Hudson Valley Balloon Festival 2016: Best Places to See the Show with Kids

What kid doesn’t love a balloon, especially a entire sky filled with huge, colorful, hot-air balloons? Every year, families flock to the annual Hudson Valley Balloon Festival, which includes synchronized launches from sites across the area. Even if you don't live in the Hudson Valley, this experience is worth a day trip—spectators come from all over the tri-state area!

This year’s show will feature a big change vs. prior years. Read on for details about this annual favorite, and be sure to check out our Westchester Summer Activity Guide for more fun all season long.

100 Free Things To Do This Summer with Kids in New York City

NYC school break is upon us, and the kids are itching to play, so we've rounded up FREE things for families to do every single day of summer vacation. Starting with Wednesday, June 29 through Wednesday, September 7, we've compiled the best free children's entertainment in NYC all summer! 

Of course, this list isn't comprehensive. There are literally hundreds of FREE fun events happening across our city this school break. You can find more cool seasonal activities and destinations in our Summer Fun Guide, Event Calendar, and Free in NYC Guide.

Still searching for a summer camp for a week or two? Check out our NYC summer camp directory and guide. Plus, we've put together a slew of brainy activity ideas, including FREE at-home STEM fun, in our brand-new Summer Slide Busters Guide.

Many events in this listing occur on multiple dates, so be sure to read through the entire description. We’ve also rounded up a number of anytime activities your family can try all season long. Whatever you end up doing in the city this summer, there's only one rule: Have fun out there.

Kid-Friendly Nail Salons in Orange County To Pamper Your Little Princess

Little girls want to grow up to be just like their mommies, right? Whether it's playing dress-up or feeding her baby doll, your adorable mini-me just can't get enough of pretending to be you. So why not invite her to tag along the next time you indulge at the nail salon? We can't think of a better way to put a smile on your princess's face than going out for a real mani/pedi together. Orange County is home to kid-friendly spas from Costa Mesa to Garden Grove, where mothers and daughters can pamper themselves with tandem treatments for their tootsies. We've hunted down some that make a point to cater to their youngest customers; here are our favorites:

Nature-Based Preschools in Connecticut

A child’s early years go by fast, and should be filled with adventure, exploration, and joy. Nature-based preschools are a great option for parents interested in offering their children a learning environment without walls. Below are 10 preschool recommendations that allow children to learn and explore outdoors, warmed by sunshine, and stimulated by the natural world around them. Also, the Montessori  curriculum typically incorporates nature as well and we've listed some Montessori preschools here.

4th of July Fireworks: Where to Celebrate with Families in Westchester

Independence Day is right around the corner, and that means summer fun, barbecues and, of course, stunning pyrotechnics. Fireworks go hand in hand with the 4th of July, so the big question is, where to see a show? The famous Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular is one option (and we have the best spots to watch with your family); however, if you prefer to stay closer to home, there are great displays happening all over Westchester. Some celebrations take place before the holiday, and often the fireworks come with fairs, festivals and concerts, so there's lots to do and see. Read on for where to catch the best 4th of July fireworks in Westchester.

27 Festivals, Fairs and Carnivals for Philly Families this July

This post is being updated for 2016.

Some of summertime's best family memories are made at festivals, fairs, and carnivals. Experience classic carnival fun, cultural opportunities, or musical entertainment this season by reviewing our Festivals, Fairs, and Carnivals round-up for July. Whether you attend an all-time family favorite venue or try a new event, be sure cotton candy, funnel cake, live music, and fireworks are a part of your family fun this month.

7 of the Best Playgrounds in Boston

Going to your local playground is the perfect activity for free summer fun. But sometimes you're away from home and in need of a jungle gym for the kids to play on. Luckily there are several really special playgrounds in Boston that are just waiting for you to explore. No matter what neighborhood you're in, chances are there's a great playground nearby. Here are seven of the best in Boston.

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!

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