Tweens & Teens

Family Friendly Boat Tours in Connecticut

Sea legs. You either have them or you don't. For some, there's nothing more relaxing than drifting along the open water, catching a sea breeze, spotting marine life. For others...not so much. If you and your family fall into the former category and are hoping to get out on the water this summer, this post is just for you. Check out some of the fantastically fun family friendly (whew, say that five times fast) boat tours Connecticut has to offer and, when you're landlocked again why not grab a bite somewhere along the shore.

Free Summer Concerts and Outdoor Concert Series in LA and OC

Check back often; we continue adding concerts throughout the season!

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or better yet, get out of the house. Summer in the Southland means outdoor concerts galore (and many are free!) at a host of local parks, museums, and public spaces from the coast to the hills to the Valleys. Go on, get out. Throw down a blanket, spread out the snacks, uncork the wine, and watch the kids boogie under the evening stars as you sway to some cool and breezy melodies. Below are some of our favorite free concert series that return every year; check our daily calendar to find dozens more!

Industry City's New Pop-Up Mini Golf Course Is a Hole in One

Industry City's Sunset Park has recently earned a little buzz as trendy food stalls, shops, and art and entertainment move in. This summer it ups the family-friendly appeal with a brand-new pop-up mini golf course (NYC's first new one in some years), ping pong, and concerts, all part of its "Summer Spree" programming launched May 20.

I've visited the 6-million-square-foot mixed-use space in this Brooklyn neighborhood a few times over the last couple years, but this is the first time I've thought of it as a destination for my family. But my pre-K-age kid had such a blast with the Brooklyn-themed mini golf and racing around the spacious outdoor courtyards that we've already made a family pact to make it a regular destination. 

Where to See Fourth of July Fireworks Around Houston

Stars and stripes, street festivals, live music and fanfare all make the Fourth of July spectacular, but no celebration is complete without an impressive display of fireworks. Luckily, when it comes to celebrating our nation's independence, there's one thing that's certain: the Bayou City knows how to light up the sky and throw down (...in a family-friendly way, of course). 

4th of July Fireworks in Connecticut

Who doesn't love fireworks—especially after a sandy day at the beach like the celebration in East Haven? Here in Connecticut, fireworks season starts before July 4th and continues afterward, too. Kick off summer with a bang with our roundup of more than 40 (!) CT pyrotechnic displays in honor of Independence Day. As always before heading out, check the weather forecast and parking restrictions, especially at beaches. Some venues allow nonresidents to pay for parking on-site, but others require that passes be purchased in advance at a separate location.

50 Things To Do in Newport, RI with Kids

Newport, Rhode Island has a reputation as a summer playground for the elite, but in truth it makes for a great family vacation.  Yes, you will see fabulous Gilded Age mansions and expensive sailing yachts in the harbor. But coastal Newport is an egalitarian town that can even be a bargain during the off-season. 

In summer there are lots of low-cost public boating opportunities, free beaches, a rich line up of outdoor concerts, and easy hikes that exploit the area’s natural beauty.  In winter months the public skating rink, free holiday festivities and the annual Winter Festival provide cold weather fun.  There are casual restaurants and hotels that cater to families.  Newport’s manageable size makes it a wonderful walking town, so if you don’t have a car, keep this in mind. 

See our Rhode Island Fun Guide for more Rhode Island family activity ideas. Here's what to do, where to eat and stay in Newport for families:

Free Outdoor Movies for Long Island Kids This Summer

This summer when the sun goes down, chances are a free, family-friendly movie will be playing outdoors somewhere on Long Island. It’s an ideal way to spend family time under the stars. So spread a blanket, bring a few lawn chairs, pack some snacks or perhaps a picnic dinner, and enjoy the show.

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is best to arrive early. And be sure to check each venue’s website for up-to-date information on weather-related cancelations.

For more outdoor family activities, check out our roundups of the best places for a family picnic and the best beaches for families on Long Island. Plus, our Event Calendar and Summer Fun Guide are loaded with ideas for more seasonal fun for your family. Happy summer.

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Camping, Festivals, and Fireworks, June 24-25

It is officially summer so we've dusted off our beach chairs and stocked up on a supply of sunscreen. We're ready for some adventures! This weekend, we might hit a beach party with fireworks in East Haven, catch the kickoff of one of our favorite summer concert series with a performance by the McLovins at Bayley Beach in picturesque Rowayton, or spend the night at the New Canaan Nature Center, a fun and easy camping experience for even very young children.

Believe it or not, fireworks season begins this weekend with displays in Danbury,  Branford, Hebron, Coventry, and Bridgeport, to name just a few. As we count down to the July 4th holiday, families can find a little historical context at the 17th Century Encampment at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum.

As always, for the latest and greatest happenings across the state, check out our Event Calendar, which is constantly updated with new listings. To keep up with everything going on in CT, subscribe to our free newsletters, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram,  Twitter, and Pinterest. Have a fabulous weekend!

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Freaky Friday, Wizard of Oz, June 24-25

Two words to describe this coming weekend: HOT and WET. We are definitely not looking forward to this weekend's weather but don't worry, we have the perfect list of things to do indoors. You can enjoy family-friendly performances like Freaky Friday or The Wizard of Oz and forget about what's going on outside for at least a couple of hours. Are you still planning your summer adventures? Don't forget to include this list of 30 free things to do this summer, enjoy a festival or two, or maybe head southeast and check out the newly renovated aquarium at Moody Gardens

Also on Mommy Poppins this week:

Summer is in full swing! Check out our June 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: 

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