Baby

Free Indoor Play Spaces for Long Island Kids

There’s no reason to stay home just because the fall season and the colder weather is upon us.

All across Long Island, there are play spaces and indoor playgrounds to keep your kids happily occupied. In fact, some of them are hiding in plain sight. And better yet, many of these kid-friendly spots are FREE. From malls to bookstores and libraries, there is plenty of FREE fun to be had for Long Island kids.

Enjoy these unique play destinations, but remember at most venues a parent/adult must be present to supervise children.

For more indoor fun, don't forget our guide to rainy-day activities on Long Island.

Postpartum Support Resources for New Moms in New York City

In those final sleepless nights before your baby is born, you might lie awake thinking about what to put in your hospital bag, who will watch the dog...or, heck, whether you really love the name you picked. But the arrival of that baby brings on a whole new onslaught of questions.

Is he getting enough milk? Why won’t she sleep more than 45 minutes at a time? He cries so much….is it an allergy? When will I get this under control? Where can I find a mellow mommy and me class? WTF is that stabbing pain in my pelvis? And once the wave of eager visitors subsides, and you and/or your partner heads back to work, the questions tend to stack up. Who to ask? Where to find help?

Lucky for you, we NYC Mommy Poppins moms have a few babies between the lot of us (we’re not going to say just how many). We've compiled a list of resources that have been helpful to us over the years, from postpartum therapy and lactation consultants to parent support groups. And don’t forget to peruse our Baby and Pregnancy Guide for more NYC resources. Hang in there: It does get easier. Especially if you know where to get a little help.

Are Daycare Kids Better Behaved? This Study Says Yes

Torn between a nanny, daycare, or staying home with your kids? Choosing childcare can be a difficult—and deeply personal—decision for any family, and of course involves a number of factors, from costs to the length of your commute. A new study out of France suggests that daycare might offer some significant advantages in terms of our kids' development.

Researchers at Sorbonne Université in Paris followed nearly 1,500 kids from the womb to age 8 as they either attended a center-based daycare or were cared for by a nanny or family member. The daycare kids, particularly those who attended at least a year before the age of three, were less likely to have problems with peers and other emotional and behavioral issues, according to the researchers.

Jack O’Lantern Journey at Franklin Park Zoo: 5 Tips for a Fun Family Evening

Eager to experience some Halloween night magic before October 31? This fall season, Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo is just the place to do it. Through November 4, the zoo is home to the Jack O’Lantern Journey, a spectacular jack-o’-lantern display filled with thousands of intricately carved pumpkins over a half-mile trail. I headed to the event with my two children to find out everything you need to know before visiting. Here are my insider tips to make sure your visit with children is a real treat (with no tricks).

The Village Play Cafe: Fun for Littles and Fuel for Moms and Dads

It takes a village, right? It’s something I believe so strongly ever since my son was born last year—so I feel like I stumbled upon my soulmates when I found out about The Village Play Cafe in Chatham. Just opened in July, this indoor play space is truly the hautest hive for mamas and their baby bees (ages 1–5) to come for the day to work, play, and leave feeling energized and excited to take on the rest of the week. At least that’s how I felt when I walked out of their doors earlier this week.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Bayou City Art Festival, Family Day at the Ocean Star, Oct.13-14

Did you hear the news? The annual Gerber Baby Photo Contest is officially rolling! If you haven't submitted your photo yet, you still have until Oct. 20 to get your kid's cutest photo in the running. Just post to Instagram with the hashtag #GerberPhotoSearch2018. 

In case you've been living under a rock (pun intended), we've found the coolest new outdoor activity to add to your list of things to try: painted rocks. The premise is simple; you paint a rock with your kiddo, usually with a kind message, and then you "hide" it around town for others to find. Check out all the details of this crazy cool new trend!

Whenever you're in need of some more activity inspiration, we'd love for you to check out our event calendar, which is full of events happening all over the Houston. You can also use our October GoList to find the top events happening around town throughout the month. Have an awesome event you want to share? Submit your event to our calendar so we can check it out and get it published. And last but not least, you can also make staying up to speed with everything happening on our little corner of the web a breeze by signing up for our weekly newsletter.

Now let's see what's on tap for the weekend!

Halloween Events: Best Places to Trick or Treat in Connecticut

Which neighborhood is best for Halloween trick-or-treating in Connecticut? That's a tricky one! But we can certainly point you in some fun directions full of treats! Here's a list of our favorite trick-or-treating spots and weekend events so you'll know where to bring your kids this Halloween. Is your area not great for trick or treating? Take them to a parade or a spooky kid event. For more seasonal fun, check out our jam-packed Halloween Guide. Many stores in local towns and villages will likely will be handing out candy in the afternoon on October 31, but as a general rule trick-or-treating starts at dusk. 

The Gerber Baby Photo Search Is Happening Now on Instagram

Think your kid is the cutest? Well, baby food maker Gerber just opened its annual Gerber Baby photo contest, so it’s time to take your best shot.

Parents can enter newborns to children up to age 4 in the photo search contest that selects a child ambassador for the brand. Simply post a photo of your cutie to Instagram with the hashtag #GerberPhotoSearch2018 between October 1 and October 20 to join in the fun. Remember to make your profile public, so Gerber can see your photo.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Centennial Oktober Kids-Fest, Celebration Seabrook, Oct. 6-7

Don your favorite set of PJs, because we're kicking off this upcoming weekend early with a special family-friendly pajama party at Discovery Green's moonGARDEN exhibit on Friday. The evening, which concludes the exhibit's run in the park, features stargazing and special celebrity readings of "Goodnight Moon," plus a serving of milk and cookies. 

Can we all say a little hooray for the (slightly) cooler weather we've been enjoying? Even a marginal break in the heat means that outdoor activities are infinitely more enjoyable, which is why we think now is the perfect time to take the kids to the Renaissance Festival this weekend or out for a family camping trip (or you could even camp at RenFest...). Let's celebrate the change in seasons with all the outdoor activities! 

Speaking of activities, if you have an event or activity coming up that you want to share, we want to share it too! Submit your event to our event calendar and we'll add it to our ever-growing list of awesome happenings around town. The start of a new month also means we have a brand new October GoList up, so be sure to stop by and check out some of the best events that are going on throughout the month so you can plan out your weekends with the kids and GO! 

We also recommend signing up for our weekly newsletter so you can stay up to speed with everything happening on Mommy Poppins. We promise not to bombard you with superfluous emails; just a weekly check-in or two sharing the best of the best! 

Without any further delay, let's check out what this lovely first weekend in October has in store for us.

No Fee When You Join the YMCA Now (And More Reasons to Sign-Up)

When you're a parent, the new year pretty much starts in September. Summer's over, school's back in session, and we're all getting back into our regular routines—or at least trying to, right? If you're one of the many moms and dads still attempting to fill up your kiddo's fall calendar or maybe even make some mid-year resolutions of your own, the YMCA of Greater New York just might be your new best friend.

If you've never stopped by your local YMCA, you may be surprised by just how much you're missing. Lucky for you, all locations are hosting open houses on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 11:00am to 3:00pm, so you can take a look at all of the programs and amenities available at each location. And in addition to waiving their joiner's fee from now until October 8, 2018, we've got plenty more reasons a YMCA membership will be a total family game-changer this fall.

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