Weekend Fun for LI Kids: Colors of Fall, Family Hour, November 7-8

With warm temperatures still hit or miss around Long Island, get outside and play before old man winter hits. Enjoy the Colors of Nature program at Sherwood Jayne Farm or Family Crew Hour at the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum.

Several local productions are still on stage this weekend as well if you choose to stay indoors: Jungle Book in Smithtown, James and the Giant Peach in Northport and Sleeping Beauty in East Islip.

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Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Gemstones, Parades, and a Samurai Box, November 7-8

Welcome to November! Time for cozy sweaters, frolicking in crunchy leaves, and roasting marshmallows in outdoor fire pits. If you enjoy the increasingly longer evenings and relish in cuddling with good stories, you will enjoy scouring the book sales happening this weekend at libraries in Ansonia, Southbury, and Farmington (it's never too early to stock up for snowy days!).

November is National American Heritage Month, so consider a visit to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, which is hosting the Honoring the Veterans Powwow on Saturday and closing for the season at the end of the month. You might also enjoy visiting The Institute for American Indian Studies where older children can learn how to build a fire using only what nature provides. 

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Weekend Fun: Pumpkin Smash, Maker Faires, Free Lincoln Center Show

This weekend brings four of our top family event picks for the month, including the awesome annual Canstruction display at Brookfield Place and the first-ever Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire.

Also on tap is a no-cost concert by kindie rockers, the Okee Dokee Brothers at Lincoln Center, Wildlife Weekend at the Queens County Farm Museum and a pair of anniversary screenings of the Disney classic Fantasia.

All of our best bets for this weekend, November 7-8, are below. Find even more kid fun in our Event Calendar or the Mommy Poppins November GoList with top picks for the entire month.

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Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Fantasia Anniversary, Special Needs Expo, Veterans Day Parade, Nov. 7-8

Fall fun continues for Westchester and Hudson Valley families this weekend, with a diverse assortment of activities to choose from.

Leave the electronics behind in exchange for adventure and male bonding at Clearpool Father-Son Weekend. Fans of the Disney classic Fantasia can celebrate its 75th birthday with a new restoration, while STEM fans can get their fill of robotics, Lego architecture and more at the FREE Mini Maker Faire. The Special Needs Expo offers a FREE overview of resources for both kids and adults, and you can cheer on those who’ve fought for our freedom at the Veterans Day Parade.

These are just a few of our top picks for the weekend; the rest can be found below, and there are even more fun and enriching opportunities on our Event Calendar. Consult our November GoList to plan ahead, and sign up for our FREE weekly newsletters to stay current with all our great findings!

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Shop Local for the Holidays: Independent Bookstores for Philly Families

"Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks." —Dr. Seuss

Black Friday shopping is an annual tradition for many families, but what if big-box stores and deep discounts aren't your thing? With Small Business Saturday and the holiday gift-giving season approaching, it’s a great time to consider supporting our local, independent retailers.

Enter the privately owned bookstores in the area. Philly families love to visit their local libraries to borrow books and take advantage of the resources they offer. However, sometimes we just want to bring a book home to keep or give as a gift. In these cases, it's tough to beat the personal touch and charm of an independently owned bookstore. Knowledgeable, small shop owners are usually the most helpful with book suggestions for all levels of readers. They can also foster a love of reading among children though other book-related activities such as story times, meet the author events and book clubs. Some stores even have buyback programs where kids can trade in used books for a discount on new ones.

The shops on our list are either dedicated to children’s books or have large kids’ sections that offer programs tailored to the young ones. 

LOS Kids: A New Season of Classical Music from Little Orchestra Society

The Little Orchestra Society has for decades made classical music accessible to New York City kids, but this year it debuts a retooled four-concert series, LOS Kids, aimed exclusively at ages 3-7. When the 2015-2016 season kicks off November 7, it'll feature productions chock-full of robust visuals, dynamic storytelling, video technology and the works of four famous composers, including Mozart.

Reduced ticket prices and enhanced subscription options might make this NYC cultural institution even more appealing to parents. 

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Long Island Restaurants Open for Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving is a feast usually prepared and served in our homes. But sometimes it is really lovely to take a break from the hot kitchen and let someone else do the cooking, cleaning and moving furniture around. Drop the day-long prep for Thanksgiving and head out to one to these Long Island restaurants that are serving up a turkey dinner. This way, you can maybe enjoy a Thanksgiving runvolunteer for those in need or (gasp!) relax a little.

Just be sure to call ahead for reservations and have a happy Thanksgiving! And for more tips and activities this season, check out our Long Island Holiday Guide.

First Thanksgiving Recipes to Make Today - Kids Can Help Prepare!

While our 21st century Thanksgiving feast may bear little resemblance to a 1621 celebration or to the meal popularly referred to as the First Thanksgiving, it's fortunate that we don't have to travel back in time to learn about the traditions that are at the root of today’s holiday. In fact, we only have to travel about 45 minutes south of Boston to Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MA, to find what is often called the birthplace of our national Thanksgiving celebration. Curious to know what a “first” Thanksgiving would have looked like, we spoke with Kathleen M. Wall, culinary historian at Plimoth Plantation, for some insights and recipes that kids can help make.

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