MLK Weekend Fun: Winterfest, Volunteering, Kids' Film Festival

If you’re staying in town for the three-day weekend, get ready for lots to do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, including many great options that are FREE.

Reinforce the meaning of MLK Day (“a day on, not a day off”) by investing time in the MLK Day of Service. Embrace the season with fun family activities at Hyde Park Winterfest, or learn All About Ice and its role in pre-refrigeration America. Find indoor fun at the Best of the New York International Children’s Film Festival, featuring short flicks from around the world, or with marionettes at the Annual Puppet Festival

There's more! Be sure to check our January GoList and our Event Calendar to plan your entire weekend—and beyond!

40+ Events This Winter for New Jersey Preschoolers

If being cooped up at home with an energetic preschooler isn't your idea of winter wonder, we offer you more than 40 excuses to get out of the house! From shows to storytimes to nature activities, there are events nearly every day this winter that are tailor-made for the under-5 set. 

Preschool fan-favorites take the stage this winter in kid-friendly productions of American Girl Live, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Pete the Cat, and Cinderella. Frozen fans can chill out at A Very Frozen Event, Story Time with Queen Elsa, and Frozen Ball.

Storytimes are a perfect way to pass the time on a slow day (bonus: most are free!). Swing over to weekly events at Pottery Barn Kids, L.L. Bean, Hoboken Fire Department, and Lovin' Oven, and check out special happenings, like I Am Not a Fox Storytime and A Rescue-to-Royal Puppy Love Story.

Bundle up, and let the little ones explore nature at events like Nature Time Together Drop Ins, Winter Tales, First Friday Storytime, Groundhog Day Celebration, and A Winter's Day on the Farm

Read on for more than 40 preschooler-friendly events happening this winter, and check out even more ways to entertain kids this time of year in our New Jersey Winter Fun Guide, featuring 50+ Things to Do with Kids Indoors in the Winter

Weekend Fun for Chicago Kids: Puppets, The Beach, and Lunapalooza

It's another great weekend for kids' theater in Chicago with the kickoff of the Chicago International Puppet Festival. The two-week celebration of puppet artistry brings dozens of family-friendly performances to stages around Chicago. Standout shows this weekend include The Stranger and the Shadow, a parable about inclusivity and empathy that the grade-school set is bound to relate to, plus a FREE all-ages puppet show in Hermosa that's part of the festival's neighborhood tour (also coming soon to Garfield Park, Marquette Park, and Navy Pier).

MLK Jr. Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Museums, Invention Convention, Service

The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday provides many Philly kids a long, three-day weekend. Thankfully, Philly parents can turn to our jam-packed events calendar to find engaging and educational ways to spend the time together.

Celebrate the legacy of Dr. King by participating in a service project at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, learning about the "I Have a Dream Speech" at the National Liberty Museum, cleaning up Bristol Marsh Nature Preserve and Croydon Woods Nature Preserve, or attending a festival at Woodmere Art Museum. After planning out MLK activities, consider seeing Johnny Shortcake at World Cafe Live, recognizing Lunar New Year at Penn Museum, or wandering around Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education to see the Giants of the Forest.

Other weekend activities include outdoor fun at Green Lane's Winter Tree ID programming, artistic sessions at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve, digital mapping workshop at Azavea, and scientific experimentation at Hagley Museum's Invention Convention. Make your long weekend a great one!

Weekend Fun for DC Kids: MLK Jr., Full Moon Nature Hike, Live Theatre January 19-20, 2019

Despite now being in the doldrums of winter, and for older kids, settling back into school after a nice and much-needed winter break, our event calendar has some great ideas for families looking to add fun and spice to their usual weekend routine. Take in one of several shows that just opened this month, from the toddler and preschool-friendly Wake Up, Brother Bear! show at Imagination Station to School of Rock-The Musical for the slightly older crowd, or celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. with song.

Have a teen who's interested in books and nature? There's a book club for that. And don't forget to get outside and look at the full moon during a nature hike this weekend.

Whether you want to say indoors and make arts and crafts or get out and get out and stretch your legs, this weekend has plenty to offer DC families

Don't miss out! Sign up for our free newsletter and stay up-to-date on the best things to do in Washington DC with kids.

Teen Spirit: 16 NYC Activities Even a Teen Will Call On Point

It can be tough to be a teen in New York City. They're too old to want the 'rents (that's you, mom or dad) to accompany them everywhere, but many destinations don't allow adolescents without adult supervision. If your high schooler's idea of a night out on the town has been reduced to hanging with friends and watching Netflix, help them mix it up by sharing this roundup of sweet 16 drop-in activities they can do on their own, a few of which were created by NYC teens. Worried that your teen never listens to you? Print this list out and leave it for them to find—perhaps they'll like these ideas better if you don't actually tell them to go out and try them.

Bonus: Many of these options are FREE or inexpensive, so you won't have to raise their allowance.

12 Places LA Families Can Drive To Pretend It's Winter

When most of the country is covered in snow, LA is typically enjoying fall temperatures with highs in the 70s. This is great for those who of us love the warm weather, but if you or your little snow angels are longing to chill out and experience ice and snow, all it takes is a drive to higher elevations and the whole family can experience the thrill of winter sports, explore alpine landscapes, and take in the magic of winter for the day. Other people survive winter; Angelenos visit it.

Where to Find Free Classes for Kids at NYC Stores and Public Spaces

We'll just say it: Raising a kid is expensive. Weekend classes, summer camp, after-school care, and dance and music lessons can add up. A 2018 study by Sun Trust Bank found that a majority of parents spend at least $1,000 a year per child on extracurricular activities. And let’s face it New Yorkers, we’re most likely paying much more than that.

That’s why we’ve rounded up more than a dozen FREE classes that run year-round in NYC to lighten the financial load. All the classes listed here are free within free-to-access stores and public places, but there are also plenty of free and low-cost activities inside of NYC museums and gardens that have monthly memberships. Don't forget that your IDNYC card will give you free or discounted access to many cultural institutions.

Check out our Free in NYC Guide for more budget-friendly family fun.

Is It a Snow Day for Philadelphia Kids? Here’s How to Find Out

Are the kids praying for a snow day in Philadelphia? When you're a kid, school closings for a snow day means snowball fights, snow angels, sleds, and snowmen. Add in some hot chocolate, warm cookies, and a few indoor activities and you've got one memorable day off from school. 

But parents just need to know whether or not the school is open or closed due to snow, so they can get on with planning their workday and commute! 

So is the school closed today? Will there be early dismissal or a late opening for Philadelphia schools? We as parents have the same questions, so we've compiled a few local resources, so you can stay up to date on weather-related school closures in Philadelphia.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Day with Kids at These NYC Events

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is peaceful for New York City kids, but it sure isn't boring, with music and storytelling and volunteer activities all focused on celebrating Dr. King's life and teachings with kids. Enjoy interactive peace marches, a special story hour, a FREE bash at BAM in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and various museum events.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, January 21, 2019) is also a National Day of Service, when citizens are encouraged to help out in their communities. So we've included a list of family volunteering opportunities that are wonderful ways to honor King's work. You can find even more things to do on MLK Day in our Event Calendar.

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