Weekday Picks: Greek Festival, Spring Nature, and a Fishing Derby, May 16-20

 This week you'll find all sorts of fun things to do around the state. See the show, "When She Had Wings", have some spring fun in nature, or attend a Greek Festival. Whatever you choose, it's sure to be a great memory for you and the kids. Also, in case you haven't noticed, we've got a new site! Tell us what you think and be entered for your chance to win this amazing trip to Club Med Punta Cana!

To make sure you don't ever miss out on any fun across the state, check our frequently updated Event Calendar and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Messy Science, Truck Day, May 16-20

The week ahead is rife with opportunities for Westchester families to explore. From messy science to DNA, several of our top picks for the week invite participants to probe.

Unravel the mysteries of DNA at What Makes You YOU?, roam assorted vehicles at Truck Day or experiment with kitchen chemistry at Make a Mess Mad Science.

This is just a sampling of what’s in store; for more options to choose from, read on and continue to our Event Calendar to plan the rest of May. Most of our weekday picks are FREE!

How do you like the new design of our website? Let us know what you think and enter for the chance to win a four-day trip to Club Med Punta Cana

Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers in and Near NYC

For young children, a ride on a carousel’s painted pony, a spin with dad around the bumper car track and a dripping swirl of frozen custard are the stuff summer memories are made of. No need to seek out the latest scary high-tech roller coasters (which means you can cross Luna Park's most scary rides off your list).

Rides that look mild (or frankly, downright boring) to big people usually provide just the right amount of thrills for toddlers and preschoolers. Happily, there are a number of amusement parks and water parks in and near New York City that offer these kinds of tame attractions. Here's our roundup of theme parks that are perfect for the pint-sized.

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Outdoors, Concerts, Museums May 16-20

Philly families can tell that spring is here. Birds are chirping, lawnmowers are humming and springtime gardens are blooming. Our Events Calendar also clues us in to the time of year with a multitude of options for springtime fun.

Children ready to explore the outdoors can participate in storytimes, outdoor hikes and nature playgroups. Families ready to watch outdoor movies and listen to outdoor concerts are in luck. Just this week alone, Upper Gwynedd Township starts its Summer Breeze concert series and The Market at DelVal begins its Wine Concert series. However, if spring showers chase you indoors, visit one of the museums offering discounted, pay what you wish or free admission this week.

At the end of the day, once the kids are settled into bed, consider taking some time to share your ideas on ways to help us improve our site. You may just win a family trip to Club Med Punta Cana!

Weekday Fun: Kings County Fair, Legos, Concerts, Free Fun

This week, NYC offers up both indoor and outdoor fun for families. Participate in alfresco hands-on workshops, games and other fun at FAB Friday or be there for the opening of the Kings County Fair. Inside fun includes the New York Public Library's medieval-themed Lego building workshops and a FREE Vered and the Babes Concert at the Dweck Center.

Looking for more weekday fun? Visit the cool Salt Marsh Nature Center, take a two-wheeler for a ride in honor of National Bike Month or scramble up the recently opened DUMBO Boulders outdoor climbing wall. If you still have time after all that, you can always explore a new-to-you playground or neighborhood to round out the week.

Don't forget, there's more family fun to be found in our Event Calendar and NYC Spring Guide.

Best Fashion Classes for NJ Kids and Teens

Kids can be little trendsetters and fashionistas, and when it comes to their wardrobe, they definitely what they like and don't like. If your child has a keen interest in fashion and sewing, and vows to attend a fashion-oriented college someday, perhaps they'd be interested in one of New Jersey's kid-friendly fashion design classes. Here's a list of the top programs that your budding Rachel Roy or Zac Posen (Hey, you never know, right?!) may find engaging and informative. It's fun for kids to tap into their creativity-- and they can get their paint on, too!

NYC Toy Stores for Special Needs Children

As anyone who's gone toy shopping in NYC knows, the choices are endless. For parents of children with special needs, shopping for toys brings on a whole different bunch of considerations. I've learned this whether buying or receiving toys as gifts for my two children who each received Early Intervention services.

Whether you're shopping for your own special-needs child or the child of a friend or relative, here are some New York City toy stores that carry outstanding products for children of all abilities. There are no chain stores here, just excellent independent shops where you'll get personalized attention (if you want it) from a knowledgeable staff who has seen and heard it all.

Pick-Your-Own Berry Farms in Connecticut

The abundance and availability of fresh food at this time of the year is a real treat. Being able to pick our own fruits and vegetables at local farms makes the bounty taste even sweeter. Not only is it a fun family activity, it's also a great way to teach children about where their food comes from and to engage them in its preparation process.

Right now, strawberry picking is just getting under way, but don't hesitate: on some farms the picking season lasts just a few weeks.  For more pick-your-own options in Connecticut, check out our posts about strawberry picking in Hartford County and blueberry picking farms. Happy picking - and baking - and eating!

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