New VR Gaming and Escape Room Opens in Chelsea

There's a new game in town—actually, a whole slew of them—with the opening of Escape Virtuality in Chelsea, featuring two floors of immersive gaming and technology. Whether you're in the mood for classic, immersive VR games, have a taste for a wild ride, or want to tackle a brain-teasing escape room, grab your big kids and sense of adventure and give it a go. Read on for a look inside the new space and tips for what to expect (and play!) when you arrive.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Elephant Day, DOGust, and Natsumatsuri

Let's talk about the elephant in the room. No, not the start of the school year: I mean the weekend festivities in Griffith Park. The LA Zoo is celebrating the pachyderm, and shedding light on the majestic beast's situation in the wild. It's the once-a-year chance to go behind the scenes and see how the "Ele" half lives.

They say an elephant never forgets. But you know who does forget? A kid who's been out of school too long. Luckily, the 2019/2020 academic year is fast approaching, with some kids returning to school as early as next week. Time to get a move on if you have any unrealized summer plans, like perhaps attending a county fair. (Both the OC and Ventura County fairs end this weekend, as do several of the summer concert series.)

You might be seeing double; it's really quite incredibles, this sorta summer, sorta schooltimeway out, out of this world. There's so much going on my brain is exploding. Or maybe that's just the fireworks.

Keep reading for our most elephantine list of picks for this pre-school weekend.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Nature Walk, Million Penny Challenge, Aug. 10-11

First things first: did you hear that Toys 'R' Us is making a come back to The Galleria after the 2018 closing with a newly "reimagined" store that doubles as both a store and a play space? We can't wait for November to see the end result of our childhood favorite's facelift. 

Now, back to business. Where on earth has the summer gone? We are quickly making our way to the midway point of August, which we all know means saying goodbye to flip flops and lazy days and hello to school buses, packed lunches, backpacks, and some semblence of a normal routine! I'm sure we can all agree that this is equal parts exciting and stressful, which is where we come in...

We're confident this weekend is going to be an excellent one. This is the ideal time to take advantage of activities like sandcastle building lessons at Stewart Beach, Evening Chill at the Houston Zoo, and visiting Candytopia. There's also still time to make some headway on our 50 Free Things to Do in Houston With Kids This Summer list and our 40 Ways to Beat the Houston Heat This Summer list. We say pack in as much summer fun as you can! 

You can also check out our event calendar for ideas, as well as our August GoList, and you can sign up for our weekly newsletter to stay in the loop with all the awesome articles posted on Mommy Poppins. For anyone planning an event, we would love to get you some extra coverage! All we ask is that you submit your event to our calendar, and we'll review it and take care of the rest!

Now let's check out what's happening around Houston this weekend.

Weekend Fun: Pirates, Music, and Sunflowers

Those cool mornings the last couple of days offer a refreshing reminder to savor these last weeks of summer. Aside from our end-of-summer checklist of activities, families can enjoy summer blooms in Killingsworth or Middlefield, sample free ice cream in East Windsor, or swashbuckle with a pirate on Sheffield Island.

We update our Events Calendar frequently so be sure to check back for even more great suggestions. To keep up with the latest family-friendly events and activities, sign up for our free newsletters and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Have a fantastic weekend!

Weekend Fun: Lions, Musicals, and Campouts

August may not seem like typical theater season but this weekend there are not one, not two, but three kid-friendly performances happening around Boston. We're also excited about a few of MP's favorite August events, including one with stars, s'mores, and meteors, one song spectacular for all ages, and a real summer campout. Music lovers should head to Jamaica Pond for a popular classical music concert, and dance enthusiasts should check out this new fest by Urbanity. Don't forget to celebrate World Lion Day at the zoo!

Weekend Fun: Summer Streets, Tomato Fest, Battery Dance Fest, Fish Count

High on our "must" list of things to do in New York City this weekend are the second car-free Summer Streets fest on Park Avenue on Saturday, and the New York Botanical Garden's Totally Tomatoes Fest (our toddler eats them like apples!). And, if you're in the Bronx anyway, stopping by the Bronx Zoo's Dinosaur Safari might make a perfect topper for the day.

New York City kids who like to dance (a decided majority) should love the FREE Kids' Dance Class at Rockefeller Center on Saturday, perfect prep for the 38th Annual Battery Dance Festival, which starts its week-long run in Wagner Park on Sunday. If the wiggles continue, head over to Brooklyn Bridge Park for the Moving Together Dance Series and shake them out!

