New NJ Play Space Genius Gems Sparkles with STEM Fun for Kids

"Goodness, have you ever seen so many Magna-Tiles?!" a mom exclaimed to her toddler on a recent day at Genius Gems, the brand-new STEM-based play space that opened in Millburn on May 3. It was an incredible sight: thousands of brightly colored magnetic tiles lay strewn about—in kaleidoscopic piles on the floor, in towering formations created by little builders, in geometric patterns on a giant magnetic wall—and the sunlight that poured in through the floor-to-ceiling windows set everything aglow. 

My first thought was that this was an amazing place; my second was, "I'm so glad I don't have to clean up all these tiles." 

Happily, my only job was to hang out in the bright, beautiful space and watch my 3-year-old play, occasionally jumping in to build alongside him. My son was engaged and entertained for a solid two hours, and I was impressed—not only with the clean, modern aesthetic of the place, but with the simple yet ingenius offerings on hand. Between Genius Gems and The Busy Bee, which opened in Millburn in March, Essex County parents now have two great indoor play space options, without having to schlep to Routes 10 or 22.

Red Hook with Kids: Parks, Play Spaces, Restaurants, Mini Golf

Flanked by family-friendly Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, Red Hook has long been considered "the next big thing" in Brooklyn. Fairway, Ikea, and local shops and eateries brought new life to the neighborhood, but the lack of easy public transportation means this waterfront gem maintains its refreshingly quiet vibe.

This awesome neighborhood is teeming with historic buildings and stellar seafood and is home to waterside parks, an Olympic-size outdoor pool, two mini-golf courses, FREE kayaking and movies in the summer, fun family restaurants, and an indoor play space for children of all abilities. Though it's not easily accessible by subway, visitors can arrive via ferry, bus or Citi Bike via the Brooklyn Greenway—follow the path from Brooklyn Bridge Park if you're feeling adventurous! 

Mother's Day Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Fire Service Day, Rocket Launch, and Gibbons

It's Mother's Day, and Momma wants something good. Something unique. Maybe something handmade. Most likely something handmade.

For the record, Momma is well-rounded. She likes apes, and she likes dinosaurs. She likes gardens. She likes cars big; she likes cars small. She likes firemen and Julie Andrews. She likes birds; she likes planes; she likes Superman

Momma likes getting in free and being treated like royalty. She likes rockets in flight and stars on ice. (Also good: stars in the sky.)

But mostly she likes spending time with her kids. You get one weekend to call your own, Mommas: make it count!

Keep reading for our best suggestions for a Mother of a weekend! 

Mother's Day Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Chalk Walk, Brunch, Festivals

Moms, it's your weekend, and we want to start off by saying Happy (early) Mother's Day to you! It's no secret that the role of being a mom requires many different hats and is fulfilled in many different forms, and this weekend we want to celebrate each and every one of you who steps into that role and wears that title proudly. You are the best!

With summer right around the corner, we thought it would be fun to offer up some ideas and inspiration for some of those long, lazy days, like these preschool day camps for those weekdays where you find yourself needing a fun activity and these family-friendly festivals for any open weekends. We also rounded up 25 STEM activities you can do right at home with your preschoolers that are sure to turn an ordinary morning into an extraordinary one. 

Feeling low on inspiration or in need of a new activity? Head over to our event calendar for daily activities happening all around town or our May GoList for some of the most interesting activities happening throughout the month. Make sure you also sign up for our weekly newsletter to have everything delivered right to your inbox so you're always on top of what's happening both on our site and in our city.

We love to share family-friendly events, and work hard to make sure we highlight as many as possible, however, we'd love for you to help too! If you notice that your awesome event hasn't made it to our calendar yet, please submit your event to our calendar so we can get it published ASAP and share it with all of our readers. 

Now it's time to start thinking about the weekend, so let's check out what's happening around town!

Mother's Day Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Festivals, Nature, Art

Get ready to celebrate Mom this Mother's Day weekend. Check out our loaded events calendar. It's jam-packed with events that'll make the whole family (moms included!) happy.

There seriously is a lot to choose from this weekend. Listen to live bands at a neighborhood block party. Explore creepy crawlers and winged creatures at Butterflies and Birds Family Festival. Jump on inflatables at the Annual May Fair, take a twirl on the carousel at Neshaminy Mall Spring Carnival, be mesmerized by balloon twisters at Storybook Weekend, and eat tacos at the Philadelphia Taco Festival. Seriously, who could ask for more?

Actually, wait, just kidding, there is more, A LOT more, especially for the family member of honor this weekend...MOM! After all, Mom takes care of Philly kids all year long. So, be sure to show her how much she's appreciated with a delicious brunch at Elmwood Park Zoo, Sesame Place, or Franklin Square. Make her a special flower box or toolbox at Independence Seaport Museum or create colonial-inspired crafts at Washington Crossing Historical Park. Explore nature with her by taking a hike and searching for birds. Pause in the afternoon for tea time on a train, in a tea house, or at a museum.

