Tweens & Teens

Can Your Family Break Out of Hoodwinked Escape's Game Room?

Can you beat the clock to escape from a locked room? That's the challenge at escape rooms, the latest craze in youth entertainment. Escape rooms are interactive, physical puzzles where players are locked in a room for 60 minutes with nothing but their wits. They must decipher clues and interact with everyday elements to find their way out. These fun games have been popping up around NYC for the past decade but are still a mystery to many families. Hoodwinked Escape opened in Harlem this past winter and we decided to check it out. 

 My son and I had already tried a zombie-themed room escape during a kid birthday party several years ago. While we all became the ghoul's dinner, we enjoyed working together against the clock to free ourselves.  From corporate team-building to a night out for twentysomethings, these adventure games also make for great family and friend bonding time, especially for tweens and teens in need of something new to do. 

Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned pro at these challenging adventure games you are in for a treat: Hoodwinked is so well thought-out, you just might linger to enjoy the experience rather than trying to break out in less than the required 60 minutes.

Connecticut Farmers' Markets and Farm Stands Kids Will Love

Connecticut has more than 100 certified CT Grown Farmers' Markets in the state, so it is easy to take the family out for a fun day of shopping for fresh, local produce. Many of the markets are mini destinations where children can be entertained while learning about the importance and nutrition of locally grown food. We love to pick our own berries when they are in season, too, so check out our list of our favorite Pick Your Own Farms in CT.

Here are suggestions on kid-friendly markets, so get out there, eat some healthy food, have fun, and explore! 

June GoList: Best Things To Do with CT Kids This Month

We've rounded up the absolute best things to do in June so that you won't miss out on all that's happening this first month of summer. It's CT Trails Day Jun 4th - 5th and CT Open House Day on June 11th so we've included just a few of the fun events occurring during those days. Highlights this month include lots of festivals, horse shoe crabs, food trucks and a butterfly party. Of course our Summer Fun Guide is a terrific resource for family fun, too!

Here are 18 of our favorite things to do with kids in Connecticut this June. Have fun!

Alice Through the Looking Glass: How PG Is the Disney Movie?

There are few children's stories as iconic as Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking Glass. Any Disney version of a tale so classically kid-friendly would seem like a no-brainer, but adding Tim Burton into the mix is always a wild card. If you're wondering where Alice Through the Looking Glass falls on a scale of dark to light, and whether it's a family outing or a find-a-sitter moment, you wouldn't be alone. The film is rated PG, but how PG is it? And to 3D or not to 3D?

Weekday Picks for LI Kids: Family Carnival, Strawberry Festival, May 30-June 3

Memorial Day brings a variety of family-friendly events, including the family carnival at Eisenhower Park. This week also features the Nassau County Strawberry Festival, as well as a water safety puppet show, drop-off painting at As You Wish and art exploration at Hofstra.

This is just a sampling of what's going on this week, so be sure to take a look at our Long Island events calendar and our Spring Fun Guide. You can also get the best events of the week sent directly to your inbox each week if you sign up for our newsletter.

Free Outdoor Movies for NYC Kids This Summer

New York City will screen hundreds of FREE outdoor movies this summer, many of them just for kids. The city greatly expanded its offerings for the summer of 2016; its Movies Under the Stars series will screen more than 300 films in 2016 on top of the many other popular annual series hosted by various associations, park groups and their corporate sponsors.

A few outdoor movie series, such as RiverFlicks for Kids in the West Village, are aimed specifically at children. But even grown-up series, such as those in Bryant Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park, include a family-friendly screening or two. Movies usually begin between 8 and 8:30pm, but plan to arrive early: The well-known series fill up fast (expect crowds at Bryant Park). Sometimes there is even pre-movie entertainment.

Even if you see a flick you've watched a dozen or so times at home, it's a totally different experience viewing it in the open air alongside several hundred other fans. It's a thrilling, communal event and a summer rite of passage for NYC kids and grown-ups. So pack a picnic, bring your blanket, sit back, relax and enjoy the show at one of these outdoor summer movie series in NYC.

Find more seasonal activities in our Summer Fun Guide.

Memorial Day Weekend Festivals and Parades for LA Families

Quick, hit the brakes—there's a three-day weekend just ahead! Memorial Day, the holiday generally considered the first harbinger of summer, is on the horizon, and the forecast is for one of those LA Story, 70s-and-sunny weekends. There's only one problem: you were so busy looking for summer camps that you forgot to book a campsite or a beach getaway, right? No worries—when your kids ask why you're not going anywhere this weekend, just tell them you're staying in town to catch some of the great Memorial Day festivals and parades that only happen once a year.

Summer Festivals and Fairs in the Hartford Area

Ahhh, summer—the sun rises early and sets late, and the day's pace is slower. There are countless hours to fill with excitement and relaxation, and our Connecticut Summer Fun Guide will help you plan some seriously awesome adventures. On those days not spent at the beach, Hartford County's many outdoor festivals and fairs will have your family feasting on cotton candy or dancing in your lawn chairs. Indulge in fresh strawberries, introduce the kids to poetry and jazz, show them how cool old cars can be, and listen to their screams of excitement coming from carnival rides. Grab a picnic basket and a blanket, pack your camera, and marvel at all the fun Hartford County's festivals and fairs have to offer.

Want more? We've got roundups of festivals and fairs in Eastern CT and New Haven County, too, as well as free concert series in Fairfield County.

24 NYC Festivals and Street Fairs for Families This June

New York City's festival season kicks into high gear in June. The first month of summer and the debut of warmer weather prompts a head-spinning number of fantastic fairs, parades, carnivals and other fetes—more than two dozen.

And we're not talking about random street fairs with overpriced tchotchkes. These are favorites we look forward to every year, including Museum Mile, Egg Rolls, Egg Creams & Empanadas, Figment on Governors Island and Coney Island's iconic Mermaid Parade—all of which made our list of the top annual festivals for NYC families.

So get your calendar; you're going to want to write these dates down. Here are 24 great family festivals for June 2016, most of which are completely FREE.

Check our NYC Summer Fun Guide for more freebies and great kid and family events and outings.

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