Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Cupcake Fest, American Girl, Dragon Boats

Springtime weekends are a treat, and there are only a few left before the official start of summer! This weekend, satisfy your sweet-tooth at the Honey and Strawberry Weekend at Oasis Family Farm, or take a day trip to New York for the Gardiner Cupcake Festival. Transportation lovers can check out aircraft at New Jersey's Aviation Hall of Fame's Open Cockpit Weekend or explore vehicles at a Touch-A-Truck event.  

The spring festival season continues with Mayfest in Smithville, NJ, the Fairy and Pirate Festival in Budd Lake, NJ, and the Dragon Boat Festival in Sparta, NJ. If your spring plans get washed out, be sure to check out our list of 25 things to do in NJ on a rainy day.

Find even more fun things to do with Jersey kids by heading to our Event Calendar and May GoList

Last but not least: help us choose our Besties and be entered to win one of two terrific prizes: a luxurious NYC getaway including a suite credit from Suiteness and a custom itinerary designed by Mommy Poppins herself, Anna Fader, or a two-night stay for four at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains. The last day to vote is May 28, so vote today

Brooklyn Outdoor Eats: Restaurants with Kid-Friendly Backyards

Brooklyn boasts its share of restaurants with sidewalk tables, but those of us with kids enjoy those eateries with more spacious outdoor dining. A backyard, picnic tables, roof decks, or sometimes even a bit of grass? We're sold!

Just in time for summer, we've rounded up of our favorite spots from across Brooklyn that feature ample outdoor space, serve delicious food, and welcome families with children. If you're in the mood for variety, we've included a mix of cuisines: Japanese, Mexican, Cuban, Southern comfort and of course, pizza and New American.  

Headed to Brooklyn from a surrounding area? Browse our Brooklyn Kids Guide to take full advantage of the borough while you're there, or peruse our NYC Restaurant Guide for more family-friendly eats.

Best Long Island Camping and RV Sites for Families and Kids

Families have for generations bonded over camping. On Long Island, where campgrounds offer oceanside views, hiking trails, historic landmarks, and lighthouses, experienced camping families or first-timers can enjoy roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, making shadow animals on tent walls, chasing after fireflies, and otherwise celebrating nature.

We've compiled a list of the best camping destinations in Nassau and Suffolk counties just waiting to host you and your family. Some are located in state or county parks, where residency restrictions might apply. Others are private or corporately run and open to all. Regardless, camping is especially popular on Long Island from May to October, so call ahead for availability and other essential information.

For tips on other LI outdoor activities, see our Guide to Long Island Playgrounds and Parks. For exciting day trip possibilities and some other nature-related activities, see our Long Island Getaway Guide.

MTA Hands Out Baby on Board Buttons to Pregnant Straphangers

When a female subway rider offered her seat on the uptown 6 train to one of our Mommy Poppins editors who was well into her third trimester of pregnancy, the gentleman beside her suddenly came to life.

"Oh sorry, didn't know if you were pregnant or just fat." Dude. A new MTA pilot program launched on Mother’s Day 2017 aims to clear up that, ahem, confusion.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which includes NYC’s subways and buses, but also the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, will provide two types of wearable buttons for anyone who requests them due to a temporary or permanent disability: “Baby on Board!” or “Please offer me a seat.” Both buttons carry the slogan “Courtesy Counts,” and are designed to “encourage customers to move their feet and offer a seat for pregnant riders, seniors and those with a disability who are seeking seats,” according to a MTA statement.

Kid Friendly Music Festivals in Connecticut

Navigating festivals with kids--much like doing anything at all with kids--is a completely different experience than just slathering on the sunscreen, finding a floppy hat, and heading out the door with friends. Most festivals these days are sympathetic to the idea that parents still want to rock out, too. Here is a roundup of some of Connecticut's music festivals and how to (or whether to) approach them with kids in tow.

New York to Offer Free Gear to First-Time Campers

If you’ve ever thought, “I wish we camped more,” but the risk of abandoned tents, sleeping bags, and coolers sitting in the corner of your garage, or your nonexistent storage space if you're in the city, stops you from gearing up and going, New York state’s new First-Time Camper weekends might be just right for your family.

The state's Department of Environmental Conservation is launching a program to reserve a fully stocked campsite at select New York state campgrounds for a weekend getaway this summer, letting families test the waters before investing in the necessities. (And to find out who’s really afraid of the dark. Kidding.)

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