Tweens & Teens

All Aboard! Where to Find Magical Christmas Train Rides in Houston

If you have a little train lover in your life, taking a real train ride might just be at the top of their list for Santa this year. Help make their dreams come true by celebrating the holiday season with a memorable Christmas-themed train ride at a number of festive venues throughout the greater Houston area. Many of them even feature a visit from the big guy himself! 

Best Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat on Halloween Night with Los Angeles Kids

Trick or treat! Los Angeles consistently makes the top 5 cities on Zillow's Halloween list of the country's best spots for trick-or-treating. The real estate website bases its trick-or-treat ranking on criteria like home value and crime rates. That's good, but what about special effects and Halloween decorations? If one figures in the number of film industry creatives living in a given metropolitan area, LA wins first place by a country mile. Speaking of country miles, if you've walked the distance between houses in the most expensive LA neighborhoods, you know that higher home value does not always translate to better trick-or-treating. What does? Well, keep your Halloween hats on, because we've got a list of some of LA and Orange County's most legendary trick-or-treat neighborhoods.

What's New at the NYBG Holiday Train Show in 2019

Manhattan's Central Park is the star of this year's Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden, opening November 23, 2019 and running through January 26, 2020. We may still be a few weeks from Halloween, but the annual train show is a NYC Christmas tradition worth looking forward to.

The iconic landscape of the park includes architectural treasures like Belvedere Castle, the Dairy, the Old Bandstand, the Angel of the Waters sculpture atop the Bethesda Fountain, and two graceful pedestrian bridges, arrayed in a winter wonderland tableau alongside existing Central Park replicas in NYBG’s collection, including the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater.

Read on for a peek at what else is new, plus everything you need to know about visiting this popular holiday attraction with kids.

Best Places to Eat with Kids Near Times Square and Rockefeller Center

It's hard not to end up in either Times Square or near Rockefeller Center at some point during the holiday season given the number of seasonal attractions in these Midtown hot spots. But if your family is hungry after a day of shopping, ice skating or taking in the NYC holiday sights, you'll need to find a tasty, kid-friendly restaurant fast before the hangry sets in! 

This is often no easy feat in Midtown, we know. While we've covered dining options near Rockefeller Center and Times Square in the past, we wanted to give you even more suggestions for this time of year, especially those that don't require reservations, meaning you can pop right in. With a full belly, you'll be ready to start again, tackling a holiday show or maybe a tour of the holiday department store windows.

The Best Long Island Brunch Spots for Kids and Families

Brunch isn't just for adults anymore. There are plenty of fabulous brunch spots across Long Island where kids and families can indulge in delicious pancakes, fluffy eggs, and menus designed just for them.

From highchairs to kid-friendly cups to crayons at the table, these 12 brunch destinations in Nassau, Suffolk and the east end are designed to keep children happy while serving up some Instagram-worthy meals. And did we mention they're delicious, too?

While you're at it, check out our favorite Long Island spots to enjoy tea with your little one and these restaurants where kids eat free!

Safe, Organized, and Indoor Trick-or-Treat Options for LA Kids on Halloween Night

We may have grown up cruising the streets unchaperoned eating loosely wrapped candy on Halloween night, but we’d no sooner let our own children do that than bounce around the back of a station wagon without a car seat. And while some of us are fortunate enough to have friendly, festive neighborhoods to walk our Avengers and Elsas through, many parents prefer the safety and self-contained nature of a mall, museum, or other organized trick-or-treat event.

Keep an eye on our events calendar and Halloween Fun Guide for complete listings; some venues hold their Halloween celebrations on the weekend, to maximize the holiday. October 31, of course, is the night for ringing doorbells, but for those who prefer to collect their candy in a confined space, we have more than 25 local options below.

4 Holiday Lantern Shows Coming to NYC This Season

I'm the kind of mom who leaves the decked-out family Christmas tree up until Easter... and I'm Jewish. I just adore anything that lights up, which is why I made the schlep from our East Harlem apartment to Staten Island's Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden last holiday season to check out the inaugural NYC Winter Lantern Festival, a massive installation of illuminated art. Happily, my daughter, her friends, and I all thought it was worth the trip.

Apparently, last year's holiday lantern festival kicked off a trend. This year, there will be four places to see holiday lanterns in the city: There's the return of the Snug Harbor event, as well as the brand-new Hello Panda Festival in Queens, and the LuminoCity Festival on Randall's Island. Plus the Bronx Zoo's Holiday Lights display promises animal-shaped lanterns, too! Read on for a peek at the new holiday lights coming to NYC this year, plus what to know before you take the kids.

See Bronx Zoo Like a Local: Top Tips for a Great Visit with Kids

First opened in 1899, the Bronx Zoo has been a top destination for local NYC families, tourists, and animal lovers of all kinds for generations. I've been a regular at this zoo since I was a child, and now that I'm a parent of three kids in the Bronx, we consider it an extension of our backyard. With its very own show on the Animal Planet channel (the irresistible The Zoo)the Bronx Zoo is arguably the world's most famous zoo.

Located in the heart of the Bronx at the southern end of Bronx Park and near the borough's own Little Italy, the Bronx Zoo is easily accessible via public transit or by car. One visit is sure to leave a lasting impression, though you'll need more than one trip to experience all there is to see and do. And since it is the nation's largest urban zoo, it helps to have some pointers before you go—especially if you are visiting with kids. So read on for 10 tips on visiting the Bronx Zoo like a local.

Things To Do in Connecticut this Weekend: Spooktacular Science, Autumn Festival, Fall Hikes

We have reached mid-October, and the fall weather has turned crisp as a Braeburn apple. The rustle and crunch of fallen leaves makes the perfect background noise for all the fall fun Connecticut has to offer. The Ansonia Nature Center is hosting its annual Autumn Festival, featuring horse-drawn wagon rides and a chance to meet spiders, bats, and other creepy crawlies. In Mystic, get active with a self-guided spooky nature hike. And for sweets and science combined, stop by the Connecticut Science Center for its Spooktacular Science Weekend.

If the spooky spirit hasn't quite struck you yet, there is the annual Tower Toot festival and foliage hike in Simsbury. But if your kids can get enough of Halloween, you're sure to find some activities involving pumpkins, costumes, candy, and more in our Connecticut Halloween Guide.

Montclair Art Museum Is Perfect for a Kid-Size Culture Fix

The Montclair Art Museum is a great place to introduce kids to the visual arts. My 6-year-old daughter and I moved to Montclair last year, and when a Sunday afternoon opened up on our calendar recently, we finally got a chance to visit. Even my very active daughter, whose idea of culture is cheese (as in Chuck E.), was eager to go inside the big building she sees on our frequent trips to the Whole Foods right across the street.

To be honest, art museums plus kids doesn't always equal a successful day of art appreciation. For me, it's more about exposing my daughter to art and culture, even in small (or local) doses. That being said, the Montclair Art Museum absolutely did not disappoint! Plus, a visit to MAM makes a great post-brunch stop during a family-friendly day in Montclair.

Read on for our day—well, 90 minutes—at this awesome Northern NJ museum.

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