Tweens & Teens

Weekend Round Up: Fun & Free Things To Do in CT for Kids and Families: July 15-17

This week was a hot one and on days when it hits the 90's we like finding free and easy air-conditioned play spaces for the little ones. Check out our post on 5 Free Indoor Play Spaces in Fairfield County. If you find yourself in the NW corner of the state you can read our 20 Family Friendly Day Activities in Litchfield County. For the Weekend Round up....

The Hot List: Save More Than $1,000 on the Best Things to Do with NYC Kids this Summer

The long, slow days of summer are when we finally get a chance to do all of those fun things we just couldn't get to during the school year. We start every summer by making a bucket list of places we want to check out, and then my family and I work through them.

This year we're sharing our Hot List with you. There's a wide range of activities: playing indoors, getting active outside, exploring nature, eating summer foods, and, of course, getting wet. There are even a few day and weekend trips.

As we were planning this Hot List of the best things to do in and near NYC this summer, we thought it would be super-cool if we could get some of these places to offer discounts to our readers. And many agreed!

These deals are too good to make available to everyone on the Internet. So for the first time, we're offering a downloadable, printable version of this blog post.

What will you find in our printable Hot List book?

  • Extended listings with addresses, contact info and hours for every venue, so you have all of the info you need to plan right at your fingertips.
     
  • Coupons that can save you more than $1,000 in total. These discounts are only available in our Hot List book.

We're selling the Hot List book via Poppins Perks and giving 100% of the profits to NYC public schools. You can buy the Hot List now for the special price of just $4.99, or read on to see what's on our list.

Free and Fun Things to do for CT Kids and Families: Riverfest, Berry Fest!, Race Cars, Peter & the Wolf July 9-10

One good thing about 3 day weekends is that the following weekend comes that much quicker. The summer celebrations still continue and we've listed tons for you to do this weekend. Maybe a visit to the Beardsley Zoo is in your near future? If so, check out this Fairfield mom's insider tips for your visit. Blueberry pie eating contests, wagon rides and live music are just a few of the activities planned at Berry Fest! at Lyman Orchards in Middlefield this Saturday.  Stop by and learn how honey is taken out of the hive for harvest during the annual Honey Harvest at Greenwich Audubon. Blueberries are ripe and ready for picking so make sure to check out our Pick-your-own Blueberry Farms in CT Guide. Thinking of taking a day trip to Litchfield County (or just looking for ideas of things to do)? Check out our list of 20 family friendly summer day activities.

In Danbury the free weekend concert series continues and it's the last day of the Danbury City Fair on Saturday.  An old-fashioned Independence Day Festival is happening in Enfield all weekend long at the town green complete with parades, concerts and fireworks. On Saturday, Hartford and East Hartford celebrate Independence Day at Riverfest. Live bands, kids' activities and fireworks will mark the celebration.

In Canaan, you can take the family for a railroad ride and then to the carnival all weekend long at Railroad Days. For race car enthusiasts check out American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville. And in New Haven, bring the kids to see a rendition of Peter & the Wolf and Carnival of Animals.

Celebrate Bastille Day 2011 with NYC Kids

Fourth of July festivities may be over but on Thursday, July 14, you can celebrate Independence Day all over again, French-style. Bastille Day is a national holiday in France that commemorates the storming of the eponymous prison, a pivotal moment during the French Revolution.

In Paris, a huge military parade marches down the Champs-Élysées, followed by massive parties and fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. Although there won't be any processions or sparklers here in NYC, there are a few fetes. In fact, the Big Apple is home to one of the largest Bastille Day celebrations outside of the City of Lights, right on the Upper East Side.

While many of the activities are aimed at adults (sorry kids, you're not ready for wine yet), les enfants can get a taste of French culture (beyond French fries), and maybe even play a little pétanque. Liberté, égalité, fraternité! Here's how to celebrate Bastille Day in NYC with your family.

