Weekend Fun: Fireflies, Fiddlin', and a Water Carnival; July 13-14

The fireworks may have fizzled, but there is still plenty to do this weekend in Connecticut with kids. For starters, there is the celebration of tall ships known as Sailfest in New London, and the annual North Stonington Fair. A little farther south and west, you can Pig Out in the Park in Stamford, or count fireflies in New Canaan. For history buffs, help commemorate the 240th anniversary of the Battle/Burning or Norwalk, then cool off with a water carnival in Bristol.

Don’t forget to bookmark Summer Fun Guide for even more ways to enjoy the season. We have the scoop on both swimming pools and spraygrounds across Connecticut: Spots to play and cool off are just a drive away.  

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Meet the Animals at Nature Discovery Center, Bastille Day, July 13-14

Feel like you're officially tapped out on spending money on activities this summer? We get it. While the start of summer brings that rush of "DO ALL THE THINGS," by mid-summer, spending money to go places can start to wear on a parent. To ease that burden, we accumulated a list of 50 FREE activities you can do this summer that will keep the kids busy and entertained without the extra expense. Plus, did you know that there are a ton of museums around Houston that offer free admission on certain days or at certain times? Sign us up for that!

The midpoint of summer can also bring that pull to stay home a little more - at least it does in our house, on both my end and my kids' end - and when we're all feeling a little burned out from being on the go so much, we pull out this handy little list of indoor activities and exercises. These allow us to stay home, but also to expend some energy, which is a win-win on those days when it's just too hot to be outside running. 

And if that weren't enough, we have our July GoList, which is one of our favorite monthly features to give to you, and our event calendar, which is always primed and ready for you to take advantage of, highlighting as many activities - many that are free! - around Houston and the surrounding areas as possible. If those links aren't bookmarked on your computer yet, they need to be! 

Before we sign off, did you hear that about the Mommy Poppins Great Big Summer Giveaway? Each week we're featuring an awesome prize package that we want YOU to win! 

Now, without further ado, let's get to crackin' on this weekend's events.

Weekend Fun: City of Water, Back to the Beach, Bastille Day

Some weekends it feels like all the summer fun is happening at once—not that we're complaining!

Saturday brings City of Water Day to the Seaport, the It's Your Tern Festival to Governors Island, the Boardwalk Children's Festival to the Rockaways, Woodstock nostalgia to the Children's Museum of Manhattan, and Colonial ice cream flavors to Washington Heights.

On Sunday, cheer the Disability Pride Parade from Madison Square Park to Union Square, or allez-y vites to celebrate Bastille Day in Midtown East. Plus, you can dance to early American music at SummerStage's Family Day in Central Park.

Staten Island's Midland Beach hosts Back to the Beach all weekend, with live music, rides, and fab food—and it's a snap to get there from Manhattan. This weekend you can also rev your engines at the NYC E-Prix in Brooklyn, gorge on Italian treats at the Annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or practice 18th century military drills at the New York Historical Society's Continental Army Weekend celebration.

And that's just the tip of the calendar iceberg: Check out free outdoor movies, the best pools for toddlers and kids, a whopping list of 35 great summer day trips, and our boredom-busting rundown of 100 free things to do with kids this summer.

Weekend Events: Long Island Festival, Greek Fest, Fireworks

Take flight in a hot air balloon ride at the Long Island Summer Festival this Saturday. Check out the Long Island Children's Museum's latest exhibit, Mash Up Menagerie, which offers visitors the opportunity to collaborate with artist-in-residence Scott Larrabee.These are just some of the exciting goings-on across Long Island this weekend.  

Elsewhere, join in a celebration of bubbles at the Whaling Museum and explore the many ways creatures use bubbles in their environments. Or head to Brookhaven to Long Island Live Steamers this Sunday and ride steam, diesel, and electric trains operating on eight acres of scale tracks. 

Where To Rent Paddleboats and Rowboats in New Jersey

Looking for a great summer outing that’ll float the family’s boat? A ride in a paddleboat (sometimes called a pedal boat) or rowboat offers panoramic views of New Jersey's scenic parks and lakes, and an opportunity for family time that may actually be peaceful. 

Paddleboat rentals are available throughout the state. Check the specific paddling locations for any age or weight restrictions, then sit back and enjoy the ride. (And don't forget the sunscreen!)

Feeling more adventurous? Find the best places for tubing and rafting in and around NJ.

