Weekday Picks: Live Music, Composting, and Farm Animals, July 17-21, 2017

Outdoor concerts, raspberry and blueberry picking, and beach days. You've just gotta love summer in Connecticut. This week you can teach the kids about composting, the upcoming solar eclipse, and enjoy live music and entertainment at a Street Fest. And when the rain showers come, there are plenty of indoor places for fun.

As always, the Event Calendar is continually updated with events so check back often and follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest to be sure you don't miss a thing.

25 Things to Do With Kids in the Lower Naugatuck Valley

Tucked in between Fairfield and New Haven counties, the Lower Naugatuck Valley or just, 'The Valley,' is really a hidden bucolic paradise. From Shelton to Southbury, the valley offers plenty of New England backcountry to explore. Head to Derby for some of the best farmstead ice cream in the state or hike up Southford Falls for a panoramic view of sweeping hills and a killer sunset. Climb to the top of the towering Pease Place playscape and cool off in the lagoon at Indian Wells State Park. Here's our list of the top 25 things to do in the valley with your kiddos.

Giant Balloon Animals Are on Display in Downtown LA

It’s July; the kids are bouncing off the walls, and there's still more than a month until school starts. You're beginning to think there aren't possibly enough activities in the world to keep your children entertained all summer long, when a can't-miss art installation opens in Downtown LA that's fun for the whole family.

Animal Soul, which is on display July 14-22, is composed of giant balloon creatures located at two DTLA venues: FIGat7th and the Wells Fargo Center. And if you're looking for an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation about art with your kids, artist Jason Hackenwerth believes his expansive exhibit fits the bill.

Little Damage in DTLA: Want Some Charcoal in Your Ice Cream?

When I became a parent, a mom friend told me that what I could look forward to was the return of the simple, perfect joy of an ice cream cone. The image of gleefully chasing an ice cream truck warmed my heart. But now that my kid is a teenager, that ice cream glee looks a little different. It looks like Little Damage, the social media phenomenon that has people standing in line for an hour on a DTLA street corner to eat a black ice cream cone, only AFTER they have photographed it and shared it with a few hundred friends. This summer, the ice cream that brings joy is charcoal flavored.

Swim Time at 'The Brook': Summer Visits at Tibbetts Brook Park in Yonkers

One of Westchester County's official parks, Tibbetts Brook Park in Yonkers features a jewel of a water area—calling it just a "pool" really doesn't do it justice.

Families with kids of all ages can find ways to splash, play, slide, float and cool off at "The Brook." We're frequent visitors to this awesome water spot, and we recently took another trip to see how 2017 is shaping up. Read on for the inside scoop and on how to get the most out of your visit. 

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50 Ways To Cool Off in NYC with Kids This Summer

As summer weather begins to sizzle, there's no denying that the heat and humidity can get under the skin of even the most tropical-weather-loving New Yorker. To beat the heat, my kids (and my inner child) insist any outing includes water, industrial strength air-conditioning, or sweet frozen treats.

While we enjoy hitting our local public pool and running around the sprinklers (oh yes, I get in there, too), lately we've been longing for more diverse destinations. That inspired us to round up our favorite ways to cool off in New York City.

Our list includes a variety of destinations; some are brand-new, while others are old standbys. The list includes outdoor spots like extra-special water playgrounds, awesome pools, and splashy boat rides, and indoor havens such as kid-friendly museums. Many of our suggestions are FREE and we even included exceptional frozen-treat spots, so you can indulge in ice cream and more. So strike while the weather's hot: Here are our top 50 ways to cool off with kids in NYC this summer.

Family-Friendly Boat Rides on Long Island

All aboard! Set sail this summer for sightseeing, whale watching, marine critter catching, or just a good time out on the water. Up and down the shores of Long Island, you can catch a variety of boat tours to take you on fabulous nautical adventures sure to create lasting memories.

Here are voyages we think are especially worthwhile. Prices are as of July 2017.

For more Long Island adventures, check out our guide to summer fun, our list of 100 things do with kids here, and even our guide to seasonal day trips from Long Island.  

7 Great Jersey Shore Lighthouses to See with Kids

New Jersey is home to nearly a dozen lighthouses that are open to the public. Whether your kids are old enough to climb up to the top or not, there's plenty to do and see on a lighthouse tour. Most are located near beaches or state parks full of family-friendly diversions, so they make great destinations for day trips. This is an affordable—sometimes even free—summer activity your whole family will love. We've rounded up a few of our favorites.

For more Jersey Shore fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide and Summer Fun Guide.

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