Columbus Day Weekend Things To Do in Connecticut: Parades, Pink Pumpkins, and Slime

Whether your town celebrates Columbus Day or not, Connecticut is brimming with all manner of fall fun this weekend, including country fairs, school carnivals, and Halloween adventures (for little and big kids). October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Lyman Orchards is sponsoring a Paint the Pumpkin Pink event on Saturday that will raise funds for the Middlesex Comprehensive Breast Center. While you're there, do some apple picking and check out the corn maze. For more non-Halloween fun, celebrate Hispanic Heritage month at the Mystic Aquarium or the Peabody Museum.

Finally, if your weekend isn't complete without taking a culinary adventure, check out the Taste of Fairfield in Fairfield or sample some chowder in Mystic and Guilford. If you are lucky enough to have a three-day weekend, check out the Columbus Day Parades in Bridgeport and Bristol, or enjoy any of these 25 Things To Do With Kids on Columbus Day. 

Columbus Day Weekend Things To Do with Kids in NYC: Parade, Fall Fests, Skating, Theater

Columbus Day weekend is here, and there's so much to do with kids around NYC it would take another three-day weekend to fit everything in. The annual Columbus Day Parade steps off in Midtown on Monday, of course, and there are Indigenous Peoples' Day celebrations at the National Museum of the American Indian and the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Children's Museum, and the Children's Museum of Manhattan.

This weekend also brings FREE fall festivals in full force, including the Kings County Fiber Festival, the Annual Harvest Festival in Carl Schurz Park, and the King Manor Fall Festival. Plus there's a Hip Hop Halloween Celebration at the RISE Center in Brooklyn, the Honey and Harvest Festival at the NYBG, and the annual Narrows Botanical Harvest Fest, complete with a canine costume contest.

Great kid-friendly concerts, exhibits, and shows abound, too: It's opening weekend for The Pout-Pout Fish at New Victory Theater, or you can catch an unstaged reading of a new musical, The Seven Princesses (free!). Joanie Leeds serenades little fans at Symphony Space, Angelina Ballerina takes up residence in the West Village (and we have a deal for 50% off tickets), and The Big One-Oh! celebrates the magic of turning ten. Babies can parachute into Nooma at Carnegie Hall. And don't miss La Mama Kids' Tomte, a shadow puppet performance based on a story by Astrid Lindgren.

To the delight of tiny creature fans, the butterflies are back at the American Museum of Natural History. The Rockefeller Center Skating Rink is open for the season. And football afficionados can get their game on at the Paley's Family Tailgating exhibit, complete with a live screening of the Jets v. Cowboys game on Sunday.

Read on for our top picks for the coming weekend, or check out our list of 25 Fun Things to Do on Columbus Day in NYC. Also, be sure to check our October GoList and just released Halloween Guide to help you plan out the rest of this fall. As always, our Event Calendar is full of activities and events for every day of the week.

Things To Do in Westchester on Columbus Day Weekend

Thank goodness Columbus Day weekend is three days—you’ll need every minute to soak up the tons of fun we’ve identified for Westchester and Hudson Valley families!

There are all the big Halloween events recurring throughout most of the month, among them the G-rated Headless Horseman Hayrides – Children's Day. Other seasonal fun can be had at Apple Cidering or the Pumpkin Picking Autumn Celebration (or pick your pumpkin at any of the other destinations we’ve rounded up), as well as at a few fall festivals. For alternatives to the autumnal activities that abound, snag a seat to the production of Moon Mouse at the Emelin Theatre, or head to the Eastchester Columbus Day Carnival and Parade—a.k.a. the "Lake Isle Carnival"—featuring a parade, meatball contest, fireworks, and more. 

Beyond all this, there's way more, so read on! We’ve got fun happening all month long, so visit our Event Calendar, consult our guide for scenic autumn drives, and check out our October GoList for our month's highlights.

Columbus Day Weekend Things To Do in Chicago with Kids: Peppa, Sesame, Daniel Tiger, Pumpkins

Brace yourselves, kids of Chicago (and pace yourselves, Chicago parents): Not only does Columbus Day weekend bring a veritable seasonal onslaught of festive fall fun, there's also an invasion of beloved kids' characters on the calendar.

Whatever your preschooler's into, chances are their hero will be in town: There's Sesame Street Live at the Rosemont, Peppa Pig Live at the Chicago Theater, and Daniel Tiger at the Garfield Park Conservatory, plus The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Elephant and Piggie continue their extended stays. Meanwhile, older kids who love the Indiana Jones films can dig into a film festival celebrating the mild-mannered archaeologist.

With the approach of Halloween, it's a good time for (kid-friendly) ghost stories told around a campfire at the Chicago Campfire Festival in the Park. Your pet can also test-drive a costume at the Chicago Botanic Garden's Spooky Pooch Parade. There are illuminated pumpkins to peep at Navy Pier, Goose Island, and Lisle's Sensory Playground, pop-up pumpkin patches to explore at the Cosley Zoo, Skinner Park, Bell Park, and Hale Park, and even glass pumpkins to admire at the Morton Arboretum, in addition to a cute Scarecrow Trail. Over 100 handmade scarecrows will be on display at this weekend's St. Charles Scarecrow Festival, or if you're looking to build your own, visit Long Grove's DIY Scarecrow Day.

