Best Kid-Friendly Fishing Spots Around Houston

Looking for a FREE outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike? Grab a pole and head to one of these fabulous fishing spots where the fish are plentiful and families can enjoy being outdoors together. Fishing can foster a sense of achievement and accomplishment in kids. It's a great way to teach patience and persistence while having fun and connecting either one on one or with the whole family. Most of the fishing spots listed here are at local parks, so it's easy to pack a picnic, let kids burn off some steam at awesome playgrounds, and spend the day with a fishing pole in hand.  

While these ponds and lakes offer free fishing, please note that adults ages 17 and older must possess a valid fishing license unless fishing inside of a state park per the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. Be sure to note any posted regulations for specific parks relating to catch limits or catch and release requirements. 

Best Bike Riding Paths for NYC Families

When our family moved back to NYC from Boston last summer, we sadly left our bicycles behind and removed the bike rack from the car, believing that we had to trade in our bike wheels for scooters (which at least are compact, foldable, and easy to store in our apartment). Even though we have embraced rollerblading, skateboarding, rip sticking, and scooting like every NYC family, there is still nothing like a good old fashioned bike ride.

Imagine my delight when I rediscovered bike paths for NYC families—many of which can be used not only on bikes but on scooters, rollerblades, and skateboards, too. This summer as part of our August staycation, I planned a week of excursions exploring NYC bike paths with my growing family of five.

Cool Mommy and Me Exercise Classes in NYC

After my daughter was born, our weekly mommy and me yoga class was a bright spot in the middle of some of the longest days. Not only did the class help me regain my strength, it was also a place where I could form lasting bonds with other new parents in the city. Having a self-care routine proved essential for me after becoming a new mama—and my daughter seemed to enjoy the atmosphere, too.

The beauty of a good postnatal class is that instructors have designed workouts just for postpartum bodies, plus they understand if you or your little one are having a challenging day. Parent-baby fitness classes should be a judgment-free, safe zone for you and your baby.

Here are places and programs that regularly offer parent and baby exercise classes in New York City. As with any new exercise program, check with your doctor for the go-ahead. For more classes, check out our NYC classes guide

10+ Preschools with Last Minute Options for Westside Kids—No Waiting Lists!

Before we became parents, we may have thought this business of LA parents asking expectant mothers what preschools they'd applied to was a joke. Then we found out it's only kind of a joke; there really are parents who focus on preschool applications as soon as the contractions stop. Then there are the parents who are reading this post. There really are preschools that feed the frenzy with a waiting list that starts before a child can talk; and then there are the preschools that are in this post. Whether you've procrastinated, just moved to town, didn't get the acceptance letter you wanted, or just woke up one day and realized that your baby isn't a baby anymore, it's possible to figure out preschool at the last minute—even on the Westside of LA. You could try your luck for an opening at one of LA's newest preschools, but more likely you need to know about the great preschool options below that don't have extended waiting lists, and just might rescue your family at the very last minute.

Long Island Explorium: Port Jefferson's Rebranded Learning Center

Take your tiny tinkerer on a hands-on adventure to the newly rebranded Long Island Explorium.

Located in the historic and charming Chandlery Building at Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson,  the previously named Maritime Explorium offers kids the chance to discover how much fun learning can be. Its STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) programs, classes, and exhibits aim to spark creativity and ignite imaginations. Don't worry about telling wee ones to keep their hands to themselves here: Touching is encouraged. 

Check out more STEM programs on Long Island here. Likewise, many schoolscamps, and museums across Long Island offer classes and workshops with a focus on STEAM education. While in quaint Port Jefferson, check out our visitor's guide to see what else is a must-do, see, or eat.

A Dozen Drop-In Play Spaces for Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Kids complaining they're bored—or you just have your eye out for something new for them to do? Whether you’re looking for something on the weekend, tween-appropriate activities, or spaces for the toddler set, we’ve rounded up a dozen drop-in play spaces and fun zones, from trampoline parks to play cafes.

Looking for even more activities? Check out our newly updated classes guide.

Free Times to Visit NYC Museums, Gardens, and the Zoos

Many of New York City's top museums, zoos, gardens, and cultural institutions offer FREE or reduced admission on certain nights, days, or hours at least once a month—a city perk that no busy, cash-strapped parent should miss out on! Plus, many of the "grown-up" museums let kids in for free year-round.

It can be hard to keep track of when and where these freebies are available, so we've compiled an exhaustive list of reduced or FREE admission days at all of your favorite NYC cultural spots from the Bronx Zoo to the Brooklyn Children's Museum.

As always, you can check our Events Calendar for more budget-friendly kid activities every day or peruse our Free in NYC Guide. Try our Museum Guide or Zoos and Gardens Guide for more on the latest kid-friendly art and exhibitions in NYC. Also, don't forget to put your library card to work for free admission anytime at many of these same places!

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