Tweens & Teens

Science and Natural History Museum Day Trips Near NYC

Do you feel as if you've memorized every inch of the American Museum of Natural History? As mammoth as it is, we've visited so frequently I think I could find even the most remote corner of it blindfolded. We've also explored every inch of the New York Hall of Science in Queens and liberated all the science at New Jersey's Liberty Science Center.

If your family's looking for new, fun universes to discover, now is the perfect time for a family-friendly day trip. Here are four science and natural history museums outside of New York City that make great day or overnight trips. Car-free families take note: You can reach all of them by bus or train.

35 Ways To Keep Summer Going after School Begins

Whether you're relieved by the quiet or disturbed by the abrupt ending, most LA families are using those three little words (back to school) a whole lot earlier these days. Of course, dropping our kids off at school doesn't change the weather; there might be no child left behind at the beach, but it's still summer until close to Halloween. So if your family is not yet ready for summer to end, pick a few items off our Endless Summer List and go have some fun while the sun still shines!

Our Favorite Connecticut Lighthouses to Visit

You don’t have to venture to Cape Elizabeth or Portland for classic New England lighthouse vistas because Connecticut has quite the maritime history. With the very first lighthouse museum in the nation, a half dozen lighthouse tours, and even some lighthouse hauntings, we've rounded up seven Connecticut lighthouses worth a visit with your kiddos. 

Ride on a Vintage NYC Fireboat That's Floating Art

New York City is home to some of the most inventive, immersive public art exhibits anywhere. And this summer, a breathtaking display of floating art is sailing its way around New York Harbor. Flow Separation, an exhibit by New York area artist Tauba Auerbach, is a re-imagining of an honorably retired vintage fireboat, the Fireboat John J. Harvey. Every inch of its hull is covered in a dazzling, bold pattern that beautifully reflects the water around our city. And best of all, you can be part of the art: Bring the kids for a FREE sail aboard the gorgeously remade historic vessel.

Super Skate Parks for Long Island Kids

If your adventuresome little skater dude or gal likes to carve and ollie, turning your furniture and household items into a skating playground, then this post is for you.

Take them instead to one of these skate parks across Long Island, where roller skaters, bladers, skateboarders, trick bikers, and more can show off their stunts, fully padded and protected of course. Note: Most of these facilities are skate at your own risk and require parental waivers for skaters 16 and younger. Check requirements before heading out.  

And for more fun in the area, check out our list of great go-kart and slot-car destinations on Long Island, and be sure to check out our Long Island Events Calendar.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Above and Beyond, 2nd Saturday at the Depot, Aug. 11-12

This weekend is going to be an excellent one, and not just because it's one of the last ones before school starts. With summer drawing to a close, now more than ever is the time to take advantage of activities like sandcastle building lessons at Stewart Beach, Evening Chill at the Houston Zoo, and Movies Under the Moon at Sugar Land Town Square. There's also still time to make some headway on our 15 Things To Do with Kids Before Summer Ends list, though you definitely want to jump on that since most of these events end when the summer does!

In other Mommy Poppins news, anyone who is in need of a caregiver should take a look at this highly helpful piece: How to Get the Most Out of a Caregiver Interview. This comprehensive article will help you feel confident during your next caregiver interview, both in identifying exactly what you want and need and landing the person best suited for the job. 

Inspiration is always just a click away with our event calendar, which we are constantly updating to reflect as many events and activities happening around Houston that we can find, and with our August GoList, which handpicks the biggest and best things to attend throughout the month. We also highly encourage signing up for our weekly newsletter so you're in the loop right away with all the awesome articles posted on Mommy Poppins. For anyone planning an event, we would love to get you some extra coverage! All we ask is that you submit your event to our calendar, and we'll review it and take care of the rest!

Now let's check out what's happening around Houston this weekend.

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Butterflies, Instruments, and Camp-outs, Aug 11-12

This weekend is all about the butterflies, with not one but two happenings featuring these winged specimens at the Museum of Science and the Trailside Museum. We've also got two of MP's favorite August events including one with stars, s'mores, and meteors and the other a real summer campout. Music lovers should head to Jamaica Pond for an instrument playground followed by a jazz concert, and ICA Watershed is hosting it's interactive storytelling program again. Finally, let's all head to the Common to support our favorite baseball team at this awesome summer Out of the Park event

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Water Ski Shows, River Fire, and Kiting, August 11-12

If you are reading this, then the heat and humidity of this past week hasn't completely crushed your joie de vivre. If you've had enough of the Great Outdoors indoor activities abound in Connecticut this weekend, including a Curious Exhibit at the CT Science Center, and indoor stargazing in Stamford. But with weather forecasts calling for low 80s, the real fun this weekend is outdoors. Check out the annual water ski show on Bantam Lake, a classic car cruise in downtown Putnam, a kite festival in celebration of Indian Independence Day, and an ice cream social and Colonial-era celebration in East Windsor.

For even more ideas, we have a host of suggestions in our Event Calendar, the August GoList, and the Summer Fun Guide. For the latest and best family-friendly events, follow us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest

Destination Playground: Ancient Playground in Central Park

Originally built in 1936, the Ancient Playground on the Upper East Side may seem to have earned its moniker (according to our kids, anyway), but its name is really an homage to its proximity to the Egyptian galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, right across the street. The ancient-civilization-themed romping spot, packed with fun climbing structures and water features, is a popular playground for locals and tourists alike, cementing its place on our list of Central Park's top playgrounds.

Read on for more details on why this classic old gem of a playground, at 85th Street and Fifth Avenue, ranks among the city's best.

Outdoor Paintball Fields Where Houston Kids Can Have a Blast

Keeping older kids engaged in something other than video games and electronics can be tough. But what better way to entice kids to get out of the house than to let them get messy shooting paintballs at each other? Luckily, Houston has several great spots to take older kids, tweens, and teens where they can run off some steam and engage in a rousing game of paintball. Racing around rugged terrain, ducking and darting around obstacles, and feeling the rush of competition while trying to dodge splattering paintballs at every turn can make for a fun family outing, group event, or birthday party. Read on for some of our favorite places around Houston to get kids in on the thrill of playing paintball. 

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