Connecticut

Fourth of July Fireworks and Festivities for Connecticut Kids and Families

Here in Connecticut we love fireworks so much that Independence Day celebrations for families start as early as late June and continue well past the Fourth of July. Kick off summer with a bang with our roundup of Connecticut pyrotechnic displays, parades, and parties in honor of the 4th of July. Some are near our favorite playgrounds, others are at the area's finest beaches, but all invite wide-eyed wonder from kids—especially those who can stay awake for the sparkly show.

50 Things to Do in Baltimore with Kids: Where to Eat, Play, and Stay in Charm City

Baltimore is an incredibly kid-friendly city. The walkable Baltimore Inner Harbor offers the impressive National Aquarium, family-friendly restaurants, museums and science centers, and more fun things to do.

Sports fans will find the pro-leagues Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles to cheer on, and if you have a transportation lover, the city is heaven with train museums and boats galore. It’s proximity to Washington, DC, doesn’t hurt either. It’s easy to visit both cities in one trip, taking advantage of all the free admission opportunities in the nation’s capital.

Here's our list of 50 fun things to do with kids in Baltimore, Maryland, from attractions to festivals, restaurants and even a few hotel suggestions for when you're ready to crash. Check out our other City Guides for more family travel ideas.

Top Swimming Pools for Families Near and Around Hartford, CT

Kids plus swimming pools are what summer dreams are made of, and the Hartford area has plenty to offer. We've rounded up our favorite outdoor pools where you and the kids can take a refreshing dip during the summer months around the Hartford, Connecticut area.

Read through our list of Hartford swimming pools to find the one right for your family, whether that's the one with an adjacent playground or an inexpensive day pass. A number of these spots offer kiddie pools, but you can also check out our list of awesome splash pads in the area, too. 

One thing's for sure: There are plenty of ways to get wet and stay cool this summer in Connecticut!

11 Crazy Awesome Pool Floats for Kids and Babies on Amazon and Target

Long gone are the days of the boring rectangular pool float that popped almost as soon as you finally filled it with air. Today's kids can hit the pool with a fabulous float in almost any design they can imagine, from the Millennium Falcon to a giant slice of pizza to on-trend unicorn floats. The best part? Parents can order these pool toys all online at either Target.com or Amazon. Check out our list of 11 crazy awesome pool floats for babies, kids, and teens in summer 2019.

Find more ways to cool down this summer in our Beaches, Lakes, and Pools Guides.

Father's Day Weekend Fun in Connecticut: Classic Cars, Picnics, and Dinos; June 15-16

It's Father's Day Weekend, and Connecticut abounds with activities to celebrate all the dads out there. Whether Dad is into vintage cars, family picnics, or even dinosaurs, there is something for every type of family guy. If relaxing with a movie or a cold brew is more his speed, how about a little nostalgia at the drive-in or a visit to a family-friendly beer garden and barbecue festival? There's no shortage of ideas to make Dad feel special; it's June, after all, and summer festivities are in full swing. Enjoy the weekend!

Build-A-Bear Has a New Pay-Your-Age Contest, without the Lines

Making a puffy, fuzzy DIY toy at Build-A-Bear is a great experience, especially for a birthday gift, but those bears are far from free. So it was no surprise last year that the company's big Pay-Your-Age Day (5 years old, get any toy for $5) resulted in lines not only out of the stores but out of the buildings—and lots of angry parents when lines were shut down. The good news? Build-A-Bear is doing the popular event again, but doing it differently this year.

Spraygrounds and Splash Pads for Kids in Fairfield County, CT

If your kids are anything like mine, summertime is all about finding the coolest playground splash pad. Seriously, where were these things when we were kids? We had either scorching hot asphalt playgrounds, or plastic kiddie pools and popsicles at home. Now, as parents, we can appreciate how great it is for our kids to be able to swing, slide, and cool off in one convenient, nearby spot. Here's our roundup for spraygrounds, splash pads, and water sprinkler parks in Fairfield County; best of all, most are free.

Check out our Connecticut Beach and Water Fun Guide for more ways to stay cool this summer. 

Asheville with Kids: 40 Best Things to Do in Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC, is a popular destination for visitors, including families, with so many fun things to do like the Biltmore Estate, a thriving food and arts scene, a Vanderbilt mansion with extensive grounds, and its kid-friendly local breweries. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the plentiful hiking trails, waterfalls, and swimming holes. I frequently visit my sister’s family in Asheville and get to explore this charming Southern city with my young nephew, so I wanted to share the inside skinny on the best family-friendly attractions, restaurants, and what to do in Asheville with kids.

Find more family fun destinations in our Family Travel City Guides, and be sure to check our picks for North Carolina's best beaches for families.

50 Free Things to do This Summer in Connecticut

Lack of fun-money doesn't have to keep families stuck inside and bored during the best season of the year: summer!  Even if you are tight on funds, or saving them for a special project or destination, there are plenty of great places to go and things to do right here in Connecticut. Mommy Poppins has assembled a blockbuster list of free ideas for you and your family to have a fun while bonding and making memories during summer vacation.

How Can I Find Free Summer Meal Programs for Kids?

Many parents rely on the free breakfast and lunch available through the local school system to keep their kids' engines running—but what happens in the summer? Thankfully, there are still free meal programs available when school lets out.

Parents will find free breakfast, lunch, and sometimes afternoon snacks and more meals served up at certain parks, schools, community centers, hospitals, and elsewhere this summer. Many of the summer meal programs are federally funded through the USDA's Summer Food Service Program, but administered by local organizations, cities, or states. Read on for tips on how to find a free kids meal near you.

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