BOATING

Get on the water with kayaks, rowboats, paddle boats and more.

See what else is happening in NYC and beyond the city (including museums and pop-ups for when the weather's not so nice). Sign up for our email list and follow our insta for the latest.

Manhattan

Staten Island Ferry

4 Whitehall Street

Take a free ferry ride from Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan to Staten Island and back for great views of The Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan & Brooklyn skylines. 25 minute trips (1 hour round trip) depart every half hour (every fifteen minutes during rush hour). Masks required.

For a quicker trip, take the $3 ferry ride to Governor’s Island, which has excellent views of the Statue of Liberty from Outlook Hill (or visit the actual Lady Liberty).

Downtown Boathouse

North Moore Street & West Street

Take out free sit-on-top kayaks in protected Hudson River embayments with an all-volunteer nonprofit organization. Brief instruction and all necessary safety equipment provided as well as changing rooms, lockers and locks, bike locks, sun block, and first aid equipment.

Reserve online in advance, walk up, or reserve a spot for later in the day. Each slot lasts 20 minutes.

One child per boat, guardian must be present if under 13. Babies who can independently hold their body/head up can go in the adult’s lap. Adults must know how to swim.

Near mini-golf and and awesome playground on the pier.

Tugboat Rides on W.O. Decker

12 Fulton Street

Take an exciting 75-minute ride on the last surviving New York-built wooden tugboat W.O. Decker. Explore New York Harbor with views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Battery, and Governors Island.

Tours depart at 1:15pm, 2:45pm, and 4:15pm. Advance reservations recommended.

For ages 10+. Access to W.O. Decker requires climbing angled gangways and a step up and over her side from a floating deck.

Also book free tours on the Tall Ship Wavertree and see outdoor exhibition with historic photographs, prints, lithographs, and paintings celebrating the people of all backgrounds who lived and worked in the South Street Seaport Historic District.

Sail Pioneer

Fulton & Front Streets

See the sights of New York Harbor, the magnificent Lower Manhattan skyline, and Governors Island from the decks of the historic 130-year-old schooner Pioneer. Grab a halyard to help raise a sail or simply sit back and enjoy the view. Bring a picnic lunch or dinner, afternoon snack, beverages, or a bottle of wine to enjoy on your sail.

Sails rain or shine (unless severe inclement weather).

See our guide to the Seaport.

Wednesday-Friday 7pm
Saturday 1pm, 4pm, 7pm
Sunday 1pm, 4pm

Seaport Kids x Manhattan by Sail

Fulton & Front Streets

Join Manhattan by Sail on their Clipper City ship for a kid-friendly 45-minute sail along the East River. While you take in the sights, sing along with Mr. Dan the Melody Man with everything from classic nursery rhymes to radio favorites.

Note: Tickets are $5 per person, and tickets are required for all passengers. All ages welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

See our guide to the happening Seaport District.

Boroughs

LeFrak Center Boating, Biking & Splash Pad

171 East Drive
Brookyln

Ride single or double kayak and pedal boat to explore 55 acres of waterfront in Prospect Park ($16-$36/hour). Lightweight, synthetic clothing & water bottles suggested.

Choose from an array of bike rentals from traditional two wheels and kids trailers to a four-wheeled, 6-person double surrey ($13-$38/hour).

Half-day, full-day and season pass rentals also available.

Also frolic in a splash pad with 20 water jets. Food and drink available for takeaway from the Bluestone Cafe by the roller skating rink.

Rocking the Boat Community Rowing & Birding

Lafayette Ave & Edgewater Road
Bronx

Explore the Bronx River aboard student-built wooden row boats, accompanied by staff who teach about the local waterways. Experience the beauty of New York’s only fresh water river. Life jackets in all sizes provided.

Also identify and learn about local bird species with knowledgeable guides on some Saturdays. Binoculars, field guides and spotting scopes provided. Pre-register or just show up.

Rocking the Boat Community Sailing

Lafayette Ave & Edgewater Road
Bronx

Community non-profit Rocking the Boat, host of weekly Community Rowing, provides free sailing lessons on the South Bronx waterfront.

