each featuring enough music, food, and kid-friendly activities for families to make a day of it.

Kids can build (and do battle with) robot buddies at the STEM-focused Robot Olympics in Lincoln Square, learn about world folklore at the free Fairy Tale Ball, rock out to the Wiggles at the Rosemont, or sing along with everybody's favorite magical childcare provider at the Mary Poppins Singalong. Active kids ages 7 to 14 can join the Kids' Triathlon at Foster Beach. Or the whole family can work on checking off a few more items on our Summer Fun Bucket List

This would also be a great weekend to hit a new-to-you splash park or playground, and if you're still looking for ideas, our ever-expanding event calendar has the goods. 

Best Orchards for Apple Picking with Kids Near Chicago

The Chicago school year has hardly begun, but fall harvest season is already in full swing at several orchards throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. Families willing to take a one- or two-hour drive can get away to enjoy country life for a day, with hay rides, petting zoos, corn mazes, and apple picking. Some orchards even offer pumpkin picking and other fruits throughout the season.

We’ve picked out a baker’s dozen of the best apple orchards within a two-hour drive of Chicago for your picking (and, perhaps, pie-baking) enjoyment. Kids can play farmer for a day without breaking the bank at these 13 orchards.

These Hotel Pools Will Wow the Kids on a Family Vacation

When you have kids, finding a hotel with an awesome swimming pool is usually right at the top of the vacation-planning list. After a long day of activity, you can kick back and watch them splash around at the hotel pool. On a rainy day, hotels with indoor swimming pools will be a saving grace. While most kids will be satisfied with any hole that contains water, impress them with something unique to make that next family vacation one that they won't soon forget.

Here are some of our favorite U.S. hotels with pools sure to satisfy the whole family. We've included both outdoor hotel pools, indoor options, and even those hotels that let you swim in the pool without staying there overnight. The options run from a Las Vegas hotel pool to a Texas-shaped rooftop pool in Houston to a day-pass-friendly NYC hotel pool.

For more vacation ideas on where to stay, check out our Hotels & Resorts Guide.

Things to Do This Weekend With Chicago Kids: Air and Water Show, Bit Bash, Summer Fests

Look to the skies: The Chicago Air and Water Show returns this weekend with incredible displays of aerial skill. You can also look to the screens, as The Museum of Science and Industry hosts Bit Bash, where kids (and adults) can play dozens of cutting edge games as part of this weekend-long festival of technology and art.

On Saturday, Girls Who Code hosts a free workshop for middle school aged girls interested in digital design, with hands-on activities and plenty of experts on hand to inspire. Kids can also work side by side with professionals at the Chicago Philharmonic's Side by Side concert, where musicians from the award-winning orchestra play and rehearse with students and community members.

Kid-friendly street festivals and block parties around town this weekend include Pilsen Fest, Edison Park Fest, the Glenwod Ave Arts Fest in Rogers Park, and the South Shore Summer Festival, each with tasty food, performances, and plenty of kid-friendly action. And if you've ever wondered what a million-dollar penny looks like, one will be on view at this weekend's World's Fair of Money at Rosemont.

Our summer bucket list of things to do before school starts has even more ideas, and the event calendar is packed with performances, exhibits, and festivals for making the most of your summer. Have a great weekend!

25 Things to Do With Chicago Kids Before School Starts

Summer days, driftin' away...If seeing school supply lists is sending you and your kids into a panic over the impending end of summer, stay calm, and summer on! We've done the research (not a bad gig, honestly), and rounded up the ultimate Chicago Summer Bucket List, complete with all the outdoor movies, festivals, and FREE summer activities for families in Chicago that you'll want to fit in before school starts up again on Tuesday, September 3.

Iceland with Kids: 10 Things You Will Want To Do on a Family Trip

Iceland has become the place everyone talks about. It's dramatic. It's beautiful. It's rugged, unspoiled, totally different, and the perfect stop between North America and Europe. In fact, it's where the two continents actually meet (cue photo op)! But without amusement parks, warm weather, or any kind of branded entertainment, will it hold your kids' attention? The answer is heck yeah. There are endless fun things to do in Iceland with kids, especially somewhat exotic outdoor adventures.

Tell the kids you're bringing them to the Land of the Midnight Sun, and check out as many as you can of the 10 extra-special Icelandic attractions below.

Weekend Fun for Chicago Kids: Hot Dogs, Dinos, Kites, S'Mores, The Bud

Here comes another practically perfect summer weekend, and a full-to-bursting list of fun options for Chicago families. Let's start with the dinosaur in the room: Jurassic Quest at Navy Pier is your dino-obsessed kid's chance to interact with "living" specimens—watch out for those teeth. In other toothsome news, the Chicago Hot Dog Fest hits Lincoln Square, Veggie Fest in Lisle celebrates tasty plant-based eats, kids can race for donuts at the Stan's Donut 5K at Soldier Field, and there are two chances to observe National S'Mores Day this weekend around campfires in Arlington Heights and Montrose Beach.

The weekend sees the return of a beloved Chicago summertime tradition, too: The Bud Billiken Parade, or "The Bud," steps off in the South Side on Saturday morning with marching bands, floats, and performers, and is followed by a fair in Washington Park and another family fest at Oakwood Beach. High-flyers can let off some string at two kite festivals this weekend, one in Elmhurst and one at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. And music lovers can get their fill at the Thirsty Ears classical music festival in Ravenswood, with kid-friendly performances all weekend.

If your kids are into cars, trucks, and all things that go, the Retro on Roscoe street fair features a lineup of vintage cars and motorcycles. Train Day at the DuPage Children's Museum includes model trains and buildable tracks, or climb aboard real fire trucks and other big rigs at the FREE Touch-a-Truck fair in North Riverside (just bring a non-perishable food donation for admission).

For even more summertime fun, dig into our ever-expanding roundup of fairs and festivals around Chicago, or dive into one of our favorite pools, beaches, or splash parks. And remember there's always more to discover on the event calendar.

30 Things To Do in the Florida Keys with Kids: Dolphins Plus a Whole Lot More

When talking Florida Keys with kids, it's best to point straight at the dolphin in the room. Swimming with dolphins is without question one of the biggest draws in the Keys for families, and while the experience is not cheap, it is the stuff that bucket lists are made of. I confess that I grew up watching Flipper (I say "confess" because a few of you just worked out how old I am), and I've harbored a secret desire to catch a ride from a dolphin ever since. My kid got to live that dream a whole lot younger than I did when I discovered that Key Largo is barely an hour's drive from Miami and an easy add-on to a Florida vacation. Continuing to Key West adds another three hours along the Overseas Highway, a drive touted as one of the most beautiful in the country, stretching over water for seven straight miles at one point.

11 Top Hotels with Outdoor Water Parks for Families with Kids

Kids generally love the perks of staying at hotels but add on a water park and that regular family getaway suddenly hits thrilling new heights. Think of all the family fun: lazy rivers right outside the door, a room nearby for naptime, instant ways to cool down, and no time wasted stuck in traffic to the local pool or beach.

We've rounded up 11 top U.S. hotels and resorts with water parks where families can chill out and cool off at the same time. Find great places to stay (and play) in Florida, Texas, California, and the East Coast.

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