Preschoolers

Top Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in New Jersey

Looking for an outdoor winter activity for the whole family? There are a number of outdoor ice skating rinks in NJ where you can take a skating lesson, play hockey, or just grab a hot chocolate and go for a spin during a public session. Of course, if you feel like staying indoors, you can always check out our list of the Best Indoor Ice Skating Rinks in NJ. And for more wintry sports, try our Ski & Snow Guide.

Zimmer Children's Museum Moving to Santa Monica in 2018

Big news out of Santa Monica this morning: the Zimmer Children's Museum, the hugely popular Miracle Mile hub for the preschool set, is making a break for the beach. Macerich, owners of the recently refurbished Santa Monica Place mall, that sits with an ocean view at the end of the Third Street Promenade, announced today that it will be the new home of the Zimmer Museum by the end of 2018—giving families one more reason to spend a day in the seaside suburb.

Best Indoor Play Spots for Toddlers and Preschoolers in Manhattan

The playground isn't always an option for keeping antsy little New Yorkers (and the grown-up variety) busy. When the weather turns and the stir-craziness sets in, it's time to search out indoor options that are not your apartment. 

After finding myself searching for indoor play options a few too many times, I'm offering my mom-tested picks for the top spots for the toddler-and-preschool set in Manhattan. None of these places—kid gyms, museums, and even atriums—require a membership, and all will help you, your little one, and, most importantly, your apartment survive a long, cold winter or rainy day.

Read on for a dozen of the best places to play with your preschooler in Manhattan, including FREE spots.

10 of the Best Family-Friendly Museums on Long Island

Few things are better for parents than introducing children to culture while also having some fun. Luckily for us, Long Island is home to a host of museums that cater to a younger crowd. In fact, many of these sites offer hands-on, interactive exhibits and activities that can be enjoyed by children of all ages.

From air and space to science and trains, these spots offer special exhibits and programs to keep children engaged, entertained, and educated. So why not visit? In the meantime, scope out some more fun in our Guide to Indoor Play Spaces on Long Island as well as our Event Calendar. And our museums guide offers the complete lowdown on Long Island planetariums, science centers, historic sites, and more.

Getting Started with Ice Hockey: Classes and Leagues at Rinks around LA and the Valley

Playing hockey on the local pond? Yeah, that'll happen when the Valley freezes over. But just because our kids can't go out back to hit a puck around like their snow-bound counterparts on the East Coast doesn't mean they can't get the ice time to pursue their Olympic hockey dreams -- the LA area produces some of the top figure skaters and hockey players in the country. Here are some top spots for kids to hit the ice and hone their hockey technique.

Houston's Newest Indoor Playground Makes Us Say 'Hooray'

Every mom can agree that having a good go-to indoor playspace can be a lifesaver when you need to get out of the house, but not necessarily outdoors. However, as the mom of two kids that fall into very different categories on the developmental spectrum, it is surprisingly hard to find playspaces that cater to both of my kids' age groups within the same space. More commonly, there are two entirely separate areas for the babies/young toddlers and the older toddlers/little kids, making it impossible to keep an eye on both kids if I let my youngest play. Houston's newest indoor playground just opened in Katy, and it did not disappoint. Read on to get the inside scoop on Hooray

10 Must-See Exhibits at Boston's Museum of Science

The Museum of Science is a paradise for pretty much any curious kid, which is why, in a city packed with brainy attractions, the MOS is probably our crown jewel. Many of the exhibits are specifically aimed at children, with lots of opportunities for fun and hands-on learning, but parents are certain to learn something new when visiting the MOS. The catch: With 130,000 square feet of exhibit halls, it's nearly impossible to soak up every part of the museum, so it's best to go with a game plan in mind. While not every family is going to agree on their favorites, we're pretty certain you can't go wrong by hitting these highlights—none of which, by the way, require extra money beyond regular admission fees. 

Best Off-Broadway Shows Playing in NYC for Kids

Taking kids to a Broadway show is an exciting and memorable experience. It's also a pricey one. That's why it's worth looking beyond the Great White Way to Off-Broadway, where there are a handful of long-running, kid-friendly shows that are less expensive, more offbeat, but no less special.

From a surefire toddler hit to a Harry Potter parody for tweens to those world-famous blue dudes, there are options for all ages and interests, and we've even shared ways you can get deeply discounted tickets. All of these Off-Broadway productions make great birthday party activities, too.

Cabin Fever Relief: Don't Miss these Play Cafes for Westchester Kids and Parents

While it’s fun to take the kids to a dedicated play space—and trust us, there are lots of those to choose from in Westchester—there are times when you want to go somewhere that has something for both you (read: coffee, brownies, both) and the kids. You’re in luck: There are a few places in our area where you can meet a friend for tea or hang out with your spouse over lunch that also offer fun things for kids to do, too—whether it’s reading a good book, drawing on a chalkboard wall, going down slides or building with blocks and construction sets.

Looking for even more places to take the whole family? Check out our kid-friendly restaurant guide

Ways to Meet Other Parents on Long Island

New to parenthood or to your neighborhood? Seeking to meet other parents like yourself? The winter months make it tough to get out and socialize. But don't worry, you don't need to take out a personal ad. Try these ideas to get up and out and meet new folks (and kids).

Remember, this list is a sampling of some of the largest groups, but certainly not exhaustive. If you don’t see your neighborhood on the list, search a Yahoo Groups directory for your area (or interest), adding “parents"  to the search. Also visit Meetup’s Parents and Family page.

For more creative play ideas ideas, check out our guide to indoors activities on Long Island.  

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