Island Living at Sherwood Island State Park

Your Connecticut license plate gets you more than the privilege to drive on our roads - it is also your FREE ticket to Connecticut’s State Parks as part of the “Passport to Parks” program. Located in Westport, Sherwood Island is Fairfield County’s only coastal state operated facility. With over 238 acres of shoreline to explore, swim, fish, hike, or relax in, it is no wonder that Sherwood Island is a gem of Fairfield County.

The Best Zoos and Aquariums in NYC

Ever think you would spot a seal in Manhattan, or a giraffe in The Bronx? Did you ever hope you'd be surrounded by sharks at Coney IslandNew York city zoos offer families the chance to get up close and personal with animals from all over the world.  Each borough boasts its own unique zoo experience. Whether your children are big or small, there is a zoo somewhere in NYC suited to their age, interests and attention span. Best of all, access to these creatures doesn't have to break the bank. Free admission can be as easy as picking the right afternoon to visit. Check out our insider tips for making the most of New York City's zoos.

Six Flags NJ: An Amusement Park with Big and Little Thrills

Braving the thrill rides at Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari in Jackson, NJ, is practically a rite of passage for kids who live in and around the Garden State. Perhaps for this reason, I wasn't 100-percent sure my young children (ages 2, 5, and 7) were old enough to fully enjoy it—but we decided to test the waters. And as I did my planning, I realized, "Holy cow! There's a ton of things to do at Six Flags!"

New Jersey's largest theme park, Six Flags is known for heart-dropping roller coasters like Nitro and Kingda Ka (the world's tallest coaster)—but there are also plenty of attractions geared toward the smaller set and those who enjoy tamer thrills. You can see zebras, giraffes, and other cool creatures on the Safari Off-Road Adventure; ride the Porky Pig Ferris Wheel in Bugs Bunny National Park; make a splash on the Saw Mill Log Flume; and much, much more. You also might want to set aside another day for Hurricane Harbor, Six Flags' massive water park.

Read on for details of our visit, along with tips for making your trip super-fun for kids of all ages. 

Kid-Friendly Wineries on Long Island's East End

With so many wineries on the East End welcoming children and even pets, Long Island wine country has become a huge destination not just for couples and bachelorette parties, but for families, too.

From picnic areas to live music and annual events, we’ve rounded up a host of vineyards—many of which are family-owned and operated—that offer the most family-friendly experiences. In addition to wine, most tasting rooms offer light snacks and nonalcoholic beverages, and some allow outside food and drink in designated picnic areas. Of course, kids must be supervised and pets must be on leashes. Be sure to check individual websites for specific rules. And be responsible if driving.

Summertime is the perfect time to visit an East End vineyard. And while you're out that way, check out some other family-friendly spots on the North Fork, including Lavender by the Bay, a family-friendly lavender farm in East Marion; Greenport village; and the Long Island Aquarium

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Carnivals, Sunflowers, and Circus Fun, August 4-5

I'm not sure which was more startling this week: turning over the August page of the monthly calendar or seeing Halloween candy (!!!) arrive in the  grocery store. But never fear - summer's not over yet! With more than three weeks to go until school starts, I'm determined to pack in every last moment of warm weather fun to be had. Happily, this weekend has a wide range of activities on offer, from the North Branford Potato and Corn Festival to the annual Sunflower Maze at Lyman Orchards to the Nimble Arts Circus in New London.

Looking for more? There are two carnivals this weekend raising money for fire departments in Easton and Orange, plus a chance to explore the haunted lighthouse on Sheffield Island or enjoy a Taste of the Caribbean in Hartford. 

For even more ideas, we have a host of suggestions in our Event Calendar, the August GoList, and the Summer Fun Guide. For the latest and best family-friendly events, follow us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest

Learn Spanish: Language Classes for NYC Kids

Many New York City public schools offer wonderful dual-language Spanish programs, as well as other languages. But if your child's school doesn't offer a language program, there are lots of Spanish language programs around the city that teach young kids to habla Español. We've rounded up some of our favorite Spanish language learning centers for New York City kids. And best of all: Thanks to the wonderful diversity of New York City culture, your kids will certainly get to practice what they learn in the classroom!

Find more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings, and check out our guide to Foreign Language Camps for NYC Kids.

Mommy and Me Swim Classes in New York City for Babies and Tots

Mommy and me swim classes (or daddy and me) are a wonderful way to spend time with your baby or toddler. Ideally, these lessons should be enjoyable, stress-free, educational, and a good source of exercise for kids and parents.

During the summer, swim lessons offer overheated families the chance to cool off while young kids become comfortable in the water, a skill they'll certainly use a lot in the coming years, what with all the great swimming pools and beaches in NYC. Parent-child swim classes are also offered around the city throughout the fall, winter, and spring, both on weekends and after school.

Most classes for wee ones and their caretakers take place in indoor pools. Except for the free swim lessons offered via lottery by the New York City Parks Department, mommy and me classes invariably cost something. We've rounded up the top parent-child swim programs across the city (and for more options, see our roundups of swimming classes for all ages in Brooklyn and Queens).

Game On: 8 Soccer Classes for NYC Kids

We've rounded up all the best NYC soccer programs for budding kid athletes, from preschoolers just learning to kick that checkered orb, to middle-schoolers ready to master the roll and step over dribble.

Kids' soccer is a year-round sport in NYC: You can get your kids into the game through a day camp over the summer, at drop-in classes throughout the year, or by participating in a season-long program with one of the youth soccer organizations listed below. Bonus: Many of these places also offer soccer-themed birthday parties

Read on for eight spots offering soccer sessions to NYC kids. You can find even more options in our NYC Directory and our NYC Classes and Enrichment Programs Guide.

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