Kids

Butterflies and Birds: Where You Can Interact with Them on LI

You know what they say: Birds of a feather flock together. Well, on Long Island they seem to flock to nature preserves, centers, sanctuaries, and farms. Flutter around our area and you can get up close with some beautiful butterflies, too. But don't just wing it — we have the skinny on hoo to see and where.

Need another animal fix? Visit our zoos and gardens guide. Many outdoor petting zoos operate on a seasonal schedule, opening in spring or summer, and closing in fall before the snow arrives.

Review: Gaming with the Franklin Institute's Newest Exhibit

For the avid gamer in your family or for the nostalgic parent who wants to show off their Asteroids skills, Franklin Institute’s latest exhibit GameMasters, one of the many things new to Philly in 2018, gives gaming savvy families a fun way to spend an hour or two in the city. I recently took my young children to check out the new exhibit and here’s what we found.

Petting Zoos Near NYC Where Kids Can See Farm Animals

We're so fortunate to live in a city that offers an incredible array of fun spring activities for kids, but sometimes I fret over the disconnect from nature. I want my daughter to be as comfortable in the country as she is in the urban jungle, so we're always looking for ways to get out of NYC and explore the expansive farmland that borders the city.

While you can meet some furry friends at the city's wonderful zoos, and even get hands-on at their mini petting zoos, there's something particularly special about enjoying an authentic farm setting. We've rounded up our top petting zoos and animal havens to get some serious face time with furry friends. Get ready to load up the family for a day of donkey petting, goat bottle-feedings, and sheep shearing.

Here are our favorite spots for an up-close animal encounter, all within two hours of NYC.

Outdoor Go-Karts Around Houston: The Ultimate Adrenaline Rush

On your mark, get set, go! Take the wheel and head toward one of these family-friendly go-kart tracks in the greater Houston area. Feel the wind in your hair as you whip around hairpin turns and race down straightaways toward the finish line. Go the extra mile at these fantastic outdoor tracks, many of which also offer fun activities such as laser tagmini golf, and arcade games.

Cirque Du Soleil's Volta Is an Artful Adrenaline Rush

Cirque du Soleil's Volta show, which just landed in the greater NYC area, is a feast for the senses. From a stirring score to exhilarating acrobatics and heart-stopping thrills, the newest Cirque spectacle captivated audience members of all ages at the performance my 10-year-old son and I saw Sunday afternoon under the Big Top at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where it will run through May 6.

Volta also plays at the Nassau Colesium on Long Island, beginning May 17, and at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, starting in July.

Flushing's Peek-a-BooO Play Area Brings Super-Sized Kid Fun

Kids in New York City are used to making the most out of small spaces, so when you find a wide open place where they can roam free, it’s a real treat. At over 6,000 square feet, Flushing’s new play space, Peek-a-booO, is a super-sized delight. And it’s not just huge, it’s filled with modern, bright, fun climbing equipment, ball pits, interactive games, toys, and so much more!

Read on to find out all the details about this massive new Queens indoor play area.

12 Great County Parks in Suffolk for Kids

With so many family-friendly county parks dotting the landscape of Suffolk County, there’s no excuse not to visit at least one (or two or three) of these beautiful outdoor destinations. The problem is, which ones to choose?

To help you decide, we’ve rounded up some of the best parks for families. From hiking, biking, and horseback riding to swimming, picnicking, and camping, these have it all, and some have even more, including bird watching, boating, and other family-friendly activities. We could go on and on.

These parks are all worth the trip. But be advised, some require a Suffolk County Green Key for access during peak periods. 

For more outdoor activities with the family, check out our spring fun and day trips guides, and don’t forget our events calendar.

Water Feature: 15 Water Playgrounds and Parks with Splash Pads in LA

Remember those great summer afternoons running through a sprinkler with the neighborhood kids? Over in New England and Nebraska that’s probably still happening, but in parched SoCal we really can't be turning on the hose to while away a lazy afternoon. Instead, packs of puddle-loving Angeleno kids splash through the heat at parks with free and fabulous water features, like the ones below. So if a pool or a water park sounds like too much work today, cool those kids down at a splash pad!

What Ages Get in Free to NYC Museums, Zoos, Amusement Parks

How's the old adage go? The best things in life are free. But for families in NYC, that may sound like crazy talk. From housing to classes to entertainment, everything here seems to cost so much money...or does it?

The fact is, there's plenty of FREE fun for kids in New York City. And even top family attractions that charge entry fees like museums, zoos, amusement parks, and water parks offer no-cost admission for children under certain ages, and those savings can really add up, especially when you have preschoolers or toddlers

So, we decided to make a list of when the freebies end for kids at New York City's best family destinations, from tourist hot spots like the Statue of Liberty to all of the children's museums and zoos and gardens. Yet another reason to wish your children could stay young forever! We've even included a few of our favorite picks in nearby locales, too.

Note: The cut-off ages imply that once kids reach that age, they no longer qualify for free admission, and some places may ask for proof of age. Looking for a 100% FREE outing? Check out our roundup of no-cost admission hours at NYC museums.

Where to See Cherry Blossoms and More Blooms on Long Island

After what felt like an extra-long winter, spring arrives and colors burst all over Long Island. These are perfect days to explore some of the Island’s family-friendly gardens and state parks, where displays of vibrant, eye-popping cherry blossoms—along with a host of other springtime trees and flowers—are in full bloom.

From the the Arbor Day Family Festival (April 28) at Planting Fields Arboretum to the annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival (May 6) at Stony Brook University, your kids get to experience the natural beauty of the season, explore the outdoors, and even learn about different cultures. 

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