A Family Visit to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum

About an hour southeast of Hartford, nestled in an ancient cedar forest in the Foxwoods area, you will find the largest Native American museum in the world. The Mashantucket Pequot Museum will touch your heart from the moment you step through its oversized glass doors. Inspirational and detailed exhibits convey the thoughtfulness and simplicity with which Native Americans lived, the pain and injustice they experienced when war was imposed upon them, and the tenacity they showed in rebuilding and reclaiming their culture. Unlike other museums where Native American history is attempted in one or two dioramas, the collection here is comprehensive and, best of all, the history is owned and disseminated by the people who lived it.

Music Classes for Philly Area Kids & Families

Kids march to the beat of their own drums, so why not help them keep their rhythm with some music classes? Some studies have shown that early music education helps children develop academic, physical, and social skills, and it also gives them an introduction to arts and culture. We have put together a list of music classes for kids in the Philadelphia area, but be sure to visit their websites for updated schedules. Visit our Classes Directory to keep up on the latest additions.

25 Things To Do in Las Vegas with Kids

Once America's playground for adults, in the last decade Las Vegas has become one of the most popular family vacation destinations. On the strip, the casinos and resorts offer some grand activities, but it would be a shame to visit this desert town and not experience the great natural attractions and museums you can find a little further afield.

I just got back from a week visiting family in Vegas. We had a blast exploring kid-friendly activities both on and off the beaten track. Here are my recommendations for the top things to do with kids in Las Vegas. 

This Week: Beat the Heat in NYC, Water-Filled Trips and More Freebies

For obvious reasons, fun ways to cool off with the kids was the theme across all of our sites this week. Even though there are dozens of ways to beat the heat in the city, the dog days of summer are the perfect time for a water-filled day trip (plus you get to avoid the subway, which apparently reached more than 100 degrees this week!). If you have access to a car and some free time, consider frolicking at a spectacular splash pad in Westchester (though you'll need a friend with a county park pass), whiling the day away on a Connecticut beach, or getting totally wet at a nearby lake, river or water park.

Of course, our NYC summer's got nothing on the South's, which is why our Travel site's new list of the best things to do with kids in Charlotte, North Carolina includes multiple ways to cool down—though you may want to save your visit for winter when you'll be longing to feel sweaty again.

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

News: Dozens of City Schools on Notice, New Fair for Museum Mile and Soho Gets a littleBits

The state recently put 62 city schools on notice for low performance–just in time for the new school year to kick off. The schools rank among the worst 5 percent in all of New York, according to a report in Chalkbeat. 

A number of those schools targeted by the state are already a part of the city's "turnaround" program and under state law, the city's top educator, Chancellor Carmen Fariña, has the opportunity to try to improve the schools before setting them up for takeover by a "receiver," or outside education leader or group.

Read more about this and other New York City kid and parent news the Mommy Poppins team has rounded up for you, including a survey showing that 95 percent of parents are actually pretty satisfied with the city's public schools.

Be sure to sign up for our free newsletters to stay up to date on the latest NYC news, reviews and more.

Weekend Fun with LA Kids: Special Olympics, National Dance Day, and Venice Summer Fest, July 25- 26

Here's what we learned last weekend: it does rain in Southern California, sometimes so much that they cancel or postpone things, like concerts in the park, plays… they even closed the ocean (sorta kind of).   But that was last week. This weekend, we should be back to our usual partly-sunny, no-humidity-here kind of paradise.  Go ye forth and frolic, get your dance on, and enjoy all that our beloved Southland has to offer.  (Beaches, even!)

And good timing, too, since the eyes of the world will be upon us this weekend.  The Special Olympics brings special needs athletes from 177 nations to compete in venues throughout Los Angeles.  Events are free to attend, so why not go cheer on some exceptional competitors?

Of course, in the land of the free, you can stay indoors if you really want. Indoor type? Circus, baby!  Want the sun on your back? Orange County Fair! You can learn about space indoors with a roof over your head, or with a ceiling of stars. You can enjoy the Sunshine (Band) at night in the Marina (with KC, of course!),  you can build your sandcastle in the sandexplore Chinatown, enjoy the arts and free movies, party with the faeries, run the bases and take in the explosive finale to the 1812 Overture.  Okay, it looks like outdoors is winning this weekend, which makes sense, it being Southern California and all. (But better enjoy it while you can: an El Niño is coming this year!)

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

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Mess Fest, Educational Fun July 25-26

Are you the "mean mom" or the "unfair dad" who makes your kid practice math flashcards and keep a reading log over the summer? There certainly is no harm in learning during these hot, hazy and humid summer months. (It's actually good for them.) But, why not try out an activity that will keep kids learning without them even realizing it? Mommy Poppins' Events Calendar is overflowing with activities that allow kids the fun they want while providing the educational component that parents seek.

Spend the weekend at the Franklin Institute's Mess Fest where science experiences get sloppy. Learn about the history of planes during war times at Fort Mifflin's Airplane Day. Discover the world of fine arts at the Kimmel Center's PNC Grow Up Great or Organ Demonstration. Or, explore being a sustainable design engineer at the Delaware Children's Museum's Junior Engineer workshop.

Continue reading for the top picks for the weekend ahead. Be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter and like us on Pinterest and Facebook and follow us on Twitter. No matter what you do this weekend, we hope you and your kids will learn something new!

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Sand Sculpting and Music Festivals, July 25-26

If it's time to hit the beach with your family, Revere Beach has the perfect excuse this weekend with its annual Sand Sculpting Festival (pictured). As on other summer weekends, there are tons of great events farther inland as well. Music fans looking for more than a summer concert have their pick of music festivals highlighting everything from folk to jazz, and kids with big imaginations will love collaborating on art projects during Figment Boston.

Also on Mommy Poppins Boston this week:

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

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