Best Free NYC Swimming Pools for Toddlers and Kids

It's summertime and the livin' is easy—beaches, sprinklers, and awesome days at the playground. Oh the hard life of a New York City kid. And now, the NYC Parks Department is poised to open its outdoor pools on Wednesday, June 29, 2016, the day after public schools let out.

We've rounded up our picks for the best free pools in the city. These are all places we've visited personally, or have come highly recommended by families we know. But the city hosts more than 50 outdoor pools this summer, so it will be hard not to find one you like. We even threw in a couple inexpensive pool options for folks who break out in hives at the thought of using a public pool or feel overwhelmed by all the rules. Time to get swimming!

See New York City in a New Way with a Family Scavenger Hunt

My husband, who prides himself on his gift-giving, had quite a surprise for me this Mother's Day. While I had plans to meet close friends in Battery Park City, those plans were derailed when he made our family of five—toddler included—follow him to a bar in Midtown. My mood went from perplexed to pleasantly surprised when I learned the reason: He had booked a scavenger hunt for the day.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Urban Nature, Free Shakespeare, and Sea Lions

Hoo boy. In case you missed it, it's summer. Summer with a capital H-O-T. It is officially summer (June 21), functionally summer (kids out of school), and happy fun times summer in that a good many of our summer standards have begun. You can catch the free Shakespeare in Griffith Park, the Family Amphitheater Performances at the Skirball, tons and tons o' summer movies, (free, worth the ticket price, outdoors, you name it, we got it), and tons and tons o' summer concerts, (free, worth the ticket price, outdoors, you name it, we got it). You can chill at Angel Stadium or the Hollywood Bowl, and—kaboom!

Sorry, got a little distracted by the red, white, and blue in the sky. July 4th may be next weekend, but the fireworks are already starting. (Another sure sign of summer!) Don't panic if you haven't got your June/July/August plans in place; we can take it together, day by day, (you know, like a calendar) coming up with fun, free, and just darn fabulous things to do. It's what we do.

Keep reading for our most summerific picks for this weekend...

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Festivals, Fishing, Fireflies June 25-26

Philly families can definitely tell it is the first official full weekend of summer 2016. Just take a look at this weekend's event calendar. Nothing screams summer more than the activities that appear in our jam-packed listing!

Start your weekend off by casting a line to see how the fish are biting, cool off with some tasty ice cream, take a hot air balloon ride over Southern Chester County, watch an old time baseball game, or pack up the sleeping bag for a family campout. Complete your picture-perfect summer weekend by catching fireflies.

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Weekend Fun for LI Kids: Fireworks, Magic Show, June 25-26

Kick off summer vacation this weekend by enjoying a magic show or taking in spectacular skies at a fireworks show. Take your crew under the sea to learn about dolphins at The Whaling Museum or aquariums at The Long Island Children's Museum.

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Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Comics, Camping, and Early Fourth Celebrations, June 25-26

There's plenty of fun to be had indoors and out this weekend, so the hardest part is narrowing it down to only one or two choices. I know my kids are really going to want to attend the comic and zine fair at the ICA (pictured), especially with a play date going on at the museum at the same time. But with the Fourth of July just over a week away, some early celebrations are really tempting, including the chance to catch Uncle Sam on stilts or a patriotic parade. Decisions, decisions.

It's also the perfect time of year to break out the family tent. Last year, my family and I went to one of the campouts at the Ipswich River Sanctuary, which are great for first-timers and veteran campers alike. But if that sounds like too much, why not give backyard camping a try as part of the Great American Campout? Make some s'mores, pitch the tent, and let the kids sneak off to their own beds if they feel like it!

Also on Mommy Poppins Boston this week:

Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to check out the full Event Calendar!

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Bumblebees, Shakespeare, and Fireworks, June 25-26

It is officially summer so we've dusted off our beach chairs and stocked up on a supply of sunscreen. We're ready for some adventures! This weekend, we could hit a beach party with fireworks in East Haven, catch the kickoff of one of our favorite summer concert series at Bayley Beach in picturesque Rowayton, or spend the night at the New Canaan Nature Center, a fun and easy camping experience for even very young children.

Believe it or not, fireworks season begins this weekend with displays in Branford, Hebron, and Bridgeport, to name just a few. For a little historical context about the origins of American independence for next weekend, check out the 17th Century Encampment at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum or the Revolutionary War Encampment at the Denison Homestead.

As always, for the latest and greatest happenings across the state, check out our Event Calendar, which is constantly updated with new listings. To keep up with everything going on in CT, subscribe to our FREE newsletters, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Have a fabulous weekend!

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