Long Island

Netflix New Year's Eve Countdowns Let Families Celebrate Early

Ah, New Year's Eve. What was once a wild night out can be downright grueling for parents already running on empty after weeks of holiday planning and organizing, er, fun. Wouldn't it be nice to convince the little ones that 5pm is the perfect time to ring in the New Year? Break out the confetti and sparkling apple cider, because Netflix has your back with 14 on-demand New Year's Eve countdowns, many of them featuring your kid's (or even your) favorite stars.

It's the no-cry solution to an early bedtime for all, because the new year can now happen any time you want it to happen. It's also a simple way to get kids in on the festivities, celebrating new adventures as a family. 

Looking for more New Year's Eve fun? Venture out armed with our list of the best kid-friendly celebrations in your town: New York City, Los AngelesLong IslandNew Jersey, Boston, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and Houston.

The Best New Entertainment Hot Spots for LI Kids, 2018

2018 has been another great year for Long Island families, with new and improved attractions and venues opening in NassauSuffolk and on the East End. From museums to indoor play spaces to spray parks, and more, the year brought exciting places to discover and more ways to have fun.

In case you missed any of this year’s hottest new spots, we’ve rounded up some of the best right here. You still have time to catch the Holiday Light Show in Calverton and Party City’s new Toy City pop-up. While it’s cold out, there are plenty of indoor places to explore such as a rebranded Long Island Explorium and a restored exhibit at Vanderbilt Museum … and you can dream about the warmer weather by making plans to visit Splish Splash and its thrilling new water slides this summer. (More exciting warm-weather news: Plans are underway for the opening of a new adventure park at Jones Beach this spring.)

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.

 

New Year's Eve Celebrations for Long Island Kids, 2018

Break out the noisemakers and ring in 2019 with the family. Just do it a few hours earlier, so the kids can take part, too.

There are plenty of family-friendly New Year's Eve events across Long Island. Head to a museum, enjoy a roller skating party, fireworks, or celebrate with dinner and dancing. Best of all? No cleanup required.

We've rounded up 15 great options for the big night that allow everyone to have fun and, hopefully, no overtired little ones the next day.

Don't forget to check out our list of 30 fun things to do over the school holiday break to keep the kids busy all week. More family fun can be found in our events calendar and Holiday Fun Guide.

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.

The Best Indoor Play Spaces for Kids in Suffolk County

Play spaces made just for kids are our go-tos during Long Island's wintertime, or anytime it's cold, wet, or even hot out. So we've rounded up the best indoor play spaces in Suffolk County, from bounce houses and indoor playgrounds to more low-key spaces such as a natural play room and spots for art. There are fun zones loaded with action sports that are best for bigger kids, and plenty more just right for toddlers and preschoolers.

Many of these destinations also double as party spaces, so call ahead to make sure they're open for public play. And don’t forget your socks—many do not allow shoes or bare feet, even for adults. Then get ready to let your kids loose to play there instead of in your living room. Be sure to warm up before and after with some toasty hot cocoa.

And if you live in Nassau County, don't worry. We've compiled a similar list just for you. Whether you want to stay indoors or bundle up and enjoy the winter, check out our Winter Fun Guide for entertainment all season long. And for more indoor energy-burning, check out these indoor water parks for a warm getaway and our guide to sports centers and fun zones for kids across Long Island. 

Best Snow Tubing Spots Near New York City

When there's no snow to be found in NYC, or your neighborhood sledding hills are worn down to dirt, you still can find perfect slopes for snow tubing with the kids just a short drive away.

Sliding down my parents' front lawn is one of my fondest childhood memories, and now our family's winter trek to a nearby snow tubing spot recreates those magical moments. It's a wonderful seasonal activity that, unlike skiing, requires no skill or gear. Everything you need—a tube, a hill, and snow—is provided by the parks. Just dress warmly and you're good to go.

Here are nine ski resorts in upstate New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania that offer snow tubing. Most are less than a two-hour drive from Midtown Manhattan. They typically open in late December or early January, depending on the temperature, so be sure to click through to the listing to read about the day's conditions. You can find more winter sports in our Skiing, Snowboarding, and Snow Sports Guide.

Christmas Weekend Activities for Long Island Kids

A weekend of family holiday festivities is at your fingertips across Long Island.

Enjoy the final holiday light shows, including the Riverhead Holiday Light Show and Jones Beach Magic of Lights; a holiday model train display, or perhaps holiday theater, such as The Happy Elf in Babylon or Barnaby Saves Christmas in Port Jefferson. There are still plenty of spots to see Santa with the kids before the big day, or maybe get moving with some ice skating before you feast on Christmas goodies. 

Looking ahead to the week-plus of school vacation this December break? We've rounded up more than 30 fun activities to keep Long Island kids busy all break. If the kids are bouncing off the walls, why not consider a day trip or drop in at an indoor play space

For the most fun per square inch, check out the Mommy Poppins December GoList and Holiday Fun Guide. You can find more holiday weekend events in our Events Calendar, and, of course, Merry Christmas to you and yours. 

Winter Day Trips for LI Families for Christmas Break and Beyond

Although it might be tempting to spend your family time during the winter months snuggled under a blanket or in front of a roaring fire, eventually someone’s going to get cabin fever. No worries: We’ve got just what you need to get everyone off the couch and out of the house with our list of fun, family-friendly winter day trips for Long Island families.

So pile into the car, hop on a ferry, or jump on the Long Island Rail Road because there is plenty to do and see on and off Long Island. From the excitement of New York City to the serene beauty of the North Fork to skiing and more in New England or the Hudson Valley, with our roundup of winter day trips (and some weekend getaways) your family has plenty of options for keeping busy this winter.

Stay warm! 

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.

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