Free, Kid Friendly Workouts for Mom or Dad at the Mall

The first time you throw your little ones in the backseat of the car and take them to the mall, it’s a magical, low-cost experience for all: Ice cream! Merry-go-round! Free air conditioning! A few hours later, you’ve got yourself a happy, tired family. The twentieth time? Not so much.

But don’t give up! Malls want you to come, and they’re willing to do you a favor or two to get you there. It may seem counterintuitive to head to the mall in search of free stuff, but, in the spirit of reeling us in, many malls offer kid-friendly, free workouts for moms. In other words, the mall is one of very few places where you can exercise without dropping a wad of cash on an expensive class and/or babysitter. I can’t promise that you won’t end up splurging on lunch or a new pair of skinny jeans (that’s the whole point of the free workout, isn’t it?), but the sweat sessions listed below are free to anyone with an iron will.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Fireman's Carnival, Family Campout, Renaissance Kids

Here’s hoping you’re staying in town this weekend, ’cause there’s plenty for families to do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley!

For one, it’s a great time to visit the New York Renaissance Faire, as there are perks for kids—including free admission and a costume contest! The South Salem Fire Department's Carnival is in town, featuring rides, games and food. Watch and mingle with artists performing their crafts at Artists on the Street or do some family bonding at the Overnight Family Campout. For stage entertainment, get your giggles on at Mr. Pennygraff’s Cirkus Sideshow Spectacle.  

Read on for more details on our top weekend picks—many of which are FREE. Planning the rest of the summer? Check out our August GoList for our top picks for the month. And remember to check out the extensive weekday and weekend events we've captured in our Event Calendar!

Best STEM Classes for New Jersey Kids

Is your child interested in exploring the "hows," "whys," and "what-ifs" of the world around them? STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) enrichment classes can be a wonderful way to foster their curiosity and help them think critically and creatively. We've rounded up 11 NJ enrichment programs that offer instruction in coding, robotics, architecture, engineering, chess, and more. 

Weekend Fun: Dragon Boats, They Might Be Giants, Coney Fest

New York City kids love to dance, right? Then they'll love this weekend's events, like the Bhangra Family Dance on Saturday and the 36th Annual Battery Dance Festival on Sunday. There's also a Coney Island Food and Music Festival, and hey, you could just dance (or bike or stroll) down the car-free Park Avenue for this Saturday's Summer Streets fest, too.

Equally danceable, They Might Be Giants plays a free family show in Central Park, probably an event no young music fan should miss. Speaking of parks, more than a few host cool stuff this weekend, like the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in Corona Park and a kid-friendly production of A Midsummer's Night Dream in Carl Schurz Park

Maybe you want to leave the city...without leaving the city? Head for the best unkept secret on Staten Island with the Mommy Poppins guide to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.

Our August GoList and our Summer Fun Guide are powered up with events as always, and our event calendar adds things to do daily. And don't forget to check out our brand-new local DEALS page, where you can score discounts on camps, classes, birthday party packages, and more for NYC kids. Check back often as we're constantly adding new deals every day.  

Weekend Fun: Retro Gaming, Fishing Derby, Slime Fest

It's on like Donkey Kong at the Long Island Retro Gaming Exhibit. Show off your joy stick skills this weekend and teach your wee ones what gaming life was like before iPads. Or cast a line at the Snapper & Crab Derby off of Captree Pier. Let the kiddies make ooey gooey slime (and let someone else clean up after) at Slime Fest in Syosset.

Check out our August GoList for the best family events throughout the month. For more seasonal activities, pop over to our Summer Fun Guide or our day trips guide. Check out our guides to Long Island playgrounds or amusement parks and water parks for more family adventures.

Of course, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.

Don't forget to check out our brand-new local DEALS page, where you can score discounts on camps, classes, birthday party packages, and more for LI kids. Check back often as we're constantly adding more.

Check Out a Free Museum or Zoo Membership Pass at your Local Suburban Library

Looking for something free to do to entertain the kiddos? If you live in the suburbs, go to your local library and you can check out passes for you and your family to visit a number of great nearby museums, zoos, and gardens. Each library has different policies when it comes to checking out library passes, so be sure to call or check in at your local branch before reserving. To search and see what's available, use the keywords "Museum Pass" in your library's catalog search. You'll only be able to check out passes in your county with your library card and some libraries have restrictions about what township you live in, so scroll down to your county to see what great passes you can find. 

Birthing Centers in NYC: Where to Find Them

Pregnant New Yorkers often seek out their OB or midwife based a few key factors, including where that doctor delivers babies. You might sort through hospital c-section rates, get recommendations from your local mom group, and check various doctor reviews and ratings before narrowing down your list. But if you're looking for birthing center, the choices in NYC are more limited, though a small handful of venues do exist in both Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Birthing centers provide a more home-like environment, where moms-to-be are given the encouragement to labor in their own way, free from medical intervention. There is often a tub available as water is known to ease labor pains, full-size beds, and more perks to make mom more comfortable. It can be a great option for those not ready for a home birth, nor interested in a traditional hospital childbirth. Just know that birthing centers don’t offer epidurals, so you'll need to come to terms with that idea early on.

We’ve rounded up the birthing centers currently serving New York City, including both freestanding and in-hospital centers.

School Start and End Dates: 2017-18 Academic Year Calendars for Houston-Area Schools

The greater Houston area is home to many, many school districts. And the nature of being a Houstonian means you have at least one friend or family member who lives in a different district than you. It's always handy to have school dates on hand, so bookmark this page for the 2017-18 academic calendars and start and end dates for the area's 31 school districts.

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