Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Lightscapes, Clown Finances, Apr. 30-May 1

Such a fun weekend lies in store for Westchester families! There are so many tantalizing activities, our Events Calendar is bursting with possibilities.

Earth Day activities continue, and this weekend marks the return of Lightscapes, a walk-through art and light installation with the new Bubble Tunnel making its debut. Kids might not be excited to learn about personal finances from a financial analyst—but what if that financial analyst is also a Ringling Bros clown? Such is the case at FUNance: Where Fun and Finance Collide. At Raid the Sanctuary II, participants are challenged to find their way out of the woods in the face of some deceptive trickery and—gasp!—no GPS. With or without their grown-up companion, kids can learn to make homemade pasta at Italian Cooking Class, and everyone’s favorite rubber-duck race returns at Y Healthy Kids Day (which we’ve profiled in our recent review).

Read on for our top picks for weekend fun in Westchester, but definitely don’t stop there. In addition to the many more events on our Events Calendar, we’ve also posted our May GoList to help you plan the entire month! 

There are even more options to choose from, so read on and consult our Event Calendar. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and sign up for our newsletters to remain in the know! 

Weekend Fun: Cherry Blossoms, Street Games, New Kids' Theater

This weekend features four of our top family event picks for April. Enjoy the best of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Sakura Matsuri: Cherry Blossom Festival; introduce the kids to pogo sticks and hula hoops at Street Games in East Harlem; see alfresco, interactive theater at Lincoln Center; or celebrate the Hindu festival of colors in Midtown.

Other weekend highlights include Hippo Playground's annual fete and lots of family theater: Curious George: The Golden Meatball, Commedia Cinderella and Blown Away by Poetry—that last one is FREE. Plus, all of the YMCAs in town are hosting Healthy Kids Day with a slew of no-charge activities.

Oh, and don't forget that it's officially street festival time in NYC. We've rounded up the best May fests for families, but keep in mind these big events, like the 5 Boro Bike Tour this Sunday, May 1, can wreak havoc on traffic, so if you have plans for weekend day trip or getaway, check street closures first.

And perhaps more importantly, don't forget that the following Sunday, May 8, is Mother's Day. To help you plan, we rounded up the best brunches to celebrate mom in Manhattan and the Bronx, across Brooklyn restaurants and in Queens. Plus, check out these special events and things to do that Sunday.

As always, you can find even more options for this weekend in our Event Calendar and our Spring Fun Guide.

5 Children's Bookstores You Can Only Find in Boston

My family and I love books, and luckily for us, Boston is a great city for bookish fans. Both libraries and bookstores appear among the top 100 Things to Do with Boston Kids Before They Grow Up, and there's no debating the wonderful options for book lovers in the Boston area. With children's bookstores from Faneuil Hall to Harvard Square to farther afield, families can keep even the youngest of readers happy at any of these fantastic spots.

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Kids

There are so many wonderful ways to welcome spring in and around Philly, and Cinco de Mayo is one of the best.  This list includes area events and specials, plus crafts, books and even recipes that are creative, family-friendly ways to celebrate the holiday while teaching kids about Mexican culture and tradition.  

Sensory Gym for Children with Disabilities Opens in Queens

Extreme Kids & Crew, a mom-founded nonprofit, just opened its third NYC sensory gym for children with disabilities and its first outpost in Queens. We've visited its Brooklyn play spaces in Crown Heights and Red Hook in the past, so we were excited to see its latest, Ridgewood Space, in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens, which straddles Brooklyn and is often touted as the next hot NYC nabe.

The goal of the Brooklyn-based nonprofit is to provide supportive spaces for children with disabilities and their families to play and connect. The new Ridgewood spot is located in P.S. 71 elementary school, and offers places to swing, slide, build and just chill out. The bubble machine particularly caught our eye.

The borough seems to be adding more and more indoor play spaces for kids, including Sabrina's and Shastye last year, and we're happy to welcome Extreme Kids & Crew to the fold. Read on for our full review.

Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Kite Day, Cinco de Mayo, April 30 - May 1

We welcome the lovely month of May this weekend and there are dozens of family-friendly activities to do as we celebrate spring! Head outside with the whole gang and check out Terhune Orchard's Kite Day, the Renaissance Faire at Historic Smithville Village or the Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival. There's even more outings to keep the kids entertained: take your little T-Rex lovers to Dino Day at the Morris Museum, learn from do-it-yourself creators during the Greater Newark Mini Maker Faire or celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the town of Bridgeton. For additional activity options, take a look at our full Event Calendar.

Best Water Theme Parks Near NYC for Families

While there are no full-fledged water theme parks in NYC (yet), you don't have to go too far to find some awesome ones. We've rounded up 13 of our favorites for kids in the tristate area, mostly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and all are less than a two-hour drive from Midtown Manhattan. No two are alike: Each one offers different experiences and thrills.

For more water fun, check out these toddler-friendly water parks and year-round indoor water parks near NYC.

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