CAMP Store in Flatiron Reopens With Sweet Hands-On Cooking Theme

One of our favorite NYC stores where kids can play for FREE (and one of our favorite new additions to NYC last year, period) is the Flatiron District's CAMP Store, which has recently unveiled its second theme: Cooking Camp, as well as a membership program, with the promise of a second location coming to Brooklyn in the fall.

Situated on the corner of 16th and Fifth Avenue, CAMP looks like just another retail shop; albeit one with an onsite Milk Bar and a funky collection of merchandise—from toys and games to books and clothing—but there's something spectacular hiding behind a secret door. Find the entrance (with the help of a super-friendly CAMP counselor) and you're in for hours of fun and a cool new indoor place to play.

17 Splash Pads and Spray Grounds to Beat the DC Summer Heat

DC isn't called a swamp just because it was built in a flood-heavy area. Anyone who lives in or has visited the DC area during the summer months knows that DC weather is hot, humid, and sticky! And while heading indoors to explore the area's many museums or indoor play spaces is a great option on those swampy days, jumping into some water is the best way to keep cool. But time doesn't always permit for a daylong excursion to one of DC's many public pools so splash pads and spraygrounds offer a welcome and quick cool down and some summer fun.  

To help you locate one in your area, we've put together a list of our favorite splash pads and spraygrounds in DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland. Check out our picks and escape the swamp-like temps and enjoy outdoor fun with the entire family!

Remember: Unless noted, all splash pads listed are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and are free. Always check venue website for additional information, such as rules of play and closures.

10 One-Mile-or-Less Hikes to Take with Your Preschooler Around Boston

Being a parent to a little one doesn't mean you need to hang up your hiking boots. Boston boasts plenty of tree-lined walking paths that accommodate strollers, and even more short, easy hiking trails to suit kids who've become a little more sure-footed. Along with the many short, winding routes that snake through Blue Hills, just outside city limits, these 10 hikes are well-maintained, close to Boston, and offer just the right amount of challenge for preschool-age trailblazers. 

C'mon Summer: 50 Things We Can't Wait to Do This Summer in NYC

Every year, the long "home stretch" between spring break and summer vacation seems like a torturous marathon of end-of-year concerts, award ceremonies, and late nights running around followed by early morning lunch-packing woes and kids who, thanks to the longer hours of daylight, stayed up past bedtime...again.

But take heart, the finish line is in sight, bringing with it adventurous summer camp days and afternoons to while away at your favorite playground or water park. We're officially summer dreaming, and you're the beneficiary. We're sharing our list of 50 things we can't wait to do this summer. They're a mix of annual favorites and new openings, plus more more seasonal happenings that prove the best vacation may just be a staycation.

Best Water Parks and Water Slides around LA and Southern California

Nothing is more fun on a too-hot day than some water play—just ask a kid. If you want to give the kids a welcome surprise on a summer day, take them to a water theme park. There are several water parks in Southern California, with large scale splash parks to please every kid from toddler to teen. Of course, if you're looking for something smaller, closer, or more low-key, you can always check out our list of water play features at city parks; but if you're looking to make a big splash, check out one of the SoCal parks below.

Strawberry Picking with Kids in Connecticut

Strawberry picking farms can be found all over Connecticut. This tasty red fruit is one of the healthiest and most delicious treats that warmer weather brings to the Northeast.

Find a u-pick farm for strawberry picking with your Connecticut kids with our list of great spots below. Watch the excitement on their faces as they hunt for the biggest, reddest berries on the farm.

The Connecticut pick-your-own strawberry season is short, usually lasting only from early or mid-June to early July; don’t miss out! There are so many great strawberry-based recipes you can prepare with the kids, too: homemade jam, strawberry shortcake, berry tarts, or simply enjoying fresh fruit in cereals, salads, or as an ice cream topping.

For more berry picking fun, check out Berry Farms in Connecticut; once July rolls around, it's time to start thinking about blueberries.

18 Super Sprinkler Parks for Kids on Long Island

When the temperature rises, there’s nothing like jumping through a sprinkler to cool off. Long Island sprinkler parks are great places to take kids because unlike pools and beaches, sprinkler parks have low water depth and often a rubber-like surface. Just add sunscreen and let the adventures begin.

We’ve put together a list of super sprinkler parks that are open to everyone. We've even included a few parks open to residents only. Proof of residency and/or a membership pass can be required at those facilities. Fees and opening days vary, so check websites or call before going.

For more aquatic fun, take a look at our guide to Long Island amusement parks and water parks. For other kid-friendly activities, check out our Spring and Summer Fun Guides, and our recommendations for the best beach playgrounds as well as other top playgrounds and parks on LI

Best Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads in New Jersey

Who doesn't love running through a sprinkler on a hot and steamy summer day? Bring it to the next level at one of New Jersey's splash pads and spraygrounds, many of which are located in local parks and playgrounds.

We've rounded up some of our favorite water playgrounds around the state, some of which are newly renovated or even brand-new for the 2019 season. (And we’ve even got our splash pad radar at the ready for parks poised to open next summer—like North Bergen’s Paterson Plank Road Park, which just broke ground last month.)

Remember, these are not water parks, so you won't find a ton of bells and whistles—though some do offer interactive features like dumping buckets or whimsical designs like water spouts in the shape of cattails (Van Saun Park); animal fixtures (Bridgeton); or basketball sprayers (Manalapan). But the best part? Most of these splash zones are completely FREE.

Visit our Best NJ Water Parks article to go all in for theme park fun. Or strap on those water shoes, pack the towels, and read on for some of New Jersey's best water playgrounds and spray parks in your neighborhood. 

Splash Pads and Water Playgrounds in Westchester and Hudson Valley

Ready to cool off this summer? There are plenty of local pools and swimming lakes, but if you’re looking for something a little different, a splash pad or sprayground is a great choice. The setting is especially fun for younger kids, who can run through the sprinklers and water jets, so swim vest required. Lucky for us, there's a slew of family-friendly sprinkler parks to choose from in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, whether you’re looking for a quick morning trip or an all-day adventure.

We’ve rounded up a few to check out, from Yonkers to Wappingers Falls, including several that offer FREE entry.

Free Water Fun: Splash Pads and Sprinklers at Philly Area Parks

“If they’re crabby, put them in water.” The poem, How to Really Love a Child, offers these words of wisdom to parents of small children, and in the summer heat this couldn't be more true! But thankfully in Philadelphia, kids don’t have to be cranky to love a good splash in the summertime. In addition to being home to more public pools than any other city in the country, new spraygrounds and splash pads seem to pop up every year. These city spaces are a great way to cool off the little ones, get some exercise, and make the most of the hot weather without committing to a pool membership or water park passes.

For those splash pads and spraygrounds in Philadelphia, the official open times are 11 AM - 7 PM on weekdays and 12 Noon - 5 PM on weekends. However, these times generally vary by location and operator. Also, some of these parks made it onto our top Where Philly Families Can Play All Day list so be sure to check them out. For now, here are a few of our favorite spots (new and old) in the Philadelphia area. Go ahead, jump in, and prevent those crabby moments from creeping in!

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