Eastern US

Providence WaterFire: Tips for an Amazing Outdoor Experience with Your Family

WaterFire just might be the greatest thing that’s ever happened to Providence, Rhode Island. In the 23 years since the first bonfires were lit on the rivers in Providence, the brilliant and moving art installation has helped to transform the city into a vibrant, family-friendly destination.

Part community festival and part art exhibition—complete with bonfires juxtaposed with water, music, arts and crafts vendors, boat rides, and live performances—WaterFire is held on various evenings from late April through early November. And spectators will tell you: It's an event not to be missed. But just like other wonderful, very popular events such as First Night Boston, getting the inside scoop on WaterFire can mean the difference between having a magical evening with the family and a really long night. Here are 25 things to look for and to know before you go—with wisdom learned (sometimes the hard way) from my family’s experience and from the very knowledgeable team at WaterFire

Camping in New York Just Got 100% More Awesome with Tentrr

Camping seems like such a nice idea. You connect with nature—just you and your family or friends in the woods. But the reality isn’t always as splendid. Gathering all the gear needed and packing everything and everyone into the car, or arriving at a trampled campground that's often just a few feet of dirt and some brush separating you from a band of beer-drinking bros, and you lose some of the romance. That's why we were excited to stumble upon a new way to reconnect with nature, especially for NYC or city families who don’t have room to store lots of equipment between trips.

A new website, Tentrr, connects private camp sites and campers, like an Airbnb for the Great Outdoors. While your host may leave you cookies or something extra to make you feel welcome, the best part of our stay was the total seclusion. The sites are on private land, so it really will be just you, the trees, and some woodland creatures.

Deal Alert! Mommy Poppins readers can save 20% off Tentrr. Visit our deals page to see all current offers for Mommy Poppins readers. 

Pocono Mountains with Kids: 61 Best Things To Do as a Family

Just two hours from New York City or Philadelphia, the Pocono Mountains offer pristine natural beauty mixed with enough family-friendly activities to fill a long weekend getaway or an entire summer vacation. Truly a four-season resort area, during the winter people flock to the region for skiing and other winter sports, and the cool lake-dotted mountains draw families for swimming, hiking, boating, horseback riding, and more in the summer. It's also loaded with great water parks, both indoor and outdoor.

We've rounded up dozens of the top family attractions in the Poconos into one mega list. Given that it's a fairly large region, we've separated the list by area or town to make it easier to find what's closest to where you and your family plan to visit. Staying longer? Hit all the regions!

Family Getaway to Wildwood, NJ: Beach, Water Parks, Rides

Along the Jersey Shore, beaches and boardwalk offer endless summer fun for kids, but each shore town has its own personality, top sights, and vibe. So how do you know which is right for your family?

We’ve explored nearly all of them, from Cape May at the southern point, on up to Asbury Park. I just returned from a family trip to Wildwood and its action-packed boardwalk and Morey’s Piers with a bazillion rides, multiple water parks, games, and so much more. It’s busy and chaotic, but exudes retro charm thanks in part to its Doo-wop-themed diners and local customs like when the whole boardwalk stops in its tracks at 11am to raise their hands to their hearts as the national anthem plays over the loudspeaker.

Read on for all the details on what to expect from your summer getaway to this Jersey Shore hot spot.

Shop for Great Bargains and Variety at Consignment Stores in the Hartford Area

Ahhh, the excitement of back-to-school shopping: notebooks, pencils, crayons...and clothes and shoes you know your child will outgrow by year's end. It’s one thing to invest in quality items as an adult, but quite another to contend with growth spurts, messy dinners and art projects, or heavy playground wear and tear. 

Consignment stores are enticing for a few reasons: the savings are most obvious; oftentimes, you can purchase new children's items with original price tags still attached and expensive brand names at less than half the original cost. In addition to keeping more money in your wallet, you'll also find more variety and benefit the environment when giving something used new life again.

Of course, you can also make money or earn store credit when selling your child's gently used clothing. So, whether you're looking for school uniforms, sweaters, pants, or specialty items like festive wear, dance apparel, baby equipment, toys, and books, check out the following spots in the greater Hartford area for consignment opportunities near you.

A Guide to Acadia National Park with Kids

Of the 59 amazing major national parks across the U.S., only one can be found in the Northeast: Acadia National Park in Maine. And luckily for those of us who live within reasonable driving distance, Acadia happens to be a park that's perfect for families. Manageable hikes, super swimming spots, family-friendly dining, and spectacular sights with colorful names (Thunder Hole!) make a weekend trip not only doable, but totally enjoyable. Here are some tips for enjoying this coastal wonder.

70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore

There's nothing better than lazy, relaxing summer days at the beaches of the Jersey Shore with its miles of sandy coastline. Of course, at some point the kids are going to want to get up and do and see something, right?

If you're looking for ways to keep the kids entertained during a vacation at the shore this summer, this list of 70 family-friendly activities for toddlers to teens all up and down the New Jersey coast should hit the spot. We've even included a number of FREE things to do.

For more fun down the shore, check out our Jersey Shore Guide, which includes information on amusement parks and water parks, top beaches, best boardwalks, and more.

We're Sweet on This Jersey Shore Ice Cream Shop's Insane Milkshakes

Take a break from the beach and cool down at Coney Waffle, home to the best milkshakes in New Jersey. This Shore staple has locations in Asbury Park and Belmar, and it recently opened a third shop, at Pier Village in Long Branch, just in time for the summer season. Your kids will go crazy for the jaw-dropping super shakes towering with whipped cream, baked goods, candy, and other sweet toppings. With homemade waffles, fudge, and ice cream also on the menu, there's something for every sweet tooth at this beach-side spot. 

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