Kids

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.

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.

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 (and the skies parted and the sun shone through!).

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.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Summer Campout, Movie Nights, June 23-24

Summer activities are happening in full force around our city, and this weekend is packed to the brim with some awesome events you don't want to miss. With the sun promising to come back out by Saturday, now is the time to start picking out some outdoor activities, whether it's an evening summer "campout", breakfast on the bayou, or taking part in STEM Saturday at Discovery Green. We also highly recommend checking out Challenger Seven Memorial Park in Webster, named as such for the seven astronauts who lost their lives in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion. (Since we live in Houston, though, and the weather changes on a dime, here's a handy little Indoor Fun Guide JUST IN CASE.)

All of this on-again, off-again rain can make it challenging to pre-plan your days, however our event calendar is full of both indoor and outdoor activities for kids of all ages, so you never have to worry about what you're going to do. Doing some long-term planning? Then head over to our June GoList for a highlight reel of this month's events. 

If you'd like everything happening on Mommy Poppins delivered straight to you in one concise email, sign up for our weekly newsletter. You'll never miss a new post again once you do!

Event planners: we want YOU! We love featuring the best events happening in and around Houston, and we try our best to get everything up on our calendar. If you notice that your event hasn't made it on yet, or you want to get a head start and ensure it's on our calendar nice and early, please submit your event to us so we can get it published. All you have to do is fill out the form and hit submit, then we'll take it from there.Easy-peasy.

Let's chat about the weekend now, and see what's in store. 

10 Great Beachfront Playgrounds in New Jersey

Put your kids in the swings and your feet in the sand at beachfront playgrounds along the Jersey Shore. The beaches of New Jersey are home to playgrounds that are like giant sandboxes, with colorful play structures and ocean views. Swing by some of these beachy-keen playgrounds on your next day trip or vacation to the shore.

Please note that some of these playgrounds may require fees for beach entrance during the summer months

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Shakespeare, a Campout, and a STEAM Fair, June 23-24

Summer officially arrives on Thursday so maybe that's why this coming weekend feels absolutely jam packed with summer time fun. You can kick off the weekend with a movie in the park on Friday night - Despicable Me 3 in New Fairfield or Hidden Figures in New Haven - and then spend Saturday and Sunday consorting with orcs and goblins at a Renaissance Faire, exploring the latest in robotics and makerspaces at Danbury STEAM, or stopping by Neverland in an inventive new production of "Peter Pan" in New Canaan. For the camping curious, the Great American Campout at the New Canaan Nature Center is a fantastic introduction to sleeping out of doors, with easy access to bathrooms and guided activities (and who doesn't love s'mores?)--just be sure to register in advance.

If you're in the mood for a little multicultural exploration, check out the Irish Festival in North Haven, the Italian Feast in New Haven or Latino Fest in Hartford. And just in case you've already thinking about fireworks, check out the pyrotechnic displays at Branford Point and following the New Britain Bees' baseball game (and check out our definitive fireworks post to start planning for Independence Day.) 

For even more options, check out our Event Calendar, which we update frequently with new listings from across the state. To keep up with everything going on in CT, follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Have a wonderful weekend!

Kid-Friendly Fishing Spots To Try with LA Kids

At some point, just about every boy and girl will want to try fishing. Whether you plan to eat your haul or catch and release, fishing is a time-honored, relaxing way for kids and parents or grandparents to spend quality quiet time together—and it's a classic summer activity. Why not start with a free wharf fishing clinic, to learn fishing basics or ocean fishing, then head out to one of the spots below on your own!

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