Long Island Parent Talk

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

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Valerie Kellogg

Valerie Kellogg is the editor of Newsday's Kids section. She lives in Huntington and is the mother of an 8-year-old boy, Harrison, who loves science, "Star Trek" and anything having to do with space.

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

During Turtle Hatch Day at the Cold Spring

(Credit: Nancy Borowick)

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 August.

Free

Erik's Reptile Edventures, a live reptile show featuring lizards, snakes,...

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Weekend family fun on Long Island: Zoppe Family Circus, Feast of St. Rocco and more

Zoppe: An Italian Family Circus will take place

(Credit: Partridge Road)

Looking for things to do with the kids this weekend? From Zoppe Family Circus and "Sleeping Beauty" to Paumanauke Powwow, Feast of St. Rocco and more, there is plenty happening on Long Island. Here are my top five picks for family-friendly activities during the weekend:

Paumanauke Powwow at Babylon Town Hall (200 Sunrise Hwy., Lindenhurst). On Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., learn...

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Networking event for the college-bound

A networking event for the college-bound will take

(Credit: iStock)

Grads of high school class of 2014 who are bound for college are invited to a free networking opportunity on Saturday.

Students will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with a diverse pool of male and female community role models representing the arts, business, academia, human services and local politics. There will also be refreshments, giveaways, beauty and health activities, entertainment...

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Feeding the kids: Chicken cheddar bacon ranch macaroni and cheese

The chicken bacon cheddar ranch macaroni and cheese

(Credit: Steve Legato)

In my ongoing quest to find tasty, kid-friendly food appropriate for the whole family, this week I chose a fun twist on traditional macaroni and cheese. I found the recipe in "Eat What You Love -- Everyday: 200 All-New, Great-Tasting Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories," by Marlene Koch (Running Press; $26.50).

Chicken Cheddar Bacon Ranch Mac' n Cheese(Makes 4 servings)

Ingredients-...

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Chess lessons for kids in the Hamptons

New York City Chess Inc. is offering chess

(Credit: New York City Chess Inc.)

If your kids love chess or want to learn the game, you may want to check out new classes this summer in the Hamptons.

New York City Chess Inc. will be offering lessons at Georgica Restaurant and Lounge (108 Stone Rd.) in Wainscott and at Guild Hall (158 Main St.) in East Hampton. The camp includes world-class chess training as well as a variety of other fun and entertaining activities.

The...

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8 tips for camp visiting day

The American Camp Association, New York and New

(Credit: iStock)

Midsummer means camp visiting day is here. While you're counting down the days and packing up your child's favorite things to bring, you may want to keep in mind that each camp has their own visiting day guidelines. To help you make the most this fun day, the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey recommends these eight tips:

1. Don’t bring banned items to camp, which can include...

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'Sesame Street' exhibit to open in New York City

Big Bird in front of Lincoln Center from

(Credit: Sesame Workshop)

"Sesame Street" is coming to New York City. The "Somebody Come and Play": 45 Years of Learning on "Sesame Street" exhibit is opening in September at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts to celebrate the show's 45th season, which airs this fall.

Elmo, Grover, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie and all your favorite Muppets will be on display, with the exhibit offering visitors a behind-the-scenes...

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Summer-inspired baby names

BabyCenter.com revealed the top summer-inspired baby names.

(Credit: iStock)

Choosing your baby's name can be quite overwhelming. I remember that before my husband and I got married, we both had names we liked for our future children. But, as new parents find, when the time comes to actually pick a name, often it's hard to agree on one. And with more than 30,000 names in use, there's no shortage of options.

To help parents decide, BabyCenter, a pregnancy and parenting...

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Indoor go-kart racing track opens in Farmingdale

A new, indoor, electric go-kart racing venue called

(Credit: Beth Whitehouse)

A new, indoor, electric go-kart racing venue called Pole Position Raceway has opened in Farmingdale, offering kids and adults the chance to race at speeds up to 45 miles per hour.

Kelley Dolce and her son, Alex, 10, were on a shopping trip to BJ’s Wholesale Club last week when Alex spotted the nearby building out of the corner of his eye, with its exterior bordered like a black-and-white checkered...

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Hollywood baby boom: 10 pregnant celebrities

There's another Hollywood baby boom. Celebrity Baby Scoop

(Credit: Celebrity Baby Scoop)

In last year’s Hollywood baby boom, we met Fergie and Josh Duhamel’s adorable son Axl, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s darling daughter Everly, and our favorite baby of 2013, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge!

Who will be adding to their families in 2014?

We’re all waiting in anticipation for the birth announcement from Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher. And...

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