Best activity finder apps for your family

It’s Friday, and you need to plan your weekend. Your kids are antsy, and eager to try something new. “Surely, there’s an app for this!”, you say. And yes, there is. There are multiple apps – some mobile, others web-based – that help you find fun activities for your kids. They help you find (and in some cases book) summer camps, after-school activities, and fun places to visit like science museums, amusement parks, playgrounds, and the like.

Apps:

  • Winnie Winnie is a place for moms & dads to connect, share their stories, and find new things to do with their children.
  • ActivityHero An online marketplace where you can shop for camps, after school classes, workshops, and kids’ nights out.
  • Red Tricycle Explore fun things to do with or for your family in a community of other families who like to have fun with their kids.
  • Pearachute Monthly membership club that makes it easy for parents and caregivers to discover, book, and drop into kid classes nearby.
  • Trekaroo Helps parents and family members find places to visit with their kids.
  • Playground Buddy A free app that helps families find playgrounds from a worldwide database of over 200,000 playgrounds.
  • Yuggler An app for parents, grandparents and caregivers to find fun activities for kids and families near your current location or travel destinations.

Winnie

winnie-homepage

Winnie is an app that allows parents to connect with other parents, and get advice on childcare, and on fun places to go with kids.

The app offers a feed-based system similar to Facebook or Twitter and gives parents the opportunity to connect that way, and also allows them to find events and discover new topics. The company was founded in 2016 and is based in San Francisco. The founder, Sara Mauskopf, previously served in product leadership roles at Postmates, Twitter, and YouTube/Google. The app is available on both iOS and Android. Winnie has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, TechCrunch, and Bloomberg. The app has a total of 228 iOS review with an overall rating of 4.6 stars and 132 Android reviews with an overall rating of 4 stars. The app is free to download and use.

Overview of functionality:

  • Main feed: Provides a main feed similar to Facebook and twitter where parents and family members can communicate with each other and voice their questions, comments and concerns.
  • Topic exploration: Allows users to explore different topics relating to family life, children, housing, etc. and after clicking on a topic, provides them with features and related posts from the main feed relating to it.
  • Event finding: Allows users to find various events and services near the current location, and also to find events based on filters.
  • Community: The app allows parents to connect with other parents.

What’s unique about Winnie:

  • Feed-based system: Winnie’s ability to provide a feed-based system that allows parents to communicate with other parents is what truly differentiates it from other parental apps. Its feed is very vast, covers a wide range of topics/ideas, and can be customized based on the needs and wants of various parents.
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Figure 1: Winnie’s feed-based system

 

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Figure 2: Comments on posts

 

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Figure 3: Customization of feed

 

  • Community: The app serves to connect parents with each other. The ability to interact with other parents is what makes this app unique from other apps.
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Figure 4: Topics to chat with other parents about

 

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Figure 5: Event searching based on filters

 

ActivityHero

ActivityHero homepage

ActivityHero is an online marketplace where you can shop for camps, after school classes, workshops, and kids’ nights out.

ActivityHero was founded in 2012 and is based in Palo Alto, California. In December 2014, ActivityHero acquired Zoetic, which offers an app that lets users discover and share new places and activities. The acquisition of Zoetic brought a new focus on mobile and activity discovery to ActivityHero. ActivityHero is free to browse, and is only available on Web.

Overview of functionality:

  • Browse camps, classes, and workshops near you: Filter based on city and age group to find a variety of camps, classes, and workshops.
  • Book camps and classes: While most other apps allow parents to find activities for their kids, ActivityHero makes it easy to actually book camps and classes.
  • Write activity provider ratings: Rate different activity providers and write comments for other customers to view.

What’s unique about ActivityHero:

  • Book camps and classes: While most other apps allow parents to find activities for their kids, ActivityHero makes it easy to actually book camps and classes.
  • Activity Provider Ratings: Customers can look at the reviews of activity providers and hear from past customers.
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Figure 1: Example of a tennis academy’s activity provider review.

