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Choosing a Preschool: 5 Things That Matter & 5 That (Probably) Don't

As parents we face the pressure to find the best of everything, and finding the best preschool for your little heir is no exception. Some parents jump on this task intimidatingly early, doing research and attending open houses even while Junior is still in utero. And there are so many choices: Play-based or academically focused? Montessori, Waldorf, full-time, part-time, cooperative, parochial, or secular? Media-free or media-intensive? A philosophy of "let children be children" or "teach them everything as soon as possible"? Perhaps we want our kids to learn to use their words in more than one language, to preserve their midday nap, or to spend most of their day playing outdoors in nature.

Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Winter Fest, Komodo Dragon, Dr. Kaboom

Banish the January blues with some wintry family fun this weekend. We've got plenty of cold-weather options to help you embrace the frost, from a guided winter walk for preschoolers at Reeves-Reed Arboretum to maple sugaring demonstrations at the Great Swamp Education Center. If you prefer to stay warm, check out a family-friendly show like Doktor Kaboom's Live Wire! at the State Theater or the beloved classic The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at SOPAC. You can also flex your creative muscles with a visit to Montclair Art Museum's Family Art Adventure or Frelinghuysen Arboretum's Family Photo Scavenger Hunt. And if that's not enough excitement, start your day by having breakfast with the Komodo Dragon at Turtle Back Zoo. For even more weekend happenings, check out our Calendar of Events and January GoList

50 Things to Do in Brooklyn with Kids This Winter

When the frigid cold sweeps in and the black snow and slush puddles begin to pile up, it can be hard to motivate for a trip into Manhattan with the kids, especially with all that winter outwear. Luckily, Brooklyn is loaded with fun children's events, museums, theater, and indoor play spaces, so you can stay local.

We've rounded up more than 50 events and activities happening in Brooklyn from January through March 2017. You'll be so busy, spring will likely be here before you know it.

Find more seasonal fun in our Guide to Winter Events and Activities in NYC, and if you have little ones, check out these Top Winter Events for Preschool-Age Kids. Remember, you can always find more daily events in our Event Calendar. Just search via "Brooklyn" if you want to stay in the borough.

The Best Family Sledding Spots on Long Island

Say it ain't snow. But it is. 

Parents with kids eager to brave the outdoors don't have to leave Long Island to find ideal sledding spots. We've rounded up a few places where you can hit the local powder for FREE. Safety first though, so be sure to check surroundings for sticks, rocks and more, and wear a helmet and proper snow gear to keep warm. Bring your own equipment to these snow-covered destinations and be ready for some fun.

Don't forget to check our January GoList and Event Calendar for more ideas on winter entertainment for your family, whether the weather outside is frightful, or delightful.

There's also plenty of seasonal fun in our Long Island Winter Fun Guide, from skiing to hot chocolate spots to FREE events all winter.

Outdoor Winter Activities in Fairfield County

Let’s face it. In Connecticut, we don’t always love the snow. It may look beautiful from inside of our homes, but then we have to shovel it, plow it, and salt it. We have to craft it into snowmen and mold it into igloos. And, when it melts, ugh. When it melts into that dirty and dingy film alongside the road, winter can seem grey, lifeless and, well, boring. To help shake those winter blues, try heading outside and check out some of these pretty fantastic outdoor winter programs in Fairfield County with your kiddos. For more winter fun, check out our guide for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in Fairfield County and our winter fun guide.

5 Places to Take Childbirth Preparation Classes Near Philly

If you're a first-time mom, childbirth can be scary. Heck, let's face it, if you've already done it before, it's still a little scary. Childbirth classes are essential for any pregnant woman and her partner. Seriously, I cannot stress just how important these classes are for anyone who is expecting. If it's been a while since you've had your first baby (or babies), you may even want to refresh. Maybe you're trying something new this time around- whether it's a VBAC or unmedicated birth, or you just want to make sure you know what you're doing, a birthing class can help with that. The most important things that birth classes will help you with are pain management, knowing the signs of labor, understanding the labor process, and knowing your rights so you can be in control of your birth. We've rounded up a few great places (other than hospitals) that offer birthing classes in the area. Also included in this list are breastfeeding classes, as those are essential for any new mom who plans to breastfeed.

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, when it comes to planning a party for a younger child, one option is to host the celebration at home. But if you'd rather not have a gaggle of cake-fueled little ones running wild at your house (no judgment), we’ve compiled a list of places around New Jersey that specialize is hosting parties for the preschool and toddler set. 

We've found cool play spaces, play cafes, kiddie gyms, and even an animal-centric option. So read on for 10 great preschool party spots.

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