Weekend Fun for Chicago Kids: Taste of Chicago, Bug Encounters, Irish Fest, Street Fests

If your kids like food, music, and activities, we've got good news, and more good news. First off, this weekend brings a tiny little thing called the Taste of Chicago to Grant Park (and a smaller Taste fest to Westmont if you don't want to head downtown). But if you're looking for more opportunities to chow down and get down, there's no shortage of street fairs and festivals. Sample burgers at the Roscoe Village Burger Fest, or hit the Square Roots Fest in Lincoln Square for family performances, a petting zoo, and an art tent. The Southport Art Festival offers kids' activities and free cartoon screenings, while the massive Irish Fest at the Irish Heritage Festival crowds over 100 music and dance performances into two days. The annual Railroad Days festival in Pioneer Park has a carnival, sports, music, and a beer garden, and Westchester Fest is a classic summer street fair for west suburban families.

Still not sure what to do this weekend? Fortunately, there are events lined up for every family interest. Art-loving families won't want to miss the free interactive collaborative arts event Figment Chicago on Saturday. Nature-loving kids should be excited to get up close with creepy-crawlies at the just-opened Fantastic Bug Encounters exhibit at the Field Museum. Music-loving families won't want to miss the day-long music fest Jazz Up Glen Ellyn. The comic-book-obsessed will love FanCon in Arlington Heights. And Naperville Plays brings together nature, storytelling, and history at Knoch Knolls Park.

Believe it or not, those are just the highlights of this jam-packed weekend. For more ideas, see our event calendar, our lineup of Summer Street Fairs and Festivals, and our ever-growing list of FREE things to do with Chicago kids this summer.

 

Weekend Fun: Food and Farm Day, Balloon Festival, Orange County Fair

Summer fun is in full swing throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley, with several summer festivals and fairs offering plenty of weekend fun. This weekend’s headliners include the all-day Pleasantville Music Festival and the opening weekend of the Orange County Fair. The real attention-grabber is the annual Hudson Valley Balloon Festival, when the sky is painted with dazzling displays of color and whimsy, but there’s a lot more to this event that makes it worth a visit. 

Several of our top picks this weekend are FREE, including the Bastille Day Celebration and Food and Farm Day. Want more FREE? Check out our roundup of 50+ FREE summer activities, including outdoor concerts and movies under the stars.

Read on for details and for yet more weekend highlights—then explore our Event Calendar for additional options for fun events throughout the weekend and all summer long. Don't forget to consult our July GoList for our top picks for the rest of the month, and follow us on Facebook!

14 Great Ice Cream Shops in NYC for a Cool Summer Treat

Playgrounds, sprinklers, and cold, sweet, over-the-top treats are the things summer dreams are made of—and no, I'm not just thinking about the kids. Luckily, the culinary mecca of NYC is packed with ice cream shops, and many are close to our favorite play spots.

But sometimes, you need an ice cream spot to be the destination, not just a pit stop on a busy summer day. For those times, we present our list of the best scoop shops in the five boroughs, skipping the big-time chains in favor of local purveyors. Many source ingredients locally, craft their treats in small batches, and give back to the community and beyond, so you can feel a little less guilty about suggesting ice cream for lunch...or dinner...again. Read on for 14 summer hot spots serving up the best cold treats in town.

Weekend Fun for DC Kids: Parties, Music, Art July 13-14, 2019

As we enter into mid-July, it’s time to take a look at the family calendar and see what fun you can squeeze in because summer won’t last forever! 

There are plenty of summer bucket list ideas to check off this weekend, including the circus, kayaking, and hitting up a festival. If you’re looking for something that won’t cost a dime, then check out our list of 50 Free Things to Do with Kids in DC.

No matter what you choose, from beekeeping to butter churning, Mommy Poppins DC wishes you a most excellent summer weekend with the fam!

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Nature, History, Festivals July 13-14

Mid-July is a good time for Philly families to gauge how much of their summer bucket list has been completed. Have you visited a destination playground? Been to a festival? Seen an outdoor movie? Listened to a concert under the stars? If your family needs some ideas on what do to this weekend, Mommy Poppins Philadelphia has made it easy for you.

Learn about animals during the Please Touch Museum's Let's Get Wild Festival or head to the Brandywine Zoo for Zoo Kids. Listen to music while making tie-dye t-shirts at the Tie Dye Music Festival or soak in the sweet sounds of Jazz at Spruce Street Harbor Park. Discover a bit of history with a visit to Fort Mifflin for its World War II Eastern Front Event or William Brinton 1704 House for a session about The American Revolution in Chester County. Participate in a bike rodeo at Exton Park Community Day or take a ride on the amusements at the Malvern Fire Company Carnival.

Have you worked up an appetite? Recharge by enjoying sweet blueberries at Linvilla Orchards's Blueberry Festival, delicious wineberries at Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education's Wineberry Harvest, or a tasty Breakfast on Solly's Farm.

For more ideas, browse through our events calendar which is loaded with summer fun.

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