New York City

Fourth of July Weekend Fun: Fireworks, Water Festival, Women's World Cup

Happy 4th of July!

July is here at last, and outdoor fun is pretty much baked in. Independence day crackles with fireworks displays and, for those less inclined toward sonic booms, noise-free activities!

This weekend's al fresco options include a Water Festival on the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk, a Lou Gallo musical storytime in Bryant Park, using books to create architectural sculptures at Socrates Sculpture Park, an outdoor screening of the Women's World Cup finals in Brooklyn, a Suzi Shelton concert for kids in Fort Greene Park, and a wildlife tour of the Highline focusing on pollinators and migratory birds. If you're still feeling a bit post-July 4 revolutionary, don't miss the opportunity to hang out with George Washington in his campaign tent on the upper West side!

Looking for something cool and indoors? It's Beatles week at Industry City's Rock and Roll Playhouse in Brooklyn, take little ones to see the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre version of Puss in Boots, or check out the PuppetWorks double-header: Peter and the Wolf and The Frog Prince. Plus there's still time to visit the Paley Center's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles celebration (it ends next weekend).

Don't forget to check our list of water playgrounds and sprinklers if you're looking for another way to cool down (or just have a kid who loves a good splash). Or take the family out of New York City altogether to pick berries or go camping.

For more fun, consult our complete July GoList, our packed Summer Fun Guide, and our fun-filled Event Calendar.

Carl Schurz Park: 10 Things to Do With Kids in This Upper East Side Gem

Carl Schurz Park on Manhattan's Upper East Side is a jewel of an urban green space. Nestled between East End Avenue and the East River, the 15-acre waterfront park spans six city blocks. While it can't match the Upper East Side's other big green space, Central Park, in size, Carl Schurz Park is charming in its own right with lovely arched bridges, wide paved waterfront walkways, flower-filled gardens, lush landscaping, towering old shade-producing trees, an iconic statue, a perpetually busy playground, and equally packed events calendar.

It's not surprising Carl Schurz has so much in common with Central Park: It was masterminded in 1902 by none other than Calvert Vaux (half of the duo that created Central Park and Prospect Park). Carl Schurz also has one attraction no other NYC park will ever have: The historic Gracie Mansion, which is home to New York City's mayor.

Here are 10 fun things to do in this jewel of a green space no matter the season.

Fun Things to Do on July 4th in NYC If Your Family Doesn’t Like Fireworks

Fireworks just aren't for everyone. For little kids especially, the loud noises and flashing lights in the sky can be overwhelming and a little scary. If that's the case in your family, the Fourth of July might be a bit of a challenge in New York City.

But no worries: You don't have to line up midday to stand in a crush of strangers and then wait for nightfall to watch the sky explode in order to enjoy this holiday in NYC. We've got a cool dozen ideas to help you navigate the birth of our nation, gunpowder-free!

Of course, you can also always turn to our July GoList, our compendium of 100 Free Things to do with NYC Kids This Summer, and our bulging calendar for more ideas. Happy 4th!

Get Ready for the World's Largest Inflatable 5k Obstacle Course

If you and your children adore trampolines and bounce houses, this family-friendly 5k will be right up your alley: Get "pumped up" to grab your running shoes and your most breathable clothing, because the Insane Inflatable 5K is coming your way.

Touring the country this summer and fall—including stops in Chicago, the Hudson Valley, the Poconos, and Houston—this unique fun-run features giant inflatables which form an enormous obstacle course. Inflatable fun that parents and kids can enjoy together? Count us in! 

Best Fourth of July Activities for Kids That Aren't Fireworks

It's Fourth of July week, and the kids are itching for something fun to do before the big fireworks show. Keep them entertained with these Independence Day activities, including patriotic crafts, cooking projects, and even day trips.

We've rounded up plenty of kid-friendly things to do this Fourth of July, including for toddlers and preschoolers who might prefer to avoid those startling (and thunderous) sky explosions. But we didn't neglect the big kid and teen activities either.

Find more at-home activity ideas in our Boredom Busters for Kids guide, including 100 Awesome Crafts and the Ultimate Summer Play List.

Mommy Poppins Great Big Summer Giveaway!

Yes, Mommy Poppins is your go-to for fun all year round, but especially summertime – our Summer Guides and local family event calendars are jam packed with outings and activities galore. But we wanted to put a little extra sizzle in your season, so this summer we’re hosting our biggest giveaway ever! Each week, for the entire summer, we’re giving away a different awesome prize package.

Best Things to Do with NYC Kids: July GoList

Welcome to the first full month of summer! Our monthly GoList of the absolute best things to do with kids throughout July includes some of our favorite FREE annual events—happenings my family and I mark on our calendar every year. Enjoy the always FREE Fourth of July fireworks spectacle and no-cost boat rides thanks to City of Water Day. There's also Bastille Day on East 60th StreetCome Out & Play Family Day, and the  — all are FREE, too!

In addition to family-friendly festivals, we're also looking forward to some spectacular performing arts—from dance to theater to music—as well as the world's biggest bounce house, so get your calendars ready! Here are the top 18 things to do with kids in New York City this July—most of which are 100% FREE.

50 Fun Things to Do on Cape Cod with Kids this Summer

Looking for fun things to do in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with the kids? We're regulars to the beautiful Cape Cod area and are happy to share our favorite family attractions. Known for its pristine beaches, legendary seafood, charming main streets, and a seemingly endless supply of kids activities, the Cape makes an ideal family vacation destination.

Of course, a trip to Cape Cod usually means a focus on low-key activities to wipe the school-year stress away with those sea breezes. Don't fret. From the moment you cross over the Sagamore Bridge, you are on Cape Time. Say goodbye to schedules and uncomfortable shoes and hello to family-time and flip-flops. Spend the day splashing in the water or building sandcastles. Try out mini golf after a leisurely dinner feast of lobster rolls.

Best Free NYC Swimming Pools for Toddlers and Kids

It's summertime and the livin' is easy—beaches, sprinklers, and awesome days at the playground. Oh the hard life of a New York City kid. And in 2019, the NYC Parks Department opens its outdoor pools on Thursday, June 27, the day after public schools let out.

We've rounded up our picks for the best free pools in the city. These are all places we've visited personally, or have come highly recommended by families we know. The city hosts more than 50 outdoor pools this summer, so it will be hard not to find one you like. Time to get swimming!

Belvedere Castle Reopens After Extensive 15-Month Restoration

Princes and princesses take note: Following a comprehensive 15-month restoration project, Belvedere Castle reopens to the public today in Central Park, bringing with it structural and decorative upgrades and familiar views waiting to be explored, just in time for summer. For families, new kid-friendly nature programs encourage exploration of the castle's lovely grounds. For a look at what's new (and renewed) at this treasured Central Park landmark, read on.

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