Kids

Best Parks in Nassau County for Long Island Kids

With more than 70 parks and recreation facilities, Nassau County is literally full of places to play. Many of these parks have pools—both indoor and outdoor—great playgrounds, and winter skating. Others, which we feature here, offer some of Long Island's most unique opportunities for recreation. From a re-creation of a 19th-century village to an aerodrome field to castle-like mansions, Nassau County has plenty to offer.

Hiking and biking trails, swimming pools, and outdoor adventures can be had all across the county. Our guide to playgrounds and parks is a great place to start.

Exploring the Missouri City Edible Trail

At first glance, the entrance to this trailhead in Southwest Houston looks like any other. The unassuming concrete pathway stretches out in front of you, shaded by trees and running parallel to Oyster Creek. It could be a million other trails, and if you didn't know what you were looking for you might assume it was just that. But a short ways down the path from our start in the dirt parking lot is a sign that tells visitors just how unique this pathway really is: "Welcome to the Missouri City Edible Arbor Trail." 

Kids Free October in San Diego: Zoo, Legoland, Seaworld, and More

The lazy days of summer may be over, but that's no reason to trade adventurous family outings for a never ending cycle of school drop-offs, pick-ups, and algebra homework. Instead, pack up the car and head south during San Diego Tourism Authority's annual Kids Free promotion.

The citywide campaign kicks off October 1, enticing families to visit San Diego's big-ticket attractions like Legoland, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wildlife Park, and Seaworld. Children can eat, stay, and play for free at more than 100 participating hotels, restaurants, museums, and parks until October 31.

We've selected 10 offers that we think are particularly good deals; put two or three together, and you've definitely got savings worth traveling for. Scroll down for a link to all 100+ free opportunities for kids in October.

Kids Play for Free at These New York City Stores

Looking for a new rainy-day play destination? With Toys "R" Us back in Times Square for the holidays and a brand-new American Girl store opening soon, there's no shortage of stores in New York City where kids can play for free. You'll find options as varied as building Lego friends, exercising on the Wii Fit, or getting their train fix for the day, and the kids will be so exhausted by day's end, they might not even whine about leaving the Nintendo system behind (fingers crossed).

For more indoor play options, check out our guide to Indoor Play Spaces and Fun Zones in NYC.

What Ages Get in Free at Philly Museums, Zoos, Gardens, Amusement Parks

Let's be honest, having kids can be expensive. Entertaining kids can be even more expensive. Museums, zoos, and amusement parks can be fun and even educational, but not always economical. Sometimes the best time to go is when the littlest ones can still get in with free admission. Maybe you can even check a few things off of your bucket list. To make it easy, we've created this list of which places offer free admission for what ages. We've even included some more obscure museums so you can broaden your horizons and try some place new! So hurry up and plan that outing while the kids are still little.

Cool Pumpkin Displays, Festivals, and Decorating Events in NJ

Are your kids already preparing for Halloween, with visions of candy, costumes, and pumpkins dancing in their heads? Kick off the festive fall season at one of the many wonderful pumpkin-themed events happening around NJ, from elaborate pumpkin exhibits and carving competitions to good old-fashioned pumpkin picking and decorating fun.

Read on for our top picks, plus a bonus event that’s worth a drive across the state line. You can find even more even seasonal events in our Fall Fun Guide

Insider's Guide to Exploring Katy, TX with Kids

It's no secret that there are no shortage of things to do in Houston. The city is known for being richly diverse in both its people and its activities, and that includes the surrounding cities and towns. A straight shot down I-10 West will take you to Katy - a city that mixes quaint, small town charm with bustling big city sophistication. Read on for the best things to do in Katy, TX with your kids!

Why Every Harry Potter Fan Should See Puffs

My 10-year-old daughter is a Harry Potter fanatic. She’s read the series six times, watched all the movies, and still sincerely hopes for an acceptance letter from Hogwarts when she turns 11. We’ve both taken online quizzes to figure out which Hogwarts house we’d belong to. (She got Gryffindor, and I got Ravenclaw.) When I heard about Puffs, a play that recounts the Harry Potter story from the perspective of the Hufflepuffs, who were mostly background characters in the Harry Potter saga, I knew we had to see it.

Puffs is charming, entertaining, and fast-paced. The premise is simple: No one really wants to be a Puff, not even the Hufflepuffs. When the characters receive their house assignments, the new Puffs feel a little bewildered. What is being a Puff really about?

Read on for our full review, or check out our NYC Theater Guide for more family shows playing now, and coming soon, such as Frozen and SpongeBob.

Ultimate Halloween Guide for NYC Kids: Parades, Costumes, More

For New York City kids, Halloween doesn't just take place on October 31. The entire month is filled with a terrifying number of costume parades, pumpkin festivals, and plenty of FREE Halloween happenings leading up to the big night of trick-or-treating. You think getting your kid to choose a costume is hard? Trying to figure out which celebrations to hit is enough to make you run screaming into the night, which is why we've rounded up the absolute best ways to get into the spirit of the season.

You'll find top picks for Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, and several fun family day trips to the nearby Hudson Valley and New Jersey. As always, we included only our favorite events, and many are FREE or inexpensive. To make sure your brood is truly prepared, we've also included info on where to get children's costumes and professional makeup done in NYC. Booyah!

Weekday Picks: Corn Mazes, Apple Festival, and the Beginning of Halloween Fun: September 25- 29

These beautiful warm days throw a wrench into the fall wardrobe plans, but no bother, it won't last long. Now that school is back in session, we're settling into our school routines and with homework and swim practice, there are only so many hours in the day for fun. We've made a plan for the week ahead and hope to see you at some of the following activities, whether on a non-scary pumpkin adventure, finding our way through a corn maze, or checking out a life-sized beaver lodge.

If you've got apple picking on your mind, the weekdays  can be a great time to beat the crowds. Check our guide to find the perfect place for your next picking adventure (always double check the picking conditions/hours before heading out).

Be sure to find all things Halloween and Fall in our guide and click over to our frequently updated Event Calendar for even more suggestions. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to be sure you're never out of the loop.

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