Connecticut

North Pole Express and Christmas Train Rides with Santa in Connecticut

Santa may be known for his sleigh, but when he's here in Connecticut, the big guy is all about trains. Starting in November, he can be found on several Polar Express and other Christmas-themed trains in Connecticut, including the ever-popular North Pole Express and Santa Special Train Ride in Essex.  In between munching on cookies, sipping on cocoa, and chatting with Santa, there is nothing like watching the steam roll and waft in front of the train's headlights—it's a magical holiday experience for kids and parents alike!  

But act fast: Tickets for some of these trains become available in the early fall and sell out even before Halloween. But even if a certain train is sold out, there's likely an available one around the bend, so read on—it's a special holiday experience worth waiting for!

Legoland New York Announces Summer 2020 Opening

Get ready for brick-tastic fun in the Hudson Valley next summer: Legoland New York Resort will open on July 4, 2020. Situated about 60 miles outside New York City in Goshen, the 150-acre park will be the biggest Legoland yet. 

The amusement park, geared toward ages 2-12, will be the third Legoland to open in the U.S., joining the parks in California and Florida. Visitors to the Hudson Valley park will be able to explore seven themed "lands" featuring more than 50 rides, attractions, and shows—including a brand-new ride exclusive to the New York location. 

50 Best Kids' Movies for Family Movie Night

Some of the best kids' movies were made decades ago. If you're looking for the perfect flick to please everyone tonight, we suggest putting the new releases aside for now and introducing kids to these classic family movies.

Get the popcorn popped, the kids snuggled up on the couch, and now you're ready to peruse this list of our top 50 kids' movies sure to win over the pickiest of film critics. From The Wizard of Oz to Sandlot and everything in between, it’s time to turn down the lights and enjoy some quality time with the entire family.

Things To Do in Connecticut this Weekend: Apple Harvest Festivals, Pumpkins, and Animal Love

The calendar has turned over to October, meaning it's time to dig the sweaters, windbreakers, and yes, old costumes out of the closet! Start your weekend at the Connecticut Trolley Museum's Pumpkin Patch or the Wee Faerie Village in Old Lyme. There are apple festivals in both Southington and Litchfield. Have some creepy family fun in Westport or enjoy some waterfront festivities at Pumpkins on the Pier. For animals lovers, there is the annual Fall Festival to Benefit Animals in Stratford. 

Of course, the spooky and sweet holiday activities begin, too—see our Halloween Guide for more. To make sure that you don't miss any of the seasonal fun, subscribe to our free weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Have fun out there!

Best Fairfield-Area Halloween Events: Trunk or Treat, Parades, and More

Halloween seems to get bigger and better every year—and I'm not just talking about the size of the candy bars. Back in the day, we were happy just to trick or treat in our neighborhood, but now, you can find a fun Halloween event pretty much any day, all October long. Here around Fairfield, we have a huge variety of activities devoted to the spookiest holiday, from trunk or treat events to costume parades to pumpkin festivals. Our Connecticut Halloween Guide has you covered, but don't forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletters and keep tabs on our event calendar so that you won't miss any newly added Halloween fun.

NYC Hotels with Views of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Chances are you're not even thinking about Thanksgiving yet. After all, we still have Halloween to get through! But as anyone in the NYC hotel industry will tell you, families looking to book a hotel where they can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Midtown Manhattan do so up to a year ahead of time. For a NYC hotel room with a view of Snoopy, Spidey, Hello Kitty, and their other inflatable pals, you've really got to plan in advance.

It's not just NYC tourists who splurge on hotels for the annual Thanksgiving parade, either. Over the past few years, we've had many New Yorkers write in asking which hotels looked out on the Macy's parade route (it sure beats watching from the street). While most of these hotels still have availability at the time of this writing, call right away as everything will likely sell out. If you do get shut out, it's worth checking closer to Thanksgiving since there are sometimes last-minute cancellations.

How Obé's At-Home Fitness App Actually Helped Me Start Working Out

After welcoming my second baby, I wouldn't say I was feeling my best... A tough pregnancy had left me seriously out of shape, lifting my newborn and toddler was taking a major toll on my back, and let's just say the baby weight wasn't exactly "falling off." At 4-months-old, my little one was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy, which forced me to clean up my diet (no dairy or soy — yikes!), and it finally started to show on the scale. But when the ban was lifted 6 months later, cheese plates and pints of ice cream seemed like the obvious way to celebrate. It was right around then that I heard from obé, an at-home workout app and fitness program, and I figured it had to be a sign, right? I've never been much of a gym-goer, but their apartment-friendly signature 28-minute workouts required no equipment and looked manageable. I put down the mint chocolate chip and the heating pad and created an account.

Read on to find out how the obé fitness app actually got me working out, and why it seems like it was made for busy parents everywhere. Mommy Poppins readers can also snag their first month for just $1 with the code below.

Best Trick-Or-Treat Neighborhoods in Connecticut for Kids and Families

With its parades, pumpkins, and trunk or treat events scattered around the state, Connecticut owns Halloween! But, how is your little ghost and goblin supposed to find the best neighborhood to go trick-or-treating in on the big night? We have scoured the region looking for the most boo-rific blocks around. So, grab an old pillowcase along with this list of tried and true neighborhood favorites, and head out for a night on the town. Remember: You get first pick of candy for doing all the legwork.

October GoList: Best Things To Do With Connecticut Kids This Month

Ah, October—one of the most beautiful months in Connecticut is also packed with fun events for families. Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and apple picking orchards are all in full swing. Check out a Faerie Village, touch a truck (or sit in a cockpit), show off your costumes in a Halloween parade, or check out one of the many fall festivals happening across the state. Mommy Poppins' Fall Fun Guide offers up more ideas for harvest and farm activities, while our Halloween Guide is filled with both spooky and not-spooky-at-all events. Still craving more? Our event calendar includes even more great happenings all month long, and we're constantly adding things to do. Happy fall—and Halloween!

Juneau With Kids: An Insider's Guide to Juneau, Alaska

For many, Juneau may just be a stop on their Alaskan cruise or a layover on their way to other spots in Alaska. For Southeast Alaskans, like my family, Juneau is the “big city," which means that there's more than just a touristy cruise port area to explore in Juneau. There are plenty of things to do in Juneau that will check items off an Alaskan adventure bucket list, as well as more local experiences that give families a taste of real-life in Alaska.

These are my favorite things to do in Juneau, including local spots and top Juneau tours. And if you're heading to Haines during your Alaskan vacation, check out my list of things to do in Haines, Alaska

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