Kids

June GoList: Best Things To Do With Kids on Long Island This Month

You’ve heard of the June swoon, right? It’s originally a baseball term, defining a team that plays well in April and May only to fall apart once the calendar stretches past Memorial Day.

Kids might swoon in June, too, as the anticipation of summer vacation usurps whatever lessons still remain on the school calendar. Well, we at Mommy Poppins don't want to contribute to that, but we must say there is plenty about June that just tickles us with excitement. 

On Long Island alone, there is a host of things to do in the four weeks before school lets out, including street fairs and festivals, concerts, Father’s Day celebrations, and more. The highlight might be the Mattituck Strawberry Festival, one of the largest North Fork gatherings of the year, but from Nassau County to Suffolk and out to the East End there’s plenty to keep your kids engaged until the school year concludes.

So away we go. Remember, our Long Island Events Calendar offers exciting family options as they develop throughout the month. You might also want to visit our Themes Parks and Water Parks Guide as the weather (hopefully) gets warmer.

And 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.

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?

The Best Playgrounds in Queens

Although every pocket and corner of Queens has a neighborhood playground (we frequent Playground Thirty-Five multiple times a week), we’ve taken the time to scout the cream of the crop for NYC kids. From Astoria to the Rockaways, with rope spider webs to kid-sized Ferris wheels, these parks offer clean, safe equipment with innovative and fun details that go beyond the metallic jungle gyms of the past.

Looking to make more of a splash? Check out our roundup on top water playgrounds in Queens, or find more playgrounds across the five boroughs in our NYC Parks & Playgrounds guide.

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! 

A Ferry Trip with LI Kids to Bridgeport for the Day

Bridgeport might not pop up on your bucket list of day trips to take from Long Island with the kids. But with an easy ferry connection from Port Jefferson, minor-league baseball and hockey games, children’s theater, and more, Long Island families are increasingly making a day of it in Connecticut's largest city.

Here’s what you need to know when taking the 17-nautical-mile hop to Bridgeport for a day trip via the ferry. Who knows—it might inspire you to try other great summer day trips from Long Island. And while waiting for the ferry, why not check out our guide to Port Jefferson Village, including a list of our favorite things to do when visiting the village from Connecticut.

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