Eastern US

Farm Stays Near NYC: Enjoy a Farm-Themed Family Vacation

For New York City area families, it only takes a few hours to arrive in the bucolic countryside, where the landscape seems thousands of miles away from the crowded subways and packed playgrounds. Farm stays are an increasingly popular vacation option to enjoy that countryside and a back-to-nature experience. For children who’ve never been around livestock, farm stays provide a firsthand way to learn about the animal world in a casual fashion. It also often comes with a few more amenities when compared to camping.

If you're interested in the source of your food, farm holidays offer a fine way to connect with what you eat and sometimes even pick your own fresh fruit, veggies, and eggs. You're not required to work during your farm stay, but many visitors find farm chores so different from their regular routines that they are eager to participate. Curious kids should relish the opportunity to gather eggs, watch cows be milked, and pick fresh peaches off the tree. 

Consider these eight farm stay options in the Hudson Valley and Catskills, New York, and in Pennsylvania for your next family vacation

Cape Cod With Kids: 25 Things to Do in Chatham, MA

Ever since I first saw the TV show Gilmore Girls, I have been searching for the fictional town of Stars Hollow—the quintessential New England small town, where everyone knows everyone, and you can walk (or bike) to just about anywhere you’d want to go. I had no idea that after years of looking, I would finally find a real-life Stars Hollow on the Lower Cape: Chatham, Massachusetts.

Chatham is a beautiful and enchanting town, rich in history and tradition. One of my favorite things about the place is its walkability. Main Street is bustling with adorable shops and good restaurants, and the beach and parks are just a short distance away.  It may not be practical to live in a town like Chatham year round, but for a weekend getaway, I daresay it’s the perfect place. Read on for 25 fun things to do while you’re there, in the summertime and beyond. Whether you feel like getting in touch with nature, catching a ball game, sampling some treats, or having some quiet time in a museum or bookstore, there's something here for everyone in the family.

25 Things to Do with Kids in Portland, Maine

Less than two hours from Boston, Portland, Maine is a city filled with history, culture, jaw-dropping natural beauty, and truly great food. Though the busy, pretty waterfront on Casco Bay gets the most tourist love in Portland, there's a lot of fun to be had just a little farther afield, making it a perfect spot for a weekend trip with the kids. Pack up the car or take the train, and settle in for an engaging, relaxing, and picture-perfect weekend getaway.

To plan a memorable trip, take a look at these 25 things to do with the kids in Portland—it's truly one of my kids' favorite places in New England.

For Family Thrills, Try Whitewater Rafting—Just a Few Hours from Boston

Surrounded by the flat, meandering Charles, Boston has a reputation for some great kayaking and canoeing. But whitewater adventures? Not so much. However, in just a few hours or less, you can find real-deal rapids that rival many you might find in the southern mountains or even out west. Even better, southern New England is home to some experienced guide companies who run family-focused trips that introduce beginners to whitewater rafting with an eye toward safety, education, and fun. If you think your crew is game to try some whitewater rafting, here's a breakdown of three companies who operate trips in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and southern Vermont.

17 Things To Do with Kids in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

Lehigh Valley, comprised of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, is chock-full of entertainment for the kids. From crayons and caverns to music, science, and more, the Lehigh Valley has something to offer everyone in the family year-round.

With so much to do, and its proximity to Philadelphia and NYC, this pretty Pennsylvania region makes for the perfect place for a long weekend getaway with the family, or even a day trip

Crayola Experience Pennsylvania: A Day Trip for Doodlers

Save $5 on admission to Crayola Experience! See this deal and others on our local deals page.  

There are few sights more satisfying than a quietly coloring, fully focused child. Entering the four-story Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania, does not exactly replicate that peaceful scenario (it's busy with excited families!), but there’s no doubt that it’s a kid doodler’s paradise.

Part creators’ studio, part indoor playground, this 65,000-square-foot kid entertainment center is bedecked in bold primary colors with smiling crayons beaming at you from every corner. It offers more than two dozen art-making stations using the full spectrum of Crayola materials—paints, clay, markers and yes, crayons—as well as more active entertainment like a multilevel play, bounce and climbing structure, toddler section, a water table with boats, and a “Cool Moves” dance-like crayon-themed game.

It debuts a brand-new attraction, Adventure Lab, with an immersive and interactive quest-style game. Read on for the full Mommy Poppins review, and find more day trips and hot kid destinations in our U.S. Travel Guide for Families.

40 Things to Do with Kids in Portsmouth, NH

Portsmouth, New Hampshire is one of our favorite destinations for a short New England getaway: Each time we visit, we discover something new. During our most recent Portsmouth mini-vacation, we found foodie delights, explored the many wonders of Prescott Park, and had a blast at Water Country.

As a seacoast city just over an hour's drive from Boston, Portsmouth is a hotspot in the summertime, and with good reason: The Prescott Park Arts Festival brings world-class live entertainment to New England at affordable prices all season long. The lush gardens in Prescott Park and across the street at the Strawbery Banke Museum are gorgeous oases in the summer months. Water fun abounds, whether at a water park, on one of Portsmouth’s islands, or aboard a river cruise. However, the town shines in the colder months too, especially during the holidays. The annual Vintage Christmas celebration is on our must-do list. Whenever you decide to go, there is an abundance of fun for families. These are our top picks for exploring Portsmouth with kids:

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