 

Red Tricycle

RedTricycle homepage

Red Tricycle is a website that serves as a community for families looking for fun things to do with their family and kids. Red Tricycle was founded 12 years ago and is based in Sausalito, California (SF Bay Area). Red Tricycle is free to browse and only available on Web.

Overview of functionality:

  • Browse thousands of family-related things: The categories include events, things to do, food, news, products & gear, holidays, travel, and parenting. There are several sub-categories under every category for each city (Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C.)
  • Submit a story: Submit a story about a store, product, or event and a Red Tricycle editor will cover it. This includes kid-friendly restaurants, birthday party themes, “hidden-gem” travel places, and more.
  • Newsletter subscriptions: Sign up for Red Tricycle newsletters and tailor them to what you want to receive (daily or weekly digest, local editions, type of content)

What’s unique about Red Tricycle:

  • Newsletter Subscriptions: Sign up for newsletters and tailor them based on daily or weekly digest, local editions, and type of content.
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Figure 1: Fill out some family information (age/number of children) and how often you want to receive newsletters (Daily Fun- delivered daily or Sunday Digest- delivered weekly).

 

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Figure 2: Check where you live to receive newsletters of things to do with your family in that city.

 

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Figure 3: Check what type of content you’re interested in to receive a newsletter tailored for your interests.

 

Pearachute

Pearachute homepage

Pearachute is an app that allows parents and caregivers to discover, book, and drop into the best kid classes in their city at the touch of a button and at an affordable rate. The app currently offers activities in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Pearachute was founded over 2 years ago in February 2016 and is based in Chicago, Illinois. The app is free to download on all devices, although a membership fee is required to utilize the classes and services. The app is available on iOS, Android, and Web. There are currently 67 iOS reviews with a 4.7 star rating average and 31 Android reviews with a 3.5 star rating average.

Overview of functionality:

  • Browse thousands of classes: Filter classes by age, activity, neighborhood, and more in the best kids locations in town.
  • Invite friends to do activities together: Coordinate classes with friends or family to enroll in classes for your kids together.
  • Cancellation policy: Cancel an activity up until an hour before the activity without incurring any fees or losing credits.
  • Calendar integration: Add events to your Google Calendar or Apple iCal through the app.
  • One-Time Purchase Pricing: Buy credits with no subscription necessary and add up to 5 kids. Buy 5 credits (2-5 activities) for $59 or 10 credits (5-10 activities) for $99.
  • Monthly Subscription Pricing: Buy credits that renew every 30 days and rollover for up to 6 months. Add up to 5 kids and cancel anytime. Buy 4 credits (2-4 activities) for $39, 9 credits (4-9 activities) for $79 or 30 credits (15-30 activities) for $199.

What’s unique about Pearachute:

  • Browse and book thousands of classes: With multiple convenient ways to browse activities in your area, Pearachute allows you to discover new activities and spaces in your area that you may have not known about before. With low costs, your kids can explore a variety of new activities before you sign them up for a series of classes. Drop-in for classes as often as you’d like with different pricing credits that rollover for up to 6 months.
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Figure 1: View activities in your area in list form. Pin or favorite certain activities.

 

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Figure 2: View activities in your area in map form.

 

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Figure 3: Filter through activities based on neighborhood, distance, age, time, categories, cost, spots available, and more.

Trekaroo

Trekaroo homepage

Trekaroo is an app that enables parents to find places to travel to and visit with children.

The company was founded in 2008 and is based in Pacifica, California. The company was created after the founders traveled to Machu Picchu with their newborn son, and after experiencing this joy and euphoria first-hand, realized the vast potential in creating an opportunity for others. The app is only available on iOS, and has 8 reviews with an overall rating of 4.0 stars. The app is free to download and use.

