Weekend Fun: Battle of Brooklyn, US Open, Snakes, and a Derby

Although NYC starts to slow down in late August, there are still lots of ways to wring a season's worth of fun from these steamy days. Three of our August GoList items are finally on deck this weekend: the 240th commemoration of The Battle of Brooklyn at various spots around the borough, the FREE US Open kickoff at Arthur Ashe Kids' Day in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and the final FringeJR theater productions at the 14th Street Y. More fun can be found at the massive Brighton Jubilee street fair, Wave Hill's Snakes of New York workshops, a Soap Box Derby in South Slope, FREE outdoor films, and the season's final Boogie on the Boulevard in the Bronx. 

If none of those ideas float your boat, check out our Summer Guide for tips on watery fun, including beaches and pools, water parkssprinklers and splash pads, and places for FREE boating around the city. ​Our best bets for this weekend in NYC (August 27-28) are below, and you can always find more options in our jam-packed Event Calendar.

Looking for ways to get back-to-school ready? Check out these 30 fun NYC activities for the kids to get back in that classroom groove.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Dutchess County Fair, Fairies & Dragons

If you’re looking for fun family activities in Westchester and the Hudson Valley this weekend, you’ve come to the right place! From carnival rides to mythical creatures to horseshoe tournaments and more, there’s a broad assortment of family fun in store.

The headline event is the Dutchess County Fair, returning for the 171st time, which retains its cultural richness with amusement rides, carnival games, livestock competitions, a petting zoo and more; and whether your idea of quality entertainment is live music or racing pigs, this fair has it all. Though perhaps in its shadow, the Otisville Country Fair offers distinctive twists like a chainsaw competition and a cast-iron frying pan toss. Pixie lovers will delight in a Fairy Walk, while dragon hunters unite at The Hunt for the Dragons of Merestead. For those interested in the military and history, check out the return of Living History: Military Reenactment Day and enjoy the beautiful grounds of the Hudson River setting.

For more summer fun in and around Westchester, look no further than our Event Calendar, where you'll find many more great ways to enjoy August with your family—many of which are FREE. 

Preschools in the Hartford Area

Preschool. Once upon a time, it was mostly a time for play dates, but today, childhood experts agree that attending a high-quality program prepares little ones socially and academically for the school years ahead. Deciding which preschool to choose can be tricky since programs can be customized, such as nature-based preschools, or those that offer a bilingual environment.

Below are 10 suggestions for preschools in the Hartford area; no doubt, we’ve missed some great ones, so feel free to share them with us in the Comments section. Our Preschool Guide also includes a few suggestions for those residing in Fairfield County.

Immersion Preschools in Northern and Central New Jersey

With brains like sponges, preschoolers are the perfect age to begin learning a second language. Studies have shown that kids who learn a second language during the preschool years go on to speak more fluently than those who begin to learn at an older age. In addition, bi-lingual children tend to be more creative, have better critical thinking skills and a better understanding of humanity and culture.  One of the reasons young children learn a new language so easily is because they learn through exploration and play. By immersing them in one of these outstanding foreign language preschools, you will be giving them them a lifelong gift that will allow them to succeed in the global economy of tomorrow. If you're looking for some after school language programs for kids of all ages, check out these Language Classes for NJ Kids.

Sunnyside Plays: A New Drop-In Play Space for Queens Kids

Western Queens just gained a new indoor play space for kids with the opening of Sunnyside Plays in, of course, Sunnyside. My family was super excited to have a new indoor playground so close to our neighborhood. In fact, we were amazed when we saw our 7-month-old son start crawling there for the first time. We are already making memories.

The spacious location on 48th Avenue, which just opened this month, is close to Sunnyside Library and Lance Cpl. Thomas A. Noonan Playground. Sunnyside Plays, founded by local parents Ed Kim and Vanessa Quinn, is 1,700 square feet of open, rectangular floor space with 16-foot ceilings. LED track lighting and the studio's vibrant colors give it a refreshing artsy loft feel. Kim and Quinn have art backgrounds and use their knowledge to offer events and classes for kids and adults. 

Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Watermelon, Pirates, Jazz Festival

Spend this last weekend of August soaking in all that is warm, carefree and summer! Round up the troops and taste juicy fruit during the Watermelon Festival at Oasis Family Farm, cozy up with blankets for an Old Fashioned Drive-In Movie in Tewksbury or kick back with live music during the Long Branch Jazz & Blues Festival. For even more big family fun, get in touch with your inner pirate at Historic Cold Spring Village's Seafarer's Weekend or rock out with Miss Nina and the Jungle Gym Jam Band. Five of our events are FREE this weekend!

For more options, take a look at our full Event CalendarAugust GoList, and our Summer Fun Guide.

Best Apple Picking Orchards and Farms Near NYC

Starting around Labor Day weekend and continuing through the fall, orchards around the tristate area offer families the chance to pick their own apples. Many also host cool kids' attractions, including hayrides, petting zoos, bouncy houses and corn mazes. Some even sell home-baked treats.

While there was a time when apple trees thrived in NYC (ever wonder how Orchard Street got its name?), city families today need to head out of town to pick their own fruit. While there are plenty of wonderful apple orchards in the Hudson ValleyNew Jersey, Long Island, and Connecticut, many are quite a long drive, and we know nothing derails a fun family outing like a stressful commute. So we've rounded up a dozen places to pick your own apples that are an hour or less from Midtown Manhattan by car. A few are even accessible by train.

Pageant of the Masters in Laguna: These Paintings Aren't What They Seem

Every city has something uniquely its own, some quirky event or phenomenon that defies description yet defines by association. Houston has its rodeo; Boston has its tea party, and Laguna Beach has the Pageant of the Masters

If you've never experienced this curious gem, the private treasure of the people of Laguna, opportunity awaits you every night all summer long. But get ready to clean your glasses, because you won't always be sure what you're looking at. The extraordinary event is unlike anything else I've seen; it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you're raising a budding artist, or if you love hitting museums en famille, you owe it to yourselves to check the Pageant of the Masters off this summer's bucket list.

Family-Friendly Fall Fun Runs and Races in Philadelphia

Whether you have been able to whether the weather to stay in shape this summer or not, the cool crisp air of Fall is almost upon us. And with fall, comes many opportunities to get out and run! Which might be why Fall is one of the best seasons for family-friendly runs. These runs can not only encourage physical health awareness for you and your kids, but help you bond over a shared goal, and possibly learn about a cause or charity that may be a great learning experience for your kids. If you have fun on these runs, keep training for the later festive fall Turkey Trots and Santa Runs!

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