City Hacks

10 Prime Spots To Hang with a Baby on the Eastside of LA

Having a new baby is a blessing. An exhausting, isolating blessing. To remember what a gift it can be, new moms and dads need to get out of the darn house every once and awhile. If you live on the Eastside of Los Angeles, whether it’s Boyle Heights or Echo Park, you’ve got some cool options to catch your breath with baby in tow. Here are a few of the best spots to get some hang time in with your mini-me.

10 Free Perks That Come with Your LA Public Library Card

What’s small and plastic, hides in your wallet, and comes packed with free surprises for the whole family? You may think your Los Angeles Public Library card is all about books—and that’s certainly one of its charms—but it also contains some little-known perks that can save you money and entertain a few restless kiddos. Bonus: Many of these freebies can be enjoyed 24/7, from the comfort of your own couch.

9 Free Pools in Houston To Know About

I grew up in Northern Michigan in a town that often makes the news for beating the record for the most snowfall and the coldest temperatures, and somehow I was lucky enough to have a pool in my backyard. I loved jumping into that pool after working out or having friends over to swim, and now that I live in a city with weather that could accommodate an almost endless pool season, there is, unfortunately, no pool outside my back door. Instead, we take advantage of Houston's many free community pools. The city of Houston has 37 FREE community pools open June 4 - August 12 (in the 2017 season) from 1-8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday and from August 13 - Sept. 5 on Saturdays and Sundays only.

Insider's Guide to Exploring River Oaks With Kids

When you think of River Oaks, you might instantly envision its streets lined with majestic trees and luxurious homes. The neighborhood, established in the 1920s and located in the loop, boasts more than just impressive foliage and houses. Within this little pocket of Houston, you'll find a diverse array of restaurants that appeal to both kids and parents, as well as unique shops for baby and kid clothing, toys, and books. While you're in the neighborhood, check out the carriage playspace at Pumpkin Park or stop in for storytime at the Rienzi Museum.    

MTA Hands Out Baby on Board Buttons to Pregnant Straphangers

When a female subway rider offered her seat on the uptown 6 train to one of our Mommy Poppins editors who was well into her third trimester of pregnancy, the gentleman beside her suddenly came to life.

"Oh sorry, didn't know if you were pregnant or just fat." Dude. A new MTA pilot program launched on Mother’s Day 2017 aims to clear up that, ahem, confusion.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which includes NYC’s subways and buses, but also the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, will provide two types of wearable buttons for anyone who requests them due to a temporary or permanent disability: “Baby on Board!” or “Please offer me a seat.” Both buttons carry the slogan “Courtesy Counts,” and are designed to “encourage customers to move their feet and offer a seat for pregnant riders, seniors and those with a disability who are seeking seats,” according to a MTA statement.

Disneyland Tips: 12 Hacks You Need To Know

Whether you're a Disneyland passholder who can collect Fastpasses in your sleep or a hanger back who hasn't visited the park since there were E Tickets, there's always more you can learn about making the Happiest Place on Earth easier to navigate. And speaking of E tickets, this summer is a particularly great time for nostalgia buffs to pay a visit to The Mouse, as the old Main Street Electrical Parade stages a return every night through August 20, 2017. I'm no pushover, but I confess I grinned from ear to ear throughout the delightful display of throwback light-up floats. 

It's a lot easier to grin, of course, when you have a game plan, so here are a dozen tips you might not know that can make a day in Disney a whole lot happier. And if you're looking to eat outside the park, check out these 8 restaurants near Disneyland, but not in it.

A Stroller for Every NYC Lifestyle: Walk-ups, Budget, Doubles

After three trips to Buy Buy Baby, six separate email chains with your sister-in-law, and a plea to your local parents group, you still can't decide which stroller to buy. From one-handed folds to fixed wheels and car seat adapters, it can feel as if you need an engineering degree to understand the endless options, and then a panel of experts to pick the right model.

Here's the thing: Whether planning for your first baby or adding another little one to your crew, the key to finding the perfect fit for your growing family is to focus on your lifestyle. So, forget about the stroller your best friend swears by or the new release you just read about in that parenting magazine and start thinking about things like the size of your NYC apartment and the number of stairs you climb in a day. From there, read on to find recommendations based on your everyday needs.

Rose Bowl Flea Market with Kids: You Can Do This

Pasadena is home to one of the world's most famous outdoor markets—a destination both tempting and daunting to bargain hungry parents. But guess what: a Sunday morning at the Rose Bowl Flea Market doesn’t have to mean dragging bored, sweaty, whining kids around rows and rows of breakables. A treasure-hunting expedition can be fun for the whole family! Picking through this renowned Pasadena flea is my absolute favorite thing to do, and, while I sometimes go solo so I can focus on finding great vintage decor and clothes, my toddlers and husband enjoy coming along, too. It just takes a little bit of refocusing to make this LA must-do locale a family-friendly day out.

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