20 Things To Do with NYC Babies Before They Turn 1

The whole "New York City is a terrible place to raise babies" debate seems to continue, especially in conversations on local parenting groups. But as a mom of three who had all my babies right here in NYC, I disagree. Yes, it can be a nuisance to find subway stations with working elevators and contend with tiny spaces and noisy neighbors, but there are so many enriching first-time experiences to share with your baby in the city that make it worth muddling through the inconveniences.

So stock your diaper bag, strap your infant into a stroller or carrier and try these 20 things to do with your baby before age 1.

The Nutcracker: Holiday Performances of the Classic Ballet for LA & OC Kids this Christmas

Most of the year, most of us parents don't attempt to take our children to full-length ballet productions, but Christmas just doesn't feel like Christmas without one good Nutcracker. And if one good Nutcracker begins to make it feel a lot like Christmas, then LA, Orange, and Ventura counties are evidently hitting Uber-Christmas in the coming weeks with more than two dozen professional Nutcracker productions.

Incidentally, we've got answers to the two questions posed most often by LA parents in search of a Nutcracker Ballet for their families: Yes, there is a condensed version staged specifically for kids, offered by the Pacific Ballet down in Costa Mesa or Classical Ballet Theater in Palos Verdes; and yes, there are local productions performed with full orchestra - at the Long Beach Terrace Theater, the Broad Stage, the Dolby Theatre, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and the Anaheim Ballet. There is even the odd Nutcracker Tea or two—in case you were wondering.

Holiday Giving in New Jersey: Volunteering for Families

Looking for new ways to connect as a family this holiday season? Volunteering together can spark the joy of giving in children of all ages. 

Holiday time is full of family traditions like carving turkeys, sharing gifts, and ringing in the New Year. It's also a great time to inspire your kids to give back. Create new family traditions this year by contributing to a favorite charity or reaching out to those in need. From the youngest kids coloring holiday greeting cards to teenagers serving Thanksgiving dinners, we've got the low-down on family-friendly holiday volunteering in New Jersey. 

10 Best Activities for Toddlers in Connecticut This Week, November 13-17

My kids are older now so while the arrival of colder weather elicits some moans and groans, it doesn't cause quite the same stir that it did when they were younger and wrestling them into winter coats and boots required what often felt like superhuman strength. So this week, we're focusing on activities specifically for toddlers that are worth the extra effort, whether for a special nature walk, a visit to the zoo, or Thanksgiving themed story and craft activities.

Cavalia Odysseo: Horses and Acrobats Play in a Big White Tent in Camarillo

There is nothing like Cavalia. The touring production Odysseo by the Cavalia team feels like the dreams we might have if we lived among wild horses and gypsy acrobats. And dream really is the key word: from the first moment until the last, herds of horses, flocks of aerialists, and scenic displays of epic proportions fill the stage with sequences that transport the audience to a magical dreamscape beyond most of our imaginings. You'll be rubbing your eyes to work out how they fit this world in one tent.

If someone in your house loves horses, this show is truly a must; if horses don't normally move you, Odysseo will change that. If these words seem overly effusive, rest assured that they don't begin to do justice to the spectacle taking place daily in that big castle-like tent next to the 101 freeway in Camarillo.

A Dozen Must-Do Holiday Activities for New Jersey Kids

There are five weekends from December 1 to January 1, and hundreds of ways to fill them. Overwhelmed by the possibilities? If you’re looking for fun activities the kids will love that don’t cost an arm and a leg, look no further than our list of the best family outings worth adding to your busy December to-do list. From holiday light shows to breakfast with Santa, we’ve compiled 12 great memory-making activities for this month.

Check out our full calendar of events and our holiday guide for more options.

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