August GoList: Best Things To Do with Philly Kids This Month

It’s nearly impossible to believe that summer starts to wind down this month, but not before families soak up the last bit of summer fun. And for this, August does not disappoint. We’ve rounded up 13 happenings around the Philly area that we think you and your kids will love.

Besides what’s on our list, don’t forget to catch a free outdoor movie or music concert before the season ends, cool off at an area splash pad, and find a place to unwind with a brew while the kids happily play close by or grab an ice cream cone. And as always, dive into our full events calendar for more  ideas for August fun.

Where To Rent Paddleboats and Rowboats in New Jersey

Looking for a great summer outing that’ll float the family’s boat? A ride in a paddleboat (sometimes called a pedal boat) or rowboat offers panoramic views of New Jersey's scenic parks and lakes, and an opportunity for family time that may actually be peaceful. 

Paddleboat rentals are available throughout the state. Check the specific paddling locations for any age or weight restrictions, then sit back and enjoy the ride. (And don't forget the sunscreen!)

Feeling more adventurous? Find the best places for tubing and rafting in and around NJ.

100+ Free Outdoor Family Movies This August in NYC

In August, FREE outdoor movies can be found almost every night in New York City. Not all are family-friendly, though, so we've rounded up those that are. Behold: More than 100 FREE outdoor movies this August, most rated G, PG, or PG-13, organized by date. All you need to do is carve out time in your busy NYC summer schedule and pack a blanket and snacks.

Click through to our listings for details, including addresses and times. Arrive early to stake out a good spot—plus, some outdoor film series also include pre-screening fun, like kids' activities and music. In case of rain, movies may be canceled, so before heading out check the series' official websites for weather-related updates. 

Let Imaginations Take Flight at the American Helicopter Museum

From little two seaters to giant military helicopters, the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester (about 40 minutes east of Philadelphia), gives kids hands-on experience with rotary-winged aviation. Moms, dads, and grandparents alike will enjoy giving their little ones an hour or two of fun learning in a location that’s easy to get to, offers free parking, and isn’t a sensory overload. This museum is a regular on my list of things to do on hot summer days, rainy winter afternoons, whenever the grandparents come for a visit, or really anytime we want to get out of the house and look at fun “things that go.”

After having been to the American Helicopter Museum many times with my three children, here are my thoughts and some tips on making the most of your visit.

LI Day Trip: Fun Things to Do With Kids on Shelter Island

As if a ferry ride itself isn’t enough excitement for your little ones, there’s plenty more to explore on Shelter Island. Nestled between the two forks on the East End of Long Island, this 27-square-mile island boasts family-friendly activities, spectacular views and a host of wildlife. Just a seven-minute ferry from Greenport or North Haven (near Sag Harbor) will get you there. The north ferry leaves you in Shelter Island Heights while the south ferry drops you off at the opening of Smith Cove. 

Our Hamptons and North Fork Guide is packed with family-friendly activities on Shelter Island and all of the East End of Long Island, including 50 ideas of what to do and where. Drum up ideas for other summer day trips to places like New York City, the Hudson Valley and more. 

Brookhollow’s Barnyard: A Sweet NJ Petting Zoo with the Cutest Animals

I’ve lived in New Jersey my entire life—30 years—and I’m devastated that it’s taken me so long to learn about Brookhollow’s Barnyard, a sweet petting farm that is Boonton's best kept secret. The family-run farm not only entertained my own baby animal, but it kept my husband and me smiling for hours (on one of the most humid mornings of the summer, yet!).

If you’re antsy to zip away from your own zany zoo at home, and have a few hours to kill on an upcoming weekend, you have to check this place out. And check out our guide to NJ farms for even more family-friendly fun, from pick-your-own fruit to top "agritainment" centers.

Destination Playground: Harlem's Riverbank State Park

If you're looking for an escape from the city that costs nothing more than a MetroCard swipe, hop the bus to Denny Ferrell Riverbank State Park, one of a handful of state parks within New York City limits. Riverbank State Park occupies 28 acres on Manhattan's west side in Harlem, offering beautiful views and tons of options for outdoor fun. An afternoon here feels almost like an out-of-the-city day trip.

Whether you're in the mood for a dip in the pool, a run through the sprinklers, or a twirl around the rink in winter or summer, this complex has it all, plus plenty of reasonably priced classes, sports programs, and even an inexpensive summer camp.

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Forest Forensics, Rock the Summer, and a Tournament of Nations, July 28-29

Connecticut is one of the most heavily wooded states in the country, but how much do you know about the furry and scaly critters that lurk just yards from your house? Learn to be a nature sleuth with the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation's Forensic Forest program this weekend. 

If the Great Outdoors isn't your thing, perhaps you love the arts? Head down to the Valley for a Rock the Summer family benefit concert to support musical education featuring NRBQ. Into sports? Go see live world class women's soccer as four of the top international teams come to Connecticut. Team USA takes on Australia and Japan battles Brazil at the Tournament of Nations.

For even more options, check out our event calendar, which we update throughout the week with new listings from across the state. To keep up with everything going on in CT, follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Have a great weekend! 


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