Kids

Free and Cheap Kids' Ski Programs in the Northeast This Winter

Let's face facts: No matter how exhilarating skiing and snowboarding are, they are also among the most expensive activities in which a family can participate—especially if your kids take a single run and spend the rest of the day sipping cocoa.

Thankfully, many nearby state ski associations offer free or mostly free lift tickets to grade-schoolers, even if you're not a resident of that state. Of course, there are hurdles to clear to get those benefits—kids need to be the appropriate age, apply online and, in some cases, be accompanied by a paying adult. There are also "processing fees" attached to several, but it breaks down to a very discounted ticket if you use it more than once. But for avid skiers and riders, or those who merely want to try out the sports, these programs can save you plenty of cash when skiing with the kids.

Read on for more information on how to ski for free in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. (Note: Connecticut has a residents-only program for free ski passes for kids at Mohawk Mountain.)

Check our Ski and Snow Sports Guide for more fun on local hills and mountains.

LA's Christmas Boat Parades: Newport Beach, the Marina, and 9 More

Unlike certain other parts of the country that shall remain nameless (no need to go rubbing it in the noses of cities like, say, Boston), LA is all about outdoor activities at Christmastime - and nothing says "This is why I moved to Southern California" quite like a Christmas boat parade. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, boat owners gussy up their crafts and parade them up and down waterways for applauding spectators, who line the harbors and marinas from Dana Point to Ventura. Driving around looking at holiday lights is great; letting them float by you is even better...

Rockets and Drones: Helping Your LA Kid Reach for the Stars

Even in sunny-and-seventy SoCal, motivating kids to put down devices and enjoy the great outdoors can be nigh on impossible. One thing that might lure them out is blasting rockets into space, or sending drones on a flight mission. Becoming a mini-pilot or mission control specialist is less complicated than you might think, once you've figured out where to fly without upsetting local law enforcement. We've collected all the info you need below to get on a flight path. Getting airborne is not as pricey as it once was, and best of all? Rockets and drones can inspire budding engineers to extend their STEM wings.

Silver Lights Festival Adds Sparkle to the Season

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, gorillas swung from trees, playful penguins surrounded an igloo, and a seal put on a rooftop show. Technically, the time is now, the land is the not-so-distant city of Meriden, and the adorable creatures are more than 300 characters featured during the Festival of Lights. This annual and very family-friendly holiday lights event in the New Haven area is not to be missed due to its charm, great photo opportunities, and affordable price tag (umm, it's free!). 

Lights, Shows, & More Lights: Holiday Fun at Magical Winter Lights

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and there is so much truth to that statement when it comes to celebrating the holidays in Houston. Our city is full of beautiful public holiday light displays and has no shortage of neighborhoods with lights galore. However, there is Houston light display extravaganza so mesmerizing, it can only be called one thing: Magical. Magical Winter Lights presents magnificent displays of holiday lights arranged into several themed areas, celebrates Chinese culture with acrobatic performances and crafts, and is home to a host of carnival games and rides. We took our kids (ages 3, 9, and 11) to check out the festival this year and it did not disappoint. 

December GoList: Best Holiday Events and Activities for LA and OC Kids

Thanksgiving is behind us, and the daily, backward-counting dose of chocolate known as Advent begins. Suddenly we have barely three weeks left to squeeze every bit of holiday fun out of this city that we possibly can—with a week left over to decide whether we should try to celebrate New Year's Eve with our kids, or elusively without them. There are amazing holiday light displays to take in; and then there are more amazing holiday light displays. There are Santa photos to snap, trees to lightNutcrackers to see, and Hanukkah looms large on the lit horizon, too. In short, no matter how hard you try to do it all, there is more epic fun stuff going on than anyone could possibly do in a month. If you had to choose, though, below are the dozen December events we would suggest you make time for.

December GoList: The Best Things To Do With CT Kids This Month

The holiday season is in full swing. Connecticut families looking for fun don't have to look far this December. There are lots of great shows, holiday festivals, Santa Claus visits, reindeer sightings, and holiday strolls in our GoList. So many that we've rounded up 25 of our favorite events. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, where you'll find a list of each week's highlighted events as well as information for great giveaways. And for even more holiday fun, including where to find that perfect Christmas tree, be sure to check out our CT Holiday Fun Guide. Happy Holidays!

Drop-in Play Spaces for Kids in NYC That Cost $12 or Less

New York City is packed with fun indoor play spaces to keep kids active all year. Unfortunately, the average price at these parental lifesavers keeps creeping up. Admission often runs $20 to $25 per child for a single drop-in. Pricey fees or membership commitments can quickly ruin your plans for a quick escape from the staying-in doldrums.

Of course, we're here to help. We've rounded up a dozen options for drop-in play—all for under $12 a visit, and a few that cost significantly less!

Read on for open play sessions that won’t break the bank in nearly all five boroughs, and find more indoor fun spots in our local NYC guide, or at-home boredom buster games and crafts for those days when you really want to pinch a penny.

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