On Monday, there's the big parade, of course, as well as Indigenous People's Day programs at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian. The Theater on the Lake is also hosting a FREE day-long drama workshop and festival, or girls can take part in a full day of free activities just for them at Merrimac Park's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun event. Plus, Monday is a free-for-Illinois-residents day at the Adler Planetarium.

And that's just the start of a long list of fall fun happenings this weekend. Good thing there's an extra day—you'll need it. Looking for more things to do with kids? Don't miss our ever-expanding event calendar and our roundup of Free Things to Do This Fall with Chicago Kids.

Columbus Day Weekend Things to Do in Philly: Autumn Festivals, Nature, Museums

For some Philly families, Columbus Day weekend means an extra day off from school or work. For others, it is just another ordinary fall weekend. But, wait! There is nothing ordinary about the fun that awaits children and grown ups alike. In fact, there are many opportunities for extraordinary fun throughout the Delaware Valley.

As parents browse through our event calendar, it is clear to see a variety of autumnal themed activities. Start off with a hayride at a Cheltenham Township Community Harvest Festival, build a scarecrow during Tyler Arboretum's Pumpkin Days, or play among the pumpkins at Longwood Garden's Pumpkin Playground. Get out into nature with some birdwatching at Riverbend Environmental Education Center or John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove. Take part in an outdoor Digital Scavenger Hunt at Lower Perkiomen Valley Park or head inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a Harry Potter themed scavenger hunt. Pop culture fans are sure to enjoy Comic Con For Kids held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center while those who love fairy tales can experience three classics come to life at Brandywine River Museum's latest exhibit, Cinderella & Co.—Three Fairy Tales Reimagined.

So don't settle for ordinary when you can make it an extraordinary weekend with our top picks below.

Columbus Day Weekend Things to Do in DC: Oktoberfest, Pumpkins, Art October 12-14, 2019

Pumpkins, apples, jack o’ lanterns, festivals...there are so many ways for DC families to enjoy fall this weekend. Have you already checked off all the fall things from your family calendar? No worries - there’s plenty more to do, from art to treasure hunts. Read on for our top picks for this weekend, and then head over to our events calendar for more ideas.

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Long Island City Preschool Guide

Long Island City boasts a surprisingly robust cohort of preschools, checking just about every box a family might need. But figuring out what boxes you want to check and which schools in your neighborhood match those boxes...well, it's not always easy. If you're feeling overwhelmed in your preschool search—or if you just want to make sure you haven't missed any great options—look no further. We've rounded up the nabe's most popular preschool options and categorized them to give you a leg up on the process.

A quick overview of the preschool categories below: Year-round preschools are just what they sound like—they're up and running all year long and often offer longer coverage hours for working parents. A "traditional" preschool follows the NYC public school calendar and runs from September to June, with a curriculum that reflects that school's unique educational mission. Co-op preschools require parents to commit some of their own time to school administration, management, and/or activities. Reggio Emilia and Montessori preschools offer a curriculum focused on child-directed learning. Home-based preschools are run out of a home-like environment, rather than a school, and tend to have small classes and an intimate approach. Religious schools offer a religious component, as you might expect. And some preschools are a combination of these types—a co-op Montessori, for example.

Got it? You've got this. Now all you have to do is set up visiting dates, apply, and cross your fingers...Good luck!

Columbus Day Weekend Things to Do on Long Island: Fall & Chowder Festivals, Costume Parade, Plays

Plan three full days of fall family fun this Columbus Day weekend. Parade around the City by the Sea at Long Beach's Halloween parade and fall festival or head to Huntington for the Long Island Fall Festival at Heckscher Park. Theater lovers can catch Madagascar, Jr. in Smithtown or A Kooky Spooky Halloween in Port Jefferson. 

Be sure to check out our nature walk guide for the best places to take in in those changing leaves and beautiful fall vistas. 

See our Fall Family Fun Guide for the best in seasonal entertainment, including day trip ideas, fall festivals, corn mazes and plenty of FREE events and activities. As always, our Event Calendar and October GoList are loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.

9 NYC Arcades for Kids Birthday Parties

Arcades are an ideal place to celebrate a kid's birthday. Blinking lights, spinning wheels, ringing bells, and mechanical jingles give arcades a festive atmosphere, and the assortment of amusements offers something for everyone. Even if your child isn't the biggest video game enthusiast, most gaming parlors offer air hockey, skee-ball, and basketball games, too—some even have laser tagescape rooms, or other challenges. These kid-pleasing party spots are full service, so hosts only have to provide a cake or cupcakes. Many offer games that award tickets redeemable for prizes to fill a goody bag.

Our list of nine arcades for kid birthday parties features spots across New York City, from Manhattan to Staten Island, plus a mobile arcade that comes to you. Read on for all the details.

Looking for more birthday party ideas? Check out our NYC Party Guide or directory of birthday fun suppliers.

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