Labor Day Weekend NYC: Carnivals, Tugboats, Unicycles, Pools

With NYC kids heading back to school soon, the Labor Day weekend is always a little bittersweet. Families can make the most of these last few carefree days as there is a ton of fun to be had over the three-day weekend in the city. Head to Governors Island to give one-wheeling a try at NYC's annual two-day unicycle fest; participate in the Jr. West Indian American Carnival Parade; enjoy old-fashioned fun at the Richmond County Fair; or hit the perfect-for-preschoolers West Side County Fair

Labor Day weekend also means the almost-end of the outdoor beach, pool and sprinkler season, so you may want to make one last trip to enjoy one of those while you still can. 

Speaking of trips, our Family Travel Guide offers plenty of family getaway ideas for places like Boston, PhiladelphiaNiagara Falls, the Adirondacks, Hershey, and of course the Jersey Shore and Long Island's East End, along with other great destinations for this and upcoming holiday weekends. Want to stay closer? We've also got a number of day trip ideas to museums, nature spots, and great towns, plus even some local camping options. Or cross off one final item from your NYC summer bucket list, from interactive art to outdoor roller skating.

If you haven't checked out our just-released 100 Things to Do in New York State with Kids roundup, now's a good time, too. (Those October school holidays will be here before you know it.)

Read on for all of our Labor Day weekend picks. You'll find additional suggestions in our Event Calendar and September GoList. Wishing you a fabulous end of summer!

Best Fall Fairs and Festivals for NJ Families in September

September is almost here and the carefree days of summer are drawing to a close. Fortunately there’s still plenty of fun to be had in the Garden State, with many great fairs and festivals on the calendar this month. Explore nature at the NJ Wild Outdoor Expo, chow down on delicious seafood at the Atlantic City Seafood Festival, or listen to some exciting tales at the NJ Storytelling Festival.

Check out this dozen-plus awesome festivals, and visit our Events Calendar and September GoList for more fabulous ideas.

Please note that events marked FREE have no admission charge, but fees for some activities may apply.

After-School Registration Now Open for Free NYC Program

We've told you all about the lottery for free kid activities operated by the NYC Parks Department, but did you know it also has you covered for after-school? Registration for the FREE after-school program run by the Parks Department opened on August 29 for NYC kids ages 6 to 13, and we've got details on what the program offers and how to sign up.

Find more after-school options in the Mommy Poppins Classes Guide.

September GoList: Best Things to Do With Long Island Kids This Month

As summer crowds dissipate and the evenings begin to beckon long sleeves, Long Island continues to put on some of the best kid-friendly events in the country. Old Westbury Gardens boasts two fun programs: Fall into September with Nighttime Noises or participate in their Sweet Eats honey tasting. Or perhaps set your sights high with the Kite Festival at the Long Island Maritime Museum. Check out the list below and click over to our comprehensive Long Island Events Calendar for inspiration; we have you covered with some of the best events and activities happening throughout the area. And don't forget to also take a look at our Summer Fun Guide to make the most out of September. After all, the majority of the month is still summertime.

5 Orange County Tearooms for Kids and their Dowager Countess

If you are regularly invited to eat and drink imaginary cakes, scones, and PG Tips from a Fischer-Price tea set, why not reciprocate with an invitation to a kid-friendly high tea at an Orange County teahouse? Forget trying to make conversation with Barbie and the teddy bears; taking your tea party on the road offers a chance to spend quality time with your kiddos while indulging in real scones, clotted cream, and cucumber sandwiches.

Kids love getting all dressed up to gorge themselves on desserts, while parents get to indulge in countless cups of caffeine in a room with an adult vibe. It's a win-win. Pinkies up!

Fall Fun Runs/Walks for Long Island Families

Just because the cooler weather is coming doesn't mean that you and your family can't get outside and get healthy. In fact, fall is the perfect season to get active while spending some quality time together.

There are several organizations hosting Kids Fun Runs this season in conjunction with longer races for adults. It's the perfect way to hit the pavement for your health--and a good cause. For more family-friendly activities, be sure to check out our Long Island Events Calendar.

