Weekday Picks for Connecticut Kids: Zumba, Animal Habitats, and Story Time Adventures September 14-18

Happy New Year to all our readers celebrating Rosh Hashanah. May the coming year be filled with love, friendship, and joy! This week we've collected all kinds of activities including a terrific program at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center for anyone who is home from school on Monday. We've also tracked down a free Zumba class, an agricultural fair, and more. Be sure to check the full Event Calendar for more fun things to do!

No-candy Halloween: Non-edible Treats to Hand Out on October 31

What's the first thing my family does to prepare for Halloween season? No, not make costumes or crafts or plan out our calendar. Our very first activity is to throw out all the stale candy my daughter has been hanging on to since last October 31.

Whatever you do with your child's Halloween haul—donate, repurpose, hoard or eat—there's no question that trick-or-treaters collect way too much candy. And while I'm glad my kid doesn't actually ingest it all, many children do, and the health implications of that are pretty scary.

So this year I'm not going to be part of the candy craze. Instead, I plan to give out small, fun, non-edible treats, like the kinds of tchotchkes you might find in a birthday goody bag. (So if you have any of those lying around the house, start gathering them up now.) Yes, I realize these things may end up sitting around as long as last year's candy, but since they don't go bad I can always hand them out again next Halloween.

Here are some cool things to hand out on Halloween besides candy that won't get you egged.

Storytimes for NYC Kids: Read Your Way Around Manhattan

Storytimes are a great free—or super low-cost—kid activity that can often provide the incentive families need to get out of the house on those rainy, cold or snowy days when cabin fever is likely to set in. Hosted throughout NYC at libraries, bookstores, museums and other fun places, most of these baby and kid reading sessions don't require reservations, making it easy to just drop in. Plus, many of these storytimes incorporate arts and craft projects and, considering the venues that host them, a story hour can easily turn into a full morning or afternoon of fun.

Read on for our most up-to-date list of storytimes for fall and winter 2015 in Manhattan. Also, be sure to peruse our post on NYC's best independent bookstores for kids for more reading inspiration.

What to do with Leftover Halloween Candy

After Halloween last year, I was astonished at the amount of candy my kids got, especially when I counted up the total calories. It really made me think twice and we ended up taking five pounds of candy and selling it to the dentist the week after Halloween. This year we found a healthier alternative to giving away candy for Halloween and it seems like there are lots of people feeling the same way because I keep reading about all kinds of things to do with your leftover Halloween candy besides eat it, from donating it to soldiers in Afghanistan to using it to make a gingerbread house. Read on for some of the best ideas of what to do with all that leftover Halloween candy.

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