Visiting the Met Cloisters with Kids: Best of NYC's Medieval Museum

One of my favorite memories from childhood was a visit to The Met Cloisters with my mother. Growing up on Long Island, any trip to the city was a special treat, and I still remember the neighborhood beauty of Washington Heights and Inwood. But it was the ascent into Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park that created a sense of lure and mystery. The Met Cloisters, which appeared to me like a castle in the sky, inspired a love of learning I would eventually share with my own children.

Decades later, I brought my own children to the Cloisters museum to experience the magic of its medieval chapels, sculptures, tapestries, gardens, and paintings—all of us dressed in Renaissance regalia to fully immerse ourselves in the experience! Here's what to know to make the most of your visit to The Met Cloisters, one of NYC's suggested admission museums where children 12 and under are always FREE.

An Urban Oasis: Exploring Mill River Park in Stamford

If you told me ten years ago that I would be walking through a serene landscape along the Mill River in Stamford, I would have laughed. But that’s exactly what my daughter and I found ourselves doing on this absolutely beautiful day. The landscape here has changed dramatically over the past decade - and I’m not just talking about the high-rise condos that have taken over Stamford. With the help of the Army Corps of Engineers and civic collaboration, Stamford now houses a “world-class park in the heart of downtown Stamford.”  

Outdoor Beer Gardens Where Kids Can Play While Parents Enjoy a Cold One

Sitting outside on a hot day with a cold brew screams "summer." But for parents with young kids, relaxing with a beer doesn't always come easy. However, the Philly area's rich beer culture can be enjoyed, even if it isn't a date night out. The following pop-up beer gardens are a lot of fun - yes, even with the kids in tow. More of a wine drinker? Then check out these family-friendly wineries in the Delaware Valley. 

Muppets Take over the Skirball this Summer in the Jim Henson Exhibition

The Skirball Cultural Center is already a fantastic kids' destination, mostly because of the incomparable Noah’s Ark exhibit (add it to your list of great indoor places to take kids during the summer). Combine that awesomeness with this summer’s Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited (you know, Muppets?) and you have a must-go for Angeleno families. 

Best Amusement Parks Near NYC Reachable by Public Transportation

If you're feeling nostalgic for a summer adventure filled with cotton candy and Ferris wheel rides, it might be time for some family-friendly fun at a nearby theme park. There's no shortage of amusement parks and water parks for New York City-based thrill-seekers, but if you don't have a car, some parks can seem out of reach. Fear not, we’ve rounded up the best amusement parks that are easily accessible from NYC via public transportation. Remember the sunscreen—and forget the parking (and rental) headaches.

Find more summer fun in our Theme and Water Parks Guide.

The Long Awaited CTrail Hartford Train Line Opens This Weekend!

After several years of anticipation, the CTrail Hartford train line to Springfield opens Father's Day weekend. Spend a fun day on the train with your train enthusiast. You can hop on the train in New Haven and go all the way to Springfield with stops in Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, and Windsor Locks on the way. The Hartford Line will provide you with an opportunity to check out some of the coolest places at each stop including bakeries, museums, mini-golf, and more. In celebration of opening weekend, all rides are free! Check out our suggestions on what to do at each stop. Some locations that we recommend may need an uber to get to them. Many are within walking distance. 

Top Long Island Playgrounds for Toddlers

Toddlers seem to have endless energy and the power to play all day. They might want to do all that older kids can, but with wobbly legs and arms that can't quite reach, they require special playgrounds.

From Nassau to Suffolk counties and all the way to the East End, designers of Long Island's parks have been thoughtful in creating play spaces for our littlest residents. So as the weather gets warmer, why not take your toddlers to a spot designed with their needs in mind?

We have done the legwork and scouted out the top toddler playgrounds across Long Island. Be sure to check our full list of parks and playgrounds on Long Island, then get out there and enjoy these beautiful days.

Ocean City: Family-Friendly Summer Fun on the Jersey Shore

Summertime at the Jersey Shore means beach days and boardwalk rides, mini-golf and arcade games, topped off with fresh seafood dinners or pizza and ice cream. Shore towns from Sandy Hook to Cape May offer the best bets for family vacation fun, and Ocean City, a classic family beach destination at the southern shore, is one of our favorites.

Nicknamed America's Family Resort, Ocean City draws families from across New Jersey and Pennsylvania to enjoy its wide beaches, kid-centered boardwalk, and family events. Read on for details about visiting Ocean City with kids. And for more beach vacation ideas, check out our inside look at southern shore gems Wildwood and Cape May

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