September GoList: Top Things to Do with Kids in Boston

September is so bittersweet. All the excitement the new school year brings is tinged with feelings of nostalgia for the carefree days of summer. However, we still have the weekends and glorious days that are perfect for spending outdoors at a festival, getting out on the water, watching giant kinetic sculptures in action, and "honking" in farewell to summer. 

Add these top picks for September to your calendar now, because won't want to miss any of this month's spectacular lineup of events for Boston families.  

Labor Day Weekend for NJ Kids: Farm Fun, Festivals, Beaches

The unofficial last weekend of summer is here New Jersey, and it’s time to enjoy one final carefree family outing before diving into school, schedules and busy September. Head to the Shore before beaches officially close after Labor Day, cool off at one of the state's awesome family water parks, or grab a day pass to one of these NJ pools. Or maybe a day at the lake is more your speed? Just get there early, whatever you do, as parking lots are likely to overflow with the holiday weekend.

If you've decided to stick around town for Labor Day weekend, there's some great events to keep the whole gang happy! Get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine during the St. Bart's Italian Festival in Scotch Plains, the Hands-On History Weekend at Historic Cold Spring Village, or the Movies in the Garden along the Camden Waterfront. You can also learn about endangered penguins during Penguin Awareness Weekend at Adventure Aquarium and sample some delicious ethnic eats at the Scandinavian Festival in Budd Lake. 

Looking for more staycation ideas? We recently profiled South Mountain Reservation and Van Saun Park—two green spaces loaded with kid-pleasing amenities like zoos and playgrounds. Or head to the apple orchard. NJ's trees are already brimming with apples, and many farms like the popular Alstede kickoff fall farm this weekend with hayrides and more family entertainment.

For more options, take a look at our full Event Calendar and our Summer Fun Guide. In a back-to-school kind of mind? Check out our NJ Classes Guide and Directory of Listings to find something new to do this fall.

Best Things To Do with NYC Kids: September GoList

Get your calendars ready! Here are the top 17 things to do with kids in New York City this September, at least a dozen of which are FREE.

Just because the kids are heading back to school doesn't mean the fun has to stop. In fact, September is one of the best months for FREE outdoor fun. There are a slew of alfresco festivals for families, including Brooklyn's biggest street fair, Atlantic Antic; the perfect-for-preschoolers West Side County Fair; the pageantry-filled Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park; the loopy NYC Unicycle Festival on Governors Island; and there's NYC farm fun at Historic Richmond Town's old-fashioned County Fair, as well as the Queens County Fair. This year there are two new festivals that look particularly cool, the agri-fun farm fest at the South Street Seaport and the three-day Astor Alive Festival that wraps up with a colorful parade designed by the creative folks behind the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.  

Other September highlights include the new Revolutionary War exhibit at the New-York Historical Society, immersive theater for kids at the New Victory Theater, and a FREE concert by Dan Zanes.    

Plus, tickets are on sale for next month's super popular Maker Faire and the Hudson Valley's best Halloween activity, the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze. (If you want to see Blaze, it is best to get your tickets now.)

Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling: Finding a Homeschool Group

If you're thinking about homeschooling, your first concern is probably how your kid will ever see other kids. It's normal to worry about feeling isolated and not knowing what to do or where to go, but don't. Your kid will be socialized, I promise. I was homeschooled from 5th grade all the way through high school, and I struggle more with maintaining adult relationships now than I ever did with friendships then, and trust me, it has nothing to do with the fact that I was homeschooled. Homeschooling has changed so much in the 10 years since I was homeschooled. While the resources are still a bit lacking, there are definitely more families homeschooling now for more of a variety of reasons. Whatever your reason may be, whether your jumping in for preschool or high school, starting out can be daunting and hard. The first thing you'll want to do is find a good group, which may offer classes, get togethers, and field trips.

Mommy Poppins hopes to become a great resource for homeschool families, so stay tuned for our series of articles on different homeschooling topics.

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