January GoList: The Best Things To Do With NJ Kids This Month

What's the best cure for the post-holiday blues? Sending the kids back to school, of course. But here's the second-best: finding fun new activities to enjoy in the new year. In honor of 2017, we've picked 17 of the best activities happening in January. This month, you can operate an earth mover, learn how to tap a maple tree, have breakfast with animals, celebrate the Chinese New Year, and see performances featuring such favorite characters as Cinderella, Daniel Tiger, and Pinkalicious. Got a model train lover or a monster truck fanatic? You'll find something for them, too. For more wintry fun, check out our Winter Activity Guide, and discover the best places to play indoors when it's just too cold to be outside. And as always, you can find many more great things to do in our Events Calendar.

New Year's Day 2017 Activities for Long Island Kids

New Year's Day is generally a quiet one on Long Island, but that doesn't mean you need to stay home. Chances are you've spent the winter holiday break taking in shows, ice skating, and even crafting at home. Well, if the kids are starting to hang from the rafters, you may want to head back out for some final holiday fun before school starts back up on Tuesday, January 3.

We rounded up more than a dozen of the top kid-friendly Long Island destinations that are open on New Year's Day like the aquarium, Bayville Winter Wonderland, museums, and even trampoline and indoor fun zones to help the whole family bid a sweet farewell to the holiday break.

Be sure to check out our events calendar for more fun ideas and our best family event picks for the New Year's Weekend and New Year's Eve celebrations.

Best Hot Chocolate Spots Around Manhattan

A cup of molten chocolaty goodness is one of the best ways to thaw out and warm up—in fact, it's one of the best things about winter.

We took on the heinous job of running around Manhattan taste-testing hot chocolates (don't say we've never done anything for you) and narrowed it down to nearly two dozen of our favorites. These spots are definitely worth the brief trip out into the cold, so read on for our recommendations for cafes and restaurants that have turned drinking hot cocoa into an experience not to be missed.

By the way, we've also rounded up our favorite Brooklyn hot cocoa cafes and those in Queens. Find more great eats in our NYC Restaurant Guide for Families.

January GoList: The Best Things To Do With CT Kids This Month

The new year is here, and it's time to rest, right? Wrong. The kids have other ideas; but don't worry, we are here to help.  Enjoy learning about whales, a full moon hike, ice fishing, winter camping, and a whole lot more this month! You'll find 20 of our best picks for you and your family this January. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get a list of each week's highlighted events. Happy New Year!

New Year's Day: Ways to Kick Off 2017 with Westchester Kids

Whether you plan on spending New Year's Eve at home or out on the town, kids aren't usually sympathetic to late nights, even if they stay up with you. So if the chances of you sleeping in on New Year's Day seem pretty slim, you may be looking for fun ways to spend the day out with your family.

While many venues are closed, there are several fun options, including enjoying a romp at Legoland Discovery Centerhowling with the wolves or catching last-chance holiday displays. Read on for more details on ways to kick off 2017 with kids in Westchester!

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When the Bough Breaks: Christmas Tree Recycling in Houston

Growing up in my parents' house, the Christmas season began with Advent, not Black Friday, and lasted until January 6 - the celebration of Epiphany. This meant not one ornament, nativity scene, or wreath was removed until the wise men had delivered their gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And the tree - the one "we" (mainly my mother) painstakingly picked out and meticulously decorated - shone brightly with multi-colored lights every night even after we returned to school from winter break. Nowadays, people seem to hang decorations as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey is carved and there are scarcely any vestiges of Christmas to be seen by New Year's Day.

So, whether your traditions include chopping down your own Norman Rockwell-worthy tree or adorning something more akin to Charlie Brown's, when the branches start to brown and that heirloom glass ornament is looking precarious, it's time to un-trim that tree and kick it to the curb - literally. Houston and the surrounding areas offer several ways to recycle your tree after the holidays. Be sure to remove all tinsel, lights, ornaments, stands, etc beforehand (flocked trees are not accepted). And if you need to get rid of holiday string lights, bring them with you when you check out Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo. There is a receptacle near the entrance and lights are accepted until January 15.  

New Year's Eve Weekend: Best Things To Do with LA Kids this Weekend

Please don't take this the wrong way, 2016, but we're not that sorry to see you go. Sure, we had some good times, some amazing times really, but you also took a lot out of us. (A little like parenting...) We hit some milestones but faced some painful losses. 2016, it's time to move on. Whoa, lookie there: it's 2017!

Try to see it this way: we turn our back on you to look forward, with hope, with optimism, with determination. To find our common ground, to work together, to parent kindly and creatively, with empathy and with joy. This weekend gives us plenty of opportunities, with so many different approaches we can take towards time with our kids, so many ways to open their eyes to the wonders great and small. We can usher in 2017 from a child's perspective (and on a child's timeclock); we can bring them with us as we party like it's 1999 2017. We can share the celebrations of many cultures, whether they be our own or not. 2017, we are ready to take you on, and we are determined to make you our greatest year yet.

Grab your party hats and keep reading for some of our most forward looking picks for the coming year...

New Year's Weekend Fun for Boston Kids, Dec 31-Jan 1

I think the days between Christmas and New Year's Eve are some of the best of the year. The first few are spent playing with new toys and staying cozy in the house with the family. Then we break out the noisemakers, party hats, and fireworks – and Boston has to be one of the best cities for kids to ring in the new year. First Night should be high on everyone’s list of activities this weekend with family-friendly events happening all over the city on New Year's Eve and into the next day. Plus, Symphony Hall is screening Back to the Future and performing the musical score to the movie live on Saturday. 

On New Year’s Day, visit the Blue Hills for the Annual First Day Hikes starting at the Trailside Museum and continuing on one of three guided hikes. The Hanukkah celebrations continue on Sunday with Finding Dory on Ice. 

Also on Mommy Poppins Boston this week:

Need more family fun ideas? Check out our full events calendar. Happy New Year!

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