Weekend Fun: Sunflowers, Outdoor Movies, and Fairy Tale Theater, July 22-23

The temperatures this week made everyone in my house short-tempered and cranky--especially me--so I'm looking forward to a weekend with plenty of opportunities to cool off and chill out. Saturday's opening of Sunflowers for Wishes at Buttonwood Farm looks like just the thing to cheer us all up (in addition to the gorgeous sunflowers, did I mention there's homemade ice cream?). Some theatrical magic might also lift our spirits, with performances at the Summer Theatre of New Canaan or the last weekend of the Richter's Fairy Tale Theater (note the new performance location in Bethel). 

If all else fails, there are plenty of outdoor movies on the calendar this weekend, from Secret Life of Pets at Shady Beach in Norwalk to Zootopia at Mill River Park in Stamford to Sing at Riverwalk in Shelton to The BFG at The Shoppes at Farmington Valley in Canton. For more ideas, check the Mommy Poppins events calendar and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Stay cool out there!

Governors Island Will Stay Open Through Halloween

The good news keeps rolling in on our favorite (formerly summer-only) destination: Governors Island is expanding its season through October 31. Last year it closed up for the season in late September, and previously, Labor Day weekend had been its typical closing date.

The news, announced by the Trust for Governors Island on Tuesday, July 18, comes on the heels of the isle opening a month early this spring, meaning the 2017 season now runs a full six months giving visitors a chance to enjoy an entirely new season and more rich programming on the island.

The mega green space is slowly creeping toward its goal of year-round fun. Read on for details of what's in store for its fall programming, including a cool Halloween event that we're sure is going to rocket to the top of every New York family's must-do list for October.

Reel It In: 16 Places To Go Fishing with Philly Kids

When I was a kid, going out for a day of fishing with mom or dad (or one of my grandparents) was such a treat! It usually meant some quality alone time where I could ask all of life's questions, get honest answers, and possibly end the day with an ice cream treat. With a huge variety of fish and well-stocked waters in the region’s lakes, rivers, and streams, there are plenty of great spots to check out for a fun day of bonding over the age old pastime of fishing. Even if you don't get a bite, chances are you will walk away with memories that make it all worthwhile.

Looking for more ways to get outdoors with your little ones? How about a hiking trip, a picnic, an adventure out on the water, or even a little cave exploration?

Staten Island with Kids: Top 50 Things to Do for Families

When you ask most New Yorkers what they know about Staten Island, they name-check the Staten Island Ferry and then just stare blankly. But as a mom raising her two sons in NYC's "forgotten borough," I know firsthand how enriching and fun Staten Island can be for families, both residents and visitors.

St. George, where you disembark from the ferry, is probably the neighborhood that feels most like the rest of NYC, in large part because it offers awesome views of the downtown Manhattan skyline to remind you of where you are. Many borough attractions are located here, including the Minor League Staten Island Yankees stadium, the stunning St. George Theatre, the sobering Staten Island September 11 Memorial, the Staten Island Museum, plus lots of restaurants, quaint Victorian townhouses and the in-development 630-foot-tall observation wheel.

But go further inland and it's not just all malls and suburban sprawl. With almost 12,300 acres of protected parkland, Staten Island is rightly known as the greenest borough and boasts some of the most beautiful parks in the city like the Greenbelt, which is home to living history museum, Historic Richmond Town, and the Carousel for All Children. We also have a lot of drop-in indoor play spaces, including one of NYC's few remaining roller rinks, and even a trampoline park. And there are lots of culture spots, too, like the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden and small, esoteric museums located in lovely historic homes like the Alice Austen House. While a car is helpful in terms of getting around, we actually do have public transportation.

Check out the top 50 things to do in the borough with kids.

Weekend Fun: Storybook Celebration, Orange County Fair, Pirate Adventure

Summer is in full swing and the temperatures are soaring, but that doesn't mean there isn’t fun to be had. Whether you’re looking for carnival festivities at the Orange County Fair, a Caboose Mystery, or a Pirate Adventure, there is something going on for just about everyone this weekend.

If you want to cool off, check out our list of Free Beaches or Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads in New Jersey. See the July GoList for family fun options that can’t be missed, and don't forget to check our Event Calendar for a full listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Dutchess Destination: 20 Things to Do with Kids in Hyde Park

Hyde Park in Dutchess County—not to be confused with New Hyde Park on Long Island—may be best known as the former home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but it boasts many other attractions that make it a fun family day-trip spot.

In addition to FDR, the Vanderbilts also planted roots and left behind a magnificent estate for public viewing. The Culinary Institute of America has a campus in Hyde Park, offering not only instruction but several student-run restaurants. And with its proximity to the Hudson River and other neighboring towns like Rhinebeck and Poughkeepsie, there’s a ton to do.

Read on for our top picks and cost-saving tips for visiting Hyde Park with families, based on first-hand experience! Looking for more family fun? Consult our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

Providence WaterFire: Tips for an Amazing Outdoor Experience with Your Family

WaterFire just might be the greatest thing that’s ever happened to Providence, Rhode Island. In the 23 years since the first bonfires were lit on the rivers in Providence, the brilliant and moving art installation has helped to transform the city into a vibrant, family-friendly destination.

Part community festival and part art exhibition—complete with bonfires juxtaposed with water, music, arts and crafts vendors, boat rides, and live performances—WaterFire is held on various evenings from late April through early November. And spectators will tell you: It's an event not to be missed. But just like other wonderful, very popular events such as First Night Boston, getting the inside scoop on WaterFire can mean the difference between having a magical evening with the family and a really long night. Here are 25 things to look for and to know before you go—with wisdom learned (sometimes the hard way) from my family’s experience and from the very knowledgeable team at WaterFire

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