Hartford

Affordable Summer Camps in CT

Once school ends, you suddenly have a whole lot of unstructured playtime. A whole two months of free time. Don't stress. This is where summer camps come into the picture and they don't have to break the bank. We've made it easy for you to find some less expensive options so that you and your kids can stay busy, happy, and sane this summer. Check out Mommy Poppins' list of cheap (and even free) summer camps. And remember to inquire with your town's parks and rec department. They typically have very affordable options too. And for more campy fun, check out our summer camp guide!

St. Patrick's Day Events in Connecticut

It's March and you know what that means...St. Patrick's Day!  While St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are often thought of as mostly adult-oriented (usually associated with pints of Guinness), there are many kid-friendly ways to celebrate the holiday with wee little ones. Check out the following great family events to celebrate St. Patty's Day in Connecticut. Erin Go Bragh!

Winter Break Fun in CT

This winter break stay busy with one (or all) of the following activity ideas in your area. There are so many fun options to choose from that you'll be sure to find one that you and your family will enjoy.

Also don't forget to check out our  Winter Guide of Activities.

Best Old School Arcades in Connecticut

Confession: The day my kids and I walked into an arcade with a giant-sized Space Invaders game, I may or may not have raced them to the token machine. There's just something about the flash and buzz of a good arcade that throws me right back to when I was a kid with a fist full of quarters. These days I hand off all my skee ball tickets to my kids, but I still get a thrill out of watching them pour out of the machines. I get an even bigger thrill watching my kids dart around like...well, like kids in an arcade! With winter still very much upon us, the season is just right for some indoor fun. Read on for a roundup of some of the best spots to get your game on in Connecticut.

Spring Activities For You and the Kids in the Hartford Area

After a long winter, families are eager to get outside with their kids.  While sledding and ice skating are fun, being stuck inside for four months is not, so springtime is always welcome for families with energetic little ones!  So, when you're ready to kick off the snow boots and to lose a few layers of clothes, and get outside in Connecticut, check out a few of our top spring activities in the Hartford area. And for more springtime fun make sure to check out our Mommy Poppins spring fun guide

Going for the Gold: 20 Ice Skating Rinks for Future Connecticut Olympians

Okay, it may have been more than forty years ago, but the 1976 Olympics looms large in my childhood memories: in fact, I was so enthralled by Dorothy Hamill that I rocked her signature haircut well into my tween years (in hindsight, that was perhaps a few years too long). When the 2018 Winter Olympics open in Pyeongchang later this week, I don't know if my kids will be so enthralled that they'll be demanding Bradie Tennell or Adam Rippon haircuts, but a parent can dream!

Should you find your child enjoying some Olympic dreams of his/her own, there is an abundance of learn-to-skate programs offering everything from figure skating to ice dancing and even ice theater--with some offering February vacation week camps. For even more recommendations for winter fun when you're not watching the games, check out our CT Winter Fun Guide and subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Have a great week!

Preschool Summer Camps in the Hartford Area

Before children enter school, whether it’s pre-school or kindergarten, parents often look for opportunities to help prepare them for the upcoming school year. Many great summer camp options in the Hartford County area fill this need. Summer camp is a great way for children to improve social and academic skills, while becoming more comfortable in a structured setting, surrounded by peers and other adults. Also, be sure to check out our CT Summer Camp Guide and our Summer Camp Directory.

20 Ways to Celebrate Maple Sugaring Season in Connecticut

In February, hundreds of sugar houses all across the state get to work on the process of collecting and evaporating clear watery sap into golden syrup. The traditional maple sugaring season extends from early February until late March, though that depends greatly on the weather (which has varied considerably over the last few years). Freezing nights and warm, sunny days are necessary to provide good sap yields. Did you know that it takes 40 parts maple sap to make 1 part maple syrup (10 gallons sap to make 1 quart syrup)? That's why the good stuff ain't cheap!

If you want to get in on the action yourself, there are open housesdemonstrations and festivals celebrating this sweet treat happening the next few weekends in LitchfieldHartford, Fairfield, and New Haven counties. Some sugar houses invite you to stop in anytime the evaporator is running (but call before heading out).

Look for more winter fun outings in our Winter Fun Activities Guide and our frequently updated Events Calendar, as well as our newsletters, FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Have a fabulous week!

Indoor Play Areas in the Hartford Area

Just because it's winter doesn’t mean that you and your family have to go into hibernation. There are some great indoor play spaces in the Hartford area where your active child can burn off excess energy by climbing, bouncing, running, and jumping. He or she might even take a nap for you later! Also, check out the list we've compiled of indoor play places specifically for big kids in Hartford County. For even more indoor fun check out our Connecticut Indoor Play Guide.

Inflatable Fun! A Visit to Bounce Town in Canton

Too wet? Too cold? Too hot? No problem. The climate-controlled Bounce Town in Canton provides a great outing for children, no matter what the season or the reason. Oversized inflatables will entertain for hours: rush up the ladder of a fire truck, go under the sea on a Nemo-like adventure, chase each other through a Frozen bouncy house, giggle your way down the bumpy Kahuna slide (my daughter couldn’t get enough of this one), and challenge each other to a basketball shootout. Kids will leave exhausted, happy, and begging to return.

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