Free Times to Visit NYC Museums, Gardens, and the Zoos

Many of New York City's top museums, zoos, gardens, and cultural institutions offer FREE or reduced admission on certain nights, days, or hours at least once a month—a city perk that no busy, cash-strapped parent should miss out on! Plus, many of the "grown-up" museums let kids in for free year-round.

It can be hard to keep track of when and where these freebies are available, so we've compiled an exhaustive list of reduced or FREE admission days at all of your favorite NYC cultural spots from the Bronx Zoo to the Brooklyn Children's Museum.

As always, you can check our Events Calendar for more budget-friendly kid activities every day or peruse our Free in NYC Guide. Try our Museum Guide or Zoos and Gardens Guide for more on the latest kid-friendly art and exhibitions in NYC. Also, don't forget to put your library card to work for free admission anytime at many of these same places!

Stargazing in NJ: Best Views, Observatories, Astronomy Clubs

If you have a little Galileo on your hands, you're in luck: New Jersey is home to a myriad of majestic outdoor stargazing locations, as well as many public observatories and astronomy clubs for the truly dedicated. With the proper equipment, information, and planning, your family can get an up-close look at planets, star clusters, and the moon. 

Continue your celestial exploration at area planetariums, including those at Liberty Science Center and the Newark Museum

Happy stargazing, NJ!

Reading Terminal Market with Kids: 4 Ways to Enjoy this Busy Indoor Market

Located in the heart of Philadelphia, next to the Convention Center, Chinatown, and Independence Mall, Reading Terminal Market is a bustling indoor market, full of great vendors and delicious food, and a must-see for city goers. From fantastic pastries to famous sandwiches, beautiful bouquets of flowers and pantry stock-up items, the market should be on Philly families’ bucket list (it’s on ours!). Add to that its close proximity to Suburban Station with its access via Regional Rail, and Reading Terminal Market becomes even more enticing.

Read on to make the most of your visit to Reading Terminal Market with four ideas to have fun in this busy city spot.

8 Consignment Shops for Kids: Back-to-School Clothes and Toys on a Budget Around Boston

With school and new classes starting soon, it’s time to think about outfitting your kids for the year. If your children are anything like mine, they blow through sizes at an alarming rate. Instead of always buying new, I like to browse consignment or secondhand shops, where I often find name-brand, gently used (or even never worn) apparel at a deep discount, not to mention enriching toys, books, and games. What's more, most of these stores are always looking for items to sell, so you can offload some of your own outgrown or never-used clothes and gear for credit. Here are 8 consignment shops where you can score some beautiful clothes and toys at a fraction of what you'd spend at the mall or main street.

25 Fun Things to do in San Francisco with Kids

With its famously steep hills, iconic sights, and many kid-friendly attractions, San Francisco is chock full of family fun. Unique thrills like a ride on the clanging cable cars, a ferry trip across the bay to visit a fabled island prison, amazing experiential food spots are some of the only-in-San Francisco experiences that kids and adults will love. Hands-on museums, a bayside aquarium, and enormous parks round out the family fun.

Read on to discover our best bets for family fun on a trip to San Francisco. And for more Bay Area fun, check out our list of things to do in Silicon Valley with kids

Best Pizza and Ice Cream Near Family Attractions in Boston

Introducing children to a great hiking trailmuseum, or landmark is always fun; that is until someone suddenly—and it's always suddenly—gets hungry. We've found that the best strategy for a smooth outing en famille is to pair an activity with a quick meal and easy dessert. Avoid frantic last-minute smartphone searches and map out these pizza and ice cream parlors, which are conveniently close to some of our favorite day-trip sites and also just happen to serve up some of the best slices and scoops in the area.

10 Swimming Lakes You Should Know Near Los Angeles

With our new normal somewhere between hot and hotter, SoCal families are eagerly looking for ways to cool off. Did you know that there are some wonderful lakes within spitting distance of sizzling Los Angeles? And if you're willing to drive a little farther, lake options get even more plentiful. Whether you want to take a dip in a secluded swim hole, or join the masses at a lavish lake resort, here are some of the best spots to take a swim before the entire family melts.

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