Preschoolers

NYC's Best Playgrounds: 18 Parks Worthy of a Subway Schlep

Playgrounds may be as much a part of childhood as potty training and the tooth fairy, but to city families, having a go-to playground is a real sanity saver. When you live in a tiny apartment, the neighborhood park is like your backyard.

While New Yorkers are lucky to have many awesome local play spots, some NYC playgrounds are a cut above the rest. These spots offer plenty of space to romp and enough outdoor entertainment to make them worth a schlep on the subway. Without further ado, read on for 18 of the city's best playgrounds—our NYC playground hall of fame.

Water Feature: 16 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 here in SoCal turning on the hose for entertainment is frowned upon these days. Instead, packs of puddle-loving Angeleno kids splash through hot days at parks with free and fabulous water features, like the ones below—many of which are open year-round. So if a pool or a water park sounds like too much work today, cool those kids down at a splash pad!

12 Amazing Playgrounds Worth Driving to Across Connecticut

Now that we have had a few 60 degree days on the books, it's time to pull out the water bottles and pile the kids in the car to hit some of the best playgrounds in Connecticut. All of these playgrounds are unique, fun, and are less than a 45-minute drive away from anywhere in the state. Also, don't forget to check out some of our favorite neighborhood playgrounds in the Hartford and Fairfield areas.

The Best Animal Farms and Petting Zoos on Long Island

Whether you are looking for a low-key petting zoo or an exotic experience with wild animals, there's no shortage of places on Long Island where children can interact with nature's noble creatures. If they want to, Long Island kids can do everything from feed a giraffe to visit with an alpaca, and even ride a safari train. 

Be sure to check our directory of zoos and gardens on Long Island, and peruse our pick-your-own guide for more local farm fun. And, for more seasonal fun, be sure to check our event calendar

Life-Size Robot Dinos Roar at New Dinosaur Safari at the Bronx Zoo

They roar, brandish their teeth, and swing their tails and claws at you, but these prehistoric giants can't hurt anyone...we think. They’re all part of the new Dinosaur Safari opening at the Bronx Zoo on April 19, just in time for spring break.

Families board an open-air wagon to hit the trail in the Bronx for a ride through a prehistoric-themed display of 40 life-size, animatronic dinosaurs. Read on for all the details on this fun new attraction for kids at NYC’s largest zoo, including how to get tickets and must-know tips for families.

10 Things To Do at Harvard's Arnold Arboretum with Kids in Boston

Do you know that one of the area's most beautiful and peaceful parks is inside city limits—and absolutely free to visit? The second largest "link" in the Emerald Necklace of green space that encircles Boston, the Arnold Arboretum is 281 rolling acres of four-seasons fun, operated by Harvard University and located in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. The Arboretum is most well-known for its springtime blooms, especially lilacs, but families also flock here for summer hikes, fall foliage, and wintertime sledding. Here are 10 ideas to while away a day in nature, just a short drive or subway ride from downtown.

40 Things to Do with New Jersey Preschoolers Before They Turn 5

We have just five precious years or so to spend with our little ones before they head off to kindergarten. At this age, kids are growing and developing faster than they will at any other time in their lives, so many of us want to fill their days with as many opportunities to learn, laugh, and love life as possible! That means play spacesmommy-and-me classes, storytimesplaygrounds, and other treasures that the Garden State holds for toddlers.

Take advantage of these great opportunities throughout New Jersey while your preschoolers are young enough to appreciate them—and sometimes even young enough to score FREE admission.

For more can't-miss Garden State destinations, check out 100 Things to Do in New Jersey with Kids Before They Grow Up.

PJ Library Delivers Free Children's Books Every Month

Reading to kids and making sure they have access to plenty of good books is one of the best gifts you can give. Luckily, PJ Library helps parents deliver by providing free high-quality literature celebrating Jewish culture, values, and heritage to children ages 6 months to 11 years old.

Free books? So, what's the catch? There isn't one! Made possible through the Harold Grinspoon Foundation in partnership with philanthropists and local Jewish organizations, PJ Library mails more than 600,000 professionally curated books to families around the world every single month. No matter your family's level of Jewish observance or knowledge, PJ Library has a diverse selection of books that will enrich your home with wonderful stories and more quality reading time.

Some of the books introduce Jewish holidays like Passover, the Hebrew alphabet, and Bible stories, while others focus on traditional folk tales and themes like immigration and environmentalism. You'll find picture books like I Dissent, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, and chapter books like Zlateh the Goat, a collection of tales by Isaac Bashevis Singer and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. The selection even includes Caldecott-honored books such as Joseph Had a Little Overcoat and It Could Always Be Worse. Family favorites!

Queens Party Places: 33 Top Spots for Kids' Birthdays

We've profiled cool NYC party places in the past, but there are so many awesome birthday spots in good old Queens alone that it deserves a post of its own.

These Queens birthday party places cater to all kinds of kids, from active to artsy to animal lovers. As a Queens mom with two children, I've been to many of these spots personally. You can find additional birthday inspiration in our NYC Party Guide.

10 Great Summer Camps for Preschoolers in and Around Boston

Ready or not, summer is just a few months away and it's time to plan a way to keep your Boston kids occupied. This is especially true for preschool-aged kids, for whom summer planning can be particularly tricky: They're old enough to want (and need) some mental and social stimulation outside the house, but not so mature that you can plant them at any old camp and trust they'll make do (or articulate why they're not). The good news is that the Boston area offers lots of great summer programs for preschoolers, from traditional day camps to out-of-the-box options. We've listed some of our favorite summer camps that cater to the little kids, even as young as toddlers.

Find more great summer camp options for your Massachusetts kids in our Camp Guide and Directory of listings, which is searchable by interest, age, or location.

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