Tweens & Teens

Amazing Corn Mazes at Family-Friendly New Jersey Farms

Get ready… get set… get lost in an amazing New Jersey corn maze! The Garden State is home to oodles of spectacular corn mazes, ranging from massive 10-acre labyrinths to simpler, child-friendly courses, including hay bale mazes just right for toddlers and preschoolers. Games, clues, and even techie bonuses enhance many of the more elaborate maze experiences. Got a tween or teen? Check out haunted corn mazes that are open after hours for a spooky, nighttime adventure.

Many of the 16 corn mazes we've rounded up are day trip–worthy on their own, but you'll also likely find apple and pumpkin picking options, hayrides, and even fall festivals, plus petting zoos in some instances. So get out your fall to-do list, and navigate your way through one of these great New Jersey corn mazes. Check out our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids to find even more ways to enjoy the crisp autumn days.

Best Fall Festivals for Chicago Families

Fall harvest season brings a host of family-friendly street fairs, and festivals to Chicago—many of them FREE. From neighborhood fests honoring Chicago's diverse communities, like Pilsen's Mexican Independence Day Parade or the Ukrainian Village Festival, to festivals that dig deep into Chicago's thriving food and art scenes, like the World Dumpling Fest or Andersonville Arts Week, there's a celebration happening every weekend from now till Thanksgiving, with fun things for kids and families to do at each. Even Oktoberfest celebrations in Chicago, which might make you think of boozy crowds, make room for families with kids' zones and activities. And because it's fall, there's lots of apple crunching, pumpkin-peeping, and harvest celebrating to do, too...oh, and a little thing called Halloween.

Bookmark this list, which we'll update all season long with the best of fall for Chicago kids. And get your calendar and your favorite fall sweater ready!

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Sonic Playground STEM Extravaganza, Sept. 7-8

A big congratulations to all the parents out there is in order; you've successfully made it through not only the start of school, but the first school holiday as well! You now what that means... it's time to buckle down, because the first semester is full steam ahead. And like a good friend, we're prepared to tackle this school year alongside you, providing both guidance and entertainment in equal doses.

In the spirit of the school year, we've compiled a list of 65 school lunch ideas for your kids that they'll actually eat. These Bento box meals are balanced, tasty, and just plain fun, so you won't have to worry about your kids bringing home the lunches you lovingly packed for them virtually untouched. 

For everyone who's not quite yet filling their daytime hours with school or looking for great afternoon activities, our event calendar is an awesome resource for finding fun weekday activities, our Free Things to Do in September list gives you plenty of ideas that don't include your pocketbook, and our September GoList highlights the top events happening throughout the month. We also have a weekly newsletter that you can sign up for so you always know what's happening here at Mommy Poppins.

Did you know that you can also submit your event to our calendar? If you're planning something awesome, we'd love to hear about it and share it with our readers! Fill out the form, hit submit, then we'll review it and publish it for all to see.  

Now let's tackle this weekend planning together with a sneak peek at what's happening around town. 

Free and Cheap After-School Programs for NYC Kids and Teens

Tis the season for after-school program enrollment. Families looking for reasonably priced enriching and fun programs for their children have tons of sports, arts, academics, and other kinds of classes to choose from. In fact, a handful of high-quality after-school programs are actually free or super inexpensive!

Some places, like the New York City Parks Department, offer after-school coverage Monday through Friday. Other programs like those found at the Children’s Museum of Art (CMA) only meet once or twice a week. We've rounded up organizations that offer complimentary or reasonably priced classes to kids, tweens and teens throughout the five boroughs. Lots of the programs on this list have multiple enrollment periods per year. Check in with Mommy Poppins regularly to stay on top of enrollment options during the fall, winter, and spring.

DOE Announces New Waitlist Policy for Middle, High School Admissions

Anyone who's raised kids in New York City knows what a hustle it is to get them into a good school, and the process only gets more complicated as they grow.

The city is hoping a significant change to the middle and high school admissions process will make it a little easier. Gone are the Round 2 applications, instead replaced by a waitlist system DOE officials claim will make the process shorter, easier, and more transparent. Read on for the details, and how this may affect your child's middle school and high school application process.

Apple Picking near LA? You Bet There Is!

“Apple picking in LA?” your Northwest/Midwest/East coast friends scoff? Well you can tell them that California is the second largest apple exporter and the fifth largest apple producer in the United States. While it may not feel like fall in the Valley—where it was always 103 degrees yesterday—there are some apple-picking day trips nearby that feel like a seasonal retreat. (And when your bag runneth over, check out these tempting apple recipes...)

50 Fun Things to Do This Fall in Connecticut

Taking hikespicking apples, exploring corn mazes, going to a fall festival, finding that perfect pumpkin, and celebrating all things spooky and sweet on Halloween...there's so much fall fun in Connecticut! Here's a list based upon our ever-popular 100 Things to Do with Kids in Connecticut Before They Grow Up, but themed around busy, beautiful autumn. It's filled with great places to visit and fun things to do for families all over the state. For even more ideas to make the most of the season, check our Connecticut Fall Fun Guide.

Long Island Restaurants with Fun Entertainment for Kids

Fork through our list of Long Island restaurants with fun entertainment options for kids and spice up your dining-out routine. If you are feeling like a slave to the kitchen as you prepare mac and cheese for the third time this week, drop the ho-hum dinner routine and head to one of these local, family-friendly restaurants that serve up food and fun.

A number of eateries in Nassau and Suffolk counties pair kid-sized meals with giant-sized entertainment So whether you prefer the neighborhood mom-and-pop or the local destination of a national chain, your little ones are guaranteed a fun time and a healthy lunch or dinner choice.

For more inspiration, see our guide to kid-friendly dining on Long Island. And while you're at it, check out our list of LI restaurants where kids eat FREE.

Fall Bucket List: 38 Things We Can't Wait to do This Fall in Houston

It’s almost fall, y’all! The fall season is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of everything the Houston area has to offer. This fall, several unique events are coming to town, including the Brick Fest Live LEGO Experience. There’s also no shortage of more traditional fall fare, like festivals and pumpkin patches, to enjoy as the cooler temperatures (hopefully) start to roll in. Here are our top picks for family fun this fall.

September GoList: Best Things To Do with Connecticut Kids this Month

September brings with it apple pickingfall festivals, hayrides, and many more excuses to get the kids outside to enjoy the gorgeous early fall weather in Connecticut. Our event calendar is a wonderful resource full of ideas for outings, many of which are free or inexpensive. Some September highlights include the Blues &Views Festival in Westport, and for seafood lovers, the Annual Oyster Festival in Norwalk. 

Here you'll find our very top picks of fun things to do with kids in Connecticut this September. Click through to the full listing so that you can add your favorites to your calendar. Be sure to sign up for our FREE newsletters so you can get all our CT picks delivered to your inbox. Have a fun September!

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