Cotton Candy Spa: Brooklyn's New Party Place for City Princesses

It's been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and that's certainly the case for one new, mom-owned business in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

When Anna Bychowska went searching for an affordable birthday party spot for her then 6-year-old daughter last fall, she came up empty in her neighborhood and nearby Williamsburg. Party spots she found were either too expensive or booked months in advance. Discouraged with the offerings, she saw an opportunity and founded a party spot of her own. In late 2016, Cotton Candy Spa was born.

Storybook Experiences: A Magical Easter Bunny Meet & Greet

The Easter Bunny is just a fabled symbol of the holiday, right? At Storybook Experiences family and children's photography in West Islip, this folkloric character comes to life in a magical meet-and-greet that enchants and engages. Walk through the cottage doors and you are transported to a charming bunny village, delicately decorated in spring decor. Customers can wait in the bright playroom, equipped with a big-screen TV playing your favorite cartoon films on demand. 

5 Family-Friendly Irish Pubs for St. Patrick's Day Weekend

There are plenty of family-friendly ways to get in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, from a free dose of Irish step dancing in Dorchester to the annual parade in South Boston. But perhaps the most authentic and enjoyable way to immerse the whole family in the Irish experience is right around the corner—at your neighborhood pub.

Kids at the pub? Absolutely. In Ireland, you see children in pubs all the time, especially in rural areas. Traditionally, the pub is the cultural focal point of the town. “Gathering as families is very important in Ireland. And for a whole variety of reasons—some as banal as the weather—the most ready place is the pub,” says Brian O’Donovan, native of West Cork and host of A Celtic Sojourn on WGBH 89.7 FM. “They’re open to all without invitation and provide warm, congenial spaces to chat with neighbors, find out what’s happening, share or listen to a song or tune, or even join in a dance. I think that tradition and welcoming atmosphere has passed over here to their American equivalents."

Now, be sensible: I’m not recommending that you drag your kids to the jam-packed downtown pubs after work on Friday, where the drunken revelry of St. Patrick’s Day can rival that of New Year’s Eve. But if there’s a true Irish pub in your neighborhood, it’s likely fine to bring the kids for lunch or an early dinner—and some places even go out of their way to welcome the whole family.

Best Food Options for Kids at the Houston Rodeo

There are so many delicious things to eat at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and food is everywhere! Since kids get hungry quickly, it can be helpful to have an idea ahead of time of what is available and where. As you enter the rodeo, there are huge food tents with lots of yummy options as well as food stands full of fried goodies and more all around the main and children's carnivals.

Families tend to spend most of their time inside NRG Center, where the AGventure area is located. This is where you will find the indoor pony rides, petting zoo, rabbits, bees, chicks, and many other kid-based displays and activities. Inside NRG Center is also where you can check out the cows, goats, and breeding animals and get some great shopping in as well. We've broken down the best, cheapest, healthiest, and most kid-friendly food in the areas you will probably be spending most of your time.

Summer Art Camps for Philly Area Kids

Summer will be here before we know it, and many parents are starting to think about camps. If you have a budding young artist in your family, there is no shortage of camp options available for you in the Philadelphia area. From museums and neighborhood art leagues to paint-your-own ceramic studios, we have assembled a list to fit all levels of artistic ability. So, if your children have created enough crafts at home this winter and are ready for a new learning experience, read on for our ideas.

Be sure to browse our Camp Directory for even more ideas!

Spring Wildflower Hikes and Super Blooms for Southern California Families

Spring is in the air, and spring means wildflowers! This season is turning out to be a particularly good one, in case you haven't heard. Words like "superbloom" are being bandied about, and in some cases with good cause. Some of the hillsides that we've been sad to see engulfed in fire or parched by drought in recent years finally got the rain they needed this winter to awaken seeds that lie waiting for years for this perfect combination of events. There are several locations that are known for spectacular annual displays of spring wildflowers in Southern California (not to mention the famous fields of Carlsbad), but this season brings some special guest stars as well. Large displays typically last two to six weeks, so you need to make plans quickly when word comes of a good display. (Don't have time to drive outside the city limits? We know plenty of local hikes worth checking, too!)

If we hear of more great displays, we'll share in our newsletter! (Have you subscribed?)

Elizabeth Park Spring Day Trip With Kids

It's beginning to feel a lot like “spring” here in Hartford County with the warmer temperatures! It’s the perfect time to enjoy an outdoor day trip. Elizabeth Park, a little gem tucked away in West Hartford, is a great spot to visit  especially this time of year. Be sure to also visit some of the other parks in the Hartford County area. For more springtime fun check out our CT spring fun guide!

The Geekery HQ: A Board Game Treasure Trove in Queens

In 2017, nerd = cool. Game boards and tabletop gaming seem to be at an all-time high. When I was a young adult, I would have done anything to have a place like The Geekery HQ in my neighborhood. Where was it in 1997?  Combining games, communal play and collectibles, The Geekery HQ in Astoria is a haven for tweens and teens with a penchant for Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), Magic the Gathering (MTG) and all things geeky.


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