New Jersey

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.

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.

 

Top Snow Tubing Spots for New Jersey Families

When it comes to winter activities, snow tubing is one of our favorites. Of course, we love ice skating and all manner of frosty sports, but snow tubing is something the whole family can enjoy—regardless of skill. No experience is necessary, and you can tube alone or in groups. In fact, tubing is a lot like sledding, but a whole lot easier. You can barrel down the snowy slope at thrilling speeds without having to hike back up the hill. It’s done for you! Now that's the kind of winter sport we can get behind.

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.

Where To Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Kids in New Jersey

New Year’s Eve is one of those holidays that changes drastically once you become a parent. Any kind of grown-up fun usually involves weeks of planning. Who can babysit? How much do we pay on New Year’s Eve? Do we let the tweens stay up until we get home? Unless you truly need an adult night out (in which case, GO for it!), how about a happy compromise? Read on to get the scoop on events in NJ for families who want to ring in the New Year together, including parties at an indoor amusement park, an aquarium, and even a battleship. Just be sure to reserve your spot soon!

Looking for pre–New Year entertainment? We rounded up 25 great things to do this holiday break, plus even more fun events happening this week for the kids. Be sure to check our Event Calendar for more.

Woodland Indoor Playground Is a Treasure for NJ Tots (and Moms)

Woodland Indoor Playground, the brand-new play space in Cedar Grove, looks like my fantasy of a child's play room—the one I envisioned before I had kids, and plastic toys with blinking lights and annoying sounds took over my house. Quite unlike my living room, Woodland is a clean, modern, Scandanavian-inspired space stocked with beautiful wooden toys that promote imaginative, sensory play—including a farmer's market food truck, chicken coop, playhouse with slides, sensory sandbox, train table, building blocks, and lots more.

This charming spot, founded by two Montclair moms and geared toward ages 0–5, opened on December 12—perfect timing for a new play space where cooped-up tots can drop in and burn some energy on a winter day. And Woodland is more than just a pretty space—all of the toys and materials are eco-friendly and non-toxic, and a portion of each entry fee supports the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. (Also, there's coffee, and it's good!)

Christmas Weekend Fun: Holiday at the Park, Airport Santa, Sea of Lights

It's the holly jolly weekend leading up to the big event! Christmas will finally be here on Tuesday, and this weekend is the perfect time to squeeze in all those last-minute Santa visits, light displays, and holiday festivities.

Make the most of the concluding weekend for popular seasonal celebrations. Don't miss the final opportunity to experience a Visit with Santa at Longstreet Farm, Country Christmas with Santa, Red Bank's Holiday Horse & Wagon Rides, and Princeton's Holiday Trolley Tours. Holiday-themed theatrical performances will get everyone in the spirit this weekend. Bring the family to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Magic & Mistletoe, Snow Day, and New Jersey Ballet's Nutcracker, which includes a Monday performance. 

If you've made your list and checked it twice, avoid shopping on Monday and spend the day at fun events like Chatham's Christmas Eve North Pole Express and Santa Flies into Princeton Airport. And once those gifts are all unwrapped on Tuesday, you can take a breather at Hopewell Theater's showing of It's a Wonderful Life. Plus, Adventure Aquarium is open on both Monday and Tuesday.

Find even more weekend and Christmas week options in our Holiday Guide, including 25 Things to Do with New Jersey Kids Over Holiday Break. And look to our December GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

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.

Where To Enjoy High Tea in New Jersey with Kids

If your little sweetie loves the finer things in life—and has the patience to make it through a sit-down meal—he or she may be ready to enjoy an afternoon at one of NJ's many local tea rooms. From the fine china and finger sandwiches to the tempting sweets, your little one will be enchanted during this special one-on-one mommy time. Many host sweet birthday parties, and several offer special holiday events.

25 Things To Do with New Jersey Kids Over Holiday Break

The lazy days of December break may be the best time to take part in New Jersey's family-friendly holiday activities—especially if you have visiting relatives to entertain or kids who have already moved on from their presents. From spectacular light displays to cold-weather fun, there's plenty to do during the days off from school. 

Most New Jersey schools are closed from Monday, December 24, 2018 through Tuesday, January 1, 2019, allowing plenty of time to experience some of the holiday highlights you may have missed in the hectic run-up to Christmas. It's also the perfect time to check out an indoor play spacemuseum, or fun zone.

Be sure to check out our December GoList and Holiday Fun Guide for more great ideas. Happy Holidays, NJ!

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