Free Things to Do This Summer with Kids in the Hartford Area

100 days of summer go by fast and parents spend most of their children's summer vacation looking for ways to keep them active, engaged, and entertained. We know you will likely spend time relaxing at the beach, discovering new playgrounds or best selling books, checking out the latest museum exhibits, or lounging by a pool in a backyard or at an amusement park. For all the other moments when children declare that there is nothing to do, here are a few ways to prove them wrong. And even better -- most of the summer activities and events are FREE! Enjoy the sunshine, time with your children, and the savings. 

Free Concerts for NYC Kids This June: Tim Kubart, Suzi Shelton

Free outdoor music is one of the hallmarks of a great NYC our opinion anyway. Pack a picnic, stake out a spot, lay down a blanket, and soak up some no-cost culture in the form of New York City's top kindie bands as they play FREE concerts at some of the city's most beloved parks and playgrounds.

Of course there are so many performances that it can be hard to figure out which ones are worth the time, energy, and schlep. That's why we've done the work for you. Read on for a dozen-plus cool concerts happening this June for NYC kids, and look out for our recommendations for the rest of the summer, coming soon!

Kiddie Playland: Worthy Addition to Long Island Play Spaces

Kiddie Playland in Williston Park is a bright and cheerful addition to Nassau County’s collection of indoor play spaces for kids. Whether you are looking for open play on a rainy day or are interested in one of the many classes offered, this new spot has it all. Kiddie Playland is an ideal play space for kids ages up to age 6, and there are class offerings for those up to age 10.

A Free Shopkins Macaron Café Pop-up Is Coming to NYC

If your child is a serious Shopkins aficionado, the lines have probably blurred for you one one season to the next. (Which one are we on now?) But good news: The manufacturer of all things miniature is opening an adorable pop-up experience in New York City to launch season 8—and get your kids worked up for all the tiny new additions to their current collections.

The French-themed Macaron Café is landing in Tribeca June 17-19, but those serious about getting a spot should reserve their FREE tickets now.

Free Summer Movie Series in Connecticut

Summer is busy: driving to camps, hauling beach equipment, cleaning up after backyard barbecues; once in a while it's nice to just sit back and relax as a family. And what's better than a movie the entire family can enjoy? A free family-friendly movie. There are some terrific, free (or nearly free) summer movie series running throughout Connecticut this summer - both indoors and outdoors - so grab a chair or a blanket, and catch up on the latest releases, or listen to the kids giggle once more over familiar characters.

Splash Pads, Water Parks, and Public Pools in New Haven County

It feels like we went from the cold winter weather straight into hot and hazy summer days. I love my central air, but I don’t want to spend my summer indoors. Splashing around in water is one of my favorite ways to stay cool, but that could be a little tricky when you don’t have a pool in your backyard. Thankfully, we don’t have to venture outside of New Haven County for water fun. There are plenty of splash pads, water parks, and pools to help keep us cool this summer.  And if we're feeling like checking out Hartford County there is plenty of splash pad, pool and water park fun there too! Also check out the Mommy Poppins Theme and Water Park Guide.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Summer Kickoff Party, Discover Dinosaurs, June 3-4

This weekend is our BIG summer kickoff party with Brain Quest! Join us for a morning of fun featuring face painting, a princess appearance and photo opportunities with "real" dinosaurs, plus delicious food from Chick-fil-A. Get your tickets now to secure a copy of the brand new Summer Brain Quest book and tons of goodies courtesy of Chick-fil-A. We look forward to meeting you and your families this Saturday! 

Also on Mommy Poppins this week:

Check out 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!

It's time to check out what's going on this weekend: 

Weekend Fun: The Birds and the Bees...and the Butterflies

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, even if the calendar (and thermometer) say otherwise. Outdoor fairs and festivals galore are taking place around the state, including the state's annual Trails Day celebration, taking place at 236 different sites. You can also take part in an annual Butterfly Party in honor of a Newtown victim, and learn about how butterflies help the birds and the bees when it comes to pollination. Be sure to check with the venues directly for any outdoor activities in the event of weather-related schedule changes.

We hope you'll follow Mommy Poppins Connecticut on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and subscribe to our newsletters to stay in touch. Have a great weekend!

23 Best Water Playgrounds and Sprinklers for Kids in NYC

When we were growing up, New York City playgrounds had sprinklers. Now parks and playgrounds across the five boroughs possess "water features"—fountains, geysers, rivers, pumps, and beautiful spraying statues. Kids just love them, and we parents prefer these newfangled playgrounds because they're pretty and cool, and make us feel as if our exorbitant NYC housing costs are justified.

As the city's sprinkler season gets into gear, it's good to know where to find the wildest and wettest playgrounds around. There are hundreds of water features in NYC parks, and we've highlighted some favorites by neighborhood: best of Queens and best of the Bronx. Some are cooler (literally and figuratively) than others, and more amazing ones seem to open every year. When we first published this article in 2008, we had five favorite splashing spots. Now we're up to 23 fancy playgrounds where kids can get wet in NYC. See if your favorites made our list (and if not, clue us in via Facebook).


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