Kids Age 10 and Up Are Now Eligible for IDNYC

Big news for tweens (and their parents!): IDNYC, the municipal identification card, which comes with a ton of family-friendly benefits, has lowered its minimum age for eligibility to 10 years old. This means middle schoolers are now eligible for the FREE ID.

When the IDNYC program was Initially launched in 2015, the minimum eligible age was 14. Read on for more details on the application process, and the reasons why you should book your tween's appointment now.

It's Fall Y'all: Family-Friendly Festivals in Houston

There’s no better way to usher in the harvest season than with a fall festival. With tons of events happening in the Houston area over the next few months, the opportunities for enjoying cooler temperatures (okay, that may be a bit ambitious for October) and good, old-fashioned family fun are endless. Here’s our roundup of fairs and festivals taking place this autumn. 

Patchogue with Kids: Fun Things to Do as a Family

Lying on the shore of Great South Bay, halfway between Montauk and Manhattan, Patchogue is a vibrant seaside community that boasts a walkable downtown area, a thriving arts and music scene, and a variety of good eats and treats. Restored and renewed areas have breathed new life into this village over the past few years, making it a haven for Long Island families.

Still got that day-trippin' itch? Explore our Visitors Guide to plan your next adventure.

Amazing Corn Mazes at Family-Friendly New Jersey Farms

Get ready… get set… get lost in an amazing New Jersey corn maze! The Garden State is home to oodles of spectacular corn mazes, ranging from massive 10-acre labyrinths to simpler, child-friendly courses, including hay bale mazes just right for toddlers and preschoolers. Games, clues, and even techie bonuses enhance many of the more elaborate maze experiences. Got a tween or teen? Check out courses that are open after hours for a nighttime and sometimes spooky adventure.

Many of these 16 corn mazes we've rounded up are day trip–worthy on their own, but you'll also likely find apple and pumpkin picking options, hayrides, and even fall festivals, plus petting zoos in some instances. So get out your fall to-do list, and navigate your way through one of these great New Jersey corn mazes. Check out our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids to find even more ways to enjoy the crisp autumn days.

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze Rises in the Hudson Valley Again

There are some experiences every family should try once. Then there are annual events that, after you try them, you vow to do every year forevermore. The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson,  a Hudson Valley Halloween staple with thousands of hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns, falls firmly in the latter category.

The downside of the Blaze is that tickets start selling out way in advance... like early September. The 2018 shows begin Friday, September 28, and run through Saturday, November 24—thus extending the Halloween season straight through to Thanksgiving. Our NYC readers should know that the Blaze is definitely worth splurging on, even if you need to rent a Zipcar. It's also accessible via public transportation.

Read on for what you need to know about this Halloween spectacle, including details about this year's installations, including several new features. Looking for more fall and Halloween fun? Be sure to sign up for our newsletters!

These Great Bilingual and Language Immersion Preschools Make LA Tots Polyglots

We've all heard that children have a much easier time learning a second language than adults do, but it's not always easy to provide the opportunity. If a parent or grandparent speaks another language, having the language reinforced in a community setting can increase a child's interest in playing along. If there is no other language at home, a bilingual preschool may be the only way to give your child the gift of a second language. Immersion preschools can also help to prepare a child to attend one of LA's bilingual elementary schools

The schools below are organized by language; scroll to the bottom to see them on a map. (We know some great language immersion preschools in Orange County, too!)

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Pirates, Gaming, and Grandparents Day

Are you burned out on fall festivals and harvest fairs? Neither are we! But this weekend is loaded with events of the non-agrarian variety throughout the state, including the annual Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival, highlighted this year by a free concert featuring former Journey frontman Steve Augeri. Or head to Lebanon as pirates invade the annual CT Renaissance Faire. In the mood for indoor fun? Head to Hartford for the state's largest gaming convention, or savor the fine foods, baked goods, wine and craft beers of Litchfield County. Of course, if you do want to head out for a day at the fair, we've got you covered, too, with rides, games, food, farm animals and more in North Haven, Bethlehem, Hebron, and Ledyard

For the latest and best family-friendly goings on around the state, keep checking our frequently updated events calendar and follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Have a great weekend!

Storytimes for NYC Kids: Read Your Way Around Manhattan

Storytimes are great FREE—or super low-cost—kid activities that can often provide the incentive families need to get out of the house on those rainy, cold, or snowy days when cabin fever is likely to set in. Hosted throughout NYC at libraries, bookstores, museums, and other fun places, most of these baby and kid reading sessions don't require reservations, making it easy to just drop in. Plus, many of these storytimes incorporate arts and crafts projects, so story hour can easily turn into a full morning or afternoon of fun.

Read on for our most up-to-date list of storytimes for fall and winter 2018 in Manhattan. Also, be sure to check our list of NYC's best independent bookstores for kids for more reading inspiration, and if you're in the boroughs, we've also written about storytimes in Brooklyn and in Queens.

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