26 Festivals, Fairs, and Carnivals for Philly Families this July

Festivals, fairs, and carnivals, oh my! This July, Philly families can create some awesome summer memories at any one (or a few!) of these great events. Classic carnivals and fairs offer the thrill of rides and the drool-worthy smell of funnel cake, while cultural festivals provide food and entertainment rich with tradition. Face-painting, balloon-twisting, music, and firework shows are part of many of these summertime events. Whether you attend an all-time family favorite or try a new event, make a festival, fair, or carnival a must-do item on this month's bucket list.

Where to Pick Your Own Blueberries, Raspberries, and Blackberries Near NYC

Juicy blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are usually in season from July through the end of August near NYC, and some farms even have a second crop of raspberries that ripen later in the summer. So, if you missed the short but sweet strawberry picking season and can't wait for peach picking come August, now is a good time for your family to plan a berry picking outing to one of our favorite nearby farms.  

Read on for the lowdown on 13 spots in the tri-state area, all less than 2 hours from NYC (including one accessible by mass transit) plus our helpful been-there-done-that tips. A word of caution: approximate driving times below do not include traffic. You'll probably run into some, especially on summer weekends near the entrances to popular farms. 

Check out our comprehensive guide to all the nearby pick-your-own farms for everything from peaches to flowers and veggies.

50 Fun Summer Things to Do with Kids and Families in the Hamptons and North Fork

So much to do, so little time. That’s a popular refrain on Long Island’s East End, where vacationers and residents alike struggle to pack as much adventure as possible into the 80-some days of summer. Which is where we come in, of course. Our Mommy Poppins experts have updated their list of the best fun things to do this summer with great family-friendly events in the Hamptons and North Fork. We’ve researched family beaches, state and county parks, pools, and even indoor options just in case Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate.

So if you're visiting the East End, have a look at this kid-friendly list of great summer activities. While you’re at it, check out our guide to this unique region, home to farms, museums, wineries, and even the trendy celebrity or two. Who knows: While you’re here, you might even scratch an item or two off our list of 100 must-do things with LI kids. Hurry, time’s a-wasting.

Weekend Getaway: Make a Splash at Great Wolf Lodge, Poconos

At Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos, families can enjoy an indoor water park that is a balmy 84 degrees every day, even in the middle of winter. The resort appeals to families with toddlers to teens for a quick weekend getaway or school vacation trip. Who needs to splurge on a flight to the Caribbean, eh?

The Poconos family resort's location just completed its first phase of a $15 million renovation that included updating its rooms and adding in new kid-friendly programming. We returned for a visit to get the scoop on all the new attractions, including a Summer Camp-In event offered through Labor Day. Great Wolf Lodge didn't forget about mom and dad when adding new upgrades. The Pennsylvania hotel and resort now offers a "Wine Down" service for parents after a long day at the indoor water park.

14 Outdoor Water Parks With Water Slides and Spraygrounds for New England Kids and Families

Splash pads and swimming pools are fun ways to cool off near home, but in three hours or less by car, families in Massachusetts or Connecticut can get to most of the following outdoor water parks for a wet and wild adventure with kids. Although there's no shortage of big slides at these amusement parks, you don't have to be a daredevil (or of a certain height) to enjoy yourself. There are wave pools, family raft rides, and lazy rivers for preschoolers (and those of us who don't need to plummet a down a very tall slide to have fun). Some of the parks are dedicated to water attractions, and others are part of a larger theme park, but they all offer plenty of chances to get completely soaked. 

Great Connecticut Beaches for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Gentle Surf, Tide Pools, Bathrooms, Playgrounds, and More

Parenthood may have put an end to lazy lounging in the sun, but visiting a great Connecticut beach with a curious, playful toddler or preschooler in tow is a whole new kind of fun. What makes a good beach or lake experience with a little one? These tot- and mom-approved spots have features like bathrooms, concessions, gentle (or no) surf, tide pools, or spraygrounds that allow for more independent exploration with fewer meltdowns. Just pack some toys, sunscreen, and your patience, and your bound for a fun beach day.

Best Beaches Near NYC for a Summer Family Staycation

Summertime means beach time, and while there are lots of beaches near and even in NYC, some are more family-friendly than others. After packing up your gear and schlepping the kids by car, train, bus, or ferry, the last thing you want to find out is your chosen beach has no bathroom or bathing suits are optional. Skip the guesswork with our roundup of eight easy-to-reach beaches for NYC families, including detailed info on attractions, food, bathrooms, and hidden costs. Most are within two hours of Manhattan by car and are easily accessible via public transportation as well, so you can plot a great staycation for your family.

Find more beach fun in our Beaches, Pools, and Water Playgrounds Guide, or check out these summer day trip ideas.

Fourth of July Fireworks Shows and Community Events on Long Island

It's almost the Fourth of July: Fireflies are out, grills are on, and the smell of fire pits is in the air. Summer has arrived, and we've rounded up some of the most spectacular Fourth of July fireworks shows on Long Island, from Nassau to Suffolk and the East End; from June and past Independence Day in July. 

So don your red. white, and blue and after your park barbecue or visit to the beach, grab the kids and head out for some Fourth of July pageantry. And for the record, the fun doesn't end on July Fourth on Long Island; fireworks shows continue through mid-July. Check out our Event Calendar for other fireworks spectaculars or use it to plan a summer day trip

Maybe even take in a FREE outdoor community concert or movie. Whatever you choose, have a great Fourth of July. 

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