Explore Lush Gardens and Nature with Kids at Reeves-Reed Arboretum

The perfect antidote to the stress of crazy family schedules might well be Mother Nature herself—and Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit is just the place to stop and smell the roses.

The Arboretum is not your average park outing; this serene Union County oasis offers some unique and interesing ways to learn about and experience the outdoors while giving the whole family some much needed R&R.

Weekend Fun: Country Fair, Fireman's Carnival, Corn Festival

Here’s hoping you’re staying in town this weekend, ’cause there’s plenty for families to do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley!

It's a great time to visit the New York Renaissance Faire, as there are perks for kids—including FREE admission and a costume parade and contest. The South Salem Fire Department's Carnival is in town, featuring rides, games, and food, as is the Otisville Country Fair, which offers distinctive twists like a chainsaw competition and a cast-iron frying-pan toss. Bring your pixie lover to a Fairy House Workshop, or join a citizen-scientist project at the Great Hudson Estuary Fish Count.

Read on for more details on our top weekend picks—many of which are FREE. Planning the rest of the summer? Check out our August GoList for our top picks for the month. And remember to check out the extensive weekday and weekend events listed in our Event Calendar!

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Water Ski Shows, River Fire, and Kiting, August 11-12

If you are reading this, then the heat and humidity of this past week hasn't completely crushed your joie de vivre. If you've had enough of the Great Outdoors indoor activities abound in Connecticut this weekend, including a Curious Exhibit at the CT Science Center, and indoor stargazing in Stamford. But with weather forecasts calling for low 80s, the real fun this weekend is outdoors. Check out the annual water ski show on Bantam Lake, a classic car cruise in downtown Putnam, a kite festival in celebration of Indian Independence Day, and an ice cream social and Colonial-era celebration in East Windsor.

For even more ideas, we have a host of suggestions in our Event Calendar, the August GoList, and the Summer Fun Guide. For the latest and best family-friendly events, follow us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Bug Fest, Block Parties, Trains August 11-12

There is plenty of summer fun on tap throughout the Delaware Valley during this August weekend. And, with only a few weeks until Philly kids hit the books for a new school year, Philly families should make the most of the extraordinary activities that can be found in our jam-packed events calendar.

Start off the weekend with a visit to the Academy of Natural Sciences' annual Bug Fest to learn fun facts about creepy crawlers. Be sure to explore the Museum's Xtreme Bugs exhibit while you are there. If you prefer to be outside with insects, grab your camera and head to Green Lane Park to snap pictures of both bugs and flowers.

On Saturday, families can enjoy West Chester's Market Street Block Party which features kids' activities as well as the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic. On Sunday, young and old can rock out to great bands along the Delaware River at Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party. Round out the weekend with some train fun. See Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends at Morris Arboretum or take a Summer Picnic Train Ride on the West Chester Railroad.

Keep reading for more ideas of ways to spend the weekend. Make it a great one!

Destination Playground: Ancient Playground in Central Park

Originally built in 1936, the Ancient Playground on the Upper East Side may seem to have earned its moniker (according to our kids, anyway), but its name is really an homage to its proximity to the Egyptian galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, right across the street. The ancient-civilization-themed romping spot, packed with fun climbing structures and water features, is a popular playground for locals and tourists alike, cementing its place on our list of Central Park's top playgrounds.

Read on for more details on why this classic old gem of a playground, at 85th Street and Fifth Avenue, ranks among the city's best.

Outdoor Paintball Fields Where Houston Kids Can Have a Blast

Keeping older kids engaged in something other than video games and electronics can be tough. But what better way to entice kids to get out of the house than to let them get messy shooting paintballs at each other? Luckily, Houston has several great spots to take older kids, tweens, and teens where they can run off some steam and engage in a rousing game of paintball. Racing around rugged terrain, ducking and darting around obstacles, and feeling the rush of competition while trying to dodge splattering paintballs at every turn can make for a fun family outing, group event, or birthday party. Read on for some of our favorite places around Houston to get kids in on the thrill of playing paintball. 

Weekend Fun: County Fair, Festival of the Sea, Classic Car Show

Mid-August heats up with some sizzling weekend festivals that focus on music, cars, peaches, and more! Cruise on down to Cape May for the Classic Car Show, listen to great music at Montclair Jazz Festival, and load up on peach goodies at Alstede Farms' Peach Harvest Festival. Those looking for classic fair fun will find it at Festival of the Sea, New Jersey State Fair, and Middlesex County Fair

Little nature lovers can learn all about gardening at Dig It! Plant It! Eat It! or become Junior Ornithologists at Duke Farms. And the whole family can enjoy a free movie under the stars in Belmar and Fort Lee.

Check out our Summer Fun Guide for NJ Kids for more options for family fun, including a day trip to Land of Make Believe and our list of 100+ FREE Things To Do with Kids in NJ This Summer. Find ways to beat the heat with a visit to a water park or local splash pad. And look to our August GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Got Library Fines? A New Program Lets Kids Read Them Away

Any parent who has fished an overdue library book out from underneath the sofa knows the pain of late fees. When library fines add up, they can even take the allure out of reading, which is the last thing any of us wants. So here's the good news: Los Angeles County Library, Santa Monica Public Library, and even LAPL are changing the game with awesome new programs to make late fees vanish.

RELATED: 10 Free Perks that Come with an LA Public Library Card

Spotlight on STEM Programs for Kids in NYC

If you have a child who's interested in science and math, you may already be familiar with some of the incredible STEM programs available to kids around New York City. The great thing about many of these programs is that they encourage creativity and experimentation—​two pillars of childhood fun, and great motivators that support learning outside a school environment. Read on for awesome exploration-based STEM enrichment programs for New York City kids focusing on science, math, technology, and creativity

Great STEM Classes for Long Island Kids

If science and technology are to develop, the world needs innovative minds to keep dreaming and creating.

STEM and STEAM programs emphasize science, technology, engineering, art, and math to develop the brains of the future, our kids. More schools, camps and museums across Long Island are offering classes and workshops with a focus on STEM education. Check out some of our favorite programs below.

Little engineers, rejoice. 

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