Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Witches & Wizards, Pumpkin Days, Archaeology Day October 20-21

Spooky, mysterious, and magical activities are beginning to creep into Philadelphia and onto the pages of our event calendar.

Start off the weekend with seasonal fun at one of the many options found in the Delaware Valley. Consider a trip to Chestnut Hill for its Wizard & Witches festivities. Kids can expect to make creepy crafts, see live circus performances, wander through a straw maze, view Mad Scientist demonstrations, and watch the annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Quidditch Tournament. Pumpkins Days at Tyler Arboretum allow visitors the chance to make a scarecrow, take a hayride, watch a magic show, and pick a pumpkin. When the sun sets, families can head to The Great Pumpkin Carve of Chadds Ford to experience the impressive carving talents as artists create remarkable pumpkin masterpieces.

If you are looking for educational fun, there are many opportunities. Those interested in music can enjoy Kimmel Center's free PNC Grow Up Great session focusing on jazz and musical theater. Celebrate International Archaeology Day at Penn Museum or Newlin Grist Mill as they both host a variety of unique and engaging activities. Older kids can take a Geology Walk at Lock 60 at Schuylkill Canal Park to investigate fossils while younger ones can explore Peace Valley Nature Center searching for leaves and trees.

Enjoy this fall weekend in the Delaware Valley!

Macy’s Unveils Santaland Details for 2018 Christmas Season

Santa is sprucing up his sleigh and getting ready to fly into New York City’s very own North Pole, Macy’s Santaland, where for the second year in a row, visits with Santa will be by (FREE) reservation only.

Santaland will open for the holiday season Friday, November 23, 2018, the day after the Thanksgiving Day parade, and will welcome visitors through December 24, 2018, Macy’s revealed in a statement.

The 34th Street retailer will reinstate the reservations-only policy it implemented for the first time last year as a way to cut down on the lines. (Around 170,000 people visit the NYC Macy's Santaland each Christmas season.) This year also sees the return of the popular Express Lane option. Read on for everything you need to know about visiting Santa at Macy's this year.

When Pediatric Urgent Care Can Save a Visit to the ER

It's past bedtime, but a barking cough and noisy breathing are keeping your toddler wide awake. Weekend soccer practice ends abruptly with a slide tackle right to your middle schooler's ankle. Your otherwise healthy teen is suddenly covered with welts from head to toe. The pediatrician’s office is definitely closed and panic starts to set in as you weigh whether the circumstances warrant an emergency room visit.

Well, as it turns out, there may be a better option. A pediatric urgent care center—like those operated by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Chalfont, Pa., Glen Mills, Pa., and King of Prussia, Pa.—can actually handle all of these problems and then some, including a number of illnesses and injuries you might think require an emergency department visit. And while many issues may feel ER-worthy to us worried parents, they might not meet the medical criteria that require a trip to the hospital. So, instead of booking it to the nearest emergency room or waiting for the pediatrician's office to open for your kiddo's next fever or fall, call your child’s doctor and ask if an urgent care for kids might be the best option. These facilities treat your child when you need it—on evenings and weekends—and how you need it—with special consideration for his or her needs.

Weekend Fun: Cape May Halloween Parade, Zoo Boo, Cranberry Fest

Get ready to have a howling good time this weekend with a calendar of October fun for everyone—even the family pet! Show off your creative canine costumes at events like Strut Your Mutt, Howl-O-Ween Dog Festival & Pooch Parade, Marty's Place Howl-O-Ween, and Trick or Treat Street and Howl-O-Ween. Or celebrate Halloween with all kinds of creatures at Boo at the Cohanzick Zoo.

Harvest festivals are going strong this weekend. Find pumpkins, hayrides, and more at the Hoboken Harvest Festival, 26th Annual Pumpkin Festival, Harvest Festival at the Frazee House, and the Scotch Plains-Fanwood YMCA Fall Harvest. And with Halloween just around the corner, get spooked at Boo at the Boardwalk, the Cape May Halloween Parade, and (for the more adventurous) Bane Haunted House.

Find even more options in our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids, including 35 Free Halloween Events and Parades for New Jersey Kids and Top Pumpkin Patches and Picking for New Jersey Families. And look to our October GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Guide to Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead for NYC Kids

Halloween isn't the only spooky holiday to celebrate this fall. Day of the Dead—or Día de los Muertos as it's known in Spanish—is observed by many Latino cultures and is especially popular in Mexico.

Day of the Dead officially takes place on November 1 and 2 to coincide with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. However, NYC events are spread throughout October and early November and most of them are FREE. Revelers honor friends and family members who have died by building altars, or ofrendas, and adorning them with colorful paper flowers, beautifully decorated skeletons, and candles. It's a joyful way to remember the deceased—without freaking kids out. We've rounded up nine Day of the Dead events where NYC kids and families can celebrate the holiday.

You can find more fall activities in our Fall Fun Guide and check out the Halloween Guide for all the other spooky, kid-friendly happenings in NYC this month.

Free Indoor Play Spaces for Long Island Kids

There’s no reason to stay home just because the fall season and the colder weather is upon us.

All across Long Island, there are play spaces and indoor playgrounds to keep your kids happily occupied. In fact, some of them are hiding in plain sight. And better yet, many of these kid-friendly spots are FREE. From malls to bookstores and libraries, there is plenty of FREE fun to be had for Long Island kids.

Enjoy these unique play destinations, but remember at most venues a parent/adult must be present to supervise children.

For more indoor fun, don't forget our guide to rainy-day activities on Long Island.

Weekend Fun for Connecticut Kids: Spooky Hike, Fall Festival, and Pumpkins

The air conditioners are finally out of the windows, and the fall weather has turned crisp as a tree-ripened Braeburn apple. With the sun due to make its long-awaited reappearance this weekend, it's the perfect chance to get out and enjoy all the fall fun Connecticut has to offer. The Ansonia Nature Center is hosting its annual Fall Harvest Festival, featuring horse-drawn wagon rides and a chance to meet spiders, bats, and other creepy crawlies; in Mystic get active with a self-guided spooky nature hike; and if the Halloween spirit hasn't quite struck you yet, there is the annual Tower Toot foliage hike in Simsbury, and the Beat Bugs musical adventure on stage in Milford.

Postpartum Support Resources for New Moms in New York City

In those final sleepless nights before your baby is born, you might lie awake thinking about what to put in your hospital bag, who will watch the dog...or, heck, whether you really love the name you picked. But the arrival of that baby brings on a whole new onslaught of questions.

Is he getting enough milk? Why won’t she sleep more than 45 minutes at a time? He cries so much….is it an allergy? When will I get this under control? Where can I find a mellow mommy and me class? WTF is that stabbing pain in my pelvis? And once the wave of eager visitors subsides, and you and/or your partner heads back to work, the questions tend to stack up. Who to ask? Where to find help?

Lucky for you, we NYC Mommy Poppins moms have a few babies between the lot of us (we’re not going to say just how many). We've compiled a list of resources that have been helpful to us over the years, from postpartum therapy and lactation consultants to parent support groups. And don’t forget to peruse our Baby and Pregnancy Guide for more NYC resources. Hang in there: It does get easier. Especially if you know where to get a little help.


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