Theaters with Sensory-Friendly Performances for NJ Kids

Taking littles to the theater opens up opportunities for exposure to the arts, building social skills, and learning about appropriate audience behavior. For children with autism, developmental disabilities, or sensory sensitivities (such as difficulties with bright lights, loud noises and sudden, surprising bursts of volume or activity), the theater can be an intimidating place.

Luckily, NJ is home to several performing arts spaces that offer exclusive performances for kids with special needs, so the entire family can experience the arts together. These sensory-friendly performances often include accommodations such as lowered volume and raised lighting, the ability to move about the theater freely, dedicated quiet areas, and trained staff to lend a helping hand should the need arise.

Read on for a list of theaters and upcoming performances where you can know that your child will feel welcomed and loved, just as they are. We hope you enjoy the show!

Kids' Happy Hour Activities in NYC to Keep 'Em Busy Until Bed

Even for the most innovative parent, the gap between late afternoon and bedtime can be challenging to fill—especially during bad weather. When it's too cold and dark for the park, the "witching hour" can feel like an endless desert of time. Most play spaces, libraries, and museums close the doors before 6pm, so it's hard to justify schlepping across the city for a short window of playtime, especially when getting everyone fed is a factor. What's a parent to do? Well, check out our borough-by-borough breakdown of kid-centric locales that are open "late!" to keep your kids (little and big) busy till bedtime. 

Philly by Bike: 12 Parks, Paths, and Trails for C ity Kids to Ride Safely

Riding a bike, that quintessential childhood experience that somehow harkens both innocence and adventure. For so many kids, bikes mean freedom! But while riding a bike brings joy, it is also something that city parents sometimes think can't be done for their kids. Sure, Philly has bike lanes, but even for an experienced rider, those can be a hazard. But if you know the right trails, parks, and open spaces, there are plenty of places you can go together for regular rides! To that end, we've gathered up some of the best spots in the city for kids to safely bike.

Wild West Meets Wine Country at this Southern California Guest Ranch

Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is just a two-and-a-half hour drive from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, but it feels like vacationing in another world. While it's possible to go horseback riding around Los Angeles, this quiet escape in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country takes that a step further on a 10,000-acre ranch boasting 50 miles of riding trails, a 100-acre lake, two 18-hole championship golf courses, tennis courts, and a heated pool and spa.

Book Worms Unite! Book Clubs for Westchester Kids and Tweens

While there are all sorts of clubs and classes for kids to try in Westchester (Chess! Music! Photography!), if your child is the one who’s reading books by flashlight way past her bedtime, it might be a great time to try a book club. We’ve rounded up 20 book clubs in Westchester County—whether your child is into graphic novels or YA fiction.  

Looking for even more fun activities? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters

10 Nassau County Preschools to Consider

With so many options on Long Island, choosing a preschool for your toddler can be daunting. To help get you started, we’ve put together a list of 10 schools in Nassau County that are definitely worth checking out.

And while doing your homework includes gathering all the information you can and perusing websites, taking your child to visit a school is probably the best way to determine its fit. Most schools have tours and open houses, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of these offerings.

For more help with your school search, take a look at our complete guide to Long Island preschools. And check out our listing of Montessori preschools if you decide to explore that option for your child.

Themed Restaurants and Family-Friendly Interactive Dining in NJ

Looking for some fun along with your food? From knights and horses to magicians and model trains, many New Jersey restaurants offer themed and interactive dining experiences for the entire family. Read on for more than 15 spots that will make your next family meal a bit more magical.

Check out our restaurant guide for more ideas for kid-friendly eating experiences, including restaurants where kids eat free and the best family-friendly restaurants near Liberty Science Center. Top it all off with some doughnuts or ice cream. Bon appetit!

Pennsylvania Maple Sugaring Season Events

Mark your calendars because maple sugaring season is upon us! If you’ve ever wondered what all the fuss was about when it comes to the run-of-the-mill syrup versus the true-blue maple, now is your chance to find out. Tree-tapping season officially kicks off in February, but sugarings and tastings run through March across the state of Pennsylvania. Festivals and breakfasts will have families breaking any lingering New Year’s resolutions, but it's SO worth it. From day trips to local events, check out what the syrup season has to offer.

It is important to note that some of these events are definitely destination activities (averaging a 3-4 hour drive) that likely require an overnight trip, especially when bringing little ones. Please check the drive times before planning your trip.

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