Part One: Summer Festivals for Family Vacation Fun CheapOair Staff April 6, 2010 Family Travel, Interests Montreal Jazz Festival This year, families seeking a cost-effective summer getaway should check out this list of the greatest summer festivals across North America. Teaching kids about the cultures and traditions of different regions is a great way to vacation and save money. Listed below is the first half of a picks for the top family-friendly festivals occurring at some popular destinations this summer season, many of which offer free activities and events. CALIFORNIA: Gravenstein Apple Fair (August 14-15, 2010): The Gravenstein Apple Fair, sponsored by Sonoma County Farm Trails, showcases the best in arts, crafts, food, wines and brews, games, entertainment and farm life activities. The fair has the flavor of a country get-together. Local farmers sell everything from apples and fiber arts to miniature plants and gourmet goodies. Over 125 artisans display arts and crafts. A miniature train tours the hillsides while antique farm equipment fascinates all ages. At the “Children’s Corner,” kids can create an art piece to take home or watch a puppet show. CANADA: Montreal International Jazz Festival (June 25 to July 6): Montreal celebrates the magic of music as it welcomes the most renowned jazz musicians for a mid-summer festival, the largest of its kind in the world. Approximately 3,000 musicians perform on festival stages and the 31st edition will feature prominent names such as George Benson, Steve Miller Band, and the Doobie Brothers while Cassandra Wilson and Lionel Richie headline the star-studded opening gala. The festival includes 370 free outdoor shows for 12 straight days. The festival site is closed to vehicular traffic during this time, making it safe for families. CONNECTICUT: International Festival of Arts & Ideas; (June 12 – 26, 2010): Now entering its 15th year, this annual New Haven festival is firmly established as one of the world’s most significant arts festivals and is a much anticipated start to the summer season in the Northeast, featuring an unrivalled performing arts series with renowned international stars, newly discovered artists and world premieres. Programming is planned to engage and delight adults and children alike and is an excellent value with more than 80 percent of festival events free to the public, including some of the most prestigious opera, jazz, classical, rock, folk and fusion music in the world. Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament (August 20-28): Pilot Pen is an Olympus US Open Series event on the ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour held every summer in New Haven at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale University. Visitors can also enhance their stay in New Haven by purchasing tickets to one of many “Special Access” off-court events taking place during the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament. The third-annual New Haven Food & Wine Festival (August 25, 5:00- 7:00 p.m.) will offer visitors the opportunity to sample, compare and contrast the culinary creations of the daring and innovative chefs, who call New Haven home. Check back Friday for more in Part Two: Summer Festivals for Family Fun on Cheapoair. Save big on family travel deals with CheapOair!