There is no minimum age, but children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult guardian.  Life jackets in all sizes provided.

Brooklyn Bidge Park Kayaking

John Street & Jay Street
Brooklyn

Glide along the East River on kayaks from the volunteer-run Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse (Pier 4 Beach). All levels welcome. Advanced registration required.

Kids under 14 must ride in a double kayak with an adult except on Sundays from 12 pm to 2:30 pm when kids age 7 or older can paddle alone (as long as a guardian is present) with o on-water safety boaters specially trained to work with kids..

New slots open two weeks in advance every Wednesday & Thursday at 5 pm, Saturday at 10 am, and Sunday at 12 pm.

See our guide to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Community Paddle

1490 Sheridan Blvd
Bronx

Join the Bronx River Alliance for family-friendly canoeing. Canoes available for partners and families; kayaks available for solo paddlers. Life vests supplied.

First come, first served, and no pre-registration required. Participants are required to wear face masks and fill out waivers at the time of sign-up.

BEYOND NYC

Mohonk Mountain House

New Paltz, NY

Explore an iconic Victorian castle resort surrounded by 40,000 acres of pristine forest.

* Tons of family-friendly seasonal activities to try including kayaking, archery, hiking, fly-fishing, lawn games and more.

* Head indoors for craft kits, afternoon tea (and cookies), special evening kids’ entertainment, and family fun.

* Dine on delicious farm-to-table cuisine in the historic dining room with gorgeous Catskill Mountain views or in the privacy of your room.

* Most activities and three-course meals included with hotel rooms. Or come for the day with a $125/person day pass, which includes access to extensive groomed trails plus all equipment and most activities, or just hike for $25-$30/person.

* Learn about the fascinating history of this landmark, owned by the Smiley family since 1869, with extensive photographs, artwork and memorabilia throughout the hotel. Join guided family hikes among the picturesque wooden gazebos benches and summer houses for more stories.

🚙 Approximately 1.5-2 hour drive from Manhattan.

Great Captain Island

Greenwich, CT

Greenwich is home to two islands situated roughly two miles off of Greenwich Harbor, Great Captain Island and Island Beach. It’s a bit of expense of effort to get to the islands, but worth it.

* The islands are preserved in their natural state, no cars or stores, with many different species of birds. Visible across the lagoon in June and July are large colonies of nesting egrets and herons. Near the handsome Great Captain Island lighthouse  (built in 1829),  spot an osprey nesting platform.

* Single Entry Park Passes (($9/ages 5-64) must be purchased at at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center (90 Harding Rd, Old Greenwich, CT, Monday – Friday 9:30 am-3:30 pm) before boarding the ferry.

* Parking tickets available at the kiosk machine in the ferry parking lot.

* Ferry tickets must be purchased before boarding at the dock.

* Boats depart every half hour or hour depending on the day (see the schedule).

* Or take ‘The Cruise to Nowhere,’ a relaxing two-hour tour of local waters ($20). Bring your own refreshments,

 

Croton Point Beach

Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Swim in the Hudson River, lounge in a wide expanse of sand and explore a 508-acre park with stunning views of Haverstraw Bay.

* Hourly Kayak & SUP rentals available.

* Bathrooms are open but showers are closed.

* Weekend only through June 20.

Hudson Kayak

Tarrytown, NY

Try guided kayak tours, lessons and rentals throughout Westchester County. Single and double kayaks as well as stand up paddle boarding available to ride the Hudson River and Tarrytown Lake.

The calmest kayaking (or canoeing) experience is in Tarrytown Lakes (home to a wide variety of wildlife including ducks, herons and turtles).

Adventurous kids can ride in a double kayak with a grown-up for 2-3 hour daytime and sunset tours from Sleepy Hollow for real open water experience with incredible views under the care of a friendly guide. Just make sure you eat and go to the bathroom before you get in the boat and bring water and sunscreen.

Life vests provided, waterproof bags available to rent ($7).

