Tweens & Teens

Coco: Pixar's New Day of the Dead Animated Film, a Parent Review

Mortality, legacy, and forgiveness. These are heavy subjects for an animated movie aimed at families but, once again, Pixar rises to the challenge. Coco is a visually stunning, thematically rich, and emotionally powerful film that resonates differently for various ages. Set against the backdrop of Día de los Muertos—the Mexican holiday honoring the dead—Coco is Pixar's first feature to focus on a character of color. Miguel Rivera, a 12-year-old aspiring musician, is magically transported to a luminous afterlife where he uncovers long-buried secrets and realizes the importance of family.

Chances are this movie is on your kids' wishlist, but perhaps you're worried a flick focused on—let's be blunt—death might make for an upsetting experience, especially if you have tots in tow. Read on for everything you need to know before you go to this PG-rated release, as well as whether it's worth splurging on 3D.

Litchfield County Restaurants Open During the Holidays

Over the holiday break you may desire a reprieve from the kitchen or just a nice night out with the family. We've rounded up some of the more popular restaurants in Litchfield County that are suitable for families. Some will be serving up special holiday menus and others will just continue with their regular menu. Don't forget to call for reservations! We've also listed restaurants open on Christmas day in Fairfield County and the Hartford area.

Fun and Free Things To Do Thanksgiving Weekend with LA Kids, November 23-26

In recent years, Thanksgiving was all about cute mash-ups (remember Thanksgivvikuh?), Black Friday shopping, and outrage over Thursday-is-Not-Friday-But-the-Middle-of-a-Holiday sales. This year, Hanukkah is buried unobtrusively in December, and many major retailers are promising to stay closed on Thursday. (You go, Lakeshore LearningHome Depot, and Barnes & Noble! As for the rest of you, time out with no pumpkin pie.)

We've found a few family friendly venues open on Thanksgiving, where you can enjoy a little morning cardio, a visit with animal friends, and maybe a good meal. (Make sure you check the hours for the day; some places are closing early.) You can make your Friday about shopping, or you can gather the family for a flick, whether new or timeless. Once again, Saturday is the new Friday, and it's all about the local.

We here are thankful for much, and hope you feel the same way. We're thankful for our beautiful climate, which lets us sled on the sand as easily as on the snow. We're grateful for the truly unique shows, spectacles, and experiences that come our way this time of year. We're grateful for the health and well-being of our loved ones, and we're grateful for you, our readers. Happy Thanksgiving, guys!

Keep reading for some of our best finds for fun this Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and, thankfully, Thanksgiving weekend...

Thanksgiving Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Parades, Turkey Trots, Holiday Lights, Nov. 23-26

First and foremost: Happy Thanksgiving! While our city suffered major devastation earlier this year, we still have so much to be thankful for in our great city, and for those interested in spending paying it forward we've rounded up some wonderful holiday volunteering opportunities

If you find yourself in a last-minute panic over how to feed incoming guests and decide you just want to scrap the cooking entirely, there are plenty of great restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day ready to serve you and your family and friends. 

After Thursday's feast, it's officially time to start looking at Christmas. That means planning photos with Santa, as well as breakfast, brunch, and more with the big guy. There are also still plenty of craft fairs and markets happening, making gift-buying for the holidays a breeze, especially if you decided to opt out of the Black Friday shopping craziness. 

Find yourself in need of some family-friendly activities to fill up the upcoming weeks and weekends? Check out our fall bucket listevent calendar, and November GoList for tons of family events and activities. You can also subscribe to our free weekly newsletter to make sure you're always in the loop with everything happening around Houston. 

Have an event you want to share? You'll definitely want to submit your event to our calendar, and we'll share it with all of our loyal readers.

Now, let's get on to this weekend's events!

Birthday Freebies for Long Island Kids on Their Big Day

What kid doesn’t like special treats on his or her birthday? There are plenty of places on Long Island that offer free meals and other goodies for your child on that special day. Many of these birthday treats can be cashed in anytime during the child’s birthday month, so the fun can be enjoyed before or after the birthday itself.

We love to support local small businesses when we can, but some of these chain-store birthday clubs are pretty sweet, and many have locations across Long Island so there's bound to be an outpost near you. Be sure to check out our Long Island Party Guide for more on how to make your child's birthday a day to remember, including information on venues, entertainers, and more.

Thanksgiving Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Turkey Trots, Holiday Lights, and Santa

All of us here at Mommy Poppins CT wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving. May you enjoy the company of family and friends and have safe and easy travels if you are on the road this holiday weekend. 

After the turkey and stuffing are but a distant and delicious memory, we've got plenty of activities to keep you busy including holiday lights, outdoor fun, and a chance to visit with Santa in Greenwich, Bethel, Niantic, and more. As always, you can find our recommendations for kids of all ages in our event calendar, which is updated frequently this busy time of year. Make sure that you subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram so that you won't miss out on any fun. 

Enjoy the holiday weekend! 

Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in Houston

Gathering around the table with family and friends to enjoy a festive meal is a hallmark of the holiday season, and one that is often enjoyed multiple times throughout the November and December months due to Thanksgiving and Christmas occurring in rapid succession. However, having two big holidays so close together can become overwhelming for even the most dedicated cook, and there's no shame in needing a break from the kitchen come Christmas Day (and no judgment on our part if you treated yourself to a Thanksgiving dinner out, too!). We've rounded up a variety of restaurants around Houston that are opening their doors on Christmas Day, spanning everything from fancy brunches to low-key diners, so you can take a break from the kitchen and enjoy a meal out with the family. And don't forget to check out our holiday guide for more events and things to do during the season.

Best NYC Holiday Shows for Kids: Elf, Charlie Brown, and More

'Tis the season to get the gang all dressed up to see some holiday shows. While there are plenty of spectacles to splurge on like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and all those Nutcrackers, if you've got young children you may not want to blow all of your bucks on theater tickets.

That's why our roundup includes a range of productions, from inexpensive, low-key offerings perfect for fidgety preschoolers, to extravaganzas that are worth the investment. Bonus: We've got the scoop on how to save money on a few of the higher-priced offerings.

From live stage adaptations of holiday classics such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the movie Elf, to tot-friendly fairy tales and Hanukkah tales, to amazing magic tricks, here are our top 14 holiday shows for NYC families.

All Aboard! LI Holiday Model Train Exhibits

If watching a miniature train make its way around a tiny Christmas village isn’t on your family’s list of holiday traditions, why not make it one this year?

We guarantee children and adults alike will gaze with wide-eyed wonder at the sights and sounds of the trains and the holiday-themed decorations of the towns through which they travel at one of the many model train exhibits on Long Island this holiday season. To get you going, we’ve put together a list of some of the best displays, sure to delight the entire family.

And if all this train watching makes your family eager to climb aboard a real caboose, check out our roundup of Polar Expresses and Santa Trains near NYC.

All aboard!

Connecticut's Christmas Light Dispays

There is something magical about a holiday light display. Generation after generation have made a ritual of going to see the displays each season. I have so many fun memories of bundling up in the backseat and driving around town searching for the best Christmas lights in town. New Haven has its Fantasy of Lights, Fairfield has several houses that make the holidays special, and Hartford has a huge list of special places to visit.

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