Ennis Playground Gives Gowanus a Freshly Updated Playspace

We're suckers for a destination-worthy playground, but we also have big love for NYC's smaller neighborhood playgrounds. In a city like ours, a playground doesn't necessarily need an elaborate theme or deluxe play features to be a huge boon to the neighborhood. The newly renovated Ennis Playground in the heart of fast-changing Gowanus is one such gem. Ennis Playground reopened last month after an 11-month, $2.9 million renovation—here's a look at what's new.

Weekend Fun: Seafarers, Chocolate & Vanilla Fest, Free Movies

As August comes to a close, make the most of summery weekend fun throughout New Jersey, from festivals to free movies on the beach.

Whet your appetite at tasty food festivals like the Chocolate & Vanilla Family Festival and Warinanco Food Festival. Go back in time at historical-themed celebrations this weekend, including Industrial Crafts Day and Seafarers' Weekend at Historic Cold Springs Village.

Young stuffed-animal fanatics will enjoy Teddy Bear Day at Space Farms, while music lovers of all ages won't want to miss the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival.

Find even more weekend options in our Summer Fun Guide, including 25 Ways to Beat the Heat with New Jersey Kids in August. And look to our August GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

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.

Kid-Friendly Wineries on Long Island's East End

With so many wineries on the East End now welcoming children, Long Island wine country has become a huge destination not just for couples and bachelorette parties, but for families with kids, too.

From picnic areas to live music, and annual events, we’ve rounded up a host of kid-friendly wineries on Long Island's East End—many of which are family-owned and operated—that offer the best experiences for little visitors. In addition to wine, most tasting rooms offer light snacks and nonalcoholic beverages, and some allow outside food and drink in designated picnic areas. Of course, kids must be supervised and any pets must be on leashes. Be sure to check individual websites for specific rules. And be responsible if driving.

Go Fish: Where to Go Fishing with NYC Kids for Free (Even If You Don't Have Gear)

Fishing is a classic family activity, but it can only be done outside of NYC, right? Wrong. My husband and I have been fishing with our 9-year-old son in the five boroughs since he was a preschooler. It's relaxing and a great way to bond, plus it teaches patience (you definitely need it for this sport).

Not only does NYC offer different kinds of fishing experiences (freshwater, salt water, catch-and-release), there are organizations that even supply the rod, reel, tackle and bait so all you need to bring is a good attitude. Our rivers, lakes, ponds and beaches are truly teeming with fish, and we've got the scoop on where you and your kids can catch them.

Orange County's Best Kept Secret Is a Water Park Right on the Beach

Apologies, but I am about to blow a well kept secret wide open: Newport Beach has a cove hidden in plain sight that may be the best family beach day in the Southland. Of course the definition of "best family beach day" may not be the same for everyone; only continue reading if your ideal beach day would include kayaks, SUP boards, paddle boats, and an inflatable water park in a warm surf-free lagoon surrounded by clean sand, fire rings for s'mores, easy parking, and clean bathrooms. Only head to Newport Dunes if you're prepared for that level of nirvana.

Central Park's Top Playgrounds Ranked for NYC Kids and Visitors

When out-of-towners ask me how I have managed to stay sane with three kids in Manhattan, my answer is always easy: Central Park. It's been our family playground for more than a decade. My son's first steps were taken there, and every day of elementary school in our house has started with a trek across the urban oasis. Our afternoons just don't feel quite right without a stop at the East 110th Street Playground, where my daughter finally conquered the monkey bars.

Central Park is our family's collective happy place, thanks in large part to its diverse array of playgrounds, which always keep us coming back for more (sanity-saving) playtime. In the spirit of our posts ranking the playgrounds in Prospect Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park, we present our top playground picks for Central Park.

Best Things to Do With Kids at the Boston Children's Museum

Our city is full of family-friendly museums, but only the Boston Children's Museum is designed just for kids. Whether you're looking for a few hours to kill or somewhere to enjoy an entire day with your kids, there's no better destination in Boston. This three-story museum offers endless entertainment and discovery, including exhibits that focus on science, culture, social awareness, health and fitness, the arts, and more. While the museum may seem overwhelming, we've broken it down, level by level, so you can plan your visit and make sure you see all the best exhibits.

Make sure to save some extra time to head outside before or after your visit to play, slide, and explore at Martin's Park playground, and if you want to make a full day of it, explore all that the surrounding Seaport neighborhood has to offer

10 Family-Friendly Hotels and Inns in Connecticut

Whether you're weekend tripping around Connecticut or splurging on a staycation, a spacious hotel room designed with kids in mind means a fun evening for children (and peace of mind for parents). These hotels tick the family-friendly boxes, offering amenities like bunk beds, pools, special activities...even bedtime cookies and milk! For a small state, Connecticut has plenty of family-friendly attractions, so whether you want to immerse yourself in art, a nautical experience, or enjoy the solitude of nature, we have you covered with hotel recommendations, from New Haven to Hartford to Mystic.

Places to Pick Apples With Kids on Long Island

With summer winding down, how about heading to the East End and visiting one of Long Island's pick-your-own apple farms? It's a fun activity the whole family can do together and a great way to kick off the fall season. From small farm stands to orchards with dwarf trees sized just right for little hands, to other family-friendly venues, there are plenty of places to pick apples, and we've rounded them up for you.

Apple-picking season can begin as early as the end of August and continue through October. Be sure to check each apple farm’s website for hours and bounty updates. 

Find more pick-your-own fun in our Long Island Farm Guide, including where to pick peaches or pumpkins, or feed the goats and sheep at area petting zoos and barnyards.

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