Film Classes for NYC Kids

These days, kids can make movies using their cell phones. One look at YouTube is proof enough, but my older son's really into cinema and has sent me searching for film classes.

I'm well aware he may not turn out to be the next Scorsese, but he can learn lots of interesting skills in these programs. Many of them go way beyond the camera; he'll also get to try his hand at auditioning, storyboarding, editing and maybe even animation depending on which class he takes.

If nothing else, once he finishes, he can help me go through that hard drive of family footage I've amassed. Here are seven places that offer kids' film classes. Ready ... Set ... Action!

EverWonder Children's Museum in Newtown: Hands-on Science Fun for CT Kids

If you've been to Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk or the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, you know the hands-on science for kids niche is filled in Fairfield County. Unless, that is, you live in a town north of Bridgeport. Up here, these museums—great as they are—are a schlep. That's why the addition of Newtown's EverWonder Children's Museum is so welcome. Launched in 2011 in mobile form, the museum hoped to fill the STEM void between Bridgeport and Hartford's stellar Science Center. Now that it has a brick-and-mortar location, the EverWonder Children's Museum is well on its way to achieving its goal.

FREE and Cheap After School Programs in Hartford County, CT

Back to school is creeping up on us. Before we know it the yellow buses and kids lugging their backpacks will be filling the streets. Unfortunately for the working parents with the 9-5 schedule the 3 o’clock school day ending will just not cut it. Luckily there are many free after school programs available in the Hartford area. For more after school programs check out our After School Classes Guide.

Family Fun at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington

It is never too early to introduce your child to art. In the Hartford area, one tends to think of the grandiose Wadsworth, or perhaps the sleek New Britain Museum of American Art, but don’t overlook the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington. There, in the 1901 Colonial Revival house turned museum, both art and history come alive. The Hill-stead, however, is not just for grown-ups and art buffs: family-friendly events like First Sundays and seasonal community events on the estate’s magnificent grounds invite families and children to enjoy and learn from this cultural landmark right up the road. (Check out our Museum Guide for ideas of other CT museums to try with kids by county.)

Highland Orchards in Chester County: 5 Reasons to Make a Family Day Trip

Undoubtedly, the simplest of activities can often make the best memories for our young children. Visiting an area orchard or farm is an easy, low-cost outing and a great way to bring the little ones closer to nature. Highland Orchards, a Chester County farm market and pick-your-own field, provides fresh air, fresh food, and fun times for families all year round. During the warmer weather, families can take advantage of its outdoor activities, including pick-your-own strawberries, a playground, and a spot to feed animals. Fall is the height of apple picking and hayride season, and in the cold months, Highland Orchards continues its open hours in the farm market, where kids and grownups can enjoy the freshly baked pies and other baked goods (and other tasty free samples!)

This summer, don’t miss an opportunity to go to Highland Orchards for eating, playing, or even taking a structured tour of the grounds. Check out the top 5 reasons why it’s worth a drive to the Chester County countryside for a visit.

4th of July Fireworks and Festivities in Lower Hudson Valley

The 4th of July is almost here! We've already filled you in on the best places to catch stunning Independence Day fireworks in Westchester. Now we are heading across the county line to round up the top spots for holiday sparklers throughout Lower Hudson Valley. Since many celebrations also include live music, ballgames, parades, magic shows and even a carnival, these festivities are definitely worth the drive if you're coming from Westchester.

Free Outdoor Family Movies Almost Every Night in July for NYC Kids

Every summer in NYC, there are a slew of no-cost outdoor movie screenings. So many in fact, you can probably find at least one FREE alfresco flick per evening being shown somewhere in the five boroughs. But here's the problem for families: A lot of these films aren't kid-friendly. If you don't plan ahead, you may end up accidentally dropping into Bryant Park when Die Hard is on, and you really don't want your preschooler repeating Bruce Willis' R-rated variation on yippee ki-yay, do you?

While there are a few series aimed specifically at children like RiverFlicks for Kids, most sandwich their family films in between the grown-up ones. But instead of you having to peruse all those different calendars, we've done the work for you. Behold: More than 40 FREE outdoor movies this July, most rated G or PG (with a couple of PG-13 titles for the tweens in your life), all organized by date. From recent blockbusters like Frozen and The Lego Movie, to '80s hits such as The Goonies and Back to the Future, to classics like Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz, here are the best, FREE, kid-friendly outdoor movies playing in NYC this July.

This Week: Free Summer Fun, Fireworks and Day Trips

The high temperatures and humidity we've been experiencing say summer arrived weeks ago, but for NYC public school kids, break is just beginning. And we're celebrating with a variety of fun-filled events, from a School's Out Celebration in Coney Island, to a slew of free fests and concerts.

Heading to Long Island's East End this summer? Here's a roundup of super cheap (yes, really) activities for kids. There's also a ton of free fun to be had in nearby New Jersey. Plan a day trip to the Garden State for entertainment like the NJ Barbecue Championship, blueberry festivals and beach outings. For dino-obsessed kids, we've got a list of places to find the prehistoric creatures in Connecticut that's sure to be a hit.

Our Travel site has details on a blissful family farm vacation in New Hampshire.

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

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