Family Fun Along the SEPTA Paoli-Thorndale Line

Take a day trip on the Thorndale/Paoli line and see what you might be missing! Whether you are a local on the Main Line, or looking for a chance to get out of the city, there is plenty to do all along this SEPTA route, many just steps away from the stations. Running through Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties, this historic rail line runs along Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor. With options along more than ten stops, it would be hard to pack it all in in one day, so plan ahead, and make several excursions this season. 

Note that not every spot is walkable from the train stations, particularly in the far western 'burbs, but they're still great for kids or mom meetups. Check the latest SEPTA map to be sure.

Indoor Climbing Gyms: Spidermen of Fairfield County

Families looking for cool and refreshing fun on a hot summer day can consider indoor climbing. Moving up vertically is both exciting and a thorough workout for all ages...Here's a review of our first-time visit to an indoor climbing gym along with a listing of other walls to climb in Fairfield County. We've listed climbing gyms in Hartford County here.

The new Fairfield Sportsplex at 85 Mill Plains Road has an exciting indoor climbing gym, Rock Climb Fairfield. The facility is comfortably air-conditioned, which serves new visitors well when they first face the intimidating 40 foot high walls.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Day with Kids at These NYC Events

Martin Luther King Jr. Day offers a day off from school in NYC when families can explore the legacy of the iconic civil rights leader over the long weekend. In New York City, there are many enriching ways to celebrate Dr. King's life and teachings with kids, including interactive peace marches, a historic walking tour of Harlem, a FREE bash at BAM in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and various museum events.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, January 18) is also a National Day of Service, when citizens are encouraged to help out in their communities. So we've included a list of family volunteering opportunities that are wonderful ways to honor King's work. You can find even more things to do on MLK Day in our Event Calendar.

A Hudson Valley Family Getaway: Rocking Horse Ranch

For families looking for a fun weekend getaway near NYC, Rocking Horse Ranch in New York's Hudson Valley is a definite crowd-pleaser in winter or summer. This year-round, all-inclusive resort provides non-stop activities for all ages, including an indoor water park, horseback riding, snow tubing, skiing and even spa services and babysitting, all of which add up to a memorable family getaway less than two hours from NYC.

Read on for our parent review of the resort and useful tips to know before you go.

5 Blogs We Love for Westchester and Lower Hudson Valley Families

We couldn’t be happier that you visit Mommy Poppins to learn about the best kid-friendly events and happenings in the area, but we know we’re not the only game in town. There are many other talented bloggers in our area, and we wanted to share some of our favorite sites. These recommendations are written by parents in Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley, and all of them offer valuable information or are just flat-out fun to read.

Think we missed a good one? Leave it your suggestion in the comments or drop a line on Facebook

14 Brooklyn Gym Party Spots for Kids

For preschoolers and young school-age kids, gym parties are an easy solution to the space limitations of the typical Brooklyn apartment. Young guests get to run, tumble, bounce and jump around without having to worry about breaking anything or using their indoor voices, while you sit back, relax and just watch. By the end, they're so tuckered out, even the sugar rush from the cake won't get them going again.

Here are 14 Brooklyn gyms that will make your kid's party extra special and allow guests to celebrate by burning off all their excess energy. Find even more birthday ideas in our Party Guide.

Weekday Picks: Underwater Parks and Something Free Every Day this Week, January 11-15

Christmas may be over, but in my house paying for it is not. My family is going to focus on free things to do this week, like drawing in El Segundo or playing at the mall in Century City. The second Tuesday of the month is always free admission at The Autry in Griffith Park. I love this museum because it covers both the myth and reality of Western expansion and never forgets the important role of movies. Currently, costumes from The Hateful Eight are on display.

The Fairfax Branch Library has storytime on Wednesday; why not spend the day at Third and Fairfax? If it doesn’t rain, let the kids run at Pan Pacific Park, followed by something I loved to do as a child and still enjoy with my own kids: perusing the Original Farmer’s Market. While you're there, a free ride on the trolley at the Grove is a treat, too.

One thing worth paying for is the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium’s drop-off class, Microbiologists: Underwater Parks. Two hours for mom to get some exercise on the beach or run to the grocery store, while the kids become educated about our environment and marine science—what's not to love? If this one is already filled, sign up now for the next one on January 25.

Weekday Event Picks for NJ Kids: Frigid Flyers, Build a Snowman January 11-15

Since Mother Nature has been kind to us so far this winter, both outdoor and indoor adventures await this week. Bundle up and explore nature at Awesome Animal Artists and Toddler Trek: Frigid Flyers. Or play it safe with great indoor museum events, including MAM Park Bench and Uptown Story Time. And don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar for even more options!

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