Best Summer Health and Safety Gear for Kids

It’s summer, and we all know what that means: barbecues, camp, parties, beaches—and sunburns, stings and sand in all your cracks.

To combat the season's little annoyances (bug bites) and major dangers (drowning), we've rounded up the best new health and safety products for your family. So have fun with abandon and leave your worry at home.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire: 10 Things to Do With Kids

If you're looking for a family-friendly vacation destination that doesn't require getting frisked at the airport, consider Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This gem of a New England town puts its best foot forward during the summer, and its small size makes it manageable for families. 

It's easy to have fun in this picturesque portside town without feeling overwhelmed. The downtown area is booming, but despite some urban renewal, it maintains an authentic saltiness that's in tune with the area’s maritime history and traditions.

The town is about a five-hour drive from New York City. However, you can also take Megabus, BoltBus or Amtrak to Boston’s South Station, and then connect to a C&J bus for the one-hour ride to Portsmouth.

Portsmouth is one of my family's favorite places to visit, and I've compiled the top ten things to do here with kids.

Your NJ Weekend July 2-3: Boats, Bugs, Barbecue and Booming Fireworks!

Wait!  It’s the middle of summer already??? If your kids’ summer so far consisted of the couch and the computer, get out and catch up on some REAL New Jersey summer fun this weekend!  There’s a bug safari, two boat sailing events, an ice cream social, an American flag exhibit, loads of live music, a fund-raising barbecue-fest, and, of course, fantastic fireworks.  As our own Jersey boy Jon Bon Jovi says, it’s time to “Make a memory!”

One Great Day (and Night) in NJ: Camping at Harmony Ridge

We were all snugly sleeping in our tent. The hubs and myself comfortably (mostly) on our bourgeois air mattress, and the kids in their sleeping bags surrounded by 82 glow sticks. Then I heard through my mom half-sleep, a pleading whine, along with the rustle, rustle of dog feet. There at the end of the tent was my ridiculous little dog, who I wouldn’t describe as outdoorsy, staring at me with bug-eyed dog panic. He clearly had to go outside, but maybe couldn’t figure out if the tent was technically already outside. Oh, to be so walnut-brained. After he left the tent and did his business — which I won’t elaborate on, except to say that I think he ate some bad mushrooms while securing the campsite perimeter — and was once again snoring an inch from my face, I laid there imagining how I might save us all if someone with an ax decided to stop by. Finally, I slept. This is camping, family-edition.

Special Needs Support Groups in Essex and Union Counties

One of the positive aspects of having a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder is that there is so much support out there for you!  You just have to find it and navigating the internet through tons of websites and even more pages, tabs & links can be quite stressful.  However, the information and services you receive can actually help alleviate some of your stress, so if you’re not computer-savvy, or just can’t seem to bring yourself to spend hours looking for all these services, go to a support group.  One of your best resources is other parents who are going through the same thing, and contact with other adults is so much more beneficial than sitting in front of a computer.  Sometimes I yearn for adult conversation after being with my boys all day.  (Don’t get me wrong, I love my boys to death but sometimes it gets to the point that if I talk about Transformers one more time I’m going to completely lose it.)  There are other things I want to talk about, other people I want to talk to, and other places I want to be at times.  A support group is a really great way to do all these things, and get some inner peace and great information while you’re there! 

4th of July Fireworks Weekend Schedule in CT: Fairfield, Greenwich, New Milford and more

Looking for 4th of July Fireworks in Connecticut? There are many ways to celebrate our nation's independence but nothing does the job like good old fashioned fireworks. Most towns throw their own celebration, some bigger than others. On the following list you'll find firework celebrations that are being held over the 4th of July weekend. If your town isn't listed they may be doing shows the following weekend. Some towns require you to get a pass prior to attending the show. Details are provided where possible. Tips: Getting there early ensures that you will get a parking spot and a comfortable seat with a good view. Having something for the kids to do before the show can be a real life saver. Remember to bring bug spray, snacks and patience (for those who will have to wait in the parking lot afterwards.) Enjoy the magic!

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