Why You Might Enjoy a Disney Cruise to Europe As Much As Your Kids

When my husband suggested a Disney cruise as a way to introduce our kids to Europe, I was doubtful. Our girls had yet to take a plane ride, and we were going to tackle the great cities of Rome, Barcelona, Cannes, Genoa, and others with them? Couldn't we just hit a theme park instead? Ultimately, though, I gave in, even as I imagined dragging a reluctant kindergartener through scenic city streets as she begged to watch "DuckTales" instead. 

Slip, Slide, and Splash at Strawberry Water Park in Pasadena

For us, summer is all about seeing how many water activities we can pack in to a three month span. Neighborhood pools and splash pads are always on our to-do list! We also love a good water park trip during the hot summer months, but sometimes the crowds, long lines for rides, and admission costs make trips to Schlitterbahn or Splashtown something that we tend to only do once or twice per year. Luckily, we recently discovered a hidden gem in Pasadena where we can squeeze in some waterslide fun for a fraction of the cost of a day trip to a bigger water park. We can get our slide and lazy river fix in and our littlest guys even have their very own space to splash and play on a kids structure. We've discovered that this park has so much to offer, and is a great way for families to play together and beat the Texas heat.

The Last Bookstore Is LA's Reading Playground for Kids Who Love Books

Getting kids excited about reading is one of the most important things a parent can do—so it's worth thinking outside the box. When kids start to grow tired of the pastel children’s section, take them downtown to The Last Bookstore, LA's unusual book playground. It is undeniably cool and, best of all, it makes reading seem edgy and funky, rather than something a bunch of lame adults try to trick them into doing. 

50 Fun Things to Do to Cool Off in NYC This Summer with Kids

As summer weather begins to sizzle, there's no denying that the heat and humidity can get under the skin of even the most tropical-weather-loving New Yorker. To beat the heat, my kids (and my inner child) insist any outing includes water, industrial strength air-conditioning, or sweet frozen treats.

While we enjoy hitting our local public pool and running around the sprinklers (oh yes, I get in there, too), lately we've been longing for more diverse destinations. That inspired us to round up our favorite ways to cool off in New York City.

Our list includes a variety of destinations; some are brand-new, while others are old standbys. The list includes outdoor spots like extra-special water playgrounds, awesome pools, and splashy boat rides, and indoor havens such as kid-friendly museums. Many of our suggestions are FREE and we even included exceptional frozen-treat spots, so you can indulge in ice cream and more. So strike while the weather's hot: Here are our top 50 ways to cool off with kids in NYC this summer.

Best Shaded Playgrounds To Keep NJ Kids Cool

During cold winter days, I fantasize about picnics and lazy afternoons at the pool. But once summer temperatures soar into the 90s, a teeny part of me is starting to look forward to that first crisp fall breeze. Sigh. Instead of schlepping to the air-conditioned mall again, how about a shaded playground outing where the kids can burn some energy (and not their skin!), and the adults can relax on a bench without breaking a sweat?

Read on to get the scoop on where NJ kids and parents can go to beat the heat. And find more awesome places to play in our Guide to Playgrounds and Parks in NJ

8 Laser Tag Places for Kids on Long Island

Tag, you're it. 

The old-school game of tag has evolved to include lasers. You now can tell the kids to take the sibling rivalry into the arena. This competition-style game engages players both physically and mentally as they strategically attempt to tag the opposing team while not getting tagged themselves. But think fast … or tag, you're OUT.

There are some great spots to play laser tag in Nassau and Suffolk counties, so get ready to think on your feet and have some fun. And when the sun is shining, we've even included a spot where you can play outdoor laser tag. Many of these facilities offer other attractions such as go-karts, mini-golfarcades, bowling, rides, and more to get the whole family playing together.

For more ways to have fun indoors, check out our guide to indoor play spaces. There's always something great to do for families on Long Island and we've got the info you need at our events calendar.

7 Destination Swimming Pools with Slides or Special Features for Boston Families

We all could use a dip in the pool during Boston's humid summertime. If you're looking for a little more than the basics you'll find at Boston's free or nearly free pools, you might want to consider paying for a day pass or a seasonal membership at one of the splashier aquatic centers around town or the 'burbs. Here are seven gloriously refreshing options, many with slides and spray features that will keep kids entertained all day. On a scorcher of a long day, the fees—and a bit of a drive, in some cases—will feel well worth it.

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