Island Beach State Park: A Haven for Nature-Loving Beachgoers

There's more to the Jersey Shore than rides, salt water taffy, and (let's face it) crowds. Island Beach State Park (IBSP) may well be one of NJ most beautiful and unique beaches, drawing thousands of nature enthusiasts every year.

Though you'd get to Island Beach from the same Garden State Parkway exit as Seaside Heights, the two beaches are worlds apart. Ten-mile long Island Beach is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay and is one of the last few undeveloped barrier beaches on the North Atlantic Coast. From hiking to bike riding, and, of course, swimming, here are some things outdoorsy families will love about Island Beach.

New Mini Golf Course Set to Debut on Governors Island This Weekend

Putt-putt lovers take note: A brand new, 18-hole mini golf course on Governors Island is set to debut Saturday, June 23, just in time for the Figment Art Festival this weekend.

Brought to life by the folks behind Adventures at Governors Island (which also introduced a zip line and climbing wall to Governors), the new miniature golf course is located on the island's western shore, with breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor beyond.

Caribbean Coast: Flamingos, Macaws, and Bush Dogs Debut at New Stone Zoo Exhibit

Situated on 26 acres in the quiet northern 'burbs, Stone Zoo is beloved by many as the smaller, simpler counterpart to the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. But recently, Stone Zoo has been busy setting itself apart—with a modern new entrance, and now, an innovative exhibit celebrating the exotic, colorful creatures that live as our neighbors to the south. Caribbean Coast will be a permanent fixture in Stoneham, and, as my kids and I recently discovered, a big reason to make the trip.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Big Bounce, CicLAvia, and AnniFURserary

We're all in a celebratory mood this weekend. Can't say why for sure; maybe it's because summer has officially arrived. Yay summer! Yay solstice! Yay other celestial observations, too!   

We're bouncing off the (inflatable) walls, and not just because there are puppies involved. (But there are puppies. And kitties. And seals. And maybe monkeys.)

We're paddling out to sea, kicking off, and just plain kicking. (A ball, that is.  We're also hitting a ball with a stick.) We're making music, lots of it,  We're celebrating ancestors and Americana and locals and locomotion. Life is just a party; let's make this one last! Let the good times roll

Keep reading for our most jubilant picks for this weekend.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Summer Campout, Movie Nights, June 23-24

Summer activities are happening in full force around our city, and this weekend is packed to the brim with some awesome events you don't want to miss. With the sun promising to come back out by Saturday, now is the time to start picking out some outdoor activities, whether it's an evening summer "campout", breakfast on the bayou, or taking part in STEM Saturday at Discovery Green. We also highly recommend checking out Challenger Seven Memorial Park in Webster, named as such for the seven astronauts who lost their lives in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion. (Since we live in Houston, though, and the weather changes on a dime, here's a handy little Indoor Fun Guide JUST IN CASE.)

All of this on-again, off-again rain can make it challenging to pre-plan your days, however our event calendar is full of both indoor and outdoor activities for kids of all ages, so you never have to worry about what you're going to do. Doing some long-term planning? Then head over to our June GoList for a highlight reel of this month's events. 

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Event planners: we want YOU! We love featuring the best events happening in and around Houston, and we try our best to get everything up on our calendar. If you notice that your event hasn't made it on yet, or you want to get a head start and ensure it's on our calendar nice and early, please submit your event to us so we can get it published. All you have to do is fill out the form and hit submit, then we'll take it from there.Easy-peasy.

Let's chat about the weekend now, and see what's in store. 

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: BBQs, Kites, and Beach Bag Crafts, June 23-24

Some kids are still in school, but since it feels like summer, let's start enjoying it! First on the agenda, head over to Artbeat to make this summertime staple before island hopping and kite flying. There's also a music festival taking over the South End, a (free!) family fun day and BBQ, and loads of kid-friendly activities and food trucks amid the statues at the deCordova. 

