Weekend Fun: Our Lady Fest, One World Family, Mummenschanz Returns

July is here at last, and outdoor fun abounds. This weekend, options include a boat-making workshop at Wave Hill, a vintage car festival on Governors Island, and the annual Our Lady of Mount Carmel festival kickoff in Williamsburg, with carnival rides, unhealthy-but-delicious food, Saturday's musical Questua procession, and, on Sunday, a parade led by the massive giglio, soaring 65 feet high and covered with flowers.

Looking for something cool and indoors? Mummenschanz is back with a brand new show, or head to Governors Island for a FREE production of The Golden Dove. Young magicians in training will enjoy "meeting" Harry Houdini at the New York Historical Society. And don't miss the Family Fun Day at One World for face painting, balloon animals, and more fun with a view. Plus there's still time to take advantage of the Red, White and Deep Blue Sea 2-for-1 ticket deal, if you want to throw a WOW into the weekend.

Don't forget to check our list of water playgrounds and sprinklers if you're looking for another way to cool down (or just have a kid who loves a good splash). Or take the family out of New York City altogether to pick berries or go camping.

For more fun, consult our complete July GoList, our packed Summer Fun Guide, and our fun-filled Event Calendar.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Pirate Festival, Xtreme Bugs, Big Bounce July 7-8

If you need weekend inspiration, Mommy Poppins Philadelphia has got you covered. Our jam-packed event calendar is exploding with ways to encourage imagination, creativity, and physical activity.

Grab an eye patch and a sword to head to the Wilmington Pirate Festival, where kids can make pirate crafts, see aerial pirate performances, and take tours of the boat, the Kalmar Nyckel. Pretend you are a prince or princess and explore Fonthill Castle as you learn what it was like to live there long ago. View oversized insects in a world of gigantic bugs at Academy of Natural Science or construct fairy houses or teepees in the garden at Morris Arboretum. Channel your inner artist by dropping by an art session or art museum. Burn off some energy (and calories) at The Big Bounce America or paddle down Perkiomen Creek. Still looking for more? Continue reading our top picks for an amazing weekend!

Weekend Fun: Pirate Quest, Hot-Air Balloon Festival, Fireman's Carnival

Though the 4th of July is behind us, not all of the fireworks have lost their spark. The West Point Independence Day Concert and Fireworks combines an outdoor concert and Independence Day festivity on Saturday. And the American Revolution lives on at New Paltz in the War for Independence, where there will be reenactments and interactive activities that allow kids to experience colonial times firsthand.

The real attention-grabber this weekend is the annual Hudson Valley Balloon Festival, when fireworks are replaced with dazzling displays of color floating aloft. For more thrills, hit the rides at the annual Fireman's Carnival, or bring your budding swashbucklers to Pirate Quest.

Read on for more ideas and consult our Event Calendar for daily fun, and look to our Summer Activity Guide for the best places to keep cool, from splash pads to water parks

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Best NYC Playgrounds for Children with Special Needs

There's certainly no shortage of wonderful playgrounds and parks in New York City. But when you add a child with special needs into the mix, the selection of truly great playgrounds suddenly seems much smaller. As a mom of of a special needs child, I've explored quite a few of the city's playgrounds in search of the ones with the best play-for-all features and equipment.

Happily, many NYC playgrounds meet or exceed the Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and there are literally hundreds of special needs-friendly playgrounds throughout NYC. Some also include accessible JennSwings, those big plastic swings that offer full-body positioning support for kids up to 125 pounds. But the adaptive swing doesn't always appeal to my son, so there need to be other attractions for a playground to be cool in his book.

I'm spotlighting 17 playgrounds that I feel truly are the best. Not only are they accessible (half the battle), they're fun for all ages, with and without special needs. Grab some sunblock, towels, sand toys, and running shoes and get exploring: Your kids will thank you for it!

Noah’s Ark at the Skirball: Is LA's Best Indoor Playground at a Museum?

Imagine a 65-foot-long ark and more than 400 animals that you must rescue before an epic flood engulfs the world. Yes, you’re Noah and your mission is to save everyone, but also have fun doing it. And there's no need to go all the way to Mount Ararat to relive the tale; just head up the Santa Monica Mountains to the Skirball Cultural Center, a few miles away from the Getty Center, at the highest point on the 405.

Best Summer Theater and Shows for NYC Kids 2018

Think the dog days of summer are a cultural wasteland and that all the cool new openings won't start again until fall? That's not the case when it comes to the stage—New York City's family theater scene is hotter than a heat wave.

There are shows for all ages, interests, and budgets throughout the summer season, including a number of FREE options such as no-cost high-quality Shakespeare, and alfresco shows for tots inspired by Peter Pan and Little Red Riding Hood. Plus enjoy eye-popping indoor spectacles for the whole family like MOMIX and Mummenschanz. Best of all, many of our picks cost less than $25 per ticket, and six are 100 percent FREE!

Top 30 Rainy-Day Activities in the Hamptons and North Fork

Not every summer day is perfect on Long Island’s East End. In fact, there are those days in July and August when Mother Nature just refuses to cooperate.

When those moments occur, parents have to get more creative in minding the little ones. The good news is that as the Hamptons and North Fork have become more year-round destinations, the entertainment options for children have grown.

It’s true: Even in the summer, the East End isn’t just about beaches and playgrounds. We have museums, art galleries, indoor play spaces, and more. So with that in mind, here are 30 ways to stave off rainy-day fever on the East End. And here’s hoping the clouds don’t linger too long.

By the way, paring this list down is no easy task. For more inspiration, see our comprehensive guide to the East End, including our list of 50 great things to do with kids on the East End this summer. If you need accommodations, see our list of the top kid-friendly hotels in the region.

Weekend Fun: FanJam, Blueberry Bash, Sand Sculpting Festival

Food, music, and even ghosts are the main attractions at some of this weekend's jammin' July festivals. Load up on bacon at TRUCKerton with a Side of Bacon, or, if you're feeling more like fruit, indulge in fresh-picked berries at Terhune Orchards' Blueberry Bash.

Great music is on the scene at Fanwood Summer FanJam, Palmer Square Summer Stage, and Fort Lee Music and Movies Under the Stars. And if you're up for a supernatural experience, check out Cold Spring Village's Paranormal Weekend, or enjoy a performance of Greetings from Mars.

Weekend fun down the Shore includes the Wildwood Crest Sand Sculpting Festival and Monmouth Park's Family Fun Days.

Check out our Summer Fun Guide for New Jersey Kids for more options for family fun, including 25 Super-Fun Summer Day Trips. And look to our event calendar and July GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

New Charlotte's Web Experience at Old Sturbridge Village

There are few stories as ingrained into our collective memory as Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White’s classic novel of an unlikely friendship between a barn spider, a pig, and a young girl. Lucky for us, Old Sturbridge Village (already one of our favorite summer day trips) is breathing new life into White's story with The Charlotte’s Web Experience: a unique live production running from July 5th through August 26th. Kids are part of the act in this interactive re-telling of the timeless tale, which is staged on an actual farm and involves music, cute barn animals, and even delicious themed treats.

Do You Know These 10 LA Spots Made Famous in TV and Movies ?

When you live in the movie-making capital of the world, there can be surprisingly cool things to see around every corner. Looking to entertain bored tweens or visiting relatives—or even compliant, happy-to-go-anywhere little ones? Why not remind them (and yourself) that LA is home to many of the locations they've seen on the big and small screen. All over Los Angeles there are places that look strangely familiar, and it can be fun taking a closer look to figure out why. Check out some of these locations from your favorite movies and television shows. 

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