Crystal Springs Resort: Two NJ Hotels Host Mountains of Family Fun

Sometimes, it's all about the location when you travel. Exploring new areas of your state or country are exciting. But other times, it's all about the amenities. When you pack two sister resorts full of skiing, snow adventures, water play, and spa options, there's really no need to go past the grounds—which is the case with Crystal Springs Resort in northern New Jersey.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about Grand Cascades Lodge and Minerals Hotel, and if they're right for your family.

Find more vacation destinations in our Family Resort Guide, which is packed with reviews.

Philly by Bike: 12 Parks, Paths, and Trails for City Kids to Ride Safely

Riding a bike, that quintessential childhood experience that somehow harkens both innocence and adventure. For so many kids, bikes mean freedom! But while riding a bike brings joy, it is also something that city parents sometimes think can't be done for their kids. Sure, Philly has bike lanes, but even for an experienced rider, those can be a hazard. But if you know the right trails, parks, and open spaces, there are plenty of places you can go together for regular rides! To that end, we've gathered up some of the best spots in the city for kids to safely bike.

Pennsylvania Maple Sugaring Season Events

Mark your calendars because maple sugaring season is upon us! If you’ve ever wondered what all the fuss was about when it comes to the run-of-the-mill syrup versus the true-blue maple, now is your chance to find out. Tree-tapping season officially kicks off in February, but sugarings and tastings run through March across the state of Pennsylvania. Festivals and breakfasts will have families breaking any lingering New Year’s resolutions, but it's SO worth it. From day trips to local events, check out what the syrup season has to offer.

It is important to note that some of these events are definitely destination activities (averaging a 3-4 hour drive) that likely require an overnight trip, especially when bringing little ones. Please check the drive times before planning your trip.

Empowering Kids and Parents After a School Shooting

By Susan Jara

It’s a terrifying scenario that has become all too familiar: A gunman walks into a school and starts shooting. Parents rush to the scene and wait in desperation to find out whether their child survived. Some of them do not.

The shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is one of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. Since the tragic 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, more than 400 people have been shot at schools, according to the New York Times.

As a parent watching these tragedies unfold over and over again, I felt powerless, frightened, and bewildered as to how to discuss these events with my children—and really, how to keep them safe going forward. Many parent friends say they’re afraid to send their kids through the school doors every day in light of these mass shootings. We wonder: Are the active shooter drills they’re participating in even helping?

“Every day I leave the house, thinking, ‘What if something happens at my school or at my child’s school,’ says Jill Murray, a mom and social worker in a high school near Newtown, Connecticut. “What if this is the last time I see my son?”

So I sought the advice of experts to help guide myself and other parents through this. What can we do to keep them safe, and what can we do to prevent anxiety from taking over?

10 Winter Staycation Ideas for Philadelphia Families

The winter weather may have you counting down the days until you and your family can hit the road for a fun-filled adventure. While you’re waiting for the temps to rise, cabin fever may also be increasing.

Thankfully, the Philadelphia area is home to countless kid-friendly activities to stimulate little minds and make the countdown to summer fly by. Stay home this winter and take advantage of all that Philly has to offer with these great staycation ideas.

President's Day Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: History, Superheroes, Culture February 17-19

What could be better than a three day weekend? A three day weekend filled with history, culture, superheroes, and free fun throughout the Delaware Valley!

To start, families can recognize the contributions of our presidents by participating in a Hail to the Chief quiz game, viewing portraits of our earliest presidents, or eating birthday cake with General Washington. Embrace Chinese culture and the Year of the Dog by learning Chinese calligraphy, building a Chinese lantern, watching a festive parade, and seeing live animal demonstrations. Meanwhile, superhero fans can see Spider-Man and the gang while Disney princess fans can visit with Princesses Ana and Elsa.

All tapped out on cash? Be sure to check out all the free fun left in February. For now, read on for our top picks for the extra-long weekend.

GOAL! Take to the Ice with Hockey Lessons for Philadelphia Kids

Philadelphia is home to the Flyers and some intense sports fans. For many, hockey is serious business, and they are just as excited to see the Flyers bring home the Stanley Cup as they are to see Team USA bring home the Olympic gold. So it comes as no surprise that many kids want to take to the ice and learn to skate and play like the pros. Fortunately, there are a number of local programs that are NHL Learn to Skate USA partners. The program is designed to build skills and make hockey a positive experience, and the only thing you need are basic ice skating skills. If your kid has the eye of the tiger and is dreaming of growing up to be the next Bobby Clarke or Claude Giroux, we've put together a roundup of some Philadelphia-area rinks that offer ice hockey lessons for kids.

Retro Birthday Parties That Even Parents Will Love

Whether it’s Throwback Thursday or you’re filled with nostalgia, hosting a kid's birthday has a whole new appeal. Reboots of ‘80s and ‘90s TV shows like Roseanne, Full House, and Will & Grace are gaining popularity and even kids are enjoying watching these blasts from the past. Instead of the traditional bounce houses, parents are enjoying going back in time with roller skating, laser tag and more. Check out these other unique birthday party ideas, too. 

10 Things to do in Chinatown with Philly Kids

One of the most bustling neighborhoods in Philadelphia is Chinatown, with so many shops, restaurants, and sightseeing spots. Chinatown is an historic area of Philadelphia filled with culture, fun, and good food.  With the Chinese New Year upon us, now is also a great opportunity to educate little ones about the diverse melting pot of cultures in Philly. It's a great place to spend a day walking around and having a great time with the kids. We've rounded up some really fun things to do with kids in Chinatown.


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