Kids

The Money-Saving Dental Care Hack Every Parent Should Know

Insurance or no insurance, pediatric dental care can cost a pretty penny — and if you've ever been faced with a toddler's chipped tooth or a tween's serious overbite, then you probably don't need the reminder! But, there's a way to save money on all those fillings and lost retainers that you might not have thought of, and it doesn't involve fighting with anybody's billing department. Did you know you can usually get as much as half off your care by heading to a nearby dental school instead of your usual dentist's office? Never even crossed my mind...

25 Things to Do This Memorial Day Weekend in Connecticut

At long last we have reached the very precipice of summer: Memorial Day weekend! I have dug the beach chairs out of the garage, taken the grill out for a test run, and I can't wait to plant my feet in the sand and perhaps even in the Sound. There's all kinds of non-beachy fun to be had this weekend too from fairs and carnivals to animal encounters, special concerts, and more.

Whatever your plans, the significance of Memorial Day should not be forgotten. If you're looking for an educational way to honor the men and women who died in service to our nation, our Event Calendar features many kid-friendly parades and ceremonies, including the Revolutionary War Encampment in Wethersfield, the Decoration Day event at Mystic Seaport, or even the screening of Saving Private Ryan in Bridgeport. To keep up with everything going on in CT, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Wishing you the very best Memorial Day weekend!

Memorial Day Weekend Fun for Houston Kids, May 26-28

Memorial Day weekend is here, which means May is officially coming to a close, the school year is ending, and it is finally time to celebrate the start of summer! Since honoring our nation's fallen heroes is the primary focus of this weekend, we found some awesome family-friendly celebrations around the city to attend, such as the amazing annual Memorial Day Celebration in The Woodlands and the Memorial Day Pool Party at Evelyn Rubenstein JCC Aquatics Center. CityCentre is also putting on a weekend-long Summer Tribute Concert Series if you're in the market for some outdoor tunes and Discovery Green is hosting a FUNomenal Family Festival on Saturday. This weekend is packed with some awesome events! 

We also have some summer favorites popping up on Mommy Poppins that are well worth checking out:

As always, we'd love for you to check out our event calendar or our May GoList to find the best things to do this month. You can also submit your own events so we can get YOU a little extra coverage and share them with our amazing readers! 

To have posts like this delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay in the loop for all the best things happening on Mommy Poppins and around Houston. 

Now, let's check out what's happening this holiday weekend: 

Free Kayaking, Canoeing, and Rowboat Options in New York City

With all the water surrounding New York City, it's no wonder there are so many sightseeing cruises and fun ferry rides to great kid destinations. For times when you want to be your own captain, there are many seasonal opportunities for NYC families to get out on the water by themselves with kayaking, rowing, and canoeing. Much of the fun kicks off Memorial Day weekend or early summer.

We've rounded up 11 great New York City organizations that offer boating sessions on our wonderful waterways—and they're all FREE. Ahoy!

It's Farm-to-Table Fresh at These Great LI Farmers' Markets

There's something about a farmers' market that inspires even the pickiest eater to try something he or she otherwise would not. Perhaps it's the fun of meeting a farmer, the spectacle of all the bold, colorful displays of produce, or maybe it’s simply the freedom of an outdoor market filled with delicious aromas and live music.

Spring is the traditional opening of farmers' markets across Long Island. So we’ve rounded up markets from Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End sure to supply you and your family with delicious locally grown fruits and veggies, as well as inspiration for how to prepare them once you get home. Bring reusable bags so you and the kids can comfortably tote your bounty. Bring your appetite, too: You'll want to snack while you shop.

Times are as of May 2018. But be advised: Times and locations can change, and inclement weather can postpone markets. If you're traveling some distance, call ahead or check websites before heading out. 

For more outdoor activities as the weather warms up, check out our Summer Fun Guide.

Zip Lines and Adventure Ropes Courses for Kids in and Around NJ

Gear up for an outdoor adventure at one of New Jersey's newest treetop obstacle courses, or buckle up for a soaring ride on a zip line. Swaying bridges, wobbly balance logs, cargo nets, high wires, and rope ladders are among the features at some sky-high ropes courses, along with tree climbers and platforms built right into tree trunks. Many treetop courses are best for older kids and teens, but some also offer tykes courses that are closer to the ground.

We've rounded up some of the coolest of these zip lines and ropes courses in New Jersey, a few in Pennsylvania, and even a year-round indoor option just over the state line in Westchester. You'll find these parks at local zoos, amusement parks, down the Jersey Shore, and even at some of the Poconos family resorts.

Coding and Computer Science Classes to Prepare Kids for the 2030s

As parents, we hear about the growing importance of STEM education all the time. Specifically, Computer Science which is getting more and more attention as the technology boom shows no signs of stopping (and fears about robots snatching up our children's future jobs continues to grow...). But can parents rely on schools to prepare our kids? Technology is evolving so fast, it’s hard to stay on top of it all. Let alone, understand how it might impact our children’s futures.

To help provide insight into the best coding and STEM education practices, we sat down with Holly Horrigan, a computer science instructor at CS Recitations, a year round after school program in Natick that features a comprehensive curriculum for grades 3 through 12. Read on to learn why exactly these types of programs are so important, and how to make sure you're setting your child up for major STEM success.

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