Splash and Play at Noah's Ark Pool

The Noah's Ark Pool in the Quillian Center (a facility operated by First Methodist Houston) is the perfect combination of a pool and splash pad with shallow water for toddlers to easily stand in, as well as several slides and many water features. You see, my son loves the water. He will let waves crash over him with reckless abandon at the beach, he lives for days spent in the backyard at his water table and he's out the door and running to the splash pad before the car is even fully in park. What he does not love, however, is swimming in pools where he can't touch the bottom.  All of this means we spend a lot of time at splash pads, because he's able to experience a healthy dose of water play without worrying about if he can touch the bottom or not, and it's why we love going to Noah's Ark.

Pick Your Own Blueberries Near Philadelphia

When I was little, Blueberries for Sal was one of my all-time favorite stories. I still love reading it to my kids today, and it is certainly the inspiration behind that seasonal excitement I get when it is time to gather my own bucket and "kuplink kaplank kaplunk" berries for canning, for topping pancakes and pies, and for making delicious blueberry jam. Here in Philadelphia, we have access to a lot of wonderful pick-your-own farms. Here is a roundup of some of the best for blueberry season! Or, if you want to make a day trip out of it, check out some of the farms in nearby New Jersey, where the blueberry is the state fruit!

Day Trip Guide: Top 10 Things to Do at Bear Mountain State Park

Now that school's almost out and schedules are a little looser, it's a great time to explore with the kids. There’s no shortage of day trips to take in the Hudson Valley, and we know it's hard narrowing down a spot that keeps every family member happy. Nestled against the Hudson River and featuring something for kids of all ages, Bear Mountain State Park in Rockland County is one place our family has returned to each year.

With hiking, paddleboat rentals, a large playground, ample room for picnicking and even a zoo, the park has plenty of options to fill an entire day. Our summer readers will be especially happy to learn the swimming pool opens for the 2017 season on Saturday, June 17. We recently visited the park and have what you need to know about this year-round destination, including our top 10 favorite things to do.

Looking for more things to do in and around the Hudson Valley? Consult our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

Best of Asbury Park Beach and Boardwalk for Kids and Families

Asbury Park’s current and continuing turnaround amazes anyone who remembers this New Jersey beach town’s disrepair in the late 1980s. A stroll on today’s Asbury Park beach and boardwalk reveals families, attractions, clean beaches, artwork, great food, and a free, city-supported playground—on the sand—halfway between Convention Hall and the old casino to the south. Asbury Park’s shoreline now counts as one of the highlights of Monmouth County, and the Jersey Shore.

Read on for our top tips for visiting this Jersey beach with the kids, and if you're looking to rack up warm-weather memories, wander over to our Jersey Shore Guide for more beach and boardwalk fun.

10 Great Picnic Spots for Families in Northern New Jersey

Summer picnics are simple pleasures that kids of all ages can enjoy, so grab a blanket and your favorite goodies and head out to one of North Jersey's best spots for family gatherings. From majestic views and wooded trails to tranquil lakes and shady playgrounds, these parkland treasures are worth a visit. Whether you are celebrating a summer birthday, planning a family reunion, or heading out for an afternoon of summer fun, New Jersey's parks will not disappoint. For even more warm-weather activities, check out our summer fun guide, and top picks for family campgrounds.  

Long Beach with Kids: Beach, Restaurants, Play Spaces to Explore

Long Beach is a seaside gem. One of only two cities in Nassau County—Glen Cove is the other—it has a laid-back ocean vibe generally reserved for vacation towns.

Nicknamed the "City by the Sea," this bustling Long Island enclave offers beachgoers relaxation and fun. Teens can learn to ride the waves at one of the local surf schools; families can rent bikes to cruise the boardwalk; and kids of all ages can enjoy the sparkling ocean and sand. When you arrive you’ll spy kids and parents headed to the beach loaded with buckets and shovels, and see the excited faces of visitors thrilled by the promise of a sun-filled day.

Long Beach is one of many great Long Island beaches and day trips. There are plenty of other options for family fun, including day trips to Cold Spring Harbor, Stony Brook and Port Jefferson. If you fancy a trip farther east, be sure to check out our guide to the Hamptons and North Fork.

Enjoy.

Whale Watching Boats for NYC Kids: See Dolphins and Whales

Most New Yorkers were entranced back in 2014 when the unexpected happened—a humpback whale surfaced in New York Harbor and not only survived, he (or she) toured the city for days. My office was all abuzz, and my daughter and I tracked the whale on social media. (Who says New Yorkers hate tourists?)

When I moved to New York 20 years ago, I'd never have dreamed that we'd have healthy marine life frolicking in our waters, but apparently, whales started appearing in 2010. The numbers have increased exponentially every year since, which is great news for urban kids who want to see a whale outside of the American Museum of Natural History.

We've rounded up four local whale watching cruises, all about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from NYC. (One is even in Queens!). And if you want to make a vacation out of it, we've got the scoop on the best place for a whale-watching weekend getaway on the East Coast. 

Father's Day Weekend for LA Kids: Pasadena Chalk, Bowl Opening, Rodeo Drive

Settle down, padre; we get it. It’s Father's Day. This weekend it’s all about you. Dad’s choice from sunup to sundown: make way for baseball (with fireworks and a movie if you want), BBQ and buffetsanimated racers, and ET. Or, if you prefer, Daniel Tiger and Liza Minnelli . As long as you’re happy, we’re happy. Yep, whatever it takes, no expense spared...

Psst: Moms and kids! Did you know there's a ton of cool stuff going on this weekend that you can take Dad to for freeLuxury cars on Rodeo Driveno-cost concertsclassic movies by moonlightfestivals, and celebrations. You can even make him a variety of from-the-heart gifts. All without dipping into the trust fund. There are also things you can do that cost money, if you're into that. (And we have a feeling some of it Dad will be very into!)

Whichever way you go, it's sure to be the bestest weekend ever, if you get to spend it together. Hey, look! Next week it's summer!

Keep reading for the father of all weekends...

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