Tweens & Teens

Classes, Programs, and Activities for Special Needs Kids in Philly

If you have a child with special needs, sometimes the average day-to-day can be challenging, let alone finding ways to get out of the house. Finding classes, activities, and programs may seem daunting. That's why we've created a list of local favorites. This is divided into programs that focus exclusively on special needs kids and places that have created specific days and times for children who might not be comfortable visiting otherwise.

Weekday Picks: Kingdom Day Parade, More MLK Events, and Free Movies, Jan. 16-20

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." The words and actions of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. hold many lessons for kids. As we honor him at a variety of events on Monday, we can pass on that kids should treat all people the way they want to be treated—kindly and fairly. Driving the point home is this year's Kingdom Day Parade in South Los Angeles, with the 2017 theme "Now More Than Ever, We All Must Work Together."

MOCA pays tribute to that idea by closing the week with free admission on Inauguration Day. But if all of this is too much to think about, there are a few opportunities this week to escape with free movies

For more activities, check out the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar and the January GoList. Here are some of our favorites for this week.

Fun and Cheap Fairfield County Rental Halls for Birthday Parties

Sometimes the best kids birthday parties (and most budget friendly) are the ones you plan yourself! It's time to step out of the party package!

In your search for a place to host 15 or so rowdy kids for your DIY birthday party, you do not have to break the bank. The creative host has many options in Fairfield County (indoors and out!) to build their own cheap and totally awesome party.

Here are our budget-friendly party venues. For more great birthday ideas, check out our Connecticut Birthday Guide.

Winter Fun List: 50 Things to Do Indoors with Long Island Kids

With the holidays behind us and a long, cold winter ahead of us, now is the time to get creative when it comes to keeping your kids entertained. Your local playground may be frozen over, but Long Island is home to some truly amazing museums, arts and crafts classes (also here), indoor play venues (see here and here), and children's theater experiences. You might miss being outside in the fresh air, but you won't struggle to find exciting activities and interesting, winter-friendly (meaning: warm and cozy!) places to explore.

We've created a list of 50 fun things to do indoors with kids on Long Island. Be sure to check out our January GoList and Winter Fun Guide for more fun ideas.

Favorite Ski Spots Near NYC for Families and Kids

Now that winter has arrived, it's time to embrace the chill. We've rounded up some of the best skiing and snowboarding spots within a few hours of New York City.

A winter sport like skiing is great way to get outdoors as a family, and it will make the warm weather seem to come much sooner. Read on for our rundown of these nearby slopes, so you can pick one or two that match your kids' skill levels and interests. Want info on more family skiing and other snow sports? Check out our Ski Guide, covering the tristate area, New England, and even California for more options, including snowboarding parks or snow tubing.

Happy skiing!

Our Escape from Trap't in Stamford

If you haven't attempted an escape from an escape room lately, I'm here to say you should try it! Trap't opened a few months ago in Stamford. Located in the back of an office building complex, you'd never expect to find a place like Trap't. Admittedly, When I learned we'd be in the abucted room I was apprehensive at first. I was fearful I'd be running for my life through dark tunnels while being chased by someone with a chainsaw. Once I arrived with my brood, my fears were quickly dismissed by the warm and friendly business owners. The experience was nothing like I expected, thank goodness! I loved how everyone instantly got into the challenge and worked together to figure things out.

Best Winter Shows for NYC Kids: Dinos, Circus Acts, Peter Pan

Winter 2017 in New York City is loaded with cool children's theater. Recently, we spotlighted a pair of high-profile family musicals coming to Broadway this season: long-running London hit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a screen-to-stage adaptation of the animated movie Anastasia.

But you don't need to shell out big bucks to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC—plenty of engaging family productions are playing Off-Broadway for a lot less. This winter there are wonderful options for toddlers to tweens, including interactive shows created specifically for the preschool set (Shadow Play and Ear, Nose, and Tail ), eye-popping spectacles for all ages (Erth's Dinosaur Zoo Live and Cirque-tacular's Snowkus Pocus), and stage adaptations of popular picture books such as Elephant & Piggie and Please Bring Balloons. Best of all, most of these shows cost $25 or under, so you can take the whole family for less than the price of one Broadway ticket.

Bounce and Jump: Indoor Trampoline Parks in and around Westchester

Where do you go when the kids are bouncing off the walls on a cold or rainy day? Somewhere they’re allowed to bounce off the walls, of course! 

We’ve rounded up the indoor trampoline parks in and around Westchester and Rockland where kids can jump, hop, leap and bounce to their heart’s content. Take note that these these spots also offer birthday parties, making them an option for those winter (or even extra-hot summer) birthdays. 

Fun for LA Kids this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Weekend, Jan 14 - 16

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?'" This weekend, families can join together to answer that question, by participating in the MLK Day of Service. (We have some great suggestions for kid-friendly volunteer opportunities to get you started!) A day spent giving back is just one way to honor Dr. King's memory. There are parades, celebrations, and concerts throughout the weekend to bring our families and communities together in honor of his legacy.

Little ones can learn from Dr. King's example as well, with a number of events this weekend particularly geared toward young children. Kids can listen to stories, celebrate the diversity our world has to offer, and share their dreams for a better world.

Inspiration can be found on other fronts with Ben Franklin, Moana, and the Pandorans of Avatar all serving as examples of what one can achieve. As change is afoot in our country, now is a good time to ask our children: what do you hope to achieve? And where do you find your inspiration?

Keep reading for some of our most inspired picks for this weekend.

MLK Jr. Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Tributes, Invention Convention, and OrKID Days

Philly kids may have an extra day off from school. But, this day off means more than just 'no homework.' Recognize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with one of the many opportunities that celebrate his legacy found in our events calendar. Museums throughout the area host family activities such as service opportunities, arts and crafts, and other unique experiences that commemorate Dr. King's life. If you don't have the day off but are looking for care for your child, be sure to check out our roundup of School Day Off Camps.

After observing the holiday, check our January GoList for something to do. Visit Historic Philadelphia to meet Phillis the Washerwoman, see the orchids at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, or explore science at Hagley Museum's Invention Convention or Delaware Children's Museum's Try Science sessions. Whatever you do, make the most of the long weekend ahead.

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