Mission Inn Festival of Lights: The Holiday Lights that Lure People to Riverside

I've been hearing about the holiday lights at the Mission Inn in Riverside for as long as I've been writing about SoCal events, but it took me until this season to finally take the plunge into slightly-less-daunting-than-usual traffic to see the spectacle for myself. I had to know if the lights that USA Today calls the Best Holiday Lights Display in the Nation really are all that. More to the point, are they worth driving an hour or more, when we know there are some pretty impressive holiday lights a whole lot closer to home? I filled a minivan with the toughest audience I know (five 13-year-olds) and drove to Riverside on a Friday night to answer that question. Really.

15 Holidays to Celebrate in January

Welcome 2017. Welcome January. It’s time to kickstart the new year by celebrating 15 holidays sure to make your heart burst with happiness. We see you rolling your eyes: Didn’t the holiday season just end? No worries. These celebrations do not require ugly sweaters or schmoozing at obligatory gatherings, and spending extra money is optional.

The Best Snow Tubing Spots for New Jersey Families

When it comes to winter activities, snow tubing is one of our favorites. Of course, we love ice skating and all manner of frosty sports, but snow tubing is something the whole family can enjoy—regardless of skill. No experience is necessary, and you can tube alone or in groups. In fact, tubing is a lot like sledding, but a whole lot easier. You can barrel down the snowy slope at thrilling speeds without having to hike back up the hill. It’s done for you! Now that's the kind of winter sport we can get behind. 

A Day Trip to the Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven

The Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven houses one of the oldest natural history collections in the world and is one of the best family-friendly museums in Connecticut. Featuring three floors of exhibits, it makes for a wonderful and memorable day trip with children. In the colder months, you can spend plenty of hours indoors, learning about birds, gemstones, dinosaurs, and everything in between. On warmer days, walking around the city becomes a pleasure, as does taking a detour through Lighthouse Point Park, relaxing on the boardwalk or exploring the playground. Don't leave head home before sampling the delicious cuisine at one of the many restaurants in the neighborhood, and if time allows, check out It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course. There is no doubt that the New Haven area packs many opportunities for adventure, including free family activities, and below are reasons why the Peabody Museum should definitely be on your "Must See" list. 

Science and Nature Camps in Fairfield County

Summertime is all about endless exploration, discovery and play...until every rock in your backyard has been turned over 347 times.  So, in an effort to stimulate your kid's mind and sense of scientific wonder, consider the myriad of science camps we've found in Fairfield County.  The course offerings are so wide (rocket building, forensic science, 3-D gaming, instrument making, salt water habitats by canoe, good old-fashioned mud), even the girliest girl who wouldn't DREAM of digging in the dirt can find her inner budding scientist (see the Discovery Museum's 'Spa Science')! For more ideas, check out our summer camp guide

Manhattan's Best Kid Play Spaces and Gyms

Finding a non-membership, drop-in play spot for your toddler or preschooler in your neighborhood is like gold to New York City parents—almost as good as scoring a deal on rent. Because when it gets too cold for the city's many playgrounds, and another playdate at home seems dull (or, let's be honest, stressful), taking your kid to a cool indoor kiddie gym or other play space, where everything seems new to them and someone else will do the cleaning up, is a relief to the whole family.

While outer boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn dominate the indoor play space market, Manhattan has some of the more creative kid spaces. Some of the 11 awesome spots we rounded up allow families to drop in while others ask that you make reservations, but none require any kind of long-term financial commitment. And if you've got a child under the age of 5 to entertain, you might also check out our roundup of a dozen indoor play spaces perfect for the pint-sized set.

Hit the Slopes! Places to Ski (and Snowboard) Near Philly

Winter is here! Which means it is finally officially ski season. With more than two dozen mountains and resorts boasting ski-worthy lanes in the state of Pennsylvania, there are certainly plenty of places to choose from. Whether you want to make it a weekend trip, or just quickly pop over for a day, many locations are less than a two-hour drive from Center City. Bonus, many of these resorts also have snowtubing options for those of us who may have tired muscles or prefer a more slippery slide down the slopes!

13 Kid-Friendly Barbecue Restaurants in Houston

Houston is not short of good, finger-licking barbecue. And because most barbecue restaurants are loud and casual, they make for great family outings! Loud music and loud patrons mean no one will hear my toddler yell in protest when his barbecue sauce drifts too close to his many pieces of white bread. Here are some of our favorite kid-friendly barbecue joints across the Bayou City.

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