Weekend Fun: Kites, Dragon Boats, Pirate Festival

The Long Island Children's Museum reopens after its annual two-week fixup with the traveling exhibit Heart & Seoul: Growing Up in Korea. You can also spend Saturday Mary Poppins-style at the Kite Festival in West Sayville, or watch colorful Port Jefferson Harbor come alive at the annual Dragon Boat Race Festival.

Celebrate the season with the ​Fall Festival at Hicks Nurseries, at the Long Island Garlic Festival, or perhaps a local vineyard. Apple picking is also in full swing. Check out these parks for an easy family hike, or head over to our Fall Fun Guide for more seasonal options.

Our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids. And our September GoList offers up fun, family events for the entire month.

Don't forget to check out our 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.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: American Gold Cup, Festivals, Bed Race

September is in full force now, and that means peak season for festivals and cultural immersion for Westchester and Hudson Valley families.

An annual fall tradition is the American Gold Cup, the five-day equestrian event that offers more than horse-jumping. Other outing options include New World Voyager – Wassa Pan Afrika, a performance that brings the audience on a trip to Africa, and Survive, which dares tweens to overcome various challenges in nature—gasp!—without their electronic devices. All ages can party in the street at the annual Riverfest, and from the files of “Seriously?” comes the annual Bed Race. Westchester fall festivals also kick off this weekend.

Read on for details on these and other great events happening this weekend. Don't forget: Our Event Calendar offers many more fun happenings this weekend and beyond in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. If you haven't done so already, sign up for our newsletters!

Tickets On Sale Now for Insanely Huge Bounce House Coming to Houston

The world's largest bounce house is coming to Houston in October, and tickets are on sale now! From the pictures of previous Big Bounce America events, this is something you don't want to miss. (And the kids too, I guess.)

The Big Bounce America makes its third stop in Texas Oct. 27-29 in Houston at Houston Sports Park, the training grounds for the Houston Dynamo near Hwy. 288 and Airport Boulevard. Tickets range from $9-$25 depending on how long you're looking to jump and play.

Weekend Fun: A Book Fair, a Tech Playground, and Marine Science

New York City kids like to learn (OK, most the time) and with school in full swing, events with an educational spin abound. There's a 'technology playground' at the World's Fair Nano in Greenpoint, and more science at Submerge: NYC Marine Science Festival in Tribeca. The Brooklyn Book Festival Children's Day, with five stages of top children's authors, has more reading-fun than seems fair. Speaking of education—hey parents! Looking for a preschool? Check out our preschool fair on Sunday, September 17!

Another highlight of the school year: free museum times! See our full guide. We also have a new guide for you, this one an extensive lowdown on six newly renovated playgrounds to check out this fall. Not enough outdoor fun for you? See our guide to five kid-friendly farms right here in New York City.

We'll also get some early Halloween fun on Coney Island with the kickoff to Luna Park's Halloween Harvest Festival, and there are fall street fests in Sunset ParkFlatbush, and of course, San Gennaro in Little Italy.

Make sure our September GoList is always on hand, and keep our Fall Fun Guide close for apple picking outings, corn mazes, and more day trips. And don't forget our Event Calendar for all your day-to-day planning needs.

Halloween, Fall Foliage, & Bonfire Train Rides for Philly Families

As cooler weather reaches the Delaware Valley, Philly families are reminded of their own autumnal traditions. Perhaps picking apples at a local apple orchard, raking leaves in the backyard, and carving pumpkins on the kitchen table come to mind. This year, consider adding a new experience to your fall 'must do' list by climbing aboard one of the many train rides available throughout our region. From viewing fall foliage to picking pumpkins to eating brunch or dinner onboard, there are several unique train experiences that are sure to delight children of all ages. Looking for more trains? Check out New Jersey's Halloween Train list for even more fun.

Be sure to search our event calendar for plenty of additional family activities for the fall season.

Where to Go Pumpkin Picking in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Autumn is in full swing and it's a beautiful time of year to be outdoors! We've told you all about the wonderful fall festivals and where to go apple picking. Now we're turning our attention to the great pumpkins.  

We've rounded up our favorite places to go pumpkin picking in the Lower Hudson Valley. Sure, you can buy your pumpkins from the supermarket or your local farmer's market, but if you're looking for a more authentic experience, head to one of these nearby pumpkin patches. (Remember to contact the farms before heading out. Many are family owned and operated, and hours may change with little or no notice.)

Looking for more fall activities? Consult our Fall Fun Guide and follow us on Facebook

Along Came a Spider Pavilion: Big Spiders Are Back at the Natural History Museum

While some may ring in the Halloween season by smearing shrubs with 99-cent store fuzzy webbing and plastic spiders, the arachnid purists over at the Natural History Museum have a more organic approach. This weekend the screened pavilion on the museum’s South Lawn becomes seasonal home to more free-range, eight-legged tenants than anyone in his right mind could want – in short, an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare and an eight-year-old boy’s version of heaven.

Free Admission Days at 23 Museums in Los Angeles and Orange County

Love museums, but the prices make you think twice? If you have a large family, those tickets add up fast—which is particularly frustrating if you then need to beat a hasty retreat to avoid a meltdown. SoCal has some great museums that have free general admission every day of the year, including The Getty, California Science Center and The Broad. Also, active-duty military personnel can take advantage of the Blue Star Program at many LA and OC museums in summertime. As for the rest of them (once kids are old enough to have to pay), many LA and OC museums have monthly or even weekly free days or evenings, and we have collected a list below for easy reference. These times offer a great chance to bring the extended family, meet friends, or check out a place you have never been before—all for just the price of parking or Metro tickets. And if there's a meltdown? At least it's free.

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