Strawberries and Cherries and Stone Fruit, Oh My! Pick Your Own Berries in LA & OC

There is something magical about picking your own food. If you want to "get back to the land" within an hour of Los Angeles, there are myriad opportunities to go live a farmer's life for just a few hours and come home with your basket overflowing with berries. Whether you prefer strawberries, cherries, or stone fruit, picking your own berries is a fun (and tasty!) family activity that keeps on giving. Just three caveats: 1. Be sure to check the farm's hours and availability before heading out, as current conditions dictate the seasons; 2. Farms may charge small admission fees, and 3. Bring cash to pay for your harvest, because many places don't accept checks or credit. Then slather on the sun screen, don a wide-brimmed hat, and don't wear white, and bon appetit!

Weekday Picks: Strawberries, Fiesta Days, & Hello Kitty Meets the Dodgers

There's a whiff of summer in the air. And along with the longer days and warmer weather come annual events like the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival, the second largest city festival in the West, and La Canada's Fiesta Days, celebrating Spanish heritage and the arrival of summer. Speaking of summer, Hello Kitty is teaming up with the original Boys of Summer, the Dodgers, for Hello Kitty Night at Dodger Stadium this week.

To start making your plans for summer, check out our Summer Activities Guide, which includes the lowdown on parks and playgrounds with water features in LA, as well as similar splash parks in OC, and the 10 best beaches for kids and families, and more!

Still want more? There's always more! Check out our Mommy Poppins Event Calendar and picks for May in our GoList

Our picks for this week follow...

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Puppet Palooza, Swords, and Flag Garden; May 22-26

Thanks to all the smart cookies who joined me, Peppa Pig and PAW Patrol's Marshall at Bedford's Learning Express to do brainy games with Summer Brain Quest. It was a blast to see so many kids excited about learning—and about summerThis week gives us more reasons to get out of the house and learn something new. There are pop-up puppets telling classic fairy tales north of the river, and an event celebrating swords throughout history in the 'burbs. A beloved toy store will teach children about the Jewish holiday of Shavout through stories, and a South Shore museum will show kids how dirt is beneficial to a variety of critters and creatures. At week's end, parents can help kids absorb the meaning of Memorial Day through just the sort of visual display that children respond to: a breathtaking garden of flags planted in Boston Common. Have a great week, and take a peek at our Events Calendar for more fun ideas.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Country Fair, Memorial Day Crafts

While organized activities sometimes slow down before a holiday, there’s loads of fun in store in anticipation of Memorial Day weekend.

Don’t miss the second annual Country Fair as American as apple pie (pie-baking contest included!) and a local fundraiser, to boot. But first, get your holiday gear ready at a workshop where your kids can make a Memorial Day baton. For more art fun, take the mess outside at a splattering painting workshop that educates kids about the style of Jackson Pollock (bare feet recommended).

Read on for more on these and our other top picks—most of which are FREE. Our Event Calendar has many more offerings, so head there next. Sign up for our weekly newsletters to receive our highlights for Memorial Day weekend and beyond!

Help us choose our Besties and be entered to win one of two terrific prizes: a  a two night stay for four at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains or a family four-pack of admission tickets to Quassy Amusement Park and Waterpark in Middlebury, Connecticut.  Vote today!

Take the Subway to NYC Beaches: Coney, Rockaway, Orchard Beach

Fourteen miles of sparkling sand and crashing waves can be found in four of the five boroughs (sorry river-locked Manhattan), which is good news for NYC families. Because as much as we enjoy hitting the Jersey Shore, Fire Island, and other Long Island beaches, we're not big fans of renting cars and sitting in traffic.

New York City's beaches are just a subway, bus, or ferry ride away. From the "Bronx Rivera" to iconic Coney Island and the Rockaways, these urban seasides often offer just about everything suburban beaches do except the out-of-town commute.

The Best Beaches for Families on Long Island

Summer is heading our way. Soon you'll be digging out the swimsuits and sunscreen with one hand while filling a picnic basket with the other.

Stretching along the north and south shores of Long Island are dazzling beaches known for their family-friendly vibes and natural beauty. Whether you have younger kids looking for tranquil shores or older kids looking to body surf, there is a Long Island beach for you. It's time to get ready for cool sea breezes and the feeling of sand between your toes.

At Long Island's family beaches you'll find picnic areas, swimming pools, and bathroom complexes along with food trucks and umbrella rentals. Use our guide to choose the best beach for your family's needs. These beaches are open Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, unless noted. Prices listed are for summer 2017.

If you're in the mood to travel, check out our list of the best family beaches near New York City or our guide to the Jersey Shore area. For more family fun, see our Long Island amusement and water parks guide.

Weekday Fun for NJ Kids: Kite Festival, Farm Animals, Crafty Kids

Springtime is the perfect time to spend with farm animals. This week, meet some farm friends at Abma's Barnyard Visits, and learn more about farm inhabitants at Terhune Orchards’ Read & Pick with a farm theme. Zoo animals are in the spotlight as well at Turtle Back Zoo's Night Moves. Plus, go fly a kite or watch them soar through the sky, as the holiday weekend kicks off at Wildwoods International Kite Festival.

Read on for our best children's events the week of May 22–26, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar and May GoList for even more May fun.

Also, this is the last week to cast your vote for the New Jersey Besties! When you vote you'll be entered to win one of two terrific prizes: a luxurious NYC getaway including a suite credit from Suiteness and a custom itinerary designed by Mommy Poppins herself, Anna Fader, or a two-night stay for four at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains. The contest ends May 28, so vote today!  


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