Weekday Picks: Groundhogs, Candy, and Snowflakes February 1-5

It may not have been the most wintry winter in these parts so far, but I confess that I won't be crushed if the groundhog doesn't see his shadow on Tuesday: I'm ready for the warmer temperatures and longer days of spring. We have lots going on around town this week to help you and your kids beat back the winter doldrums, whether with a drop in playdate or a fun Valentine workshop. For more fun things to do, make sure to consult our frequently updated Event Calendar where you'll find a complete list of daily activities. 

Kid Movies: BAMkids, NY International and More Film Fests

Rediscover the magic of the movies with several upcoming children's film festivals landing in New York City this winter and continuing into spring. In the cold of winter, going to the movies is tempting, but the big-budget family film options? Not so much. They're expensive (especially 3D releases), and winter is the traditional dumping ground for duds.

Luckily, we have BAMkids Film Festival and New York International Children's Film Festival that showcase international and offbeat shorts and features, while Film Forum Jr. screens cool classics every Sunday morning. Each offers dozens of picks for preschoolers on up to tweens. Plus, ticket prices can be less costly—most are less than $15 per person. Oh, and we have a discount code to share with you!

Here are the details on these festivals, as well as theaters known to offer regular indie kid flicks like the Film Forum and even two spots—one in Brooklyn, another in Manhattan—serving up brunch, cocktails and kid movies. Don't forget to check out our post about where to see free and cheap kids' movies, too.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Square Dancing, Valentines, Origami, Feb. 1-5

February is here, and while that means cold and snow, it also means lots of reasons for celebrations, as discussed in our hot-off-the-press February GoList.

In addition to Chinese New Year celebrations, such as Lunar New Year, this week begins the preparations for Valentine’s Day, including Valentine Candy Making. There’s even a way to celebrate Groundhog Day. Unrelated to holidays, here’s a fun way to foster family bonding while getting a good workout: Friendly Squares Dance Club Free Fun Nights. What's more, all of our top picks for this week are FREE!

There are tons more events on our Event Calendar, so be sure to head there next. We don’t want you to miss any of the fun—grab your calendars and see what’s ahead!

Weekday Fun: Free Magic Show, Pollock Paint Project, Swedish Cottage Puppets

Kick off the first week of February with a free magic show, a Jackson Pollock-inspired art workshop, the debut of Little Red's Hood at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater and dance spectacular Untapped at the New Victory Theater.

And don't forget to check in with Staten Island Chuck on Tuesday, February 2, aka Groundhog Day, as he predicts either an early spring or more winter from his post at the Staten Island Zoo. 

If you're hoping for that early spring prediction, maybe planning the kids' summer activities will do you some good. Check out our list of NYC summer camp open houses, or teens can apply for one of these cool summer internships. A day or weekend getaway to a balmy indoor water park with the gang is another great way to stir up summer-themed fun.

Snow bunnies can hit the slopes close to home! Plan a day trip to one of these great places to ski and snowboard just a short drive from NYC. Before heading out, be sure to read our post on how kids can ski and board for FREE at area resorts.

Read on for this week's top picks. As always, more family activities can be found in our Event Calendar and Winter Fun Guide.

Winter Walks in Fairfield County

When the seemingly endless cold and gray of Winter is giving you a case of cabin fever, it’s time to bundle up the family and head to one of your local parks.  Winter brings its own magic to the local parks and preserves of Fairfield County.  Less crowds means more peace and quiet to enjoy your natural surroundings.  Take in a refreshing breath of cold air and see how many animal tracks you can find in the snow or just spend some time gathering materials to make an awesome Ice Suncatcher.

No snow? No problem! You don’t need snow shoes, skis, sleds to enjoy these parks and preserves - a pair of weatherproof boots and your winterwear should do the trick. So, disconnect from the screens and devices for an afternoon and reconnect with nature. 

February GoList: The Best Things To Do With Philly Kids

Sometimes the cold, blustery days of February can make us want to just stay inside. However, when the cabin fever builds up, the Mommy Poppins calendar offers plenty of ideas for families. There are many history lessons to be learned with Black History Month and President's Day events.  We've found ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with loved ones and a Winterfest to appreciate the beauty of the season.

Our February GoList is certain to make you want to come out of hibernation and enjoy all that the Philadelphia area has to offer. Read on for our picks of the best family events in Philly this month!

Celebrating Valentine's Day in the Hartford Area

When you have young children, it is only a matter of time before red roses, champagne, and prix-fixe menus are replaced by balloons, pink lemonade, and heart-shaped lollipops on Valentine's Day. This, however, doesn’t mean you have to stay in watching Nick Jr. specials. Many Valentine-themed activities are scheduled to take place in the Hartford area. If your child is old enough for drop-off activities, there are even some parents' night out options where youngsters can enjoy a fun, love-themed activity, while you and your special someone enjoy a dinner unaccompanied by crayons and coloring pages. Whatever you decide, there are ample opportunities to celebrate love on Valentine's Day. If you decide to keep the celebration at home, check out this fun Valentine's craft perfect for little ones.

February GoList: Best Things To Do with LA Kids

February is a time to appreciate where we live perhaps more than any other - not simply because of the opportunity to celebrate the valentinespresidentsparades, and whales below, but also because we live in a place where we can ski if we want to without ever having to move our cars out of the way of snowplows. Our hearts go out to our friends and family in other states, of course; they really should come to visit. We'll use our weekend event roundups, our 100 Things List, and our February GoList to show them a good time, while they escape that winter thing they're all wound up about.

All of the cooler-than-cool activities below are on our daily events calendar, but a little extra notice can be helpful to make sure your kids don't miss out. Click through to the full listings so that you can automatically add them to your calendar. Happy February!

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