11 Spots for Peach Picking Near NYC

Peach picking season is upon us in the Northeast, the perfect excuse for NYC families to plan a sweet summertime day trip before kids head back to school.

Starting in July or early to mid-August, depending on the farm and the weather, the peaches begin to ripen, and peach season typically runs into September. Peach picking, a perfect activity after berry picking season has peaked, is often a less commercial and more straightforward outing than some of the more popular fruit seasons like apple picking, meaning you're not going to run into as many hayrides, face painting, or crowds, but you will get a more authentic farm life experience.

We've rounded up 11 peach orchards, all under two hours by car from NYC. Several are accessible by mass transit, so you're really out of excuses! 

Support Groups, Play Groups, and More for LI Special-Needs Families

Families of special-needs children encounter special challenges. The good news is, on Long Island there are quite a lot of resources available for support.

Many times these challenges are not anticipated. Although caregivers might get some relief from drop-off respite programs, other support services can be required. The firms and agencies below offer support programs ranging from personal care and training to financial services, and even playtime.

For more information, see our guide to special-needs services on Long Island, including a look at the region's top sensory gardens, inclusive playgrounds, and more.

Amusement Rides and Indoor Play Spaces Await at Palisades Center

I remember watching the Palisades Center being built from the ground up as I shuttled between Rockland and Westchester counties for various athletic meets and games in high school. At the time, I never imagined that 20 years later, I would be a parent seeking out that very mall to entertain and amuse my own child. But seek it out I do—and with good reason.

It's not just the shopping that makes the Palisades Center a destination spot for families (though, seriously, who can resist four full floors of restaurants and shops?). Palisades Center is also an entertainment complex that lures patrons of all ages. From indoor play spaces larger than many elementary schools to carnival rides and extreme ropes courses, this gigantic mall has something for kids with every interest—with plenty to entertain parents, as well. Read on for the highlights.

Looking for even more fun? Check out some other family-friendly spots

18 Top Pick-Your-Own Peach Farms in New Jersey

There’s nothing that screams summer more than a warm-off-the-tree peach, with the sweet juices dripping down your chin. With farms a-plenty and peaches ripe for the picking, choose your spot from the list below, grab your baskets and babes, and head to one of these u-pick farms

The peach-picking season in the Garden State really gets going in mid-July and carries on through August and early September at some farms. Before you go, call ahead or check the farm’s Facebook page to make sure crops are still plentiful and what, specifically, is available on any given day. (You might also be able to pick blueberries, which are available at many farms through July.)

Read on to find out where the juiciest fruit can be found.

Kid Explorers Dig Into the New Ripley's Relic Game in Times Square

A new interactive experience has come to Ripley's Believe it or Not! Times Square just in time for summer (believe it or not, Times Square isn't just for NYC visitors!). The museum that's widely known for being the home of all that's unusual just launched Ripley's Relic, a high-tech escape game that is designed to bring out your inner explorer.

My kids have never met an adventure they didn't like, so I trekked to Times Square with my 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son in tow for the opening of Ripley's Relic to take a crack at solving the puzzle in person. 

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Ocean Festival, Comic Con, Little Tokyo, and a Dive-in

This is poor little sad emoji me, stuck in LA with nothing to do while all the cool kids go down to San Diego for the most awesome party of the year. I guess I'll just sit here twiddling my thumbs and maybe start planning school lunches for the coming year....

Are they gone yet? Phew! Is it me or is it a little easier to breathe suddenly with all those extra oxygen poachers gone? Good thing, too, because this weekend is going to be full of gasps and sucking in of air as we take in the wonder and thrills of just another weekend (yeah right!) in LA.  We are celebrating and festivalizing in the streets and in the seas. Looking for your favorite authors? Signatures coming up! Looking for pop stars under the stars? We've got Lalah Hathaway and the Psychedelic Furs, under the stars and for free, (plus a whole lotta other concerts too).

Movies? I'll show you movies: free and under the stars (and possibly in a pool). And sure, movies, but did we mention the live theater? Open air and free baby!  Or: based on your favorite books. Or perhaps you prefer your theater indoors with free childcare 

We've got discount nights and days in the parkBig Sings and grand performances, clean ups and field tripscounty fairs and faeries and pharoahs and puppeteers and who needs Comic Con anyway?

