50 Free Things to Do with Long Island Kids This Summer

Does the thought of summer break make you think of breaking the bank?

In between camps, parties, sitters, and trips, the next two months can get costly. And for a family with more than one child, even a trip to the water park can add up. But summer doesn’t have to strain your wallet: We have compiled a list of 50 FREE things families can do together. From outdoor concerts and movies, to museums, classes, and festivals, Long Island has something going on all summer long. So put that pocketbook away, grab the sunscreen, and enjoy some family time because before you know it, back-to-school sales begin.

Check a few more things off your bucket list with our Summer Fun Guide and 25 things we can't wait to do this summer. Feeling really ambitious? Here are 100 things to do with Long Island kids before they grow up.

Best Free NYC Swimming Pools for Toddlers and Kids

It's summertime and the livin' is easy—beaches, sprinklers, and awesome days at the playground. Oh the hard life of a New York City kid. And now, the NYC Parks Department is poised to open its outdoor pools on Thursday, June 29, 2017, the day after public schools let out.

We've rounded up our picks for the best free pools in the city. These are all places we've visited personally, or have come highly recommended by families we know. But the city hosts more than 50 outdoor pools this summer, so it will be hard not to find one you like. Time to get swimming!

4th of July Fireworks Around Boston (the Esplanade and Beyond!)

If you’re looking for a fireworks show to celebrate Independence Day, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is a classic choice. Heading over to the Esplanade in the morning to stake out a spot, enjoying a picnic and the outdoors all afternoon, then in the evening hearing the 1812 overture as fireworks explode in the sky is a Boston tradition families have been enjoying for decades. 

But if the sounds and crowds on the Esplanade seem a bit overwhelming, there are plenty of other great options. Lots of towns around Boston put on their own 4th of July displays that are just right for families with young children. Read on for some wonderful local celebrations with fireworks and festive Independence Day activities happening June 24th through July 4th.

Best July 4th Fireworks for NJ Families from Jersey City to the Shore

From small-town celebrations to waterfront extravaganzas, we've got the scoop on NJ's best options for family-friendly fireworks shows on July 4th. You can cheer on the red, white, and blue in Atlantic City, which hosts one of the country's biggest celebrations; spread out a beach blanket and enjoy a display down the shore; take in the fireworks extravaganza at the New Jersey State Fair; or choose from more than a dozen other great shows happening throughout the state. 

In addition to fireworks, these July 4th celebrations include lots of other fun activities, such as parades, a Revolutionary War encampment, live music, and even a canoe race. Read on for 16 of our picks. 

For even more holiday-weekend fun, be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide.

Free Summer Concerts and Outdoor Concert Series in LA and OC

Check back often; we continue adding concerts throughout the season!

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or better yet, get out of the house. Summer in the Southland means outdoor concerts galore (and many are free!) at a host of local parks, museums, and public spaces from the coast to the hills to the Valleys. Go on, get out. Throw down a blanket, spread out the snacks, uncork the wine, and watch the kids boogie under the evening stars as you sway to some cool and breezy melodies. Below are some of our favorite free concert series that return every year; check our daily calendar to find dozens more!

Industry City's New Pop-Up Mini Golf Course Is a Hole in One

Industry City's Sunset Park has recently earned a little buzz as trendy food stalls, shops, and art and entertainment move in. This summer it ups the family-friendly appeal with a brand-new pop-up mini golf course (NYC's first new one in some years), ping pong, and concerts, all part of its "Summer Spree" programming launched May 20.

I've visited the 6-million-square-foot mixed-use space in this Brooklyn neighborhood a few times over the last couple years, but this is the first time I've thought of it as a destination for my family. But my pre-K-age kid had such a blast with the Brooklyn-themed mini golf and racing around the spacious outdoor courtyards that we've already made a family pact to make it a regular destination. 

Where to See Fourth of July Fireworks Around Houston

Stars and stripes, street festivals, live music and fanfare all make the Fourth of July spectacular, but no celebration is complete without an impressive display of fireworks. Luckily, when it comes to celebrating our nation's independence, there's one thing that's certain: the Bayou City knows how to light up the sky and throw down (...in a family-friendly way, of course). 

24 Firework Displays to Celebrate the 4th of July in Philly and at the Jersey Shore

Nothing says Independence Day like a great fireworks display. Philadelphia knows how to celebrate the birth of America. Start with what's being billed as the largest free concert in the United States with Party on the Parkway, where part of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be shut down and a lineup of great bands will play before a spectacular fireworks display above the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If being one of the thousands celebrating in the streets isn't your idea of a perfect 4th of July, there's a spectrum of events in many of the suburban towns around Philly like the Narberth Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks. Whether enjoying a local band and fireworks in your nearby park or joining the throngs on the Museum Mile, don't forget to bring your chairs, blankets, coolers with snacks, and a few activities to keep the kids entertained until the sky turns dark.  

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