Billy Johnson Playground Reopens in Central Park After Renovation

The Billy Johnson Playground in Central Park has reopened after a months-long rehabilitation and reconstruction project, bringing with it not only the re-opening of the iconic, long, curving granite slide, but also a second granite slide that's accessible for smaller kids.

While the original slide helped land the playground on our list of 100 things to do with city kids before they grow up, the renovation adds a few new noteworthy features to one of our favorite playgrounds in Central Park.

Free Skating, VR Sleigh Rides, and Gingerbread House at Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdale's, the iconic department store known for its dazzling holiday window displays, has a Santa's-sack-worth of festive delights in store this season. After marveling at the Grinch-themed holiday windows, just unveiled last week, and taking a turn on the Who-ville karaoke microphone to belt out a round or two of "Jingle Bells," head inside for even more fun and surprises.

This year, the store has opened an adorable, FREE indoor skating rink (complete with a hot chocolate bar), as well as a life-sized gingerbread house display, and a virtual reality experience that lets you take a ride on Santa's sleigh. For a peek inside this pop-up winter wonderland, read on.

Free Play Area Opens at Cross County Shopping Center

Last week, Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers opened a brand-new, free play area, the centerpiece of which is the area's first Luckey Climber.

The outdoor climbing structure—part jungle gym, part work of art—was designed by Hartford, CT–based "kid architect" Spencer Luckey, whose distinctive climbers can be found in public spaces and private institutions around the world, including Liberty Science Center in Newark, NJ; The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia; and the Long Island Children's Museum in Garden City, NY.

22 Ways Families Can Volunteer and Donate in NYC for the Holidays

During the holiday season, families gather to enjoy delicious meals, exchange gifts, and celebrate the year gone by. But for many New Yorkers, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time. Volunteering is a wonderful way to help others in the community and an ideal opportunity to teach children the true spirit of the season.

We've rounded up some of our favorite kid-friendly volunteering opportunities. No matter where in the tri-state area you live, the age of your children, or your family's interests, chances are there is a program that can use your help.

Weekend Fun for Connecticut Kids: Giant Balloons, Bubbles, and Wizards

Did you see the snow this week? Have you enjoyed the morning ritual of scraping frost from your car? Yes, winter is coming, but not before we get a chance to give thanks for all that we have. Like balloons. Lots of them. And really big ones. We're talking about the Stamford Downtown Parade Spectacular. This is a great chance to see the famous Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons have their dress rehearsal before they head up 6th Avenue in Manhattan Thursday morning. You can also celebrate a Colonial Thanksgiving at the Welles Shipman Ward House, complete with hearth-cooked chicken pie and Marlborough pudding. Staying with the historical theme, you can also go way back to classical Greece in Fairfield, or go way, way back for a Dino-Snore sleepover at the Yale-Peabody Museum in New Haven. Finally, for those who just want to sit back and be entertained, there is the legendary sports/comedy performer-athletes, the Harlem Wizards taking on a home town all-star team in Darien.

To make sure that you don't miss any of the fun, subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Read on for our highlights of events happening this weekend, and check our frequently updated daily event calendar for even more ideas.

Volunteering at Holiday Time: Fun Ways for LA Kids To Find Their Spirit of Giving

Sharing traditions with our children makes the holidays all the sweeter. The pies we bake, candles we light, songs we sing, and the gifts we give enrich the rhythm of this festive season. Volunteering to help those in need is another tradition we can offer to our kids. Giving our time and attention to our communities, whether we're dishing up food or singing Christmas carols, is often the best gift of all. And setting up our kids for a life of sharing and empathy is a gift we give to them and to the world they inherit.

12 Picture-Perfect Holiday Day Trips Near NYC

New York City is magical during the holiday season. However, if you're looking to experience some holiday happenings not too far from home, we've rounded up great options for family day trips, where kids can see Santa, dazzling Christmas lights, and even a North Pole village.

From right-in-our-backyard picks to rustic Christmas fun in Mystic, Connecticut and the Hudson Valley, here are a dozen holiday outings—listed roughly from nearest to farthest from Midtown—worth a drive or train trek this holiday season.

Holiday Volunteering With Kids in Boston

We all have our hands full with family and work obligations, and the pending holidays certainly don't lighten the load. And yet, it's the time of year when we're also inspired to count our blessings—and teach our children to do the same. To inspire my children to think about what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, we’re going to try one of the Fun Projects That Help Kids Give Thanks. But I also want my kids to think about other people and do something to make a difference in our community, and we've found some great opportunities for volunteering as a family during the holiday season. With just a bit of planning, lending a hand with kids can be easy—and maybe the most meaningful and memorable experience in a season full of them.

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