Weekend Fun: Porch Jams, Butterflies, and Wing Dings; June 8-9

Can you feel the excitement in the air? Summer vacation—and with it, loads of options for family fun—is almost here. It’s the last weekend of the school year and Connecticut is getting ready to party! Summer movies are starting, strawberry patches are ripening, and Summer Festival season has already kicked off. There is music in the air this weekend in Norwalk and Mystic, while Wing Dings are on parade in Bridgeport. Make sure to check out Connecticut Open House Day and take advantage of free or discounted admission to museums, parks, and galleries all across the state.

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 newsletters, and follow us on Facebook, and Instagram. Enjoy the sunny weekend!

Historic Carousel and New Ferris Wheel in Forest Park Are Sweet Rides for Preschoolers

Good news for pint-sized thrill seekers in Queens: There's a new ferris wheel just for kids at the preschooler-friendly Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village, now open for the season. This leafy, old-fashioned mini amusement park in Forest Park (located in the park on the bandshell side of Woodhaven Boulevard) has long been a hidden-gem favorite of Queens families, with its historic carousel, rides, and games. The opening of a ferris wheel specifically designed with little ones in mind makes the park the perfect activity for a slow summer's day. Here's what to know before you go.

Weekend Fun for DC Kids: Festivals, Sesame Street, Nature June 8-9, 2019

Ahh the weekend...a time to kick back, sure. But it's also a chance to round up the family and spend some quality time together, exploring the DC area, and there certainly is a lot to explore! Museums, restaurants, and splash pads and nature on nice days and indoor play spots on the not-so-nice days. 

What to choose this weekend? From festivals to Sesame Street, our events calendar will give you some great ideas. In the meantime, read on for our top picks for families and kids this weekend in DC.

Don't miss out! Sign up for our free newsletter and stay up-to-date on the best things to do in Washington DC with kids.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Outdoors, Creek Critters, Festivals June 8-9

As the school year winds down, Philly families gear up for summer mode. Likewise, Mommy Poppins Philadelphia notices the shift in seasons as movies under the stars, concerts in the park, and an increase in outdoor activities fill our events calendar.

Those who like water can head outdoors with boots to splosh about with creek critters at Lorimer Park or hike around Upper Schuylkill Valley Park in search of frogs. If you prefer being above the water than below, try steering a canoe in the Perkiomen Creek or take a boat ride along the Schuylkill River. Once you have had your fill of animals and water fun, turn your attention to the many festivals going on this week. Families can expect carnivals with amusement rides, events featuring beloved comic book characters, and festivals rich in tradition, culture, and delicious food.

So, how will you spend your weekend? Keep reading for additional ideas, then text your friends and make plans for a fabulous weekend.

12 Kid-Friendly Texas Hill Country Wineries To Visit

From Houston, you can drive just a few hours outside of the city and find yourself surrounded by the majestic landscape and pristine fields of wildflowers in the Texas Hill Country. This beautiful scenery combined with lakes, rivers, campsites, and historic towns makes a quick getaway completely worth the time and energy. While you're in the hill country, taking some time to visit some of Texas' phenomenal wineries is almost a rite of passage on any weekend getaway... even with kids in tow!

The Texas wine scene has exploded in popularity in recent years and sampling some of the delicious wines made right in our own state is a must. These family-friendly hill country wineries are a fantastic choice for visiting on your next family trip.

Free Outdoor Movies in NYC This Summer

New York City screens hundreds of FREE outdoor movies each summer, many of them just for kids and families. 

A few outdoor movie series, such as RiverFlicks for Kids in the West Village, are aimed specifically at children. But even grown-up series, such as those in Bryant Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park, include some family-friendly screenings in their lineup. The amazing Movies Under the Stars series offers screenings in parks and at playgrounds in all five boroughs every summer, and you can find them as they're scheduled with this super-secret link to our calendar search (OK, not so secret now). We've even filtered it for you by borough: ManhattanBrooklynQueensThe Bronx, and Staten Island.

Movies usually begin when evening falls, between 8 and 8:30pm, but plan to arrive early...the well-known series fill up fast, and many parks offer pre-movie entertainment. Even if your local park is screening a flick you've watched a dozen or so times at home, it's a totally different experience viewing it in the open air alongside several hundred other fans. It's a thrilling, communal event, and a summer rite of passage for New Yorkers of all ages.

So grab your calendars, roll up your picnic blankets, and start plotting your FREE summer of entertainment now. And be sure to check out the other amazing seasonal activities in our Summer Fun Guide.

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Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlors Long Island Kids Will Love

Is there ever a bad time to enjoy ice cream? The answer is, of course, no. Ice cream is a comforting, delicious snack the whole family can enjoy. Get your bellies full of some scoops, a sundae, or a shake, and it all tastes better when made with homemade ice cream. 

From Nassau to the East End, we’ve rounded up some of Long Island’s best ice cream parlors that everyone in your family is sure to love. These destinations create yummy flavors from scratch and have a nostalgic feel that makes the experience extra special.

If ice cream is not your thing (we won't ask why), check out our roundup of other decadent dessert locations, or our guide to pick-your-own berry farms on Long Island. And for more dining inspiration, see our roundup of LI restaurants where kids can eat FREE.

Weekend Fun: Magic School Bus, NJ Fairy Fair, Strawberry Festivals

Feel like fair-hopping this weekend? The second weekend of June is packed with summery fairs of all kinds, spotlighting books, history, culture, and even fairies.

Step back in time at Civil War Weekend, or explore Spanish art and culture at Feria de Sevilla. There's something for readers of all ages to enjoy at the Maplewood- South Orange Book Festival, while little ones can spread their wings at The New Jersey Fairy Fair. Strawberry festival season continues at several farms throughout NJ, and local festivities are happening this weekend in Bayonne, Glassboro, Montclair, and Montvale.

Find even more weekend options in our Summer Fun Guide, including New Fun Spots for Kids Opening at the Jersey Shore. And look to our June GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Best Places for Family Playtime in NYC

Playing together with your kids is one of the best parts of being a parent. Not only does it get everyone off the couch and moving, but you're also creating memorable family experiences.

Most city families don't have a backyard to play catch in, but there are still plenty of ways to play in NYC that are as engaging for grown-ups as for children, from mini-golf to bumper cars, bowlingbilliards, and beyond. Read on for a few of the best ways you and your kids can disconnect from technology and enjoy a few hours of awesome bonding time.

LA's Best Swimming Pools with Play Areas Worth a Drive this Summer

Sure, there are miles of great beaches in SoCal, but sometimes you need a break from the sand, and you want water that's a little less, well, wavy. It can be worth going a little farther to find a swimming pool that’s open to the public for recreational swimming and offers something special: Think slides, water play features, extended shallow areas for the little ones to splash in, or a beautiful, peaceful setting. Here’s our list of cool destination swimming pools worth a drive in LA and OC. Most range in price from $1 to $12 per person, and several of these pools offer discounted season passes (check websites for details).

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