Paddle Boats at Orange Reservoir

West Orange, NJ

Paddle a swan-shaped boat on the Orange Reservoir. Boats seat 2 or 4. For ages 2+. Tickets sold on a first come, first served basis. No advanced sales. Weekends only

Also play on the Children’s Regatta Playground with a wave-like rubberized safety surface and a series of play equipment designed to look like boats. A large open area with a synthetic grass surface and stamped concrete pathways link the playground to the nearby Clipper Pavilion picnic area and paddle boat launch. Stroll on the handicap accessible 1.7 mile Reservoir Walking Path (with access to several trails leading through South Mountain Reservation)

Near the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo Around 30 minutes from midtown (depending on traffic). Short Uber ride from the South Orange train station.

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List of Events

Wednesday, January 1

Wow in the World

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Join hosts Guy Raz and the hilarious Mindy Thomas on a journey into the wonders of the world. Go inside brains, out into space and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology - with lots of wacky fun along the way. One of our family's faves.  

FREE
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Circle Round

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Hear sound- and music-rich radio plays based on folktales from around the world. Explore important issues like kindness, persistence and generosity with guest stage and screen stars. Each episode ends with an activity that inspires a deeper conversation between children and grown-ups. My daughter's favorite at bedtime.

FREE
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Here Wee Read

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Find great books recommendations for all ages in all sorts of diverse & inclusive categories, from Harlem Renaissance picture books to graphic novels talking about race. Includes themed collections like Halloween, Weddings,, Kids with Disabilities and RBG. Find links to buy at bookshop.org, an alternative to amazon that supports independent bookstores.

FREE
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Kobra Street Art Gandhi & Mother Teresa Mural

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022
18th Street & Tenth Avenue
West 18th Street & Tenth Avenue Chelsea/Meatpacking

Humanitarians Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi Brazilian are depicted facing each other in street artist Eduardo Kobra’s colorful harlequin-pattern mural.

FREE
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Kobra Street Art Albert Einstein

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022
West 21st Street & Eighth Avenue
292 West 21st Street Chelsea/Meatpacking

Albert Einstein is a NY-loving graffitist in street artist Eduardo Kobra’s colorful harlequin-pattern mural.

FREE
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Thursday, January 2

BRAINPOP

January 2, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Watch short, well-written animated films on a variety of topics including antiracism & Black history, STEM, arts, math and much more starring a very funny robot. Take quizzes and play games to test what you learned. Two editions, for ages K-3 or 4th -12th Grade (which can thoughtfully address some weighty topics, so monitor…

FREE
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Wednesday, April 1

Art For Kids Hub

April 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Follow along step by step as a professional artist and his kid draw animals, emojis, people, vehicles and more. Clear, simple steps turn anyone into an illustrator.

FREE
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Children’s Museum of the Arts

April 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Children's Museum of the Arts' blog features how-to videos and detailed instructions for art projects like Paper Chains of Kindness and Collaborative Drawing Games. Projects can be adapted for different ages and made with materials around the house.

FREE
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Audible Kids

May 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Listen to hundreds of audio books handpicked by Audible editors, including original exclusive content (we love The Mystwick School of Musicraft). Choose from a mix of stories to entertain, engage, and inform young people, ages 0–18. Spanish, German, French, Japanese and Italian selections also available. Free 30-day-trials available.  

FREE
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BUSY TODDLER

May 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Find a trove of educational, easy-to-set up creative and sensory activities from a K-1 teacher turned SAHM. So many great ideas, quick & easy to messy messy, babies to tweens plus links to useful art supplies. Follow their great instagram account for daily inspiration.

FREE
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DAYS WITH GREY

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

An educator and mom to 3 shares daily 'Breakfast Invitations,' easy-to-set-up sensory and art activities for preschoolers and toddlers.

FREE
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VIRTUAL MUSEUM TOURS

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Take virtual journeys to over 1,200 museums around the world via Google Arts & Culture. See collections and gallery views of  Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, Mexico City's Museum of Anthropology, Paris's Musée d'Orsay and more (plus NYC faves like the Whitney, Guggenheim and MoMA).

