SpongeBob SquarePants Aims for a Broadway Splash This Fall

Although you'll have to wait until spring to catch the highly anticipated stage adaptations of Frozen and Harry Potter on Broadway, there's another popular kids' character hitting the boards this fall. After a well-reviewed Chicago run, Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants musical sails into town this November featuring all the beloved Bikini Bottom denizens including Patrick, Squidward, and the endlessly optimistic title character who lives in a pineapple under the sea.

While I realize this production may sound like a soulless cash grab by Nickelodeon, which has long been interested in getting into the theater biz like its rival Disney, there are actually several reasons I expect this production to make a splash on Broadway. In fact, I think this may be one of those rare family shows that works on multiple levels, thrilling the brand's young fans while also winning over grown-ups with its stunning design, quirky humor, and songs by some of the biggest rock stars of all time—including the late David Bowie.

Can You Beat the Clock? Haunted Escape Room for Teens and Tweens

Escape rooms are as popular as ever. If you haven’t been locked in a room with your friends, family, or coworkers, Halloween is a great time to hear about it from your older kids. The escape rooms we mention are not recommended for children under the age of 12. This Halloween, escape rooms will let kids exercise their minds, not just their screams. The “locked” group has up to an hour to solve clues to make their way out. While some local escape rooms have haunted themed rooms, there are also some major Halloween attractions that have added escape rooms. Instead of seeing an “I escaped!” sign, your teen might actually feel like “I survived!” the challenging fright fest. If you’re looking to try this adventure with your family during the rest of the year, check out our post on family-friendly escape rooms

Extracurricular Classes in Houston for Children With Special Needs

One of the many benefits of living in a large city is that there are many, many resources (and places to play) for children of all abilities. While this is not a comprehensive list, here are some great options for classes, lessons, and activities around Houston for children of all ages with disabilities. For more ideas on classes and enrichment opportunities, check out our classes guide for Houston kids. And please send us a note at editor@mommypoppins.com if you would like to recommend an organization to add to our list.

Harvest Festivals, Hayrides, and Fall Fair Fun in New Jersey

The air is crisp, the apples are ripe, and fall fair and harvest festival season is about to get underway! We've rounded up two dozen great harvest fests in New Jersey, all packed with signature autumn activities like hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin decorating (and picking), pie contests, scarecrow making, live animals, live music, and more. Some even incorporate a little early Halloween fun.

Read on to find an event near you, including the Great Pumpkin Festival, the Fall Festival at Spruce Street Harbor Park, the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival, and more.

For more seasonal activities around the Garden State, be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide and our list of 35 Things We Can't Wait To Do with NJ Kids This Fall

American Girl Gets a Makeover with a Brand-New NYC Store

If your daughter's a fan of Samantha, Kit, MaryEllen, or Melody, or it's a major announcement in your house when the annual Girl of the Year is revealed, we've got news for you: American Girl is relocating and revamping its flagship Midtown store just in time for the holiday rush.

Those familiar with its current location just east of Rockefeller Plaza won't have to reroute themselves too far to find signature dolls' new home.

Theme Park Haunts and Halloween Fun Near Philly

Summertime visits to an amusement park often mean dealing with long lines and sweating through your sunscreen. Fortunately, many parks around the Philadelphia area extend their seasons into the cooler fall months with Halloween-themed attractions. This can be a fantastic off-peak day trip for thrill-seeking families looking to enjoy a Halloween experience beyond the local parades and festivals. Several of the theme parks have kid-friendly attractions during the day, then transform into frightening tween-and-above entertainment zones at night. There are often trick-or-treat opportunities and costume contests, so children (and even some adults) can gather candy goodies and show off their Halloween disguises. If your family is seeking some over-the-top Halloween fun ranging anywhere from silly to downright scary, check our list of amusement parks sure to provide excitement.  

Looking for more Halloween fun? Don't forget to check out our Halloween Guide.

New LICM4All App Helps Families Enjoy The Long Island Children's Museum Even More

The Long Island Children's Museum gets it: under the best circumstances, it takes planning to pull off a great outing with kids; if your child has special needs, even more so. That's why we think their new smartphone app isn't just smart, it's brilliant.

Designed specifically to support children with neurodiversities and physical challenges, the free LICM4all app aims to take the guesswork out of planning a visit to the museum. Before the trip, families can download the app from either the App Store or Google Play and create a totally customized schedule based on their interests, as well as their needs. Short videos offer a sneak peek into current exhibitions, while also showing kids what to expect — like that they may get a little messy at the Bubbles exhibit, or that they might have to wait their turn at the TotSpot. Meanwhile, the color-coded, sensory-friendly museum map identifies galleries that are quieter or louder, and a list of tips provides parents with helpful details on accessible parking, restrooms, service animals, and more.

6 Boston-Area Bars and Pubs That Are Fun for Family Dinner

In Britain and Ireland, finding a pub is like shooting fish in a barrel. Over here, these cozy, community-oriented bars that combine good food and drinks are fewer, and finding one where you can bring your kids is even trickier, still. And yet, Boston is the proud home of some truly great family-friendly pubs where you can take your kids to eat in a lively atmosphere, and everyone will go home happy. We've covered some Irish-inspired stalwarts that are the places to be on St. Patty's Day...here, we're running through some of our fave options for grabbing some kid-friendly food, a proper pint for the grown-ups, and some fun family bonding anytime—all in an atmosphere that's suitable for babies through teens.

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