Eastern US

Digging up Dinos at The Dinosaur State Park

Few things excite the imagination of youngsters the way dinosaurs do. When I was in second grade, I would devour every ounce of information I could find about dinosaurs. Let me tell you, Pre-Google, this was no easy task! Once upon a time, Dinosaurs roamed the land that we now call Hartford County. Fortunately for us, a little piece of this pre-history has been preserved in The Dinosaur State Park. Now that my daughter has her own questions about dinosaurs, I decided to step away from the screens, and head out to the park where we could get up close and personal to this  pre-historic slice of our past.

50 Things to Do on a Martha’s Vineyard Summer Family Vacation

Martha's Vineyard is a place out of time. Celebrities and presidents vacation alongside ordinary folks who populate the island year-round. Elegant boutiques share sidewalks with rusty bait shacks. You won't find water parks or go-karts, but there's still plenty to do with kids on this island off the coast of Cape Cod. Many of the highlights of your stay will be local fairs, parades, and even ball games that tend to bring the community together. Or you may just choose to lounge on the magnificent beaches and sample cold treats from the local ice cream stand. Every family will soak up the island culture in its own way, but here are 50 ways we're pretty sure you can't go wrong when vacationing on the Vineyard. 

50 Things To Do in Newport, RI with Kids

Newport, Rhode Island has a reputation as a summer playground for the elite, but in truth it makes for a great family vacation.  Yes, you will see fabulous Gilded Age mansions and expensive sailing yachts in the harbor. But coastal Newport is an egalitarian town that can even be a bargain during the off-season. 

In summer there are lots of low-cost public boating opportunities, free beaches, a rich line up of outdoor concerts, and easy hikes that exploit the area’s natural beauty.  In winter months the public skating rink, free holiday festivities and the annual Winter Festival provide cold weather fun.  There are casual restaurants and hotels that cater to families.  Newport’s manageable size makes it a wonderful walking town, so if you don’t have a car, keep this in mind. 

See our Rhode Island Fun Guide for more Rhode Island family activity ideas. Here's what to do, where to eat and stay in Newport for families:

5 New England Resorts with Great Kids Camps

Still looking for the perfect summer getaway? To us, a vacation that combines family fun with opportunities for grown-up-only time can't be beat, but a lot of hotels and resorts seem to specialize in one type of experience or the other. So we did some digging to find regional hotels that are best for parents looking to spend quality time with their kids—and each other.

Best of Asbury Park Beach and Boardwalk for Kids and Families

Asbury Park’s current and continuing turnaround amazes anyone who remembers this New Jersey beach town’s disrepair in the late 1980s. A stroll on today’s Asbury Park beach and boardwalk reveals families, attractions, clean beaches, artwork, great food, and a free, city-supported playground—on the sand—halfway between Convention Hall and the old casino to the south. Asbury Park’s shoreline now counts as one of the highlights of Monmouth County, and the Jersey Shore.

Read on for our top tips for visiting this Jersey beach with the kids, and if you're looking to rack up warm-weather memories, wander over to our Jersey Shore Guide for more beach and boardwalk fun.

Whale Watching Boats for NYC Kids: See Dolphins and Whales

Most New Yorkers were entranced back in 2014 when the unexpected happened—a humpback whale surfaced in New York Harbor and not only survived, he (or she) toured the city for days. My office was all abuzz, and my daughter and I tracked the whale on social media. (Who says New Yorkers hate tourists?)

When I moved to New York 20 years ago, I'd never have dreamed that we'd have healthy marine life frolicking in our waters, but apparently, whales started appearing in 2010. The numbers have increased exponentially every year since, which is great news for urban kids who want to see a whale outside of the American Museum of Natural History.

We've rounded up four local whale watching cruises, all about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from NYC. (One is even in Queens!). And if you want to make a vacation out of it, we've got the scoop on the best place for a whale-watching weekend getaway on the East Coast. 

25 Things to Do with Kids in Springfield, MA—Dr. Seuss Museum and More!

Springfield always surprises me with its rich culture, history, and capacity for family fun. It is a city of firsts, and learning about its past may inspire your child to become a pioneer of the future. There's so much to do in Greater Springfield, including riding roller coaster, enjoying a peaceful meeting with an alpaca, and—starting June 3—visiting the brand-new Dr. Seuss Museum. Plus, it's just the right distance for a short getaway from Boston or Connecticut. Read on for 25 fun family activities to do while you’re there, whether it’s for a day or two, or more.

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