Weekly Wrap Up: Smurf Week, The Yellow Brick Road, Rubin Museum's New Education Center

Can you believe we say goodbye to July this weekend? Summer always seems to move so quickly. Already, the back-to-school push has started, and we're all counting down the remaining days of break. (My six-year-old is actually marking them on her calendar.)

But August has 31 days! How much fun can you pack into them? There's certainly a lot to do beyond the usual pools, water playgrounds and beaches. The Rubin Museum of Art just opened a new education center, Theatreworks USA's free musical The Yellow Brick Road plays through August 19 and you can always celebrate the season by reading a beautiful book about summer.

And if you have plans to travel to Boston, Los Angeles or Orlando, we have some exciting news: We're launching editions in each of those cities in August (the exact date has yet to be determined). To make sure you're notified when they go up, sign up for the newsletters now. We're also working on a Family Travel site, which will cover destinations all over the U.S.A... and beyond.

And that's just a bit of what's going on. Here's what we covered this week on Mommy Poppins in NYC, New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut.

Your NJ Weekend July 30-31: Hot Air Balloon Fests, Fairies, 4-H Fairs and More, Mostly FREE!

Whether you’ve thrilled to a hot air balloon ride or just love looking up at a sky filled with huge colorful balloons, you’ll love this weekend! There’s two fests–a smaller one with rides and fair fun; and a huge one with hot concert action. Speaking of concerts, check out the FREE “Grease” performance on the Hoboken waterfront, or the stars of tomorrow performing a tribute to the Big Apple. There’s also fairy fun, an indoor play party, and Thomas the Tank Engine. Up, up and away!

Fun and Free Things to Do this Weekend for NYC Kids: High Line Rink, Cultural Festivals, Great Jazz July 30-31

Don’t let all the back-to-school ads fool you: There are still five and a half weeks of break to go. Now that last week's record-breaking heat wave is behind us, it's time to get back out there and enjoy summer in the city.

And there's plenty of fun to be had. Roller-skate the day away at the brand-new High Line Rink, build your best sandcastle at the Rockaways' legendary competition and get hep at Great Jazz on the Great Hill. There are also a number of wonderful cultural events. Hit the Queens County Farm Museum for the annual three-day Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow, get psyched for the upcoming Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at the Museum of Chinese in America's Festival Family Day and celebrate Hispanic heritage at Junta Hispana.

Even though the weather will be milder, with temperatures in the 90s, you'll still want to spend some time cooling off at New York City pools, water playgrounds and beaches.

Our best bets for the weekend are below. You can find additional seasonal fun in our Summer Fun Guide and our Event Calendar.

Outdoor Dining with Long Island Kids

Eat outside with your family, but let someone else take care of the food, and the dishes. Outdoor dining brings you and yours great views, excellent food and none of the work. We’ve got some great Long Island outdoor dining spots listed here that offer something for everyone.

Free and Fun Things to Do this Weekend in Connecticut: Fairs, Sunflowers & Great Shows! July 30-31st

There are a bunch of fantastic outdoor events this weekend. Lots of sunflowers and weekend festivals. You'll find our best bets listed below. Interested in going on a family kayaking expedition? Check out our post about where to go and what to do. We also posted about Fairfield County's best beaches on a budget. Whatever you choose to do this weekend, have fun and enjoy the lazy days of summer. And remember, you can always find additional seasonal fun in our Events Calendar.

Notable News: New Teacher Evaluation System, Buy Buy Borders, Hello Fairway, Bronx Children's Museum

It was so hot last weekend—insert your best, “How hot was it?” joke here—it was hard to talk or think about anything else. Rant about climate change, curse Mother Nature or stomp your flip-flopped feet, there's nothing we can do. At least we have some relief from the heat... for a few days, anyway.

Of course, even 100-degree temperatures can't stop the city that never sleeps, and we've got lots of news to share, including controversial new teacher evaluations, restaurants that ban kids, a children's museum in the Bronx and a new floating pool. So turn up your AC and enjoy.

Parenting Tip: Who Gets the Oxygen Mask First?

Ms. Scott has dedicated her entire working life to helping people create healthier, more stress-free lives. She has had a private practice as a health consultant and educator for over 30 years, designing effective stress management workshops for families and corporations. Leigh has two grown children and lives in Westport, CT. LeighScottParenting.com

Who Gets the Oxygen Mask First?

In case of an emergency, airline stewards always remind us to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first and then our child but instinct tells us to put the oxygen mask on our child first. Our brains are wired to protect our children, even if we die in the process. No wonder it is so hard to put ourselves first as a parent. Self-care is a concept that has to be forged into our brain to override that protective instinct.

Special Needs Support Groups in Ocean and Monmouth Counties

I don’t know about some of you, but summer can be a very stressful time for me, when my days are dedicated to trying to figure out what to do with my boys from morning to night.  My number one priority?  Keeping them cool and happy.  My number two priority?  Keeping myself sane enough to keep them cool and happy. Anyone with a child on the Autism spectrum who can say that summer is 100% fun, please tell me your secret!

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