Weekday Picks: Nature Nights, Singin' in the Rain, Theatricum Botanicum, Aug 8-12

Most Angelenos—and even people from beyond the Southland—think of amusement parks when they think of Anaheim. The OC hub is a magic kingdom replete with enchanted places to eat cotton candy and ride rides, from Adventure City to Knott’s Berry Farm to Disneyland. While all of this artifice can be greatly entertaining, those yearning to commune with nature could try a mid-week twilight stroll through Anaheim’s Oak Canyon Nature Center , a 58-acre park with three canyons and a stream running throughout.

Longing to add a little moisture to LA's hot and dry summer? Gene Kelly can take care of that for you at The Academy this week in Singin’ in the Rain. Or introduce your teens and tweens to French farce with Moliere’s Imaginary Invalid at the Theatricum Botanicum. This rustic venue nestled in Topanga Canyon is one of our most special theaters. Read our review of the show first, though, as Moliere can be a bit a bit racy.

Find more ideas in Mommy Poppins’ Event Calendar, Monthly GoList and Weekly Newsletter.

Weekday Picks: Sunflower Maze, Ants, and Lighthouse, August 8-12, 2016

The countdown is on for the last few weeks of summer. Time to take care of those last things on your summer bucket list. If that includes taking the kids out for fun things to do around town, we have the low down on what's happening where and when. For a run down of 25 of our best things to do in August, check out our August GoList.  This week's fun includes free family concerts, learning about a lighthouse, acquiring some survival skills and more.

While you can, enjoy our CT Summer Fun Guide and CT Beach and Water Fun Guide.  The Event Calendar is continually updated with events so check back often and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to be sure you don't miss a thing.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Olympics, Diaper Derby, Juggling Stories

Between camp costs, vacation expenses, pool fees, and the daily indulgences to keep kids occupied, summer fun can deplete our bank accounts. It should therefore come as good news that all of our top picks this week are FREE!

For starters, there are a couple of promising performances, including the Traveling Lantern Company’s interactive show about a young athlete who competes in the Olympics of Ancient Greece. All ages and skill levels can connect body, mind, and spirit at the picturesque Sunset Yoga in the Park. There’s also action for the youngest of children, as crawlers “compete” in the Diaper Derby.

These are just a few of the many fun activities in store for Westchester families, so don’t stop there—continue on for the rest of our faves and find many more on our Event Calendar!

11 Family Camping Spots Near NYC

Camping trips are great for kids, especially NYC kids. They get to spend time outside in green spaces that might seem to go on forever for city kids and learn esteem-building skills, including how to canoe, fish, chop wood, cook over a fire, pitch a tent, and more. Camping trips are low-tech—although I have seen electrified tents—so they allow families time to unplug and reconnect with each other.  Plus, pitching a tent is an affordable alternative to a hotel.

My family and I are camping enthusiasts. In fact, our basement storage unit in NYC is packed with tents and backpacks and my son has been sleeping outside since age 2. We plan an extended camping trip every year, and recently enjoyed an amazing trip to Letchworth State Park in upstate New York. We plan to pitch our tents in the Adirondacks later this summer. 

Camping can be dirty and difficult, requiring plenty of equipment, including a car. That alone can make an overnight trip to the great outdoors a challenge for many NYC families. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are at least 11 sites in the tristate area perfect for first-timers and families. These sites, within a few hours travel time, are packed with things to keep kids busy and two of these campgrounds are within city limits. A number of these prime destinations are accessible via mass transit, and one campground even provides nearly everything you need.  

There's no excuse not to hit the woods for a family vacation this year.  

Weekday Fun: Drive-In Movie, Elephants, Free Merry-Go-Round

Outdoor fun abounds this week in the Big Apple. Movie buffs can head to an old-school drive-in experience at Historic Richmond Town or take in the 1980s fantasy classic Labyrinth at an alfresco screening in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. For more interactive NYC fun, give catch and release fishing a try in Central Park, help the Bronx Zoo break a world record, or snag a FREE spin on the Prospect Park Carousel.

Looking for more weekday fun? Try exploring a new-to-you playground: We recently profiled the best sprinkler parks in Queens and Midtown West’s revamped Ramon Aponte Playground. Or experiment with a reimagined bowl of cereal at Kellogg’s NYC, a new cereal bar in Times Square. There are also several FREE concerts for kids this week.

You can find lots more ideas for family outings and things to do in NYC in our Summer Fun Kids Guide. It's packed with boat rides, water and amusement parks, day trip destinations, ways to keep cool, and hundreds of FREE family-friendly activities. Plus, our Events Calendar is always a good bet for finding something to do today with the kids.

Looking ahead to fall? Check out our NYC Preschool Guide before booking fall tours, or our Summer Slide Busters guide for fun activities to keep school-age kids engaged this vacation.

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Dogs, Stories, Shows, August 8-12

Ah, the dog days of summer are here in Philly and so are a variety of events featuring some precious pups. Children can read stories to Raffi The Reading Therapy Dog at Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library. Bring Fido (and the kids, too) to Stateline Woods Preserve for the 3rd annual Dog Days of Summer event where doggies can play, and families can check out local shelters with puppies available for adoption. Or, check out the dog show, either before the match or at halftime, at the Philadelphia Freedom's Kids' Night held at Villanova.

Once your fur baby is tuckered out, take the kids to a local story time such as Pottery Barn Kids in King of Prussia, Story Art in Sister Cities Park, and Barnes & Noble in Neshaminy Mall. Or, visit Penn Museum for its Storytime Expeditions session which provides storytime and museum exploration. End the week with a theater production; both Bucks County Playhouse's The Sound of Music and Upper Darby Performing Arts Center's The Dinosaur Musical take the stage this week.

Be sure to stay up to date with the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Stay cool!

Boston for Visitors: Must-Do Activities for Tourists with Kids

With fantastic things to do from the Cape to Concord, as well as a plethora of highlights right in the center of town, we Bostonians consider ourselves lucky that there's so much in our midst. Although we have a list of 100 things to do with kids in Boston before they grow up, we understand you may not have time for everything on it during a visit. So, we've picked our very favorite things to do—not-to-miss sights, activities, and eats for families visiting Boston. You can certainly fill up a week with the itinerary below, or choose your favorites if you're in town for a shorter stay. Enjoy our fine city!

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