Holiday Giving: Mommy Poppins Families Give Back to Local Communities

Every year we share articles about how families can volunteer and donate during the holiday season. But, we are also parents raising our children and working to improve our communities ourselves. Even as our website has grown (Hello, DC and Chicago!), we are proud to say that the values and mission of Mommy Poppins have not changed. We are committed to helping children and families, both online and in real life.

This year, we invited team members from each of our local areas to pick a holiday drive or organization that helps children in need. We funded a shopping spree or, if the holiday season was just too crazy, made a direct donation. In order to do as much good as possible, not just for children, but for local businesses too, we targeted some of our favorite local toy stores to make our purchases. Our children were great helpers in picking out gifts and delivering them.

As the founder of Mommy Poppins, I am grateful to our amazing team for rallying during the hectic holiday season and doing so much good. In all, we donated over $8500! Thanks also to all the local businesses, large and small, who support Mommy Poppins with advertising dollars throughout the year. It makes providing this resource to families for free possible, as well as these donations and our other initiatives. We are humbled and grateful for the support of our readers and local business community.

Read on to find out where our local families shopped and donated.


Best Family Travel of 2018: Great Cities, Beaches, Hotels, and Memories

Our Mommy Poppins families really traveled this year! We scoped out some amazing cities with our kids in tow, from New Orleans to Santa Barbara, up to Vancouver and over to Chicago.

There were some epic science museums to explore, Christmas towns to make us cheery, gorgeous beaches, fun at amusement parks, and of course, a slew of entertaining family-friendly resorts, from Mexico and the Caribbean to Los Angeles and New England ski resorts.

So if you’re planning your next family vacation, take a look at our favorite destinations from the last year, including these warmer climates for February or spring break. In each profile, we highlight the most kid-friendly activities and events and let you know what to skip with toddlers or what to see with the teens.

10 Things to Do on Christmas Day with Your Family in Houston

Not everything is closed on Christmas Day, and that's good news for those of us who find ourselves wishing for something to do other than eat more food or play another game of Scrabble Junior.

Here are 10 fun things to do around Houston you can make a part of your holiday traditions. And here is our holiday guide for more Christmas and Hanukkah fun around the Bayou City.

Christmas Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Jingle Bell Rock Your Way from Saturday to Christmas Day

From the Mommy Poppins Houston team, we want to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We hope you have plenty of time set aside to celebrate the season with family and friends, and lots of fun activities on the calendar (no? we can help with that!).  

Even though there may not be a chance of snow in the forecast this Christmas, there is a 100 percent chance of Santa coming to town no matter which part of Houston you live in. He's hitting up all sorts of breakfast and brunches, posing for photo ops, and making a jolly appearance at all sorts of activities around town. There's also still plenty of time to look at Christmas lights, whether you're driving around a local neighborhood or visiting one of the many awesome public light displays

If you're like us, though, and need at least one or two cozy nights in on the calendar, we recommend popping some popcorn, cuddling up on the couch, and checking out one or two of our Christmas movie faves. It's the perfect way to stay in the holiday spirit without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Don't forget to check out our event calendar for daily inspiration and our latest list of things to do over Christmas break. Our December GoList and Guide to Holiday and Christmas Events for Houston Families are also great resources for the biggest and best things happening this month.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Mommy Poppins’ New City Sites Washington, DC and Chicago Launch for Holidays

As we approach the 12 year anniversary of Mommy Poppins, it’s amazing to reflect back on the past years, even as we are looking forward and adding new cities to our community.  Just like my children, who have grown in ways I never would have imagined, Mommy Poppins has become so much more than I ever planned for it to be when I started writing those first blog posts as a New Year’s resolution in 2007. 

This week we added Washington, DC and Chicago to our growing list of cities that now includes Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Houston, as well as NYC, Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester, and Connecticut.

New Orleans with Kids: Top Things to Do and See as a Family

New Orleans is a big city not because of its size but in personality and culture. From the music to the food, both deeply steeped in historical and emotional significance to New Orleans and its residents, it's unlike any other city in the south. Still standing after one of the country's most destructive hurricanes, everywhere you go in New Orleans, you'll find a compelling story, or, at the very least, some delicious gumbo.

This American city should be on everyone's travel bucket list as the Big Easy makes a great, multigenerational family vacation spot at any time of the year. There are so many fun things to do and see and eat with the kids, from delicious beignets and a French Quarter stroll to an incredible children's museum, an aquarium, and a zoo. We've also included some unexpected family hits like a swamp tour and a butterfly garden.

Read on for the top activities and attractions to check out when traveling to New Orleans with kids. We suspect you'll come for the food and entertainment but leave feeling inspired by its rich history. 

The Best Indoor Play Spaces for Houston Kids

Living in Houston means navigating weather that is often hot and humid or wet and stormy. Fortunately, there are many options for activities to do indoors, such as free museum daystrampoline parks, and fun indoor play spaces. But where should you go when you want the best of the best indoor spaces to play? Read on for our recommendations of where to play when going outside is not an option and why each of these Houston spots are some of our absolute favorites for any day of the year.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Bayou Bend's Christmas Village, Santa Train, Dec. 15-16

What a weekend we have up ahead! Holiday plays, ballets and musicals are in full-swing, with fun favorites like Elf: The Musical and Mr. Popper's Penguins taking the stage and spreading plenty of Christmas cheer. Saturday is also offering up some amazing Christmas music; you're definitely going to want to head to Sugar Land Town Square for an evening of Holiday Music from First Colony Church of Christ's band or to Stude Concert Hall for the annual Kids and Christmas Pops Concert performance. Not to mention all the great light displays, breakfast with Santa events, and awesome Santa activities happening around Houston. The holidays have taken over Houston, that's for sure!

But, if you're feeling a bit Scrooge-y or just need a break from all the holiday activities, there are some awesome non-Christmas events happening, too! Seussical: The Musical and Disney's Beauty and the Beast are both also taking center stage, there's a Family Capoeira Class happening at Midtown Park, and the annual Running of the Bulls 5k & Kids' 1k is taking over Downtown. 

You can also check out our event calendarDecember GoList, Winter Bucket List, and Guide to Holiday and Christmas Events for Houston Families for more holiday and non-holiday related family fun, and sign up for our weekly newsletter to have everything delivered to your inbox. You can also submit your own event to our calendar, so send them over so we can share them! 

25 Things to Do with Houston Kids Over Christmas Break

As parents, it's safe to say that we all have the best intentions of organizing the most creative, Pinterest-worthy crafts and activities for our kids during school breaks. Making those activities come to fruition, however, isn't always as easily executed. This winter break, instead of setting lofty goals that never get met, fall back on our holiday guide for events and things to do during the season, and read our other posts for fun things to do on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Below, you'll find 25 things to do you and the kids will love and that, more importantly, get you out of the house!

25 Fun Things to Do in Miami with Kids (Beyond the Beach)

When you travel with kids, it's hard to think about vacationing in Florida beyond the mega theme parks in Orlando. Yet, the Sunshine State delivers numerous family-friendly destinations, from Tallahassee to the Keys, as well as one of our favorite cities: Miami.

Miami offers beach-ready weather for most of the year and moderate temps for the rest of it, so it welcomes visitors fleeing northern climes year-round. But there's more than the beach to entertain kids in this South Florida hot spot. You'll find outdoor activities galore, from boating and pools to fun splash pads and parks for strolling. Top-notch museums, animal encounters, and even top sports teams offer families endless options, and don't forget about Miami's proximity to the Everglades.

 Read on for our favorite things to do with kids in and around Miami, Florida.


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