Connecticut

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.

Stay on a Houseboat in Amsterdam for a Total Family Vacation Win

Amsterdam is a wonderful city to visit on a European family vacation. The city is kid friendly with lots of fun things to do for families, including wonderful parks, engaging museums, and many delicious restaurants to try. It's also relatively easy to navigate with children in tow.

The city is full of canals, which is another plus for kids as they often love to watch the boats or even take a ride. One of the most special (and affordable) ways to visit Amsterdam is to stay on an actual houseboat instead of in a hotel. 

When you visit Amsterdam, you can’t help but notice these charming houseboats lining the canals and Amstel River. They look so cozy, and many even have gardens growing around them. Our family stayed on a houseboat in Amsterdam for a long weekend and found it to be a comfortable and fun way to visit the city with children.

Tidying Up Kids' Stuff: 2 Easy Takeaways from Marie Kondo

While the world binge-watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and my social media feeds filled up with photos of freshly organized sock drawers, I didn't bother tuning in. After all, I'm already a Very Organized Person—the kind of mom who sorts her kids' toys according to category, and who may have an addiction to The Container Store. What could I possibly have to learn?

Then an image sprang to mind of me, huffily sorting papers on the kitchen counter while a hundred other urgent matters vie for my attention. When things get hectic, the piles of mail, magazines, kids' artwork, school forms, and other random papers crowding our countertops suddenly seem like a five-alarm fire. My husband calls it "angry organizing."

Weekend Fun: Maple Sugaring, Ice Fishing, and Yeti Day; Jan 26-27

We're hoping your power is back on after this week's deep freeze, and your energy is up for a weekend out and about with the kids. That's because there's plenty to do this Saturday and Sunday in Connecticut! With temperatures expected to be about 30 degrees warmer than they were last weekend, we'll enjoy ideal conditions for maple sugaring demonstrations in New Canaan, learning to ice fish in Litchfield, and frolicking on the slopes for Yeti Day. Prefer some indoor fun? Try the Yale Art Gallery's Family Activity Day in New Haven, the annual Northeast Camping Show in Hartford, or go see a live family show at the University of Saint Joseph. 

35 Best Winter Activities for Kids (and Their Grown-ups)

It's finally winter, and you know what that means as a parent, right? Get ready for soggy snow pants, slurping cocoa, building snowmen, taking the kids sledding, and all things cozy for the family.

But if the thought of another long winter spent hibernating indoors with the kids swinging from rafters, leaves you shivering in fear, we want to help. Whether you're planning fun indoor activities for a school snow day at home, or just looking to entertain the kids on another winter weekend, we've rounded up nearly three dozen fun things to do.

These super simple ideas (many of them FREE) will come in handy when cabin fever strikes and make it easy to avoid the indoor entertainment pitfalls of more screen time and complaints about boredom of which we're all so familiar. Get ready to turn the long, dark days of winter into a season the whole family can enjoy.

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