32 Things We Can't Wait to Do With Houston Kids This Summer

Summer's here and the living's easy, so take advantage of these longer days by trying new activities and exploring greater Houston! From festivals to day trips, this summer will fly by with all the exciting places to go and events to check out. Here is a list of the top 25 things we can't wait to do in the Bayou City from Memorial Day to Labor Day. So grab your kiddos and join us in enjoying all that Houston has to offer for kids and families, even on those 100 degree days.

22 Best Water Playgrounds and Sprinklers for Kids in NYC

When we were growing up, New York City playgrounds had sprinklers. Now parks and playgrounds across the five boroughs possess "water features"—fountains, geysers, rivers, pumps, and beautiful spraying statues. Kids just love them, and we parents prefer these newfangled playgrounds because they're pretty and cool, and make us feel as if our exorbitant NYC housing costs are justified.

As the city's sprinkler season gets into gear, it's good to know where to find the wildest and wettest playgrounds around. There are hundreds of water features in NYC parks, and we've highlighted some favorites by borough: the best in Brooklyn, best of Queens, and best of the Bronx. Some are cooler (literally and figuratively) than others, and more amazing ones seem to open every year. When we first published this article in 2008, we had five favorite splashing spots. Now we're up to 22 fancy playgrounds where kids can get wet in NYC. See if your favorites made our list.

16 Super Sprinkler Parks on Long Island

When the temperature rises, there’s nothing like jumping through a sprinkler to cool off. Long Island sprinkler parks are great places to take kids because unlike pools and beaches, sprinkler parks have low water depth and often a rubber-like surface. Just add sunscreen and let the adventures begin.

We’ve put together a list of super sprinkler parks that are open to everyone. We've even included a few parks open to residents only. Proof of residency and/or a membership pass can be required at those facilities. Fees vary, so check the websites or call before going.

For more aquatic fun, take a look at our guide to Long Island amusement parks and water parks. For other kid-friendly activities, check out our Summer Fun Guide, and our recommendations for the best beach playgrounds as well as other top playgrounds and parks on LI

Public or Private School in NYC? It’s Not Just About Money

By Clara Hemphill and Gina Malin

Deciding where to send your child to school can be a stressful and intimidating decision for parents, especially in New York City where the options (and forms) can seem endless. The choice between public or private school causes many a NYC parent to fret, from pre-K to high school, so we wanted to lend our expertise to help readers examine the pros and cons of each.

By the way, it’s not just about money.

Best Jersey Shore Beaches for Families: Sandy Hook to Cape May

Make your New Jersey kid a beach baby and go "down the shore." New Jersey boasts 130 miles of shoreline and some of the prettiest beaches anywhere. Whether your family is looking for a busy boardwalk with children's rides, a beachside water park or sprinkler playground, towering lighthouses, toddler attractions, or something a bit quieter, the Jersey Shore has it. 

We've rounded up 10 of our favorite Jersey beaches, from a national park on the northern shore down to the busier southern beaches of Cape May and Atlantic City. So pack the car (and the kids) for a beach day trip or a long weekend—the summer possibilities are endless. And for more beach fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide, including a roundup of our favorite boardwalks.

Summer Fun in Connecticut: Festivals, Fairs, and Carnivals You Don't Want to Miss

Ahhh, summer—the sun rises early and sets late, and the day's pace is slower. There are countless hours to fill with excitement and relaxation, and our Connecticut Summer Fun Guide will help you plan some seriously awesome adventures. On those days not spent at the beach, Connecticut's many outdoor festivals and fairs will have your family feasting on cotton candy or dancing in your lawn chairs. Indulge in fresh strawberries, introduce the kids to poetry and jazz, show them how cool old cars can be, and listen to their screams of excitement coming from carnival rides. Grab a picnic basket and a blanket, pack your camera, and marvel at all the fun Connecticut’s festivals and fairs have to offer.

Want more? We've got guides on TONS of idea on how to get the MOST out of Summer! Check out our  Theme & Water Parks Guide for ideas to stay cool, or peruse through our complete Summer Fun Guide.  Click through to our listings for all the details, including address, time and prices.

Is that the London Eye in Long Beach? Giant Observation Wheel Visits Queen Mary

Well take a look at that! An Observation Wheel—which is another way of saying a really huge Ferris wheel with a great view—is setting up shop in Long Beach next to the Queen Mary, for one month only. No mere amusement park ride (though we like those very much!), the Observation Wheel offers birds-eye views of the picturesque Long Beach sky line, the majestic Queen Mary, and beyond. This thing is so tall you may be able to spot the buffalo grazing on Catalina Island.

Prospect Park Zoo: Best Things to Do at the Brooklyn Zoo

Peppered with playgrounds, woods, and large open spaces for kids to roam free, Prospect Park is a pastoral escape smack dab in the middle of Brooklyn. The park is more than just green space: The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Lefferts Historic House, and the Prospect Park Carousel are great places to visit for families. Need one more reason to love Prospect Park? How about a perfectly kid-friendly zoo, just the right size and pace for younger children?

The Prospect Park Zoo is much smaller than its northern counterpart, the Bronx Zoo, which means it's just right for pint-sized animal lovers. The whole interior is comfortably walkable in a few hours, so you can see everything before nap time. We've got tips for visiting with kids, including the best entry points, what to see, and the best times to visit.

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