Things To Do: Summer Fun

Things To Do: Summer Fun

summer fun, things to do, family events
We were invited to attend some of these events as media. As always, all opinions are honest and my own.
People often ask me if I have vacations planned during the summer and most of the time, my answer is no. If we’re not heading to visit JustaNOLAmom and her family, I would much rather stay close to home during the summer because there is way too much fun to be had in NYC and the surrounding areas! The best part is that a ton of the happenings are free. And since you’re saving money on the free events, you don’t mind spending some on the paid ones! Here’s a very small list of what’s happening that we will be checking out (or have already checked out) this summer. In no way is this a complete list. I will try to do at least one more before the summer is over because there really is just so much to see and do but I wanted to share a few of the things you might not have known about.

Pay Events:

Kewl Kidz Paint Pop-Up Paint Party – Wednesday, July 17th 1p -Not sure if you know this, JustaBXgirl wants to be an artist when she grows up. That is in part due to Kewl Kidz Paint. KKP is a mobile paint party studio that occasionally hosts pop-up paint parties around the City. If you have a budding artist or a little that has never picked up a paintbrush they both can enjoy this event. Use code: JUSTABXMOM to save $10!

The McKittrick Hotel’s Potions & Planting – Multiple Dates:7/27, 8/10 & 8/24 10a –

We learned about this seasonal event too late to participate last year, but we can’t wait to get there this summer! Potions & Planting invites children, ages 5-10, to enjoy a whimsical high tea party with their favorite teddy bear or doll at rooftop oasis Gallow Green. Families are transported to the mysterious world of The McKittrick, while immersed in a secret garden overgrown with blooming vines, trees and flowers.

During the party, children learn about gardening and the surrounding plants with the hotel’s residents, plus create magic potions with special powers to take home. Admission includes a traditional platter of Finger Sandwiches, MiniSausage Rolls, Cakes and Tarts, with refreshing Pink Lemonade and hands-on lessons in potions and planting. Tea and a selection of seasonal cocktails are also available for adults. Tickets are $25 per person for this magical family experience. Doll and teddy bear plus ones may enter free of charge and receive a surprise gift. Reservations are required.

We can’t wait to share more about it after we visit.
Field Station: Dinosaurs – Open Daily
We had dino envy because we had a lot of friends that checked this place out last year and we didn’t have the chance to get there. We made sure to check it out this summer and were even invited to one of their Blogger Days! One thing that we didn’t know last year is that the NJ park isn’t the only one. They also have a location in Kansas.
While at Field Station you are able to explore scenic trails, featuring over 30 moving and roaring life-size animatronic dinosaurs! You get to discover the story and science of Dinosaurs with live shows, games, and activities every day and come face to face with The Mighty T-Rex!
Splish Splash – Open Daily
You already know we go at least once a year. And don’t forget to use our discounted tickets when you go. There is so much to do here we never get through all of it. When you take your trip there make sure to check out the Wave Pool because you just might find me lounging there.
Great South Bay Music Festival July 18-21 in Shorefront Park in Patchogue, Long Island. 
If you follow me on Instagram then you know we spend some time out East during the summer. Patchogue isn’t too far from where we stay while out there so we are hoping to make this festival this year.
The festival will have lots of things to do for adults (great bands, food, and craft beer) but don’t fret, the festival offers great fun for all ages. This also happens to be Long Island’s Longest Running and Largest 4 Day Music Festival.
Celebrating It’s 13th Year
JULY 18-21 at Shorefront Park in Patchogue Village
2019 Line Up Includes America, Taking Back Sunday, Slightly Stoopid,
Sublime w Rome, WAR, Edgar Winter, Glassjaw, Lotus, Dweezil Zappa,
Spafford, SOJA, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, The Menzingers
Assembly Of Dust, Pink Talking Fish, Frank Iero & the Future Violents
Englishtown Project, Blue Coupe (Members of Alice Cooper & Blue Oyster Cult), and more…
Over 75 Performers on 5 Stages
The Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City concert series is made possible through a special collaboration of NJPACThe Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and generous sponsors RWJBarnabas HealthWhole Foods Market and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. In the event of inclement weather, scheduling advisories may be found at
One Center Street
Newark, New Jersey 07102 or 888.GO.NJPAC (888.466.5722)
All concerts take place on Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m.JULY 11
Felix Hernandez’s “Rhythm Revue Dance Party”Kick off the summer when NJPAC welcomes back the popular live version of the metro area’s first and longest-running radio show dedicated to spinning classic soul and R&B. DJ Felix Hernandez and his “Rhythm Revue” have been broadcast by WBGO Jazz 88.3FM, WBLS-FM, 98.7 KISS-FM, and Sirius XM.

“Newark Salutes Its Own”

Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City, NJPAC’s free outdoor music series, showcases the talents of BYHAZE, The IZM, Kween Moore, Euphony, J-Read and others in Newark Salutes Its Own.

