Kids

Weekday Picks for LI Kids: STEM Storytime, Movies on the Harbor, July 18-22

There's a good mix of indoor and outdoor activities going on this week, so you're covered no matter what is going on outside. Enjoy STEM storytime in Bellmore, watch a Movie on the Harbor, participate in an archaeological dig at the Maritime Explorium and meet Peppa Pig at Le Play Cafe.

There's even more going on this week, so be sure to take a look at our Long Island events calendar and our Summer Fun Guide. You can also get the best events of the week sent directly to your inbox each week if you sign up for our newsletter.

Weekday Picks Basketball, Movies, and a Star Party, July 18-22, 2016

The hot and sweaty summer is upon us! If this last week's weather has you dreaming of cool, indoor destinations, this week offers a range of fun, free (or nearly free) family movies at venues as disparate as the Cinemark Theater in Enfield, the Bridgeport Library, and the Fairfield Library. If the force is with you and you want to be outdoors, check out Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is playing at the Grassy Strip Film Festival outside the Madison Beach Hotel on Tuesday, and then follow that up with your own adventures in outer space at the Star Party at the White Memorial Conservation Center on Friday. 

Harry Potter fans in your house are probably eagerly counting down to the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the end of the month. Be sure to register for release parties in Westport, Norwalk, and Fairfield before they fill up. As always, the Event Calendar is continually updated with events for wizards and Muggles alike so check back often and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to be sure you don't miss a thing.

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.

Day Trip: Family Fun in Long Island's Sag Harbor

Summertime means vacation time for many families, and luckily you don't have to travel far for a getaway that has something for everyone in the family. Simply head to the East End village of Sag Harbor for some seaside fun. From historical locales to beautiful beaches, it's the perfect place for a day trip or a weekend away. You can easily spend a good part of the day walking down quaint Main Street, lined with shops and restaurants, and make your way to the marina to watch the sailboats go by. Then stop by the windmill that houses the Visitor Center for info on local events, and check out some of our favorite things to do in this beautiful town. And for more to do in the area, take a look at the Hamptons & North Fork Family Guide.

The Best Children's Theater in NYC This Summer

New York City's family theater scene is hotter than a heat wave. Some people might think the dog days of summer are a cultural wasteland and that all the cool openings won't start again until fall, but that's just not the case when it comes to kids' shows.

There are options for all ages, interests, and budgets, including a page-to-stage adaptation of a Junie B. Jones picture book, family-friendly outdoor Shakespeare, the return of a glow-in-the-dark extravaganza, and a brand-new Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes. Best of all, some picks are less than $25 per ticket, and three are 100 percent FREE! Plus, we found discount codes for the pricier ones.

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Alpacas, Fairies, and Fire Trucks, July 16-17

This weekend promises to be hugely delicious and refreshing: Sunday is National Ice Cream Day! Whether you decide to track down tempting ice cream parlors (we sampled a few for you in Fairfield and New Haven counties), or make your own frozen treats at home, be sure to celebrate the sweet occasion. 

If you find yourself savoring ice cream in the Hartford area, consider ending the night with free music and a movie at The Shoppes of Farmington Valley, or spend an entire day filled with festivities at Collinsville Hot 2016.

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

Learn Spanish: Language Classes for NYC Kids

New York City is full of places where young kids can learn how to habla Español. In fact, Many New York City public schools offer wonderful dual-language Spanish programs, as well as other languages.

But rest assured there are plenty of other options if your child's school doesn't offer a language program. We've rounded up some of our favorite Spanish learning centers for New York City preschool-age and elementary-school students. So embrace the melting pot of New York City culture, where your kids will certainly get to practice what they learn in the classroom.

Find more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

Fishing Tournaments for LI Kids in the Hamptons & North Fork

There are many perks to living on an island, and fishing is definitely one of them. Mid to late summer offers East End children an opportunity to enjoy this fun and family-friendly activity with a series of saltwater tournaments sure to delight young anglers.

The prize catch for kids is usually the snapper, the juvenile version of the bluefish. Plentiful on either fork and fun to catch, they offer kids an introduction to game fishing from the safety of the town dock. Other tournaments target the elusive fluke or flounder and require a trip offshore. But whatever the prey, kids can enjoy a day in the sun while perhaps picking up a trophy or two.

Here are our favorite fishing tournaments for kids. Parents should check the websites listed or call in case of weather-related changes. And make sure to check out our Hamptons and North Fork Guide for the best in family-friendly entertainment on the East End.

Ways to Prevent Summer Slide in Fairfield County

Slides are fun in playgrounds, in pools, and maybe even in your own backyard. However, the notorious “summer slide” is nothing to joke about. According to the National Summer Learning Association, “numerous studies have confirmed that children experience learning losses in math and reading without continued opportunities for skill building over the summer.” The good news is, summer learning experiences surround us if you know where to look.  Take advantage of all of our cultural institutions, nature centers, libraries, and museums by turning Fairfield County into a living classroom. 

Some of my favorite “educational moments” happen way outside the classroom. Summer sets the perfect stage for exploration and adventures. Fairfield County offers engaging summer reading events at almost all the libraries, live theater performances, and hands on science and nature experiences. You can even take summer learning on the road and enjoy one of these Science, Machines, and Nature Museums in Fairfield County.

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