Connecticut

Indoor Birthday Party Venues in the New Haven Area

My oldest was born in January. That means that any dreams of a poolside party under the sun are, unfortunately, just dreams. Over the years we have become quite expert in the fine art of the indoor birthday party. Just because the weather may not be cooperative doesn't mean you can't have a ton of fun! There are gym parties, laser tag parties, and arts and crafts parties to name just a few. Here are some other options for indoor birthday super-fun. Be sure to check out our birthday party guide too, for just about every ounce of birthday fun imaginable. 

Planetariums and Observatories in Connecticut

Once upon a time, the night sky told us everything we needed to know. The season of the year, the time, which direction we were facing. These days it's easy to go weeks or even months on end without really giving the night sky any notice. Our cities and towns are so brightly lit that it can be hard to see the stars even on a clear night.

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Winterfest, Seals, and Art Adventure, January 21-22

This weekend includes not one but two Winterfest celebrations: the last weekend for free skating in Bushnell Park and the annual celebration at Earthplace in Westport. If, on the other hand, you're having a case of the winter blahs and looking to stay warm and toasty inside, there are some fantastic children's theater opportunities, including adaptations of Fancy Nancy and Biscuit, some sweet and messy cooking, and an art adventure at the Bruce Museum, just to name a few.

If you haven't had a chance yet, help us pick Connecticut's BESTIES—that's all the places in Connecticut that we can't live without. Our favorite play spaces, family restaurants, museums, camps, and more. Make sure to cast your vote.

We update our Events Calendar daily so be sure to check back often for the latest and greatest.  To keep up with the latest family-friendly events and activities, be sure to also sign up for our newsletters, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Outdoor Winter Activities in Fairfield County

Let’s face it. In Connecticut, we don’t always love the snow. It may look beautiful from inside of our homes, but then we have to shovel it, plow it, and salt it. We have to craft it into snowmen and mold it into igloos. And, when it melts, ugh. When it melts into that dirty and dingy film alongside the road, winter can seem grey, lifeless and, well, boring. To help shake those winter blues, try heading outside and check out some of these pretty fantastic outdoor winter programs in Fairfield County with your kiddos. For more winter fun, check out our guide for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in Fairfield County and our winter fun guide.

Beat Winter Boredom with 8 Awesome STEM Activities

Winter days can leave families in need of fun indoor activities. We worked with Sylvan Learning, a leader in STEM education for kids, to develop ideas for a “boredom buster” jar full of STEM activities. Each fun project is super simple and includes concrete STEM educational tips to bring the learning home. That’s what we love about Sylvan EDGE programs; the educators at Sylvan Learning always make sure that the kids go home understanding important STEM concepts while having fun doing it.

To make your STEM activities boredom busters jar just print out the downloadable sheets, cut out the activity cards, fold and place in a jar or bowl. Any time the kids get restless or need a screen time break, just pull an activity out for some at-home fun. Note: Some of these activities do take some preparation, so make sure to gather your materials—including freezing your colored ice sculpture shapes—in advance so you are ready to go when boredom calls...or whines, as the case may be.

Weekday Picks for CT Kids: MLK Day, Pound Fitness, and Science Lab, January 16-20, 2017

This week begins with a bonus day off in honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.. We have a whole range of suggestions to celebrate the day, and it's also a wonderful time to spend the day outside together at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center, where there will be activities celebrating heroes in nature. You can continue talking about the history of civil rights in the U.S. with a movie screening at the New London Public Library on Tuesday. The rest of the week has opportunities for a new kind of family fitness class, a winter-themed science lab, and even an indoor camp out

Check out our January Go List for our recommendations for don't miss events across the state. For even more suggestions take a peek at our frequently updated Event Calendar. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so you don't miss a thing!

Gluten-Free/Allergy-Friendly Places for Tasty Eats in Connecticut

Going out to eat should not be stressful, but when someone in your family has a food sensitivity or even worse, allergy, it can feel like more of a chore than a pleasant experience.
This list includes places to grab food in Connecticut that are both kid and allergy friendly. We’ve also made special note of those that are 100% gluten-free or have a dedicated fryer to prevent cross-contamination. With a little planning, you should be able to find a restaurant that everyone in your family can enjoy! Note: always speak up about your allergies right away to make sure an establishment can cater to your needs.

Fun and Cheap Fairfield County Rental Halls for Birthday Parties

Sometimes the best kids birthday parties (and most budget friendly) are the ones you plan yourself! It's time to step out of the party package!

In your search for a place to host 15 or so rowdy kids for your DIY birthday party, you do not have to break the bank. The creative host has many options in Fairfield County (indoors and out!) to build their own cheap and totally awesome party.

Here are our budget-friendly party venues. For more great birthday ideas, check out our Connecticut Birthday Guide.

Help Us Choose Our BESTIES: Vote for Your Favorite Spots and Win!

How do we love Connecticut? Help us count the ways! We know that Connecticut is one of the best places to raise kids, but even the best has its best. So we're counting on you, our Mommy Poppins readers and the most savvy parents we know, to help us pick Connecticut's BESTIES. The best play spaces? Connecticut's got 'em. Family restaurants? We've got those, too. Swim classes, dance classes, and baby 'n' me, along with the coolest theaters, museums, camps—heck, even our dentists are the best. But only you can tell us which is the best of the best, so we're asking you to help us show our best local businesses the love and vote for your favorites in all of these categories and more.

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