Best Indoor Play Spaces for Babies & Toddlers Around Houston

All moms of toddlers can probably agree that their mini humans are full of an overwhelming amount of extra energy. It's incredible to me (and, quite frankly, exhausting) to see just how fast my own toddler can run circles around the house no matter what time of a day it is. For this reason, we have a running list of favorite outdoor parks, playgrounds and splash pads to head to when his energy levels are at an all-time high and we need to get out of the house. But on those days when the weather isn't cooperating or we just need a change of scenery, Houston is home to great indoor play spaces that serve the same purpose. As an added bonus, many of these places also have areas for babies to "play" and learn, which is the perfect combination for my almost 3-year-old and almost 3-month-old.

Preschoolers Get a Year of SeaWorld San Diego for $20, and Teachers Go Free in 2019

Need an excuse to have fun in San Diego this year? How about a deeply discounted, unlimited admission pass for your little kiddos to get into SeaWorld—all year? If you're a teacher, you get an even better deal, because you can have an unlimited admission pass completely free (and we know how much some teachers could use some good news this week). The Preschool Fun Card for preschoolers ages 3 to 5 is just $20 and good to visit through the end of 2019. If you're wondering, a regular, single-entry ticket for kids is $86.99, so to call this a good deal is almost an understatement.

11 NJ Play Cafes with Fun for Kids and Perks for Parents

Once you become a parent, it’s all about the kids. That’s what "they" always say, right? Well, for the most part, that’s absolutely true—but, every once in a while, parents get a pass for fun (or at the very least, some time to fuel up for the rest of the day), too. The founders of some of our most-loved New Jersey indoor play spaces certainly seem to think so, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of the parental perks they’ve been brewing up!

From free Wi-Fi to seating that’s both comfortable and functional; and coffee that rivals cups from your favorite java joint to snacks and sips that go way beyond basic vending machine munchies; these premiere places put in the work to earn their stripes in the play cafe category—and have even become day trip–worthy in their own right.

Read on for 11 of the best spots catering to kids and their caretakers. At the end of the day, if the little ones love it, it’s well worth the cost of admission; if mom and dad get something out of it, too, then that’s grounds for repeat returns.

Enjoy These Long Island Cafes With Kids' Play Spaces

A place for children to play and parents to connect with other moms and dads.

That’s exactly what Long Island play cafes offer. Enjoy these fun, safe venues for your child’s next play date: They'll have fun and explore, and you'll relax with a snack, catch up with your peers, or just relish some me time. Of course, parents are required to keep an eye on their children at all times.

For more seasonal fun ideas, check out our guide to indoor play spaces and our roundup of sensory play spaces on Long Island. And don’t forget our Winter Fun Guide for a host of ideas sure to keep your kids happily occupied during the winter months.

25 Top Things to Do with NYC Preschoolers Before They Turn 5

New York City doesn't lack for awesome family events and institutions, from the many children's museums and zoos and gardens to only-here street and art fests. But as a mom of two children younger than 5, I'm always looking for fun activities that appeal to the city's youngest children. It's such a special window of time, and I want to create lasting memories—within budgetary reason, and manageable enough for kids who sometimes still need a nap and a sippy cup of milk.

So, inspired by our roundup of 100 things to do with kids in NYC before they grow up, we came up with a list of 25 things to do with toddlers and preschoolers around the city before they turn 5 and head to kindergarten. A few of our selections are well-known favorites with specific under-the-radar attractions for preschoolers, while others are more off the beaten path, but all are things we've enjoyed doing or aspire to try soon!

Hudson Valley Indoor Play Places Worth the Trip

When it’s raining or freezing or simply a day that ends in Y, a good indoor play place can be a godsend for entertaining kids. We’ve already taken a look at some of the top indoor play places in Westchester, and now we’re going to turn our attention to the rest of the Lower Hudson Valley. These play spaces are all worth a trip across the bridge. 

Looking for more places to have fun when the weather's not cooperating? Check out our Guide to Indoor Fun & Play Spaces for Westchester Kids, and be sure to sign up for our newsletters!  

Kids Eat Free Restaurants in the Philadelphia Area

Not only does the Philly area have a plethora of fun adventures for families, it's also a haven for food freebies and discounts for kids. Whether you're visiting the city or the suburbs, you will find chain restaurants and local spots that offer a break on the bill for kiddos. Want to plan an itinerary for the day or weekend? Check out our events calendar, choose a restaurant near your activity, and you're on your way! Don't forget to confirm these deals with the restaurants before you head out.

Indoor Play Spots for NYC Toddlers with Weekend Hours

Indoor play spots are an essential resource for NYC families with young children (and limited square feet) as temperatures begin a steady decline into winter. Unfortunately, so many of the city's indoor play spots are limited to weekday hours. That's great for caregivers Monday through Friday, but mom and dad are left out in the cold, scrambling to fill up those chilly fall, rainy spring or snowy winter weekends with their preschoolers in other ways.

Luckily, we've uncovered over two dozen fantastic play spaces that get it, and are keeping weekend, drop-in play hours for kids, no membership required. All include playthings sized just right for the little ones, including for babies in many instances. They are stroller-friendly and equipped with changing stations, making them no-fuss options for the toddler squad.

New Schools Opening in NYC This Year

New York City is always changing, and so are our schools. Despite longstanding, ongoing debates over standardized tests, overcrowding, and tuition costs, there are also some exciting new developments in early education here in NYC. In classrooms across the city (and across the country), project-based learning, a focus on global citizenship, and child-centered education are all trending, as we look toward a future in which the jobs our children will need to be prepared for most likely haven't even been invented yet.

Staying on top of educational trends may seem difficult, especially in the ever-evolving world of NYC schools, but the Mommy Poppins NYC Public and Private School Listings Guide can help. For an up to date listing of schools in your area visit our School Directory Listings, and in the meantime, read on for the latest about new schools opening in NYC.

New Jersey Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free

Who says there’s no such thing as a free meal? Restaurants throughout New Jersey offer free kid meal promotions nearly every night of the week. (Basically, you never have to cook again.) Visit your favorite family-friendly restaurant on a kids-eat-free night, and you won’t have to worry about overspending on kids’ entrees, especially the ones that are barely touched. Check out some of these New Jersey dining spots that feature free kid meals on certain nights of the week. 

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