Kids

Best Summer Festivals and Fairs for NYC Families in July

So far this summer, we've posted FREE outdoor movie screenings, FREE kayaking, and FREE things to do every day with kids in New York City. Now we're rounding up our favorite and (mostly) FREE family festivals and city street fairs going on in the month of July.

Two of our favorite annual fests take place this month: the big Bastille Day street fair on the Upper East Side, and City of Water Day at South Street Seaport and other locations around town. But that's just the beginning. We've rounded up lots of other options, including Come Out & Play Family Day, this year in Brooklyn, and Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Family Day.

So go grab your calendar (and check ours frequently)! Here are the best sizzling summer fests for New York City families.

Long Beach Island with Kids: Best Things to Eat, See, and Do

For quality family time, there are few places more magical than Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore. This 18-mile barrier island has everything you could want in a summer vacation with the kids. Whether you're after a low-key beach getaway or a high-energy, action-packed weekend trip, the Island has it all.

LBI beaches offer the best of both worlds: the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, and the calmer waters of the Barnegat Bay. My family has been coming here since I was born, so I may be biased, but this Jersey beach truly is the best place for some family fun in the sun. Often less crowded than other popular shore towns in New Jersey, it still feels like a hidden gem. Read on for top tips on visiting Long Beach Island with kids.

100 Free Things to Do This Summer with Kids in New York City

Summer is the season of FREE in NYC—and here it comes. There's no-cost fun everywhere you turn, from festivals, outdoor movies, and concerts, to kayaking and fireworks. With the public school break upon us, and the kids itching to play (and swim), we've rounded up FREE things for families to do every single day of summer vacation. Starting with Wednesday, June 27 and running all the way through Wednesday, September 5, 2018, we've compiled the best FREE things to do with kids in NYC all summer!

Of course, this list isn't comprehensive. There are literally hundreds of FREE fun events happening across our city this school break. You can find more cool seasonal activities and destinations in our Summer Fun Guide, including beach day trips, FREE splash pads, and more. Check out our Events Calendar for more events.

Still searching for a summer camp for a week or two? Check out our NYC summer camp directory and guide.

4th of July Fireworks in Connecticut

Here in Connecticut we love fireworks so much that the shows start as early as late June and continue throughout July! 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 Free Things to Do with Long Island Kids This Summer

Does the thought of a full summer vacation make you think of empty pockets?

In between camps, parties, sitters, and trips, the next two months can get costly. And for a family with more than one child, even a trip to the water park can add up. But summer doesn’t have to drain your wallet.

We have compiled a list of 50 FREE things families can do together. From outdoor concerts and movies, to museums, classes, and festivals, Long Island has something going on all summer long.

Check a few more things off your bucket list with our Summer Fun Guide. Feeling really ambitious? Here are 100 things to do with Long Island kids before they grow up. See our guide to FREE family activities on Long Island for even more inspiration.  

Top 10 North Carolina Beaches for Families

North Carolina is home to top notch colleges, bustling cities, fun towns tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains, and some of the best beaches on the East Coast. Most of these beaches are a far cry from the bustling carnival-like atmosphere of the boardwalk towns in the Jersey Shore, and others take a bit more effort to get to than you might expect, but they’re definitely worth it. Wild horses, cute seaside towns, and a dose of southern charm make North Carolina a great beach destination for you and your family.

Keep reading for our top picks for family-friendly beaches in North Carolina.

16 Kid-Friendly Restaurants With Room to Play in Houston

Relaxing on the patio with good food and drinks is something that, prior to kids, we used to love to do... and then we had kids and going out to eat became nothing short of a nightmare that quickly got nixed from our weekend plans. Where we once sat back and talked uninterrupted about our respective weeks, we now went through constant rounds of "don't touch that!" and, "honey, leave those nice people alone." All seemed lost, and we resigned ourselves to spending our evenings out at Chick-fil-A... until we found restaurants with play spaces for kids (we also spent an exhaustive amount of time eating near the green area at CityCentre).

Talk about a game changer - it's like these restaurants knew that us parents needed a space to unwind a bit with the kids in tow, and they delivered with patios that opened up to enclosed playgrounds, sand pits (ok, this one is a catch-22 because of sand everywhere), and toys.

Fireworks! 46 Different 4th of July Displays in Los Angeles & Orange County

Who's ready for some rockets' red glare? LA and Orange County's many communities compete for sky space on July 4th, launching fireworks willy-nilly at the stroke of 9pm. From the mountains, to the valleys, to the ocean, Angelenos have plenty of directions to look on Independence Day. Whether your plan is to book a fireworks cruise, to lay a blanket in a park, or to close all the windows and try not to wake the baby, it helps to know where those firecrackers are being aimed. Below is a list of locations lighting up the night sky on the 4th of July (plus one or two on June 30). We'll keep adding more right up to the day!

Camping Adventures Await in Connecticut

When done right, camping is a blast. It brings to reality idyllic stories of roasting marshmallows over a fire and telling imaginative stories while gazing at a night sky. Once the initial equipment is purchased, camping can be a frugal way to vacation – averaging about only $30 a night. Opportunities to camp around the country are endless, but if you’re new to camping or have young children, “experts” recommend beginning the adventure close to home. It just happens that Connecticut offers some fantastic campgrounds. We have five recommendations  for tent camping that your family can try out.  If you don't feel quite ready to pop up a tent, we mention a few locations that provide cabins for rent, while still keeping things basic. In addition, we offer some camping tips that will help make the experience that much more enjoyable.

For more ideas on how to have a great summer, browse our Summer Fun Guide.

New Mini Golf Course Set to Debut on Governors Island This Weekend

Putt-putt lovers take note: A brand new, 18-hole mini golf course on Governors Island is set to debut Saturday, June 23, just in time for the Figment Art Festival this weekend.

Brought to life by the folks behind Adventures at Governors Island (which also introduced a zip line and climbing wall to Governors), the new miniature golf course is located on the island's western shore, with breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor beyond.

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