Along Came a Spider Pavilion: Big Spiders Are Back at the Natural History Museum

While some may ring in the Halloween season by smearing shrubs with 99-cent store fuzzy webbing and plastic spiders, the arachnid purists over at the Natural History Museum have a more organic approach. This weekend the screened pavilion on the museum’s South Lawn becomes seasonal home to more free-range, eight-legged tenants than anyone in his right mind could want – in short, an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare and an eight-year-old boy’s version of heaven.

Free Admission Days at 23 Museums in Los Angeles and Orange County

Love museums, but the prices make you think twice? If you have a large family, those tickets add up fast—which is particularly frustrating if you then need to beat a hasty retreat to avoid a meltdown. SoCal has some great museums that have free general admission every day of the year, including The Getty, California Science Center and The Broad. Also, active-duty military personnel can take advantage of the Blue Star Program at many LA and OC museums in summertime. As for the rest of them (once kids are old enough to have to pay), many LA and OC museums have monthly or even weekly free days or evenings, and we have collected a list below for easy reference. These times offer a great chance to bring the extended family, meet friends, or check out a place you have never been before—all for just the price of parking or Metro tickets. And if there's a meltdown? At least it's free.

Weekend Fun: Great Pumpkin Festival, Fall Zoo Sleepover, Shopkins Live!

It’s almost officially fall, and weekends are already full of autumn awesomeness. This weekend, you can embark on a Giant Corn Maze Adventure, take an Autumn Excursion train ride, or go all-in on fall fun at the Great Pumpkin Festival. Celebrate the season at one of the many fall fairs happening throughout the state this month, visit one of NJ's amazing family-friendly farms, or head to an apple orchard to pick your own fruit. 

Other weekend highlights include the New Jersey Storytelling Festival, held this year at Howell Living History Farm; the Fall Zoo Sleepover at Turtle Back Zoo; and Shopkins Live! at Mayo Performing Arts Center.

Find many more ideas for weekend fun in our list of 35 Things We Can't Wait To Do with NJ Kids This Fall and in our Fall Fun Guide. And look to our Event Calendar for a full listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Top Corn Mazes and Fall Farm Fun Near NYC

Navigating the twists and turns of a giant corn maze is the perfect fall outing for adventurous NYC families. Yet, with dozens of mazes scattered throughout the rural parts of our tristate area, the real challenge is deciding which one to visit.

My family loves our annual corn maze romp to the local Queens County Farm Museum's Amazing Maize Maze. It's just the right size for kids, includes fun challenges and clues, and doesn't take all day to get to. However, if you're looking to get out of the city for that true country feel, or headed upstate New York or elsewhere for a long weekend getaway, we've compiled a list of almost two dozen of the area's best corn mazes—most within 90 minutes of NYC.

We've broken down our picks to let you know which are better for older kids vs. preschoolers, which are accessible by train, and which has the best doughnuts! Most farms include extra seasonal things to do like apple pickingpumpkin picking, pony rides, petting zoos, and even a 100-foot mountain slide in one case. For more farm fun, check out our Pick-Your-Own Guide to Farms near New York City.

Obstacle Courses, Climbing Walls and Ninja Classes for LI Kids

Are your kids using the couch as a jumping-off point for back flips? There are several spots in Nassau and Suffolk counties that offer obstacle training, where your little ninja can test his or her balance, vaulting, tumbling and more. Let the little daredevils try out these indoor courses while keeping your walls scuff mark free.

In the meantime, check out our roundup of birthday party venues for active kids. For more indoor fun, especially for toddlers, see our list of the best indoor play spaces on Long Island.

New at the Aquarium: A Cornucopia of Lobsters and Shark Science

Want to thrill your kid or wow an out-of-towner? The New England Aquarium, just maybe the crown jewel of our many awesome downtown attractions, seems to produce more oohs and aahs than just about any other tourist spot in town. That may be because its regular highlights are living creatures who age, change, and shift positions depending on the day; or perhaps because the scientists there are regularly adding new, interesting species into the mix. Case in point: the new, exceedingly rare yellow American Lobster, whose arrival makes for a seasonally appropriate cornucopia of crustaceans in the suddenly colorful Northern Waters Gallery on the Aquariums third floor.

18 Best Events this Fall for Philly Preschoolers and Toddlers

As the air has started to cool, the humidity has lifted, leaves are changing colors, and we are surrounded everywhere by the flavors of pumpkin spice, fall is certainly in full swing. There's plenty for Philly preschoolers to do from fall festivals to apple picking, corn mazes, and Halloween fun. Pick your perfect pumpkin, take a scenic train ride, or enjoy some fall-themed treats. Whether your child enjoys ghosts and ghouls, gentle haunts, or a not-so-scary Halloween, you're sure to find something to please everyone in your family. We've rounded up some of our favorite fall-themed fun specifically for preschoolers.

Get on the Connecticut Art Trail with Passport

Connecticut is many things to many people. For some, the amazing local food scene whets the appetite and keeps them coming back for more. Others like to get out in nature on one of our states many trails. But if you're someone who just loves to while away an afternoon taking in great works of art, and maybe you're thinking it's time to get the kids involved, too, have I got news for you. The Connecticut Art Trail not only houses some of the most spectacular treasures but with the new and improved Connecticut Art Trail Passport it is also right at your fingertips.

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