Tweens & Teens

Corn Mazes in Connecticut with Fun Activities for Kids and Families

The perfect balance of fun and challenge for kids, corn mazes are a fall tradition for many Connecticut families. No matter what part of the state you live in, you likely have the opportunity for a corn-mazing adventure. These farms feature not just mazes, but extra activities like hay rides and animal petting areas. So, put your sneakers and thinking caps on, and get out there! For more autumnal outings, see our post on Things to Do This Fall in Connecticut, including papple picking spots, fall festivals and fairs, and pumpkin patches.

Corn Mazes Near Boston With Fun Extras Like Zip Lines, Playgrounds, and Rides

Larger-than-life corn mazes offer families the challenge of working through a tricky puzzle together, all while enjoying New England's crisp fall weather. Add exciting play areas, hayrides, pumpkin patches, and quirky country games (like apple and pumpkin blasters), and a corn maze outing becomes one of our favorite fall activities. Here are some of the Boston area's best corn mazes for an outdoor autumn adventure. 

Visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum: Tips for Going to Ground Zero With Kids

Visiting Ground Zero with your kids is a deeply personal decision. Even if your family hasn't already talked about the terrible events of September 11, 2001, many children will learn about the attack on the city at school, from friends, or via the annual coverage of the anniversary. Whether you're breaking the news yourself, or your kids bring questions to you, a visit to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum might help provide some context and meaning.

You're probably aware that this isn't your typical kid-centric museum, and children may only be able to handle a small part of the exhibit without feeling emotional. So, whether your kid is a native New Yorker or you're just visiting, here are our parent-tested tips for your visit to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

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.

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