20 Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s Day in NJ with the Family

Parenthood adds a whole new dimension to Valentine's Day. If you're looking for a way to celebrate with the kids this year, we've got you covered. You can have a family date night at Jenkinson's Aquarium and Pavilion, create a valentine birdfeeder, or grab your sweethearts and feel the beat of ancient Japanese drumming. You can even go for a Valentine's Day–themed swim (indoors, of course).

Read on for more ways to celebrate with the ones you love. And for even more February fun, check out our Event Calendar and February GoList. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Going for the Gold: 20 Ice Skating Rinks for Future Connecticut Olympians

Okay, it may have been more than forty years ago, but the 1976 Olympics looms large in my childhood memories: in fact, I was so enthralled by Dorothy Hamill that I rocked her signature haircut well into my tween years (in hindsight, that was perhaps a few years too long). When the 2018 Winter Olympics open in Pyeongchang later this week, I don't know if my kids will be so enthralled that they'll be demanding Bradie Tennell or Adam Rippon haircuts, but a parent can dream!

Should you find your child enjoying some Olympic dreams of his/her own, there is an abundance of learn-to-skate programs offering everything from figure skating to ice dancing and even ice theater--with some offering February vacation week camps. For even more recommendations for winter fun when you're not watching the games, check out our CT Winter Fun Guide and subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Have a great week!

Fire and Ice Festival and other Winter Fun in the Quiet Corner

Put on your parkas and gloves and head over to Putnam for the 8th Annual Fire and Ice Festival on Feb 10. This large-scale ice sculpture carving event attracts people from all over the country.  Watch as several 300 lb. blocks of ice are transformed into a work of art - bring your Valentine or bring the whole family!

While you are at it, why not make a whole weekend of it?  If you are already in the  "quiet corner" of Connecticut, you may want to check out a few others things like the Conn. Audubon's programs, the Chocolate Festival, and the Textile Museum.  And of course, don't forget to check our Mommy Poppins' Winter Guide for all things fun to do in winter!

Ways for Philly Families to Celebrate Black History Month

During the month of February, many venues throughout Philadelphia celebrate Black History Month by recognizing the amazing contributions of African Americans. Philly families can use this opportunity to teach children about the impact of some remarkable African American people. There are so many places to see cultural performances, and view incredible works of art created by African American artists. From libraries and museums to Reading Terminal Market and Historic Philadelphia, there are many events to remind us of the important role of African Americans in our world. Make time to attend some of our top picks listed below.

Indoor Ice Skating Rinks in New York City for Every Season

As much as we love ice skating outside, sometimes it's just too cold, hot, or rainy for New York City's seasonal outdoor rinks. Indoor alternatives let NYC kids skate year-round. Some in-the-know parents with young skate enthusiasts tell me they prefer indoor rinks because the quality of the ice is better, making for a smoother glide, which is especially helpful for newbies.

Here are six NYC indoor ice skating rinks to check out whether your kid is just starting out or even practicing their hockey or figure skating moves. Many offer birthday party options, skating lessons, and rentals and most are open in summer if you ever need to cool down.

Audio Stories That Entertain Kids Anytime and Anywhere from Pinna

The screen time struggle is real. So, I can't imagine I'm the only parent who's quite literally all ears when they hear that kids' podcasts and audiobooks are officially a thing now. On-demand audio programming certainly feels like the perfect way to bring some screen-free entertainment to playtime, add a little excitement to the bath, or even just wind down before bed, but finding awesome options for kids can be really hard. Enter a new subscription-based service called Pinna, which is packed with Peabody-winning original series, popular podcasts, and favorite audiobooks for listeners ages 4 to 12 — and zero commercials — making it a major parenting win. Read on to find out more and get a free 7-day membership to try it out.

Historic Train Depots and Museums: Where Kids Can See Real Trains Around Houston

All aboard! Do you have a train lover on your hands? If so, this list of places to visit real trains in and around Houston is for you. Historically speaking, the Texas transit system has a history rich in railroads. To pay tribute to the larger-than-life trains that used to crisscross the country, many Houston area suburbs feature preserved train depots and museums. Many offer cheap or even FREE admission, and one even gives visitors the opportunity to ride on working trains. 

Give Active Kids a Place to Move at these New Westchester Sports Programs

We know all too well how easy it is to feel cooped up during winter. Fortunately, there’s a slew of brand-new sports-related gyms and programs that just became available for Westchester families—offering plenty of alternatives to jumping on the couch cushions for the 1,000th time. There are even options for all ages, many with classes, parties, drop-ins and drop-offs.

Read on for the scoop on new places to get pumped, burn off steam and have fun! If you haven’t yet signed up for our newsletters, be sure to do so now to continually receive news like this and more!

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