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.

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.

5 Brooklyn Cafes with Dedicated Kid Play Areas

If you're looking for a new spot to grab your morning coffee or merely want to enjoy brunch in peace, these five kid-friendly restaurants can't be beat. At these Brooklyn cafes you will find a welcoming environment, great food, and a caffeine jolt, as well as dedicated and safe play areas for your kids. Turn your meal into a play date with a friend or just sit back and take some well-deserved breathing space. Either way, both you and your kids are sure to have a good time.

Check out our NYC Restaurant Guide for more great eateries, including these 10 Brooklyn spots with ample outdoor seating.

Best Water Parks for Toddlers Near NYC

Spending a day around the wave pool at a water park is one of our favorite things to do on a hot summer day. Of course, when temperatures soar, we might just sprint over to the FREE neighborhood pool or sprinklers for a quick cool down, but sometimes it's an all-day water park kind of heat. 

Families with toddlers in tow aren't looking for big slides or big waves. So although we've told you already about the many water parks near NYC, we've rounded up our top preschool splash pads. Prepare to find toddler-sized attractions, along with perks such as nursing stations and FREE mini life jackets—and don't worry, there's plenty of big-kid fun to go around, too. So read on for details about 11 parks within two hours of New York City that cater to the littlest water explorers.

Check out our NYC Beaches, Pools, and Water Fun Guide for more ideas on how to cool down.

Weekday Picks for LI Kids: In the Garden, Alive on 25, July 11-15

Summer is in full swing, so it makes sense that families want to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Head over to Bridgehampton for a gardening lesson, watch the Minions outside, enjoy Riverhead's shops and restaurants when Main Street is shut down and dance along to Darlene Graham in Sayville.

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: Juggling, Nature, Family Concert, July 11-15, 2016

This week CT families can save a few pennies by catching  Front Country Band as they perform a FREE family concert in Ballard Park, enjoy FREE admission to White Memorial Nature Museum this Monday, and a FREE juggling act in Enfield.

Listed below are just a few of our favorite picks for the coming week. More family fun can be found in our Summer Fun Guide including 5 Great Beaches for Toddlers and Free Summer MoviesBlueberry Picking is in full swing now and we've rounded up where you can pick your own. You can find plenty of other ideas for family fun in our July GoList.

The Event Calendar is full of many more suggestions so check back often and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to stay up to date.

Cheap Swim Lessons in and around Philadelphia

There's no doubt about it, swimming is an important life skill. That's why it's essential to teach kids how to swim at an early age. Plus, it means you can worry a little less during those long summer days at the pool or beach. We've rounded up some great nearby swimming lessons that are also affordable. Get the kiddos in their swimsuits and goggles and head on out to one of these great swim classes.


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