Standing Ovation for Hunchback

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At the New Victory Theater's, Hunchback , author Victor Hugo narrates the tale, leading children through the performance, giving the story some significant historical context and explaining the importance of references to the Notre Dame Cathedral. The play/puppet show is pretty cerebral, and can be a little scary, but my 8 year old companion loved the goofy Victor Hugo and I loved the artistry of the puppets, mask and staging of the show.

McCain/Palin Win!

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...Third Place in our Halloween Costume Contest!

We always say, everyone's a winner on Mommy Poppins, so even though McCain/Palin didn't win the highest office in the land, their campaign wasn't for naught and they won't go home empty handed. This mini McCain/Palin duo takeThird Place in our Halloween Costume Photo Contest.

See the other great winning costumes:

Top 5 Best Science Sites for Kids

MPsquared.gifWith the colder weather ahead it's time to start planning for how to pass the time indoors. If your kids are anything like mine, they love being on the computer and playing games on sites like Webkinz, Club Penguin, and Nick Jr. But I noticed they can be just as happy and have just as much fun if I put them on an educational site, it's just a matter of remembering about the good ones.

There are dozens of great, smart, fun sites where kids can play games and learn about science. I've rounded up some of the best educational science websites for kids to help keep those indoor activity times a little smarter:

Play Date: Nov. 4, 2008

Election Day Freebies

Yesterday we mentioned that Starbucks is giving away free coffee to anyone who walks in and says, "I voted." Well, LifeHacker has a round-up of more election day freebies, including Free cones tonight at Ben and Jerry's and Free donuts at Krispie Kreme.

Election Day Fun

If your kids are out of school and you need an activity, check out our calendar for some free fun activities, like a free Gustaver Yellowgold show or

Holiday Gift Ideas: The Best Science Kits for Preschoolers

All kids love science. At least they do until someone teaches them it's not fun. So grab the opportunity by the horns and get your kid some of these cool science kits for the holidays this year. It may not be what they are asking for, but they will have an amazing time and you will too.

Me and my crack team of toy reviewers (aged 4-10) set about working our way through no less than fourteen of the coolest science kits that we could find. In this post I will be writing about the best ones for little kids, aged 4 and up. Make sure to also check out our post on cool chemistry and electronics kits for kids.

The thing we found when trying out all these science kits is that there are three kinds of science kits:

1. Project kits. I call it a project kit when a science kit is really about the packaging and has one or a couple of activities with a thinly veiled connection to science. It might be fun to make rainbow crystals, but it's not really a science kit, it's a project kit, in my opinion.

2. Bad Science Kits. The second category of kits are ones that are either not fun or the science is not made relevant to the kids so they don't really learn anything from this. I have coined the term "bad science kits" for these ones (trademark pending).

3. Great Science Kits. The third type of kit we found were the winners. To be a great science kit for kids, there had to be enough different experiments to make it fun to come back to again and again and the science had to be fun and made relevant to the kids so they really could learn the basic principles involved.

It seems like too much to ask, but we did find some great science kits, perfect for preschoolers, and we want to share them with you.

Science Week Giveaway

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It's Science Week on Mommy Poppins! This week, along with our usual stuff, we're going to be writing about all kinds of cool science-related stuff to do and we're kicking it off with a great giveaway. Just leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite indoor activity for when the weather turns colder and you'll get a chance to win four terrific science kits: Stepping into Science, The Magic School Bus World of Germs, My First Chemistry Kit, And Little Labs Cranes.

Starting tomorrow we'll be telling you more about these kits and others in our reviews of the best science kits for kids, plus, the coolest science spots around NYC, some great science sites, and more, so stay tuned.

To enter our giveaway:

Linkin B'logs: Daylight Savings Rant and Advice, G&T Info Sessions, Voting With Your Kids and More

The time change has always really bothered me, but now that I have a toddler, I have all new reasons to rage against it.  Getting to bed an hour earlier is good but as I sit here on Sunday night eating confiscated Halloween candy and watching CNN, I can only pray that the new 5AM wake up doesn't last long.  But, as long as you are waking up early this week, I have some advice - bring your kids to vote with you on Tuesday and go early.  Polls open at 6AM and word is that the lines are going to be really long this year so get there at 6AM and then head to your local Starbucks for a free coffee.  More on all that plus info on NYC gifted and talented programs, the cheapest local supermarkets, Palin's prank call and more

How Many Calories in a NYC Kid's Halloween Haul?

The trick or treating was more fun than ever this year. It seemed like everyone really went all out to make it great for the kids. By the next morning, however, I sat with a Halloween Hangover staring at those piles of candy with disgust and wondering what the net impact of that much sugar could be. That's when I decided to count all the calories contained in my children's Halloween hauls, piece by piece, prompting my ever-so-helpful husband to tell our children, "See, kids, math can ruin the fun in anything."

So, here's my obsessive compulsive tally of a NYC kids' Halloween Trick or Treat bag, the good, the bad and the gooey.

NYC is Monsterous: Monster Itineraries for NYC Kids

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On Halloween , the monsters take over the streets of NYC, but New York is always full of monsters, if you know where to look for them. We've put together some cool ideas for finding monsters in NYC with kids. Perfect for a Halloween weekend outing or monstrously fun any time.

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