New York City

A Special Offer on Summer Family Vacations at Smugglers' Notch Resort in Vermont

You may think of this top Vermont ski resort as a winter vacation spot, but with 8 pools, 4 water slides, and 2 natural reservoirs, Smugglers' Notch Resort makes a terrific summer family vacation destination. And, right now, Mommy Poppins readers can save $350 on a Summer Family Vacation Package. We made a trip to the resort ourselves so we could give you the inside scoop on this family-friendly find and get more details on this great deal.

Weekend Fun: City of Water, Back to the Beach, Bastille Day

Some weekends it feels like all the summer fun is happening at once—not that we're complaining!

Saturday brings City of Water Day to the Seaport, the It's Your Tern Festival to Governors Island, the Boardwalk Children's Festival to the Rockaways, Woodstock nostalgia to the Children's Museum of Manhattan, and Colonial ice cream flavors to Washington Heights.

On Sunday, cheer the Disability Pride Parade from Madison Square Park to Union Square, or allez-y vites to celebrate Bastille Day in Midtown East. Plus, you can dance to early American music at SummerStage's Family Day in Central Park.

Staten Island's Midland Beach hosts Back to the Beach all weekend, with live music, rides, and fab food—and it's a snap to get there from Manhattan. This weekend you can also rev your engines at the NYC E-Prix in Brooklyn, gorge on Italian treats at the Annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or practice 18th century military drills at the New York Historical Society's Continental Army Weekend celebration.

And that's just the tip of the calendar iceberg: Check out free outdoor movies, the best pools for toddlers and kids, a whopping list of 35 great summer day trips, and our boredom-busting rundown of 100 free things to do with kids this summer.

14 Great Ice Cream Shops in NYC for a Cool Summer Treat

Playgrounds, sprinklers, and cold, sweet, over-the-top treats are the things summer dreams are made of—and no, I'm not just thinking about the kids. Luckily, the culinary mecca of NYC is packed with ice cream shops, and many are close to our favorite play spots.

But sometimes, you need an ice cream spot to be the destination, not just a pit stop on a busy summer day. For those times, we present our list of the best scoop shops in the five boroughs, skipping the big-time chains in favor of local purveyors. Many source ingredients locally, craft their treats in small batches, and give back to the community and beyond, so you can feel a little less guilty about suggesting ice cream for lunch...or dinner...again. Read on for 14 summer hot spots serving up the best cold treats in town.

9 NYC Batting Cages That Hit It Outta the Park

For my family, no season is as sacred as the spring and summer baseball season, with its hours spent watching the game and playing Little League at our local ball fields. My son, who is serious about baseball, is always itching to get some real reps in, but there's only so much that can be tackled within the four walls of a cramped New York City apartment.

Luckily, the city has a slew of batting-cage options. Some even include private instruction and facilities where players can work on their fielding skills. Batter up!

45 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Long Island City, Queens

About 15 years ago, a friend told me Long Island City and Hunter’s Point were the up and coming places to be. At the time, the area seemed too industrial to be the next hot spot, but the subsequent years have proved my friend right. Who would have thought former warehouses would be renovated to become restaurants and boutiques and LIC would be full of young families, eager to enjoy the amazing waterfront parks and amenities? Apparently, not me.

The change is evident. Glass-enclosed condos have remade the shoreline skyline and new amenities seemingly pop up daily. There's so much to see and do in this family-friendly neighborhood. Here's our list of 45 fun things to do in Long Island City with kids. Now, go forth and explore!

25 Water Games for Kids To Play All Summer Long

Water games are an easy way to keep the kids entertained—and cool—this summer. From a simple water balloon toss to fancier DIY fun like sprinkler Twister, these outdoor games are sure to please all ages.

One year, I found myself home with both kids for a whole summer due to a shift in my career path, so we got pretty creative with the water games. There were 10 weeks to fill after all! Read on for our favorites—and you can also download this free printable with all 25 top water games for kids.

Need more free and cheap activities for the kids this summer break? Our family started a Boredom Busters jar: a painted Mason jar full of ideas to keep them busy (and tired out). Anyone complaining of boredom can open it and pick out an activity. Many of the ideas come from the Mommy Poppins' 100 Summer Play Activities List and Free Summer Fun Ideas. But their absolute favorites are the water games for splish-splashy, low-key summer fun.

10 Play Fountains Where NYC Kids Can Get Totally Soaked

While all three of my kids love to go for a dip, heading to one of NYC's public pools requires advance planning and me donning a bathing suit. Often, our summer fun is more spontaneous. For those hot summer days when we're out and about or need a last-minute distraction, I keep this list of play fountains in the back of my mind.

A more immersive experience than standard sprinkler parks, these play fountains feature shallow pools of water for wading, plus jets shooting H2O sky high. They're the perfect place for kids to frolic and get completely doused without mommy having to go all in—literally. Best of all? They're all completely FREE.

Here are 10 fun play fountains in NYC where kids can get absolutely soaked. Most opened for the season over Memorial Day weekend, though some start flowing earlier if temperatures hit 80 degrees.

A Tiny House Hotel Vacation Means Big Fun for Families

For traveling families, a tiny house rental can make the perfect hotel solution. It often comes with multiple beds without the cost of a pricey multiroom suite, as well as family-friendly amenities, such as stocked kitchens. It doesn't hurt that they're so very cute and often set among pretty landscapes, from beaches to forests and mountains. 

Tiny houses have grown in popularity in recent years as many of us try to reduce our footprint and that means a tiny house getaway is all the more accessible. There are now villages of tiny houses available for American vacationers. Tiny home resorts have cropped up, too, while some campgrounds and even urban areas have added a handful of rentable tiny homes to their grounds.

So pack light and check out these seven tiny house resorts that allow you and the kids to try on tiny living for size.

11 Queens Water Playgrounds and Sprinkler Parks

Let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t want to live by the schedule of open swim hours at your local NYC pool. Sometimes you just want to tire your kids out so they sleep until 6 (or even 7) in the morning. And sometimes you just want to relax outdoors with iced coffee and a book, but your children aren’t as into that idea as you are. This is why water playgrounds were invented...we're pretty sure, anyway.

While we already have profiled some of the top water playgrounds in other parts of the city as well as some of the top fountains for splashing, we can't forget our Queens families. So in the interest of parenting solidarity we’ve put together a list of eleven spraygrounds and water playgrounds in Queens. They’re all FREE, and as an added bonus most usually have an ice cream truck in the area—for the children, of course, totally for the children. 

Check out our NYC Beaches, Pools, and Water Parks Guide for more summer splashing, or our Summer Fun Guide for more seasonal activities for the kids.

Best Family Restaurants Near the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Garden

It's no secret that the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo, and Wave Hill are all cultural gems and year-round destinations for families, all located in our city's northernmost borough. The real question on many parents' minds, however, might actually be, “but where do we eat?” As a mother of three in the Bronx, that question is easy to answer. The hard part is narrowing down the plentiful options.

The surrounding neighborhoods of Riverdale and the Bronx Park area are just as picturesque and wonderful, with a wide variety of spots to stop off for a bite. So we've rounded up several dining options near each destination where families can fill up before or after a fun-filled day.

Find more great eats in our guide to Family-Friendly NYC Restaurants, including more near uptown city hot spots like the American Museum of Natural History and Lincoln Center.

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