Harborfest and More: Celebrating July 4th in Boston with Kids (Without Fireworks)

Sure, taking the kids to a fireworks show for July 4th seems like a good idea—until you’re actually doing it. The little one (who refuses to wear earplugs) has his hands over his ears and a terrified look on his face, everyone is getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, and you know you'll be getting home well past the kids’ (and your) bedtimes.

Luckily, the city of Boston and the surrounding towns also mark Independence Day with parades, fairs, festivals, carnival rides, live music and food—no fireworks needed. There’s no better place to show the great ol’ U.S. of A. some love than right here in Boston, the cradle of the American Revolution. Do it in style at these kid-centric Independence Day celebrations, from the city's annual Harborfest to small-town festivities all around the Boston area.

25 Things We Can't Wait To Do with Kids This Summer in NJ

Are you ready for summer, New Jersey? If you're like me, you've probably had the season on the brain since January. In a few short weeks, those dreams of beaches, swimming and festivals galore will finally become a reality. The celebrated Jersey Shore, among other warm-weather destinations, make the Garden State the place to be this summer. So get out your calendars, and take note of all the adventures that await your family in NJ this summer.

Macy's July 4th Fireworks 2016: Where to See Them in NYC

Macy's is gearing up for its annual July 4th fireworks. On Monday, July 4, 2016, fireworks will light up the sky over the East River, and the show promises to be bigger than ever as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Spectators should be able to catch the show from many neighborhoods in downtown Manhattan as well as parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

Fireworks will take to the sky along the East River near Midtown and the South Street Seaport. More than 56,000 are scheduled to burst forth at a rate of 2,200 per minute and all will be synchronized to a soundtrack of patriotic standards. New-in-2016 effects will include pyro-writing, where fireworks will spell out U-S-A.

If you're hoping to watch Macy's 4th of July Fireworks live, it's never too early to start planning your viewing strategy. Tickets for paid viewing options like Fourth of July Fireworks cruises are already on sale and going fast. Of course, you don't need to spend a penny to see the sparklers, but there are some important things to know before you go like when it starts! We've got the scoop on how to find the best places to watch the fireworks in person.

And don't forget, there are fireworks almost daily in NYC during the summer, from Coney Island to Central Park. Read our roundup on where else to see cool displays this summer.

25 Places Families Can Take Mommy and Me Music Classes in Westchester

It's never too early to get started on music appreciation with your child. Taking a Mommy and me—or Dad and me, or Grandparent and me, or nanny and me—music class can boost your tot’s brain power, help develop social skills and foster creativity. It’s also the perfect excuse to let your guard down and boogie to your favorite kid tunes.

Here's our comprehensive list of the best music classes for babies and toddlers in Westchester. Looking for even more classes for kids? Consult our Classes Guide and sign up for our newsletters!

7 Places Where Long Island Kids Can Be Marine Biologists for a Day

If your children are aspiring marine biologists--or simply obsessed with marine aquaculture--then Long Island is the right place to live. Within a short drive of just about wherever you are, you’ll find a museum, nature center or aquatic facility dedicated to marine life. Kids can do everything from learn about ocean life and touch stingrays to swim with actual sharks. These five places are most appropriate for toddlers and older, but chances are these destinations will draw a learning smile from even the youngest in your family. And for more to do this season, be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide.

Weekday Fun in NJ: State Fair, Cherries, Little Mermaid

Summer break arrives this week for many NJ students. Are you scrambling for activities to entertain the kids on this first week of vacation? Luckily, New Jersey is oozing with fun weekday events! Get psyched for summer fair season at the New Jersey 30th Annual New Jersey State Fair and North Wildwood Italian-American Festival. Little ones can take part in fun-filled storytime events at Read & Pick Cherries and Sprout & Seedlings. And don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar for even more options!

Weekday Picks: Swordplay and Sorcery, Magic, Music, and Movies

I admit I was skeptical about the whole outdoor movie thing, but after recently venturing to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for a Cinespia event, my tune has changed. This is a spectacular (and not necessarily expensive) summer indulgence. Mommy Poppins' calendar is chock-a-block with movie nights from Long Beach to Thousand Oaks; and what summer would be complete without a trip to the Hollywood Bowl for a Sound of Music Sing-a-long? Bring a blanket and pack a picnic; some venues even permit the sipping of vino. Outdoor projection has come a long way since the drive-in; the sound and image quality are now excellent. Best of all, many of these screenings are free.

The Magic Castle comes to the Santa Monica Playhouse on Monday evenings this summer. Be mesmerized and amazed by these skillful magician's illusion and sleight of hand. If you like a good magic trick, swordplay may also be a source of fascination; master the blade in Sierra Madre where Swordscholar brings training from 14th and 16th century medieval manuals.

Finally, tuneful Angelenos can Make Music LA at multiple venues around our city. This is an international celebration with 700 cities participating; if you are still feeling the beat by Friday, do-si-do downtown for some outdoor line-dancing.


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