Tweens & Teens

100 Things To Do in NYC with Kids Before They Grow Up

The number of family-friendly happenings in New York City on any given day is enough to overwhelm most parents. Our city plays host to top-notch museums and art, creative play spaces, amazing parks and playgrounds, and even amusement parks, all of which pump out fun children's programming year-round. Even NYC restaurants get into the game, hosting dedicated kid play spaces, events, and cool DIY opportunities like ice-cream and chocolate making.

Yet every year, our kids suddenly grow up on us a little more. They age out of one activity after another, whether it's storytime at the library, the carousel, or just needing to hold our hand as they cross the street. That's why we're focused on finding ways to take advantage of all the amazing things to do in New York City with kids, creating meaningful memories as we go. I created this "life list" of all the things I want to experience with my kids before they grow up. It's not just the stuff that is fun to do, but also the stuff that I think will be important to do with them—things that will shape them and be formative in their experience as little New Yorkers. We're also big fans of FREE fun, so we included as much of that as possible!

So enjoy this list of 100 things to do in NYC, whether you're a local or a visitor trying to experience the very best of our city. Now, off I go to wring every drop of goodness from that damp, dirty rag that is New York City.

So Many Fun Things to Do With Kids in South Windsor

Don't know how to fill long summer days? Head out to South Windsor and you'll likely run out of daylight. Once a tract of land occupied by Podunk Indians, and later a farming and ship building town that supplied volunteers during the American Revolution, today this community boasts vibrant restaurants, recreation areas, shopping plazas, and enough attractions to keep children entertained. Located about 10 miles northeast of Hartford, the town makes for a great in-state day trip

Slide Hill Opens on Governors Island with New Playground Fun

The Hills are alive on Governors Island. July 19 marked opening day for the long-awaited addition of new green spaces and playground fun on this seasonal city play space. Judging by the throngs of people dashing up the granite scramble as soon as the ribbon was cut, we weren't the only ones excited to check out this new section of the island.

Made up of four distinct hills, the 10 acres of parkland include 70-foot-high Outlook Hill, 25-foot-high Grassy Hill, twin 40-foot peaks together dubbed Discovery Hill, and Slide Hill, which is undoubtedly the most family-friendly of them all, packed with four slides.

Weekend Fun for LI Kids: Mermaid Tea Party, Nature Sundays, July 23-24

We're in the middle of July, but the summer fun is definitely not slowing down. Dig up some fun as an archeologist at The Maritime Explorium this weekend. Or show your singing chops on stage at Nassau's Got Talent at Molloy College. Don't see your event listed here? Add it to our events calendar. And if you don't receive this post in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter.

2016-17 Academic Year Calendars for Los Angeles Area Schools

Summer vacation ain't what it used to be. The majority of school districts now opt for an August start date, with only a few stragglers sticking with the old-school, post-Labor Day start. Don't just assume you know when school starts based on last year, as there's always a bit of shuffling of the schedule. This year Glendale leads the back-to-school race with a party-pooper start date of August 8, while last out the gate is Torrance, at a more traditional September 8.

Wondering where your district fits in, and how much time you have left for these 50 Free Things To Do in Summer? Read below for our list of start and finish dates for the 2016-2017 school year in and around LA County! And if what you read makes you wonder about what other school options are available to you, maybe our school guide can help.

Indoor Activities: 25 Ways to Spend a Rainy Day in NJ

The truth is, I love a rainy day.  Winter or summer, fall or spring, there's much fun to be had when the showers are pouring down, so get out and take advantage of some of the great indoor adventures that NJ has to offer. Here's a bunch of our favorites, some for the warmer days of winter, some for the wetter days of summer, and with a few at-home ideas thrown in. Enjoy your inside time, New Jersey!

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Carnivals, Pirates, and a Flying Trapeze, July 23-24

We're in the thick of it now: the hot days and humid nights, the complaints about boredom that start earlier and earlier every day, the begging for just one more You Tube video (it's not just my kids, right?). Some days it's more than a parent can bear. Happily, this weekend there's plenty to entertain the whole family, from a fun, free aerial trapeze show to a pirate adventure on Sheffield Island to a rocking beach-side concert—and there's even a candy coated drop off opportunity that gives busy parents a few hours to themselves.

If you're still looking for a summer time adventure, check out our guide to camping spots across the state, and if those seem a little ambitious, sign up for next weekend's family camp out on the grounds of the Stamford Museum and Nature Center (preregistation required so don't miss out).

Check the Mommy Poppins events calendar to see what else is happening this weekend (and beyond!). For the latest and best family-friendly events, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Have a great weekend!

LI Day Trip: The Little Red Barn in Jamesport

One of my favorite things to do with the kids over the summer is to take some day trips to the East End to enjoy everything it has to offer for families. From pick your own farms to frolicking on the area’s beautiful beaches, there is plenty to keep the kids occupied while school is out of session.

A few weeks ago, we got the chance to explore one of the North Fork’s gems: The Little Red Barn in Jamesport. Ten years ago, Kate Nickles and her husband bought 40 acres of land, including the barn that was the original home to the carousel that is now in Greenport. In addition to building their dream home on the property, Kate, a native to the area and a lifelong horse rider, decided to open The Little Red Barn to pass down her knowledge and love for horses and other farm animals to local and visiting children.

Morris-Jumel Mansion: Explore Manhattan’s Oldest House

If you've ever considered visiting Manhattan's highest point, you've probably contemplated a trip to One World Observatory, but if you want to keep your feet on the ground and still find a spectacular view, your best bet is to head to the southern edge of Washington Heights where you'll find Manhattan's oldest house, Morris-Jumel Mansion, perched atop Sugar Hill.

Built in 1765 as a summer villa for his family by British Colonel Roger Morris and his wife, Mary Philipse, the mansion stands today as a museum and member of the Historic House Trust of New York City. A visit brings sweeping views of the city, a glimpse into New York City's rich history, and puts you just a wee-bit closer to the Hamilton phenomenon.

Free Admission for Active Duty Military Families with Blue Star Museums

Free museum admission is not just for kids in the summer months. More than 2000 museums across the country have joined the Blue Star initiative, offering free admission to active military personnel and their families* all summer long, from Memorial Day (Monday May 30 through Labor Day (Monday September 5). Spread the word; if you don't have active military in your own family, let your friends know that from the GRAMMY Museum to the Santa Monica Aquarium and a whole slew in between, the men and women who protect all of our families can treat their families this summer.

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