Connecticut

Party City Opens Toy City Pop-up with Hot Holiday Toys

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and the folks behind Party City are offering tired parents one more shopping outlet in 2018. Toy City, a seasonal pop-up similar to the Halloween City shops also owned by Party City, opened this fall with about 50 locations across the country. Expect to find some of the season's hottest toy items, from LOL dolls to Legos, at Toy City.

A number of the Toy City locations opened within former Halloween City stores and have been busy converting the shelves from spider webs and broomsticks to Play-Doh and Transformers. 

Indoor Play Areas in the Hartford Area

Just because it's cold outside 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! We've also compiled a list of indoor play places specifically for big kids in Hartford County. For even more indoor fun check out our Connecticut Indoor Play Guide.

30 Best Vacation Ideas for Families Who Want to Avoid Winter

Ready to ditch your winter blues for a family-friendly vacation in climates warmer than here? 

From perpetually wet feet to relentlessly bundling (and unbundling) your kids with layer upon layer, the need to escape grows for many parents as the winter season drags on—and on. Even those families who don't live with the finicky four-season cycle might prefer their vacation with a side of palm trees, rather than fur-trimmed snow boots. So whether you're seeking to escape the cold or just don't want to vacation in it, we've rounded up more than two dozen of our favorite warm-weather destinations that beckon you to shed your parka and bask in the sun.

Read on to find great all-inclusive resorts, beaches, and charming cities teeming with culture that might not offer bathing suit weather in January but certainly no snow!

Connecticut's Christmas Light Displays

There is something magical about a holiday light display. Generation after generation have made a ritual of going to see the displays each season. I have so many fun memories of bundling up in the backseat and driving around town searching for the best Christmas lights in town. New Haven has its Fantasy of Lights, Fairfield has several houses that make the holidays special, and Hartford has a huge list of special places to visit.

Thanksgiving Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Turkey Trots, Cocoa with Horses, and More!

Mommy Poppins would like to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving! Hopefully, you will have a chance to enjoy the company of friends and family and have safe and easy travels if you are on the road this holiday weekend. 

Traditionally, this weekend unofficially marks the start of the Holiday Season- and Connecticut does not disappoint. Nutmeggers won't have to look for to find some festive fun. Every inch of this state is covered in  holiday lights, outdoor fun, and a chance to visit with Santa in Greenwich, Bethel, Niantic, and more. As always, you can find our recommendations for kids of all ages in our event calendar, which is updated frequently this busy time of year. Make sure that you subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram so that you won't miss out on any fun. 

Enjoy the holiday weekend! 

50 Awesome Santa Activities in Connecticut

Shopping mall Santas have been de rigueur since store owner James Edgar donned a red suit and snowy beard to entertain children in 1890. Today the tradition is alive and well in malls across Connecticut, including Stamford Town Center, Danbury Fair, and Westfarms.

If you're looking to mix it up with a Santa outing that's a little bit different, we have rounded up our 50 favorite Santa activities across the state. Some events are free and require no preregistration, but many of those that do require advanced tickets are VERY popular and can sell out early, so you'll want to buy tickets as soon as possible. In a separate post we've also rounded up where to have a yummy breakfast with Santa. Don't forget to check our Holiday Fun Guide and events calendar often for more holiday happenings!

25 Fun Things to Do in Jackson Hole with Kids

Old West charm? Check. Rugged natural beauty? Check. Toss in four seasons of family-centric fun, and Jackson Hole is an ideal place to introduce kids to the American West. Our extended family—including eight kids between the ages of 3 and 13—went to this postcard-perfect Wyoming valley situated south of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park over the summer. But we're already dreaming of returning in the winter for ski and sleigh-ride adventures. 

To quote my 6-year-old during one action-packed July day that started with a zip on a "cowboy coaster" and ended with a moose sighting in the backyard of our rental house: "There's just too much to do in Jackson Hole!" To help guide little cowpokes and parents, we've handpicked 25 special activities that will see you through both warm and wintry weather in Wyoming.

For a Mountain West adventure in a more urban setting, read our guide to Denver. Happy trails!

Free Holiday and Christmas Events for Connecticut Kids

Christmas lights and festive holiday fun are popping up everywhere you look in Connecticut. And along with it, many families feel a strain in their wallets as they dole out the gifts (and seasonal tips). Read on for kid-friendly events and activities in Connecticut that won't cost you a cent, from lights festivals to arts and crafts to holiday light shows, and more. Join in on the  jolly spirit at one of these free holiday events.

Weekend Fun for Connecticut Kids: Giant Balloons, Bubbles, and Wizards

Did you see the snow this week? Have you enjoyed the morning ritual of scraping frost from your car? Yes, winter is coming, but not before we get a chance to give thanks for all that we have. Like balloons. Lots of them. And really big ones. We're talking about the Stamford Downtown Parade Spectacular. This is a great chance to see the famous Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons have their dress rehearsal before they head up 6th Avenue in Manhattan Thursday morning. You can also celebrate a Colonial Thanksgiving at the Welles Shipman Ward House, complete with hearth-cooked chicken pie and Marlborough pudding. Staying with the historical theme, you can also go way back to classical Greece in Fairfield, or go way, way back for a Dino-Snore sleepover at the Yale-Peabody Museum in New Haven. Finally, for those who just want to sit back and be entertained, there is the legendary sports/comedy performer-athletes, the Harlem Wizards taking on a home town all-star team in Darien.

To make sure that you don't miss any of the fun, subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Read on for our highlights of events happening this weekend, and check our frequently updated daily event calendar for even more ideas.

The Top Baby Names of the Next Decade Are Here

Doesn’t everyone wish for a crystal ball during the baby naming process? Aren't we all looking for that perfectly unique but not too weird baby name? Just us?

Well, Nameberry.com just released its list of the baby names it expects to be the most popular in 2028. So get ready all you expecting parents! Pull up a chair and scroll through this futuristic list to see which baby girl and baby boy names are rising to the top in the next decade—and which are tanking. For those who have already gone through the baby naming milestone, Nameberry's list might just give you a hint as to whether or not your little Olivia or Oliver will be sitting next to half a dozen other kids who share their name come schooltime.

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