Kids

Weekday Picks: Makerspaces, Movies, and the Beginning of Halloween Fun: September 26- 30, 2016

My household has been energized by the autumnal dip in temperature and humidity. Suddenly it's fun to be outside again! Unfortunately, we're also settling into our school routines and with homework and swim practice, there are only so many hours in the day for fun. We've made a plan for the week ahead and hope to see you at some of the following activities, whether on a non-scary pumpkin adventure, at a provocative film about the educational system, or checking out a life-sized beaver lodge.

If you've got apple picking on your mind, the weekdays  can be a great time to beat the crowds. Check our guide to find the perfect place for your next picking adventure (always double check the picking conditions/hours before heading out).

Be sure to click over to our frequently updated Event Calendar for even more suggestions, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to be sure you're never out of the loop.

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Days and Times for FREE Admission to Houston's Museums

For tourists and locals alike, Houston provides a culturally diverse selection of museums, art centers, and gardens. However, many individuals may not know that these locales are completely free or offer free admission on certain days and times. Keep this list nearby when planning your next visit. 

19 Corn Mazes for Kids Near NYC

Navigating the twists and turns of a giant corn maze is the perfect fall outing for adventurous NYC families. Yet, with dozens of mazes scattered throughout the rural parts of our tristate area, the real challenge is deciding which one to visit.

My family loves our annual corn maze romp to the local Queens County Farm Museum's Amazing Maize Maze. It's just the right size for kids, includes fun challenges and clues—and doesn't take all day to get to. However, if you're looking to get out of the city for that true country feel or headed upstate or elsewhere for a long weekend getaway, we've also compiled a list of almost two dozen of the area's best corn mazes—most within 90 minutes of NYC.

We've broken down our picks to let you know which are better for older kids vs. preschoolers, which are accessible by train and which has the best doughnuts. Most farms include extra seasonal things to do like pumpkin picking, pony rides, petting zoos and even a 100-foot monster slide in one case—all of which adds up to a perfect day trip this fall.

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Pick Your Own Apple Farms For Families On Long Island

Believe it or not, it's apple picking time already. The apple picking season typically lasts from mid to late August to late October. Apple picking is a great family outing filled with fresh air, a little exercise, a bit of a treasure hunt, and a bounty at the end. Whether searching for an orchard with all of the bells and whistles or one with trees perfectly sized for wee ones, there are plenty of pick your own apple farms to choose from. Call before going to ensure that each farm is open, and to confirm that there is enough fruit for picking that day. Check out our Pick Your Own Guide for more suggestions on apple picking farms in the tri-state area.

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Best Pick-Your-Own Orchards for Families with Toddlers in Fairfield Area

Apple picking is a favorite fall activity with kids and Connecticut has dozens of wonderful apple picking orchards and farms that make a great day trip. If you’d like to stay in Fairfield County, you have only a small selection to choose from, which may be why all of the orchards get busy on the weekends. My kids and I like to head out first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. For even more orchards, be sure to check out our Apple and Pumpkin Picking Guide. No matter where you go, you'll find that apple picking is a great outing for toddlers especially when you combine it with cool activities like corn mazes, hay rides, petting zoos, and farm markets with fresh pressed cider, donuts and pies.

Keep in mind that crop conditions change from day-to-day, so it’s always a good idea to call a location or check the website before you head out. You'll have to help your little one pick according to the rules of the farm, but you'll always find helpful, friendly farm workers willing to lend a hand and demonstrate the proper picking technique. Be prepared for a port-o-potty, since most locations don't have bathroom facilities out in the orchards. Make sure to dress in warm layers and wear comfortable shoes. And bring your appetites! 

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25 Ways to Play Princess in New York City

If you have daughters, you know it is hard to shield them from the cotton-candy pink frocks, tulle-filled tutus, sparkly wands, and gleaming tiaras of princesses for long. Of course, many kids, not just the girls, are captivated by the swirl of a princess dress or a blinking fairy wand.

With two daughters at home, we have a closet of dress-up flocks, bins of teeny, tiny princess figurines, and shelves chock-a-block full of Disney DVDs. Playing princess is a constant state of being around here. Sometimes my princesses frolic at home; other times we enjoy a night on the town. But no matter where our princess adventures take us, we always have fun.

So, from my princesses to yours, here are 25 ways to experience NYC in royal style.

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Amazing Corn Mazes at 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 those courses open after hours for a nighttime and sometimes spooky adventure.

Many of these 15 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. Hope you find your way out.

10 Things To Know Before Hiring Your Houston Nanny

Being a mom is a challenging job. And if you are like me, finding someone to take care of my child when I went back to work was even more challenging. While daycare is a popular option, many moms look at hiring a nanny to stay home with their kids. Finding a nanny in a big city like Houston is not a simple task, and there are many things to consider when looking for the right candidate who will work so closely with your family. For the second year in a row, we surveyed 240 local moms to find out what to ask and what to consider when hiring a nanny. Below are some tips and facts based on the 2016 survey results.

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Halloween Adventures at PA and South Jersey Amusement Parks

Summertime visits to an amusement park often mean dealing with long lines and hot weather. Fortunately, many parks around the Philadelphia area are extending the season into the cooler fall months with Halloween-themed attractions. This can be a fantastic off-peak day trip for thrill-seeking families looking to enjoy a Halloween experience beyond the local parades and festivals. Several of the theme parks have kid-friendly attractions during the day, then transform into frightening tween-and-above entertainment zones at night. There are often trick-or-treat opportunities and costume contests, so children (and even some adults) can gather candy goodies and show off their Halloween disguises. If your family is seeking some over-the-top Halloween fun ranging anywhere from silly to downright scary, check our list of amusement parks sure to provide excitement.  

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