Tweens & Teens

Thanksgiving Volunteer Options for NYC Kids and Families

Every year around the holidays, readers ask about ways to volunteer with their children in New York City. It's not as easy as you think. Many charitable organizations have age minimums for their projects, and even when you do find family-friendly volunteering opportunities, they often book up weeks in advance.

With Thanksgiving approaching, we want to highlight some great ways NYC kids and their parents can give back to those in need. We're including opportunities for children of all ages so everyone can participate. While kids might not be able to work in a soup kitchen, they can help the homeless, hungry, and elderly in other meaningful ways.

Here are 11 family-friendly ways to put the "giving" in your Thanksgiving.

Helpful Tips for Watching the Head of the Charles

The Charles is a magnet for many Boston families, whether it's for a paddle down the river or a perfect fall day hanging out on the Esplanade. And this time of year, when the leaves are turning and the riverfront is at its most beautiful, countless families flock to the Head of the Charles Regatta, one of the world’s most competitive rowing races, when more than ten thousand rowers compete for nearly half a million spectators. Watching the rowers from the riverbank is an annual tradition for many Bostonians—but with the crowds and uncertain seating arrangements, it can be tricky to navigate with kids. After several years of attending the Head of the Charles, I have some helpful hints to keep you and your family warm and happy while you watch the race.

Insiders Guide to Exploring Seabrook, TX with Kids

Southeast Houston is home to several waterfront communities, each with their own unique take on seaside living. Many Houstonians head to Kemah or Galveston when looking for a little bit of a bay breeze, but the small city of Seabrook, just minutes away from the popular Kemah Boardwalk, boasts a host of activities for the entire family to enjoy. Our family lived in Seabrook for three amazing years, and we were fortunate to experience everything Seabrook has to offer on a daily basis. It's also a wonderful place to visit! With 18 parks, 13 miles of hiking and biking trails, unique shopping and dining options, and no shortage of community spirit, exploring Seabrook can be a refreshing way to spend a day with kids outside of the typical tourist towns. 

Terrifying Haunted Houses You Just Can't Miss

Halloween isn't all pumpkins and hayrides. There are also thrills and chills to be had right here in Connecticut at some of the scariest haunted houses you'll ever find! These frightful attractions are geared towards older children, teens, and adults and not recommended for very young children. If you're looking for the real deal, check out our post on the Real Haunted Houses of Connecticut. For those who just want to have a spooky-good time, then a haunted house attraction is just the thing. From amusement parks filled with zombies to empty summer camps and abandoned school buildings, there is something to scare the pants off of everyone. We've rounded up the scariest haunted houses across the state, and a couple that are right over the border, for all of your frightful fun this Halloween season. Check it out...if you dare!

Best Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat for Los Angeles Kids

Trick or treat! Los Angeles moved down to fifth place in Zillow's Halloween list of the country's 20 best cities for trick-or-treating—but that's not slowing down anyone around here. 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. I defy anyone in Philadelphia to beat these!

25 Cool and Free Halloween Programs for Kids in Westchester

If you think Halloween town and library programs are only about storytime and paper pumpkins, think again! Many towns in Westchester offer stand-out events that are frightfully fun—not to mention the parades, parties and more free activities for families who love Halloween. 

Below we’ve listed more than two dozen places with fun Halloween programs. Best of all—they’re all FREE! (And, OK, there are some storytimes and crafts, but we do like those too.) 

Read on for our top picks, and then continue on to our Event Calendar for many more fun October events.

Best Places to Trick-or-Treat on Halloween with NYC Kids

One of my favorite childhood memories from growing up in NYC was Halloween in Greenwich Village. Back then, the Village Halloween Parade was just a couple hundred artists and others who marched through the neighborhood. Afterward, we would trick-or-treat up and down the brownstone blocks. Everyone was friendly, and we would come home with our shopping bags completely filled. It was magical.

Although the parade and Greenwich Village have changed a lot since then, your kids still can enjoy that kind of thrilling trick-or-treat experience in many New York City neighborhoods. Which neighborhood is the best for Halloween trick-or-treating depends on who you ask. New Yorkers love to bicker over the best coffee shops, the best (and worst) train lines, and yes, the best places to take their kids on Halloween. We also love to find that secret gem.

So we asked our astute readers and collected recommendations from our parent-driven NYC staff over many, many years to bring you a list of our favorite trick-or-treating spots so you'll know where to bring your kids this October 31.

Join one of the local Halloween parades and then go trick-or-treating throughout the community with local families. Or hit one of the neighborhoods or streets listed below: We have a slew of spots to try in all five boroughs. For more seasonal fun, check out our jam-packed Halloween Guide, showcasing FREE events, haunted houses, pumpkin patches, and more.

Trick-Or-Treat Neighborhoods in Fairfield County

Trick-or-Treating was a LOT of fun as a kid, but it is arguably more fun as a parent.  Personally, I’ve hit some rough, tantrum filled, patches along the way - empty neighborhoods, houses half mile apart, long driveways, no street lights, speeding cars - I never knew how many things there were to think of when planning your All Hallows Eve! Then, one year we hit trick-or-treating gold!  We found a neighborhood in Fairfield County  that was filled with kids, candy, and plenty of Halloween Spirit.  This got me thinking, what makes a trick -or- treating neighborhood great? 

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