A Dozen Easy Fall Hikes in NJ for Families with Small Children

Hiking with small children can be fun for the whole family, if you choose the right trails, pack enough snacks, and build in some break time for little legs. Autumn in New Jersey may be the ideal time to get the family outdoors for a nature walk or easy hike, when trees are ablaze with fall colors and temperatures are just right.

Read on for our list of short, family-friendly hikes with scenic vistas and shady picnic spots. As for the snacks, try letting kids make their own trail mix before a nature walk: set out some bowls of nuts, pretzel sticks, dried fruits, and chocolate chips or M&Ms, and let the kids fill a plastic baggie with their favorite fuel. Before setting out, make sure everyone dresses in layers and wears comfortable shoes, and don't forget to pack sunscreen, bug spray, and plenty of water.

For more outdoor adventures, check out one of the state's many nature centers, which offer a host of family-friendly activities as well as hiking trails. Happy hiking!

Are Daycare Kids Better Behaved? This Study Says Yes

Torn between a nanny, daycare, or staying home with your kids? Choosing childcare can be a difficult—and deeply personal—decision for any family, and of course involves a number of factors, from costs to the length of your commute. A new study out of France suggests that daycare might offer some significant advantages in terms of our kids' development.

Researchers at Sorbonne Université in Paris followed nearly 1,500 kids from the womb to age 8 as they either attended a center-based daycare or were cared for by a nanny or family member. The daycare kids, particularly those who attended at least a year before the age of three, were less likely to have problems with peers and other emotional and behavioral issues, according to the researchers.

Halloween Trunk-or-Treat Locations in Fairfield County

Do you live in a part of Fairfield County where the roads are windy and you don't have any sidewalks or streetlights? There is a simpler and safer alternative to trick-or-treating called Trunk-or-Treat. Haven't heard of it? It's like a Halloween tailgate, where families gather in a church or community parking lot and children trick-or-treat from car to decorated car. These popular events confine the confections to a safe, central spot and many of them aim to keep the mayhem to a minimum. Trunk-or-Treats tend to start early, so you don't have to deal with any spooky meltdowns in the dark. Better yet, these events usually add more fun to the mix with food, activities, games, and even campfires. In our round up, we've included Trunk-or-Treat events as well as similarly structured events that provide a centralized trick-or-treating experience.

10 STEM Week Activities to Get Kids Psyched About Science

It's official: October 22nd through the 26th is Massachusetts' first annual statewide STEM week, and we couldn't be more excited! Schools will be planning fun activities, events, and lessons focused on science, technology, engineering and math (a.k.a. STEM). But can your kiddos ever get too much STEM-ulation? We didn't think so. From robots to outer space, we've rounded up 10 extracurricular activities sure to get your kids psyched about science. 

Is Your Family Ready for a Ghost Town Vacation at this Popular SoCal Tourist Spot?

If you thought vacations in ghost towns were only for sitcom families, think again! Just a short drive from LA is the Calico Ghost Town, an old mining town that boomed in the 1880s but was abandoned not long after. Walter Knott, of Knott's Berry Farm fame, restored the town in the 1950s into a Wild West locale perfect for a family vacation. And while Calico may or may not have actual haunted houses, it can be a wonderful Halloween month outing all the same.

9 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks to Visit with Kids in NYC

Now that the beaches are closed for the season, it's time to bundle up and sharpen those ice skates. Many of New York City's outdoor rinks are open for family fall, er, winter fun.

Whether you prefer an iconic New York City destination like the ice rink at Rockefeller Center or something off the beaten path like Lasker Rink, the city offers plenty of options for beginner and experienced skaters alike — there’s even a FREE skate spot. And if it ever gets too cold to glide outside, you can always hit one of NYC's indoor ice skating rinks.

Best Halloween Parades and Spooky Kid Events in Fairfield County

Halloween seems to get bigger and better every year--and I'm not just talking about the size of the candy bars. Back in the day, we were happy just to trick or treat in our neighborhood, but these days, you can start celebrating at the beginning of October and continue celebrating all month long! Even if you don't live for Halloween, we've got a lot of great ideas for ways to get out there and enjoy (both spooky and non-spooky) in our Connecticut Halloween and Fall Fun Guide.

Here in Fairfield County we have a huge variety of activities and events from Halloween parades to hayrides to pumpkin patches and more. We've collected some of our favorite Halloween happenings here, but don't forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletters and keep tabs on our event calendar so that you won't miss any Halloween fun!

Best Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat for Long Island Kids

There's nothing like trick-or-treating on Long Island, where kids can head to their favorite downtowns to fill up on treats from local businesses. Or to their own neighborhoods, where they know how to traverse every nook and cranny. Plus, kids probably have a good idea what houses to avoid and what ones to knock on twice for those sweet rewards.

Camaraderie among neighbors gives you a sense of community. But sometimes change is good.

So which Long Island neighborhoods are best for trick-or-treating? We prefer those that have houses close together, merchants who participate, are well lit, and have minimal traffic. Read on for our list of favorites.

Check out our Halloween Guide for more Long Island trick-or-treating fun, including these top events for kids and not-too-scary haunted houses and walks. For more seasonal fun, see our October GoList and Fall Fun Guide.

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