Tweens & Teens

Soak Up Some Sun (& Family Fun) at Surfside Beach

When you mention beaches near Houston, everyone's first thought typically trends toward Galveston. However, Galveston's many beaches are not the only ones close enough for a day trip, and while we've trekked down there plenty of times, it's definitely not the end-all-be-all. In fact, one of our favorite spots is the quiet town of Surfside where the beach is clean and full of sand (not seaweed).

Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlors Long Island Kids Will Love

Is there ever a bad time to enjoy ice cream? Of course, with summer upon us, it’s the perfect time to take the family out for a scoop, a sundae, or a shake—and all of these definitely will taste better when made with homemade ice cream.

So we’ve rounded up some of Long Island’s best ice cream parlors that everyone is sure to love. These destinations create their yummy flavors from scratch and have a nostalgic feel that make the experience extra special.

For more dining inspiration, check out our roundup of LI restaurants where kids can eat free. And for more family fun, see our Event Calendar, our guide to summer fun and even our list of 100 must-do things with LI kids

Wondrous, Wild Waterfalls Waiting for You in Connecticut

Waterfalls are amazing creations of nature that astound even the hardiest hiker and outdoor lover. The water pounding on the rocks, the splash of the spray, and the shallow wading pools leave the kids with lasting memories. Connecticut is lucky to be home to hundreds of waterfalls; many of them are accessible with just short walks and a little effort for all ages. Of course, please exercise caution at all of these sites as rocks are slippery when wet! If you are looking for more outdoor adventures, go hiking at one of these Hartford area spots and check out our list of ropes courses in Connecticut!

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Harry Potter Concert, Lion King, July 22-23

Houston summer nights are hot and humid, the days are long and full of fun, so plan this coming weekend with free moviesfairs and festivals, concerts, and more all over town. If you are wanting to cool off, check out our list of splash pads or free pools in Houston. 

Also on Mommy Poppins this week:

Summer is in full swing! Check out our July GoList or the complete event calendar to find the best things to do this month. Did you know can also submit your own events? Have this post delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Now let's check out what's going on this weekend: 

Weekend Fun: Sunflowers, Outdoor Movies, and Fairy Tale Theater, July 22-23

The temperatures this week made everyone in my house short-tempered and cranky--especially me--so I'm looking forward to a weekend with plenty of opportunities to cool off and chill out. Saturday's opening of Sunflowers for Wishes at Buttonwood Farm looks like just the thing to cheer us all up (in addition to the gorgeous sunflowers, did I mention there's homemade ice cream?). Some theatrical magic might also lift our spirits, with performances at the Summer Theatre of New Canaan or the last weekend of the Richter's Fairy Tale Theater (note the new performance location in Bethel). 

If all else fails, there are plenty of outdoor movies on the calendar this weekend, from Secret Life of Pets at Shady Beach in Norwalk to Zootopia at Mill River Park in Stamford to Sing at Riverwalk in Shelton to The BFG at The Shoppes at Farmington Valley in Canton. For more ideas, check the Mommy Poppins events calendar and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Stay cool out there!

Exploring the Armand Bayou Nature Center

Tucked away on the edge of Clear Lake, right inside the Pasadena city limits, is one of the best-kept secrets in southeast Houston. Armand Bayou Nature Center features 2,500 acres of land that boasts miles of trails, vast marshes, and several educational venues that are perfect for families to explore. They offer free admission on the first and third Sunday of each month, giving families the perfect opportunity to explore the center and learn more about the special events and classes available throughout the year.

Camping in New York Just Got 100% More Awesome with Tentrr

Camping seems like such a nice idea. You connect with nature—just you and your family or friends in the woods. But the reality isn’t always as splendid. Gathering all the gear needed and packing everything and everyone into the car, or arriving at a trampled campground that's often just a few feet of dirt and some brush separating you from a band of beer-drinking bros, and you lose some of the romance. That's why we were excited to stumble upon a new way to reconnect with nature, especially for NYC or city families who don’t have room to store lots of equipment between trips.

A new website, Tentrr, connects private camp sites and campers, like an Airbnb for the Great Outdoors. While your host may leave you cookies or something extra to make you feel welcome, the best part of our stay was the total seclusion. The sites are on private land, so it really will be just you, the trees, and some woodland creatures.

20 Things to Do With Kids in Tomball, TX

One of the many great things about living in the greater Houston area is that we are surrounded by small towns and communities full of history, attractions, and fun things to do. Tomball is northwest of Houston and can be accessed from Highway 249, and is the perfect spot for a morning or day out with the kids. If you're looking for more north Houston fun, check out our list of things to do in The Woodlands with kids.

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