25 Ways To Keep Enjoying Summer after School Begins

Whether you're relieved by the quiet or disturbed by the abrupt ending, most LA families are using those three little words (back to school) a whole lot earlier than they used to. Of course, getting our back-to-school shopping out of the way early doesn't change the weather; there might be no child left behind at the beach, but it's still summer. If your family is not ready for summer to end, pick a few items off our Endless Summer List and go have some fun in the sun!

New Play 'Studio' Opens in Queens for Babies, Toddlers and School Kids

It's no secret that the Queens neighborhoods of Sunnyside and Woodside are loaded with kids and families, and while we're spoiled with fantastic parks and libraries, the popular area is definitely lacking indoor play spaces.

Sure there's Chuck E. Cheese's, but try finding a local drop-in play spot on a rainy or too cold or too hot day, and you're sure to hear other parents complain about the dearth of options—until now. Sabrina's Play Studio opened this summer on busy Queens Boulevard across from the New Calvary Cemetery, and parents immediately, with their toddlers and older kids in tow, began to queue.

Check out our review of this bright, indoor kids' playground in western Queens that offers both weekday and weekend drop-in play sessions.

Connecticut Beaches with Playgrounds

When you have young children, the beach can seem like more trouble than it's worth—the swim diapers, the water wings, the picnic lunch, the blankets, the towels, the sand everywhere. But throw in a beachside playground, and suddenly you're more willing to make a go of it. There are several spots in Connecticut, be it Fairfield County, New Haven County or out East, where kids can enjoy the best of land and sea together, with a playground plunked down near the water's edge. A handful are quite new, and celebrate the lives of children lost on 12-14-12 in colorful splendor. For more info on CT Beaches check out our CT Beach and Water Fun Guide.

Bird Watching with Long Island Kids

Nature is abound on Long Island and one way to squeeze in some quality family time is to learn which animals share our home. Luckily, various kinds of birds can be found here throughout the year and families can learn more about where the best spots are to watch our feathered friends take flight.

Can't get enough? We've also rounded up places where you can have an Animal Encounter or On the Farm birthday party.

Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Pirate Adventure, County Fair, Minecraft Sundays, August 22-23

Soak up these last few weekends of summer with big family fun! Round up the troops and head to the Hunterdon County 4-H Fair for tractor pulls and down home eats, get in on some swashbuckling action during the Oasis Pirate Adventure or check out the Laurita Winery Food Trucks & Fireworks Festival for both grown up and kid-friendly activities. Need a jump on back-to-school learning? Sign up for the Bats for Beginners program at Tenafly Nature Center or learn about colonial craftsmanship firsthand during Industrial Crafts Day at Cooper Gristmill Park. Whatever you decide to do this weekend, we hope you enjoy it with family and friends. For even more activity options, check out our Event Calendar and our Summer Fun Guide.

Weekend Fun for LI Families in the Hamptons & North Fork, August 20-23

So the countdown to the unofficial end of summer has begun. That doesn’t mean, however, that enterprising parents won’t find plenty to do on the East End of Long Island this weekend.

From car shows to barbecues and cardboard boat racing, late-summer events dot the landscape of the North and South Forks as communities squeeze out that last ounce of vacation before the kids return to school.

And for more exciting events, check out our LI Calendar, as well as our Hamptons and North Fork Family Guide.

Harry Potter Hamlet: Something Is Silly in the City of Culver

One of my favorite things about August in LA is Culver City's annual Shakespeare in the Park, courtesy of the Actors' Gang. Each year the Gang gives an upbeat, modern makeover to a different Shakespeare play aimed at families; recent highlights have included the Superhero Twelfth Night, the Star Wars Romeo and Juliet, and the My Little Pony Midsummer Night's Dream. This summer, Media Park comes alive every Saturday and Sunday morning with the Harry Potter Hamlet; and to go or not to go is hardly a question.

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