Best Parks and Playgrounds for a Birthday Party on Long Island

Birthdays: Our kids all have them. After deciding on the guest list comes the inevitable question of venues. Instead of heading to a party destination or organizing a party at home, did you ever consider a birthday party at a state, county, or community park?

It's true: Long Island is home to a host of beautiful and fun-filled parks that will make it a memorable day for your child whether you're planning a first birthday or a 13th.

And a party at a park means less cleaning for you, no worrying about how many people can fit in your house, or how to magically make it spotless.

So read on for our take on the best parks at which to host a birthday party, and for more birthday fun, check out our Long Island Birthday Party Guide

Bronx Birthday Party Places for NYC Kids

As a Bronx mom with three kids, I find myself in a perpetual state of birthday party planning. And while we've had many a house party, once I factor in food, decorations, favors, and more, it often costs just as much as a destination bash. Besides, destination parties bring a change of scenery and fun perks such as slides, sports, live animals, spa days, and more to make the celebration memorable. Best of all, I don't have to deal with the cleanup.

The Boogie Down borough has a growing list of cool birthday party spots for kids, from old favorites such as the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden, to more recent additions tailored to kids' interests—with a decidedly local flair. We've rounded up a dozen birthday party places in the Bronx, with options for kids of all ages and interests.

5 Free New Spraygrounds and Splash Pads to Visit with Boston Kids this Summer

During our short, humid summers, Boston kids are always on the hunt for ways to cool off in the summertime. While free swimming pools are a great affordable option, spraygrounds are sublime for toddlers, preschoolers, or big kids looking for a quick way to cool off. Even if you've scouted out the these popular splash parks and splash pads, you might not know about these new spots in the Boston area. So throw on your suits, slather on the sunscreen, and head to one of these five fun (and free!) spraygrounds.

20 Houston Parks With Lots of Shade

Being outside pretty much tops our to-do list every day, and we're constantly going from one activity to the next, be it to a neighborhood splashpad, a nearby playground or a park with plenty of trails for biking. Basically, staying inside all day isn't an option; we would all go stir crazy! With summer upon us, I'm not willing to sacrifice that time outside as the temperatures start steadily climbing, but I am more aware of which places offer some shade so we can beat the heat... even if only for a few minutes. Here are some great parks in Houston that offer at least a moderate respite from the brutal summer temps.

18 Family-Friendly NYC Food Halls for an Easy, Delicious Meal

You want to grab a bite out with the kids and the local pizza joint isn't going to cut it—but asking your wriggly, tired kids to sit quietly in a nice restaurant is like lighting a firecracker and then hoping it won't explode. 

Food halls are the perfect solution. In spite of their historic mall­-culture reputation, the model of a casual hall with multiple food options is enjoying a bit of a renaissance, and not just in suburbia. Right here in NYC, food halls are gaining major foodie clout with excellent vendors, artisan marketplaces, and appealing perks (and sweet treats) for families with kids. It's the perfect eatery for families: there's a food option for everyone, minimal wait times, multiple bathrooms, and no one notices if your kid tantrums or drops half their meal on the floor.

We've rounded up and sampled 18 outstanding food halls that offer top-notch eats, spacious seating, and lots to do in the surrounding neighborhoods, including Battery Park, Chelsea, MidtownFort Greene, Brooklyn, and more.

Check out our NYC Restaurant Guide for even more family dining options in just about every neighborhood—and every finicky palate. 

WowMoms World Play & Wellness Center Coming to Paramus

Have you ever dreamed about a place that includes opportunities for exercise, enrichment classes, and socialization for kids AND moms, all under one roof? WowMoms World, coming to Paramus in late 2019 or early 2020, strives to be that coveted one-stop spot where growing families can relax and enjoy everything from parent-child classes and swim lessons to arts and crafts and an organic lunch or snack. 

Canada-based WowMoms opened its first U.S. location on Long Island in January, and other spots have since opened in Florida and Texas. The 6,200-square-foot Paramus space will be WowMoms' first New Jersey location.

Outdoor Kids' Birthday Party Ideas for Summer Babies

Throw an amazing kids' birthday party right in your own backyard or local park with these outdoor party ideas.

Take all the fun (and the mess) of party games for kids outside and add a little summertime twist for inspired themes, such as camping, sprinklers, outdoor movies, and lawn games. We put together a list of seven sizzling kids' birthday party themes for outdoor parties below, including activity suggestions, decoration ideas, and some memorable munchies that will make your kid's party the event of the summer season.

18 Places to Take Parent-Child Swim Classes in Boston

Swimming ability and water safety are so important for little ones, but it can be difficult to imagine letting your baby or toddler plunge into the pool without you. Luckily, you don’t have to because there are a plethora of places in or near Boston that offer parent-child swim lessons so you can get in the water together. If you’re looking for other ways to be active with your child, check out our post on yoga classes for Boston moms and babies.

10 Best Hotel Pools in Los Angeles with Day Passes for Families

Hotel pools have a certain magic for kids; in fact, book a hotel without a pool at your peril. Whether you're vacationing in the City of Angels, or just looking for a staycation that puts your kids' swim lessons to good use (while waiters bring you delicious food and decadent adult beverages), there's always a good reason to take advantage of LA's bounty of hotel pools. Any of the hotels below is worth a weekend for the pool alone. Don't want to spend the night? These hotels are not only great spots to base a vacation or staycation—they all offer day passes for their pools, too. And while not all hotel pools are kid-friendly, this list of family favorites can turn any swim day into a family vacation, whether you're staying or day-playing.

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