Babies love music. Music can feel like a secret weapon when you discover a song that soothes or excites your baby. My husband and I found that singing the "skinnamarinky dinky do" song worked wonders in stressful moments and usually led to a happier baby. If you don't know it, the song is from "The Elephant Show," which is an 80s gem - and it's on YouTube! Because my daughter seemed so interested in music, and research shows there are many benefits of early music education, I decided to enroll my 2-month-old daughter in a mommy and baby music class. Her dad attended the class frequently as well, and we found that the class taught us playful ways to interact with her and ways to incorporate music into our lives at home. It was a hit with our family and was a great opportunity to meet other new parents with babies close in age to our daughter. There are lots of options for music classes to choose from in the greater Houston area, and many offer a free demo class.
Believe it or not, it's apple picking time already. The apple picking season typically lasts from mid to late August to late October. Apple picking is a great family outing filled with fresh air, a little exercise, a bit of a treasure hunt, and a bounty at the end. Whether searching for an orchard with all of the bells and whistles or one with trees perfectly sized for wee ones, there are plenty of pick your own apple farms to choose from. Call before going to ensure that each farm is open, and to confirm that there is enough fruit for picking that day. Check out our Pick Your Own Guide for more suggestions on apple picking farms in the tri-state area.
Apple picking is a favorite fall activity with kids and Connecticut has dozens of wonderful apple picking orchards and farms that make a great day trip. If you’d like to stay in Fairfield County, you have only a small selection to choose from, which may be why all of the orchards get busy on the weekends. My kids and I like to head out first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. For even more orchards, be sure to check out our Apple and Pumpkin Picking Guide. No matter where you go, you'll find that apple picking is a great outing for toddlers especially when you combine it with cool activities like corn mazes, hay rides, petting zoos, and farm markets with fresh pressed cider, donuts and pies.
Keep in mind that crop conditions change from day-to-day, so it’s always a good idea to call a location or check the website before you head out. You'll have to help your little one pick according to the rules of the farm, but you'll always find helpful, friendly farm workers willing to lend a hand and demonstrate the proper picking technique. Be prepared for a port-o-potty, since most locations don't have bathroom facilities out in the orchards. Make sure to dress in warm layers and wear comfortable shoes. And bring your appetites!
If you have daughters, you know it is hard to shield them from the cotton-candy pink frocks, tulle-filled tutus, sparkly wands, and gleaming tiaras of princesses for long. Of course, many kids, not just the girls, are captivated by the swirl of a princess dress or a blinking fairy wand.
With two daughters at home, we have a closet of dress-up flocks, bins of teeny, tiny princess figurines, and shelves chock-a-block full of Disney DVDs. Playing princess is a constant state of being around here. Sometimes my princesses frolic at home; other times we enjoy a night on the town. But no matter where our princess adventures take us, we always have fun.
So, from my princesses to yours, here are 25 ways to experience NYC in royal style.
Get ready….get set….get lost in an amazing New Jersey corn maze! The Garden State is home to oodles of spectacular corn mazes, ranging from massive 10-acre labyrinths to simpler, child-friendly courses, including hay bale mazes just right for toddlers and preschoolers. Games, clues and even techie bonuses enhance many of the more elaborate maze experiences. Got a tween or teen? Check out those courses open after hours for a nighttime and sometimes spooky adventure.
Many of these 15 corn mazes we've rounded up are day trip worthy on their own, but you'll also likely find apple and pumpkin picking options, hayrides and even fall festivals, plus petting zoos in some instances. So get out your fall to-do list, and navigate your way through one of these great New Jersey corn mazes. Hope you find your way out.
Signs of Halloween are cropping up everywhere, and it’s time to start thinking about finding your perfect pumpkin. While local farm stands, farmers' markets and even grocery stores typically have a good selection, it can be a lot more fun to pick your own straight from the field. Many pumpkin patches offer additional activities for families, like hay rides, bouncy houses and corn mazes, so you can turn your hunt into a fall pumpkin patch day trip.
Read to the end, where you'll find my family's favorite pumpkin bread recipe. Yum!
Being a mom is a challenging job. And if you are like me, finding someone to take care of my child when I went back to work was even more challenging. While daycare is a popular option, many moms look at hiring a nanny to stay home with their kids. Finding a nanny in a big city like Houston is not a simple task, and there are many things to consider when looking for the right candidate who will work so closely with your family. For the second year in a row, we surveyed 240 local moms to find out what to ask and what to consider when hiring a nanny. Below are some tips and facts based on the 2016 survey results.
Looking to get the most bang for you buck when it comes to celebrating fall? Consider Warwick's Applefest—one of the Hudson Valley's biggest annual festivals. With arts and crafts, food, live music and a full-tilt carnival, you can truly "do fall" all in one day.
Now in its 28th year, Applefest draws in around 35,000 people each year from all over the tri-state area and beyond. Warwick is located about an hour and a half from Midtown Manhattan by car and an hour from central Westchester, and is ideal for an autumn family day trip. Read on for everything you need to know about this Hudson Valley extravaganza, including what to see and do, tips for navigating the crowds, and how to get there.