Eastern US

Best Jersey Shore Beaches for Families: Sandy Hook to Cape May

Make your New Jersey kid a beach baby and go "down the shore." New Jersey boasts 130 miles of shoreline and some of the prettiest beaches anywhere. Whether your family is looking for a busy boardwalk with children's rides, a beachside water park or sprinkler playground, towering lighthouses, toddler attractions, or something a bit quieter, the Jersey Shore has it. 

We've rounded up 10 of our favorite Jersey beaches, from a national park on the northern shore down to the busier southern beaches of Cape May and Atlantic City. So pack the car (and the kids) for a beach day trip or a long weekend—the summer possibilities are endless. And for more beach fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide, including a roundup of our favorite boardwalks.

Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers in and Near NYC

For young children, a ride on a carousel’s painted pony, a spin with dad around the bumper car track, and a dripping swirl of frozen custard are the stuff summer memories are made of. No need to seek out the latest scary high-tech roller coasters (which means you can cross Luna Park's most scary rides off your list).

Rides that look mild (or frankly, downright boring) to big people usually provide just the right amount of thrills for toddlers and preschoolers. Happily, there are a number of amusement and water parks in or near the New York City metro area that offer these kinds of tame attractions. Here's our roundup of theme parks perfect for the pint-sized.

Find more seasonal rides in our Theme and Water Parks Guide for families.

Story Land, NH: Closer Than Disney, Tamer Than Six Flags for Kids Under 12

Amuseument parks are a big thrill for kids; but for younger ones, they can be little scary, too. New Hampshire's Story Land gets it. Nestled in the Mount Washington Valley, Story Land was created more than 60 years ago to simulate a storybook village where characters and animals can come to life to charm children. It's grown to include more than 30 rides (most recently the "Roar-O-Saurus") and splashy stage shows (Daniel Tiger visits this summer), but has maintained a low-key, family-friendly feel that's geared to kids 2 to 12 years old (though we find it especially appealing for preschoolers and young elementary schoolers). It's also a morning drive away from Boston (see that, Disney), and about half the price of a day at Six Flags Great Adventure. Read on for tips on a Story Land trip...with a little planning, it's possible you'll be just as enchanted as the kids.

6 Spring Family Day Trips That Boston Kids Will Love

If there's a season when Bostonians are itching to get out and explore, it's spring: After a long, cold New England winter, it's liberating to pile the family in the car and discover someplace new, preferably one that showcases flora and fauna in kid-friendly ways. We're blessed to be in driving distance of many beautiful places fit for a weekend escape, but sometimes, you don't have multiple days to spare. All of these places offer unique ways to celebrate the season, and clocking in at around or under two hours from city limits, make for a fine springtime day trip.

27 Reasons for Families To Visit Wilmington, Delaware

There is so much to see and do in Wilmington, Delaware. And with its proximity to Philadelphia, families can consider making a day trip or a weekend stay. A straight shot down I-95 (and even accessible by Amtrak), this family-friendly city is a delight for parents and kids alike. From sites along the Riverwalk to museums and outdoor adventures, Wilmington will have you coming back for more. Here is our roundup of the top 27 things to do as a family in Wilmington.

Still not sure where to take your next day trip? Check out our city guides for more ideas!

Skydiving and Surfing Under One Roof in Nashua

Here in chilly Boston, we're grateful for the inside playgrounds and indoor water parks that allow kids to replicate outdoor fun all year long. But when you really want to take four-seasons adventure to the next level, point the family cruiser toward the Granite State: At SkyVenture, located just over the New Hampshire border (and less than an hour from Boston), kids as young as preschool-age can "fly," surf and slide under one roof—in a single, glorious afternoon. We got the scoop from parents and kids who've made the trip.

Mohonk Mountain House: A Favorite Hudson Valley Resort Reviewed

For a luxurious family getaway in the Hudson Valley, Mohonk Mountain House is a delicious splurge in any season. The historic Victorian castle, just 90 miles from New York City and North Jersey, is surrounded by thousands of acres of forest, miles of hiking trails and breathtaking mountain vistas. It attracts both locals and guests from around the country, including the tristate area.

Cozy guest rooms include fireplaces or rocking-chair balconies, but no televisions, so get ready for hours of family togetherness. Don't worry, there's a kids club, myriad indoor and outdoor activities, an award-winning spa, and decent wi-fi signal. We revisited the local family resort this winter for a long weekend getaway and are happy to share our review with Mommy Poppins readers.

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