Themed Restaurants and Family-Friendly Interactive Dining in NJ

Looking for some fun along with your food? From knights and horses to magicians and model trains, many New Jersey restaurants offer themed and interactive dining experiences for the entire family. Read on for more than 15 spots that will make your next family meal a bit more magical.

Check out our restaurant guide for more ideas for kid-friendly eating experiences, including restaurants where kids eat free and the best family-friendly restaurants near Liberty Science Center. Top it all off with some doughnuts or ice cream. Bon appetit!

Pennsylvania Maple Sugaring Season Events

Mark your calendars because maple sugaring season is upon us! If you’ve ever wondered what all the fuss was about when it comes to the run-of-the-mill syrup versus the true-blue maple, now is your chance to find out. Tree-tapping season officially kicks off in February, but sugarings and tastings run through March across the state of Pennsylvania. Festivals and breakfasts will have families breaking any lingering New Year’s resolutions, but it's SO worth it. From day trips to local events, check out what the syrup season has to offer.

It is important to note that some of these events are definitely destination activities (averaging a 3-4 hour drive) that likely require an overnight trip, especially when bringing little ones. Please check the drive times before planning your trip.

25 Ways To Enjoy the Beauty of Banff with Kids

Nestled in the Canadian Rockies is the majestic town of Banff. Built as a tourist destination on the Canadian Pacific Railway, this charming mountain town has entertained the likes of royalty, presidents, and my entire crazy extended family for an whole week around New Year's. Our family trip to Canada was definitely one for the memory books. 

Empowering Kids and Parents After a School Shooting

By Susan Jara

It’s a terrifying scenario that has become all too familiar: A gunman walks into a school and starts shooting. Parents rush to the scene and wait in desperation to find out whether their child survived. Some of them do not.

The shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is one of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. Since the tragic 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, more than 400 people have been shot at schools, according to the New York Times.

As a parent watching these tragedies unfold over and over again, I felt powerless, frightened, and bewildered as to how to discuss these events with my children—and really, how to keep them safe going forward. Many parent friends say they’re afraid to send their kids through the school doors every day in light of these mass shootings. We wonder: Are the active shooter drills they’re participating in even helping?

“Every day I leave the house, thinking, ‘What if something happens at my school or at my child’s school,’ says Jill Murray, a mom and social worker in a high school near Newtown, Connecticut. “What if this is the last time I see my son?”

So I sought the advice of experts to help guide myself and other parents through this. What can we do to keep them safe, and what can we do to prevent anxiety from taking over?

14 Best Indoor Birthday Party Ideas for LA Kids

There is a special kind of stress—both emotional and financial—that planning a birthday party can cause if you have kids born between the months of November and March. Oh sure, everyone struggles with the great birthday party question, but those moms who gave birth in LA in August are pretty safe claiming a corner of a public park or throwing down some blankets on the beach. If you have a December baby, you may have tried that, but at some point probably cried "Never again!" LA might not have a proper winter, but it has a proper Indoor Birthday Party season, if only for the sanity of the parents. Allow us to share some of our favorite options for entertaining the masses without stressing about the weather.

Winter Break Fun in CT

This winter break stay busy with one (or all) of the following activity ideas in your area. There are so many fun options to choose from that you'll be sure to find one that you and your family will enjoy.

Also don't forget to check out our  Winter Guide of Activities.

What You Need to Know Before Heading to the Houston Rodeo

It's finally here! The 2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo runs Feb. 27-March 18, 2018 and opens at 8 a.m. every day. Even if you're a rodeo regular, donning those cowboy boots and braving the crowds and traffic are still daunting tasks. And when you get there - it's just so....big. We've broken down some essential information to know before planning your visit, and we also recommend downloading the RODEOHOUSTON app for maps, schedules, and more (available for both Apple and Android products). 

Check out our Rodeo Houston Guide for more posts on enjoying the rodeo with kids.

Indoor Play Spots for NYC Toddlers with Weekend Hours

Indoor play spots are essential for NYC families with young children (and limited square feet) as temperatures begin a steady decline into winter.

Unfortunately, so many of the city's indoor play spots are limited to weekday hours. That's great for caregivers Monday through Friday, but mom and dad are left out in the cold, scrambling to fill up those chilly fall, rainy spring or snowy winter weekends with their preschoolers in other ways.

Luckily, we've uncovered nearly two dozen fantastic play spaces that get it, and are keeping weekend, drop-in play hours for kids, no membership required. All include playthings sized just right for the little ones, including for babies in many instances. They are stroller-friendly and equipped with changing stations, making them no-fuss options for the toddler squad.

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