Westchester

Orlando with Teens: Top 15 Things to Do at the Theme Parks and Beyond

I used to think of Orlando as a destination for little kids, but I discovered Orlando is even better with teens. Amusement parks are so much more fun when you can go on all the rides and don’t have to worry about the dreaded “theme park meltdowns.” My big kids were also able to pack in lots of other adventures and hipster shopping areas as we explored all the fun there is in Orlando beyond the theme parks.

We spent our recent spring break in Orlando with two teens and had a blast.

Life-Size Robot Dinos Roar at New Dinosaur Safari at the Bronx Zoo

They roar, brandish their teeth, and swing their tails and claws at you, but these prehistoric giants can't hurt anyone...we think. They’re all part of the new Dinosaur Safari opening at the Bronx Zoo on April 19, just in time for spring break.

Families board an open-air wagon to hit the trail in the Bronx for a ride through a prehistoric-themed display of 40 life-size, animatronic dinosaurs. Read on for all the details on this fun new attraction for kids at NYC’s largest zoo, including how to get tickets and must-know tips for families.

Family-Friendly Beer Gardens in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Spring is finally here, and it's time to start planning outdoor fun. Here's something the whole family can get in on: going to one of the beer gardens in the area. Sure, a beer garden might not seem like the first place you’d take little ones, but with kid-friendly food and even games and toys, it can be a great spot to spend a sunny afternoon.

In search of more family fun? Check our Event Calendar, and sign up for our newsletters.

Easter Weekend Events for Westchester Kids

With the conclusion of spring break and the arrival of Easter, events on Sunday are a bit sparse, but there’s still no shortage of fun in store this weekend! 

As expected, many, but not all, of our top picks are Easter-themed. There still are ways to meet up with the Easter Bunny and go on an Easter-egg hunt—including one specifically for babies. And, because your little one might dote on a special doll, there’s even an American Girl Doll Easter Basket Craft.

For outings that don't focus on Easter, book your tickets early to the Magic Show, which historically has sold out in advance; catch a FREE screening of a throwback you might remember from your own youth; or take advantage of National Park Fee-Free Day, the kick-off to National Park Week.

You might also head downtown and check out the Hudson Yards and all that it has to offer for kids. 

For even more, be sure to check out our Event Calendar and Spring Activity Guide for Westchester Kids. Happy Easter!

Best Water Theme Parks Near NYC for Families

While there are no full-fledged outdoor water theme parks in NYC (yet), you don't have to go too far to find some awesome ones. We've rounded up 13 of our favorites for families in the tristate area, mostly in New Jersey, including beachside spots, and Pennsylvania, and all are less than a two-hour drive from Midtown Manhattan. There's also a great pick in the Hudson Valley and on Long Island. No two are alike: Each one offers different experiences and thrills.

Find more rides in our Theme and Water Parks Guide, including indoor water parks for those rainy or cold days.

See National Parks for Free in 2019 on These Free Entrance Days

A trip to one of our nation's incredible national parks may already be on your family travel to-do list for 2019. Whether it is or not, you may want to check out the FREE admission days at some of the country's largest parks. Courtesy of the National Park Service, there are five FREE days in 2019, which all take place on easy-for-planning weekends or holiday Mondays, at national parks that typically charge an admission fee.

While many parks have free admission every day of the year, more than 100 of them, including some of the most popular destinations, charge $15 per person or more. Those waiving admission for these holidays include some of those iconic, bucket list spots like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Acadia, Zion, Shenandoah, Joshua Tree, Glacier National Park, Death Valley, and the Cape Cod Seashore. The freebies also extend to a few historical sites under the National Park Service's purview, like the New York home of celebrated American president Franklin D. Roosevelt and national historic parks like Morristown National Historic Park, the scene of an American Revolutionary War battle.

30 Ways To Spend a Rainy Day with Westchester and Hudson Valley Kids

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the day is looking boring! Not a good day for the park, bike-riding, swimming, or playing outside. What to do with the kids? Fortunately, Westchester and the Hudson Valley are chock full of places to go. The trick is simply to know your options.

The indoor play spaces are good to know about on days like this, but there are many more resources available to parents and caregivers. Below we’ve rounded up a long list to serve as your new go-to resource for rainy-day (or, really, anytime) fun, from trampoline parks and rock climbing spots to museums and art studios. We suggest bookmarking this one for handy reference at the drop of a…snowflake or raindrop.

Looking for more places to play? Check out our Indoor Play Guide and sign up for our newsletters!

Why Legoland Is My Favorite SoCal Theme Park

Southern California is blessed with some of the world's most famous theme parks; families travel from all over to experience Disneyland and the original Universal Studios Hollywood (including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter)—but just 90 miles to the south, in the San Diego suburb of Carlsbad, is a park that has at least as much to offer as the mouse and the wizard. There is a whole lot more to Legoland California than bricks, and truth be told I prefer a day there to any other major theme park.

See Baby Animals and More at Kid-Friendly Farms in Westchester and Hudson Valley

Have an animal lover on your hands? Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley are filled with opportunities to see animals up close and personal—including farms, nature centers, orchards, and animal sanctuaries. Many of these spots also offer kid-friendly activities in addition to the chance to see, touch, and feed horses, goats, cows, pigs, chickens, alpacas, and more.

Read on for our top picks, and be sure to sign up for our newsletters for more family-friendly activities. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!

Weekend Fun: Sheep to Shawl Fest, Egg Hunts, Family Fun Day

With Easter right around the corner, this weekend offers several related events for Westchester and Hudson Valley families. Among these are the The Great Green Eggstravaganza; ways to dine, pose, and even skate with the Easter Bunny; a culinary lesson in the Italian tradition Cassatedde for Easter; and numerous area egg hunts.

Among the spring fairs and festivals we’ve told you about is Sheep to Shawl, happening this weekend. Expect assorted woolly fun throughout the two-day event.

Looking for more FREE fun? Take advantage of the workshops and entertainment available at Family Fun Day.

Many more fun ways to spend the weekend lie ahead. Consult our Event Calendar for many more options to choose from, use our April GoList to help plan the rest of the month, and depend on our Spring Break Guide to help keep your kids occupied while school is out!

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