Kids

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.

Haunted Houses, Home Haunts, and Spooky Tours for Halloween in LA

Our house loves Halloween - no, really loves Halloween. We reconnect with neighbors as we hang ghosts in trees, weave skeletons into the jasmine, drape pumpkin lights along the fence, and smear cobwebs all over the shrubbery. Our normally zen rock garden becomes a graveyard, and last year's Halloween costumes become its inhabitants.

One way we feed our macabre creativity is by avidly checking out other Halloween addicts' handiwork; we love the ghost trains, festivals, and pumpkin patches, but the real beauty of living in the film capital of the world is that private haunted houses frequently rival the spectacle of the big theme park spooks. We've collected the scream of the crop below...

Halloween Rainy Day Ideas

There’s nothing worse than a rainy Halloween. Especially for kids. Who wants soggy candy and running from house-to-house to avoid the raindrops? Plus, princesses and superheroes don’t need raincoats covering up their cute costumes. I know my kids don’t. From safe trick-or-treating to costume parties, Long Island offers a ton of fun activities and alternatives if the weather turns stormy this year. The best part? These events are fun for kids (and adults) even if the weather stays fair.

Best Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat for Los Angeles Kids

Trick or treat! Los Angeles moved down to fifth place this year in Zillow's Halloween list of the country's 20 best cities for trick-or-treating—but that's not slowing down anyone around here. The real estate website bases its trick-or-treat ranking on criteria like home value and crime rates. That's good, but what about special effects and Halloween decorations? If one figures in the number of film industry creatives living in a given metropolitan area, LA wins first place by a country mile. Speaking of country miles, if you've walked the distance between houses in the most expensive LA neighborhoods, you know that higher home value does not always translate to better trick-or-treating. What does? Well, keep your Halloween hats on, because we've got a list of some of LA and Orange County's most legendary trick-or-treat neighborhoods. I defy anyone in Philadelphia to beat these!

Best Places for Trick or Treating in Houston

Halloween is only a couple weeks away, which means it's time to start finalizing costumes (just realized you're in a pinch? We've got you covered with easy, last-minute costume ideas!) and determining where you're taking the kiddos trick or treating, especially if you're looking to branch out past your own neighborhood this year. Not sure where to start looking? Check out these Houston neighborhoods and hotspots for fun, safe, and friendly trick or treating this Halloween.

Thanksgiving Volunteer Options for NYC Kids and Families

Every year around the holidays, readers ask about ways to volunteer with their children in New York City. It's not as easy as you think. Many charitable organizations have age minimums for their projects, and even when you do find family-friendly volunteering opportunities, they often book up weeks in advance.

With Thanksgiving approaching, we want to highlight some great ways NYC kids and their parents can give back to those in need. We're including opportunities for children of all ages so everyone can participate. While kids might not be able to work in a soup kitchen, they can help the homeless, hungry, and elderly in other meaningful ways.

Here are 10 family-friendly ways to put the "giving" in your Thanksgiving.

Gertrude Ederle Playground Opens in NYC on Upper West Side

I've paid my dues at New York City's playgrounds after a decade of parenting in this city. My family has visited our share of parks and even ranked our favorites, but we're always looking for our next big adventure. With kids ages 3, 7, and 10, it's no easy task to find a playground where all three are entertained, but our recent visit to the newly opened Gertrude Ederle Playground on West 59th Street was an all-around hit.

Free Halloween Trick-or-Treat Events and Costume Parades in the Philly Area

Perhaps you spent days creating a Pinterest-worthy homemade Lego robot Halloween costume out of recycled materials. Perhaps you spent a fortune on an exact replica Disney princess dress and wig. Or, maybe you just raided the dress-up bin in the closet and found last year’s pirate ensemble. To the kids though, it doesn’t matter whether it was a D-I-Y or a b-u-y disguise, they all love to show off their costumes.

If your children just can’t wait until October 31 to strut their stuff and collect some treats, we have a great roundup of free events for you. Township Halloween parades often invite families to march along or to just enjoy the entertainment and community spirit as a spectator. Many malls and shopping districts hold trick-or-treating events for kids as well. Malls are a safer option for many families than going door-to-door and have the added benefit of being rain or shine events. With all of these free activities, costumes are encouraged and goodies are usually distributed, making for some very happy little ghosts and goblins.

The Science of Pixar: Big Kid STEM Inspiration at the Science Center

If your kids are fans of Pixar movies (and who isn't?), if they are into any element of STEAM (as in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), then there's a treat waiting for them at the California Science Center. The Science Behind Pixar takes a never-before-seen look at the artists, engineers, and computer scientists at Pixar, and how they use STEM concepts in the creation of Pixar films. Videos, interactive computer activities, and hands-on physical activities use characters, scenes, and elements from Pixar movies to explain concepts and challenges and explore solutions created by Pixar staff. Lighting Nemo under water, getting Merida's hair to bounce as she runs, putting the gleam on Lightning McQueen—it's all in the hands of our kids.

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