8 Houston Parks Perfect for Kids' Birthday Parties

Hosting birthday parties for your kids comes with so many choices nowadays. Which indoor playground is best? What kind of cake will be served? What will the decorations be? Will there be entertainment? Can you get away with just not throwing one at all? The answer to the last one is....probably not (unless your kid is turning 3 and under and they won't know the difference anyway.) Our favorite place to host a birthday party is a great park - one with picnic tables so you don't have to bring any, lots of shade, plenty of room to run around, and great playgrounds so the kids don't have a reason to say they are bored.

The good news is, Houston is home to lots of great parks perfect for birthday parties. Here are some of our favorites.

Destination Playground: Pier 25 Playground Is Action-Packed for Kids of All Ages

On a hot summer day, the cool river breeze is hard to beat. But one thing that takes the summer fun up a notch is an ultra cool destination playground right on the river, with killer downtown and river views, proximity to free kayaking, reasonably priced mini golf, and plenty of free family-friendly programming. Think this all sounds too good to be true? Then you'll want to get reacquainted with the Hudson River Park's Pier 25 Playground in Tribeca.

11 Outdoor Water Parks in New England

In two hours or less by car, you can get to any of the following outdoor water parks to cool off and have a blast this summer with your kids. Although there's no shortage of thrill rides and slides at these places, you don't have to be a daredevil (or of a certain height) to enjoy them. There are play areas for young children, wave pools, family raft rides, and lazy rivers for those of us who don't need to plummet a down a very tall slide to have fun. Some of the parks are dedicated to water attractions and others are part of a larger theme park, but they all offer plenty of chances to get completely soaked. 

LA's Best Gyms and Tumbling Classes for Kids Who Love To Bounce

Every kid loves to jump around. While some kids channel that energy into competitive gymnastics programs at LA's gymnastics schools, others (toddlers particularly) really just want a place to bounce, tumble, climb, and swing. If you are looking for tumbling classes that are completely child-centered, fully non-competitive, and possibly closer to home (not to mention great options for birthday parties and summer camp), one of these kids' gyms may be just your speed.

25 Things to do in Vernon

Past Manchester, heading into the Quiet Corner, Moms and Dads can find the bustling minitropolis of Vernon. There are many family friendly things to do in this town, especially for your pre-teens and teens. While you're in th area, make sure to check out some of our favorite road trips in the Quiet Corner and these other small Connecticut towns.

A Dozen New Dessert Spots for Westchester Families

Sweet news: a host of new sweet spots have opened in Westchester recently, and we’ve rounded them up below. (We also conducted a few taste tests—strictly in the interest of research, of course.)

Our list includes several new ice-cream parlors, three spots for trendy Thai rolled ice cream, and a few eateries offering acai bowls, juices, and smoothies. There’s also new fro-yo, as well as a new bakery that hosts classes and parties.

Read on to get the skinny on these dessert destinations—and be sure you’re signed up for our newsletter and following us on Facebook to stay in the know about news (and more) of interest to Westchester families!

10 NJ Restaurants with Kid-Friendly Backyards and Outdoor Dining

Lingering over a summer meal with children is always more relaxing outside, where restless kids are free to stretch their legs, explore the patio, and watch the world go by. Warm-weather dining options abound in New Jersey, from waterfront decks and sandy patios to tree-shaded courtyards and grassy gardens.

Read on for our top picks for kid-friendly outdoor dining, and don't miss our round-up of NJ themed restaurants with interactive dining, and our run-down of places where kids eat free.

Ice Cream Shops Near Great Playgrounds in Brooklyn and Manhattan

We're well into playground season now, and New York City parents are steeling themselves to endure hearing the Mister Softee theme playing on a loop until September. While there's nothing wrong with grabbing a cone from your friendly neighborhood ice cream truck, I admit that I prefer play spots that have really fantastic ice cream vendors nearby. Cold and sweet, a few scoops of mint chocolate chip or strawberry (my flavors of choice) make sticking out the sticky New York City weather that much more manageable. And my kids don't mind eating it either.

Here are some of my favorite spots to grab a scoop, plus fun places to play before or after.

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