Indoor Obstacle Courses, Ninja Warrior Training, and Aerial Arts for NJ Kids

Got kids who are obsessed with American Ninja Warrior and want the thrill of climbing warped walls? Or junior acrobats hoping to twirl in the air like circus performers in The Greatest Showman? Well, they're in luck, because New Jersey is home to many indoor ninja-style obstacle courses and gyms with aerial arts training where your little acrobats and ninjas can practice the stunts and tricks they have seen on TV and under the big top.

These indoor adventures will get your kids climbing, vaulting, swinging, and balancing. From ropes courses and rock walls to trapeze swings and even plate-spinning, these New Jersey facilities will keep your adventure-seekers moving right through the winter. Many offer birthday party packages and group rates too. 

Find more active spots for NJ kids in our Kids' Sports Centers Guide and Indoor Play Spaces Guide

Nature Centers Sure to Delight Long Island Kids

Long Island has an abundance of natural parklands and beautiful waterways to explore. We are spoiled by the many beaches to enjoy in the summer and hiking trails bursting with fall colors. These experiences are enhanced by museums and nature centers that help us learn and appreciate what we have here. Many of these destinations offer indoor and outdoor nature-based activities for children and caregivers.

When it's time to unplug and spend some quality time together, there's nothing like taking in some fresh air and connecting with nature and each other. So we've compiled this directory of nature centers with all the information you'll need for a fun family outing celebrating the great outdoors in Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End

Looking for more ways to experience nature? Take a look at our list of family-friendly hiking trails and great bike trails for Long Island families. If you have a budding naturalist, check out the different ways Long Island kids can have fun and learn in outdoor classrooms

Halloween's Best Ghost Trains and Spooky Rides for LA Kids

So you've already been to the pumpkin patches, and you're ready to take Halloween to the next level; you're ready, in fact, to put it in motion. Well, we know several deadly ways to take this haunt on the road before it's time to trick-or-treat, with everything from an old-fashioned train ride through fields of pumpkins, to a spooky tour through the bowels of a haunted ship, or even a scream-filled hayride through fields of zombies. Whatever Halloween means to your family, you can make it a ride at one (or more) of these vehicular annual haunts. After all, the family that hunts down armies of zombies together stays together.

Mind-Bending Museum of Illusions Opens in Chelsea

New York City doesn't lack for fabulous museums or Instagrammable-popups but put them together and you'll come close to the brand new Museum of Illusions, opening today in Chelsea.

Equal parts trippy, mind-bending fun house and educational wonderland, the museum is home to more than 70 exhibits that will trick your senses, force you to question your perceptions and look at the whole space from a different perspective. Modeled after the original location in Zagreb, Croatia, the New York location is the first installation of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Museum Day, Sing-a-long Sound of Music, and Tiny Tot Olympics

Fall, fall, fall, harvestHalloween, fall. You can't hide from it now because here it is. The sun is doing that thing it does when it flies south for the winter and, assuming we don't see our shadow, we're looking at 6 more weeks of autumn. (Note to kids: don't learn your science from sleep-deprived mommies. Stay in school!)

And you know us, we're all about school ... as in old school! Union Station offers a crash course in the classics, such as Pac Man, Donkey Kong, and Street Fighter. You can learn the notes to sing at the Hollywood Bowl or listen to the high notes on Santa Monica Pier. Venues all around town screen golden oldies from the 60s, 80s, and 00s.

Out with the old, you say? We've got some new ideas and some big surprises. (LOL). But the things we love most are best described as timeless. Some things never go out of style, like keeping our kids safe and valuing peace.

Keep reading for our most timeless picks for the weekend...

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Mid-Autumn Fest, Kidz Bop, Sept. 22-23

Our Fall Fun and Harvest Guide is here, and it's packed with everything all of the best fall activities and events happening throughout the season. In it you'll find fall festivals, pumpkin patches, hayrides, corn mazes and everything else you need to ensure your fall is jam-packed with the best seasonal activities; you definitely want to check it out! 

This upcoming weekend is also full of festival fun, with celebrations ranging from cultural favorites like Mid-Autumn Fest at the Children's Museum and the Houston Armenian Festival to transporation-themed events like Bomber Field's B-17 & Big Bird Air Show and Fall Fun Fest at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum and everything in between. 

Speaking of awesome events, have you stopped by our event calendar or our September GoList yet? Our event calendar is being updated daily and both resources feature some of the best events and activities Houston has to offer. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter to have everything we publish delivered right to you so you never miss any new content we roll out. 