City parks are packed with cool activities, like the Great Fish Count on Randall's Island, the Macy's Fishing Clinic in Prospect Park, foraging tours with Wildman Steve Brill (in Central Park on Saturday and Prospect Park on Sunday), Great Jazz on the Great Hill, and an outdoor screening of Wonder Park.

Our August GoList and Summer Fun Guide are powered up with the best ideas for family outings, and our event calendar adds things to do daily. And don't miss our list of Summer Must Dos: 40 ways to squeeze all the fun you can out of summer, before the school year starts up again.

Weekend Events: Summerfest, Retro Gaming Expo, Boat Race

Join Planting Fields Arboretum for a relaxed Neighborhood Night this Saturday. Stroll around Sayville during its annual Summerfest or get into retro mode at the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo

The Westhampton Beach Historical Society hosts a free Revolutionary War Living History event on the Great Lawn in Westhampton Beach, complete with re-enactments, horses, cannons, and more. These are just some of the exciting events and activities going on for kids and families across Long Island this weekend.  

Weekend Fun for Chicago Kids: Hot Dogs, Dinos, Kites, S'Mores, The Bud

Here comes another practically perfect summer weekend, and a full-to-bursting list of fun options for Chicago families. Let's start with the dinosaur in the room: Jurassic Quest at Navy Pier is your dino-obsessed kid's chance to interact with "living" specimens—watch out for those teeth. In other toothsome news, the Chicago Hot Dog Fest hits Lincoln Square, Veggie Fest in Lisle celebrates tasty plant-based eats, kids can race for donuts at the Stan's Donut 5K at Soldier Field, and there are two chances to observe National S'Mores Day this weekend around campfires in Arlington Heights and Montrose Beach.

The weekend sees the return of a beloved Chicago summertime tradition, too: The Bud Billiken Parade, or "The Bud," steps off in the South Side on Saturday morning with marching bands, floats, and performers, and is followed by a fair in Washington Park and another family fest at Oakwood Beach. High-flyers can let off some string at two kite festivals this weekend, one in Elmhurst and one at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. And music lovers can get their fill at the Thirsty Ears classical music festival in Ravenswood, with kid-friendly performances all weekend.

If your kids are into cars, trucks, and all things that go, the Retro on Roscoe street fair features a lineup of vintage cars and motorcycles. Train Day at the DuPage Children's Museum includes model trains and buildable tracks, or climb aboard real fire trucks and other big rigs at the FREE Touch-a-Truck fair in North Riverside (just bring a non-perishable food donation for admission).

For even more summertime fun, dig into our ever-expanding roundup of fairs and festivals around Chicago, or dive into one of our favorite pools, beaches, or splash parks. And remember there's always more to discover on the event calendar.

This New Indoor Playspace in the Valley Has a Fun Twist

The San Fernando Valley has a new indoor playspace, treating kids to a giant jungle gym, plenty of pretend play, climbing walls, and spontaneous dance parties on a hot or rainy day. My Lil' Town is a great addition to the family scene in Granada Hills (just next door to Northridge), but it's more than just an indoor playground; My Lil' Town is an inspiring space, with a creative design that has something for kids of all ages, from babies and toddlers to big kids.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Bug Fest, Trains, Peaches August 10-11

During this August weekend, Philly families can spend quality time together throughout the Delaware Valley at educational, exciting, intriguing, and unique activities found in our event calendar.

Take a trip into the city to learn about insects at The Academy of Natural Sciences's annual Bug Fest, a weekend long event filled with creepy crawlers. Or head to the suburbs for Churchville Nature Center's Arthropalooza, a celebration of invertebrate animals, including a bee keeping demonstration and hissing cockroach races. Young ones can squeal with delight at Thomas puffs down the tracks at Morris Arboretum while older kids can imagine what it would be like to be a wizard during Watson Adventure' Wizard Scavenger Hunt at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Festival goers are in for a treat. Downtown West Chester comes alive with excitement for its Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic Community Festival while Nicetown Park hosts its Give Back Festival. Peaches are the star of the celebration at Peddlers' Village and Camden Children's Garden. Round out the weekend with s'mores at Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education or Peace Valley Nature Center.

Enjoy the weekend!

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