Catch the stars of tomorrow today at NJPAC’s Chambers Plaza, where Newark’s emerging artists and bands perform musical stylings from R&B and Latin to hip hop and funk. Joining the lineup of Newark Salutes Its Own are the house band LMNOP; photojournalist Shane “BYHAZE” Fuller, half of the hip hop/R&B duo The Ubuntu Theory; poet and interdisciplinary artist Kween Moore; rapper and poet Euphony; musician Jared “J-Read” Fontaine; and Anthony Lawrence Peterson (“The IZM”), an author, songwriter and emcee.

The Wailers’ Julian Junior Marvin
Also appearing: The Alchemystics (reggae/hip hop)

Jamaican-born blues-rock guitarist and vocalist Julian Junior Marvin is known for a style as innovative as it is expressive. A member of Bob Marley & The Wailers from 1977 until Marley’s passing in 1981, Marvin later released four CDs with The Wailers Band, as well as a number of solo projects. As frontman for the current Wailers band, Marvin and company play songs made popular by Marley, performed the way they were meant to be heard.

AUG. 1
New Power Generation
Featuring the music of Prince
Also appearing: Singer and songwriter Angela Johnson

New Power Generation, Prince’s backing band through the 1990s and 2000s, reunites for this tribute to the late superstar’s epic body of work. Spearheaded by keyboardist Morris Hayes (who also served as Prince’s musical director for many years), the re-formed New Power Generation features many members of the original band, joined by charismatic vocalist Mackenzie. Their performance is a high-energy musical kaleidoscope that pays tribute to Prince’s biggest hits, including songs like “Diamonds and Pearls,” “1999,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Pop Life,” “Purple Rain,” “Kiss,” and more.

AUG. 8
Charlie Cruz
Also appearing: 3D Rhythm of Life (Latin/tropical soul band)

One of the fastest rising stars in salsa music, vocalist Charlie Cruz was born in Puerto Rico and spent his teenage years in Paterson, where he first grew to love salsa. As a young performer, he spent two years in Puerto Rico honing his skills as a vocalist in the Domingo Quiñones Orchestra. Soon after, he shared a stage with Gilberto Santa Rosa, Victor Manuelle and Tito Nieves. That concert led to a contract with Sir George Records, where Cruz has produced a string of hit singles, including “Bombon de Azucar,” “Amarte es un Problema” and “Déjala que Baile.” His latest album is Tu Con El.

AUG. 15
“A Night of Inspiration”
The Walls Group & The String Queens

Presented by NJPAC in association with Chew Entertainment, “A Night of Inspiration” is an evening of sublimely moving music that brings together two top acts: The Texas-based Walls Group, composed of four charismatic, supremely talented siblings who specialize in urban contemporary gospel, and the Washington, D.C.-based String Queens, a dynamic, all-female string trio known for a diverse repertoire that moves freely from the Baroque era to the Jazz Age to today’s Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

AUG. 22
The Davell Crawford Movement
Also appearing: The VooDUDES (Zydeco/rock/blues/country)

An evening of American roots music, courtesy of acclaimed New Orleans pianist Davell Crawford and his band. Crawford is one of the most durable artists on the contemporary Crescent City music scene and a leading ambassador of the New Orleans piano legacy. Known for his work in American roots music – which includes gospel, traditional jazz, country, funk and R&B – Crawford’s keyboard prowess has taken him to many of the world’s greatest clubs, performance halls and jazz festivals.

AUG. 29
Lords of the Underground
Also appearing: DJ Wallah (HOT 97) and students of NJPAC’s Hip Hop Intensive

Newark’s own Lords of the Underground – the chart-topping rap trio of Bruce Anthony Colston (aka DJ Lord Jazz), Dupré Kelly (DoItAll), and Al’Terik Wardrick (Mr. Funke) – first broke onto the music scene with their 1993 debut LP, “Here Come the Lords.” That album went platinum and turned the Lords into one of rap’s best-selling units. The group went on to sell over 5 million albums worldwide, and to release five No. 1 singles on the Billboard Rap Chart, including classics like “Psycho,” “Chief Rocka,” “Funky Child” and “Tic Toc.”

Free Events:
I had no idea that the Paley Center existed until Mommy Factor took us there for a fun afternoon. And now I want to share the magic with you! Currently, the Paley Center is hosting an exhibition celebrating “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Did you know they turned 35? Visitors can enjoy an art piece showcasing the comic book’s origins, take a “shellfie” with a Turtles standee, and go through a visual timeline of the evolution of the Turtles. (Free; noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday; 25 W. 52nd St., Manhattan;


2019 Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, August 13-15 – Gates open at 6:30 pm; films begin at dusk. (Event is subject to cancellation due to weather.)

Before I had JustaBXgirl, I used to love taking advantage of summer movie screenings here and at Bryant Park. Maybe this summer, I will take her to one of these so that she can have the experience. The best tips that I can offer to anyone going to one of these is to get there early because there will be a line and bring snacks and a blanket to sit on. Films are free of charge; no tickets are required. Here’s a list of what they will be showing this year:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Back to the Future (1985, PG)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Moonstruck (1987, PG)

Thursday, August 15, 2019
Black Panther (2018, PG-13)

WHERE:          Screenings take place at the landscape in Central Park between Sheep Meadow and the 72nd Street Cross Drive, which is accessible from the east and west sides of the Park at 72nd Street. For a map, visit


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