Governors Island: Playgrounds, Camping, Art, Adventure, and More 2019 Highlights

Governors Island opens to the public on May 1 this year and its season, which again runs through October 31, promises plenty of family-friendly programming, plus the return of spectacular overnight accommodations that give you even more time to play on the island!

The opening of Governors Island is an event we anticipate annually as the island seemingly reinvents itself with new attractions and old favorites return. The aforementioned glamping accommodations are sure to be a big draw; while The Yard returns, plus inventive new family-friendly programming and an always jam-packed events calendar stocked with family-friendly events.

Read on for the scoop on the very best things to do on Governors Island with kids, plus important visitor tips, such as ferry schedules, and where to score free biking and kayaking. Note: Details are still being finalized for Governors Island's 2019 season and we'll update this post as more information is released. 

15 Best Campgrounds for Tent Camping with Kids Near LA

Marshmallows. Check. Bug spray. Check. Air mattress. Check. Camping season is upon us. Hurrah! And thankfully in this multi-terrain region of ours, you don't need to go far to enjoy a night or two under the stars. A weekend without electronics, breathing fresh air, and enjoying meals over the campfire: all this can be yours without driving more than an hour or two—in some cases even less! Read on to find an easy destination for you and your happy campers. (And if the one you want is full this weekend, check out a few last minute camping spots.)

8 Fun Day Trips From New York City Without a Car

Although New York City is home to wonderful museums and cultural centers, destination day trips are a fun and easy way to give kids a change of scenery, while giving the whole fam the chance to explore nearby cities and towns. Maybe you have a touch of cabin fever, or just want to explore someplace new—either way, we've rounded up close-enough-to-home adventures for a quick trip out of the city. And the best part is, you don't even need a car! All of our picks are accessible by public transit, so no need to wrestle with traffic jams—just enjoy the commute with the kids and make getting there part of the adventure.

Must-See Cherry Blossoms in New Jersey's Branch Brook Park

You don't have to travel to Washington, D.C., to see a stunning display of cherry blossoms this spring. You can enjoy the lush pink blooms right here in New Jersey this month at the 2019 Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival, held in Newark's Branch Brook Park from Saturday, April 6 – Sunday, April 14.

The event features two festivals-within-the-festival—Essex County Family Day and Bloomfest!—both of which offer plenty of family fun, including performances, bounce houses, a nearby playground, live music, and Japanese cultural demonstrations. It all takes place under the fragrant canopy of the sprawling park's 5,000 cherry blossom trees—the largest collection in the country. 

Read on for an overview of Branch Brook Park and the festival, along with tips for visiting with kids.

Pip's Island Interactive Theater Experience Makes Kids the Stars

There's no shortage of great theater here in New York, but there are very few shows where children actually get to play an interactive role in the story. Enter Pip's Island, a production in which young audience members become characters—no, stars—themselves, engaging with the actors in a roving, room-to-room adventure.

After a successful trial run in 2016, the show has re-opened in a custom-built space giving Pip, his friends Finn and Pebble, and countless kids a whole new immersive environment where they can play out their adventure as they attempt to save Pip's Island from the villainous Joules Volter.

Weekend Fun: Flower Show, Purim, Kids' Theater, Circus...and Desserts!

It's officially spring! While the weather might not have gotten the memo (yet), the Macy's Flower Show is blooming again with a space-inspired floral fantasy featuring marvelous celestial blooms, and kids can take a trip to outer space with Peppa Pig on opening day this Sunday.

This weekend dishes up plenty of great theater for kids too, including Colors at BAM, The Magic SchoolbusWhile You Were Out at LaMama Kids, and Underneath a Magical Moon, a re-imagining of Peter Pan (sign up for the interactive pre-show workshop). The New Shanghai Circus takes a bow in Queens on Saturday and Staten Island on Sunday. 

If you're looking for FREE fun (who isn't?), make balloon cars at Brooklyn's MakerSpace, catch a free concert and screening of Up in Queens, sing songs from around the world with Mr. Patrick at the Children's Library, take in lion dancing (and popcorn!) at Sunset Park's Lantern Cultural Fest, or check out Philosophy for Kids as part of the Tilt Festival at the Brooklyn Library.

Purim parties on at the Riverdale Temple and Rock and Roll Playhouse on Sunday, or make holiday masks all weekend at the Children's Museum of Manhattan. And for the cherry on top, confections rule at the Dessert Goals Festival, all weekend in Long Island City.

For more, more, more, peruse the March GoList, FREE things to do this month, and our ever-expanding calendar.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Adds Massive New Activity Pool

If you're looking for new ways to beat the heat this summer, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is offering a bigger, better, and much wetter place to cool down. The 45-acre water park in Jackson, NJ, welcomes Calypso Springs, a 100,000-gallon, beach-entry-style activity pool, where parents and kids of all ages can swim and play together. The new addition, Hurricane Harbor's largest expansion since 2000, will be open in time for summer 2019. 

What to Do in the Flatiron and Union Square With Kids

The adjacent Flatiron District and Union Square neighborhoods are two of Manhattan's most unlikely kid-friendly areas. Even though both are filled with office buildings and chain stores, there are lots of amenities for families if you know where to look. Both boast beautiful parks with destination playgrounds, a great selection of family restaurants, and one-of-a-kind attractions like the interactive Museum of Mathematics, kid-lit haven Books of Wonder and the statue-filled Lego Store.

Because the nabes encompass less than a mile together, families can easily explore both in one day, even with a short-attention-span toddler in tow. Of course with so many things to see, do and experience in this 15-block stretch from 11th to 26th Streets between Fifth and Park Avenues, you'll probably need more than just a day to hit all our recommended stops.

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