Storytimes for NYC Kids: Read Your Way Around Manhattan

Storytimes are a great free—or super low-cost—kid activity that can often provide the incentive families need to get out of the house on those rainy, cold, or snowy days when cabin fever is likely to set in. Hosted throughout NYC at libraries, bookstores, museums, and other fun places, most of these baby and kid reading sessions don't require reservations, making it easy to just drop in. Plus, many of these storytimes incorporate arts and craft projects and, considering the venues that host them, a story hour can easily turn into a full morning or afternoon of fun.

Read on for our most up-to-date list of storytimes for fall and winter 2017 in Manhattan. Also, be sure to peruse our post on NYC's best independent bookstores for kids for more reading inspiration, and if you're in the outer boroughs, we've also written about storytimes in Brooklyn and in Queens.

Best Pumpkin Patches for LA, Ventura, & Orange County Kids

The time has come to surrender to the Great Pumpkin. Mind you, the big guy is spoiled for choice around the Southland in Halloween season. We won't presume to call one pumpkin patch more sincere than the others, but LA’s pumpkin patches (and pseudo pumpkin patches) run a satisfying gamut from small to large, folksy to commercial. Whether you're hoping for a hit-and-run Halloween photo or a day's outing in autumnal reverie, your destination is below...

All Aboard the Pumpkin Patch Express

These rattling, toot-tooting relics are truly treasures across New England landscapes. Each time those vintage diesel locomotives come to life, you can hear that pitter patter of those train-loving little souls of ours. Their dome-cars with padded seats offer the ultimate views for the leaf peeper in all of us and a stop at the pumpkin patch is sure to delight those littles in tow. Here is a roundup of historic Connecticut trains and trolleys to climb aboard this fall. And, for more autumn adventures, check out our CT Halloween & Fall Fun Guide for Kids

Best Family Theater in NYC this Fall: Paw Patrol to Shakespeare

Autumn marks the start of a new theater season, but you don't need to shell out big bucks on Broadway shows to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. In fact, this fall boasts more high-quality productions for young audiences than in recent years—so many in fact, we have a whopping 22 picks, and that's after whittling down the contenders!

Preschoolers will go gaga for return engagements of popular stage incarnations of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Pete the Cat, and Paw Patrol. Older kids can get schooled in the classics with creative, kid-centric adaptations of Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde. There's funky fare for tweens at Lincoln Center and BAM, plus everyone in your family can cheer the highly anticipated return of the Big Apple Circus. Best of all, most of our picks are $25 or less per ticket.

Applefest 2017: A Hudson Valley Fall Festival Extravaganza

Looking to get the most bang for you buck when it comes to celebrating fall? Consider Warwick's Applefest on Sunday, October 1, 2017—one of the Hudson Valley's biggest annual festivals. With arts and crafts, food, live music and a small carnival, you can truly "do fall" all in one day. 

Now in its 29th year, Applefest draws in around 35,000 people each year from all over the tri-state area and beyond. Warwick is located about an hour from central Westchester and is ideal for an autumn family day trip. Read on for everything you need to know about this Hudson Valley extravaganza, including what's new for 2017 and tips for navigating the crowds.

Looking for more fall fun? Check our Fall Activity Guide and follow us on Facebook

Things to Do in Southold Village With Kids

A trip to the North Fork offers vast opportunities. From nature explorers to foodie indulgers and self-proclaimed sommeliers, the village of Southold is hot, hip, and happening. 

Located in the heart of Long Island wine country, the village of Southold is the seat of government for Southold Town. But there is much more to it than that. In Southold, you can enjoy beaches, museums, nature centers, family-friendly eateries, fall festivals, and then some. 

Looking for more North Fork fun? Head east one village for must-try spots in Greenport. Staying over? Hop a ferry to Shelter Island and explore. And on the way home, check out the North Fork's gateway town, Riverhead.

Rad Women and Civil Rights Heroes: Children's Books for Right Now

By Gwen Glazer, recommendations librarian in the Readers Services unit of the New York Public Library.

Fred Rogers’ famous advice to "always look for the helpers" has never seemed more important. In the wake of recent events in Charlottesville and beyond, parents may be looking for ways to engage their children with the social justice efforts—and also to talk about positive examples of activism and leadership.

We put together a list of 13 books for a wide range of children, from picture books for toddlers to nonfiction series for middle schoolers. These books address some of the most familiar human- and civil-rights leaders, like Malala and Gandhi, as well as some lesser-known activists who deserve more attention. All of them inspired others to create change in the world around them.

Historic NJ Villages That Are Fun for Kids & Families

With all of our modern technology and conveniences, today's kids (and grown-ups!) have a hard time imagining what life was like in the U.S. in the 18th and 19th centuries. Luckily, NJ kids don't have to learn about this long-ago time only from books—they can experience it firsthand at one of the state's many historic villages.

From working farms to blacksmith shops, general stores to cottages, these villages offer plenty to see for day-tripping families. Whether you are looking for an authentic old-school outing or an afternoon of quaint shopping, we've got you covered. This fall, unplug the family and step back in time at one of these historic New Jersey villages that are fun for kids and adults alike.

For more historical day trip inspiration, check out our list of Revolutionary War Sites To Visit with Kids

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