Toddler and Preschool Birthday Party Venues and Ideas on LI

Toddler birthday parties are exciting. But for parents, it can be stressful planning that perfect party.

Finding a location or a unique idea is a challenge. But good news: Whether you're looking for an engaging indoor play space, an outdoor environment, or even a home party with entertainment, there are plenty of toddler-friendly options across Long Island that we have compiled for you here. As always, check out our Long Island Party Guide for more on planning the ideal party for a child of any age.

St. Patrick's Day Weekend Fun: Parades, Parties, and Painting

Okay, my friends, it's go time: the last weekend of winter is here, and we're ready (after this week's nor'easter, more than ready!) to say farewell to the snow and the cold. Celebrate the sweetest part of winter with a little maple sugaring in ReddingHebron, or Sharon or stay indoors to see a fun family show such as Goldilocks at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport or Erth's Dinosaur Zoo Live at either the Shubert in New Haven on Saturday or the Jorgensen Center in Storrs on Sunday. 

Best Nature Centers in New Jersey to Visit with Kids

If you’re feeling burned out on indoor play spaces and museums, and longing for spring, try a visit to of New Jersey's awesome nature centers. No need to worry if the weather's still a little iffy—there are plenty throughout the state with programs happening year-round.

We've rounded up 10 nature centers that combine both indoor and outdoor fun for kids of all ages. Spend some time exploring nature and checking out hands-on exhibits and activities that explain our local flora and fauna. Most places on our list are open year-round, except for major holidays.

Get Almost Free Admission to Luna Park on Opening Day

It's no secret that all of us here like "FREE." We're always on the lookout for free activities around NYC, play spaces, and even summer camps. But Luna Park's March 24 opening day event at Coney Island, Brooklyn, makes the four-letter word all the better, as almost all proceeds from donations will serve the Girls Scouts' 6000 troop.

Read on to find out what's included in this almost-FREE day and who you'll be helping with your small donation.

Taking the Ice Cream Sandwich up a Notch in NoHo

When is an ice cream sandwich more than an ice cream sandwich? Maybe when the Care Bears get involved.

We went to check out NoHo's uber-cool gourmet ice cream sandwich spot, Cream, last week, on a quest to find out just how exceptional an ice cream sandwich can be. Not only did we get a deliciously satisfying answer to that question, we also managed to hit the store the night the Care Bears were there launching their month-long special flavors. We even got to sink our teeth into a new version of the decadent cronut. If you've got a hankering for ice cream (and who doesn't?) coupled with kids who love Care Bears (ditto), you'll want to stop into one of the LA area's three Cream locations before the end of March.

SpongeBob the Musical Hammers Home All the Right Messages

SpongeBob SquarePants (the cartoon) might be pretty far down on your list a parent-approved media. But SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical just made it to the top of mine. Talented actors, a solid storyline, and insanely imaginative sets—and a complete lack of hokeyness—made this performance a family Broadway standout. You won't find oversized sponge or starfish costumes, but the talent seamlessly translated the characters (none of whom are human) to the stage and easily transported the audience to a quirky and much-loved Bikini Bottom.

Read our review for a sense of what to expect from this infectious performance, or check out our complete Theater Guide for NYC Kids for many more options.

A Fun Foodie Adventure in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with the Kids

If you’ve been itching to try to decipher signage in a foreign language, step into a market that smells like 15 kinds of sausage, and stuff your face with foods from the Old World, then all you and the kids need to do is hop on over to Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Somehow, despite the fact that neighboring Williamsburg has become the poster child for rampant development and gentrification, Greenpoint has managed to maintain its charm and Polish flavor. That’s not to say that the neighborhood hasn’t changed or that skyrocketing rents haven’t impacted local families, but many of the shops along Greenpoint’s main drag, Manhattan Avenue, are still locally owned markets and restaurants often specialize in Polish foods. If you have Eastern European roots, locals might even address you in Polish. All this makes a day in Greenpoint feel like a trip to the Old Country.

Greenpoint is just one of many ethnic foodie thoroughfares in the city. We aim to help you travel the world airfare-free with the Mommy Poppins Passport Series. We'll spotlight the best international streets in all five boroughs. Introduce kids to the diverse food and fun that immigrants have brought to New York City’s streets, including in Astoria, Manhattan's Chinatown, and even at a Queens mall.

16 Affordable Summer Camps for Philadelphia Families

Two months. That’s how long your student has off from school for the summer. While you could see this as a great bonding time with your kids (and it is!), there is one problem: it’s just so. much. time! That’s where summer camps come in to save the day. Teaching your kids new skills, helping them form new friendships, and burning off the copious amounts of energy.

But summer camp can be a major burden on the wallet. Fortunately, there are a number of local summer camps and programs that make enrollment much more manageable. Whether they want to learn more about science and technology, grow as an artist, or gain skills on the field, there is an affordable camp for every age and interest.

To help you make your selections, we’ve rounded up a great list of free or affordable summer camps (using the cap of $300 per week as the highest limit) that you can use to help keep your kids entertained and engaged all summer long. Unless otherwise noted, registration for camps is on a week to week basis.


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