What to Do at Franklin Park Zoo in Just Two Hours

It was a gauntlet thrown down at my feet as much as my family's: Let's tour Franklin Park Zoo in under two hours.

Why set the timer at two hours? It seemed the like reasonable window to make our way through the zoo without getting tired while also keeping up a good pace. My pre-zoo strategies included feeding everyone lunch beforehand and packing enough food to avoid the snack shacks within the zoo that could eat away at our time. 

Here's a brief journal of how we met our two-hour challenge at Franklin Park Zoo on one recent summer afternoon.

July GoList: The Best Things to Do with Westchester Kids

Summer's in full swing, and so are the summer events for families in Westchester and the Hudson Valley! Our July GoList features all the best events happening this month, including the pyrotechnic A Night on Fire, the colorful Hudson Valley Balloon Festival and a high-end Jazz Festival developed in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The month kicks off with a slew of 4th of July celebrations, such as the Independence Day Fair. View our guides for what to do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley for many more ways to cheer for the red, white and blue. Other top picks for July include pool parties and movie screenings, numerous multicultural performances and the start of the Orange County Fair.

So get your calendars ready and read on for our top picks for July. But don’t stop there: There’s plenty more where that came from in our Event Calendar, and our weekly newsletters deliver all the latest news and events right to your inbox!

Fourth of July Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Fireworks and More

Independence Day is just around the corner, but no need to wait until Monday to celebrate. This weekend, catch Fourth of July fun at Cape May’s Independence Day Celebration, Revolutionary Times Weekend, Montville Fourth of July Celebration, and Randolph Freedom Fest. If you need a break from the heat, spend some indoor time at Morris Museum’s Toothpick World and Freehold Raceway Mall’s Kids’ Club.

It's expected to be a hot Fourth! Consider a day trip to one of these awesome New Jersey water parks, or one of our favorite Jersey Shore beaches.

And don't forget to stake out your spot for fireworks viewing at one of the state's largest Fourth of July festivals or a more intimate July 4th fest at these New Jersey small towns.

For more options, take a look at our full Event Calendar, our Summer Fun Guide, and Best NJ Day Trips Guide.

Best Things To Do with NYC Kids: July GoList

Welcome to the first full month of summer! Our monthly GoList of the absolute best things to do with kids throughout July includes some of our favorite FREE annual events—happenings my family and I mark on our calendar every year. Enjoy the always FREE Fourth of July fireworks spectacle, no-cost boat rides as part of City of Water Day on Governors Island, top-notch music and dance performances at SummerStage Family Days in Queens, the Bronx, and Central Park, and the fun-filled Come out & Play Family Day on Governors Island.

There are also some new-this-summer events that we can't wait to check out like Theatreworks USA's musical Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School and the Hills with those awesome looking slides on Governors Island. Plus, there are two family-friendly pop culture musts opening this month: an interactive Star Trek experience that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the franchise at the Intrepid and a cool virtual reality Ghostbusters game at Madame Tussauds. And Harry Potter fans will be lining up for the release of the eighth book in the series.

As always, if an event piques your interest, be sure to click through to our listing for all the details, including the price, address, and time. And remember, in NYC, really cool things to do with kids often get booked up quickly. So buy your tickets ASAP or, in the case of FREE events, arrive as early as possible to beat the crowds.

Now get your calendars ready! Here are the top 16 things to do with kids in New York City this July—nine of which are 100% FREE. 

Best July Fairs and Festivals for New Jersey Families

Fairs and festivals and feasts, oh my! It’s non-stop action in NJ this month—read on for our recommendations and choose your favorite (or two). With everything from county fairs to music and food festivals, there’s something to entertain every member of the family. Mark the calendar now and have a blast all month long. For more summer fun, visit our Summer Activities Guide.

The BFG: How Scary Is Disney's New Movie About Kid-Eating Giants? A Parent Review

Although The BFG isn't as well known as some of Roald Dahl's other books (like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda), it definitely has its share of rabid fans. If your family is among them, you'll be happy to hear that Steven Spielberg is quite faithful to the source material in Disney's new CGI/live-action hybrid, The BFG—though some of the Dahl darkness has been replaced by the director's signature wide-eyed wonder. Even so, for parents of younger children the question is, just how terrifying are those tot-eating giants? We've got the answer (and a photo in case you want to see how your preschoolers react), plus the scoop on whether it's worth splurging for IMAX 3D.

July GoList: Best Things to Do with Kids in Boston This Month

July makes a grand entrance with Independence Day celebrations in and around Boston, including daytime July 4th festivities and fireworks filling the night sky. The family fun keeps going all month with lots of events and activities, and below are our top ten picks.

Of course, we have plenty more ideas for enjoying summer sun and fun with your kids: Free summer concertsfree summer movies, and great beaches. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletter in time for each weekend, but here's your chance to look ahead for these July favorites and get them on your calendar. In fact, if you click through to the full listings, you can automatically add them to your personal calendar. Easy peasy.

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