Hartford Area Summer Camps: Pottery, Art, Farming

During the summer months your child may crave more freedom, more opportunity for creativity, and more time outdoors. If so, the adventures below might be perfect for them. Here are a few summer camps in the Hartford area that focus on art, pottery, and farm life. This will allow young minds to take a break from formulas and to get their hands dirty with paint, clay, or soil. At the end of the summer, they'll be left with beautiful memories, and maybe even a few beautiful works of art.

Favorite Offbeat Baby and Me Classes in Manhattan

Baby and me classes are a great way to get out of the apartment, meet other parents and bond with your new infant. We've been sampling classes all around Manhattan the last year, and now I'm happy to recommend seven offbeat but favorite choices from Mandarin and sign language to a mom and baby exercise class to a parent meet-up and playgroup.

All of our top picks are below and all are tried, tested and approved by my son and me.

Looking for cool baby classes in Brooklyn? We recently rounded up some of the best offbeat options in Brooklyn, too. Check out our NYC Baby Guide or Classes Guide for more ideas.

The Wong Kids: Parent Review of the ArtsEmerson Production

The Space adventure The Wong Kids at ArtsEmerson's Paramount Mainstage sweeps families across the universe in a side-splitting, colorful romp that cleverly shows audiences that it's more than okay to be different.

Older kids who love Star Wars and superheroes are going to adore Violet and Bruce Wong, the unlikely heroes of this imaginative and unique tale. The production hooks the audience from the very first moments with the appearance of the quirky siblings. They look different, they act different, and they are different. They discover their shared superpower just as a Space Chupacabra appears in the sky, threatening the destruction of the universe. What are quirky kids with a strange superpower to do but pony up and try to save the universe?

Welcome in Spring with a Live Show at The Palace Theatre

This post is sponsored by The Palace Theatre.

Many Connecticut families already know that seeing a show at The Palace Theatre in Stamford is a unique and memorable experience. A one-time vaudeville house, it has been restored with plush red seats and gold decorative work that frames the bigger-than-Broadway stage. But while its décor might be reminiscent of old Hollywood, the line up is fresh and sure to please youngsters. In fact, kids truly rule at The Palace this spring, with family favorites you won't want to miss that include fun with both Disney and Sesame Street.

New Jersey Theater Alliance Stages Festival: Your Guide to Kid-Friendly Shows

If you'd like to introduce your kids to the magic of theater, check out the performances and theater-related activities that are a part of the 2016 New Jersey Theatre Alliance Stages Festival. With over 80 kid-friendly performances, workshops, classes, and camp samplers offered throughout New Jersey free or at low-cost, The Stages Festival is the perfect introduction to professional theater for children of all ages.  All events are produced by the professional theaters of New Jersey. According to Ruth Zamoyta, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance Stages' Development & Communications Director, parents love live performances because "they get the kids off the computer, off the phone, and even away from the screens that you find on the TV or in the movie theater."  She adds,  when it comes to the workshops, mini-camps, and classes, "kids get to express themselves freely and creatively. In all Stages events, participants come away with a feeling of togetherness--live theatre is a shared experience, and the workshops and classes are collaborative."

Weekday Picks: Black History, Boats, Engineers, and Camellias, February 22-26

We all know what an SUV is, but who knew that an ETV is an Egg Transport Vehicle? The Discovery Cubes in LA and OC are dedicating the week to engineers, with events at both locations every day this week. The celebration culminates in a weekend egg drop: ambitious young engineers can spend the week designing and test driving their homemade ETVs, then bring them to the museum on Saturday to see how their eggy passengers survive being transported 20 feet, straight down. While prepping at home, perhaps parents of engineers should collect data regarding whether egg yolk is good for hardwood floors.

Those more interested in nautical transportation can check out the Los Angeles Boat Show this week. As I suspected, there will be boats on display indoors at the L.A. Convention Center. What I didn’t realize, but, duh, kind of obvious, is that sailboats and powerboats 35 feet or longer are presented in the water at Burton Chase Park in Marina Del Rey. There’s a free shuttle between the two locations.

February is Black History Month, and this week brings a free chance to celebrate with stories at a Sunshine Drum Circle with Ina Buckner-Barnette and Chazz the Great Percussionist. And speaking of FREE, the Giggles 'n' Hugs free weekday admission offer is around for one more week.

If we still haven’t floated your boat, there are many more options on the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar and Monthly GoList.

Comic and Cartoon Drawing Classes for Creative NJ Kids

Do you have stacks of stories your kids have drawn for you? Does the spelling in all the thought bubbles make you fear for your child's future? (Maybe that last part is just at my house.) If you have a budding Stan Lee, Hayao Miyazaki or Becky Cloonan, there are loads of classes in New Jersey at great studios and arts centers that will teach your youngster the basics of cartoon, comic book and even picture book illustrations and storytelling. Maybe they'll even learn how to spell 'mwah, ha, ha, ha!!" correctly.

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Music, Crafts, Movies Feb 22-26

Sometimes Philly parents may feel like bus drivers, dropping one kid off for practice and another one for a playdate. So, when the opportunity to spend quality time with your little one presents itself, a mom or dad must be ready! As always, parents can turn to our Events Calendar which has lots of ideas on how to share time together during the week ahead.

Attend a Music Monkey Jungle session at Old Pine Community Center, The Children's Boutique, or Northern Liberties Community Center. Make crafts at Monkey Fish Toys' West Chester or Exton location. Or, take your infant to a movie. Both The Colonial Theatre and Bryn Mawr Film Institute offer special viewings for parents with babies.

Stay up-to-date on the week's latest fun by liking us on Facebook, and following us on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Have a fantastic week.

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