Easy Day Hikes Near NYC for Families To Explore

Spring has arrived, and there are few things New Yorkers like better than a day outside with the family. Although NYC has incredible parks and playgrounds to explore, sometimes it's worth taking a day trip outside the city limits.

So pack a cooler and a picnic blanket and find your new favorite kid-friendly hiking destination among this list that takes you to the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and even some memorable parks within the five boroughs. Each of these hikes has something special to offer, and best of all, they are kid-tested and kid-approved! 

Best Children's Playgrounds on Long Island

An abundance of parks and playgrounds makes Long Island a wonderful place to raise a family. These destinations are, of course, great places for little ones to get valuable exercise and to have fun. They are also ideal places for parents to chat while their kids play. Feel free to get in on the action because kids love it when parents get silly and have fun, too.

We’ve scouted the best playgrounds across the Island—in Nassau and Suffolk, and on the East End—where you’ll find plenty of space for you and your little ones. For more playground inspiration, check our guide to day trips to Long Island's top parks and playgrounds, including our top playgrounds for toddlers.

It's worth noting, however, that some of these parks require county, town, or village residency. It's best to check access rules before heading out. State parks are, of course, open to all.  

25 Spring Day Trip Ideas for New Jersey Families

Spring sure was late to bloom this year, but now that the sun is finally shining, my kids want to spend every spare minute soaking it in. I'm all for keeping them outdoors, so we've rounded up 25 ideas for spring day trips in New Jersey. If your family is searching for local adventures to make the most of the mild weather, check out our top picks, from picnic spots and easy hikes to amusement parks and spring festivals.

Our Spring Fun Guide is loaded with even more family fun ideas, including 40 things we can't wait to do with kids this spring.

Hudson Valley Day Trip: 40 Things to Do with Kids in Beacon

At just about an hour from downtown White Plains, Beacon makes for a superb family-friendly New York day trip. This Dutchess County city features an artsy, bustling downtown—mostly centered along Main Street—that's home to lots of different shops and restaurants. There’s something for kids of a variety of ages to do, and it's also close to other exploration-worthy towns like Cold Spring

We’ve rounded up fun things to do when you visit whether you head up in the summer, winter, or sometime in between. Looking for even more day trip ideas? Check out our Summer Fun Guide or sign up for our newsletter to stay in-the-know.

Little Dreamers Kingdom Gives Toddlers a Bright Play Space in Queens

With more and more indoor play areas for kids opening in Queens, it can be hard for new spaces to stand out in the crowd. But Little Neck’s Little Dreamers Kingdom is doing just that by exclusively focusing on toddlers and preschoolers. With a smaller space and tot-sized playthings, caregivers can keep an eye on their little ones without hovering. It also offers a variety of fun toddler class offerings and birthday parties.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about the space, including hours and recommended ages.

You Can't Touch This: Babyproofing and Playroom Designers in Fairfield County

I remember receiving some electrical socket covers as a baby shower gift - the women around me were so excited, “You are going to need those” I heard several times. Then there was that time I texted a photo of my daughter rolling over and received a text from my mom stating something along the lines of “time to put up the baby gates”.   “I’ve got time”, I thought to myself. 

I realized I ran out of time when I shared some video of my daughter taking her first steps and the Internet responded with “now the fun starts!” Except, it wasn’t fun. All of a sudden my comfortable home became a deathtrap. I was sure that every edge of furniture would lead to my beautiful baby’s demise. Short of wrapping my baby girl in bubble tape, I knew it was time to call in the professionals. From fireplace guards to full blown playroom design, these local Fairfield County companies will ease your mind and provide a safe space for your child to develop and grow. 

Snow White at the Arden Children’s Theatre: A Review

Walk into the Arden Theatre, and step right into a unique version of the Enchanted Forest. The stage is set simply: A house, trees, a table, a stool, and a trunk of clothes, but what unfolds over the course of an hour is a bit of interesting, although at times chaotic, magic as this entire adaptation of the classic tale of Snow White is brought to life by just two actors.

The Best Annual Family Festivals for NYC Kids (Mostly Free)

There are certain New York City celebrations we love so much, my daughter and I go every year, like the interactive, art-filled Figment on Governors Island, the incredible (and educational) World Maker Faire New York, and Street Games, the Parks Department's tribute to old-school pastimes.

I know I'm not the only mom out there who likes to plan ahead, and since the festival season kicks into high gear this month, we figured it was a great time to round up our top annual festivals for families. Every single pick on our list is either an event my family or one of our writers has been to personally, or an annual favorite endorsed by our friends and readers. In other words, they're really worth your time and money—even better, in many cases they don't cost a penny.

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