Kids

July 4th Fireworks Cruises in NYC: How to See Macy's Show on a Boat

The promise of NYC summer fun is right around the corner. One of our favorite annual events, the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks display, is ready to light up the city skyline. The display illuminates the East River annually, and nothing quite compares with watching the celebration up close from the water on a family boat ride. Plus, you don't have to battle the insane crowds with the kids.

Of course, these special cruises don't come cheap, and many are only open to ages 21 and older. We set out to find the lowest-cost July 4th fireworks cruises in NYC that also welcome children. If you're interested, book quickly. Some already have sold out and the remaining tickets will be gone before you know it.

Top Things to Do in Galveston With Kids

Sand, seaweed, and sun may be the first images that pop into your head when you think of spending a day in Galveston, but the little island is jam-packed with a lot of fun for visiting families that extends far beyond visiting the beach. We pinpointed kid-friendly activities throughout the city and compiled a list of 10 things to do the next time you travel off the mainland.

For more ideas on summer activities, check out our Summer Fun Guide for Houston families.

CAMP Store in Flatiron Reopens With Sweet Hands-On Cooking Theme

One of our favorite NYC stores where kids can play for FREE (and one of our favorite new additions to NYC last year, period) is the Flatiron District's CAMP Store, which has recently unveiled its second theme: Cooking Camp, as well as a membership program, with the promise of a second location coming to Brooklyn in the fall.

Situated on the corner of 16th and Fifth Avenue, CAMP looks like just another retail shop; albeit one with an onsite Milk Bar and a funky collection of merchandise—from toys and games to books and clothing—but there's something spectacular hiding behind a secret door. Find the entrance (with the help of a super-friendly CAMP counselor) and you're in for hours of fun and a cool new indoor place to play.

17 Splash Pads and Spray Grounds to Beat the DC Summer Heat

DC isn't called a swamp just because it was built in a flood-heavy area. Anyone who lives in or has visited the DC area during the summer months knows that DC weather is hot, humid, and sticky! And while heading indoors to explore the area's many museums or indoor play spaces is a great option on those swampy days, jumping into some water is the best way to keep cool. But time doesn't always permit for a daylong excursion to one of DC's many public pools so splash pads and spraygrounds offer a welcome and quick cool down and some summer fun.  

To help you locate one in your area, we've put together a list of our favorite splash pads and spraygrounds in DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland. Check out our picks and escape the swamp-like temps and enjoy outdoor fun with the entire family!

Remember: Unless noted, all splash pads listed are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and are free. Always check venue website for additional information, such as rules of play and closures.

C'mon Summer: 50 Things We Can't Wait to Do This Summer in NYC

Every year, the long "home stretch" between spring break and summer vacation seems like a torturous marathon of end-of-year concerts, award ceremonies, and late nights running around followed by early morning lunch-packing woes and kids who, thanks to the longer hours of daylight, stayed up past bedtime...again.

But take heart, the finish line is in sight, bringing with it adventurous summer camp days and afternoons to while away at your favorite playground or water park. We're officially summer dreaming, and you're the beneficiary. We're sharing our list of 50 things we can't wait to do this summer. They're a mix of annual favorites and new openings, plus more more seasonal happenings that prove the best vacation may just be a staycation.

Best Water Parks and Water Slides around LA and Southern California

Nothing is more fun on a too-hot day than some water play—just ask a kid. If you want to give the kids a welcome surprise on a summer day, take them to a water theme park. There are several water parks in Southern California, with large scale splash parks to please every kid from toddler to teen. Of course, if you're looking for something smaller, closer, or more low-key, you can always check out our list of water play features at city parks; but if you're looking to make a big splash, check out one of the SoCal parks below.

18 Super Sprinkler Parks for Kids on Long Island

When the temperature rises, there’s nothing like jumping through a sprinkler to cool off. Long Island sprinkler parks are great places to take kids because unlike pools and beaches, sprinkler parks have low water depth and often a rubber-like surface. Just add sunscreen and let the adventures begin.

We’ve put together a list of super sprinkler parks that are open to everyone. We've even included a few parks open to residents only. Proof of residency and/or a membership pass can be required at those facilities. Fees and opening days vary, so check websites or call before going.

For more aquatic fun, take a look at our guide to Long Island amusement parks and water parks. For other kid-friendly activities, check out our Spring and Summer Fun Guides, and our recommendations for the best beach playgrounds as well as other top playgrounds and parks on LI

Splash Pads and Water Playgrounds in Westchester and Hudson Valley

Ready to cool off this summer? There are plenty of local pools and swimming lakes, but if you’re looking for something a little different, a splash pad or sprayground is a great choice. The setting is especially fun for younger kids, who can run through the sprinklers and water jets, so swim vest required. Lucky for us, there's a slew of family-friendly sprinkler parks to choose from in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, whether you’re looking for a quick morning trip or an all-day adventure.

We’ve rounded up a few to check out, from Yonkers to Wappingers Falls, including several that offer FREE entry.

12 of the Best Outdoor Water Parks in the US

If your kids love the adventure of amusement parks but are looking for a way to cool off this summer, an outdoor water park might be just the ticket for your family. We've searched out some of the nation's best to compile this list of our favorite family-friendly water parks with relaxing pools, splash pads for toddlers, and thrilling water slides and rides for teenagers.

From New England to Orlando to California, there are plenty of water parks from which to choose. At some of these water parks, visitors can ride the ups and downs of a water coaster, slip through a trap door on a drop slide and spin around an oversized funnel slide for maximum thrills. To truly chill, just pick up a tube and float down a lazy river or rent a cabana with poolside dining.

Have your heart set on a water park vacation but don't want to risk the weather? Check out our list of the 10 Best Indoor Water Parks for Kids in the US.

12 Cool Themed Playgrounds in NYC to Inspire Kids' Imaginations

Imagination is the stuff of childhood magic—and NYC's cleverest themed parks and playgrounds are designed to inspire your kid's always-active mind. Whether your kid fancies playing prehistoric explorer, dreams of conquering Ancient Egypt, or wants to trek across Africa on safari, there's a playground for that. Here are 12 of our favorite themed playgrounds across all five boroughs.

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