8 Fun Day Trips From New York City Without a Car

Although New York City is home to wonderful museums and cultural centers, destination day trips are a fun and easy way to give kids a change of scenery, while giving the whole fam the chance to explore nearby cities and towns. Maybe you have a touch of cabin fever, or just want to explore someplace new—either way, we've rounded up close-enough-to-home adventures for a quick trip out of the city. And the best part is, you don't even need a car! All of our picks are accessible by public transit, so no need to wrestle with traffic jams—just enjoy the commute with the kids and make getting there part of the adventure.

Must-See Cherry Blossoms in New Jersey's Branch Brook Park

You don't have to travel to Washington, D.C., to see a stunning display of cherry blossoms this spring. You can enjoy the lush pink blooms right here in New Jersey this month at the 2019 Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival, held in Newark's Branch Brook Park from Saturday, April 6 – Sunday, April 14.

The event features two festivals-within-the-festival—Essex County Family Day and Bloomfest!—both of which offer plenty of family fun, including performances, bounce houses, a nearby playground, live music, and Japanese cultural demonstrations. It all takes place under the fragrant canopy of the sprawling park's 5,000 cherry blossom trees—the largest collection in the country. 

Read on for an overview of Branch Brook Park and the festival, along with tips for visiting with kids.

Pip's Island Interactive Theater Experience Makes Kids the Stars

There's no shortage of great theater here in New York, but there are very few shows where children actually get to play an interactive role in the story. Enter Pip's Island, a production in which young audience members become characters—no, stars—themselves, engaging with the actors in a roving, room-to-room adventure.

After a successful trial run in 2016, the show has re-opened in a custom-built space giving Pip, his friends Finn and Pebble, and countless kids a whole new immersive environment where they can play out their adventure as they attempt to save Pip's Island from the villainous Joules Volter.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Swallows, Peacocks, Marathon, and Airport Art

Parenting—it's a marathon. And a sprint. And a scrimmage. And a mad, chaotic free-for-all. Then again, sometimes a marathon is just a 26-mile excuse for Momma to get out of the house.

Remember last week when everyone was all "butterflies! butterflies everywhere!"? Not to be outdone, the swallows are making a show of their return from winter break and are getting a parade in welcome. With a 6000-mile flight from South America, I think they earned it! The peacocks are also getting a day in their honor, but they're not going anywhere—just standing around looking pretty.

Other creatures being celebrated this weekend include whales, faeries, Stooges, and vegans, not to mention artists, makers, and dream catcher makers. Bonus: these winning choices won't leave you gasping for breath with blisters on your blisters.

On your mark, get set, keep reading for our raciest picks for this weekend!

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Heights Kids' Day of Music, Cigna Sunday Streets, March 23-24

The sun is shining, the temperatures are fair, the clocks have sprung forward, and spring is in the air! We have so many things we can't wait to do this spring, and sharing them with YOU is top on our list. This weekend in particular has some pretty cool events on tap, like the annual Hermann Park Kite Festival, Earth Day GreenUp and Cigna Sunday Streets.

Craving a little culture? We recommend checking out Houston HOLI: Festival of Colors and the Houston Lebanese Festival... and since both are conveniently happening Sugar Land you can hop from one event to the next.

In the mood for something tasty? Then you'll definitely want to head to Katy Taste Fest or The Woodlands CrawPhish Festival. Both are sure to satisfy your tastebuds!

Not to mention, now is also the time to start planning your bluebonnet pictures; no spring is complete without snapping a few! And be sure to stop by our Free Things to Do in March list and our March GoList - the month may be drawing to a close, but there's still so much cool stuff happening!

Have a great event you want to share? We'd love to know about it! Jus add it to our event calendar and we'll get it listed for you in no time. 

Now let's check out what else is happening around Houston this weekend. 

Weekend Fun: Maple Fest, Crafts, and Comics; March 23-24

It's officially spring! The temperatures are warming up, and the waterfront, gardens, and hiking trails are starting to call our name. If you're excited to embrace the milder weather, check out a beloved maple festival in Blue Hills. Keep hands busy with a seasonal mushroom or birdhouse craft, or set imaginations soaring at this comic book heroes exhibit. Celebrate with some of our favorite spring activities around Boston, start mapping out family-friendly bike trails in the neighborhood, or make plans for the family's first outdoor dining splurge of the season.  

Weekend Fun: March Madness, Celtic Magic, and a Botanical Circus; March 23-34

It's the first weekend of Spring! And while this time of year can mean many things to many people, to a sports fan it's time for March Madness. Is your child a college basketball fan? UConn is hosting NCAA men's Division 1 basketball's first and second round action this weekend. Does your child's taste run more toward sticks and pucks? Head to Hamden for the Frozen Four NCAA Hockey Women's National Championship at Quinnipiac. If you're still digging winter, get some outdoor skating or winter hiking in. Finally, for some post-St. Pat's fun, why not take in some Celtic magic in Manchester?

Weekend Fun: Flower Show, Purim, Kids' Theater, Circus...and Desserts!

It's officially spring! While the weather might not have gotten the memo (yet), the Macy's Flower Show is blooming again with a space-inspired floral fantasy featuring marvelous celestial blooms, and kids can take a trip to outer space with Peppa Pig on opening day this Sunday.

This weekend dishes up plenty of great theater for kids too, including Colors at BAM, The Magic SchoolbusWhile You Were Out at LaMama Kids, and Underneath a Magical Moon, a re-imagining of Peter Pan (sign up for the interactive pre-show workshop). The New Shanghai Circus takes a bow in Queens on Saturday and Staten Island on Sunday. 

If you're looking for FREE fun (who isn't?), make balloon cars at Brooklyn's MakerSpace, catch a free concert and screening of Up in Queens, sing songs from around the world with Mr. Patrick at the Children's Library, take in lion dancing (and popcorn!) at Sunset Park's Lantern Cultural Fest, or check out Philosophy for Kids as part of the Tilt Festival at the Brooklyn Library.

Purim parties on at the Riverdale Temple and Rock and Roll Playhouse on Sunday, or make holiday masks all weekend at the Children's Museum of Manhattan. And for the cherry on top, confections rule at the Dessert Goals Festival, all weekend in Long Island City.

For more, more, more, peruse the March GoList, FREE things to do this month, and our ever-expanding calendar.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Adds Massive New Activity Pool

If you're looking for new ways to beat the heat this summer, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is offering a bigger, better, and much wetter place to cool down. The 45-acre water park in Jackson, NJ, welcomes Calypso Springs, a 100,000-gallon, beach-entry-style activity pool, where parents and kids of all ages can swim and play together. The new addition, Hurricane Harbor's largest expansion since 2000, will be open in time for summer 2019. 

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