Easy Spring Break Getaways for New Jersey Families

Spring break means sunshine and outdoor fun. But if a trip to Florida or the Caribbean is not in your family's plan this season, a low-key getaway that's closer to home is an ideal way to welcome warmer weather.

From New Jersey beach towns to campgrounds and indoor water parks and resorts, we've found the best options for fun family destinations right here in the Garden State. And if you're looking for a shorter jaunt minus the overnight stay, check out our guide to New Jersey family day trips. But don't forget we just profiled some pretty cool family travel deals too!

Tween GoList: 14 NYC Outings to Combat Adolescent Eye Rolls

The tweenage years—it's a tough stage filled with lots of 'tude. As parents, we know they're too old to hold our hands and follow us blindly to the nearest playground...that's way too babyish. But unlike teens, they may not be quite ready to wander around NYC alone for hours without a destination or supervision. That makes planning family outings for this age particularly tricky.

It's challenging to find activities that will entertain you and your tween. That's why this mother of a picky 11-year-old asked her peers and their kids for ideas guaranteed not to prompt one of those infuriating eye rolls. So bark at them to put down whatever gadget they're holding, and try one of these tween-tested-and-approved excursions in NYC.

10 Mom-Approved Tips for Attending the Rodeo With Kids

It can be a daunting task to saddle up for the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, but as Houstonians it's basically our civic duty to go at least once a year. Before heading out, there are some key details you should know, like ticket and parking basics, and it's definitely worth reading over what FREE activities are offered for the kiddos. But there's no better advice and tips than what you'll get from fellow mamas. Read on for 10 tips and tricks from Houston moms who have braved the crowds, pushed the umbrella strollers through those crowds, and dropped more cash than they'd like to admit on fried Oreos. (And moms, if you have tips of your own you'd like to share - drop us a line at houstoneditor@mommypoppins.com.)

Candy Shops on Long Island: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Whether you are preparing to fill Easter baskets with goodies or just looking for a fun place to take the kids, nothing is quite like a visit to a local candy shop. Feasting your eyes on the vibrant colors, smelling the familiar scent of sugar, and anticipating the first bite of a sweet treat brings out the child in everyone.

Long Island candy shops offer everything from hand-dipped truffles to old-fashioned penny candies. Visit these 20 destinations with your kids to sample treats, take tours, or even a attend candy-making class. And for more seasonal fun, don’t forget to check out our guide to Easter bunny brunches and egg hunts.

Largest Indoor Water Park in the US Opens at Kalahari Poconos

It’s official. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in the Pocono Mountains is now home to the country’s largest indoor water park.

In early March the African-themed resort completed a more-than-100,000-square-foot addition to its existing indoor water park, bringing the total to 220,000 square feet, more than double its largest competitor in the Poconos vacation region, and besting the record-holder, its own Kalahari resort in Sandusky, Ohio.

The news arrives just before school kids head off for spring break, making it likely welcome news for families looking for a quick water-themed getaway, or even a day trip as Kalahari allows day-pass entry to its water park.

Sheepshearing and Wool Festivals in New England

We're seeing signs of spring. On the farm at this time of year there is new life everywhere, and the sheep are due for haircuts. That means it's shearing festival time! Locally, Drumlin Farm and Gore Place celebrate sheepshearing season with big shindigs. (It’s not that strange—think of the big deal you made about your child’s first haircut.) If you want to make a fun family day trip or even a weekend getaway out of it, there are also sheepshearing and wool festivals in nearby Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts.

Affordable Preschools in Southwest Houston

Preschool is one of those things I never put much thought into until my son's third birthday was looming. I assumed finding a preschool would be a breeze, one of those tasks I checked off the to-do list in a day (cue the first time mom chuckles). Instead, I quickly realized that there are a lot of variables to consider when selecting a preschool for your child, some of which make a big difference and others that may not matter as much. For us, price was one of those make or break factors, and finding an affordable preschool proved to be a big hurdle to overcome. So for all the parents out there looking for affordable preschool options in Southwest Houston, we have you covered.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Zoo Spectacular, CicLAvia, Peacock Day, March 25-26

So I guess it's a new season now. We're starting to see events with Spring in the title. The swallows are making their annual appearance, along with their show-off cousins the peacocks. And lo! A certain bunny has even been seen hopping down that well worn trail.  

In this season of renewal, it's a good time to think about this place we call home. Why not take an hour off to appreciate what our world looks like unplugged. (I'm assuming darker.) Look to the skies; look to the streets where you live. Don't be swayed by pretty little liars: be inspired by those who help

Now's the time to appreciate all you can do; now's the time to find your power. We might even be able to set things straight. After all, it ain't over til the fat lady sings.

Keep reading for the springiest picks for this weekend...

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