Fathers Day Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Dinosaurs, Drive-In Movies, and Cardboard Box Forts

It's Fathers Day Weekend, and time to show Dad how much you appreciate his lawn mowing skills and groan-inducing pun-filled jokes. This weekend take some time to participate in some classic Dad-oriented activities like building a cardboard box fort (really, this is a thing). Is your Dad into vintage automobiles? Check out car shows this weekend in Norwalk, New Canaan, and New Britain. If cars aren't his thing, how about dinosaurs?

This weekend is also a great time to head to the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, with events happening all weekend long at various sites throughout New Haven. Finally, cap the weekend off with cheeseburgers and malted milkshakes at the drive-in.

For even more options, check out our Event Calendar, which is constantly updated with new listings from across the state. To keep up with everything going on in CT, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Have a fabulous weekend!

Swim Lessons and Classes for New Jersey Kids

Looking for a way to introduce your child to the pool? Parent-child swim classes are a great way to help kids develop a love of swimming and instill confidence around the water. These programs teach water skills in a safe and age-appropriate way, and most allow children as young as 6 months to participate. Once your little one gets the hang of it, you can take the family to the pool, beach, or water park with confidence. And most programs continue to offer lessons for kids up to age 12 and beyond.

For more kids' classes, be sure to check out our Guide to Classes and Enrichment Programs.

Father's Day Weekend: Big Bounce, Clearwater Fest, Children's Day

It’s time for Dad’s special day, and we’ve combed Westchester and the Hudson Valley to find the best ways for families to honor the important men in their lives. Sure, a nice dinner or sporting event is often the just-right excursion, but in case you’re looking for something more, we’ve got lots to choose from.

The big headliner of the weekend is the Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival, a two-day outdoor event celebrating environmental protection on a grand scale with a vast and impressive lineup of music, exhibitions, assorted entertainment, an instrument “petting zoo,” wholesome food, and more. This is just one of several summer festivals taking place this weekend; others include the Yonkers Ukrainian Heritage Festival.

Another musical highlight is Caramoor's Family Concert, when the illustrious venue presents a performance tailored to younger audiences. Fans of inflatables, this one’s for you: The Big Bounce America is bringing 20,000 square feet of jumpy fun to the Hudson Valley, including assorted variations on the bouncy theme. There also are a couple of kid-focused historical events this weekend, including Family Fun Day at the Piermont Railroad Station Museum, which offers particular appeal for young fans of locomotives.

Read on for all of our top picks, and check out our Event Calendar for even more options to choose from. Our June GoList can help you plan the remainder of the month, and signing up for our FREE weekly newsletters keeps you in the know! 

Have a very happy Father’s Day!

NYC Destination Playground: The Imagination Playground

When the Imagination Playground near South Street Seaport opened eight years ago, the concept was revolutionary. The brainchild of famed architect David Rockwell, the unique play space was the product of years of Rockwell's own research, inspired by parenting his city kids. Rockwell's flagship destination playground has since inspired other indoor play spaces and outdoor playgrounds, including a second Imagination Playground in Brownsville, Brooklyn, featuring those iconic, oversize blue building blocks.

What makes the Imagination Playground different? Unlike many city playgrounds, this one wasn't designed for the usual swinging, climbing, sliding, and wild romping. Instead, its figure-eight shape encourages creative play in distinct play areas that offer different experiences. It's not quite the free-for-all of NYC's only adventure playground on Governors Island, but it does include some DIY fun.

Swimming Lakes Near NYC for a Family Dip

New Yorkers are lucky to be surrounded by water: When we get the urge to take a dip on a hot summer day, there are plenty of family-friendly beaches a short drive or subway ride from NYC. But for families with little kids, the ocean can be intimidating, with its choppy waves and miles of hot sand without an inch of shade.

Sure, there’s always the local pool, but if you’re itching to get the kids out of the city to enjoy a swim in the great outdoors, what better place than one of our area’s beautiful, placid, freshwater swimming lakes? We’ve rounded up the best lake swimming spots within a two-hour drive from the city.

Find more fun things to do this summer (and ways to cool down) with our Beaches, Pools, and Water Parks Guide for NYC kids.

Registration for Apple Camp, Apple's FREE Three-Day Summer Camp, is Open Now!

If you've got an 8-12-year-old interested in STEM or movie-making, you'll want to act fast; Apple has just opened registration for its free three-day camps. Located at Apple store locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, these special annual camps and are 100% free—and they will fill up fast, so we wanted you to be the first to know!

For more camp information and ideas, check out our Camp Guide and Directory.

Summer Camps with Availability for Westchester Kids

Summer vacation may be staring you in the face, but there's no need to panic—we've rounded up a dozen camps that still have spots. Whether you're looking for a day camp for your preschooler or a sleepaway camp for your tween, you'll find it here! And to make your life even easier, many of them actually offer door to door transportation. Sign up for the whole summer, or just one week, depending on the camp and your needs. (After all, you might want to leave time to work your way through all the activities in our Summer Fun Guide.)

You can find even more camps in our Westchester Summer Camp Guide, or in our Directory.

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts for Long Island Families

Not all summer entertainment on Long Island comes with a hefty price tag. In fact, some shows don't come with a price tag at all.

We've rounded up a host of FREE local outdoor concerts—all parents need to do is grab a lawn chair or picnic blanket and get ready to shimmy, shake, and smile with the little ones.

For more seasonal fun, be sure to check out our ideas for outdoor summer games and our picks for the best beaches for Long Island families. Our summer fun guide offers more ideas for getting the best out of the summer months. Enjoy.

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