What's New for 2019 at Luna Park, Six Flags, Sesame Place, Hershey, and Theme Parks Near NYC

Spring may have just begun, but a summer of fun is right around the corner, and NYC's favorite nearby theme parks are starting the 2019 season with thrilling new rides, stunning expansions, and stellar upgrades. Luna Park at Coney Island opens this weekend on Saturday, April 6 with new attractions, and New York State's biggest indoor water park at brand-new Catskills resort The Kartrite is set to open on Friday, April 19.

Keep this post close when planning your next theme park destination getaway. Whether you're planning a day trip or an extended stay, these theme parks are all under 2 hours from NYC. Read on for a sneak peek at what's new and exciting this year at amusement parks close to NYC, from Coney to Hershey.

15 Family Road Trips Under 10 Hours Away

Taking a vacation with kids can be tricky, especially when it comes to traveling. Flying can be stressful and expensive, and if you're anything like me, it may be your least favorite mode of transportation even without kids. Sometimes, half the fun and adventure of the vacation can be getting there! Road trips can be a great way to bond with your family, so we've rounded up a few awesome places that are less than a 10 hour drive from Philly. As an added bonus, you can travel to a few of these places by train, too!

Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms as a Family in NYC

There are few more delightful ways to celebrate the arrival of spring than by viewing the beautiful cherry blossoms flowering all over New York City. In Japan, cherry blossom-viewing is taken to almost religious heights. Blooming flowers are carefully watched, enjoyed, and celebrated. Traditional Sakura Hanami parties feature eating, drinking, and music.

Everyone seems to know about the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, but there are other places to enjoy these gorgeous blossoms without the crowds this April and even deeper into the spring season. Here are the best places to see cherry blossoms in New York City this spring.

Target's Car Seat Trade-in Returns: Get the 2019 Details

Is it time to toss or upgrade your child's car seat? Beginning on April 22, Target will recycle your expired, damaged, or just yucky goldfish-crusted and stained one and help you to save on a new model through its popular car seat trade-in event. As if we needed another excuse to go to Target, right? 

Whether you're expecting a new baby, or simply sizing up, read on for all the details on this year's trade-in program.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Children's Earth Day, Renaissance Faire, and the Lucky Band

Is that a spring in your step or just the imminent approach of Spring Break? For some lucky Angelenos, Spring Break is as early as next week. For others, the Bunny has a few more days to work his magic.

Either way, there is plenty of springtime revelry to be had. There are trucks for touchingadventures for having, root beer for plundering, science for stemming, words for whomping, and ships to be assembled brick by brick.

Big tickets this weekend: a free, sensory friendly concert from Mommy Poppins faves the Lucky Band, a visit with everyone's favorite Steam Engine, and the most pleasurable faire this side of the Renaissance.

Saturday also represents your chance to get tickets for June's hottest event, Ticket to Explore JPL . Tickets are free but in short supply, so the usual rules apply: wait til I've secured my tickets before trying for yours. Not quite as hard to get your hands on, but worth the effort just the same, tickets for the panel sessions at the LA Times Festival of Books become available starting Sunday.

So what are you waiting for...spring to it!

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Bayou Greenway Day, Railfest, April 6-7

Welcome to April! Bring on the Easter egg hunts (and Easter Bunny photo ops), beautiful spring weather, and outdoor activities galore. Now is the perfect time to start checking out parks around Houston, and boy do we have some good ones for you. Current favorites around town include: Donovan Park in the Heights, Spring Creek Park in Tomball, Juan Seguin Historic Park at the San Jacinto Monument, and Challenger Seven Memorial Park in Webster. Also worth checking out are all the amazing parks on our Accessible Playgrounds list, which highlights parks where children with and without disabilities can play together. 

Longer days also mean dining outdoors, and we have some fabulous restaurants queued up for you that are both tasty and offer plenty of playspace for the kiddos. Win-win! 

Looking for even more fun activities? Look no further than these handy articles:

And, as always, our event calendar is packed with daily activities for you and the kids. Now let's take a look at the upcoming weekend!

Weekend Fun: Egg Hunts, Baby Animals, and a Car Race; April 6-7

Baseball is back! With the return of the Boys of Summer, it's time to put away the snowblower and tune up the lawnmower. But not this weekend: This weekend looks perfect for outdoor family activities. For starters, there are annual egg hunts galore, including ones in New Canaan, Monroe, and Redding.  Or, get ready for fishing season with a family fishing class in Litchfield. For kids who prefer to stay indoors, check out the annual Essex Library book sale or, for higher-octane fun, head to Thompson Motor Speedway's opening weekend for numerous family-friendly events.

Weekend Fun: Parties, Nanoscience, and a Circus; April 6-7

Bye, bye winter blues. Baseball bats are swinging, birds are singing, and campgrounds are beginning to accept reservations. April has certainly brought a burst of sunshine, so take advantage of the mild weekend forecast and celebrate opening day at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. If you're more interested in growing ideas than flowers, attend the Brain Building Literacy Fair or check out the new CuriousCity Pop-Up Children's Museum in Peabody. You're also likely to find something for everyone in the family on our list of 15 Free and Fun Things to Do in April (hey, taxes are due). 

Weekend Fun: Tartans, Folk Fest, Apple Blossoms, Egg Hunts...and Eels!

Brooklyn is family fun HQ for NYC families this weekend: Not only is it Luna Park Opening Day (expanding this year to include a rope course and zip lines), but the Brooklyn Folk Festival brings bands, sing-alongs, a banjo toss, and more. Dance to the music of David Bowie at the Rock and Roll Playhouse for FREE on Saturday, and Smorgasburg is back in Prospect Park come Sunday.

In the mood for some bagpipe music and men in kilts? Excellent: It's Tartan Week, with the return of the Fifth Avenue Tartan Day Parade Saturday and a concert of music from the highlands Sunday. Pro tip: Get to Bryant Park before Saturday's parade for a Pipes and Drums performance. 

In Queens, kids can enjoy the Apple Blossom Children's Carnival at the Queens County Farm Museum or the hands-on fun that is the Bionic Me exhibit at the New York Hall of Science. You can go full herbal at the Botanical Garden on Saturday, too.

Don't forget to apply for FREE summer STEM camps (Friday is the deadline), or to get your tickets for one or two of the lovely children's shows playing this spring, including The World Inside Me, which closes after this weekend. And did we mention that it's Eel Weekend in the Bronx? And that Staten Island is hosting a massive Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday? Consider yourself notified.

We're endlessly adding to our Event Calendar, so don't forget to check it before heading out. Plus, please peruse the April Go ListApril Spring Festivals, and FREE things to do this month to prep for the amazing month ahead in NYC! And don't miss our invaluable guide to all the Easter Egg Hunts around town.

Weekend Events: All Kids Fair, Easter Eggstravaganzas, Fishing Fest

Get hooked on fun at a family-oriented fishing festival at Belmont Lake State Park on Saturday. Watch engines roar at the TMB Model Train Club's open house. Or step back in time and make your way from Old Mastic House to Moriches Bay following roads well used by the Floyd family from the mid-1700s to the 1970s.

Getting ready for Easter? Hop over to peruse our list of Easter Bunny breakfasts and brunches and egg hunts for holiday events across Long Island. Or start planning for upcoming spring festivals.

See our April GoList and events calendar for more weekend inspiration. Our Spring Fun Guide will keep you tuned in all season. With spring break looming, maybe it's time to consider a local camp destination


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