Weekday Picks: Hot Air Balloons, Family Concert, Summer Fair: August 20-24, 2016

Summer fun is slowly coming to an end and CT kids will be heading back to school in the next few weeks. Thankfully, there's still time for some last blasts of summer fun; our end of summer bucket list has 25 excellent ideas on how to end summer on a high note. 

The Event Calendar is continually updated with free events, activities, and the best things to do in CT 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: Kids' Yoga, Chocolate Tournament

If camp is over, school’s still out and your kids are bouncing off the walls, look no further than Mommy Poppins! We’re here all summer long to help you and your family stay out of each other’s hair and get the most of what’s left of summer fun in Westchester.

This week offers loads of fun options for families, including a delectable Chocolate Tournament for the chocoholics among us. Get your downward dog on at Yoga for Youngsters, or grab a shovel and hoe to engage in suburban farming at "Veggies Rock" Garden.

These are just a few of our top picks for the coming week, and all of them are FREE! Read on for details on these and other highlights. Also, be sure to peruse our Event Calendar for more ideas!

Weekday Fun in NJ: Sing-Along, Dance Party, Toddler Fun, Birds

I don’t know about you, but I’m in denial that the summer is winding down. Luckily, summer activities are far from over in this next-to-last week of August. Send the little ones for camp adventures at My Gym’s Summer Fun Half Days and Museum of Early Trades & Crafts’ Camp in a Day. Tots have a busy week with Tod Squad, Tinkergarten and Tot Tours: Music Makers.

Cool off this week with these yummy ice cream spots around NJ, or one of these 25 fun ideas for the kids, from water slides to indoor spots to chill. Or mix things up this week with a fun day trip. We have loads of ideas in our NJ Day Trip Guide.

And don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar for even more options!

30 Fun Ways to Get NYC Kids Ready for Back to School

Summer is ending, and with school just around the corner, we can hear the kids' groans (and parents' cheers) already. But making that leap from summer funlike water slides to the classroom chair isn't always easy. All summer we've been sharing great ways to keep the kids engaged with brainy, but fun activities through our Summer Slide Busters guide. From storytime to science experiments, we've collected plenty of activities to keep little ones busy and learning. Need book suggestions for the rest of the summer? The NYPL even shared a host of summer reading book lists for all ages, including grown-ups. 

What else can you do to prepare your kids for school? Well now we're sharing 30 ideas for fun stuff to do around NYC with the rest of the summer that will get the kids' brains back in gear, from cool free drop-in classes to outdoor learning that will hardly feel like school even as they soak up a bit of biology. So read on to get started on one, five, or all of these 30 activity ideas.

Weekday Fun: Bill Nye, Winnie the Pooh, Rockettes, Free Fun

We're celebrating parks, science, and a certain favorite honey-eating bear this week in NYC. Catch a FREE outdoor performance by the legendary Radio City Rockettes as they get ready for the holiday season; celebrate the 100th anniversary of our national parks with a day of family activities in Brooklyn Bridge Park, including an event with Bill Nye the Science Guy; and visit with Winnie the Pooh and his pals now that they're back home on 42nd Street.

Take the kids to an interactive magic show with Gary the Great, or burn off some energy with a free drop-in sports program in Sunset Park.  

We can't deny that the summer fun is slowly coming to an end and NYC kids will be heading back to school in the next few weeks. Of course, there is time for some last blasts of summer fun; our end of summer bucket list has 25 excellent ideas on how to make the most of the waning season. If you are in back-to-school prep mode, help get the kids get ready to hit the books again with our Summer Slide Busters Guide packed with creative edu-taining ideas that make learning fun. Headed to school for the first time? Check out these top tips to ease the transition into preschool or pre-K. And if you are just starting the search for a early education program be sure to check out our NYC Preschool Guide and Directory.  

Don't forget: The Events Calendar is packed with free activities, storytimes, shows, and the best things for kids to do in New York City.  

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Nature, Museum Exploration August 22-26

With hot August weather in full force, Philly parents must balance indoor and outdoor play while still providing opportunities to learn and discover. This week's Event Calendar provides both nature exploration and museum fun sure to keep the entire family happy.

For outdoors types, children can explore a creek at Peace Valley Nature Center or the grounds at Tyler Arboretum. Teens can volunteer to help clean up the property at Riverbend Environmental Education Center while families can experience the beauty of nature and light at Longwood Garden's Nightscape.

After being outside, cool off with a visit to a local museum. On select days this week, the Delaware Museum of Natural History offers $2 admission and the Benjamin Franklin Museum offers free admission. Young toddlers can listen to stories and music while learning from the gallery exhibits at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Baby Bird Playdate session. Preschoolers can learn about different scientific topics at the Academy of Natural Science's Tiny Tot Explorers workshop.

Keep up with the latest indoor and outdoor fun by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Family Travel Deals for Labor Day and Early Fall Getaways

Summer may be coming to an end, but that needn’t put a damper on your vacation plans. We have Labor Day weekend still to go, and don't forget that many public schools will be closed for the Jewish holidays and Columbus Day in October, perfect timing for a quick fall getaway.

There are deals for travel to Orlando, Connecticut, Maine, Washington, D.C. and other family-friendly destinations. The Caribbean is a great value in the fall and nonstop flights have your toes in the sand fast. Why, there’s a luxury hotel deal in London that may lure you to journey across the pond. Read on for fall 2016 travel deals, and don't forget to check out our family travel section for more getaway ideas.

5 Places to Watch Airplanes on Boston's North Shore

I met a fella recently who was stationed with binoculars on the border of East Boston and Winthrop, gazing at the planes lift off from nearby Logan Airport.

“It's beautiful to watch. It's almost mystical,” he told me.

A handful of youngsters also peered at the planes, which, depending on the wind direction, buzzed right overhead with a thunderous roar as they headed to destinations unknown.

If you have kids who are into aircraft, there are some great spots on the North Shore to watch the planes come into and leave the airport. Here are top viewing choices, along with other nearby activities – including the beach, restaurants, and playgrounds – to enjoy:


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