Kids

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. 

Have you Visited Connecticut's only National Park Site?

Tucked in the bucolic countryside of Fairfield County, Weir Farm is the only in the National Park Service dedicated to the arts.  Also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Weir Farm has inspired generations of visitors on 60 acres of painterly pastoral paradise. You'll love the peace and serenity Weir Farm brings, your kids will love the pastels. 

Brooklyn and Queens Beer Gardens Where Kids Are Welcome

New York City is overflowing with family-friendly restaurants, but how about bars? Chasing a toddler through a dimly-lit room that's crowded with tables probably isn't your idea of a successful happy hour. When you're looking to grab a drink with the kids in tow, beer gardens are a better option, with plenty of space for little ones to roam around and menus packed with hearty fare that's sure to please picky palates.

Turns out that Brooklyn could give Bavaria a run for its money when it comes to kid-friendly beer gardens. A few even offer special activities for tots like sing-alongs and playgroups during daytime hours. So whether you're celebrating a birthday, or just making it through the day without a meltdown, here are some of NYC's best beer gardens and halls where families can raise their glasses. We've even thrown in a couple of Queens spots, too.

Remember to call ahead or check the weather if you're looking to sit outside. Some beer gardens are just seasonal, or will close all outdoor seating in cold temperatures.

30 Things To Do in Austin, TX With Kids

As a native Texan, I can quickly rattle off about 100 obscure things that make Austin an amazing place for a family getaway. But on a larger scale, Austin, Texas, is widely known for several major reasons. Hailed as the live music capital of the world, Austin is home to one of the nation's most notorious music festivals, SXSW (South by Southwest), as well as the Austin City Limits Festival, and many smaller permanent live music venues throughout the city. Austin is a college town, home to The University of Texas campus, the second largest university in the second largest state in the country. It's also the state's capital, which means it is rich with historical sites, museums, and iconic landmarks. 

The city's popularity is booming thanks in part to the wide variety of culturally enriching activities available, especially for families. "Keep Austin Weird" is the city's unofficial mantra, and boy do they ever keep it weird...in the best way. This list of must-do family activities in the capital of the Lone Star State includes quirky toy shops, breathtaking outdoor sites, unique museums, and even a collection of old "junk" in one man's backyard. And don't forget, we also have awesome ideas for the best things to do with kids in other parts of Texas, including San Antonio and Houston.

Zip Lines, Ropes Courses, and Outdoor Adventure Parks Near NYC

We all need a little excitement in our lives. For some, any of these 13 carousels around New York City will deliver all the excitement in the world. For others, the idea of zip-lining through the air ranks high on their to-do list. Of course, adventure parks aren't for everyone, but there's proof they help children learn problem-solving and collaboration skills. Plus, it's just plain fun to play together as a family and create unforgettable memories.

New York City may not be the epicenter of adventure parks, but it's making strides, especially with the new Adventures on Governors Island, the Bronx Zoo's Treetop Adventure, and a seriously high-flying outdoor zip line in Queens. Meanwhile, just outside the city limits, there are dozens of rope and zip line courses.

We've rounded up a handful of our favorite outdoor adventure parks either in the city or reachable within a quick day trip. Also make sure to see our brand new guide to 25 outdoor adventures in the city for NYC kids.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Party for the Planet, HobbyFest, April 21-22

Earth Day is this Sunday, and Houston is throwing multiple parties to celebrate! From an overnight trip to the Houston Zoo to volunteering at Buffalo Bayou or visiting your local farmer's market, there are plenty of ways you can get outdoors, celebrate our planet, and support local causes that serve to better our community and keep it beautiful this weekend. 

Earth Day isn't the only big event happening in the Bayou City, though; Evelyn's Park is taking a trip down the rabbit hole to Wonderland this weekend, with brand new Alice in Wonderland inspired sculptures taking up residence in the park. There are 150 different hidden things in the sculptures, making this a fun trip for the family you don't want to miss. 

Our event calendar is also packed with family-friendly events that span both the week and weekend, so it's always easy to find something to do around the city, and our April GoList features the top activities happening this month. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter to get all of our posts delivered straight to your inbox.

If you're hosting an event, we'd love to highlight it for you. Simply submit your event to our calendar, and we'll make sure it gets shared with our readers. 

Now let's check out what's happening this weekend!

Earth Day Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Kites, Cosplay, and Parties for the Planet

It's Earth Day weekend, and there are outdoor activities galore around Connecticut. Bring the family to historic Wooster Park in downtown New Haven for the 45th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival. While you're there, double up on Elm City fun at the Yale Peabody Museum's annual Earth Day celebration. Earth Day celebrations are also taking place this weekend in Stamford, Bethel, and Simsbury. If you are in the southwestern part of the state, you can fly high at the annual Greenwich Kite Festival or check out the greatest show (and tell) on Earth at the Westport Makers Faire

If you're still looking for more, check our frequently updated Events Calendar, sign up for our newsletters, and follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram

Trash and Recycling Events: Sanitation Yard Open Houses for Kids Who Love Garbage Trucks

Vroom Vroom! Does the sound of the garbage truck coming down the street send your kids running to watch? Do they dream of grabbing a ride? Earth Day kicks off city yard open houses and recycling fair season, and these events are hugely popular with kids of a certain age. More than 6,000 residents attend an open house in an average year. If your kiddos have any curiosity about what goes on in a garbage truck, this is their chance to satisfy it.

Weekend Fun for LI Kids: Earth Day, Spring Celebrations

Celebrate Mother Nature this Earth Day weekend with a visit to one of Long Island's bountiful nature centers or take a stroll along one of these family-friendly hiking trails

There's plenty to do, from eco-friendly carnivals to farm events, conservation programs and more. Enjoy a day of fee-free family fun at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site or celebrate spring and the outdoors in Stony Brook.

Hop over to our April GoList to find more seasonal entertainment, and pad your wallet with a list of FREE family activities this month.

Of course, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids. Don't see a great event listed here? Add it to our Event Calendar yourself. 

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