For anyone planning an event: we would love for you to submit your event to our event calendar if it's not already on there so we can share it with all of our awesome readers. Just fill out the form and we'll take it from there. 

Now let's see what's on tap for the upcoming weekend. 

Weekend Fun: Fluff, Art Shows, and River Celebrations, Sept 22-23

Just when you were starting to think that fall festivals in Boston were all about hayrides and pumpkins, along comes a weekend like this—with events celebrating marshmallow fluff, an amazing community service organization, diversity, and even begonias. Art aficionados should definitely head to JP for the biggest art fest of the year and nature lovers should swing by Salem for this awesome weekend of walks, hikes, and sailing

Weekend Fun: Free Museums, Maker Faire, Autumn Moon, Atlantic Antic

This Saturday, the annual Smithsonian Museum Day means FREE ticketed admission to participating museums around NYC, including the Fire Museum, the Folk Art Museum and more. Be sure to download tickets in advance. Hint: The Intrepid Museum is participating, so you can attend the amazing Space and Science Festival for FREE!

Two more beloved annual favorites coming to NYC this weekend: World Maker Faire takes over the New York Hall of Science, and a mile-long stretch of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn turns into a party for the Atlantic Antic on Sunday. For science-loving kids, the Submerge Marine Science Fest at Hudson River Park promises plenty of free, hands-on projects and activities.

Looking for an old-fashioned fall festival now that the calendar says it's officially autumn? Take your pick: This weekend the historic Wyckoff House hosts the Breukelen County Fair, the Queens County Farm Museum kicks off its annual corn maze with the Queens County Fair, and rides, bounce houses, and face painting also liven up the Brownstone School Fall Fun Fair on the Upper West. Plus, there are free music performances all weekend at the Brooklyn Americana Music Festival.

And don't forget the Autumn Moon Festival and Parade, which weaves through Chinatown on Saturday. In fact, there are Autumn Moon celebrations all across the city, including the Mid-Autumn Moon Family Fest at the Museum of Chinese in America, Snug Harbor's celebration in the Chinese Scholar's Garden, and Japan's version of the holiday on Sunday! Brooklynites can march in Sunday's Autumn Moon Lantern Parade, and get swept up in cultural performances, arts and crafts, and more.

Check the calendar for more (including the adorable FREE ABT workshop for kids), and snag an inside peek at where to find pumpkin patches and hay rides right here in NYC.

Pumpkins, Balloons, and Butterflies: Fall Fun for Connecticut Kids, September 22-23

This week the calendar says we are officially entering autumn (although the humidity says otherwise). That means we can start looking forward to making scarecrows and searching for the perfect pumpkin in the crisp fall air. This week the first leaves should start changing colors, the beginning of what, thanks to the late season rain, should be a bold and bright foliage season. To start getting into the spirit of fall, head over to Seymour for the annual Pumpkin Festival, or go see local farmers compete to get their half-ton gourds on the scale at the Ridgefield Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Up north, you can enjoy bounce houses and baked goods at the annual St. Martha's Fall Festival. There also are plenty of non-seasonal activities this week, many of them involving flying things. Head on over to Newtown for a free program on the life cycle of monarch butterflies, to Uncasville for the Heart of America Balloon Festival, or to Simsbury Airport for the Fly-In and Car Show. And this isn't even counting the traditional county fair taking place in Guilford

These fall weekends are particularly action packed so make sure that you subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Instagram so that you won't miss any of the fun! As always, our event calendar is updated with the latest activities, and our top suggestions for fun this weekend are broken out below. Have fun!

Weekend Fun: Maritime Festivals, Fall Fairs, Touch-A-Truck

Sail into Greenport for the Maritime Festival this weekend. Enjoy classic wooden boats, kayak races, demonstrations of high-tech water sports, wood carving, model ship building, and more.

Or enjoy carnival rides, live music, craft vendors, children's shows including the National Circus Project, a petting zoo, pony rides, and more at Lido Beach Town Park's Festival by the Sea. There are also fairs to be celebrated in Bellmore, Mineola, Sands Point, and Seaford this weekend.

Children have a hands-on opportunity to see, touch, and explore heavy machinery and meet the people who build, protect, and serve the community at the Hampton Bays Firehouse FREE  Touch-A-Truck event.

See our Fall Family Fun Guide and our September GoList for the best in seasonal entertainment, including day trip ideas, fall festivals, corn mazes. and plenty of FREE events and activities. As always, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.


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