Victorian Gardens in Central Park Is a Just-Right Amusement Park for Preschoolers

Manhattan's only outdoor amusement park, Victorian Gardens, is now open for the 2019 season. It's one of those annual summer attractions you think all New York City families know about and go to—until you realize a bunch of your friends have never even heard of it.

Victorian Gardens is especially wonderful for younger children, which is why we included it in our roundup of best theme parks for preschoolers, although elementary schoolers will enjoy themselves, too. The rides are contained in a small, enclosed space so you don't have to worry about kids wandering off (like at Coney Island), and there's little walking between attractions. Most of the rides are gentle (a few have height requirements), and there aren't any teens rushing through the crowd. Plus, you can't beat the location at Wollman Rink in Central Park, just steps from the zoo, Heckscher Playground and the carousel.

June GoList: Best Things To Do with LA and OC Kids This Month

School lets out early these days, which means pretty much all the weekends of June count as summer. Summer movie series are already lighting up the Southland night; the beaches are hopping, and the water parks and splash pads are open. If you're ready to kick off summer with the biggest, most once-a-year-ish events happening in June, then read on. We'll continue to send our weekly picks, of course, and we'll keep adding to our Event Calendar daily; but consider yourself on notice for these June favorites—many of which are free!

25 Things We Can't Wait To Do This Summer with LI Kids

It's what most of us have been waiting for all year: summer. At long last, it's nearly here. That means longer days, warmer weather, and plenty of time to take advantage of all Long Island has to offer families.

From swimming at beautiful beaches to taking a family-friendly road trip to the East End or exploring local parks and playgrounds, there is no reason you should have to hear the words “I’m bored!” from your kids this summer. To help your family get the most out of the season, we’ve put together a list of 25 things we can’t wait to do with our kids, including some great one-of-a-kind events.

From Fire Island to Shelter Island, Port Washington to Port Jefferson, and all points in between, here are our suggestions for the best ways to enjoy this unique island we call home. Or see how many of our top 100 things to do with Long Island kids you can complete before summer is out.

Plus, our event calendar is full of the best ideas for family fun, sorted by date and location. So here's to sunshine and family time.

60 Free Things To Do with New Jersey Kids in June

Who says summer fun has to come with a big price tag? Load up your calendar with 60 free events taking place throughout June in New Jersey. As the days get longer, under-the-stars concerts, movies, and other activities fill the evenings without emptying wallets. Kick back at evening events like 2nd Annual Under Cover Music Fest, Union County Summer Arts Festival, Summit Street Sounds, and Jenkinson's Movies on the Beach

Spend time outdoors at local community events with no admission fees, such as Garwood RocksSummit Family Fun Night5th Annual Bayonne Hometown Fair, and Nutley Father's Day Street Fair. You can even get a jump start on Independence Day at Scotch Plains' annual fireworks event. 

And it's that time of year to head to the shore. Stop by beachy events like Sea Isle City's Skimmer Festival, 3rd Annual National Marina Day, and North Wildwood Italian-American Festival.

Read on for this month's picks! For more free and low-cost fun, check out our Event Calendar, as well as roundups of water playgrounds and free beaches.     

50 Free Things to Do in Houston With Kids This Summer

Summer days mean extra sunlight, lots of time with friends and filling our days with as many engaging and entertaining activities as possible. However, thrifty is in my genes - and being primarily a one income family, is a necessity for us - and while I love to plan full days of fun with my kids, I also love to primarily plan days that don't require opening my wallet often, if at all. To help any other families who may want to save a buck without sacrificing any fun, here's a bucket list of 50 FREE activities we'll be taking advantage of this summer - but make sure to check our event calendar every day for more family-friendly fun around Houston.

Cartoon Illustration and Graphic Novel Camps and Classes for NYC Kids

Are your kids obsessed with graphic novels? News flash: They're far from alone. If you're a parent of a child in elementary or middle school, you're probably already aware that we're living in a veritable golden age for graphic novels aimed at children, thanks to talented author-illustrators like Raina Telgemeier (of Drama and Smile fame), Kazu Kibuishi (author of the massively popular Amulet series), Cece Bell (author of the Newbery Award-winning El Deafo), and even graphic novel adaptations of classic tales from A Wrinkle in Time to Greek mythology.

If your young reader is interested in creating a graphic novel or illustrated story of their own, there are plenty of classes and camps in NYC designed to encourage young storytellers. "Comic books and visual arts, in general, have become much more understood as viable paths for young people that have talent in visual art," says A.K. Lovelace, a professional illustrator and instructor at the Harlem School of the Arts. Whether your child is just starting out in cartoon Illustration or you have a child preparing their portfolio for high school or contests, here are a few programs to support your budding artist throughout their creative development.

June GoList: Best Things To Do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley with Kids

June ushers in summer, Father’s Day, and the end of school, as well as loads of outdoor fun in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. This month, be on the lookout for cultural celebrations, carnivals, campouts, and music and movies under the stars.

The beloved Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival returns for more inspiring music, environmental activism, food trucks, boating, and amazing activities for kids. On the subject of good causes, the Autism Speaks Westchester/Fairfield Walk continues to serve the community of people on the spectrum with fundraising, consciousness-raising, and camaraderie.

June is a peak time for summer fairs and festivals, among them the annual Ukrainian Heritage Festival, whose added appeal is the cultural immersion. We also love the American Roots Music Festival, a multi-“stage” outdoor performance of feel-good music in a lovely setting. If you’re looking for the Children’s Earth and Water Festival, note that it will not take place in 2019.

These are just a few of our top picks for June—there’s a ton to do! Read on for our favorites for the month and find many more options on our Event Calendar. To stay in the know, sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook

20 Summer Festivals and Fairs for DC Families

DC parents know that when school’s out and summer starts, it’s time to add some awesome kid-friendly activities to the family calendar. Mommy Poppins DC has compiled a one-stop list of family fun events happening in June, July, and August in the DC area.

From culture festivals to county fairs, food fests to nature celebrations, you’re sure to find something perfect for your family. Read on and start planning!

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

This spring may have brought lots of rain, but now we turn our warm sunny thoughts to summer where kids can stay outside and play all day. From strawberry picking, splash pads and splaygrounds, to free outdoor movies and concerts, Mommy Poppins is your go-to for what-to-do in the Philly area this month. 

Headed to the shore? We've got things to do with toddlers, best boardwalks, and best beaches. Looking for day trips to historical places or planning a big trip to celebrate summer vacation? We've got those, too. 

Get started on your June planning with 13 of our Top Picks below, and from everyone here at Mommy Poppins Philadelphia...Welcome, Summer!! 

Cape May’s Grand Hotel is a Perfect Jersey Shore Family Beach Getaway

With its beautiful sandy beaches, activity-filled boardwalk, and delicious kid-friendly restaurants, Cape May is a long-time beach vacation favorite for families. Located at the southern tip of the Jersey Shore, the iconic lighthouse and bayside sunsets provide picture-perfect memories off Exit Zero, while gingerbread-style Victorian houses and horse-drawn carriage rides add to the town's historic charm.

With all the makings of a perfect beach getaway at your fingertips, all you need for a Cape May vacation is a hotel reservation, and The Grand Hotel — an oceanfront hotel with awesome amenities — is a great choice for families. Read on to find our recommendations for the best things to do, best places to eat, and the best spots to stay in Cape May, NJ, and your next family beach vacation could be just a click away.

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