Eastern US

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.

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.

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.

Dutch Wonderland: A Fairy Tale Amusement Park in Amish Country

If you have a little thrill-seeker like I do, Dutch Wonderland might be just the right place to go this summer. The quaint, fairy tale-themed amusement park in Pennsylvania's Dutch Country caters toward the small but fearless like my ride-loving toddler.

In spite of the name and location, there isn't much Amish about Dutch Wonderland, aside from a photo opportunity with a horse and buggy statue. If you're in the area for more traditional Amish Country fun, Dutch Wonderland is nearby all of it, so the amusement park makes a great addition for a trip to Dutch Country. With over 35 rides, attractions, and shows, as well as a 15-acre campground right on site, you can easily fill a whole day here with the kids, or even a long weekend. Read on for our review of this theme park. If you're heading to Pennsylvania for a weekend or day trip, also check out our review of Hershey Park. For even more family fun with pint-sized rides, don't miss our round-up of NJ amusement parks that are perfect for preschoolers

Why Sugarloaf Is My Family's Favorite Ski Resort

Nobody can deny that there are plenty of wonderful ski resorts in southern and central New England. That said, sometimes families want to branch out for something a little different (without going so far as to board a plane to do it). When my family goes skiing, we go to Sugarloaf. Now, look—I know what you’re thinking. Why in the name of all that is holy would we voluntarily drive all the way up to the heart of Maine with children just to go skiing? Let me explain.

Find more family ski destinations in our Skiing and Snow Sports Guide.

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