25 Summer Festivals and Fairs Not To Miss in LA and OC

What's summer without a good festival? And what's LA without at least 25 of them? We've pulled together 25 of the best summer festivals in Los Angeles and Orange County, from June through September. Whether it's celebrating community or something more specific—like salsa or lobster!—fairs and festivals are an essential part of a Southern California summer. Here's our guide to help your family make summer plans to bond over fried food, carnival rides, art, boats, and lots of outdoor music. 

Hit a Home Run With Your Kids at These CT Ballparks

If baseball beckons you every summer, like popsicles and pools, Connecticut can be a tricky place to live.  Is it Red Sox country?  A Yankee stronghold?  Mets loyal?  Probably all of the above, but Mommy Poppins has no intentions of wading into THAT debate.  Rather, we'll educate you on the alternatives right in your backyard -- minor league ballparks with major league fun.  They're perfect for the family, kind to your wallet, and spread out across the state.  Batter up!!

Beach Clubs In or Near New York City with Kid-Friendly Vibes

We're always writing about great things to do during your NYC summer staycation with the kids, but we want to add a new one to our ever-growing list: Join a beach club. All of these clubs offer members similar amenities: massive swimming pools; organized kids' activities like sports and arts and crafts, and sometimes even a day camp; spas, restaurants, and lounges; and, of course, access to pristine private beaches, so you have plenty of space to spread out.

Beach clubs sell seasonal memberships from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which give you access to their facilities. Most also offer optional rental accommodations like bath cabins or cabanas. Many are on Long Island’s South Shore and easily accessible by car, but we also managed to find one in Brooklyn you can reach by subway.

Riverhead Day Trip: The Best of This East End Town for Kids

Whether you're day tripping or hunkering down for a few days, Riverhead, on Long Island's East End, offers plenty to do and see for all. From farms to sporting venues, visitors can enjoy a quaint Main Street feel or a rustic farm experience to a gorgeous and kid-centric aquarium.

Located at the end of the Long Island Expressway, the community of Riverhead boasts family-friendly wineries, vintage ice cream parlors, Long Island Sound beaches, and plenty more to entertain your kids. Long Island's largest water park, Splish Splash, is technically in Calverton, part of the larger town of Riverhead, but not a part of the village.

For more fun expeditions, check out our guide to day trips on Long Island. Keep up to date with East End happenings with our Hamptons & North Fork Guide.

New Jersey Summer Camps with Availability —Yes, Even Now!

Summer vacation may be staring you in the face, but there's no need to panic—several camps in and around New Jersey still have space. All of the camps listed below are still open for enrollment as of this publish date.

Whether you're looking for a day camp for your preschooler or a sleepaway camp for your tween, you'll find it here! 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 try some of our 100 things to do with kids in New Jersey before they grow up.) 

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

A Visit to the New England Carousel Museum

Most children love carousels and Connecticut features quite a few places where you can catch a ride on a merry-go-round. The New England Carousel Museum, a little-known gem in the Hartford area, goes beyond offering the opportunity for a whirl. Here you will find hundreds of carousel figurines on display, or being repaired and restored. Though it is small, the Bristol-based museum is still a fascinating place, geared toward older children and adults -- artists, historians, and carousel connoisseurs are sure to appreciate the fragile exhibits. Young children will enjoy feasting their eyes upon the colorful figurines, but without much opportunity for hands-on interaction, they could also lose interest quicker. Still, this is definitely one of the Fun Things To Do With Kids in Bristol and can be a quick stop on a day filled with other in-town adventures.

The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum Opens in Springfield

Just in time for summer vacation and exciting road trips, the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum opened a few days ago, attracting more than 2,000 visitors to Springfield—the hometown of Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, the beloved author whose books and characters are synonymous with childhood. The museum incorporates many neighborhood elements that inspired Geisel and infused his tales, and that’s not surprising since Springfield is rich in culture and history. This summer, consider a trip to the World of Seuss, as well as the other museums and attractions that make this city a super destination for families. 

This Weekend's Fun for LA Kids: CicLAvia, Paddleboard, Fun-a-Palooza, and Honey Fest

This is it for a lot of you. It's not about key holidays or balmy weather: our summers are defined by our kids' academic years. And for the vast majority of LA area parents, the summer is starting or has done so already. The kids are home and looking for something to do. Looking to you, for something to do. And so you find yourself looking, with just the barest hint of desperation, for something for them to do.

Well lookee here. Mommy Poppins is filled with endless options of somethings to do. Because for us, this time of year is all about jam-packed calendars, with tons of movie series and concert series and library programs and festivals (omigosh, the festivals!). If it's free  and fun,  unusual or awesome, terpsichorean or thought-provoking, we've sussed it out and spelled out the deets. It's like our usual calendar, but on steroids caffeine.

So get out there and enjoy your summer, folks. Ready or not, here it comes!

Keep reading for a whole lot of somethings to do this weekend... 

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