Overview of functionality:

  • Explore nearby: Provides a list of activities nearby, as well as information on those activities
  • Activity search: Allows users to search locations, and the app will find activities based on this search
  • Reviews & itineraries: On the main page, it provides reviews, trip guides, and itineraries, as well as a “Review of the day”. When you click on various states, it many reviews, travel guides, and itineraries for various places in that state
  • My guides: A section in the app that allows users to add and manage their travel guides
  • Destinations: Section in the app that allows users to select various states in the US and Canada, as well as countries around the world, and then offers reviews of various locations, guides, and itineraries
  • Add photo: Lets users add their own photos

What’s unique about Trekaroo:

  • Map Customization: The ability of Trekaroo to find kid-friendly places to travel to and visit is what really makes it unique. The opportunity to travel alongside children is the true magic of the app. Trekaroo does a great job in adding various features to the main map, allowing users to explore various places for kids, hotels, and restaurants all at once.
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Figure 1: Customized map with various events, as well as indication of nearby hotels and restaurants

 

  • Review guides & itineraries: Trekaroo does an exceptional job in providing many review guides for various US states as well as countries around the world. This is extremely helpful in reassuring users as well as introducing them to previously unknown, but fun places.
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Figure 2: Various states available for customization

 

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Figure 3: Customized review guides & itineraries

 

Playground Buddy

playground buddy homepage

Playground Buddy is an app that lets families find playgrounds. The company was founded in 2014 and is based in Victoria, BC, Canada.

The app is available on both iOS and Android.

It is available on both iOS and Android. It has 9 iOS reviews with an overall rating of 3.7, and 96 Android reviews with an overall rating of 4.0. The app is free to download and use.

Overview of functionality:

  • Location search & customization: Allows users to search for various playgrounds by typing an address or playground name, as well as choose certain filters to customize the search
  • Add playground: Allows users to add playground by choosing a spot on the map and then showing many playgrounds nearby
  • Playground map: Illustrates a comprehensive map of all the playgrounds near a user’s current location
  • Playground favorites: Allows user to add playgrounds to their favorites

What’s unique about Playground Buddy:

  • Focus on playgrounds: This app *really* knows playgrounds. It lets you see all the playgrounds in a given area, and search for playgrounds using very specific parameters, such as proximity to bathrooms.
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Figure 1: See all playgrounds in your vicinity

 

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Figure 2: Search for specific parameters

 

Yuggler

yuggler homepage

Yuggler is an app that enables parents, grandparents, and caregivers to find activities for children and family near their current location or travel destinations. The company was founded in 2014 and is based in Spring Lake, New Jersey.

Yuggler is only available on iOS, and has 29 reviews with an average 4.3 stars rating.

Overview of functionality:

  • Event-finding: The app finds various events in a user’s current location or a specified location. The app also allows users to implement filters to help select the best locations.
  • Map: Allows users to add filters and then show icons of the various events on the main map
  • Top charts: Shows Top 10, Top 20, Top 50, and Top 100 charts of the the top activities. Lets users further explore these activities and customize these rankings based on filters
  • Organize: Lets users organize various events by managing their bookmarks, favorites, reminders, and settings
  • Suggest new activity: Allows users to suggest an activity and have it featured in the app
  • Premium membership: Requires that users are premium members in order for them to use the full capabilities of the app. The fee is $0.99/month and allows users to invite friends, share various events, add photos, tips, bookmarks, etc.

What’s unique about Yuggler:

  • Customization: Yuggler lets you customize activities to a very detailed level, allowing users to truly find the best activities for them and the children.
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Figure 1: Activity customization based on event type

 

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Figure 2: Activity customization based on logistical information

 

  • Activity Rankings: Yuggler also provides charts of the rankings of top kids activities, allowing parents, grandparents, and caregivers to find the best, most enjoyable activities to partake in. Yuggler also allows users to customize these top charts based on filters, helping them truly find their most desirable activities:
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Figure 3: Chart of top event rankings. On the top menu bar, there is a filter icon that allows users to filter these charts based on various categories

 

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Figure 4: Ability to provide various filters to customize the top event rankings to truly choose the best list of events suitable for you

 

We hope this review helps you find the perfect activity for your kids. Now over to you, our readers. What are you favorite activity-finding apps?

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