FREE
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New-York Historical Society Online

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

This fascinating historic  museum (now partially open for visits) hosts engaging live educational programs for all ages, audio and video resources (including the inspirational We Rise) and interactive 360 degree tours drawing on its world-renowned collections. Excellent educator resources including videos,  remote lesson plans, and media-rich curriculum website Women…

FREE
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MOMI Moving Image Studio

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Find tutorials and interactive ways to collaborate and make media art with Astoria's Museum of Moving Image educators. Create Jim Henson-inspired puppets, learn about film editing and apply to have your media art shared on their YouTube channel.

FREE
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MoMA Families At Home

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

MoMA provides resources and ideas—from art-making activities to books and films—to spark creativity and fun at home. Explore artworks in MoMA’s collection through activities (available in English and Spanish), watch favorite kid-friendly short films with prompts to spark discussion, dig deeper into Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, find favorite Children’s Books about Art, listen…

FREE
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Ailey All Access

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

The acclaimed Alvin Ailey dance company shares full length videos of past performances. Also see videos of company members dancing the landmark Revelations and other pieces together from home, join free online dance classes and check out the  great Resource Guide for Educators. Find free live and on-demand classes for all ages in a variety of dance…

FREE
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Carnegie Hall Music Explorers

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Learn about musical culture and tradition around the world - African-American Freedom Songs, South African Zulu songs and many more - with lessons plans, music and video featuring global artists. The well-designed site features a world map to explore. Also Learn about symphony orchestras in an animated adventure in Carnegie Hall Listening Adventures.

FREE
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Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz Academy

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Watch curated educated videos on the from Jazz at Lincoln Center's educational programs and learn about it's roots in African-American traditions and communities.  WeBop instructors demonstrate fun activities to get families swinging and singing, members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra share performance secrets,  and Middle School Jazz Academy instructors break down jazz techniques.…

FREE
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Black Art Picture Books

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Learn about African American art history with curated lists from Culture Type, a website exploring art by and about people of African descent. Find gorgeous books about Jean-Michel Basquiat, fashion designer Ann Cole Lowe,  Jacob Lawrence and other great black artists on posts Black Art History: 10 Children’s Books Illuminate the…

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FLOCABULARY

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Learn about a range of subjects for grades K-12 though catchy, educational hip-hop songs. Watch videos about math, history, science and more, learn new words, take quizzes then (this is the coolest part) write short raps/songs using your new words and knowledge.

FREE
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KHAN ACADEMY

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Watch short videos taught by excellent instructors with an electronic whiteboard in just about any subject for preschool through college. The free Khan Academy Kids app (for ages 2-7) teaches reading, language, writing, math, social-emotional development, and more through open-ended activities and games like drawing, storytelling, and coloring guided by adorable animal characters. Also…

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The Davidson Institute At Home

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

The educational arm of Israel's  Weizmann Institute of Science offers online kids science courses, videos, games, puzzles, quizzes and science experiments in fun topics like the science of soccer and (safe) homemade explosives.

FREE
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Lincoln Center At Home

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Watch short #concertsforkids recorded (at home) by world-class artists including musician Etienne Charles celebrating a cross-section of cultures from the African Diaspora, Soul Science Kids weaving soul, funk, hip-hop and educational themes and many more diverse voices. Learn puppetry, dance, songwriting and other art forms with simple materials found at home with Lincoln Center Pop-up…

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The Super Secret Hive

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Join a former Disney duo on a musical adventure for the whole family. A cast of quirky characters navigate timely challenges to help kids save the world. Explore topics like honeybees and pollinators, plastic in the oceans, germs and our immune system, inclusion and kindness vs. bullying (as expressed by a T-Rex!) and…

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Dav Pilkey At Home

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Get creative and have fun with the creator of cult favorites Dog Man and Captain Upderpants. Watch short videos of Pilkey drawing and reading aloud and download printable activity sheets, drawing guides, comic book creators, games and more.

