Long Island

Weekend Events: New LICM Exhibit, Winterfest, Theater, Music

Visitors to the Long Island Children's Museum this weekend can experience the sonic world while exploring 14 interactive learning stations at the traveling exhibit Sonic Sensation

Enjoy a touch of paradise in the winter garden at Planting Fields. Or winter-themed crafts, a "freezing" demonstration and a snowy “I Spy” at the Sands Point Preserve's Winterfest celebration.

Beat the cold at the Heckscher Museum's Draw In event that boasts art activities for all ages. Bebop away to Laurie Berkner as she belts out her greatest hits at The Paramount.

Check out inexpensive family fun with our list of free things to do this month. Don’t forget to check our January GoList and events calendar for more inspiration.

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Sayville With Kids: Explore This Four-Seasons Destination in Suffolk

Nestled comfortably on the South Shore between Nassau and the East End, Sayville makes a great day trip any time of the year. Whether you're searching for something to do with littles younger than 5 or looking to entertain your teens, Sayville would seem to do it all. 

About 5 miles west of Patchogue, Sayville might be overlooked for the more popular central Suffolk destination. However, Sayville also has a booming downtown area full of restaurants and shops, as well as ferry service to central Fire Island. With delicious eateries, seasonal festivals, and play areas for kids, you can find something for every member of the family. 

Once you're done exploring all Sayville has to offer, check out one of Long Island's other great family-friendly communities, such as Port Washington, Glen Cove or Port Jefferson

35 Best Winter Activities for Kids (and Their Grown-ups)

It's finally winter, and you know what that means as a parent, right? Get ready for soggy snow pants, slurping cocoa, building snowmen, taking the kids sledding, and all things cozy for the family.

But if the thought of another long winter spent hibernating indoors with the kids swinging from rafters, leaves you shivering in fear, we want to help. Whether you're planning fun indoor activities for a school snow day at home, or just looking to entertain the kids on another winter weekend, we've rounded up nearly three dozen fun things to do.

These super simple ideas (many of them FREE) will come in handy when cabin fever strikes and make it easy to avoid the indoor entertainment pitfalls of more screen time and complaints about boredom of which we're all so familiar. Get ready to turn the long, dark days of winter into a season the whole family can enjoy.

Long Island Attractions Free for Toddlers and Babies Under 2

Looking for places to stay and play with your little one without breaking the bank? There are destinations on Long Island that offer fun for all without a hefty price tag. Check out this list of local hot spots where babies ages 2 and younger are FREE.

Now, what to do with all the extra cash? Peep our list of top mommy-and-me baby classes on Long Island and also check out our indoor activities or baby age guides for some ideas.

100 Things To Do in Chicago with Kids Before They Grow Up

Chicago is home to so many incredible parks, playgrounds, museums, and things to do with kids that one childhood doesn't seem like enough time to fit them all in—though who could blame you for trying? That's why we rounded up this list of great things to do with kids in Chi-town. Whether it's racing with your toddler through the sprinklers at Mary Bartelme Park, wowing your preschooler at the Field Museum, gliding with your grade-schooler on the skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park, or taking in engineering marvels with your tween at the Chicago Architecture Center, take advantage of everything this beautiful city has to offer kids of all ages. We're also big fans of FREE fun, so we included as much of that as possible.

Whether you're a local or a visitor to the Windy City, we hope you can use this list to make some great new memories with your kids. Now I'm off to scarf some Chicago-style hot dogs at Portillo's.

Enjoy These Long Island Cafes With Kids' Play Spaces

A place for children to play and parents to connect with other moms and dads.

That’s exactly what Long Island play cafes offer. Enjoy these fun, safe venues for your child’s next play date: They'll have fun and explore, and you'll relax with a snack, catch up with your peers, or just relish some me time. Of course, parents are required to keep an eye on their children at all times.

For more seasonal fun ideas, check out our guide to indoor play spaces and our roundup of sensory play spaces on Long Island. And don’t forget our Winter Fun Guide for a host of ideas sure to keep your kids happily occupied during the winter months.

The Best and Worst States for Raising a Family

Everyone wants to raise their family in a healthy, safe, and yes, fun community. But, how do you go about finding the right corner of this country for your family? Trial and error perhaps, but WalletHub is also throwing a little data our way on just this subject. The credit report and personal finance site just released its ranking of the best and worst 50 states in which to raise kids.

It weighed a number of factors to determine the top family-friendly states, looking at schools, housing, crime, childcare costs and quality, parental leave options, salaries, and of course, the amount of family fun per capita, including access to parks and playgrounds.

Read on to find out how your state stacks up—and where you might want to consider relocating to with the kids!

Weekend Events: Super Family Sunday, MLK Activities, Nature

Have a Super Family Sunday helping the Nassau County Museum of Art celebrate the Gold Coast mansion's 100th birthday, cake included.

Visit the Long Island Children's Museum this weekend to create a peaceful painting to mark Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. Or get your paint on at the Long Island Explorium all weekend long.

Sunshine seekers can head to Jones Beach to peep some seals or Sunken Meadow State Park for its Winter Run Series.

With schools closed Monday, check out inexpensive family fun with our list of free things to do this month. Don’t forget to check our January GoList and events calendar for more inspiration.

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The Best Escape Rooms on LI for Tweens and Teens

If you’re looking to keep your tween or teen entertained for an hour or two in a way that doesn’t involve electronics, we have two words for you: Escape rooms.

Escape rooms are one of the hottest crazes to hit Long Island in recent years, popping up throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. Originally targeted to adults, many LI escape rooms are now perfect for tweens and teens, whether it’s for a birthday party, a school or camp field trip, Saturday afternoon play date, or a family night out.

Not familiar with this new form of interactive entertainment? A group of people are "locked" in a room for an hour (per state law, doors cannot technically be locked), and have to work together to figure out the clues that will get them out. And when we say room, we’re talking elaborately decorated spaces with specific themes that can be funny, scary, or cerebral, and everything in between.

We’ve put together a list of some of Long Island's most popular escape room venues for kids. Check individual websites for details since prices vary, as do the number of rooms available, how many people each holds, difficulty levels, and age restrictions. Themes occasionally change also. Try one or more. Each offers a unique way for kids to use their imaginations, develop team-building and problem-solving skills, and most of all, have a blast.

STEM and STEAM Summer Camps for Long Island Kids

If you have a child who wants to spend the summer building robots, learning to code, or launching rockets, you're in luck. Long Island has quite a few summer camps where kids can expand their knowledge of all things STEM and STEAM. At these places children can not only have fun and make new friends, but also learn new skills to help them thrive during the next school year.

If you didn't know, STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. STEAM takes it one discipline further, adding an A for arts.

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