Eastern US

Polar Express and Santa Trains Near NYC This Holiday Season

The magic of Chris Van Allsburg’s popular Christmas picture book The Polar Express comes to life again this winter with festive holiday trains within a whistle's blow of the New York City metro area. A huge hit with kids and parents alike, these trains spark the imagination and holiday spirit with seasonal snacks, stories, even gifts—not to mention a visit from Santa himself.

These old-school cabooses (some harking back to the 1920s) offer a classic holiday ambience. There's a Polar Express just an hour south into New Jersey, as well as the one-day-only Tri-State Santa Train about 50 minutes away. You could also consider a day trip to the Catskills, or a weekend getaway to Pennsylvania Dutch Country for the Santa's Paradise Express. No matter which Santa Train experience you choose, your family can combine the annual Santa Claus photo op with lasting memories of a sweet adventure.

Remember: these train rides sell out quickly, often months in advance, so book now if you want to go.

Legoland New York Announces Summer 2020 Opening

Get ready for brick-tastic fun in the Hudson Valley next summer: Legoland New York Resort will open on July 4, 2020. Situated about 60 miles outside New York City in Goshen, the 150-acre park will be the biggest Legoland yet. 

The amusement park, geared toward ages 2-12, will be the third Legoland to open in the U.S., joining the parks in California and Florida. Visitors to the Hudson Valley park will be able to explore seven themed "lands" featuring more than 50 rides, attractions, and shows—including a brand-new ride exclusive to the New York location. 

Richmond, VA with Kids: 50 Fun Things to Do in Richmond

Richmond’s place in U.S. history is distinct, and many of the best things to do in Richmond, VA, include a stroll past monuments or an icon central to America's origins. One of the oldest cities in the nation, Richmond was the capital city of the Colony of Virginia. It was the site of Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech in 1775, and during the American Civil War, Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy.

Today, Richmond is known as the River City, and more colloquially as RVA, and there are plenty of modern attractions and things to do for kids and families. While the deep history is evident in monuments, battlefield sites, and the architecture, Richmond is also home to an expansive parks system, 550 aces of river shoreline, and a growing small business economy, including delicious Richmond restaurants,  breweries, fun festivals, children's museums and science centers, as well as a nearby theme park, Kings Dominion. 

To help you navigate this incredible Southern city, we’ve put together a list of the 50 best things to do in Richmond with kids, as well as a guide to the area.

Pumpkin Festivals and Jack-O-Lantern Displays for New England Families

New England is brimming with fall festivals, but kids are particularly enamored with events celebrating the humble pumpkin: the symbol of autumn and Halloween. Whether you stick close to home or make a day or weekend trip out of it, going to a pumpkin festival or visiting a glowing jack-o'-lantern display is a fun, family-friendly way to get into the spirit of the season. Here's a sampling of pumpkin fun in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine over the next month. Get inspired for a trip to the pumpkin patch for a jack-o'-lantern display on your own front porch!

8 Fall Foliage Trips with Extra Fun for Families in New England

When it comes to showing off fall colors, New England clearly does it best. And even though you don't have to travel to glimpse some red and gold, there are certain towns in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut that boast some particularly stunning foliage displays, drawing families for fall day trips or weekend getaways.

Sure, kids might not thrill to the wonders of changing foliage quite the way grown-ups do. But most enjoy trips to pretty destinations, with fun stops to hike, eat, and play along the way. These fall locales combine great fall color with fun family activities. Now all you have to do is convince the kids to put down their devices and appreciate the scenery! For more autumn hotspots around the country, check out the complete Mommy Poppins fall leaves and foliage guide.

Stowe, Vermont with Kids: 30 Fun Things to Do in Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont is a haven for kids and families looking for outdoor adventures whether the mountains are blanketed with groomed snow for skiing, summer wildflowers for camping and hiking, or fall foliage. 

The mountainside village—arguably the prettiest in the Green Mountain State—is home to Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak, where much of the activity is centered. From hiking, biking, and zip-lining in the summer and fall to skiing, snowshoeing, and skating in winter and early spring, Stowe, Vermont is a year-round destination. You'll also find Stowe hotels eager to cater to families, such as the Stowe Mountain Resort, the Lodge at Spruce Peak (formerly Stowe Mountain Lodge), and the Trapp Family Lodge (of Sound of Music fame).

Read on for some of our favorite things to do with kids when we're lucky enough to find ourselves in "the Aspen of the East." 

13 Perfect Fall Weekend Getaways Near NYC for Families

Fall in the Northeast is a lovely time of year for a family getaway. The crisp air, fall colors, and outdoor activities are hard to resist for most kids (and grown-ups). New Yorkers can experience that magic right in the city's gorgeous parks, some of which feel almost like a countryside retreat during a foliage walk. But for a weekend away, perhaps over those fall school holidays, consider a weekend trip to fully immerse the family in fall fun.

We’ve rounded up 13 options, from a luxury retreat in Connecticut to glamping in New Hampshire to an Adirondack wilderness retreat where you can really unplug. 

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