Sensory-Friendly Hours at Connecticut Museums, Aquariums, and Zoos for Special Needs Kids

Crowds and noises at busy attractions can sometimes overwhelm children with autism and sensory sensitivities. Luckily, many Connecticut museums, zoos, and aquariums have developed sensory-friendly hours, exhibit adaptations, and programs for these children, making enrichment more inclusive across the state. Here are places in Connecticut where highly sensitive or special-needs kids can better enjoy nature, science, and animal exhibits. For more inclusive fun, check out a list of our favorite adaptive playgrounds.

Drop-In Childcare and Date-Night Sitters for Boston-Area Families

Ever find yourself feverishly working your way through your babysitter Rolodex to find that not even one is available? Whether it's a last-minute work commitment, a random appointment, or a spontaneous date night after one of "those" weeks, a great Boston-area caregiver is available. From drop-in childcare to drop-off gym parties, these sitter services will save the day (or night)!

Don't have somewhere you have to be but need a moment to yourself? Check out these Boston area gyms that offer childcare while you break a sweat!

Día de los Muertos: What Other City Has This Many Day of the Dead Celebrations?

Hauntingly close to Halloween, El Día de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead – is a magical holiday that's also a living history lesson, demonstrating the tendency of conquerors to absorb indigenous customs into their own. Christian Europeans arrived in Mexico already fans of All Hallows Eve (modern-day Halloween), only to stumble upon an ancient tradition celebrated by the Aztecs on November 2, with a spookily similar theme. Day of the Dead is a time when the door between worlds is meant to open so that celebrants can honor departed loved ones and hopefully lure them back for a visit.

Heading to the DC Zoo? Here’s What You Need to Know Before You Go

Any parent knows that taking the kids to the zoo is a win - burning up energy outside, seeing favorite and exotic animals up close, and maybe picking up a souvenir on the way out is a recipe for a great day. The DC Zoo, officially known as the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, is no exception and a must for families, whether they’re local or just visiting the nation’s capitol. Read on for what you need to know before you go and our top tips for making the most out of your visit.

Toddler Birthday Party Venues in the Philly Area

Your little baby is turning into a big kid! Whether it's his first birthday or her fourth, you know you want to do something extra special to commemorate this milestone in both of your lives. Planning birthday parties can be tough. You have to consider who to invite, what should the "theme" be, how do you make a cake shaped like their favorite character, and more importantly...do you have enough time to pull it off?

With all the other things you're balancing as a momma, it's nice to know that birthday parties can be a cakewalk if you leave it to the pros. Here is our list of the best places to celebrate your little one's special day!

Unplugged Fun on Long Island

Tired of prying phones, tablets, and game controllers out of the hands of your littles? Maybe you just want a digital detox for your own sanity. Mommy Poppins has created a round-up of places to go and things to do on Long Island that offer unplugged fun. Put down the phones and head out the door.

For more family fun, connect with Mother Earth at these Long Island nature centers, plan a day trip and explore a nearby town or visit one of Long Island's many museums. Or if you're not totally screen-free, check out the 50 Best Kids' Movies for Family Movie Night.

9 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks to Visit with Kids in NYC

Time to bundle up and sharpen those ice skates: Many of New York City's outdoor rinks open in October for family fall, er, winter fun.

Whether you prefer an iconic New York City destination like the ice rink at Rockefeller Center or something off the beaten path like the rink at Riverbank State Park, the city offers plenty of options for beginners and experienced skaters alike—there’s even a FREE skate spot. And if it ever gets too cold to glide outside, you can always hit one of NYC's indoor ice skating rinks.

Top Birthday Party Places for Preschoolers in New Jersey

While big-kid birthday party places often offer options for little kids, sometimes even those choices can be a bit too grown-up. So we’ve compiled a list of 18 spots around New Jersey that specialize in hosting parties for preschoolers and toddlers.

Read on for a list of cool play spaces, play cafes, and kiddie gyms that cater to the 6-and-under set. And find even more ideas for fun in our NJ Kids' Birthday Party Guide.

The Catskills with Kids: 25 Fun Things To Do in New York Catskills

When you're up for a road trip, the Catskills offer a slew of great things to do for families in the New York metro area. Whether you have young kids or tweens and teens—or all of the above!—there’s so much to do in, including hiking, camping, river rafting, and more.

Covering 600,000 acres and encompassing most of Ulster, Sullivan, Delaware, Greene, and Schoharie counties, the Catskills are rich in natural beauty and historical significance. You'll find family-friendly skiing and picturesque resorts—including the brand-new Kartrite Resort—as well as many charming small towns, including Saugerties, Woodstock, Phoenicia, Tannersville, and Delhi.

Most destinations are about a two- to three-hour drive from central Westchester. Here’s a look at 25 ideas for fun with the kids, no matter your family’s interests.   

Looking for even more places to visit in your area and beyond? Check out our travel guide.

Pittsburgh with Kids: 40 Fun Things To Do in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has been racking up the cool points lately, landing on "best cities" lists and topping rankings for top spots for sports, restaurants, and even tech. It isn't just college kids flocking here. The Rust Belt city offers plenty of fun things to do for kids and families, including a thriving arts and culture scene.

The Pittsburgh Zoo is a longtime attraction for families, along with the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, but unique offerings like the Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary, and Andy Warhol Museum are a draw, too. We've long touted the city as one of our top Pennsylvania weekend getaways for families, but we recently revisited and enjoyed exploring old favorites and finding more fun things to do in Pittsburgh. Read on for a list of 40 things to do, see, and eat in Pittsburgh!

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