Tweens & Teens

Free (or Almost Free) Summer Movies for Families All Over LA

And... action! As summer kicks off, a familiar annual scene is playing out at locations throughout the Southland: the season of free, nearly free, and gloriously cheap outdoor summer movie series has started rolling. At museumsparks, beaches, and malls, indoors and outdoors, in the early morning and by the light of the moon, families can catch both recent blockbusters and timeless classics for free or close to it. (While free is awesome, we think a dollar is still pretty good!)

Below you can find our comprehensive guide to free (and darn close to it) summer movie screenings and festivals. Click on the event names for more details, including movie titles. And keep checking back, because we'll continue to post more listings as they are announced, throughout the 2017 summer movie season.

9 Super Fun Water Parks, Slides, and Pools on Long Island

Slip-slidin’ away! There are few better ways to stay cool this summer on Long Island than to head down a slippery water slide, splash around in a refreshing swimming pool, or get drenched at a water park. That's why we invite you to check out our list of the hottest spots on Long Island where kids and adults can stay cool on even the most sweltering summer days. Check websites for rates and hours. All town pools are open to nonresidents, but they might have to pay a higher entry fee.

Find more fun in our Theme Parks Guide or our Parks & Playground Guide for LI Families.

Did we mention the Besties are here? The Bestie Awards is our reader voting contest celebrating small, local businesses that make parenting on Long Island so wonderful.  Help us choose our finalists by shouting out your favorite places to make, do, eat, learn, and play. Nominate your Besties now.

Much-Awaited Jim Henson Exhibit to Open This Summer at MoMI

The wait is over for Muppets fans! The long-anticipated permanent exhibit showcasing the late Jim Henson and his beloved characters will open in July at The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

A successful Kickstarter campaign, along with generous donors, including Henson family members, will bring it to fruition at last. Although the exhibit offers something for everyone—nearly 300 artifacts—kids will probably be most excited about the 47 original Muppets, which include Kermit, Miss Piggy, Big Bird, Elmo, and other favorites. Other material on display at MoMI, including sketches, storyboards, scripts and costumes, will highlight the process Henson followed to bring his visions to life.

Pick-Your-Own Berry Farms in Connecticut

The abundance and availability of fresh food at this time of the year is a real treat. Being able to pick our own fruits and vegetables at local farms makes the bounty taste even sweeter. Not only is it a fun family activity, it's also a great way to teach children about where their food comes from and to engage them in its preparation process.

Right now, strawberry picking is just getting under way, but don't hesitate: on some farms the picking season lasts just a few weeks.  For more pick-your-own options in Connecticut, check out our posts about strawberry picking in Hartford County and blueberry picking farms. Happy picking - and baking - and eating!

Free Kayaking, Canoeing, and Rowboat Options in New York City

With all the water surrounding New York City, it's no wonder there are so many sightseeing cruises and fun ferry rides to great kid destinations. For times when you want to be your own captain, there are many seasonal opportunities for NYC families to get out on the water by themselves with kayaking, rowing, and canoeing. Much of the fun kicks off Memorial Day weekend or early summer.

We've rounded up 11 great New York City organizations that offer boating sessions on our wonderful waterways—and they're all FREE. Ahoy!

9 Delicious Popsicle Shops in Houston

Popsicles are great for many reasons; what other food comes such a diverse array of flavors? From Jalepeno, Mango con Chile, Chai Latte, Blackberry Ginger, Milk and Cookies, Horchata, Champagne Pear, Fruity Pebbles, Watermelon Mojito, King Cake, and Avocado, Houston's popsicle shops and trucks have it all. Enjoying a popsicle is one of the sweetest ways to cool down in the summer in Houston, and local options range from trendy artisanal pops made with organic ingredients to more traditional favorites. With flavors ranging from fruity and icy to creamy and rich to savory and surprising, there is bound to be something for every taste preference. Why not try them all?

Hibachi Dining with Kids: Japanese Restaurants in CT

First, the bad news: Benihana has not yet found its way to Connecticut. If you're unfamiliar with this giant among hibachi joints, you don't know what you're missing. But the good news is there are still a bunch of great places to find hibachi (also known as Teppanyaki) around Connecticut. I'll be honest, the first time we took my daughter to a hibachi restaurant, she jumped out of her seat and hid under the table as soon as the flames ignited. It has been many years since then and these days she asks to go. While hibachi may be a bit much if you have very little littles or just kids who tend to be more anxious, it can also be a really fun family experience. You'll know whether it's right for you. If so, here are some of the hibachi hot spots around our great state! 

Memorial Day Weekend Fun: Parades, Carnivals, and Flamingos, May 27-29

At long last we have reached the very precipice of summer: Memorial Day weekend! I have dug the beach chairs out of the garage, taken the grill out for a test run, and I can't wait to plant my feet in the sand and perhaps even in the Sound. There's all kinds of non-beachy fun to be had this weekend too from fairs and festivals to animal encounters, special concerts, and more.

Whatever your plans, the significance of Memorial Day should not be forgotten. If you're looking for an educational way to honor the men and women who died in service to our nation, our Event Calendar features many kid-friendly parades and ceremonies, including the Revolutionary War Encampment in Wethersfield, the Decoration Day event at Mystic Seaport, and the U.S. Coast Guard Band concert in New London.  To keep up with everything going on in CT, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Wishing you the very best Memorial Day weekend!

Memorial Day Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: May 27-29

Memorial Day weekend is here, which means May is almost over, and summer is here! We have lots of ideas for how to spend time together as a family while also honoring our country's fallen heroes. Check out the Memorial Day Celebration in The Woodlands or Memorial Day in Memorial City

And summer marks some big and exciting things happening with Mommy Poppins! In the next few weeks, we will be highlighting Houston's best local businesses with our Besties Award Program. Share the love by nominating your favorite local businesses, from your go-to baker to your favorite play spot. Mommy Poppins is also teaming up with Brain Quest and Chick-fil-A for a summer kickoff party on June 3! Get your tickets now to secure a copy of the brand new Summer Brain Quest book and tons of goodies courtesy of Chick-fil-A.

Also on Mommy Poppins this week:

Check out the complete event calendar or hop over to our May GoList 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!

Let's check out what's going on this weekend: 

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