20 Easy (But Gorgeous) Hiking Trails To Do with Kids and Babies

By Shanti Hodges

Looking for a hiking trail near you? Great walking trails top our picks for fun summer activities and fall outings with kids. A hike is an opportunity for quality family time, exercise for kids, and of course, discoveries small and large, from bugs to waterfalls.

These getaway-worthy, family-friendly hiking trails are just a sampling of my favorite trails, highlighted in my new book, Hike it Baby: 100 Awesome Adventures with Babies and Toddlers. As founder of Hike it Baby, a nonprofit dedicated to helping families get on the trail with kids, I’ve been fortunate enough to sample nature trails across the country, including at our best national parks and campsites, and even those extra-special, smaller local parks that often offer the best hikes for toddlers and families with little kids.

Now I’m sharing 20 of my favorites, from Connecticut to Florida to Washington state, that are perfect for your next day trip or family vacation. Most are easy loop paths, but I’ve included some moderate trails and top destinations, such as Mt. Rainer and the Badlands. Many of these hikes are FREE, too. The list also highlights family-friendly perks like bathrooms, and benches for a rest or a nursing mom.

The Best Ice Cream Shops Near Playgrounds on Long Island

Summer was made for ice cream and exuberant swoops down the slide in the toasty sun.

Here are our picks for magical treats near Long Island’s pristine parks and our favorite playgrounds. And while you’re thinking about sweet treats, check out our list of old-fashioned ice cream parlors on Long Island and the best candy shops for kids in our region. 

For more dining and dessert inspiration, see our guide to kid-friendly restaurants on Long Island, including information on outdoor dining, birthday freebies for LI kids, and more.

Enjoy.

How To Navigate DTLA's Central Library with Kids

Built in 1926, Downtown’s Central Library is an LA landmark famous for its remarkable art, architecture, children and family programming, dedicated librarians, and extensive collections for any avid learner. It can be a remarkable place to visit with kids—with an important caveat.

A journey to the Central Library is different from a jaunt to your local branch. Over the last year or two, the homeless population has taken refuge here at an unprecedented rate, and this has noticeably changed the experience. That said, we still found there are many ways for a family to enjoy this historic and delightful facility with a few key pointers. 

5 Inspiring Firefighter Museums Near New York City

Kids love firefighters. And who can blame them? Brave men and women who drive around in shiny red trucks—and actually save lives—are kind of like real-life superheroes. And a chance to try on equipment, climb aboard fire trucks, and have questions answered by some of these superheroes themselves could be your little firefighter fan's dream come true. Luckily, the New York area is home to several museums dedicated to firefighters that are great for the whole family.

If you're looking for fun indoor activities to help you beat the heat (or the rainy day blues), here are some of the kid-friendly firefighter museums in our area where you and your kids can learn how firefighters do their jobs, plus how to prevent fires in your own home, and how to act in a fire emergency. 

7 Ways to Get in the Holiday Spirit with Christmas in July

‘It’s the season...well sort of. With summer in full swing and a July full of festivals, fun, and free stuff, it’s hard to picture mistletoe and the jolly old elf with the big white beard. But whether you’re ready for Christmas or not, it’s coming up fast, or rather, Christmas in July is coming up fast.

If you’re so over summer and are ready to set yourself by the Yule log with a cup of hot cocoa, then check out where you can celebrate Christmas in July in the Philly area. Remember: It’s never too early to get in that holiday spirit.

Stroll Around Connecticut: 10 Fantastic Stroller Hikes

These stroller friendly trails take advantage of the state’s rail trails, greenways, and river pathways. The smooth, paved surfaces make it easy for you and your wheels to explore the state. Whether you wish to enjoy peaceful walks through rivers and forests or stroll through city centers and parks, there is something on this list for everyone (even a few playgrounds for those big kids who occasionally have to tag along). And once your baby graduates out of the stroller go for a hike on one of these one mile or less trails that are perfect for the preschool set. 

Battleship Cove: 6 Tips for Visiting the Naval Museum with Kids

If you’re looking for something new to check off your family’s summer bucket list, there are few experiences as unique as a visit to Battleship Cove. Located in Fall River, just about an hour south of Boston, the museum and war memorial features the world’s largest collection of World War II naval vessels. After an exciting day touring the massive ships with my five-year-old son and two-year-old daughter, I'm sharing tips to ensure a fun visit with your own crew.

Coolest Rivers in Texas for Kid-Friendly Floating & Tubing

Lounging on a rubber inner tube and soaking up the summer sun while dipping your toes into chilly river water is basically a Texas rite of passage. There's no time like the present to introduce kiddos to the great adventure that is floating down the river. While any river will do, these five Texas rivers are our go-to spots. They've all go family-friendly runs (i.e. few or gentle rapids), great tube rental services, nearby accommodations, and gorgeous views to top it all off.

Whether you go for the weekend or carve out a bit more time to soak in all that tubing has to offer, these rivers make the perfect family getaway. Stick with our list of kid-approved river trips and you won't be disappointed, and for more summer trip ideas, check out our favorite family-friendly lakes close(ish) to Houston.

11 NYC Neighborhoods to Visit With Your Family This Summer

Whether you're a New York native, a day-tripper, or a tourist from way outta town, summer is the perfect time to explore this action-packed city. And since there's certainly no shortage of warm-weather adventures for kids of all ages, we partnered with the Big Apple pros over at NYCgo to share some of the top can't-be-missed 'hoods worthy of a visit while the sun's out this season.

From sharks to new parks, make it a summer of adventure with these hot, family-friendly neighborhoods across all five boroughs!

Splash & Swim at These Water Parks In and Near Houston

As we all painfully know, summer in Texas is HOT. Playing in the water isn't only a fun activity for the kids, it's almost a necessity. When it comes to water fun, nothing is more exciting for kids than visiting a water park! There are several water parks around the Bayou City that will make for an easy day trip and even more that are about a three-four hour drive away perfect for an overnight getaway. If you are looking for something closer and quicker, then check out our list of the many great splash pads at local parks. There are also many free pools throughout the city where kids and parents can keep cool.

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