35 FREE Things Kids Can Do in LA this Summer

Summer's great, isn't it? So much time, so much to do. All the things that can't be squeezed into the cursedly short time between school, homework, and dinner can be enjoyed at leisure - without stress of school night bedtimes. Summer means not a care in the world - except how to pay for all this frivolity, right? 'Cause we sure aren't getting a whole lot of work done! The answer? Summer freebies. Become an expert on how long your kids can get in free to Southland activities. Hit all the free museum days. And then start working your way down this list of totally free things to do with LA kids over the summer!

Learn Something New at the Old Connecticut State House in Hartford

Where can you find a two-headed calf, Mark Twain's bicycle, and an alligator dangling from the ceiling? At Connecticut's Old State House, of course. It took us a while to “discover” this museum – because sometimes it’s difficult to persuade kids that anything featuring the word “old” in the title can be enjoyable – but once we visited, we realized that this Hartford County attraction is a historical treasure and a fun destination. In fact, the kids became so immersed in one activity (keep reading) that only a bribe persuaded them to leave.

Self Esteem, Bullying and Social Skills Classes for Kids in Fairfield County, CT

I can hardly believe it, but my oldest child is starting middle school this fall.  How has this happened?  Now, my daughter is super excited, but I’m a little nervous – middle schoolers, as we all know, can be a tough crowd. Especially to those of us who were lucky enough to be sporting Coke bottle glasses, braces, and orthopedic shoes (thanks, Mom…)

The good news is that, while middle school is undoubtedly full of the same angst ridden pre-teens and bullies as it was 20 years ago, parents and teachers are much more aware of the social dynamic amongst the students.  In fact, Fairfield County has mandated a great deal of anti-bullying initiatives within the public schools.

Like many other parents, I want to make sure that my child is neither being bullied, nor bullying anyone else.  To that end, I’ve been looking into local Fairfield County classes, workshops, and programs that might provide some positive messaging and friendship navigation assistance to pre teens and teenagers.  Here’s what I’ve found:

This Week: Free Ice Cream, July 4th in NYC & Beyond, Summer Travel Deals

We're just one week into summer break and already my kid has made her own chocolate, gone to her first commuter camp outside the city and changed her name to Blue. I can't wait to see what adventures the rest of the season has in store!

Two things I know we'll be doing this 4th of July weekend are stalking the Good Humor Truck that's giving out FREE ice cream and staking out a spot to watch Macy's Fireworks. But if your family is itching to hightail it out of town for a holiday day trip, our regional sites have posts about the most explosive Independence Day celebrations in Westchester, New Jersey, on Long Island and beyond, all probably much less crowded than Macy's.

Looking to plan out the rest of your month? We just published a roundup of the best things to do throughout July in NYC, and our Travel site has a list of awesome summer travel deals to destinations near (Boston) and far (Rome!), plus details on a Puerto Vallarta trip giveaway.

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

Mommy & Me Movies (and Daddy too!) around LA

The words "Mommy & Me" don't always have to preface responsible activities like infant swim classes; Mommy & Me movies allow even the most devoted parents a chance to revel in adult pleasures. New moms and dads can get out and see a movie that they want to see - not an animated or children's film - without having to leave their baby at home or worry about their little one disturbing other guests. Participating theaters focus on making it work for babies, with amenities that include changing tables, soft lighting, and a place to park your stroller. And the best part: little ones can cry and nurse and fuss without fear of dirty looks or shushing. Plus, because the films are shown during the day, prices are of the lower, matinee variety - and the infants are free!

Inside Scoop on Where To Find Good Humor's Free Ice Cream Trucks in NYC

It's officially summer and what better way to celebrate than with ice cream—FREE ice cream!! Good Humor is marking the birth of our nation with not one, not two, but 12 days of complimentary ice cream all over downtown Manhattan. Moving throughout the area, one neighborhood at a time, the newfangled Good Humor Truck and a lineup of pedicabs and cars will be spreading joy with no-cost treats for all. We've got the scoop on how you can catch up with the Good Humor Man and get your free frozen treat.

July 4th Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Harborfest, Fireworks and Parades

Happy Fourth of July! With no shortage of fireworks and other celebrations this weekend, it's easy to find tons of potential outings for your family. The hardest part might be narrowing it down to only a few!

While most events this weekend focus on Independence Day, including those celebrating local history, summer is in full swing with ongoing activities at Faneuil Hall, Frog Pond, and the Harbor Islands. I personally can't wait to storm the fort on Georges Island with my family. And just in time for all this outdoor fun, the City of Boston has launched a pilot program that provides free sunscreen dispensers in Boston parks, including at Boston Common and Christopher Columbus Park. 

Also on Mommy Poppins Boston this week:

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

Where to Pick Blueberries with Kids in the Boston Area

Strawberries? Raspberries? Blueberries? Our family debate over which is the best berry may never be resolved, but that just may be because each time one of these berries is in season, it’s hard not to declare it the best. Our favorite this time of year? It’s the blueberry, by far. Blueberries just may be the easiest fruit to pick, prepare and serve. No peeling, no pitting, no coring, no cutting. Plus, they have few natural pests other than birds, so much is grown pesticide-free. 

The pick-your-own blueberry season begins early July and continues through late August or early September. We’ve rounded up some farms in the Boston area which are beginning to open up for blueberry picking, plus we've included a few helpful tips. At the end of the post, you'll find a recipe for our favorite blueberry treat: the classic blueberry buckle.

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