Adventure Playground: Orange County's Park for Free-range Kids

I had been hearing rave reviews about Orange County’s Adventure Playground—the so-called free-range playground—ever since I first moved to the area. The hype around this place makes it sound something like a time machine, throwing back to a day of mud puddles in the vacant lot. I finally loaded two kids, a bag of snacks, extra clothes, and beach towels into my car and headed to Irvine to see what the fuss was all about.

Sell-Out Alert! Victorian Valentine's Day Tea is Free Fun for Westchester Kids

It might seem early to talk to about Valentine's Day, but given the popularity of the Victorian Valentine Tea at the Horace Greeley House in Chappaqua, you'll be glad to have the heads-up to reserve your child's spot. We attended this annual event in the past and were wowed for many reasons—including that it's free!

Read on for our review and be sure to sign up for our newsletters for more awesome events heading your way! Also consult our Event Calendar to plan ahead.

Lego Live Is Heading To NYC with a Massive Three-Day Festival

If you've recently been thinking, "Man, I wish I had 65,000 square feet of pure Lego joy," then you're in luck: Lego Live is coming to New York City next month for Presidents Day weekend. Legos fans from all around the city (and outside of it, I'm pretty sure) are expected to flock to this three-day event held in downtown Manhattan. OK, maybe your kiddos are the ones pining for limitless bricks, but if they've already conquered pop-ups, the Lego store, and various Brick Fests, then they'll want to hear more about this inaugeral event.

Learn everything you need to know before you buy your tickets and plot your game plan.

The Best Family Sledding Spots on Long Island

Say it ain't snow. But it is.

Parents with kids eager to brave the outdoors don't have to leave Long Island to find ideal sledding spots. We've rounded up a host of places where you can challenge the local powder for FREE. Safety first though, so be sure to check surroundings for sticks, rocks, and more, and wear a helmet and proper snow gear to keep warm. Bring your own equipment to these snow-covered destinations and be ready for some fun.

Don't forget to check our January GoList and Event Calendar for more ideas on winter entertainment for your family, whether the weather outside is frightful, or delightful.

There's also plenty of seasonal fun in our Long Island Winter Fun Guide , from skiing to hot chocolate spots to FREE events all winter.

Find Free Classes for Kids at 14 NYC Stores and Public Spaces

We'll just say it: Raising a kid is expensive. Weekend classes, summer camp, after-school care, and dance and music lessons can add up. According to the 2016 Backpack Index, parents spend an average of $739 a year on average per child on extracurricular activities. And let’s face it New Yorkers, we’re most likely paying much more than that.

That’s why we’ve rounded up 13 FREE classes that run year-round in NYC to lighten the financial load. All the classes listed here are free within free-to-access stores and public places, but there are also plenty of free and low-cost activities inside of NYC museums and gardens that have monthly-memberships. Don't forget that your IDNYC card will give you free or discounted access to many of these cultural institutions.

Peruse our Free in NYC Guide for more budget-friendly family fun.

Warm Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Art Adventures, Disney's Frozen, and a Three Kings Day Party, January 6-7, 2018

Winter 2018 is getting very real very fast with this weekend's visiting bomb cyclone (don't worry--we had to look it up too) and polar vortex so our goal is warmth and comfort! Since it's the last weekend for Winterfest in Hartford, we had to include it in this round up, but otherwise we're looking at climate-controlled indoor activities that will keep the frost bite at bay, such as the Three Kings Day Party at the Wilson Branch of the New Haven Public Library, a Colonial Cooking Demonstration at the Wilton Historical Society, or Art Adventures at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich.

40 Snow Day Boredom Busters for Kids

Whenever the weatherman predicts a big snow, you can almost hear the collective cries of joy from children, and the sighs of resignation from the adults who know they’re going to have stir crazy kids at home. Somehow the initial excitement always seems to wear off way too early in the day, leaving hours still to be filled.

Before your brood drives you batty, scan through this list of things to do at home on a snow day, from baking projects (cake in a mug) to cool crafts (homemade puff paint) and fun games (indoor snowball fight or DIY obstacle course). We think you’ll find enough ideas to keep them happily entertained until the school bus pulls up again. Have fun and good luck!

Find more crafts, recipes, and at-home projects and games in our Boredom Busters Activities Guide.

No-Car Skiing Day Trips: Ski Bus Deals and Packages from NYC

Don’t let the lack of a car keep you from hitting the slopes this winter. Nearly all of the big (and small, for you first-timers) ski resorts nearby offer bus or train package deals from New York City. These packages are convenient, wallet-friendly, and often include discounted lift tickets and equipment rentals.

Even if you own a car, these deals are worth considering: After a hard day on the slopes, it's wonderful to kick back and relax while someone else battles traffic back to NYC. These destinations, in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, offer ski packages to get your family to the mountains.

Find more ski and snow sports fun in our Family Ski Guide, covering the tri-state area and beyond.

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