10 Great Beachfront Playgrounds in New Jersey

Put your kids in the swings and your feet in the sand at beachfront playgrounds along the Jersey Shore. The beaches of New Jersey are home to playgrounds that are like giant sandboxes, with colorful play structures and ocean views. Swing by some of these beachy-keen playgrounds on your next day trip or vacation to the shore.

Please note that some of these playgrounds may require fees for beach entrance during the summer months

Weekend Fun: Figment Fest, Pride, Free Outdoor Plays & Movies

NYC's beloved family art festival Figment Fest takes over Governors Island this Saturday and Sunday. Don't miss the Jacob Hashimoto exhibit and the Guerilla Sense Sensorium while you're there!

Two terrific versions of Shakespeare's most kid-friendly comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, hit the stage this summer solstice weekend at Castle Clinton and at Smith Street Stage in Carroll Gardens. Or, celebrate the longest day of the year at the Inti Raymi Festival of the Sun at the National Museum of the American Indian.

June's month-long Pride celebrations culminate in the Manhattan Pride Parade this Sunday, and kids and teens can check out Youth Pride on Saturday, an afternoon of games, performances, and dancing.

Our encyclopedic Free Outdoor Movie guide keeps growing: So far, Coco fans can catch 10 screenings around town! And if you love Jumanji (13 screenings) or Black Panther (11 screenings—and counting), you're in luck, too. This weekend, just a few of the FREE outdoor movies under the stars include the LEGO Ninjago Movie in Queens, Despicable Me 3 in Brooklyn, or Moana in the Bronx.

Heat getting to you? Check out our parent-tested list of great water parks for toddlers or best water playgrounds and sprinklers. And, as always, scroll through our calendar to find ALL the best things happening near you and around NYC.

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Shakespeare, a Campout, and a STEAM Fair, June 23-24

Summer officially arrives on Thursday so maybe that's why this coming weekend feels absolutely jam packed with summer time fun. You can kick off the weekend with a movie in the park on Friday night - Despicable Me 3 in New Fairfield or Hidden Figures in New Haven - and then spend Saturday and Sunday consorting with orcs and goblins at a Renaissance Faire, exploring the latest in robotics and makerspaces at Danbury STEAM, or stopping by Neverland in an inventive new production of "Peter Pan" in New Canaan. For the camping curious, the Great American Campout at the New Canaan Nature Center is a fantastic introduction to sleeping out of doors, with easy access to bathrooms and guided activities (and who doesn't love s'mores?)--just be sure to register in advance.

If you're in the mood for a little multicultural exploration, check out the Irish Festival in North Haven, the Italian Feast in New Haven or Latino Fest in Hartford. And just in case you've already thinking about fireworks, check out the pyrotechnic displays at Branford Point and following the New Britain Bees' baseball game (and check out our definitive fireworks post to start planning for Independence Day.) 

For even more options, check out our Event Calendar, which we update frequently with new listings from across the state. To keep up with everything going on in CT, follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Have a wonderful weekend!

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Ice Cream, Aladdin, Balloon Festival June 23-24

Philly families, it's the first official weekend in summer! With longer days offering more daylight hours, there is more time for fun. As always, Mommy Poppins Philadelphia has rounded up some of the best activities to soak up the carefree days of summer.

Festivals are in full gear. Embrace the Swedish culture with dancing, music, games, crafts, and delicious pastries at Midsommarfest. Enjoy refreshing ice cream while being entertained by jugglers, live animal demonstrations, and trapeze artists at New Castle County Ice Cream Festival. Honor the legacy of African ancestors with Juneteenth Musicfest & Parade. Celebrate Philly Family Pride by attending a picnic and parade at Lovett Park. Or, splurge with a visit to the suburbs to see the hot air balloons overtake southern Chester County during the Chester County Balloon Festival.

If your family is on a budget, be sure to check out all the free activities this weekend and throughout the remainder of the month. Browse our event calendar for even more ideas! For now, continue reading for our top picks.

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