Kid-friendly Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebrations around LA

In New Orleans, it's Mardi Gras. In Venice, Italy, it's Carnevale. In Austria they call it Fasching, and in England Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, or just plain old Fat Tuesday. Whatever the name, it's a party; and with its traditions of masks, music, and bling, this party deserves to be shared with kids. We've collected LA's most family-friendly Mardi Gras celebrations below, and they're all FREE. Let the good times roll!

Bronx Birthday Party Places for NYC Kids

As a Bronx mom with three kids, I find myself in a perpetual state of party planning. And while we've had many a house party, once I factor in food, decorations, favors, and more, it often costs just as much as a destination bash. Besides, destination parties bring a change of scenery and fun perks such as slides, sports, live animals, spa days, and more to make the celebration memorable. Best of all, I don't have to deal with the cleanup.

The Boogie Down borough has a growing list of cool party spots for kids, from old favorites such as the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden, to more recent additions tailored to kids' interests—with a decidedly local flare. We've rounded up more than a dozen party places in the Bronx, with options for kids of all ages and interests.

Best Bowling Alleys for Kids in Suffolk County

Sometimes even 100 things to do aren't enough to keep kids happy. If you're looking for a family-friendly activity, but keep striking out, why not try your hand at bowling?

Plenty of alleys across Suffolk County offer kid-friendly options and even leagues for little ones. Some alleys even have options for adults to enjoy while their kids bowl. Check out our list of Suffolk alleys that are sure to bowl you over with fun. 

Take Your Little Devils to NJ Devils Kids Day (Giveaway)

My family goes crazy for sports. We love baseball and Sundays are definitely reserved for rooting on our favorite NFL teams, but our recent  afternoon to see the New Jersey Devils was our first taste of the action-packed family-friendly entertainment of a hockey game. The fun afternoon has me confident we'll be heading back again soon. And you should too. In fact, we're giving away a family four pack to the upcoming NJ Devils Kids Day on March 19th. Read on to hear more about my family's newest sports passion and how you can enter to win. 

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Please Bring Balloons: A Show Full of Magic and Imagination

Kids are transported immediately upon entering the theater for a showing of Please Bring Balloons, a toddler-friendly production by New York City Children’s Theater.

Whimsical animal cutouts hang from the ceiling: a tiger, a horse, a zebra. The floor is covered in turf, evoking the grass of the park you’re entering. Carousel music and bird noises play in the background. Kids are invited to sit on a shared blanket on the floor, essentially putting them onstage and making them part of the play. An affable carousel operator, played by Brandon Schraml, comes around, crouching in front of kids to take their "tickets" to the merry-go-round, asking them questions and generally getting them relaxed.

Aimed at kids ages 2-5, Please Bring Balloons is one of our top picks for children's theater in NYC this winter, and among the best events for preschoolers this season.

Library Storytimes for Babies & Toddlers Inside the Loop

Houston's local libraries are an amazing resource for parents not only because of the huge variety of books (including audio books and e-books for both kids and adults) but also because the libraries offer free classes, events, programs, and clubs for members of all ages. From homework help to book clubs to computer classes to toddler and baby yoga, there are so many opportunities to utilize local libraries.

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