Summer Activities

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.

15 Great Beach Day Trips in Connecticut

One of the attributes of living in Connecticut is our close proximity to water. No matter where in the state you find yourself, you're likely within an hour's drive of a beach, and in the summer, with energetic children ready for adventure, the less time spent in the car the better. We've compiled a list of 15 great beach day trips within or near Connecticut. All you need to do is pack the sand toys, sunblock, and snacks. Make sure also to check out our list of 8 Affordable Connecticut Beaches and keep in mind that entrance to state beaches has been free since 2018. For more summer fun ideas, be sure to browse our CT Summer Fun Guide.

Best Water Parks for Toddlers Near NYC

When temperatures soar, there's always New York's FREE neighborhood pools or sprinklers for a quick cool down with the kids, but on particularly hot summer days, nothing beats the heat like a trip to a water park near NYC

Families with toddlers in tow aren't looking for big slides or big waves, though, so we've rounded up our top splash pads for the preschool set. Prepare to find toddler-sized attractions, along with perks such as nursing stations and FREE mini life jackets—and don't worry, there's plenty of big-kid fun to go around, too. So read on for details on 12 parks within two hours of New York City that cater to the littlest water explorers.

Check out our NYC Beaches, Pools, and Water Fun Guide for more family-friendly ideas on how to cool down in the city and beyond.

Ready for 'Glamping'? Glamorous Camping Coming to LI

If you’ve avoided taking your family camping because the thought of pitching a tent, sleeping on a hard floor, and eating roasted wieners for a week wasn’t your idea of a vacation, we’ve got some good news. A family camping trip no longer means you have to rough it: Glamorous camping, or “glamping,” has made its way to Long Island.

To Cedar Point County Park in East Hampton, to be exact.

Houston-Area Water Parks: Cool Off at These Hot Spots

As we all painfully know, summer in Texas is HOT. Playing in the water isn't only a fun activity for the kids, it's almost a necessity. When it comes to water fun, nothing is more exciting for kids than visiting a water park! There are several water parks around Houston that will make for an easy day trip and even more that are just a few hours away. If you are looking for something closer and quicker, then check out our list of the many great splash pads at local parks. There are also many free pools throughout the city where kids and parents can keep cool.

For more ideas on kid-friendly activities this summer, like fun summer day trips or parks with the most shade, visit our Summer Fun Guide for Houston families.

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)!

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!

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