Connecticut

Weekend Fun: Valentines, Pirates, and Coding for a Cause; Feb 9-10

With temperatures soaring into the 50s this week, it may have felt like the groundhog's prediction of early spring was coming true. Though winter returns this weekend, there should be plenty of sunshine: perfect conditions for a horse-drawn carriage ride, slip-and-slide mountain bike racing, or the annual Fire & Ice Festival in Putnam. If you'd prefer to stay indoors, there is the Connecticut Kids Fair in Hartford, and Valentines chocolate-making in Wilton.

Cartoon Network Hotel to Open in Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Fans of Cartoon Network's Adventure Time, We Bare Bears, Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls, and other programs are getting a treat this summer. The TV network and Palace Entertainment are working together to open the Cartoon Network Hotel, a kid-friendly resort steeped in the channel's animated world, for summer 2019.

The nine-acre, 165-room property will be located in central Pennsylvania's Lancaster County along Route 30. It will neighbor Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, which is also owned by Palace Entertainment, so a family could easily enjoy both attractions in one trip. It is the Cartoon Network's first themed hotel.

Seems like there's one more reason to plan a Pennsylvania weekend getaway with the kids.

Top Indoor Play Spaces Near Fairfield County, Connecticut

Is your house bursting with pent-up energy as winter drags on? Not a problem! Pack up the kids, round up a few friends, and head to one of these colorful, safe, and exciting indoor play places in Fairfield County.

Whether you're looking for a more traditional playground environment in a clean indoor setting, or a place that invites lots of jumping, running, and tumbling, there's no need to drive far. There are many indoor play places and family fun centers offering a variety of safe and eye-pleasing settings, interesting programs, and well-trained, kid-friendly staff. For even more indoor fun check out our Connecticut Indoor Play Guide.

Mall of America's Most Amazing Attractions for Kids of All Ages

Mall of America, located in the heart of the American Midwest in Bloomington, Minnesota, is nothing short of an indoor entertainment epicenter for kids. Sure, it has over 500 stores, but there’s way more to do than just go shopping at the country's largest mall (so big that it requires its own zip code: 55425).

From Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower to the Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee, the Midwest is full of fun, interesting, and educational things that kids and their parents will love. Mall of America might possess a more commercial feel than some of the area's other travel destinations, but it also likely offers the most entertainment per square foot (5.4 million square feet to be exact) with some of the most popular kids' characters and brands on hand, including Lego, Nickelodeon, American Girl, and Paw Patrol. There's an indoor amusement park, aquarium, arcade, mini golf, and so much more, all within just a few minutes of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

Read on to check out our list of the top 25 amazing things that kids of all ages can do at Mall of America.

Birthday Freebies for Connecticut Kids

Birthdays are great when you're a kid. There's the endless countdown to the big day, and finally waking up to the much-anticipated morning. So what could possibly make all this even more exhilarating? How about a whole bunch of free stuff? If you know where to look, there are some pretty sweet freebies to be had on your kid's birthday (or on yours, for that matter) across Connecticut. A lot of these places are big companies that require sign up to a club or mailing list, and many of them require a minimum age for membership, so parents may want to be the primary member and just hand off the goodies. Others, though, are smaller, local businesses that genuinely want to offer something lovely to the people who support them. Whether your kid might like a free birthday ice cream cone or a trip back in time, here are some fun free finds for your little's next birthday.

Top Preschool Camps in Fairfield County, Connecticut

That very first camp session is so very exciting for kids—and the parents. If your Fairfield, Connecticut-area toddler or preschooler is ready to jump into summer camp this year, take a look at the local Connecticut camps we've rounded up.

As exciting as camp can be, it can also be nerve-wracking for first-timers wary of a new routine, schedule, and people. Luckily, these well-established camps know how to cater to our youngest campers with fun water play, nature, sports, shorter sessions, hands-on summer activities, and yes, plenty of hand-holding. By the end of the summer, everyone will be exhausted but ready to sign up for more, I bet!

Find preschooler camps in the Hartford area, too. Search our Connecticut Summer Camp Guide for more ideas, or by age, interest, and area in our Directory of Listings.

Free STEM Summer Camp from Girls Who Code Opens Registration

Looking for more than mindless hanging out and screentime for your teenage daughter this summer? Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that aims to increase the number of women in computer science fields, is once again offering its FREE summer immersion program for girls entering their junior or senior year of high school. The 7-week STEM summer camp offering FREE coding lessons and more crucial skills will take place in select cities across the country, including the NYC metro area, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and Chicago.

Keep reading to find out who is eligible, how to apply, and when and where the program is happening in summer 2019. Hurry, because the early application period for this FREE summer program is already open!

Weekend Fun: Groundhogs, Ice Cream Breakfast, and Valentines; Feb 2-3

For a such short month, February is loaded with celebrations for just about everyone, and the first weekend kicks everything off! From learning about our groundhogs to Valentine's Day celebrations, Connecticut kids have plenty of activities to pick from on Saturday and Sunday. Also check out the full calendar and take advantage of all the fantastic "Take Your Child To the Library" festivities happening all around the state. 

10 Preschool Summer Camps in the Hartford Area

Your Connecticut preschooler might finally be ready for camp! Before children enter school, whether it’s preschool or kindergarten, parents often look for opportunities to help prepare them for the upcoming school year—and summer camp is a great option. Many great summer camps in the Hartford County area fill this need. We've found short sessions, indoor and outdoor options, and plenty of summer fun for Hartford-area preschoolers and toddlers. Closer to Fairfield? You might want to see our Preschooler Camps for Fairfield County Kids instead.

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