Kids

Harry Potter Heaven: Warner Brothers Studio Tour Is a London Must

Most American Potter fans know that Universal Studios has created a little piece of Hogwarts heaven in two locations—The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Hollywood and at Universal Studios Orlando—but it should come as no surprise that the true center of the Potter universe is in London, England, where all of Harry’s adventures began. Apart from all of the real life British places a muggle might want to snap a photo (e.g. Kings Cross Station for platform 9 3/4, which British Rail good naturedly erected a few years back), the true wizard Mecca is Warner Brothers Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, housed at the film studio that was Harry's world for the decade or so that the films were in production. Fans of wizardry and magic can walk in the very footsteps of their heroes at the Warner Bros Tour.

The Best Family-Friendly Hotels on Long Island

No one grooves on the magic of a hotel stay more than kids. The swimming-pool smell, the room-service abandon, and the I-must-have-done-something-right feeling sparks through them the minute the swoosh open the lobby doors.

With that in mind, we've put together our list of the best kid-friendly hotels in Nassau and Suffolk, and even added a few on the East End. So whether you’re frequenting local attractions or hosting out-of-town guests, these destinations are sure to delight teeny travelers and discerning grown-ups alike. Happy travels.

Revitalized Balboa Fun Zone Blends Education with Boardwalk Fun in Newport Beach

Looking for a kid-approved way to spend an afternoon in the OC? The iconic Balboa Fun Zone has been serving up family fun SoCal-style for more than 80 years—and now with an educational twist. In addition to the delicious food, eclectic shopping, and famous Balboa Ferris Wheel that have made this destination a Newport Beach favorite for ages, Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest Museum is now bringing exciting learning opportunities to the revitalized boardwalk.

Best New Jersey Arcades To Visit with the Kids

"When I was your age..." This phrase could lead to droll talk of land-line telephones and paper maps—or it could yield a bit more enthusiasm when a kid actually enjoys rather than mocks their parent's childhood experience. A good arcade makes this possible. At these indoor fun spots, kids and their parents can enjoy vintage attractions like Skee-Ball, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Ms. Pac Man, air hockey, and pinball—plus check out new games, updates of old faves, and even virtual adventures.

We've rounded up a few of the best arcades in New Jersey, from Game Vault in Morristown to Silverball Museum Arcade in Asbury Park, where you can have fun and lose track of time together.

Summer Must-Dos: 33 Things to Do in NYC Before School Starts

With August upon us and the start of a new school year looming, my kids and I are in a panic about all the things we haven't yet crossed off our NYC summer bucket list.

Sure, we've had a lot of fun tooling around the city, enjoying our local swimming pool, reigniting a love for some favorite playgrounds, and soaking up all the FREE entertainment. There are plenty of great activities we haven't gotten to, though.

So as a reminder to us, and to you, we've crafted this list of 33 things to do before summer ends. Some are summer-only events happening all month; others are one-time-only affairs, so read on and get ready to dive in before the summer sun sets!

Get Up Close with Kids' Favorite "Things that Go"

With Touch-A-Truck events, Philly kids--and kids at heart--can get up close with their favorite "things that go." From fire trucks and backhoes to new concept cars and monster trucks, these events are fun ways to hop inside vehicles you might not otherwise get a chance to see. Often, they help support local charities, township programs, and first responders so you can feel good about having fun and helping out some great causes, too. 

If you have a car, truck, or ambulance lover in your family, check out our list of local Touch-A-Truck events happening nearby. For more ideas of things to do, head on over to our events calendar.

NYC Playgrounds with Shade: Stay Cool With Shady Park Benches and Equipment

While kids can always cool off in NYC's many sprinklers, we parents are often stuck baking in the sun all day during the heat of the city's summer as we supervise outdoor play. It's a problem our readers know too well—each summer we get requests for recommendations of shady spots to play.

Although we know of a couple playgrounds that offer exceptional amounts of shade—Hippo Playground in Riverside Park and Discovery Playground in Fort Washington Park come to mind—we decided to ask our readers if they knew of any super-shady playgrounds in New York City. They came through with a number of great suggestions.

Please keep in mind that the name of the game here is comfort on a hot summer day; though we have visited plenty of destination playgrounds, with a few exceptions, these shady suggestions tend to be neighborhood standbys and small playgrounds that have plenty of shade, but perhaps not too many bells and whistles.

9 Makerspaces Where Boston Kids Can Be Creative

Looking for ways to reboot kids' brains as the school year approaches? Consider a makerspace visit. For parents not familiar with makerspaces (also known as hackerspaces), think of them as similar to art classes—with an engineering twist. People go to create something through free expression with tools they otherwise don't have, but instead of oil-based paints and canvases, makerspaces provide 3D printers, computer-aided design software, and other technology.

Although folks of all ages can participate in makerspaces, the best ones for kids have an emphasis on youth-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning. Here is a rundown of fun and kid-centric makerspace options in the Boston area.

Island Living at Sherwood Island State Park

Your Connecticut license plate gets you more than the privilege to drive on our roads - it is also your FREE ticket to Connecticut’s State Parks as part of the “Passport to Parks” program. Located in Westport, Sherwood Island is Fairfield County’s only coastal state operated facility. With over 238 acres of shoreline to explore, swim, fish, hike, or relax in, it is no wonder that Sherwood Island is a gem of Fairfield County.

The Best Zoos and Aquariums in NYC

Ever think you would spot a seal in Manhattan, or a giraffe in The Bronx? Did you ever hope you'd be surrounded by sharks at Coney IslandNew York city zoos offer families the chance to get up close and personal with animals from all over the world.  Each borough boasts its own unique zoo experience. Whether your children are big or small, there is a zoo somewhere in NYC suited to their age, interests and attention span. Best of all, access to these creatures doesn't have to break the bank. Free admission can be as easy as picking the right afternoon to visit. Check out our insider tips for making the most of New York City's zoos.

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