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Find Tutors in NYC and NJ with the New GooRoo App

A new NYC-based app, GooRoo, is connecting students (and their parents) with pre-screened tutors. It launched last spring from its home base on the Upper West Side, drawing on tutors from Columbia University, but has since expanded into all five boroughs, and more recently, Northern New Jersey, with tutors serving Bergen County, Jersey City, and Hoboken.

It’s a time-saver for busy parents, because each tutor has been interviewed in-person about his or her teaching style and passed a background check. Parents can peruse tutor ratings, pictures, and even videos. Read on for our review of this new app, and be sure to peruse the NYC Classes Guide or NJ Classes Guide to find more local enrichment options for your kids.

DIY Holiday Crafts and Present Making Classes near Philly

The holidays are just around the corner, and nothing says "I love you" quite like a homemade gift. Treat your loved ones and family members to something really special with an awesome DIY gift that will blow them away! Or, make something special for your own home- like a wreath or ornament. The family bonding time alone is worth it, and you'll have something beautiful (or delicious) to bring home. Check out some of these great classes and workshops being offered in the area this month to learn how to make something unique.

Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in Houston

Gathering around the table with family and friends to enjoy a festive meal is a hallmark of the holiday season, and one that is often enjoyed multiple times throughout the November and December months due to Thanksgiving and Christmas occurring in rapid succession. However, having two big holidays so close together can become overwhelming for even the most dedicated cook, and there's no shame in needing a break from the kitchen come Christmas Day (and no judgment on our part if you treated yourself to a Thanksgiving dinner out, too!). We've rounded up a variety of restaurants around Houston that are opening their doors on Christmas Day, spanning everything from fancy brunches to low-key diners, so you can take a break from the kitchen and enjoy a meal out with the family. And don't forget to check out our holiday guide for more events and things to do during the season.

Weekday Picks: Boat Parade of Lights, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella, Dec. 5-9

Celebrating the holidays around here can have a uniquely Southern California vibe. Take boat parades, for instance. There are precious few other places in the country that can offer bedecked boats parading around harbors and waterways to the delight of families watching from the shore, or taking a cruise on the water for a closer view. Dana Point launches the first parade of the season this week, promptly followed by 10 more local holiday boat parades.

Another advantage we have here is the ability to see big-name stars in local theater productions. Lythgoe Family Productions opens two shows this week featuring the traditional British holiday panto style, in which classic tales are infused with slapstick comedy, song and dance, exaggerated characters, topical humor and lots of audience participation. Joely Fisher and Cozi Zuehlsdorff open in Sleeping Beauty and Her Winter Knight at Laguna Playhouse this week, and Lauren Taylor, Alex Newell, and Morgan Fairchild star in A Cinderella Christmas at Pasadena Playhouse. 

As always, there are plenty more ideas to be found on the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar, as well as our monthly picks in our December GoList. Here are some of our favorite holiday and non-holiday related events this week.

Westchester's Winter Wonderland at Kensico Dam Plaza: A Holiday Carnival for Families

The Westchester Winter Wonderland at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla has returned for its third year, and we recently returned to check out the full experience. We have some tips for this year's fun winter carnival, which will be open on select dates through January 2.

Check out our Event Calendar for more holiday hooplah, and be sure to sign up for our FREE newsletters to keep up with all family-friendly Westchester happenings. 

Already attended? Share your photos with us on Facebook

Volunteering with Kids in Fairfield County

With all the getting that goes on this time of year, you have to be intentional to get your kids to understand the importance of giving as well.  If you'd like to go beyond the family gift exchange to teach your kids about the needs in their community, there are several ways to do it here in Fairfield County -- even if they're quite young.

(We've listed some options for volunteering with kids as well in Litchfield County and Hartford County.)

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Santa, Antarctica, and Clara, Dec 5-9

After an eventful weekend of seeing José Mateo Ballet Theatre's magical performance of The Nutcracker, noshing our way through the Boston Public Market, and checking out the winter wonderland that has recently popped up in City Hall Plaza (pictured), we're not sure we want to go back to the weekday routine. But go back we must, so we've picked a few happenings this week that take us out of the doldrums and drop us into Antarctica, the North Pole, and the Land of Sweets. Our Event Calendar is also bursting with festive holiday events this time of year, so we highly recommend checking it out in addition to our picks below if you're looking for a mid-week escape.

Weekday Fun in NJ: Gingerbread Wonderland, Santa, Train Show

If you look at December’s roster of events, it’s like Christmas every day. In this first full week of the month, you’ll spot Santa in some unusual places, like underwater at Adventure Aquarium’s Scuba Santa exhibition and at the Pro Bass Shop for free photos. Get immersed in the holiday scene at the 25th Annual Gingerbread Wonderland, Hoboken’s Christmas Tree Lighting and Turtle Back Zoo’s Holiday Lights.

Read on for our best children's events the week of Dec 5–9, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar, December GoList, and Holiday Guide for even more holiday happenings. 

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