Baby

12 Playgrounds with Tot Lots Designed Especially for Boston Babies and Toddlers

One of the things I’ve been looking forward to doing with my little boy is taking him to a playground. A stable sitter, he’s just about ready for a bucket swing...just in time for spring! But not all playgrounds cater to the sub-preschool set. Luckily, there are several in and around Boston that do have sandboxes, swings, and smaller play structures built specifically with the littlest kids in mind. Here are some of our favorite local "tot lots" with special features that are perfect for older babies and toddlers.

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 and gardens. 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.

Mini Land Play Gives Long Island City Tots a New Indoor Hot Spot

Like most New York City parents, I’m always on the lookout for new indoor play spaces to occupy my active kid when the weather isn't great. So when I find a unique play area in a cool neighborhood that doesn’t eat up my entire entertainment budget for the month, I feel like an explorer who’s made a groundbreaking discovery. Mini Land Play in Long Island City, Queens is exactly this kind of rare find: a crazy-fun indoor playground with toddler-friendly rides that is only $12 for unlimited play during the week.

Read on to find out how you can discover this new neighborhood gem for yourself.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Party for the Planet, HobbyFest, April 21-22

Earth Day is this Sunday, and Houston is throwing multiple parties to celebrate! From an overnight trip to the Houston Zoo to volunteering at Buffalo Bayou or visiting your local farmer's market, there are plenty of ways you can get outdoors, celebrate our planet, and support local causes that serve to better our community and keep it beautiful this weekend. 

Earth Day isn't the only big event happening in the Bayou City, though; Evelyn's Park is taking a trip down the rabbit hole to Wonderland this weekend, with brand new Alice in Wonderland inspired sculptures taking up residence in the park. There are 150 different hidden things in the sculptures, making this a fun trip for the family you don't want to miss. 

Our event calendar is also packed with family-friendly events that span both the week and weekend, so it's always easy to find something to do around the city, and our April GoList features the top activities happening this month. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter to get all of our posts delivered straight to your inbox.

If you're hosting an event, we'd love to highlight it for you. Simply submit your event to our calendar, and we'll make sure it gets shared with our readers. 

Now let's check out what's happening this weekend!

Weekend Fun for LI Kids: Earth Day, Spring Celebrations

Celebrate Mother Nature this Earth Day weekend with a visit to one of Long Island's bountiful nature centers or take a stroll along one of these family-friendly hiking trails

There's plenty to do, from eco-friendly carnivals to farm events, conservation programs and more. Enjoy a day of fee-free family fun at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site or celebrate spring and the outdoors in Stony Brook.

Hop over to our April GoList to find more seasonal entertainment, and pad your wallet with a list of FREE family activities this month.

Of course, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids. Don't see a great event listed here? Add it to our Event Calendar yourself. 

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NYC Parenting Groups: Meet Local Moms and Dads Online and IRL

Parenting takes a village. Finding the right parent group can give you an instant support network to share the highs and lows of parenthood, especially if you’re new to the game and especially if you live in a busy, overwhelming urban area like New York City! Many parent groups host events and social gatherings, while some offer valuable seminars and discussions. Other groups serve as classifieds where you can swap and sell baby gear, and many offer a place to simply connect with like-minded people.

We've pulled together a sampling of some of the city’s best neighborhood and citywide groups for moms and dads. Fortunately, there are so many great ones that we had a hard time whittling down the list. Most are free or include low annual dues. Read on for more details, and be sure to check out our NYC Baby Guide for more ideas for exploring and enjoying NYC from pregnancy to preschool.

Learn, Play & Grow: 10 Westchester Spots with Enrichment Classes for Babies

Westchester has tons of classes for kids of all ages—and babies are no exception. Whether you’re interested in introducing your little one to yoga and gymnastics, or even have her start learning a foreign language, you’ll find something in our area. Here we’ve rounded up a few classes to try, for babies anywhere from 6 weeks to 12 months old.

Looking for even more first-year fun? Read our round-up of Mommy & Me music classes—and be sure to check out our Event Calendar for daily events. 

10 Great Places to Hike with Kids Around Boston

I’ve always loved hiking, so I was eager to get back to it not long after having my first baby. Last fall, we joined the Babes in the Woods' weekly guided hikes for baby-wearing caregivers at the Middlesex Fells, one of my favorite local hiking spots. And this spring, I'd love to explore even more local trails. Whether your kids are in a carrier or old enough to hike alongside you, there are plenty of fun and scenic trails throughout the Boston area to enjoy. Here are 10 nearby spots to take in the great outdoors on foot.

Little Dreamers Kingdom Gives Toddlers a Bright Play Space in Queens

With more and more indoor play areas for kids opening in Queens, it can be hard for new spaces to stand out in the crowd. But Little Neck’s Little Dreamers Kingdom is doing just that by exclusively focusing on toddlers and preschoolers. With a smaller space and tot-sized playthings, caregivers can keep an eye on their little ones without hovering. It also offers a variety of fun toddler class offerings and birthday parties.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about the space, including hours and recommended ages.

You Can't Touch This: Babyproofing and Playroom Designers in Fairfield County

I remember receiving some electrical socket covers as a baby shower gift - the women around me were so excited, “You are going to need those” I heard several times. Then there was that time I texted a photo of my daughter rolling over and received a text from my mom stating something along the lines of “time to put up the baby gates”.   “I’ve got time”, I thought to myself. 

I realized I ran out of time when I shared some video of my daughter taking her first steps and the Internet responded with “now the fun starts!” Except, it wasn’t fun. All of a sudden my comfortable home became a deathtrap. I was sure that every edge of furniture would lead to my beautiful baby’s demise. Short of wrapping my baby girl in bubble tape, I knew it was time to call in the professionals. From fireplace guards to full blown playroom design, these local Fairfield County companies will ease your mind and provide a safe space for your child to develop and grow. 

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