Weekend Fun: KidVenture, Earth Day Celebrations, Spring Fests

We wrap up April by shifting our attention to the many Earth Day celebrations and spring festivals taking place this weekend in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. One of our favorite things about this weekend’s top picks? Most are FREE!

There are numerous ways to celebrate Earth Day and pay homage to Mother Nature. Some of the events on our radar invite hands-on help like clean-ups, while others emphasize fun activities like nature crafting and animal encounters. We’re keen on Greater Ossining Earth Day Festival and the Hudson Highlands Earth Day Celebration, but you’ll find other noteworthy offerings both below and on our calendar, as well.

Other fun in store this weekend are the White Plains Comic Fest, the two-day Hudson Valley KidVenture, and the last hurrah of the annual StrawFest.

We hope you heeded our earlier advice to snag tickets to the Sheep Shearing Fest and Rosie Revere, Engineer; as predicted, both are now sold out.

Read on and click through for details on these and other highlights of the coming weekend. Looking for more? Consult our Event Calendar, check out our Spring Activity Guide, and sign up for our newsletters!

20+ STEM Summer Camps for New Jersey Kids

When you think "summer camp," you might picture canoeing on a lake, playing capture the flag, and eating s'mores by a campfire. But camp can also be about coding, constructing robots, and building with Legos. We've rounded up more than 20 New Jersey STEM camps that promise a summer of fun for budding scientists, engineers, and computer programmers. Find more New Jersey summer camps in our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Science, Earth Day, BrickFest April 27-28

Mommy Poppins Philadelphia's events calendar is exploding with fun this April weekend. Throughout the Delaware Valley, families can expect scientific exploration, outdoor experiences, and LEGO fun.

Begin with the annual tradition of the Philadelphia Science Festival. Activities start on April 26 and run through May 4. There are plenty of venues hosting events, most of which are free. On Saturday, kids can participate in hands-on STEM activities at Clark Park and Hunting Park or learn about pond ecology at Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education while Sunday offers the chance to Be a Scientist! at local venues throughout the region or play with bubbles at Rail Park. After participating in science fun, clean up planet Earth during events hosted at Fonthill Castle or Norristown Farm Park. Delaware Museum of Natural History is also hosting an Earth Day event. Then, head to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center for Brick Fest Live! Grown ups and kids alike can enjoy building cars for the BrickFest Speedway, play games in the Video Games Arena, and help create the world's largest LEGO® mosaic.

Planning ahead for summer vacation? Be sure to check out our latest post on family road trips and recently updated family-friendly campground post.

Weekend Events: Circus, Eco-Carnival, Spring Celebrations

The circus comes to town this weekend at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury. Or get a little closer and cuddle up with the baby animals at Garden of Eve farm. 

Get grounded at the Eco-Carnival in Islip while enjoying hands-on, nature-inspired activities and crafts. Enjoy rides, games and more at the Kids Fest in Merrick. 

See our events calendar for more weekend inspiration. Our Spring Fun Guide will keep you tuned in all season. 

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The NYC Public School Calendar for 2019-2020 Is Here

If you've got a child in public school, you live by the school calendar. Many local NYC preschools follow the public school schedule too. The New York City Department of Education's calendar for the 2019-2020 school year was (finally!) just released, and you'll want to bookmark it now, for next year's family vacation plans and, if you're really on the ball, to help with advance planning for school break camp coverage

With the exception of the occasional unplanned snow day or case of the sniffles, these are all of the dates you can count on your kiddos being out of school during the 2019-2020 school year.

Trash & Recycling Fun: Sanitation Yard Open Houses for Kids Who Love Garbage Trucks

Vroom Vroom! Does the sound of the garbage truck coming down the street send your kids running to watch? Spring kicks off city yard open houses and recycling fair season, and these events are hugely popular with kids of a certain age. If your kiddos have any curiosity about what goes on in a garbage truck, this is their chance to satisfy it, at one of the most eagerly awaited free activities in LA. Public tours (also detailed below) are often available throughout the year (call first); but the spring open houses are a must-do for little one who live for the roar of the garbage truck.

Governors Island: Playgrounds, Camping, Art, Adventure, and More 2019 Highlights

Governors Island opens to the public on May 1 this year and its season, which again runs through October 31, promises plenty of family-friendly programming, plus the return of spectacular overnight accommodations, increased ferry service, and even more time to play: Summer Friday and Saturday nights feature extended hours, so you'll be able to blow bedtime and stay and play well after dark!

The opening of Governors Island is an event we anticipate annually, as the island seemingly reinvents itself with new attractions and old favorites, like The Yard, return. Plus, every year the island's jam-packed events calendar is stocked with inventive new family-friendly programming.

Read on for the scoop on the very best things to do on Governors Island with kids this year, plus important visitor tips—such as ferry schedules, and where to score free biking and kayaking.

Weekend Fun: Dino Day, Sesame Street Live, Earth Day Festivals

On your mark, get set for one of the busiest weekends this year to date! April's final weekend is jam-packed with Earth Day celebrations, festivals, street fairs, concerts, and more. 

Party for our planet at Earth Day festivals in Jersey City, Tenafly, Mountainside, and throughout Monmouth County. Learn about healthy habits while having fun at both Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA and Fairview Lake YMCA Healthy Kids Day events.

Spring festival season is well underway this weekend with bustling festivities like Rutgers Day, Smithville's Renaissance Faire, Morris County Park Palooza, and the Cranford Street Fair. And kick back to live music at Rockin' for Autism and the Laurita Bacon Festival

Find even more weekend options in our Spring Guide, including where to see Baby Animals and More at Family-Friendly NJ Farms. And look to our April GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Mother's Day Freebies on Long Island

While moms should be honored every day, they all deserve to be extra spoiled on Mother's Day. And it just so happens, there are a few places on Long Island offering FREE items and/or admission to moms on this special day. Some even extend the courtesy all weekend, from Saturday, May 11 to Sunday, May 12. 

If you're looking to treat mom to a Mother's Day brunch, check out our roundup of select local restaurants, complete with kid-friendly menus.  Of course, if the outdoors is more mom's thing, check out our roundup of spring fairs and festivals. Either way, pamper mom on her special day. 

Easy Day Hikes Near NYC for Families To Explore

When the weather is fine, there are few things New Yorkers like better than a day outside with the family. Although NYC has incredible parks and playgrounds to explore, sometimes it's worth taking a day trip outside the city limits.

So pack a cooler and a picnic blanket and find your new favorite kid-friendly hiking destination among this list that takes you to the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, Long Island, and even some memorable parks within the five boroughs. Each of these hikes has something special to offer, and best of all, they are kid-tested and kid-approved! 

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