Governors Island: Playgrounds, Mini Golf, Early Open in 2017

Governors Island opens to the public for its summer season on May 1 this year—nearly a month earlier than ever before—and its season, which runs through October 1, promises plenty of family-friendly fun.

The opening of Governors Island is an event we anticipate every year as the island seemingly reinvents itself with new attractions annually in addition to returning favorites. While there's nothing quite as big as last year's opening of The Hills, there are a few noteworthy additions to the isle in 2017, including a new zip line, and its calendar is, as always, jam-packed with family-friendly events like the Figment arts fest.

Read on for the scoop on the very best things to do on Governors Island with kids, plus important visitor tips.

18th Century Spring Fun at the Philipsburg Manor Sheep-to-Shawl Festival

Few events herald spring for our family quite like Philipsburg Manor’s Sheep-to-Shawl festival. We included this event in our AprilGo List—our top picks for events happening all month long—and Sheep-to-Shawl definitely delivers.

Part of the Historic Hudson Valley network, based largely in Westchester County’s charming Rivertowns, Philipsburg Manor is a working historic farm that dates back all the way back to the 1690s. Each year, just as us humans are getting ready to shed our winter coats in favor of spring jackets, so too are the sheep getting ready to shed their winter wool, and that is where the festival begins. Read on for all the details on this weekend-long event, including what to expect and what not to miss!

Looking for more ways to ring in spring? Check out our Spring Activity Guide and sign up for our newsletters!

Awesome Arcades for Long Island Kids

Get your little gamers off the couch and out of the house at these awesome arcades on Long Island. As a bonus, most arcades are located at party places or sports complexes. Get the whole family (and friends) together for some bowling, laser tag or mini-golf, and cap off your trip with ticket-winning arcade games for a chance to win some valuable prizes.

Get more ideas on what to do inside with kids in our Indoor Play Spaces Guide or Kids' Sports Centers Guide. And for even more kid-friendly activities, check out our Long Island Events Calendar.

Indulge Mom at these Philly Mother's Day Brunches

Brunch is the classic way to celebrate moms on Mother's Day. The city has so many Mother's Day brunches to choose from, and they often fill up so fast, it can be overwhelming to find a place that will be fun for both mom and kids. There are plenty of spring activities to do with the family, but brunch at one of these great places will leave mom happy, but still be plenty of fun for the little ones. However you decide to spend Mom's special day, purchase tickets or make reservations in advance, because many of these events sell out well before Mother's Day weekend rolls around.

If you're looking for something to do after brunch, check out our event calendar for more great ways to celebrate mom.

Best Miniature Golf Courses for New Jersey Kids and Families

Summer is on the horizon, and that means day trips, swimming, water parks, random adventures with the small people, and yes, putt-putt. New Jersey apparently has a thing for windmills and teeny-weeny pencils—our fair state has at least 53 miniature golf courses! We're highlighting nearly half of these courses, so get out that little pencil and make your way around the state. See websites for prices and hours.

5 Kid Birthday Party Themes You Can Pull Off in a Small Space

When it comes to birthday parties, my daughter might want to dream big. However, the reality is our living space is quite small.  

Fortunately for her, she has a mom who loves to host creative parties; who likes the challenge of figuring out how to make small spaces work no matter what idea she comes up with. These five themes are big on imagination, even if you are short on space. Most of these activities can take place in one room and be personalized to appeal to boys and girls of a variety of ages. 

Find more tips on hosting a kid's birthday party in a small city apartment, from keeping the favors simple to curating the guest list.

Splash & Swim at These Water Parks In and Near Houston

As we all painfully know, summer in Texas is HOT. Playing in the water isn't only a fun activity for the kids, it's almost a necessity. When it comes to water fun, nothing is more exciting for kids than visiting a water park! There are several water parks around the Bayou City that will make for an easy day trip and even more that are about a three-four hour drive away perfect for an overnight getaway. If you are looking for something closer and quicker, then check out our list of the many great splash pads at local parks. There are also many free pools throughout the city where kids and parents can keep cool.

8 Great Bakeries for Birthday Cakes Around Boston

Whether you’re hosting a birthday party at home or at another location, you’re going to need a cake to celebrate your child’s big day. Ideally, we’d all have the time and energy to whip up a beautiful creation ourselves, but it's a tall order, especially during a busy week. That’s when we call in the pros. We rounded up eight of the best bakeries in Boston for when you want your child’s birthday to be extra special...while preserving your sanity!

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