Six Boston-Area Playgrounds with Shade

Recently, we went on a hunt for special playgrounds that have unique elements that make them worthy of getting in the car and driving to. But in the dog days of summer, we have one more criteria that's essential for a perfect day at the park: shade. Here are six tree-lined parks and playgrounds with an hour of Boston that have natural elements to keep you cool while you're having fun.

25 Things to Do with Kids in Rye as a Local or a Tourist

While Rye is probably best known for its famous theme park, Playland, this family-friendly destination features excellent community facilities, parks, shops, restaurants and attractions—all within a 45-minute train ride to Manhattan.

It's no wonder that Rye and the Rye Brook village are among the most sought-after areas to live in Westchester. We've gathered a list of our favorite things to do with kids in Rye, both indoors and out. 

Looking for more family fun? Consult our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

Fall Consignment Sales for Philly Families

Preparing a kid's closet for the cool breezes of autumn can hit a Philly family right in the wallet. But, it doesn't have to. Purchasing children's clothes by shopping local consignment sales is one way to save some cash. Throughout Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, consignment sales offer families a place to buy gently used clothing, toys, baby items, and other childhood staples for a fraction of the retail price. Additionally, when your kids grow out of their clothes or toys, consignment sales provide an opportunity to sell these items for extra money.

Consignment sale organizers can submit their events to our calendar by clicking here. For a list of spring consignment sales, check here.

Planetariums, Observatories, and Eclipse Viewing on Long Island

A solar eclipse will swoop across the United States on Monday, August 21, causing total darkness to fall across a 70-mile corridor. Long Islanders won't make it into this path of total darkness, but you can still enjoy a celestial show to commemorate this once-in-a-century event.

Solar eclipse viewing on one of Long Island's beaches is a great option, and we've added some local viewing parties where you can see one of nature's rare spectacles with your family. For astronomy enthusiasts of all ages, we've got you covered with stargazing science programs to enjoy year-round.

Before the big day, check out our guide to preparing for the eclipse, including safety measures and viewing times.

Planetariums Near and In NYC Where Kids Can Stargaze

Stargazing in New York City is more likely to mean a celebrity sighting than watching actual celestial bodies. I grew up in the suburbs and have fond memories of standing in my yard with my dad and my telescope, talking about constellations. Even if you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space here, the light pollution precludes seeing anything but the brightest stars. If you can’t book a trip to some remote, rural location, the next best thing is a planetarium—especially since you also get expert guidance as to what you’re seeing.

As most of us know, a complete solar eclipse will happen on August 21, and it might just be the perfect event to spark interest in the solar system for your family. If your child is fascinated by the eclipse, your next stop should be a planetarium, so they can learn more about the stars and planets. We’ve rounded up the planetariums in and around New York City. Happy stargazing!

Find more local NYC eclipse events in our calendar, including viewing parties at local libraries. (Tip: B&H on Ninth Avenue was still selling eclipse glasses at press time.)

Mom and Baby Sign Language Classes in Houston

One of the most exciting milestones my husband and I have experienced with both our kids was hearing them utter their first words. The thrill that comes from the realization that repeatedly saying "dada" and "say ma-ma-ma-ma-mama" has finally clicked and then being able to watch your child's vocabulary explode is one of those experiences that you never forget. The months leading up to that, however, can be wrought with frustration for parents and babies as you both try to communicate to each other. There is a solution, though - baby sign language.

Baby sign language allows your child to effectively communicate with you well before they are verbal, and can ease the frustration and tantrums that are often a result of the helplessness born from not being able to communicate a need or want. Learning another language so early also paves the way to multilingual success as your child grows, and can be a fun and unique bonding experience for the two of you. Here are some sign language classes around Houston for you and baby to learn and grow together.

This Weekend's Fun for LA Kids: Natsumatsuri, Hammer Fest, and Tchaikovsky

The sun will come out tomorrow. At least I think it will. We’re good at least through the weekend, but after that all bets are off. No one knows what will happen next week, but me and my shadow are determined to make hay while the sun shines. And eat BBQ. And dance and sing along.

Luckily, this is a good weekend to wrap up summer break. Both the Hammer and the Japanese American National Museum have big festivals, free and full of extras, (like frogs and cotton candy).  The Hollywood Bowl blows up the sky with its fare this weekend, and Pershing Square proves punk is not dead. The weekend offers opportunities to see luminaries from the worlds of literature, sport, and patrolling, and maybe get some pointers on surviving the coming plunge into darkness

So straighten up and fly right, and don't forget to clean up the place on your way out.

Keep reading for our sunniest picks for this weekend...

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