Weekend Fun for DC Kids: Outer Space, Shark Week July 20-21, 2019

From the nation’s capital to the ‘burbs, this weekend promises loads of fun no matter what your family is looking for. 

Stargazers will be interested in the the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, which is being celebrated with special film showings and activities. Foodies can enjoy ice cream or pizza making, and music lovers can kick back , tap their feet, and enjoy a summer concert

With so much variety to choose from, the question isn’t “what are we going to do?” but “how are we going to pick?” Read on below for some help in figuring out the family calendar or check out our events calendar for more ideas. 

Weekend Fun:Sprinkler Day, Moon Landing, Open Gardens, Sharks

It's mid-July, which means the time is ripe 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 another one in August, if this weekend doesn't work for you). Midsummer also produces a bounty of, well, produce—so what better time to hold the annual Open Gardens Day? Saturday's your chance to explore a few of the city's gorgeous green community gardens.

PLUS: It's the 50th anniversary of America's trip to the moon, so the American Museum of Natural History is hosting a day packed with performances, hands-on activities, and presentations dedicated to the wonders of space. Kids can also make moon models and more with Science Teacher Sarah—for free! Or head out to Staten Island to make exploding moon rocks and eat moon pies!

Is that all, you ask? Well, no, of course not. There's a whole parade of family-friendly events trooping through town: The Paley Center is unveiling its Shark Week exhibit, the Rubin Museum hosts its annual Block Party, Dumbo hosts the annual Come Out and Play Family Day, and the (air-conditioned) American Gargoyles story time and workshop at the Skyscraper Museum invites kids to take another look at familiar buildings (author Neil Cohen visits Long Island City on Sunday, too).

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 if the heat is getting to you, don't miss our list of 50 fun things to do to cool off in NYC.

Weekend Events: Music Fest, Apollo Tributes, Kids and Nature

Sing, swing, and sway by the sea to family-friendly tunes at the Great South Bay Music Festival all weekend long. Kids will love the Kidzone.

Join the Cradle of Aviation Museum as it celebrates the superheroes of the Apollo program on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing— with special guests the New York Avengers cosplay group. Or enjoy Apollopalooza at the Long Island Children's Museum. These are just some of the exciting activities going on across Long Island this weekend.  

Weekend Fun: Jazz Festival, Dragon Boat Race, Orange County Fair

Below we’ve listed eight of our top picks for family fun in Westchester and the Hudson Valley this weekend, but several particularly stand out.

With the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing on Saturday, it's the perfect time to check out the Hudson River Museum's new Magic Tree House Space Mission Planetarium Show, along with the venue’s other Apollo 11–related attractions planned throughout the day.

The high-caliber Jazz Festival, an annual day-long concert we’ve previously reviewed, will take place Saturday at Caramoor in partnership with the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center (with appeal for kids, too).

Other standouts are the Dutchess Dragon Boat Race & Festival, the return of the Orange County Fair, and Shakespeare in the Park.

Read on for more details and more picks—and 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.

New NJ Play Space Is Filled with Imaginative Fun for Little Ones

As 90-degree temps have become the new New Jersey norm, it’s easy to see how moms, dads, and their active adventurers might need an inside alternative—and we found it in Northvale’s newest spot for the 0-7 set: Tay + Te Imaginative Play. Since opening in May, this super clean, creative, and modern indoor play space in Bergen County has been bringing smiles + then some to local families, and even those from afar (we saw many New York license plates when we visited). 

Weekend Fun for Chicago Kids: Tacos, Moon Landing, Art Fests, Disability Pride

Artists, astronauts, Disability Pride, and tacos: There's a lot to celebrate in Chicago this weekend. For the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing, the Adler Planetarium is hosting a Moon Bash packed with lunar-themed activities, as is the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. Meanwhile, on Saturday the Disability Pride Parade takes to the streets to honor the pride, power, and unity of people with disabilities, with an after-party at Daley Plaza.

Chicago is home to a vibrant artistic community, which shows its colors at three kid-friendly art fests this weekend: On Saturday, the Art Institute hosts its annual block party with performances and art workshops. Also on Saturday, Skokie hosts the eye-popping (and FREE) Chalk Howard Street festival, with chalk-based street artists creating a gallery of 2D and 3D works. And in Elmhurst, the YESFest presents a full weekend's worth of performances, showings, and screenings in support of Chicago artists.

