Bam! Pow! Zap! This Children's Museum in OC Gives Kids Super Powers

My six-year-old is a longtime superhero aficionado. Over the years, his bedroom has slowly become a shrine to his favorite heroes – Batman, Spiderman, and Iron Man – so he could barely contain his excitement when I told him we were heading to Pretend City Children's Museum to test-drive its new “Super Powers” exhibit. The interactive child-sized city, which includes a make-believe grocery store, farm, art studio and beach, recently opened a brand-new exhibit called Super Powers—a virtual training ground for wannabe crime fighters. If your kiddo also has a closet filled with capes and masks, fly don't drive down the 55 freeway this summer for an action-packed day at Pretend City in Irvine.

Sensory Gyms in Brooklyn: 8 Spots for Children's Physical Therapy

We've written about sensory activities before, and while there are plenty of things your kids can do at home, sometimes you want an expert to address certain issues. That's when you might need a sensory gym, one of those highly specialized (and fun) spaces where occupational and physical therapists help kids. Children work on gross and fine motor skills, core strength, neurodevelopmental delays, balance, coordination, and sensory integration, but the activities are usually so engaging they just think they're having a great time.

Finding a sensory gym that's a good fit for your child can be a challenge. Once you do, snagging a great therapist and a decent time slot usually involves multiple wait lists (and relentlessly checking in on those wait lists) and a willingness to remain flexible about scheduling. Fortunately for Brooklyn families, the borough has a number of well-equipped sensory gyms staffed by accomplished therapists.

Trying to navigate NYC's special education services and programs? Check out our Special Needs Guide for NYC families.

9 Fun Stops to Help Families Survive the Drive to Long Island's East End

As a child and teenager, I spent one week every summer out in Amagansett with my family; digging my toes in the sand, catching some (cold!) waves with my boogie board and driving into Montauk with my parents and siblings for some ice cream. However, one thing I will never forget about heading to the East End is the long drive--sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic is never fun. I'd stare out the window and repeatedly ask my dad, "Are we there yet?" Well, karma has arrived in the form of my own kid, who sits in the back asking me that same question over and over. Luckily, there are some great shops, attractions and places of interest to see while heading east, which makes for some nice family-friendly pit-stops to break up the monotony of that long stretch of highway called the Long Island Expressway. Check out these boredom busters and actually enjoy the ride!

Learning Through Play Day Cares and Preschools in Philadelphia

More and more studies are showing how important the role of play is in early childhood learning. Kids develop important social and cognitive skills from play, and become more self-confident and emotionally mature when allowed to learn by playing. Finding a daycare that goes beyond simply watching your kid, and fosters this independence and imporant early learning skill isn't always easy. We've rounded up a few great daycares (some of which also have preschools) where your child will love to learn while they play.

The Roosevelt Ride: Day Trip Celebrates FDR in Hudson Valley

FDR looms large in many Americans' minds as the man who led the country through the Great Depression and the only president to serve three terms. For New Yorkers, the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the nation's 32nd president, is perhaps even more pervasive.

He was born in Dutchess County's Hyde Park and his family was deeply connected to the Hudson Valley. He served in the New York State Senate and later as the governor of the state before ascending to the White House. Today, the area boasts several historic Roosevelt sites that help introduce visitors to our longest-serving president and First Lady Eleanor, including the FDR Presidential Library and Museum and the Franklin Roosevelt Park. Even a number of NYC sites carry his name. Time for a visit to Roosevelt Island?

A visit to Hyde Park, though, is a unique educational opportunity for children and parents—and don't count out a visit with young children. The shady grounds of the various Roosevelt sites offer plenty of room to romp in the fresh air. How to see it all, you ask? On the Roosevelt Ride, of course! This efficient shuttle takes visitors on a tour of the most important historic Roosevelt sites in and around Hyde Park—for FREE. We've got the scoop on catching the Roosevelt Ride as well as details on sites along the route, all adding up to a car-free, family-friendly day trip that’s heavy on history with a side helping of nature.

Weekend Fun for LI Kids: Goldfish from Pluto and Bubblemania, August 6-7

Anyone looking for some out-of-this-world fun can visit the mobile theme park Goldfish from Pluto this weekend at Eisenhower Park. Prefer a dose of family-friendly theater? Take in a live performance of Curious George in Smithtown, Rapunzel in Northport, or The Misadventures of Robin Hood in Port Jefferson.

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The Tastiest Ice Cream Shops in Queens

Craft ice cream is all the rage across NYC, including in Queens, where new independent ice cream shops have opened and old favorites test out new ingredients like pretzel cones and exotic flavors. In the diverse borough of Queens, you'll find Peruvian-inspired cones at Creme & Sugar, all the fixings at NYC-fave Ample Hills, vintage appeal at Eddie's Sweet Shop, and even the trendy Thai-style rolled ice cream at the brand-new Snow Story shop.

So check out some of these Queens hot spots—or, shall we say, cold spots—to satisfy your sweet teeth before summer winds down.

Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in Plymouth, Including a Crazy Pirate Cruise

From its steep historical character as the area where the original Pilgrims landed to its beautiful harbor, Plymouth evokes our colonial and maritime roots here in Massachusetts. Summer is a great time for families to make a day trip to the town, with the sea breeze kicking in on hot days and many attractions within walking distance of each other. Add in a pirate or a ghost and things get even more appealing for kids.

Here's a rundown of the top 10 activities and sites in Plymouth to check out with your kids. 

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