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.

Weekend Fun: Sailing, Beach Exploration, Outdoor Movies, Arts

This weekend, work on your sharpening your shark senses at The Whaling Museum. Or hop aboard the sloop Christeen and steer through Oyster Bay. Build a boat together at the Sands Point Preserve. Enjoy a day of fun at the Long Island Museum or catch a free family flick under the stars.

Head outdoors to the boardwalkbeach, pools, sprinkler parks, or perhaps to cool off at a water park. Jones Beach also just opened its brand-new splash pad.

Visit our Summer Family Fun Guide and our July GoList for the best in seasonal entertainment, including day trip ideas and plenty of FREE events and activities. Our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids. 

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Animals, Performances, Carnivals July 21-22

The diaper bag is packed with essentials. Sippy cups are filled and snacks are packed. The kids are buckled safely in the car and Mom and Dad are ready to roll. Where are Philly families off to? Some of the amazing summer activities that can be found on our events calendar, of course!

This weekend offers an assortment of fun for animal lovers. Learn about aquatic life at the Please Touch Museum's Shark Week festivities or splash about in the creek searching for critters at Green Lane Park. Discover how important honey bees are at Harriton House's Annual Beekeeping and Honey Festival or watch for birds at John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove. 

Want to see a show? Get tickets to see Aladdin at Gratz College Theater, Cirque du Soleil VOLTA at Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, or Disney's Mary Poppins at Ritz Theatre Company. Round out the weekend by singing along to great bands at a summer block party, participating in a bike rodeo at the park, dancing at Eakins Oval, dining on delicious eats at a food truck gathering, or riding the amusements at a local carnival.

So, the car engine is humming and the A/C is on... where are you off to first?

(Psst...Don't forget to mark your calendar and purchase your discounted tickets for MommyCon Philly which is on July 28th).

Pier 3 at Brooklyn Bridge Park Is Open for Summer Fun

Pier 3 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the final pier to be refurbished in our favorite 1.3-mile, 85-acre waterfront park, is now open for summer fun. The added five acres of open space includes a great open lawn, an exploratory labyrinth for kiddos of all ages, and a dedicated outdoor space for performances and events. This latest addition brings the park of epic playgrounds to 90% completion.

Santa's Village, NH: Rides, Treats, and the Magic of Christmas in Summer and Fall

When the humidity is soaring and the holiday spirit is in hibernation, a winter wonderland sure is a nice idea. While Santa's Village can't make it cooler outside, it does create the feel of Christmas in July (actually, May through December, with daily hours in the summer). With themed rides like the Chimney Drop, activities like "snow" tubing down a giant slide, and encounters with real, live reindeer, Santa's Village is a uniquely sweet theme park experience akin to Story Land, another New Hampshire gem especially suited to young kids. Here's how to get the most of your trip to the near-North.

Color Factory, a Colorful New Pop-Up Museum, Is Coming to NYC

The year of the interactive, Instagram-worthy art pop-up continues (we've already seen and loved the Dream Machine, The Egg House, Narcissus Garden, and the Hot Dog Bus) when The Color Factory lands in Soho on August 20 for a limited time. The Color Factory promises to be one of the coolest kid-friendly art events this summer, and tickets go on sale today.

Featuring 16 unique installations designed to encourage the exploration of color and light, this vivid exhibit—described by organizers as a "playhouse pop-up"—will convert a commercial space in Soho into 20,000 square feet filled with immersive artwork. Be ready for playful color palettes, jaw-dropping effects, and of course, lots of ways for kids and their grown-ups to interact with the art. For an advance look at photos of the gorgeous space, plus information about how to visit, read on.

Weekend Fun: County Fairs, Wooden Boat Festival, Butterfly Bonanza

Hope you're feeling festive this weekend, because there are plenty of summery festivals to choose from throughout the state. Celebrate with food and music at WILDfest Food Truck and Music Festival, connect with nature at Howell Living History Farm's Butterfly Bonanza, check out cool sailing vessels at The Wooden Boat Festival, and find all kinds of warm-weather fun at Summer in the Street.

Plus, county fair season is in full swing, and this weekend's lineup includes the Burlington County Farm Fair and the Morris County 4-H Fair. You can also catch plenty of free outdoor flicks this weekend in Highland Park, Fort Lee, Belmar, and Seaside Heights.  

Check out our Summer Fun Guide for New Jersey Kids for more options for family fun, including 13 Exciting Boat Rides for Families and 25 Super-Fun Summer Day Trips. And look to our event calendar and July GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

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