Long Island Parent Talk

Get the inside scoop on all things kids and parenting on Long Island.

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Leema Thomas

Leema Thomas is a copy/web editor for Newsday. She lives in Dix Hills with her hubby, Bashu, their teen, aka Stefanie, and preteens, Hannah and Caleb.

Free (or cheap!) for kids on Long Island in September

The Harvest and Seafood Festival takes place at

(Credit: Newsday / Lorina Capitulo)

Need weekend plans or something to do with the kids during the week? There are a ton of free children's events at local libraries, but we also found free and cheap things to do elsewhere this month. Whether you have one, two, three or more kids in tow, here's a roundup of fun, budget-friendly events in September.

Free

Long Island Family Festival at Tanner Park (Kerrigan Road, off Montauk...

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A family-friendly North Fork day trip

Amanda Lundquist, 8, of West Islip, plucked the

(Credit: Peggy Lundquist)

My family recently went on our 13th annual pilgrimage to the North Fork, and we were blessed by Mother Nature with perfect weather.

My husband and I, our three children, their spouses and our seven grandchildren, who range in age from 11 to 5, caravanned in three cars with a designated driver in each, as our trip included a visit to three wineries: Martha Clara Vineyards on Sound Avenue in...

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Son's movie becomes a family affair

A scene from "The Ninjas of Burgundy Drive"

(Credit: Harrison McKenna)

When the teachers ask my son what he did during the summer vacation, he can reply, “I made a movie.”

“The Ninjas of Burgundy Drive” came to be after Harrison, then 9, got an idea for a story, grabbed a spiral notebook and went to his room for a few hours over two or three days to write the script. He then got my husband to shoot it with his Samsung Galaxy on a trip to see family last summer...

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10 Labor Day activities for kids on Long Island

Devan Kicknosway of Ottawa, Canada, who is Mohawk

(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

If you're looking to take a break from the beach or barbecues this weekend, there are many fun Labor Day events for families. From children's performances to exploring nature, horses, cultural entertainment, art and more, there's so much to do on Long Island.

The Hampton Classic horse show at (240 Snake Hollow Rd., Bridgehampton). Along with more than 1,600 horses as well as hunter, jumper...

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5 outdoor art projects for kids

Outdoor art projects are great for summer afternoons,

(Credit: FamilyFun Magazine)

As summer is winding down, you may be trying to find fun things to do outdoors with the kids. Take advantage of the warm weather by creating an artsy afternoon by coloring, painting and more outside. I found these fun, creative ideas in the August issue of FamilyFun Magazine.

Pool PaintingThis activity lets you turn the kiddie pool into an impromptu art lab. Kids can experiment by working...

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How to build a better lunch box for kids

Pack a lunch box for kids that's based

(Credit: iStock)

Back to school means planning and packing lots of lunches for the kids. Sure, you have your child's favorite foods or easy, go-to items, but if you're looking for a healthier change, Alexandra Zissu, editorial director of Healthy Child Healthy World, a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a mission to empower parents to take action and protect their children from harmful chemicals, provided...

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Feeding the kids: Grilled-peach and almond ice pops

The grilled-peach and almond ice pops can be

(Credit: Food Network)

In my ongoing quest to find tasty, kid-friendly food appropriate for the whole family, this week I chose a refreshing ice pop, perfect for a Labor Day celebration. I found the recipe in the Food Network Kitchen on FoodNetwork.com.

Grilled-Peach and Almond Ice Pops(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

Ingredients- One 6-inch piece fresh ginger, unpeeled, sliced into very thin rounds (about 1 cup)-...

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Celebrity moms share back-to-school tips

Celebrity moms offer back-to-school tips and tricks.

(Credit: Celebrity Baby Scoop)

It’s time to start thinking about the back to school season.

While this time of year can cause stress and anxiety, Celebrity Baby Scoop reached out to some savvy celebrity moms for tips and tricks to help beat the back to school chaos.

Jennie Garth: "Mystery Girls" star Jennie Garth and her ex-husband, "Twilight" star Peter Facinelli, are parents to three daughters: Luca, 17, Lola, 12,...

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4 tricks for tackling kid-made messes

Merry Maids offered tricks and solutions for tackling

(Credit: Merry Maids)

From melting ice pops and wet towels to sandy shoes and glittery art projects, kid-made messes tend to pile up during the summer, with moms pulling double duty with their children home from school.

To help parents enjoy their summer, Debra Johnson, home-cleaning expert for Merry Maids offered easy tricks and solutions for tackling the notorious summer messes by engaging their kids to help...

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Judging a mom by her mileage

How much mileage do you have on your

(Credit: istock)

This Mom has 184,891 miles on her.

That’s if we’re measuring my experience since giving birth to my first and only child by how far my Subaru Forester has traveled. My husband and I bought the electric blue mini-SUV 10 years ago when I was pregnant with our son, Harrison. At the time, I was at the end of a years-long self-imposed no-driving kick, determined to employ Long Island’s paltry mass...

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