No matter how you spend your weekend, everyone at Mommy Poppins Philadelphia wishes all the mommies out there a wonderful day and a fabulous weekend. You deserve it!

Mothers' Day Weekend Fun: Carnivals, Festivals, and Races, May 12-13, 2018

Everyone here at Mommy Poppins wishes you and yours a peaceful and happy Mother's Day weekend. Whether you plan to celebrate with carnival games, thrilling roller-coaster rides, adorable aquatic creatures, or an award winning musical, there's no shortage of fun on tap this weekend. In addition, many attractions around the state, including the Beardsley Zoo and the Connecticut Science Center, are honoring moms by offering them complimentary day passes with the purchase of another ticket (for a full rundown on Mothers' Day freebies, click here).  As for myself, every year I aspire to Run Like a Mother, but I confess I'm more likely to be found sampling baklava at the Annual Greek Festival in Waterbury. Maybe I'll see you there? 

For other ideas, be sure to browse our Event Calendar, which we continue to update throughout the weekend. To keep up with everything going on in Connecticut, follow us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Thanks for sharing your mothering experience with us!

Mothers' Day Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: May 12-13

While some moms may be content with a nice breakfast in bed, I'm sure many (like myself) also want some quality family time on Mother's Day weekend (in addition to the breakfast, of course!). This weekend families can enjoy porch side entertainment, different kids of flower festivals (from geraniums to lilacs), and a family adventure along the Charles. Hopefully the weather cooperates for this brunch and hike, as well as this citywide-favorite parade for the littlest of ducklings.

Mother's Day Weekend in NYC: Holi, Outdoor Movies, Garden Brunch

Mother's Day weekend is always especially busy and this year is no exception, from a comprehensive, weekend-long celebration at the NY Botanical Garden to a Mother's Day Community Work Day, Wave Hill's mash-up of birding, yoga and kids' workshops, brunch at Queens Botanical...the list goes on and on. It's enough to send you in search of a family-friendly wine tasting! (Oh yeah, that's a thing.) We have piles of possibilities on the Mommy Poppins calendar. And Happy Mother's Day from all of us!

It's a jolly Holi Day on Saturday when Governors Island will literally be awash with color for the Hindu festival that marks the beginning of spring. All are welcome for the family festival that leaves everyone covered with colored powder, a tradition that is believed to originate with the fabled love story between Krishna and Radha.

Movies under the Stars are starting to shine in earnest, slightly in advance of the summer's outdoor film proliferation. This weekend, you can bring a blanket and a picnic to a FREE screening of Deep at the Samuel Seabury Playground (Lex & 96th St), Despicable Me 3 at the Harry Maze Playground (Canarsie, Brooklyn), or Pixels in Bloomingdale Park (Staten Island). 

Just want some fair and festival options? We feel you. How about the Kids Food Fest at the World Trade (FREE, all weekend), Touch a Truck in Brooklyn, Highbridge Rocks in Washington Heights, the LIC Springs Block Party, the Greek Heritage Fest on the Upper West Side, the Queens Spring Fair, or the East River Esplanade celebration? Again, the calendar has it ALL.

As summer looms, we recommend that you peruse our list of Free and Cheap Summer Sports Programs for NY Kids, the always instructive May GoList or 50 FREE things to do this month, and 35 Things to Do in Brooklyn Bridge Park!

Echo Lake Park Offers Year-Round Fun for NJ Families

In the midst of New Jersey's Union County's busy highways lies a grassy, spacious retreat known as Echo Lake Park. The sprawling park offers an escape from the bustling surrounding towns and truly provides something for everyone, even the family pet.

At the heart of the park is the scenic Echo Lake, home to activities such as boating, fishing, and ice skating, as well as several peaceful walking paths. Surrounding the lake are green hills, ball fields, playgrounds, a dog park, and a snack bar. Echo Lake hosts a variety of seasonal activities, from sledding to Halloween fun to summer concerts. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or a day of activity, you can get the best of both worlds here.

Mother's Day Weekend on Long Island: State Fair, Gardens, Brunch

The weekend's calendar on Long Island is chock-full of things to do with that special lady in your life—mom. Start out with a great brunch, and then try the FREE admission for mom this Sunday at Harbes Family Farm or Old Westbury Gardens. Enjoy a fancy tea party with mom or grandma or get creative together at Key to My Art. If the weather holds, pull up a picnic at one of these locations.

Hop over to our May GoList to find even more options for this all-important weekend, including a cherry blossom festival or even amusement park fun! 

See our Spring Family Fun Guide for the best in seasonal entertainment, such as day trip ideas, pretty botanical gardens, or even biking and hiking trails. Of course, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids. Don't see a great event listed here? Add it to our Event Calendar yourself. 

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