What Ages Get in Free to NYC Museums, Zoos, Amusement Parks

How's the old adage go? The best things in life are free. But for families in NYC, that may sound like crazy talk. From housing to classes to entertainment, everything here seems to cost so much money...or does it?

The fact is, there's plenty of FREE fun for kids in New York City. And even top family attractions that charge entry fees like museums, zoos, amusement parks, and water parks offer no-cost admission for children under certain ages, and those savings can really add up, especially when you have preschoolers or toddlers

So, we decided to make a list of when the freebies end for kids at New York City's best family destinations, from tourist hot spots like the Statue of Liberty to all of the children's museums and zoos. Yet another reason to wish your children could stay young forever! We've even included a few of our favorite picks in nearby locales, too.

Note: The cut-off ages imply that once kids reach that age, they no longer qualify for free admission, and some places may ask for proof of age. Looking for a 100% FREE outing? Check out our roundup of no-cost admission hours at NYC museums.

Need a Last-Minute Babysitter in NYC? Hello Sitter App Will Find One

NYC parents have gained a new option for scoring that elusive date-night and last-minute backup sitter. Hello Sitter, an app founded by a local mom, launched this summer with more than 200 sitters serving Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, including the neighborhoods from Park Slope to Williamsburg.

Finding child care always presents a challenge to parents.  Finding it on short notice? As they say, fuggedaboutit. But that’s exactly the challenge that Lauren Mansell, founder and CEO of Hello Sitter, wanted to address when she set about creating the new service. Not only that, as a mom to a preschooler she knows it can be stressful to trust your kids with a stranger, so every sitter on the app is fully vetted.

Philly Fitness Centers and Gyms that Offer Childcare

Working out is hard. It's ten times harder if you've got kids climbing all over you, or whining for snacks and screen time, or just plain crying. Let's be honest, we could all use a little time for ourselves anyway. For your health, and your sanity, check out one of these great gyms in the city that offer childcare. Drop your kids off for a morning of fun and play, while you sweat it out.

9 Fun Stops to Help Families Survive the Drive to Long Island's East End

As a child and teenager, I spent one week every summer out in Amagansett with my family; digging my toes in the sand, catching some (cold!) waves with my boogie board and driving into Montauk with my parents and siblings for some ice cream. However, one thing I will never forget about heading to the East End is the long drive--sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic is never fun. I'd stare out the window and repeatedly ask my dad, "Are we there yet?" Well, karma has arrived in the form of my own kid, who sits in the back asking me that same question over and over. Luckily, there are some great shops, attractions and places of interest to see while heading east, which makes for some nice family-friendly pit-stops to break up the monotony of that long stretch of highway called the Long Island Expressway. Check out these boredom busters and actually enjoy the ride!

Learning Through Play Day Cares and Preschools in Philadelphia

More and more studies are showing how important the role of play is in early childhood learning. Kids develop important social and cognitive skills from play, and become more self-confident and emotionally mature when allowed to learn by playing. Finding a daycare that goes beyond simply watching your kid, and fosters this independence and imporant early learning skill isn't always easy. We've rounded up a few great daycares (some of which also have preschools) where your child will love to learn while they play.

10 Worth-the-Money Experiences for LI Kids this Summer

Long Island is definitely an expensive place to live, so when parents find ways to save money on their kids’ activities and experiences (or even better, do them for free), we jump at it. But there are a few things to do this summer that are worth that extra splurge. And for more ideas on what to do before school is back in session, check out our Summer Fun Guide.

Family-Friendly Hotels on Long Island's East End

If you’ve ever visited the East End of Long Island, you know there is lodging to meet just about every need. There are hotels near fishing resorts, country inns near golf courses and bed-and-breakfasts within walking distance of the North Fork’s celebrated wineries. Families visiting the Hamptons and North Fork have options, too, from chain hotels near kid-favorite attractions to mom-and-pop guesthouses with private beaches and pools. Some of these even have their own mini-golf courses and sports facilities for those who prefer more all-inclusive family entertainment. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Hamptons and North Fork hotels, motels and guesthouses for families. Most are easily accessible from the region’s major roads or via the Long Island Rail Road.

Be advised, however: Lodging on the East End is at a premium during peak months, which are July and August in the Hamptons and August and September on the North Fork. Book early for best prices and monitor lodging websites for last-minute specials. And for ideas on what to do in the area, check out our Hamptons & North Fork Guide.

Weekday Picks for LI Kids: Nature MakerSpace, Let's Talk Turtles, July 25-29

From enjoying the outdoor gardens at Long Island Children's Museum and learning about sea life in Greenport to talking about turtles and building a bug house, there is plenty to do on Long Island this week to connect kids with nature. And there's even more going on this week, so be sure to take a look at our Long Island events calendar and our Summer Fun Guide. You can also get the best events of the week sent directly to your inbox each week if you sign up for our newsletter.

19 Places to Take Parent-Child Swim Classes in Boston

Swim and water safety is so important for little ones, but it can be difficult to imagine letting your baby or toddler plunge into the pool without you. Luckily, you don’t have to because there are a plethora of places in or near Boston that offer parent-child swim lessons so you can get in the water together. If you’re looking for other ways to be active with your child, check out our post on yoga classes for Boston moms and babies.

Free Admission for Active Duty Military Families with Blue Star Museums

Free museum admission is not just for kids in the summer months. More than 2000 museums across the country have joined the Blue Star initiative, offering free admission to active military personnel and their families* all summer long, from Memorial Day (Monday May 30 through Labor Day (Monday September 5). Spread the word; if you don't have active military in your own family, let your friends know that from the GRAMMY Museum to the Santa Monica Aquarium and a whole slew in between, the men and women who protect all of our families can treat their families this summer.


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