The Best Annual Family Festivals for NYC Kids (Mostly Free)

With so much going on in NYC, it can be overwhelming to sift through all the events to land on something that's truly special. The many annual festivals that the city hosts are a great place to start. Some New York City celebrations are so great they're worth going every year, like the interactive, art-filled Figment on Roosevelt Island, the incredible (and educational) World Maker Faire New York, and Street Games, the Parks Department's tribute to old-school pastimes.

I know I'm not the only mom out there who likes to plan ahead, and since the festival season kicks into high gear this month, we figured it was a great time to round up our top annual festivals for families. Every single pick on our list is really worth your time and money—and in many cases they don't cost a penny.

Family-Friendly Mother’s Day Brunch Spots at the Jersey Shore

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and moms everywhere will be celebrating with a fabulous brunch. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back vibe or you prefer something fancy-shmancy, the Jersey Shore has plenty of delicious options to choose from. The extended forecast for May 12 hasn't been posted yet, but if you're down the shore, you'll hopefully be in a sunny frame of mind! 

Check out one of these local favorites for a wonderful meal the whole family will love, no cooking or clean-up required. Relax, enjoy yourself, and have a very happy Mother’s Day! 

PJ Library Delivers Free Children's Books Every Month

Reading to kids and making sure they have access to plenty of good books is one of the best gifts you can give. Luckily, PJ Library helps parents deliver by providing free high-quality literature celebrating Jewish culture, values, and heritage to children ages 6 months to 11 years old.

Free books? So, what's the catch? There isn't one! Made possible through the Harold Grinspoon Foundation in partnership with philanthropists and local Jewish organizations, PJ Library mails more than 600,000 professionally curated books to families around the world every single month. No matter your family's level of Jewish observance or knowledge, PJ Library has a diverse selection of books that will enrich your home with wonderful stories and more quality reading time.

Some of the books introduce Jewish holidays like Passover, the Hebrew alphabet, and Bible stories, while others focus on traditional folk tales and themes like immigration and environmentalism. You'll find picture books like I Dissent, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, and chapter books like Zlateh the Goat, a collection of tales by Isaac Bashevis Singer and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. The selection even includes Caldecott-honored books such as Joseph Had a Little Overcoat and It Could Always Be Worse. Family favorites!

Dinosaur Tracks in Texas: Family Fun at Dinosaur Valley State Park

Deep in the heart of Texas runs the Paluxy River, a small tributary of the Brazos River. And on in its shallow bends and shores lie one of Texas' best kept secrets - dinosaur tracks! Dinosaur Valley State Park - located in Glen Rose, Texas - remains one of my personal favorite state parks for family camping trips because of the fossilized treasures its holds and its natural beauty. You don't even have to be a dinosaur fanatic to appreciate all this park has to offer. Add it to your family's travel bucket list, and plan to visit again and again.

Fun & Free Easter Weekend Events for LA Kids: All About Eggs and Bunnies

Everywhere you look, there's an Easter egg hunt to be found. Under that tree: an egg hunt. Behind the bushes, there’s one more. In fact, I see dozens of them, and you can find them in our Easter egg hunt round-up! Grab your basket and collect them all (but make sure you leave enough for the other mommies).

See, here’s the deal: There is literally an egg hunt on every block, every corner, every square inch of Los Angeles this weekend. And every egg that you find? You open it up and—surprise!—it tells you about another egg hunt. Some egg hunts are in gardens; some are in malls; some are on the farm; some come with breakfast. (Eggs and breakfast? Weird.)  

Actually, the trick this weekend is going to be not finding an egg hunt. There are a few other things out there: you might luck onto bubbles and Boleropachyderms and penguinsEarth Day and natural wondersice tales and dog tails and fish laying eggs...

...surprise...

...did someone say ... eggs?

EggsEggy egg eggs. Lots and lots of eggs

Hop on over to our most egg-citing picks for this weekend…

Easter Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Earth Day and Easter Celebrations, April 20-21

Happy, hoppy Easter! One quick peek at our Event Calendar and you'll quickly see that this weekend is jam-packed with Easter and Earth Day fun. There are egg hunts happening all over the city, Easter Bunny breakfast and photo opps galore, and plenty of ways you can celebrate and save our planet... the hardest decision you're going to have to make this weekend is choosing which event to attend! 

While it's hard to believe that school is actually drawing to a close already, now is also the time to start planning out summer camps for the kids and thinking about what kind of vacations you want to take this summer. Personally, we think a good, old-fashioned Texas road trip would be fun! 

Also worth noting: Target's Car Seat Trade-in is currently happening and is continuing through May 4, so if you're looking to upgrade, now is the time. Simply drop off your old car seat, and you'll get a 20% off coupon for a new car seat, booster seat, car seat base, travel system, stroller, or other "select" baby gear -  valid both in store and online.

