‘Hatched’ Brings a Theatrical Petting Zoo to the Stage

If you’ve been searching for the right show to introduce your tot to theater, you can’t go wrong with Hatched. This sweet interactive children’s puppet show from Treehouse Shakers has just returned its dancing baby-animal barnyard to the NYC stage.

Playing this week at BAM in Brooklyn and next week at Alvin Ailey in Manhattan, Hatched follows a day in the life of a “just-hatched” chick, from its literal hatching forth from the egg onstage to the sun setting over the farm at day’s end.

We’ve recommended this show for first-time theatergoers in the past. But after catching it May 1 at BAM’s Fisher Hillman Studio, we wanted to share this full review with our readers.

Philly Outdoor Exercise Classes for Mom and Baby

With a slow start to spring, the weather is finally warming and parents are eager to get outside and get fit with their kids. Finding time to exercise with a baby or toddler around can be tricky, which is why we love these great classes that help get you in shape and keep your active little one involved. Grab your stroller, yoga mat, sunscreen and water bottle to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine while getting (or staying) in shape.

Gardening Classes and Clubs for NJ Kids

Spring is in full bloom, and it’s the perfect time of year to dig into gardening. Planting flowers or vegetables is a hobby the whole family can enjoy together. Through gardening, young growers can learn about nature, the environment and nurturing living things. And, of course, they’ll love playing in the dirt. Check out these opportunities throughout our Garden State for children learn gardening basics and develop a green thumb.

Mommy Freebies! Free Stuff for LA Moms on Mother's Day

Naturally, we hope that someone is making brunch reservations for you this Mother's Day. But what to do with the rest of the day? Well, there's nothing like feeling appreciated, and what says, "We appreciate you, Mom!" better than free admission (or a free cocktail)? Check out these places around town where the free carpet is rolled out just for mamas on Mother's Day.

Single Mom Confessions: I Hate Mother's Day—And How I'm Changing That

Mother's Day seems like such a great idea, but for single moms it rarely delivers. Who's going to bring us breakfast in bed—a toddler?

There are many paths to single motherhood, and I think among my friends we cover them all. Whether we were surprised by motherhood, by divorce, or just by everything that came after the sperm bank, one thing we all share is that Mother’s Day is not all it's cracked up to be. That’s not because we don’t love being mothers—being Mom is the part we love best. And the concept of celebrating motherhood is a fine thing. But being responsible for teaching someone else—someone small and self-centered—to make a fuss over us? That feels like more trouble than it's worth. Or, to put it as concisely as one of my friends does, “Kids ruin Mother’s Day.”

Of course we're joking. Kind of. How could kids ruin a day all about our joy in having them? Maybe it's because Hallmark builds this thing up as big as Valentine's Day and makes us think that someone is supposed to shower us with champagne breakfasts and roses. In a two-parent home, the responsibility for living up to that fantasy at least falls on an adult. Of course, friends readily tell me how often the adult can fall short (I don't think the Mother's Day deep fat fryer episode ended my one friend's marriage, but it clearly didn't help). Enough dads do seem to get it right, though, to leave a single mom feeling like she's alone in a world of mimosa drinkers come Sunday morn.

A Dozen Private NYC Swimming Pools Offering Day Passes

There are plenty of FREE swimming pools in NYC for kids during the summer months, but if you're looking for year-round options, or less crowded waters, try a private pool day pass. A number of "private" pools in New York City allow you to pay to swim for the day. And these are not hipsters-only hangouts, where visitors sip on $18 cocktails. Well, those exist, of course, but we've rounded up 12 private pools that are definitely kid-friendly and welcome families for swimming and other water fun.

Read on for where to get swimming in NYC now, and don't forget to check out how to score FREE swim lessons in the city, too.
 

Love Your Park Returns to Philadelphia this Month

One of the things that makes living in Philadelphia unique is the dedication to green and clean spaces. This month, from May 7-14 Philadelphia celebrates the annual Love Your Park week. Whether you live near a tiny parklet, or near some of the cities major park attractions, families can get involved with making their space a little nicer, giving back to their community and sharing in a family-friendly event that teaches about the environment, and neighborhood impact. In addition to clean-ups, this city-wide event features family-friendly festivals and guided nature hikes to add an extra dose of fun to your service day!

Dance Summer Camps for Kids in Fairfield County

Practically since they could walk, my kids have loved to dance. As they've gotten older, however, it's become pretty clear that they're just dabblers, and sometimes the commitment to an after school dance class is just too much to add into a busy schedule.  Happily, while there are many camps that offer summer intensives for enthusiastic dancers to hone their skills, there are a range of camps around Fairfield County--some as short as one week--that give budding dancers to try something new, be it ballet, hip hop, Irish dance, and more. Here are some of our favorites:

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