Staten Island with Kids: Top 50 Things to Do for Families

When you ask most New Yorkers what they know about Staten Island, they name-check the Staten Island Ferry and then just stare blankly. But as a mom raising her two sons in NYC's "forgotten borough," I know firsthand how enriching and fun Staten Island can be for families, both residents and visitors.

St. George, where you disembark from the ferry, is probably the neighborhood that feels most like the rest of NYC, in large part because it offers awesome views of the downtown Manhattan skyline to remind you of where you are. Many borough attractions are located here, including the Minor League Staten Island Yankees stadium, the stunning St. George Theatre, the sobering Staten Island September 11 Memorial, the Staten Island Museum, plus lots of restaurants, quaint Victorian townhouses and the in-development 630-foot-tall observation wheel.

But go further inland and it's not just all malls and suburban sprawl. With almost 12,300 acres of protected parkland, Staten Island is rightly known as the greenest borough and boasts some of the most beautiful parks in the city like the Greenbelt, which is home to living history museum, Historic Richmond Town, and the Carousel for All Children. We also have a lot of drop-in indoor play spaces, including one of NYC's few remaining roller rinks, and even a trampoline park. And there are lots of culture spots, too, like the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden and small, esoteric museums located in lovely historic homes like the Alice Austen House. While a car is helpful in terms of getting around, we actually do have public transportation.

Check out the top 50 things to do in the borough with kids.

Weekend Fun: Storybook Celebration, Orange County Fair, Pirate Adventure

Summer is in full swing and the temperatures are soaring, but that doesn't mean there isn’t fun to be had. Whether you’re looking for carnival festivities at the Orange County Fair, a Caboose Mystery, or a Pirate Adventure, there is something going on for just about everyone this weekend.

If you want to cool off, check out our list of Free Beaches or Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads in New Jersey. See the July GoList for family fun options that can’t be missed, and don't forget to check our Event Calendar for a full listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Dutchess Destination: 20 Things to Do with Kids in Hyde Park

Hyde Park in Dutchess County—not to be confused with New Hyde Park on Long Island—may be best known as the former home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but it boasts many other attractions that make it a fun family day-trip spot.

In addition to FDR, the Vanderbilts also planted roots and left behind a magnificent estate for public viewing. The Culinary Institute of America has a campus in Hyde Park, offering not only instruction but several student-run restaurants. And with its proximity to the Hudson River and other neighboring towns like Rhinebeck and Poughkeepsie, there’s a ton to do.

Read on for our top picks and cost-saving tips for visiting Hyde Park with families, based on first-hand experience! Looking for more family fun? Consult our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

Providence WaterFire: Tips for an Amazing Outdoor Experience with Your Family

WaterFire just might be the greatest thing that’s ever happened to Providence, Rhode Island. In the 23 years since the first bonfires were lit on the rivers in Providence, the brilliant and moving art installation has helped to transform the city into a vibrant, family-friendly destination.

Part community festival and part art exhibition—complete with bonfires juxtaposed with water, music, arts and crafts vendors, boat rides, and live performances—WaterFire is held on various evenings from late April through early November. And spectators will tell you: It's an event not to be missed. But just like other wonderful, very popular events such as First Night Boston, getting the inside scoop on WaterFire can mean the difference between having a magical evening with the family and a really long night. Here are 25 things to look for and to know before you go—with wisdom learned (sometimes the hard way) from my family’s experience and from the very knowledgeable team at WaterFire

Top 25 Rainy-Day Activities in the Hamptons & North Fork

Not every summer day is perfect on Long Island’s East End. In fact, there are those days in July and August when Mother Nature just refuses to cooperate.

When those moments occur, parents have to get more creative in minding the little ones. The good news is that as the Hamptons and North Fork have become more year-round destinations, the entertainment options for children have grown.

It’s true: Even in the summer, the East End isn’t just about beaches and playgrounds. We have museums, art galleries, indoor play spaces, and more. So with that in mind, here are 25 ways to stave off rainy-day fever on the East End. And here’s hoping the clouds don’t linger too long.

By the way, paring this list down is no easy task. For more inspiration, see our comprehensive guide to the East End and our list of 50 things to do with kids on the East End this summer. If you need accommodations, see our list of the top kid-friendly hotels in the region.

Time for a Pic-A-Nic: 23 Best Picnic Spots in Philadelphia and the 'Burbs

This is the season for packing up a cooler and heading outdoors for a meal. From relaxing in nature to grabbing a picnic table next to a bustling playground, there are lots of great picnic spots in the Philly area and beyond. We've rounded up all the best places to eat amongst the flowers when the weather is warm. So grab a basket and a blanket, pack your food (or pick it up on the way), and check out one of these great places to picnic in the area.

Exploring the Armand Bayou Nature Center

Tucked away on the edge of Clear Lake, right inside the Pasadena city limits, is one of the best-kept secrets in southeast Houston. Armand Bayou Nature Center features 2,500 acres of land that boasts miles of trails, vast marshes, and several educational venues that are perfect for families to explore. They offer free admission on the first and third Sunday of each month, giving families the perfect opportunity to explore the center and learn more about the special events and classes available throughout the year.

Date (Night) Like a Pro in Fairfield County

OMG Date night. That nocturnal necessity designed to keep parents as sane as possible. I don't know about you, but for me, a successful date night involves getting out the door before bedtime. Sure, it's mostly because that way I'm home before my bedtime, but also because once in a while it's really OK to let somebody else read just one more book...a dozen times. Once you've made your escape...now what? It's easy to forget how to fill leisure time when you're a parent. That's why I've rounded up some date night ideas that are more than just dinner and drinks in Fairfield County. This is precious time, use it to step a little outside your comfort zone for some adventure (and then when you're done maybe dinner and drinks...)! So bring on the babysitter, lace up your big kid shoes, and get out there for some well-deserved you time!

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