Parks & Playgrounds

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20 Houston Parks With Lots of Shade

Being outside pretty much tops our to-do list every day, and we're constantly going from one activity to the next, be it to a neighborhood splashpad, a nearby playground or a park with plenty of trails for biking. Basically, staying inside all day isn't an option; we would all go stir crazy! With summer upon us, I'm not willing to sacrifice that time outside as the temperatures start steadily climbing, but I am more aware of which places offer some shade so we can beat the heat... even if only for a few minutes. Here are some great parks in Houston that offer at least a moderate respite from the brutal summer temps.

Top Beach Playgrounds on Long Island

Long Island beaches offer the opportunity for memory-making experiences. Some of the best include time frolicking on the playground to the soundtrack of crashing summer waves. We've rounded up some of the best beach spots with playgrounds in Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End. So pack a lunch and plan to spend the day enjoying these destinations. Make sure to snap pictures of the smiles from a fun day in the sun.

Best Bike Riding Paths for NYC Families

When our family moved back to NYC from Boston last summer, we sadly left our bicycles behind and removed the bike rack from the car, believing that we had to trade in our bike wheels for scooters (which at least are compact, foldable, and easy to store in our apartment). Even though we have embraced rollerblading, skateboarding, rip sticking, and scooting like every NYC family, there is still nothing like a good old fashioned bike ride.

Imagine my delight when I rediscovered bike paths for NYC families—many of which can be used not only on bikes but on scooters, rollerblades, and skateboards, too. This summer as part of our staycation, I planned a week of excursions exploring NYC bike paths with my growing family of five.

50 Fun Things to Do to Cool Off in NYC This Summer with Kids

As summer weather begins to sizzle, there's no denying the heat and humidity can get under the skin of even the most tropical-weather-loving New Yorker. To beat the heat, my kids (and my inner child) insist any outing includes water, industrial strength air-conditioning, or sweet frozen treats.

While we enjoy hitting our local public pool and running around the sprinklers (oh yes, I get in there, too), lately we've been longing for more diverse destinations. That inspired us to round up our favorite ways to cool off in New York City.

Our list includes a variety of destinations; some are brand-new, while others are old standbys. The list includes outdoor spots like extra-special water playgrounds, awesome pools, and splashy boat rides, and indoor havens such as kid-friendly museums. Many of our suggestions are FREE and we even included exceptional frozen-treat spots, so you can indulge in ice cream and more. So strike while the weather's hot: Here are our top 50 ways to cool off with kids in NYC this summer.

40 Ways to Beat the Houston Heat This Summer

We don't have to tell you that during a Houston summer, the heat and humidity come at you at full force. Staying cool with the kids is top priority these days, and while the area has plenty of splash pads and pools, sometimes it's nice to just be out of the sun. And enjoying someone else's air conditioning. Even though we love them, we know it can get expensive at indoor playgrounds and gyms, so we've included an entire section of free indoor fun ideas to help you beat the heat without breaking the bank. And if you don't mind dishing out some dollars for fun indoor experiences, the second half of this list includes our favorite paid entry Houston-area venues where you can beat the heat this summer. 

Find yourself in need of even more ideas? Be sure to check out our guide to free summer fun and full guide of things to do with Houston kids in the summer.

Cool Public Art to See in NYC with Kids This Summer

Summer in the city means endless outdoor fun, countless street festivals, and some pretty rad splash pads. But summer also brings some seriously cool public art to the streets of NYC, making it easy to sneak some culture into a day of play. Check out our roundup of some of the many free art exhibits around town and dazzle your kids with colorful displays that also just happen to flex those left-brain creative muscles. And be sure to follow us on Instagram if you don't already—we're always finding new exhibits, pop-ups, and interactive installations to explore with kids.

Free Splash Pads, Spraygrounds, and Fountains for Kids in Hartford County

Just because Hartford County is centrally located in Connecticut doesn't mean that you have to venture very far to enjoy the water. Waves and beach sand are not in close proximity, there are still plenty of options to enjoy water play in lakes, pools, water parks, and splash pads. If you’re looking to cool down in the hot summer months, check out one of these fun locations. Best of all, like so many of our Mommy Poppins faves, they're free, so there's no need to bring your wallet (just towels and sunscreen)!

Free Water Fun for Boston Kids: Spraygrounds, Splash Pads, and Wading Pools

You know it's summertime in Boston when kids are running through fountains and splashing in shallow pools of water on the Greenway and Boston Common. There's plenty of water fun to be had in neighborhoods all around the city, and we've rounded up some of our favorite spraygrounds, splash pads, and kiddie pools in the area. Most locations are open on weekends after Memorial Day, and then daily from the end of June through Labor Day. Bonus: they're all free!

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