In need of more inspiration? Head over to our April GoListFREE Things to Do roundup, and our Spring Fun Guide for even more ideas and activities to do with the family, then start picking and planning. 

Now let's take a look at what's happening in Houston this Easter weekend.

Easter Weekend Fun: Bunny Tales, Breakfasts, and the Circus

It's Easter weekend and don't worry: There are plenty of chances to catch Mr. Bunny and also hunt for an egg or two. Why not search for eggs at a playground with a bouncy house and petting zoo, in an open field (with games, too), or even around an antique carousel? Ever had brunch with a bunny? Now you can!

This weekend is also the perfect time to see the tale of a mischievous rabbit and explore the fascinating world of STEM at this yearly science fest. Celebrate the holiday and soak up knowledge—all in one weekend!

Easter Weekend Fun: Sweets, Passover, and the Music Man

Considering that the events of Passover and Easter are inextricably linked, the dates of the two religious holidays don't coincide as often as you might think. This year they do, which makes for an extra exciting weekend of holiday fun for families. If you're looking for a hearty Easter brunch or egg hunt, there are plenty to choose from, including events in Canton, Fairfield, and Simsbury. For Passover, traditionally celebrated at night, try the Community Seder in West Hartford. 

Or maybe you're just looking for some kid-friendly opportunities to get outside for some fresh spring air. This weekend features Mystic's Spring Fever celebration, ice cream and mini golf in Farmington, and kite-flying in Greenwich. For indoor fun, you can learn about the the history of people and dogs, have a free afternoon at a museum, or see a classic American musical on stage.

Easter Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Easter Promenade, Egg Hunts, Nature

Philly families can count on Mommy Poppins Philadelphia to take the guesswork out of your holiday weekend. That's right! We have the low down on eggs, bunnies, candy, and parades, with a few surprises from museums to festivals to  monster trucks thrown into the mix. 

Begin the weekend collecting treats at egg hunts throughout the Delaware Valley. From high tech searches using GPS to more traditional hunts held at a market, a square, a state park, and a farm, Philly kids are sure to be delighted to fill their Easter baskets. If you still need pictures with the bunny, you can find him at Highland Orchards, Elmwood Park Zoo, Camden Children's Garden as well as on many train rides throughout the region.

Once goodies are gathered and pictures are taken, switch gears by exploring a museum. The Academy of Natural Sciences has its Mythic Creature Exhibit on display while the Benjamin Franklin Museum offers free admission to learn about this important Founding Father. For additional fun, head to Cherry Street Pier to listen to music during the Tiny Room for Elephants Festival or stop over to the Linc to see the big trucks show their stuff at Monster Jam.

Still unsure how to spend this holiday weekend? Keep reading below for our top picks!

Easter Weekend Fun: Easter, Earth Day, Dino Safari, Auto Show

This time of year, the Mommy Poppins calendar gets so big and juicy that one roundup cannot do it justice. So we're reminding you up front this week to check it out: This article is packed, but the calendar is even more packed.

Of course, part of that is because: Easter. So. Much. Easter. The big ticket is Sunday's annual Parade, of course, but among this weekend's FREE egg hunt options, we have St Luke in the Fields, the NYSoM Easter Eggstravaganza, LIC's 10th Annual Egg Hunt in Gantry Park, and the massive hunt in Clay Pit Ponds State Park. Rivers Run Community Garden in the Bronx goes the extra mile and combines its free Easter Egg Hunt with Earth Day activities.

Speaking of Earth Day, NYC does it big, with over 18 major family-friendly happenings around town this weekend, and even more in the coming week. Highlights include the celebration at the NY Botanical Gardens, the Mother Earth PowWow in Brooklyn, Earth Day in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Harlem Grown's annual fest, and the literal cherry on top, the annual Sakura Matsuri extravaganza in Flushing this weekend, which promises Japanese tea ceremonies, drum and dance performances, and lots of blossom peeping. And we naturally (see what we did there?) have the 411 on NYC's other cherry blossom festivals, too.

Other awesome happenings include the Bronx Zoo's Dinosaur Safari opening (a perfect pairing with the fresh T. rex exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History) and The International Auto Show. Vrrrroooom!

By the way, NOW is the time to score tickets to the awesome kids' activities coming up in May with the PEN America World Voices Fest. They're reasonably priced ($5-$15) and some activities are free, but you have to register and they disappear in a flash. Get 'em while you can.

Meanwhile, be sure to take full advantage of our April GoList, check out a local day hike or a destination sandbox, and don't forget to bookmark our curated list of the best NYC Spring Festivals.

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