Fun and Cheap Fairfield County Rental Halls for Birthday Parties

Sometimes the best kids birthday parties (and most budget friendly) are the ones you plan yourself! It's time to step out of the party package!

In your search for a place to host 15 or so rowdy kids for your DIY birthday party, you do not have to break the bank. The creative host has many options in Fairfield County (indoors and out!) to build their own cheap and totally awesome party.

Here are our budget-friendly party venues. For more great birthday ideas, check out our Connecticut Birthday Guide.

Choosing a Preschool: 5 Things That Matter & 5 That (Probably) Don't

In Los Angeles there is pressure to find the best of everything, and finding the best preschool for your little heir is no exception. Some parents jump on this task intimidatingly early, doing research and attending open houses even while Junior is still in utero. And there are so many choices: Play-based or academically focused? Montessori, Waldorf, full-time, part-time, cooperative, parochial, or secular? Media-free or media-intensive? A philosophy of "let children be children" or "teach them everything as soon as possible"? Perhaps we want our kids to learn to use their words in more than one language, to preserve their midday nap, or to spend most of their day playing outdoors in nature.

Help Us Choose Our BESTIES: Vote for Your Favorite Spots and Win!

How do we love Connecticut? Help us count the ways! We know that Connecticut is one of the best places to raise kids, but even the best has its best. So we're counting on you, our Mommy Poppins readers and the most savvy parents we know, to help us pick Connecticut's BESTIES. The best play spaces? Connecticut's got 'em. Family restaurants? We've got those, too. Swim classes, dance classes, and baby 'n' me, along with the coolest theaters, museums, camps—heck, even our dentists are the best. But only you can tell us which is the best of the best, so we're asking you to help us show our best local businesses the love and vote for your favorites in all of these categories and more.

Preschooler Fun in NYC this Winter: 25 Top Events

Winter in the Big Apple can seem daunting when you have a preschooler in tow. Luckily, the winter season is full of tot-friendly fun throughout the city, from kid-friendly MLK celebrations, to museum exhibits, live concerts designed for young ears, loads of theater, and so much more.

To help make your planning easier—and curb that urban cabin fever—we've rounded up more than two dozen top event picks for outings with kids under the age of 5. For more ideas, be sure to check out Winter Fun Guide, January GoList, and daily Event Calendar.

Winter Fun List: 50 Things to Do Indoors with Long Island Kids

With the holidays behind us and a long, cold winter ahead of us, now is the time to get creative when it comes to keeping your kids entertained. Your local playground may be frozen over, but Long Island is home to some truly amazing museums, arts and crafts classes (also here), indoor play venues (see here and here), and children's theater experiences. You might miss being outside in the fresh air, but you won't struggle to find exciting activities and interesting, winter-friendly (meaning: warm and cozy!) places to explore.

We've created a list of 50 fun things to do indoors with kids on Long Island. Be sure to check out our January GoList and Winter Fun Guide for more fun ideas.

Help Us Choose Our BESTIES: Vote for Your Favorite Spots and Win!

How do we love Philly? Help us count the ways! We know that Philadelphia is full of great stuff to do with kids, but we need help finding the best of the best. So we're counting on you, our Mommy Poppins readers and the most savvy parents we know, to help us pick Philly's BESTIES. The best play spaces? Philly has 'em. Family restaurants? We've got those, too.

Favorite Ski Spots Near NYC for Families and Kids

Now that winter has arrived, it's time to embrace the chill. We've rounded up some of the best skiing and snowboarding spots within a few hours of New York City.

A winter sport like skiing is great way to get outdoors as a family, and it will make the warm weather seem to come much sooner. Read on for our rundown of these nearby slopes, so you can pick one or two that match your kids' skill levels and interests. Want info on more family skiing and other snow sports? Check out our Ski Guide, covering the tristate area, New England, and even California for more options, including snowboarding parks or snow tubing.

Happy skiing!

Indoor Play Spaces for Kids in Northern New Jersey

Neither flurries nor rain, nor heat nor cold should keep New Jersey children from enjoying a day of play—especially when there are so many awesome indoor play spaces in Northern Jersey. From toddler play dates to teen outings, we've compiled a list of the best indoor playgrounds in Northern New Jersey where kids can drop-in for play. No memberships needed! If you're looking for sites that are a bit farther south, check out this listing of Central Jersey play spaces.

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