10 Heart-Pumping, Thrill-Seeking Activities for NYC Kids

I've got three kids with three decidedly different personalities. Even though my youngest is just a toddler, it's clear she's a daredevil at heart, never content to sit still for long and always looking for a challenge sure to scare me. She's already got me thinking of activities to thrill her spirit—safely of course. If you've got a like-minded child who refuses to keep her feet on the ground and operates at hyper-speed, New York City is filled with activities to satisfy young thrill seekers, from rock climbing to surfing to trapeze and more. Read on for 10 activities that will get kids' hearts (and yours!) pumping.

50+ Free Things to Do With Kids in Chicago This Summer

Given the high cost of raising kids these days, you might be surprised at just how much family-friendly summer fun in Chicago is totally FREE. Of course, the city's playgrounds and splash pads are always free, and there are free days at most museums and even a few restaurants. But in summertime, the no-cost fun ramps up all over Chicagoland. 

As you can see from the bursting-at-the-seams list below, there's literally something free and fun to do every single day of the summer—so there's no excuse for anybody to be bored. Outdoor movies, summer festivals and street fairs, concerts and performances, public art, cultural celebrations, picnics, and of course, fireworks await, and you can leave your wallet at home. (In theory, at least. There's always ice cream to buy.)

Looking for more? Our list of 100 Things to Do With Chicago Kids Before They Grow Up might do the trick, and of course you can always find more daily activities in our Chicago Event Calendar.

Nature Programs for NYC Toddlers and Preschoolers

When your city kid has exhausted every museumshow, and playground option in town, it’s nice to be able to get a dose of nature thanks to NYC’s array of zoos, gardens, and parks. And for nature-loving, dirt-loving, mud-loving, bug-loving city kids, the good news is there's no shortage of programming for toddlers and preschoolers in each borough. 

We've rounded up our top places in New York City where your toddler or preschooler can marvel at, learn about, and connect with nature. See our guides for even more camps and classes aimed at toddlers and preschoolers.

July 4th 2019 Fireworks on the National Mall: The Best Spots to Watch Them in DC

Nothing says "Independence Day" like watching the fireworks light up the sky above the iconic memorials and monuments of the nation's capitol. It's a sight many families are excited to check off of their summer bucket lists, and it's easy to see why. But that also means the viewing spots can get pretty crowded, and no one wants to get stuck in traffic, watching the show from their car windows either. So if you want to check out DC's Fourth of July fireworks but don't want the crowds to put a damper on your family's evening of fun, read on for the lowdown on the best places to view this spectacular summer fireworks show.

Free Summer Outdoor Movies for New Jersey Families

See your favorite movies under the stars this summer, when Jersey Shore beaches and parks throughout the state host free outdoor movies on supersized screens. Bring along a blanket or beach chair (and maybe a little bug spray), and enjoy all those big-screen family hits you may have missed during the school year—or check our some of your family's favorite flicks for a second or third time, minus the ticket fee. Some venues offer food vendors, and some provide pre-show fun.

We've also included some free, and nearly-free, indoor options for those days you feel like chilling in the AC.

Find more free fun year-round in our guide to Free Fun Things To Do with NJ Kids, and round out your summer plans with our Summer Fun Guide.

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24 Summer Camp Snacks for Kids That Aren't Boring

Packing for summer camp means gathering up the towels, swimsuits, water bottles—labeling everything!—and finally, ensuring your kid has a healthy snack to power them through an action-packed day.

After a year of making school lunches for kids, it might feel overwhelming to come up with creative summer camp snacks, especially if you have a picky eater who turns up their nose at the likes of a cheese stick or tube of yogurt. So we came up with two dozen camp snack foods to woo both kids and parents with cooling, energizing, and (mostly) healthy snacks.

We separated the list into four handy sections: high-protein snacks, fruit snacks, no-refrigeration required, and allergy-aware and nut-free snacks for kids. Some might be more suited to a post-camp nosh but most can be packed up and sent out the door to summer camp with your kid.

Look Up, Kids! Giant, Mirrored Hot Air Balloon Coming to Massachusetts

Come mid-July, you're going to want to keep your eyes on the sky around Boston, because you just might spot a giant, mirror-surfaced hot air balloon floating above reflecting the landscape below. Created by artist Doug Aitken and presented by the Trustees of Reservations, this 100-foot flying balloon sculpture titled New Horizon will be soaring above Massachusetts from July 12th through the 28th, 2019. Traveling from Martha's Vineyard to the Berkshires, this reflective piece of art will touch down for special events along the way. Boston, and Massachusetts as a whole, are well known for showcasing kid-friendly art, so it's no surprise that this exhibit will be no exception, featuring family-friendly dates that even the youngest of art critics can participate in. 

Where to Take Fitness Classes With Your Big Kids in NYC

Baby and me exercise classes for everything from swimming to yoga are practically a rite of passage for NYC families. And as your baby grows up, there are tons of popular drop-off and drop-in classes for busy toddlers and preschoolers—introducing little kids to dance, gymnastics, and beyond. But what about when your kids age out of baby-and-me classes and play gyms?

The good news is, there are lots of fitness classes you can take with your older kids in NYC. And what better way to bond with your child than to take a class together, and get healthier at the same time? It's a win-win. Check out these destinations that allow you to get active and let your kid tow along for the fun and exercise.

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