Best Family Theater in NYC This Fall

Autumn marks the start of a new theater season, but you don't need to shell out big bucks on Broadway shows to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. In fact, this fall boasts more high-quality theater productions for young audiences than ever—so many in fact, we have a whopping 25 picks, and that's after whittling down the contenders for fall's best shows.

Preschoolers will be excited for the return of old friends Pete the Cat and Angelina Ballerina, plus the debut of a new Laurie Berkner musical. Older kids will be inspired by That Inventions Show, the interactive improv piece Show Up, Kids!, and the immersive Gumshoe, which takes place throughout the 125-year-old Henry Street Settlement. There's even funky fare for tweens at Lincoln Center and the New Victory Theater, plus everyone in your family can enjoy the Big Apple Circus. Best of all, most of our picks are $25 or less per ticket.

Weekend Fun: Harvest Fairs, Oktoberfest, Children's Book Festival

With a roster full of harvest festivals, apple picking, and corn mazes, it's beginning to look a lot like fall on this first official weekend of the season. Take in everything autumn has to offer at seasonal festivals like Morey's Piers' Annual Oktoberfest, Wildwood Crest's Annual Seafarers Celebration, and harvest festivals in Hopewell and Allaire. Experience the flavors of fall at Warinanco's Taste of Fall and Tenafly's Apple Cider Making.

The new season also brings fresh museum events. Explore New Jersey State Museum's Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, Morris Museum's Chemistry Day, and Montclair Art Museum's Drop-In Studio. The Princeton Children's Book Festival offers another option for indoor, educational fun.

Check out our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids for more options for family fun, including 20 Fall Day Trips and 50+ Fall Events for NJ Preschoolers. And look to our September GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Indoor Play Spaces for Babies and Toddlers in Chester County

There's only so much time a parent can spend inside the house if they don't want the kids to completely lose their minds. That's when a little socialization and a change of scenery is a great idea! While a trip to the local park or library for story time can be great, there are a few ways to change it up with other indoor play spaces. Our list of indoor play areas in Chester County is here to help. Be sure to also check out our roundups of indoor play spots for little ones in BucksMontgomery, and Delaware Counties as well as Philadelphia.

Interactive “Crash, Splash, or Moo!” Invites Young Readers to Play Along

My daughter and I have read Bob Shea’s brand new Crash, Splash, or Moo! so many times now that I’m pretty sure I could transcribe it here from memory. But instead of giving away the much-anticipated outcomes of the interactive book that plays out like a totally wacky quiz show, I’ll tell you why it’s quickly become “The Song that Never Ends” delivered in book form to our household.

A-MAIZE-ing Kid-Friendly Corn Mazes in Houston

Fall in Texas may boast temperatures hotter than most summers in other places, but that doesn't mean there aren't an array of quintessential fall activities in the area for families to enjoy, with favorites such as pumpkin patches, hay rides, fall festivals and corn mazes topping the list. While the Bayou City doesn't have a large number of corn mazes, the mazes out there offer up larger-than-life fall fun for the family. Put your problem-solving skills to good use this fall as you navigate through one of these corn mazes around Houston. 

Maker Spaces for Drop-In Creator Fun with NYC Kids

The maker movement is alive and well in NYC, annually bringing one of our favorite festivals, Maker Faire, to the New York Hall of Science.

But what to do with your inventive child the other 51 weekends of the year? Of course there are after-school classesbirthday parties, and summer camp options, but for drop-in, one-off workshops and tinkering sessions? Not as many. Still, we've dug in and rounded up nine NYC maker spaces offering chances for year-round STEM-inspired making, building, and creating, from robots to 3D printing and creative coding.

If you're looking for a longer-term commitment, check out our STEM Guide to read up on all the options for maker-inspired camps, classes, and DIY fun.

Awesome Long Island Kids' Party Spots

Can you believe your kiddo is about to be another year older? Or that you already have another birthday party to plan?

Well, at least you can forget the stress of venue searching! We've rounded up some of the best party places across Long Island, offering everything from totally cool crafts and fun-filled themed bashes, to exciting museum and aquarium adventures, to action-packed gymnastics and rock climbing celebrations for birthday tots to tweens.

For more party ideas, take a look at our Long Island Party Guide or browse our directory for party places, entertainers, and supplies.

The Best New Jersey Party Places for Your Kids' Birthday Bash

Call off the online search! Close out the spreadsheet! We've rounded up some of the best New Jersey birthday venues for kids and teens so that you can spend more time celebrating you kiddo and less time frantically party planning from your iPhone. From awesome indoor amusement parks and fun-filled playspaces, to STEMtastic activities, cookie baking, and real-life escape rooms, there's something for birthday girls and boys of all ages.

Looking for even more ideas? Head over to the New Jersey Party Guide, or browse our directory for party places, entertainers, and even party supplies.

Destination Playground: Hippo Playground on the Upper West Side

New York City doesn't lack for spectacular destination playgrounds, but Hippo Playground is more than a great place to play. Nestled among honey locust trees and a stone's throw away from the Hudson River in Riverside Park, Hippo Playground serves as the heart of the community for this slice of the Upper West Side and countless tots have grown up playing in the cool shade of its trees.

What the Hippo Playground may lack in modern bells and whistles, it makes up for in community and character, starting with the playful pachyderms who form the centerpiece of the playspace.

Classes for Kids with Special Needs in LA: After School and Weekend Sports Activities

I have a child on the Autism Spectrum, or, as I like to call it, the Anxiety Spectrum. Every quirk and disability on the Spectrum—from OCD to sensory issues to ADD to dyslexia—goes hand in hand with lots of anxiety. So if you're like me, you can't simply throw your little one into any ol' extracurricular activity and assume it will go well. Noise levels, group-think, verbal directions, physical coordination... these can be overwhelming challenges for some children.  

Over the last few crazy years with my family, I've discovered many classes and sports around town for special kiddos. And while I'm no PhD-degreed expert, parent-to-parent I would like to share some ideas with the Mommy Poppins community as we immerse ourselves in another school year.

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