Blast Off at Port Jefferson's Redesigned Rocketship Park

Although not a new playground location, Clifton H. Lee Memorial Park, or Rocketship Park, in Port Jefferson is brand new. Opened to the public in late June, this playground has undergone a $900,000 renovation nearly two years in the making. It was worth the wait with many fun features for toddlers to big kids. So get ready to blast off to Rocketship Park with our playground review.

Long Island has so many playgrounds to enjoy. Check out our list of the beach playgrounds, and toddler playgrounds. And take advantage of what’s left of summer with our Summer Fun Guide.

For more fun things to do in Port Jefferson, check out our day trip guide to this kid-friendly North Shore community

Weekend Fun: Butterfly Festival, Wizard of Oz, County Fairs

No matter what your kids are into, you're bound to find something fun this weekend. You can hear a nautical tale at Cape May's Lighthouse Storytime, head to Liberty State Park to Explore the Hudson River Estuary, or see entertaining experiments at Mad Science Summer Camp in Paramus. Travel back in time at the Living History Encampment in Historic Smithville, or fall under the spell of The Wizard of Oz at the Morris Museum's Bickford Theatre. 

Try one of the many fairs and festivals happening this month, including the Festival of the Sea in Long Beach Township and the Watershed Butterfly Festival in Pennington.

Find ways to beat the heat in our Summer Fun Guide for NJ Kids, which includes our list of the Best Jersey Shore Beaches for Families. And be sure to check out our Event Calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Read on for more of our weekend picks, and don't forget to visit our brand-new local DEALS page to score discounts on camps, classes, birthday party packages, and more for NJ kids. 

NYC Destination Playground: Nelson A. Rockefeller Park Has It All

In New York City, there are playgrounds—the kind you can step out the front door and find in your local neighborhood—and then there are playgrounds—these go beyond the basic jungle gym and include things like super-sized climbing structures, expansive sandboxes, or fancy water features. But, get this: Nelson A. Rockefeller Park has all that and some extra special features that make it truly destination worthy in my family's book.

Located in Battery Park City this playground provides enough entertainment for your whole family to while a day away, no matter your ages. Find more great playgrounds in our NYC Parks & Playgrounds Guide.

Where to Visit Nature in Philly Without Even Leaving the City

With more than 400 community gardens, 80+ neighborhood parks, and acres of national park land, Philadelphia is positively booming with green space and touches of nature. You don't have to walk far to escape from the city sights and sounds and feel like you are in an urban oasis, but there are several parks and spaces that stand out as spots to hit if you are craving a more down-to-earth vibe. You can kayak, hike, fish, picnic, and swim in freshwater pools, all within the city limits.

Check out our list of parks and playgrounds for even more green spaces to explore.

Free (and Almost-Free) Archery Classes for LA & OC Kids Who Love Bows and Arrows

A fair number of kids who see Brave or The Hunger Games end up curious about archery, and a fair number of their parents end up scratching their heads and saying, "Where do we do that??" Gymnastics, swimming—that's easy. But where to bring a would-be archer to string a bow and shoot some arrows? Less obvious, perhaps, but not as hard as you might think. And the even better news? It's usually free!

Day Trip to Point Pleasant Beach and Jenkinson's Boardwalk

Point Pleasant Beach has long been a family-friendly Jersey Shore destination, and with good reason. About an hour's drive from New York City and Philadelphia, this picturesque stretch of sand lies between the beaches of Monmouth County and the craziness of Seaside Heights. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk plays host to many kid-friendly attractions, including an aquarium, arcades, mini-golf courses, a ropes course, and an amusement park with a whole section that’s just right for toddlers and preschoolers.

I spent many summers here in my youth, and this summer, with my own 4-year-old in tow, I headed down to exit 98 to spend the day at this popular Shore spot.

Looking for more warm-weather fun? Check out our Summer Fun Guide and Jersey Shore Family Guide for ideas. 

Science, Machines and Nature Museums in Fairfield County, Connecticut

From trying on a real space suit, to jumping into a the cockpit of a full-size helicopter, to touching a shark, Fairfield County offers some top-notch museums when it comes to science, nature, and machines. Featuring authentic and original equipment, imaginative and creative displays of abstract scientific concepts, and a variety of hands-on, interactive engagement, kids are sure to love exploring these Fairfield County museums. And so will their grownups!

Looking for more STEM fun? Consult our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters.

Special Family Campgrounds near Boston with Extras for Kids

For many families, camping is a summer or fall ritual. For others, it’s an interesting (but maybe daunting) possibility. Truth is, camping is a wonderful way to explore the outdoors while spending serious quality time with your family—and you can do it all for much less money than you'd spend at a hotel or rental home. While Massachusetts is home to many great, simple campgrounds, some offer little extras that delight kids. Here’s a list of some of Massachusetts’ best campsites, each with a little something or two that's special.

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