Free Outdoor Summer Movies for New Jersey Families

If you like watching movies under the stars—for free!—as much as we do, you're in luck: New Jersey will be showing hundreds of free films in parks and on beaches throughout the state this summer. Pack your chairs and blankets, put the kids in their PJs, and get there early to snag a good spot. Depending on the venue, you can either pack your own snacks or buy them onsite. And some events include pre-show activities such as dance parties, games, and meet-and-greets with movie characters. Don't forget the bug spray!

Scroll to the bottom of the list to find a few free (and practically free) indoor flicks—many of them shown in the morning—for those days when you just want to cool off in a nice, dark theater.

For more summer awesomeness, check out our Summer Fun Guide.

Water Fun for Westchester Kids: Pools, Splash Pads and Lazy Rivers

Summer is heating up, which probably means you're looking for ways to cool down. If you're searching for more than just a backyard sprinkler, check out one of Westchester's stunning community parks. Many local parks and playgrounds have elaborate water features that rival the best amusement parks around. From lazy rivers to splash pads and wave pools, the county parks system is a water lover's paradise—and all wonderfully close to home!

Read on for the scoop on this summer's must-visit locales, including everything you need to know about Westchester County's park pass and how to get one. Looking for more ways to spend your summer? Sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook

Your Guide to Pop-Up Gardens and Parks in Philadelphia

Since 2011, Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS) Pop Up Gardens sites have been transforming under-used or vacant city spaces into exciting urban oases. In the last three to four years in particular, PHS's model has inspired pop-up gardens, parklets, and other awesome uses of urban outdoor space that are fun for the whole family, to spring up throughout the city (and now even in the suburbs). While most of these parks have beer gardens as a lure, there is also a lot of great family-friendly programming involved. Visiting one of these gardens is a great excuse to get out and relax with the whole family, no matter what age you or your kids may be. This round-up includes the most family-friendly, semi-permanent pop-ups for the summer.

8 Pools Where Kids Swim Free (or Nearly Free) in Boston

When the temperatures soar in Boston, you can always stop by a sprinkler park or wading pool to cool off a little; but sometimes, a refreshing swim in a bonafide pool is in order. Sure, there are some swanky hotel or membership pools inside city limits where you can pay a pretty penny to swim, but when kids and diaper bags are in tow, you don't need much more than a safe stretch of cool water to feel happy. Here, we’ve rounded up eight great swimming pools in Boston where kids and parents can splash, float, or practice strokes all summ

Weekday Picks: Summerfest and Free Outdoor Movies, Concerts, and Gardens

It's summer; let's celebrate!

Fountain Valley, smack dab in the middle of Orange County, celebrates itself (and its 60th anniversary) this week with Summerfest, and we're all are invited to the party. Families can enjoy carnival rides, food and entertainment, fireworks, and a parade over the four days of festivities.

But celebrating summer is not limited to the OC. Free outdoor movie and concert series have kicked off all over the Southland, including the Children's Performance Series in Canoga Park, Concerts in the Park in Orange, the Santa Monica Pier Twilight Dance Series, Playa Vista Movie in the Park, and Movie on the Lawn at Orange County Great Park. That's a whole lot of free evenings out in one week. But wait—there's more!

For a full guide to all things summer, check out our summer activities guide. And as summer ramps up, be sure to keep up with all the happenings with the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar and monthly picks in our GoList. Here are some highlights for the week.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: STEM, Yoga, and Summer Solstice; June 19-23

It's a week of wonders here in Boston. Whether your child is more fascinated in things nautical or meteorological, science or circus acts, there's sure to be something that will inspire awe between now and next weekend. If you haven't gotten a glimpse at the glorious tall ships which have taken up temporary residence in our waters, be sure to head down to the harbor before they depart for the next port of call. There are kid-friendly introductions to engineering downtown and to yoga in Chestnut Hill. If watching contortionists sounds more appealing than acting like one, be sure to check out the circus acts, musical numbers, and museum activities in Cambridge. Hilltop sunsets and a free glimpse at one of our city's most underrated exhibits close out this wondrous week. If you're craving more, connect to our Events Calendar for fun ideas this week and beyond. 

Weekday Picks: Folk Concert, 17th Century Encampment, and Sports, June 19-23, 2017

This Wednesday officially marks the first day of summer, and with it comes fun days at the beachoutdoor movies, music festivals, and indoor play (for when it gets too hot).  This week alone, families can enjoy a 17th Century Encampment, an alternative folk music outdoor concert, and the international festival of arts and ideas

Many kids have finished school so feel free to scour the Event Calendar to ensure everyone stays busy and happy. Check back here often and follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest so that you don't miss a thing. Happy Summer!

Macy's July 4th Fireworks 2017: Where to See Them in NYC

Macy's is gearing up for its annual July 4th fireworks in New York City. On Tuesday, July 4, 2017, fireworks will light up the sky over the East River, and the show promises to be bigger than ever as it celebrates its 41st anniversary. Spectators should be able to catch the show from many neighborhoods in Midtown Manhattan as well as parts of Brooklyn and Queens, but there are some important changes afoot this year.

The fireworks will take to the sky along the East River near Midtown. More than 60,000 are scheduled to burst forth at a rate of 2,200 per minute and all will be synchronized to a soundtrack of patriotic standards. New-in-2017 effects will include never-before-featured shells like color-changing chrysanthemums and happy faces in an eye-popping array of colors.

If you're hoping to watch Macy's 4th of July Fireworks live, it's never too early to start planning your viewing strategy. Tickets for paid viewing options like Fourth of July Fireworks cruises are already on sale and going fast. Of course, you don't need to spend a penny to see the sparklers, but there are some important things to know before you go. We've got the scoop on how to find the best places to watch, when to go, and what to bring.

And don't forget, there are frequent fireworks shows in NYC during the summer, from Coney Island to Central Park. Read our roundup of where else to see cool displays this summer.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Mega Outdoor Yoga, Fireman’s Parade & Carnival

The week ahead marks the last day of school for many Westchester families, a time to celebrate the start of summer (and, let’s face it, the moment of panic that our kids will soon be let loose!). We’ve got some really cool events lined up, so read on for our top picks.

As carnival season continues, kids will surely love to celebrate at the Yorktown Heights Fireman's Carnival and Parade. To unwind, especially after the stress of finals and a year of hard work, focus on mindfulness and health at the hugely popular Get On Your Mat For Mental Health - Outdoor Yoga Event. If your kids are gearing up for a babysitting gig, sign them up for this FREE Babysitting Clinic, where they can learn fundamentals of safety from a nurse.

This is far from all, so read on for the rest and then head to our Event Calendar for many more great activities to choose from and sign up for our weekly newsletters  to stay in the know!

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