Keep reading for our favorite picks for the weekend, mostly free, mostly outdoors, and with 20% more oxygen!....  

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Sandcastles, Butterflies, and a Waldo Hunt, July 21-22

​During the coldest times of winter, we think we'd never take a beach day for granted. Inevitably, though, mid-summer rolls around and the thought of the same old beach/pool day leaves us scouring the internet for innovative, kid-friendly summer activities. Luckily, this weekend has plenty of unique options, from a concert for Harry Potter-philes to glow-in-the-dark tree swinging to a special Waldo scavenger hunt. Bug and butterfly fans can visit Joppa Flats to learn more about the critters there and even bring their own from home to find out more about them. If you have a least one more beach day in you, make sure you head to Revere Beach for this annual sandcastle spectacle not to be missed. 

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Shakespeare, an Aquarium Celebration, and a Lavender Farm, July 21-22

It is not an exaggeration to say that I can't imagine my parenting life in Connecticut without the Maritime Aquarium. We've enjoyed all kinds of programs in all kinds of weather: summer camps, educational cruises, and even overnights. If you haven't had a chance to visit or are just looking for an opportunity to go back, this weekend's 30th anniversary celebration is a great excuse, with deeply discounted "throwback" pricing all weekend long and special activities planned for Saturday. 

But that's just some of the fun to be had this weekend! Don't miss the chance to explore the blooming lavender fields or to ride the Lavender Express tram around the gorgeous Lavender Pond Farm property or to wander among the sunflowers at Buttonwood Farms for the brief but spectacular Sunflowers for Wishes fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish foundation. 

For even more options, check out our event calendar, which we update throughout the week with new listings from across the state. To keep up with everything going on in CT, follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Have a great weekend! 

Weekend Fun: Family Fests, Sprinklers, Water Carnival, Free Picnics

It's mid-July, which means it's the perfect time to race through some sprinklers. This weekend marks the return of one of NYC's water fun highlights: the (FREE!) salute to shower power, Sprinkler Day at Asphalt Green (there's also another one in August, if this weekend doesn't work for you).

If you prefer to stay more or less dry, the 5th Annual Carnival on the Water in Brooklyn brings families out onto (as opposed to into) the water, plus there's a whole army of family-friendly events trooping through town, including Kids Rock! Family Day at Rockefeller Center, Come Out & Play Family Day in Brooklyn, and the (air-conditioned) Whitney Museum Summer Family Day. And Fairway Market holds its FREE picnic giveaway Saturday morning (fair warning: expect a big crowd).

Need a break from outdoor fun this weekend? Explore the Jewish Children's Museum's Safety City exhibit, with its child-sized road course, complete with pedal go-carts and working traffic lights. Or stop by the Historical Society, where fortune tellers are crystal balling, tea leafing and palm reading all weekend.

Our ever-expanding summer fun calendar has lots more in store, including free outdoor movies in every borough. Keep an eye on our July GoList. And consider taking a field trip to one (or more!) of these 11 cool neighborhoods!

Weekend Fun: Jazz Festival, Dragon Boat Race, Hudson Valley Chalk Festival

Below we’ve listed eight of our top picks for the weekend, but several particularly stand out. The Hudson Valley Chalk Festival is a three-day affair, where professional artists elevate New Paltz's aesthetics with eye-popping artwork around town, and kids get to decorate a four-wheel vehicle with their own chalk creation. Other attractions are offered as well, and the whole kit ‘n caboodle is FREE.

Also of significance is the Dutchess Dragon Boat Race & Festival, loaded with assorted Chinese cultural attractions (art workshops among them) and, of course, the famed dragon boat race. Also FREE!

Not free but worth the price of admission is the high-caliber Jazz Festival, an annual day-long concert we’ve previously reviewed, presented at Caramoor in partnership with the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center (with appeal for kids, too). Other faves this weekend are the Arab-American Heritage Celebration and a performance by a magician and mind-reader.

Read on for more details and more picks—plus our Event Calendar includes other events you’ll want to review before choosing what to do. Don't forget to consult our July GoList for our favorite events for the rest of the month, and check out our Summer Activity Guide for things to do all summer long, including the best swimming lakes and rivers for Westchester families.

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