This Week: 4th of July Fireworks in NYC & Beyond, Free Things to Do All Summer, Vintage Carnival Rides on Governors Island

It was a week of happy endings and exciting beginnings! Our kids finished up at school and are all now enjoying summer break and camp. (My daughter sang and danced all week at TADA! Youth Theater which, coincidentally, is doing a great giveaway with us this week.) Public pools opened for the season and—thanks to supportive readers like you—our Mommy Poppins App IndieGoGo campaign was fully funded! We're putting the finishing touches on the app as I type, and we'll have more info about the rollout later this season.

Right now all of our sites are in full-on July 4th mode. We've got posts about explosive Independence Day celebrations on Long Island, in Westchester, New Jersey and, of course, Macy's 4th of July Fireworks right here in NYC, which you can watch for FREE from land or, if you're feeling flush, on a Hudson River cruise. Whatever you do over the holiday, there are lots of NYC staycation activities in our Summer Guide and ways to keep cool in our Water Fun Guide.

Meanwhile, if you're looking to get away for the holiday or anytime this season, be sure to check our Travel Guide for vacation inspiration near and far. We just added a roundup of six spectacular family resorts in Virginia, and the site has lots of other posts about family travel in the U.S., the Caribbean and Europe.

Here's what else we covered on the NYC site this week:

American Express, go leave home without it: We've rounded up FREE things to do every single day through the end of August. We even have a bunch of no-cost anytime picks!

Speaking of FREE, Tribeca's Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center is offering no-cost robotics, sports, arts, acting and other classes to middle schoolers throughout July. We've got the scoop on how to snag a spot.

We finished up our month-long focus on Ridgewood, Queens with a roundup of our favorite family-friendly restaurants in the area.

Our biweekly links roundup included a preview of Governors Island's awesome new collection of vintage carnival rides and carousel, Coney Island's new light show and roller coaster, and a cool new children's book exhibit at the NYPL.

It's whale watching season on the East Coast! We spotlighted five great whale and dolphin spotting tours, most within a few hours of NYC.

Thinking of taking the kids to a big Broadway show? How about a big Off-Broadway show instead? We spotlighted five Off-Broadway productions we love that are great for families, and even broke them down by age and interest.

Best bets for the weekend include the Astoria Park Carnival, a pair of FREE fishing festivals and the no-cost SummerStage Kids Bronx Family Day.