Connecticut

Fathers Day Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Dinosaurs, Drive-In Movies, and Cardboard Box Forts

It's Fathers Day Weekend, and time to show Dad how much you appreciate his lawn mowing skills and groan-inducing pun-filled jokes. This weekend take some time to participate in some classic Dad-oriented activities like building a cardboard box fort (really, this is a thing). Is your Dad into vintage automobiles? Check out car shows this weekend in Norwalk, New Canaan, and New Britain. If cars aren't his thing, how about dinosaurs?

This weekend is also a great time to head to the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, with events happening all weekend long at various sites throughout New Haven. Finally, cap the weekend off with cheeseburgers and malted milkshakes at the drive-in.

For even more options, check out our Event Calendar, which is constantly updated with new listings from across the state. To keep up with everything going on in CT, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Have a fabulous weekend!

Registration for Apple Camp, Apple's FREE Three-Day Summer Camp, is Open Now!

If you've got an 8-12-year-old interested in STEM or movie-making, you'll want to act fast; Apple has just opened registration for its free three-day camps. Located at Apple store locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, these special annual camps and are 100% free—and they will fill up fast, so we wanted you to be the first to know!

For more camp information and ideas, check out our Camp Guide and Directory.

'American Girl Live' Brings Beloved Characters to the Theater

For American Girl fans, dressing up the perennially-popular dolls and visiting the store or cafe may be the ultimate treat. But things are about to get even more exciting as the iconic characters take to the stage for the first time in American Girl Live, an all-new musical for kids featuring original songs and wholesome, heartfelt fun.

Although the show won't start touring North America until January 2019, tickets are already on sale for certain shows, including those visiting Mommy Poppins cities and states, including theaters in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Boston, and Connecticut. (Sounds like tickets to a performance could be the perfect gift this holiday season, Mom and Dad.)

Free (or Cheap) Summer Movie Series in Connecticut

Summer nights are long and lazy. And I don't know how it goes in your house, but in mine bedtime gets a little bit fuzzy around the edges. There are few things better than a movie for the whole family on a balmy summer night (or, in some cases on a hot summer morning or afternoon), and when that movie is free (or nearly free), well, I say bring it on! There are loads of summer movie series in Connecticut; most of them are outdoors, a lot of them are free, and even the ones that aren't are so very inexpensive you will be loading up the car as soon as you're done reading this. Pop the corn, grab a blanket, and head to one of these fun family movie series this summer. 

9 Must-See Dinosaur Theme Parks and Attractions for Kids

If your kid is fascinated by dinosaurs, chances are everything in your home revolves around the prehistoric creatures, including your family vacations. Your nearby natural history or kids' science museum is a great bet for a quick trip to study major fossil displays. For an even bigger thrill, families might want to check out one of the many outdoor dinosaur parks, from full amusement parks to nature walks and mini fossil digs.

We've rounded up a list of 10 great places for dinosaur lovers across the country. These dinosaur-themed attractions offer up-close encounters with lifelike creatures, thrilling rides, impressive fossils, and more fun things to do and see for kids, including dino-theater.

For more family vacation ideas—that may, or may not, involve dinosaurs—check out our United States Family Travel Guide.

13 Great Beach Day Trips in Connecticut

As a lifelong resident of Connecticut, the list of my state's redeeming qualities is lengthy. Among many of the attributes of living in the Nutmeg State, one is our close proximity to water. No matter where in Connecticut you find yourself, you're likely within an hour's drive of a beach! And in the summer, with anxious, energetic kiddos, the less time spent in the car the better. So, we've compiled a list of 13 great beach day trips within or near Connecticut. Make sure to check out our list of 8 Affordable Connecticut Beaches too. And for more summer fun check out our CT Summer Fun Guide.

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Strawberries, Pirates, and CT Open House Day, June 9-10

It's the sweetest time of year in Connecticut: strawberry season! You can celebrate with fruit-filled festivals in South Windsor, Madison, Farmington, and Cheshire...or if you're in more of a DYI frame of mind, peruse our pick-your-own post and head to the fields yourself (as of this writing, Jones Family Farms had opened with Lyman Orchards expected to follow on Friday).

And it's also a great time to show your Nutmeg State pride with CT Open House Day, which offers lots of opportunities to explore destinations near and far for free or at a steep discount, or to revel in region-specific festivals including Celebrate West Hartford, Georgetown Day, or even the Sea Music Festival at Mystic Seaport...I mean, where else but Connecitcut are you likely to find a celebration of sea chanteys?

For even more options, check out our Event Calendar, which is constantly updated with new listings from across the state. To keep up with everything going on in CT, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Have a fabulous weekend!

Pick Your Own Berry Farms in Connecticut

The abundance and availability of fresh food at this time of the year is a real treat. Being able to pick our own fruits and vegetables at local farms makes the bounty taste even sweeter. Not only is it a fun family activity, it's also a great way to teach children about where their food comes from, and to engage them in its preparation process.

For more pick-your-own options in Connecticut, check out our posts about strawberry picking in Connecticut and blueberry picking farms. Happy picking - and baking - and eating! For more summer fun check out our CT Summer Fun Guide.

25 Summer Festivals You Don't Want to Miss

Sure, you've probably visited your fair share of pumpkin, apple, and strawberry festivals. But have you been to a Podunk Bluegrass festival? Or a Sailfest? Or perhaps a Potato and Corn fest? Summer may be short here in Connecticut but it sure is jammin' with festivals from June through Labor Day. Whether you're planning to indulge in some strawberry shortcake piled high with whipped cream, check out some really cool cars at an antique car show, or groove to some reggae, there are so many family-friendly festivals happening all summer long. Grab a picnic basket and a blanket, pack your camera, and have some fun at one of these Connecticut festivals. And, be sure to check out our Connecticut Summer Fun Guide to help plan some pretty epic adventures with the whole crew this summer. 

Outdoor Games and Toys to Make Your Kids' Summer a Hit for Cheap

When the temperatures soar and school lets out, it’s time to break out the outdoor games for the kids. Whether trying to keep them entertained at the beach, a backyard BBQ, or just at the park, parents everywhere know that an engaging outdoor toy for toddlers to teens can be the perfect antidote to the inevitable “We’re bored” summer refrain with which we’re all so familiar.

Unfortunately, just walking into your nearest retailer and grabbing the most interesting looking outdoor game off the shelf doesn’t always work out. It could end up overly complicated, not age-appropriate, break upon contact—or even worse: not hold their attention! So we at Mommy Poppins rounded up our favorite summer toys for kids from over the years, including water games, and even tested out new ones, to bring you this list of more than a dozen, inexpensive options to play with your kids this summer.

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