Easy Waterfall Hikes for Families in Northern NJ

There's a lot more to East Coast waterfalls than the iconic Niagara Falls in Upstate New York. New Jersey has plenty of beautiful waterfalls—many of them accessible via an easy hike or walk. From the roaring Paterson Great Falls—the second-most-powerful waterfall east of the Mississippi—to the charming Hemlock Falls in the South Mountain Reservation, we've rounded up a handful of waterfall hikes in northern NJ that you can tackle with even the littlest trekkers. 

Waterfall hikes are great for goal-oriented kids and anyone who needs a reminder that sometimes the best adventures are in our own backyards. Read on for our picks.

Roosevelt Island: What to Do with Kids After Taking the Tram

New York is a city of islands. Many of them, like Governors Island, City Island, Randall's Island, and even the infamous Rikers Island, get lots of attention, while low-key Roosevelt Island manages to slip under the radar. It’s time to get cozy with this narrow, 2-mile long sliver of land in the East River nestled between Manhattan and Queens.

The Roosevelt Island Tram is a familiar sight for many New Yorkers, and the aerial ride alone is great fun for kids, but what about when you disembark on the isle? Over 11,000 people call this peaceful community home. The vibe is urban, but there are open spaces perfect for rambling. Self-contained Roosevelt Island has its own school, newspaper, and library. My family and I found plenty of cool things to keep us entertained and we've pulled together our top picks for things to do on the isle. 

Where to Enjoy Kayaks, Rowboats, Pedal Boats, and More With Kids on Long Island

Row, row, row your boat—all across Long Island. Our ponds, preserves, and bays are prime spots for water sports. So get set to make a splash with your kids as you row, pedal, paddle, and more at these sporty Long Island locations.

Looking for more wet and wild fun? If you're on the East End, check out our guide to kayak, canoe, and paddle board rentals in the Hamptons and North Fork. Or enjoy a spritz at a sprinkler park on Long Island. Use our outdoors guide to explore parks, playgrounds, and other fun destinations on the Island.

Great Party Spots in Brooklyn for Baby's First Birthday

Let’s face it: Your baby's first birthday isn’t just about celebrating the start of toddlerhood. It’s about acknowledging the fact that you’re still standing after a whole year of parenting, even if you can’t remember the last time you slept!

At this age, the kids in attendance probably won't be running in circles (in fact, many of them might not be walking), so you don't need as much space as you will in a few years, and there’s a good chance that your guest list is heavy on the grown-ups. We've already rounded up great best first birthday spots in Manhattan, and now we've put together a list of top Brooklyn baby-friendly first birthday bash spots that adults and kids will appreciate.

Looking for more party-perfect ideas? Take a look at these Brooklyn gym parties, or visit our handy Party Guide and Directory to find entertainers and more.​​

You Sip, They Play: 4 Delaware Valley Wineries that Are Family-Friendly

Usually, the only time parents seem to get a chance to enjoy a glass of wine is after the kids are tucked into bed. But the rolling hills of Delaware Valley are teeming with vineyards, and some of the onsite wineries are even, dare we say, kid-friendly. This is especially true during the spring, summer, and fall when the weather is nice enough for families to take advantage of the wineries’ outdoor spaces.

Some wineries are more geared towards families than others so we’ve compiled a list of four Delaware Valley wineries that you can add to your warm weather list of places to go. 

Free Public Art Around Boston that Will Blow Your Kids' Minds

Boston has long been home to some of the best museums in the world, showcasing art from around the world. Recently, the city has acquired an extensive collection of free public art where families can get up close and personal with installations of all kinds. Some of these exhibits are permanent, while others are currently on view. Outdoors, outsized, and often interactive, these works of art are especially appealing to kids.

Here are some of our favorite artsy destinations for a family day trip, along with spots to eat or play nearby. For more artsy outdoor fun, open year-round, check out the deCordova Sculpture Museum in Lincoln. And be prepared: If your kids are anything like ours, the kitchen table will be covered in recycle bin scraps and glue for the next month or two. 

Dance Classes Where LA Kids Learn Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, or Ballroom

Want a dance class for your kid? You live in the right city. Whether you want your kid to learn to be just a little more coordinated, or you dream of the "World of Dance" competition track, Los Angeles has incredible recreational and professional training for your tiny dancer. Get your ballet shoes on and "chasse" through these dance studio options.

Find more great class ideas in our Los Angeles Classes and Enrichment Guide.

Favorite Mommy and Me Classes in NYC

Mommy and Me (or Daddy and Me) classes rule, and not just because little ones learn something new. In a city like NYC, taking a swim class or music class with your infant or toddler is a great way to meet other parents, and a social baby is a happy baby. Extra plus? All that learning and making friends sometimes translates to excellent sleeping (for both of you).

The hardest part of signing up for parent-child classes in New York City might be choosing from one of the hundreds of options, so we've rounded up a few of the spots our community of expert parents recommend most. Some of our favorite spots even multi-task, so you can move from a swim class at Bronx House to a creative movement or art class, for example, or bop from a music class at Kids at Work to "Mess it Up" (art) or Mandarin lessons.

If you need something close to home, remember that YMCAs and JCCs all host classes for little humans, from swimming to gymnastics (special shout out to the 14th St and 92nd St Ys for their dazzling range of programs).

As always, you can find even more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

Swim Lessons and Classes for New Jersey Kids

Looking for a way to introduce your child to the pool? Parent-child swim classes are a great way to help kids develop a love of swimming and instill confidence around the water. These programs teach water skills in a safe and age-appropriate way, and most allow children as young as 6 months to participate. Once your little one gets the hang of it, you can take the family to the pool, beach, or water park with confidence. And most programs continue to offer lessons for kids up to age 12 and beyond.

For more kids' classes, be sure to check out our Guide to Classes and Enrichment Programs.

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