Drama Classes for your Kids in Fairfield County, CT

Multiple Choice.  Your child: A) confuses all sources of light with limelight, B) is woefully shy, but shocked everyone (not least of all, you) with his breakout performance at last year's Christmas pageant, or C) doesn't enjoy physical/mental activity of the sporting sort.  If you chose A, B or C, drama lessons might be the plot twist your child's after-school routine needs!  Actually, an expert in Parents magazine this month explains any kid can benefit from a little drama, saying "one landmark study found children involved in the arts for nine hours a week are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement."  That's the sort of return on results you want before investing in another extracurricular activity.

This Week: Family Getaways, Minions Advance Screening, Kid-Friendly Nature Trails

Summer fun continues this week with prehistoric adventures, sweet treat experiences and overnight camping—yes, right here in NYC parks!

Families can also take a day trip back to yesteryear with one of these old-school activities in New Jersey, like drive-in theaters, vintage trains and swimming holes. Or check out the slew of summer festivals and fairs in Fairfield County, Connecticut, including a Food Truck Rodeo and a street fair featuring a 1,000-foot-long Slip 'N Slide. And if you're heading to the Hamptons, peruse our list of kid-friendly nature walks on the East End.

Our Travel site has details on a family getaway to the Mount Monadnock Region of New Hampshire.

Here's what else we covered on the NYC site this week:

Free Summer Concerts and Outdoor Concert Series in LA and OC

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or better yet, get out of the house. Summer in the Southland means outdoor concerts galore (and many are free!) at a host of local parks, museums, and public spaces from the coast to the hills to the Valleys. Go on, get out. Throw down a blanket, spread out the snacks, uncork the wine, and watch the kids boogie under the evening stars as you sway to some cool and breezy melodies.

Win Tickets to Minions: A Despicable Opportunity!

One summer movie kids can’t wait to see is Minions, the prequel to the highly successful Despicable Me series. Most families have to wait until the film's release on July 10, but a handful of lucky Mommy Poppins readers can catch a sneak peek of these mischievous little fellows back in action at an advance screening hosted by our sponsor, Universal Studios, on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 11am at AMC Loews Lincoln Square. Want to surprise your kids with some free tickets?

Free Outdoor Summer Movies for Philly Families

This post is currently being updated for 2016.

Enjoying an outdoor movie under the stars should be on every family's summer bucket list in Philadelphia. Watching an alfresco film on a big screen is a relaxing way to spend a balmy evening with family and friends. Bonus: All of these flicks are free!

Films usually begin at dusk, but be sure to arrive early to stake out a good spot. Some series offer music or other live entertainment before the movie, and a few even provide free popcorn. So pack some snacks, a blanket (and bug spray, too), sit back, relax and enjoy the show at one of these outdoor summer movie series in or near Philadelphia.

NJ Parks: Exploring the Regatta Playground in Essex County's South Mountain Recreation Complex

The Regatta Playground in West Orange has been on my to-do list since it opened in 2014. Now that my family and I have visited the nautical-themed romping spot, I can confirm it's not just your run-of-the-mill playground. Located at Cherry Lane, the Regatta Playground is the newest addition to the South Mountain Recreation Complex, which also includes the Turtle Back Zoo, the Essex County Treetop Adventure Course, Codey Arena and MiniGolf Safari. With all those attractions, the complex is a pleasant day trip, although the Regatta Playground is a destination unto itself.

Celebrate Father's Day In and Near Hartford, Connecticut with the Whole Family

It's Father's Day weekend which means it's time to celebrate all of the dads in our lives, whether they're fathers, step-dads, grandpas, uncles or friends. Rather than give these special guys yet another tie or coffee mug, consider planning a memorable outing with the whole family. There are many great goings-on throughout the Hartford area, where kids and dads can spend quality time together. Want to travel further afield? Check out our roundup of Father's Day family fun in Fairfield County.

Father's Day Weekend for LA Kids: Pasadena Chalk, Bowl Opening, & Rodeo Drive, June 20-21

Settle down, padre; we get it. It’s Father's Day. This weekend it’s all about you. Dad’s choice from sunup to sundown, make way for baseball and barbecues, fancy cars and railroads, and trucks. Or, if you prefer, Irish dancing and movies about feelings. As long as you’re happy, we’re happy. Yep, whatever it takes, no expense spared...

Psst: Moms and kids! Did you know there's a ton of cool stuff going on this weekend that you can take Dad to for free? Luxury cars on Rodeo Drive, no-cost concerts, stargazing (with musical accompaniment!). You can even make him a variety of from-the-heart gifts. All without dipping into the trust fund. There are also things you can do that cost money, if you're into that. (And we have a feeling some of it Dad will be very into!)

By the by, I don't suppose you happened to check our site earlier in the week. Because if you did, you saw your opportunity to get a super-exclusive invite to our free advance screening of Minions this weekend. See, that's the kind of stuff that happens for people in our inner circle. Our compadres. The kind of people who...

...keep reading for our favorite picks for the weekend...

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