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Kennedy Center Education

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Explore music, dance, theater, opera, visual and media arts through informative and engaging Kennedy Center Education interactive lessons with music videos. Learn about African-American History,  US President's Favorite Music, all sorts of dance, popular American songs and more. Designed for grades K-12.

FREE
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Classical Kids

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Explore classical music with dramatic stories based around works by Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi and other great composers.  My kids especially love Mozart's Magic Fantasy: A Journey Through 'The Magic Flute' about a girl and a dragon's  journey through the Queen of the Night's realm to Sarastro's castle featuring dialogue mixed in…

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TATE KIDS

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Play art-inspired games, take cheeky quizzes, find art activities, and share your art on a fun website from British museums Tate and Tate Modern. Find detailed instructions for activities such as "think like the artist Alberto Giacometti" and create interesting portraits and landscapes.

FREE
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NYSCI At Home

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Find tons of games, activities, experiments and projects from Queen's New York Hall of Science. At-Home STEM resources encourage open-ended exploration and imaginative learning. Learn about physics, engineering, design, biology, math, chemistry and more with videos, instructions for experiments and art projects, interactive graphic novels, engaging apps and more.

FREE
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The Past & The Curious

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Learn that history can be amazing, inspiring and relevant to anyone in a podcast featuring stories of Spies, funny foods, George Washington's foibles, early advancements in cartooning and ballooning and much more. A professional music…

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Story Pirates Podcast

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

This absurdist sketch comedy show based on stories written by kids features original music and celebrity special guests. Young listeners are invited to submit their own stories that might be brought to live in the podcast or a future live show. Find comprehensive activity guides for each episode online with recipes, poetry lessons, and more.…

FREE
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Ear Snacks

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Kindie musicians Andrew & Polly and their friends consider music, science, art and culture in a fun-filled family-friendly podcast enjoyable for kids and grown-ups. Developmentally appropriate & absurdist but never untrue.

FREE
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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Learn about extraordinary, inspiring women women in a podcast based on global best-selling book series Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (a great purchase for all ages). Features famous leaders like Harriet Tubman and RBG as well as lesser known heroes from around the world.

FREE
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Noodle Loaf

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Explore music in an interactive podcast and video series born from the brain of a music education teacher and his goofball kids. Each approx. 10 minute episode features inventive sing-alongs and activities. Geared for kids 3-9 years old but all ages get into it.

FREE
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Cooper Hewitt Online Learning

June 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Follow along with design activities (with clear, well-designed instructions) to create protoypes, chairs, zines, posters and more. Also explore design case studies, remarkable female and LBGQT+ creators, the digital mansion, and museum exhibitions. Great graphics, video and easy-to-understand text for all ages.

FREE
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Greeking Out

August 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Hear kid-friendly retelling of classic ancient Greek myths as featured in the Nat Geo Kids book Zeus the Mighty. Zippy and fun retellings with all the inappropriate parts glossed over.

FREE
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Radiolab for Kids

August 1, 2020 - December 31, 2023

Find family-friendly content from Radiolab, one of the most beloved podcasts in the world.  From “What do dogs see when they look at the rainbow?” to “Do animals laugh?” the topics are squeaky clean (mostly) and all about science and curiosity.

FREE
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Pajama Program

November 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Help kids in need have a loving bedtime and restful good night by collecting new pajamas and/or books to donate. Here’s info on starting a drive. A great solution for birthday or holiday presents for the kid who already has too much. Party guests still get to shop and have something fun to bring to…

FREE
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Volunteer

November 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022

Search for in-person and virtual family-friendly volunteering opportunities at New York CaresVolunteer New York (includes Westchester & Long Island) and Doing Good Together. Find opportunities for specific dates/times or ongoing with a range of non-profits including city parks and senior centers.

FREE
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Tuesday, November 3

Support Museums

November 3, 2020 - December 31, 2022

In a win/win for all, refresh your library/playroom at expertly curated online shops of local museums. Find great toys, books, crafts and games for at-home entertainment and consider becoming a member of your faves - so many perks all year round (including store discounts and the ability to visit in person whenever). Some favorite…

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