If it's the weekend, that means there's a street fair happening somewhere, and this weekend brings some of our favorites: The humble/magnificent taco gets its due at this weekend's Tacos y Tamales Festival in Pilsen, while brats and beers rule at the Germanfest at Lombard, and Colombian music, arts, and food are center stage at Hermosa's Colombian Fest. Chinatown hosts its Summer Fair complete with a Dragon and Lion dance procession, and BenFest is just your basic good old-fashioned awesome Chicago street fair on the North Side.

Don't miss your chance to participate in the magic of the Chicago Water Lantern Festival in Humboldt Park, where hundreds of floating lanterns will light up the waters of the lagoon. Looking for more water-soaked summer fun? Our favorite free public pools, spraygrounds and splash parks, and water games you can play in the backyard will keep you and the kids good and drenched.

See our ever-expanding event calendar for more ideas. Happy weekend!

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Harry Potter, GiveBack Festival, Honey Festival July 20-21

How should Philly families spend this summer weekend? There are so many options both in the city and in the suburbs...

The City of Brotherly Love offers families the chance to hear music from the acclaimed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™ movie played by the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann. The National Liberty Museum hosts its GiveBack Workshop featuring a mindfulness theme. Families can relax at Eakins Oval with games and music or head to the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing for the Islamic Heritage Festival. Cool off with some ice cream at the Please Touch Museum or rock out to the tunes at Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party at Xfinity Live!

Those retreating to the suburbs can listen to the twank of bluegrass while munching on blueberries at Peddler's Village in Lahaska, experience two stages filled with performers at Turks Head Music Festival in West Chester, indulge in good eats at the Food Truck Frenzy in Media, or help extract honey at the annual Beekeeping and Honey Festival in Bryn Mawr. Cross the river to see Jack and the Beanstalk on stage at Ritz Theatre Company. Or, if you plan to head down the shore, check out the fireworks in Atlantic City after a day of sand and surf.

Whether in the city, around the 'burbs, or at the beach, have family fun with your crew this weekend.

Weekend Fun: Sunflower Festival, Free Movies on the Beach, 4-H Fairs

Your family will be over the moon with this weekend's roster of events throughout New Jersey, which includes celebrations of the Apollo moon landing anniversary: Moonwalk at 50 in Morristown, and Lunar Landing Picnic in Trenton.

Food and summery fun are on tap this weekend at The Feast of Our Lady Mount Carmel and at county fairs in Morris, Burlington, and Cape May counties. Plus, make room on your schedules for unique festivals that spotlight boats and cats

Find even more weekend options in our Summer Fun Guide, including Free Beaches in New Jersey. And look to our July GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Best Bike Riding Paths for NYC Families

When our family moved back to NYC from Boston last summer, we sadly left our bicycles behind and removed the bike rack from the car, believing that we had to trade in our bike wheels for scooters (which at least are compact, foldable, and easy to store in our apartment). Even though we have embraced rollerblading, skateboarding, rip sticking, and scooting like every NYC family, there is still nothing like a good old fashioned bike ride.

Imagine my delight when I rediscovered bike paths for NYC families—many of which can be used not only on bikes but on scooters, rollerblades, and skateboards, too. This summer as part of our staycation, I planned a week of excursions exploring NYC bike paths with my growing family of five.

Where to Eat With Kids in Dumbo

Cool and hip Dumbo is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Brooklyn, where international families and old-time New Yorkers come together. And one thing this eclectic population does well is eat.

While there is a vibrant late-night scene in this bustling enclave, it is also increasingly home to children and their families and restaurants that like serving them. Dining with kids in Dumbo means scrumptious food, often with breathtaking, one-of-a kind views of Manhattan. Our favorite eateries fall into three essential-to-life-with-children categories: pizza, lunch or brunch, and dessert. 

So whether you're visiting the nabe to check out all that Brooklyn Bridge Park has to offer (like a carousel, destination-worthy playgrounds, and wide-open green spaces), or you're a recent transplant to the hood, you'll want to try out these family-friendly places to eat in Dumbo.

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