Kids

Captive with Clues: Family-Friendly Escape Rooms in NJ

Sometimes 15 minutes alone in the car with kids can seem like an hour, especially when they’re in the back seat fighting or asking “are we there yet?” So why would a parent choose to lock themselves in a tiny room with their children? Well, to figure out how to escape, of course.

Escape rooms are the latest entertainment craze for those brave enough, clever enough, and not too claustrophobic to take on the challenge. Up to 10 participants get “locked” in a thematic room with a compelling story line such as finding your way off an island, out of a mysterious location, or escaping before falling victim to a terrible curse. The group has up to an hour to find and solve clues hidden literally anywhere in the room and free themselves. Clues can be as simple as a color or a number; they can be in code; they can be subtly hidden in a picture or painting, on a piece of paper, in a decorative item in the room. A Game Master monitors all the action on video screen and is available to offer help upon request.

Read on for our our list of family-friendly escape rooms in NJ!

The Coop: Toddler-Friendly Cafe Opens in Bay Ridge

The Coop in Bay Ridge goes beyond high chairs and French fries to deliver a truly kid-friendly cafe that families adore. This cozy cafe has a bar-like vibe and friendly staff, delectable food and drinks, and plenty of space to sit back and relax. What really sets it apart from other cafes, though, is the kid-friendly play area in the back. The Coop welcomes parents to relax and dine while their children play in a safe and fun space—all within arm's reach. Peace for the parents, fun and games for the kids.

Best Restaurants Near the American Museum of Natural History

No Manhattan neighborhood screams kid-friendly quite like the Upper West Side. The area's restaurants are overwhelmingly kid-friendly. There are lots of eateries where families can dine, whether you're looking for a sit-down place to enjoy a full meal or a spot where you can grab a quick, casual bite.

So, while you really can't go wrong, we've rounded up 12 of the best spots near two of our favorite kid-centric destinations: CMOM (83rd Street and between Amsterdam and Broadway) and AMNH (79th Street and Central Park West). For additional family-friendly options, check out our post about the best burgers on the Upper West Side.

7 Places Where Long Island Kids Can Be Marine Biologists for a Day

If your children are aspiring marine biologists--or simply obsessed with marine aquaculture--then Long Island is the right place to live. Within a short drive of just about wherever you are, you’ll find a museum, nature center or aquatic facility dedicated to marine life. Kids can do everything from learn about ocean life and touch stingrays to swim with actual sharks. These five places are most appropriate for toddlers and older, but chances are these destinations will draw a learning smile from even the youngest in your family. And for more to do this season, be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide.

Weekday Picks for LI Kids: Strawberry Moon Hike, Family Fun Night, June 20-24

For many Long Island kids, this is the last week of school--and there's plenty of things to do before the summer season begins. Knock down some pins at after-school bowling, enjoy the nighttime sky with a hike in Quogue, play some retro video games at the Cradle of Aviation and pack a picnic for Family Fun Night at Planting Fields. 

There's even more going on this week, so be sure to take a look at our Long Island events calendar and our Summer Fun Guide. You can also get the best events of the week sent directly to your inbox each week if you sign up for our newsletter.

Weekday Picks: Movies, Gardens, and Stars, June 20-24, 2016

Summer officially arrives on Monday, and with it comes the fun outdoor movies, concerts, and hands on learning programs that make life in Connecticut so much fun.  This week alone, families can enjoy a movie on the beach or in a cool, air conditioned theater, or get up close and personal with hands on projects exploring gardening, flotation devices, or astronomy.

My own kids finished school last week so I'll be scouring the Event Calendar (and posting new events) to keep us all busy and happy. Check back here often and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so that you don't miss a thing.

4th of July Fireworks Shows - Where To Watch in LA & OC

Who's ready for some rockets' red glare? LA and Orange County's many communities compete for sky space on July 4th, launching fireworks willy-nilly at the stroke of 9pm. From the mountains, to the valleys, to the ocean, Angelenos have plenty of directions to look on Independence Day. Whether your plan is to book a fireworks cruise, to lay a blanket in a park, or to close all the windows and try not to wake the baby, it helps to know where those firecrackers are being aimed. Below is a list of locations lighting up the night sky on the 4th of July (plus one on June 25).

Dinosaurs Return to New Jersey at New Field Station

Calling all pint-size paleontologists! New Jersey’s outdoor dinosaur-themed adventure park, Field Station: Dinosaurs, once homeless, has again found a spot for its T-Rex and 30-plus other animatronic dinos.

The seasonal kiddie attraction skipped over from its old location in Secaucus, New Jersey, to a flat, sunny field not far from the George Washington Bridge for the summer of 2016. The new digs in Overpeck County Park in Leonia, NJ, are temporary and so, the set-up is probably not as impressive as what past visitors will remember, but my two little kids (ages 3.5 and 1.5) had a blast during our recent visit.

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