Jonathon's Dream Reimagined: Accessible Playground Open Again

Originally built in 1996, 'Jonathon's Dream', was a playground created as a place where children of differing abilities could come and play together.  But, it was also built as a way that the family of little Jonathon Peter Barzach, who passed away prior to his first birthday, could grieve his sad loss. Barzach had a degenerative muscular disease and his family lost him at just 9 months. "When Jonathon's diagnosis became terminal, a counselor suggested the family dedicate a project in his memory," said Ronit Shoham, a co-founder of the Miracle League of Connecticut.  Shoham and many, many others (mostly volunteers) have been working hard to make a new Jonathon's Dream playground a reality. Be sure to check out some of the other boundless playgrounds in Fairfield and Hartford.

Free Classes for Boston Kids

Raising a kid doesn't come cheap. There's childcare, plus the downright shocking amount of diapers, clothing, shoes, and food growing bodies go through; tack on some fancy programs, and costs really hit the roof. But that doesn't mean affordable enrichment classes aren't out there; in fact, there are some great programs in and around Boston where kids can learn and hone new skills, at no cost to you. We've listed some of our freebie faves below; and don't forget to check out our new Deals page for lots of free trial classes in and around town.

The Day I Moved Into Target

As a mom, I live at Target.

No, really—I moved in a few weeks ago. A lot of moms are doing it. It just makes so much more sense than living in our houses, which we were constantly having to leave in order to go to Target.

"Gotta make another Target run!" I'd say, and my husband would tell me to "enjoy my mommy vacation." It was so funny—every time.

Play the Day Away at Clear Lake Park

With lakefront views, six sets of playground equipment, a splash pad, open-air pavilion, and a large fishing pier, Clear Lake Park has so much to offer. Of all of the amazing parks in the greater Houston area, this delightful spot just happens to be located near several major family-friendly attractions. On a clear day, you can look out over Clear Lake from the park and see the Kemah Boardwalk. It's also a less than five-minute drive from Space Center Houston. Whether you go for a few hours or stay for an entire day, Clear Lake Park gives the whole family so much to see and do.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Sukkot, Fossil Day, and French Fries; Oct 10-13

Here we are, in the thick of autumn harvest season; and along with other fall activities that bring our kids closer to the earth, this week is full of opportunities to discover treasures from the ground. Kids can learn from paleontologists and get an up-close look at some very cool specimens on National Fossil Day, or dig into a farm garden for the makings of a special treat on "Fryday.

There's also a kid-friendly celebration of Sukkot in the Metrowest burbs, and a heartwarming, interactive play about a spelling bee in those parts, too. And don't forget all the Halloween fun, most free, that's sure to get your kids excited for trick-or-treat day. There are even more ideas on our Events Calendar—check in often, since we're adding new activities to the mix each day.

Haunted Halloween Houses and Not-too-Spooky Walks for NYC Kids

Looking for a not-too-scary Halloween fright for the kids? A tricked-out haunted house or slightly spooky Halloween trail just might be the right kind of boo for you.

Haunted houses long have been a popular suburban Halloween stapleLong Island and Westchester are rife with them. And while NYC has gained several spooky haunted houses of its own, including Blood Manor, those are for grown-ups only. However, there are a handful of haunted houses in New York City that offer gentler Halloween chills for families.

You're sure to find spooky, family-friendly attractions at pretty much every Halloween festival and fall fair. But we're skipping those to tell you about the best of the city's more elaborate and kid-friendly haunted houses and other spooky attractions for kids this year. Read on for the scoop—and heed the age warnings. While grade-school kids can attend most of these, not all are suitable for preschoolers.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Muscoot Pumpkins, Fall Fest, Ghost Stories

We’re heading into an abbreviated school week, with Monday being Columbus Day, which for many Westchester families means extra opportunity for free time!

While it’s a tough call to choose one top pick for Monday (in fact, we compiled a list dedicated to what to do on Columbus Day), we're liking the sound of Pumpkin Picking Weekend, with pumpkin-carving demos, animal encounters and other festive fall fun. We know it’s a school night, but here’s a rare opportunity to see the The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze before Halloween. Looking for high-end entertainment? Introduce your kids to  jazz music as the Brandford Marsalis Quartet comes to Westchester.

Read on for our top weekday picks, and be sure to also check our Event Calendar and our October GoList for more family fun throughout the month! If you haven't already, sign up for our newsletters to stay in the know!

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