Cheap Swim Lessons in and around Philadelphia

There's no doubt about it, swimming is an important life skill. That's why it's essential to teach kids how to swim at an early age. Plus, it means you can worry a little less during those long summer days at the pool or beach. We've rounded up some great nearby swimming lessons that are also affordable. Get the kiddos in their swimsuits and goggles and head on out to one of these great swim classes.

Pick Your Own Fun: Houston Farms for Fruit and Berry Picking

The intoxicating smell of freshly picked berries can only mean one thing: sweet spring (and summertime) is upon us! And what better way to take advantage of the season's freshest fruit than by picking it yourself? Instead of purchasing pre-packaged strawberries, blueberries and blackberries at the grocery store, take a trip out to one of these "you-pick-it" farms and gather them yourself by the bucketful. Not only will you be getting berries straight from the source, you'll also be supporting small farmers and creating memories with your kids that will last a lifetime.

Best Tubing and Rafting for New Jersey Families

Paddling a raft or floating on a tube down a rushing river is a summer thrill your kids won't get at a local water park. If you're looking for an exciting alternative to the beach, head west toward the Delaware River for a ride with the current, splashing and gliding past the wildlife and cliff-side rock formations. Most tubing adventures are suitable for children age 4 and up, and life jackets are required. Check websites for pricing and reservation information. And be sure to bring river shoes to protect everyone's feet from the slippery, rocky riverbed!

For more family fun, including water parks and campgrounds, check out our Summer Fun Guide

Where to Pick Your Own Blueberries, Blackberries, and More on Long Island

Summer is a great time to pick berries on Long Island. Bushes are low to the ground, and berries are small enough for little fingers to grasp. It's a great activity for kids of all ages, and, really, who can resist a bowl of fresh berries and cream?

Late July is peak season for blueberries and raspberries. Blackberries ripen in August. Be sure to call the farms before heading out to confirm picking hours and berry availability. Don't forget to check out our Pick Your Own Guide for more fruit-picking options in the tristate area.

Some tips: Some farms charge an entry fee while others charge by the ounce, so take note, bring cash, and be prepared. Don't forget sunscreen as the sun can shine brightly on these open fields. Dress appropriately; kids can get a bit dirty. And for health and safety reasons, pets are not permitted on farms.

The East End is the prime destination for summer berry picking on Long Island. While there, why not consult our guide to the Hamptons and North Fork and make a day of it? Or for more farm fun, check out our list of LI's top animal farms and petting zoos.

7 Hidden Gem Beaches for Families Around Boston

With the Cape, North Shore, and South Shore a drive away, a day trip to a great Boston-area beach is always possible. The only drawback to the most popular beaches is, of course, crowds,—which can make parking, swimming, and watching after little kids somewhat stressful. If a lower key scene is what you're after, check out these sandy spots, which can all be reached in just over an hour from the city. 

Sharks Take Over Coney Island in the New Exhibit at NY Aquarium

On June 30, the New York Aquarium in Coney Island welcomed some sharp-toothed new residents to NYC, with the much-anticipated opening of the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exhibit. The exhibit, which includes a learning lab, nine interactive galleries, and beautiful, immersive habitats that are home to over 115 species of marine animals, is a powerful reminder that New York is a coastal city, with thriving marine ecosystems right in our own (watery) backyard that deserve our respect and protection.

After the aquarium was pummeled by Hurricane Sandy, much of the complex had to close down for repairs. But with the opening of the shark exhibit, housed in a brand-new, three-story building with 57,000 square feet of visiting space, the New York Aquarium is better and more inspiring than ever. Gather up the kids and get ready for a day of close encounters with an incredible variety of ocean life. 

12 Best Beaches for Kids and Families in Los Angeles & Orange County

Don't be scared off by sand-filled diapers or tired little legs; there is nothing quite like a day at the beach for summer memories. But in the years when making it happen feels challenging, you want to be sure you've chosen a beach worth the effort. That may mean heading for a beach with a playground (we know some good ones), or it may just mean the most idyllic SoCal family beach you can find. That describes the dozen beaches below. So gather the shovels, sandwiches, and sunscreen, and go west, young families. Beachy adventures await.

25 Great Things to Do in Montauk with Kids

If you're looking for a relaxing getaway, Montauk, on the extreme East End of Long Island, is the place to be. It seems to have something for everyone in the family, whether you crave excitement or exercise, or just want to read a book on the sand or tackle some waves.

From the western edge of the community to the lighthouse at Montauk Point, Montauk boasts more than 5,000 acres of parkland, a host of surf schools, fishing and camping adventures, and more. It's a welcoming destination with a host of diverse activities sure to entertain kids of all ages.

Stopping off in the Hamptons along the way? Check out our list of great East End activities for families and our guide to summer fun on Long Island

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