Free Activities

Free Outdoor Concerts for Families This Summer in NYC

What's better than a spectacular, outdoor, family-friendly, FREE music performance? A whole season of free outdoor concerts! We're rounding up all the free concerts in June, July, and August, to keep the kids grooving all summer.

There are free concert series for kids in parks, playgrounds, piers, and plazas across the five boroughs, so scroll, click, and set reminders with your favorites. With top family bands playing annual series like Madison Square Kids and Hudson RiverKids, you're sure to find something the whole family can shake a tail feather to.

The Best Fairs and Festivals for Long Island Families in June

Kids, teachers, and parents all relish that intoxicating start-of-summer feeling. When the trees are budding and you’re trading in your heavy socks for flip-flops, it’s time to get outside and drink in all the buzzing freshness of the season. Long Island’s June Fairs and festivals are ripe with strawberries, crafts, and rides.

Waterfront or countryside, there is something for everyone to play on, purchase, or savor. And for more summer sweetness, check out our guide to Long Island pick-your-own strawberry farms and our spring and summer fun guides for Long Island kids.

10 of Our Favorite Picnic Spots With Built-in Entertainment

As soon as the days are warm and mild enough to eat outdoors (whether or not summer has officially kicked off), dining al fresco is hard to beat. If your kids can't sit still for a restaurant meal even in a kid-friendly backyard, consider packing a picnic or picking up some portable eats and striking out for your nearest greenspace. Here are our 10 favorite parks to picnic, with bonus points for entertainment during or after your meal.

Best Spray Parks and Water Fountains for Preschoolers in Boston

Boston has a lot of big, splashy, exciting spray parks and fountains that can be great fun for families in summer. But I've learned the hard way that not every water playground is suited for preschoolers. 

A few years back, when one of my sons was 4, I took him and his brothers to the Christian Science Plaza fountain along Huntington Avenue. To me as a parent, it was a wise selection: awesome fountain, I didn't have to walk far from the parking spot, and bathrooms were nearby in the Prudential Center. But my 4-year-old kid was horrified by the fountain and how big it was. It took him a half hour to even wander up to the where the water shot out of the ground, and soon after he got soaked and was freezing. It was not the best choice for a young child. 

With that thinking in mind, we've rounded up some gentler, preschooler-friendly local fountains and splash pads. Be sure to check out these outdoor pools with fun slide and spray features for more ways to cool off this summer, or if a climate-controlled environment is more your family's speed, consider a visit to a preschooler-friendly indoor water park. There are plenty of ways to get wet around Boston—without tears!

Memorial Day Parades and Fairs in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Memorial Day is more than just the unofficial start to summer. While many families may be beach-bound, bringing kids to a parade or memorial service is a good way to express gratitude for our fallen heroes and to demonstrate ways to show respect for those who've served in the military. Below is a guide to some of the many Memorial Day parades and services happening in Westchester and the Hudson Valley this year. Some even add a shot of levity to round out the day.

Looking for other ways to spend the long weekend? Consult our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters.

Free Outdoor Movies in Houston This Summer

Pool days, water parks and splash pads may be the name of the game when it comes to summer - especially in Houston where any day below 90 degrees is considered cool - but every parent knows that there are some evenings that beg for a more low-key activity that still gets you out of the house. The solution? You take the kids to see a movie. The problem? Going to the movies can get pretty pricey, especially when you have multiple kids in tow who all want popcorn and candy.

Good thing there are many FREE kid-friendly outdoor movie screenings around Houston. All you have to do is pack the snacks and the lawn chairs and then kick back under the stars for a free flick at night.

Need more activities and events to fill up those long summer days? Make sure you check out our Summer Fun Guide and our summer bucket list for Houston kids; both are sure to give you plenty of ideas!

10 Underrated NYC Parks You (Probably) Haven't Visited Yet

Central Park, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park—even if you only just arrived in NYC, we probably don't need to tell you that these are all must-see green spaces. But did you know that according to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, 14 percent of the city is parkland? That's more than 30,000 acres!

So if you're looking for a new-to-you outdoor destination to explore, we've got 10 off-the-beaten-path parks worth putting on your NYC family bucket list. Some are massive and boast a wide array of attractions for all seasons; others are small but picturesque and host popular annual events for families. With months of outdoor play weather ahead of us, check out this list and visit some of the city's best hidden gems.

Splash Parks, Sprinklers, and Water Playgrounds in Orange County Parks

When summer finally hits, Southland families are looking for water, water everywhere. There's hanging at the beach or playing in a pool, but fun places with splash pads and water features rank pretty high on a summer bucket list. Little kids, bigger kids, and even the occasional parent (yes, you!) can cool off on a hot day without tons of planning or tons of waste. Let's face it: playing in the water is just plain fun—and if you keep an extra towel in the car, you're always ready.

Check out some of these free water play parks and sprinklers around Orange County. Most are open Memorial Day to Labor Day, though we recommend calling to confirm before heading out, as water conservation efforts may sometimes be in effect.

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