Even Kids Love The Bard at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

If you read our recent post on free outdoor Shakespeare performances and loved the idea, but worried your kid couldn't handle it, we've got another recommendation. The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is doing performances of "The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)" that are so entertaining and funny that we had three kids (ages 5-10) at rapt attention for the entire show, laughing hysterically and (literally) quoting lines from Shakespeare the next day.

One of the geniuses of Shakespeare has always been that it works on so many levels. While we may think of Shakespeare's plays as the high brow and somewhat inaccessible, they are actually filled with lots of very low-brow humor, potty language and puns (the lowest form of humor), couched in flowery talk. Of course, The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) is a parody of Shakespeare's works, but they're working with some very rich material.

Top 5 Free Summer Programs for Kids

Our Summer Activity Guide is already filled with hundreds of fun free things to do with kids in New York City this summer, like free music in the parks, free outdoor movies and Free Summer Sports Activities, but the free stuff just doesn't stop. Until now, I just haven't had time to write up some of our favorite free summer programs. There's the free movie clubs, free children's theater, free bike rentals, free bowling, and more. Let FREE-dom ring!

News: NYC's secret places, Michael Jackson tribute, life-saving apps, furor over SAHDs, more

What a great summer this is turning out to be in NYC. The weather has stayed at quite civil temperatures making it that much more fun to roam the city taking advantage of all the great stuff to do. One thing that did heat up this week was some word wars over Park Slope's stay at home dads. If "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" maybe they should check out a cool tribute to Michael Jackson. We've also got some tips on a free movie screening, the secret places of NYC, free admission to National Parks, and iPhone apps that could save your life.

Also don't forget to enter our Susie's Supper Club Dinner Party Giveaway in our Summer Activity Guide. You could win a dinner party for 10 adults plus kids.

Weekend Events for NYC Kids July 10-12: New Markets, Free Movies, Muppets, Concerts and More

This weekend looks like a great one to head to some nearby beaches or the Jersey shore, but you don't have to ditch the pavement and run for the sand to enjoy a fabulous family weekend. Afterall, They Might Be Giants and The Muppets are here in the City, along with lions, tigers and bears--well, at least Dorothy and her little dog, too, plus some festivals and classes that will send you to Europe and Asia, sans airfare. So be sure to catch some waves, and some of these events, too.

Don't forget, we also have weekly listings for Long Island events and New Jersey events on their respective pages (whether you live there or are looking for a day trip). And of course, our event calendar is jammed with even more things to do, as is our Summer Activity Guide

Things to Do on a Family Beach Vacation in The Hamptons

Jill has spent alot of time in the Hamptons with her kids over Summer vacations. Here are her ideas for the best kid-friendly places to check out- Thanks, Jill!

Yes, the Hamptons get a lot of hype for being the playground of the rich and famous, but you don't have to be rich or famous or fashionable to enjoy these beautiful beaches. The Hamptons are a great family vacation destination, close to New York City, with some of the best, sandy beaches anywhere.  Plus, there's lots of fun activities, and places to eat, off the beach that make the Hamptons the perfect place for a family vacation getaway.

We've scoped out the best ideas on where to play, learn, and eat your way through  The Hamptons this Summer with your kids:

News: Mayoral Control Ends (Kind Of), Free Theater Program, Green Schools Petition, Beach Week, More

Last week we kicked off the summer season with some great giveaways: tons of passes to Playland, Sahara Sam's and the first of our Summer Dinner Party Giveaways (don't forget you can enter to win every week this summer in our Summer Activity Guide). Now, this week is Beach Week on Mommy Poppins. We've written about our top 5 family friendly beaches near NYC and the beaches of Staten Island, but all this week we'll be bringing you more tips, recommendations and guides for the best beaches in and around New York City.

In other news, the school year has ended, but the big news about public schools hasn't. Last week Bloomberg lost mayoral control, or did he? Find out more about this and also a petition to make school cafeterias more green, how to make your own mini magnetic travel games, the new celeb family moving to Park Slope and a totally free summer arts program for kids:

4th of July Weekend Events for Kids on Long Island: Activities, Celebrations and Fireworks

Still trying to make plans for this year's Holiday Weekend? We took some time to gather up some of Long Island's best Fourth of July celebrations for you to choose from. Step back in time with period games and a traditional parade, learn about and see birds of prey, picnic and, of course, find out where to catch the fireworks. Happy 4th. Have a great weekend.  

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