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...

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Museums, Shows, Cherry Blossom Festival April 1-2

It's no joke. An April Fool's weekend filled with museum experiences, theater productions, an amusement park opening, and cherry blossom festival awaits Philly families.

For starters, the Academy of Natural Sciences hosts its annual Animal Superhero Weekend, The Barnes offers its Free First Sundays , and The Brandywine River Museum presents its free PNC Arts Alive Family Programming. Bank of America® and Merrill Lynch® card holders can get free admission to many Pennsylvania museums such as the National Constitution Center and New Jersey museums such as the Garden State Discovery Museum throughout the weekend. After a museum visit, consider a trip to the theater. Younger children can enjoy Walnut Street Theatre's Skippyjon Jones while older kids can experience Arden Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

However, if your crew wants to get outdoors, consider visiting Storybook Land as it opens for the season. Or, experience the annual Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival which features the opening of the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden along with a host of cultural activities. Continue reading for our top picks. No foolin', it's a great line up of fun!

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Play-A-Palooza, Scavenger Hunt, March 25-26

As the month of March draws to a close, Philly families start to notice signs of spring found in our jam-packed events calendar. This weekend's fun includes egg hunts, outdoor excursions, park openings, and many consignment sales.

Begin the weekend with some waffles at the American Swedish Historical Museum. Once bellies have been fed, find your favorite basket and search for Easter eggs at community egg hunts in Aston and Telford. Search for signs of spring at Upper Schuylkill Valley Park or look for artwork that reflects the theme of the Harry Potter book series at Watson Adventures' Wizard Scavenger Hunt held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Stop by Smith Memorial Playground as it opens for the new season at Play-A-Palooza. Finish off the weekend by seeing one of Philly's favorite local kindie bands, BESTIE winner Lolly and YoYo at Parkway Central Library. Keep reading to see what other top picks await this weekend.

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