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Paddle On: 5 Places to Canoe or Kayak in Houston

My husband and I both went to college at Texas State University in San Marcos, which (in my obviously unbiased opinion) is arguably one of the most beautiful college campuses in Texas. Being tucked in the Texas Hill Country and surrounded by rivers means there is no shortage of water related activities to do. My husband even took kayaking as one of his electives! Our kayaking adventures came to a dead stop when we moved back to Houston post-graduation, though, largely because we made the same assumption that many people probably make: there's really nowhere to kayak or canoe in the Bayou City. But after doing some research, boy, were we wrong.

One of Houston's best-kept secrets is that it isn't just home to numerous hike and bike trails but also an abundance of waterways perfect for paddling and just waiting to be explored. Here are five of my favorite spots to kayak and canoe in Houston.

Tubing and Water Rafting Adventures for Philly Families

One of my fondest family-bonding memories was setting out on our first whitewater rafting adventure. I was nine, barely old enough for the rapids my family picked, so when I helped steer the boat past a "dangerous rock" (as our guide put it) I felt incredibly important. The entire day was fun, we worked together as a team, and we still talk about our adventures to this day. All this to say, whitewater rafting is seriously one of the most fun things I can think of to do as a family. Second only to our many adventures tubing. Nothing beats a day on the river, floating, swimming, and basking in the sun. Occasionally catching a little rapid and racing to see who can get to the best spots first.

If you are tired of these 90 degree days and looking for some spectacular fun outdoor activities, we have you covered with our picks of the best rafting and tubing spots in the area. For more water fun, check out our roundup of spots to go canoeing and boating near Philadelphia.

If you decide to head to the Poconos for your water adventures, check out our list of 61 Things To Do in the Poconos for more fun places to check out while you're there.

Weekday Picks: Beach House Picnic, Grunion Run, and Crawfish Festival, July 24-28

It's a shore thing this week for families looking for summer fun. Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica is hosting its Annual Community Picnic on Thursday, featuring games, dancing, crafts, and an epic tug-of-war. Families are invited to pack a picnic and join the revelry at this free event.

For fishy fun, you can start the week looking for grunion to come ashore in San Pedro. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium plays host to its last Grunion Run of the season Monday. Your family is invited to spend the night learning about the legendary fish and then head to Cabrillo Beach to watch for them. July is open season, so grunion may be caught by hand only, if you're lucky and catch a run.

You can then end the week at the Long Beach Crawfish Festival, which kicks off Friday. Besides a Louisiana-style feast, families can enjoy Zydeco, Cajun, and New Orleans-style music (there's a kids' stage, too), and other activities. The festival continues through the weekend.

After you've gone through this list, head over to our Event Calendar and July GoList to find out about more goings-on.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Circus, Fenway Movie Night, and a Fitness Challenge; July 24-28

It's the heart of Sox season, so it's not unusual that our beloved Fenway is in the spotlight. But this week, think art—not baseball. On Monday, a famous children's illustrator helps kids imagine what it would be like if aliens battled the Green Monster. A few days later, all eyes in Fenway will be on the screens, not the field, as the Sox organization brings perhaps the most feel-good, family-friendly baseball flick to a special movie-night audience.

The rest of the week, Boston is celebrating bodies in motion. There's a Flamenco troupe introducing kids to Latin dancing at the Mary Baker Eddy Library, and teenage wunderkinds flipping out under our region's most impressive little Big Top. At week's end, New Balance is inviting kids to Harvard's Cumnock Field, where a roster of pro athletes will be running a variety of fitness challenges. If that doesn't get your heart racing, check out our Events Calendar for other exciting events this week and beyond.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Firefly Festival, Mexican Dance, Fidget Spinners

One of the (many) great things about summer is the longer days and the easy schedule. With no need to race home to do homework or wake up early for school, it's the perfect time to linger late and soak up the fun. Most of our top picks this week are evening programs!

As mentioned in our July GoList, the Dancing at Dusk series has returned, with a dazzling lineup of exotic music and dance performances that also include instruction. This week’s edition introduces families to Mexican performing arts. Another hallmark of summer is catching fireflies, and the Annual Firefly Festival is devoted to that joy (along with some ice cream). And if your kids are obsessing over fidget spinners, you’ll all be glad to create your own (for FREE!) at Design and Print Your Own 3D Fidget Spinner (only a few spots are available).

So pack a picnic and push back bedtime—the fun runs till all hours! Check out our Event Calendar for many more activities at all times of day, and follow us on Facebook!

Weekday Fun: Magic, Yoga, Movies, and Books

July’s not over yet. There are still plenty of fun things to do with kids this month, and we’ve compiled some of the best right here.

Check our JulyGoList for more suggestions of summertime activities happening this last week of July. Looking for some nighttime family fun on Long Island? See our guide to the best FREE outdoor movies and our list of great outdoor dining spots.

Here are our top picks for this week, including nature exploring and fitness classes.

Weekday Picks: Animals, Yoga, and Bubble Mania, July 24-28, 2017

We are officially at the halfway point in our summer: my kids head back to school in six weeks. I'm not going to sugar coat it: some of the days have been loooooong, but I'm taking stock of our summer bucket list goals, and I'm making plans. Lots of plans. This week, we're planning to take in a little bubble magic at either the Otis Library on Monday or the Ivoryton Playhouse on Friday, and we're going to chill out with a little yoga in Greenwich, before enjoying some animal encounters in Coventry and New Canaan.

For more options, be sure to check our events calendar, which we update constantly with the latest and greatest local fun, and follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitterPinterest, and Instagram so that you don't miss a thing. Have a great week!

Weekday Fun: Monmouth County Fair, Music Festival, Christmas in July

This last full week of July is rockin’ with live music, carnivals, and even a little Christmas (yes, Christmas!). The fun-filled Monmouth County Fair kicks off this week in Freehold, and don’t miss great outdoor concerts such as XPoNential Music Festival and Music Beyond Borders.

You can celebrate a super-early holiday season at Somers Christmas Party in July, or catch a showing of A Christmas Story at Cape May’s Movies on the Beach.

Read on for our best children's events the week of July 24–28, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar and July GoList for even more late-July fun.

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