Kids

Terrific Trampoline Parks in Connecticut

Much as it pains me to admit, my kids have outgrown playgrounds. The slides and swings and zip lines that used to entertain them are now, as they say with rolled eyes, "Boooooring." Be that as it may, they have not outgrown the need to have some fun moving their bodies, and this summer when it was oh so hot outside, we had the pleasure of exploring the new generation of trampoline parks that have cropped up all over the state, from Fairfield County to Hartford and beyond. Keep in mind that parks tend to be particularly crowded on weekends and school breaks, and where advanced reservations are possible, we recommend them in order to avoid disappointment. Be warned that if you are bringing your child's friends, they will need to have signed waiver forms from their parents (most of the parks named below have the forms on their websites) . For more fun indoor play ideas check out our Connecticut Indoor Play Guide.

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STOMP: A High-Energy, Interactive Romp for All Ages

We all know the old trope—your kid gets an expensive present and ends up playing with the box, transforming it into a house, a race car, and maybe a rocket ship. STOMP, a wordless dance and percussion performance, has the same feeling of free-wheeling creativity as performers repurpose everyday objects into musical instruments. The high-energy numbers and the playful ingenuity with props appeals to all ages, which probably goes a long way in explaining the show’s longevity.

I used to live a block away from the Orpheum Theater in the East Village and would see happy, laughing people spilling out onto the sidewalks after seeing STOMP, but I somehow never made it to a performance myself, until recently. When I slid into a seat, two 9-year-old girls in tow, I realized I had missed out on a fun show for—oh, about 22 years. It’s a lively, interactive performance with lots of humor, energy, music, and of course, dancing—but not the kind you usually see in an Off-Broadway production. Children will appreciate the improv feel and exhilarating antics.

Corn Mazes and Haunted Mazes for LA and Orange County Kids

Fall is here! The kids are settled into the new school year and thinking about Halloween costumes. Honeycrisp apples are in stores, and area apple orchards are open for apple picking. If you're looking for even more fall and harvest family fun, try a corn maze.

Corn mazes are created in a growing field of corn. A tractor makes the maze design in the field; for large mazes, GPS is often used to create a picture that can be seen from the air. Be aware that a mature corn maze has walls of corn that are taller than most adults, and that children (and adults!) can get lost in them. Most operators recommend kids be at least 5-8 years old before going in alone—use your judgment, of course. Closed-toe shoes are recommended for comfort (sneakers are best), as corn mazes involve walking on uneven ground and broken cornstalks. And if you plan on heading into the maze at dusk, be sure to bring a flashlight!

Best Places to Fly a Kite on Long Island

With an average wind speed of 12.2 mph, did you know that New York falls within the top 20% of windiest cities in America? With Long Island's expansive shoreline, the wind is even stronger in many parts of the 516/631/934.  Set your sights on the sky with these kite-flying hot spots on Long Island. You'll have the wind blowing through your hair as your family (and casual bystanders) admire colorful kites soaring through the air. Check out this map from Long Island State Park HQ and fly with others at the Long Island Maritime Museum's annual Kite Festival on Sept. 18.

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Must-See NYC Fall Art: Garbage Trucks, Outer Space, Politics

New York City museums seem to always offer plenty of wonderful art collections, but this fall families in the five boroughs will find interesting exhibits on math, history, and more. Fittingly during this election season, a few museums have focused on past and current presidents.

While you might think kids would find exhibits about our country’s leaders and current events a bit boring, these museums have curated displays that ought to spark curiosity. Plus, if your child is at all like mine, this election has been a surprisingly hot topic among friends, which only proves New Yorkers of all ages love a good political debate.

Whatever your child’s interests, you’re sure to find something on this list that appeals and educates. After all, to quote a karaoke favorite, "the children are our future." (Sorry about the earworm.)

Fall Festivals and Fairs in Fairfield County

Fall is an amazing time to be in Connecticut, with wonderful fairs and festivals nearly every weekend, celebrating the many aspects of Nutmeg life, from apples to pumpkins to oysters and beyond. Most of these have free admission, but charge small fees so you'll want to check that before heading out.  Have fun at the fair!

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Weekend Fun for LI Kids: Riverhead Fall Festivals, September 10-11

Riverhead is jumping this weekend. Celebrate folk arts at an old-fashioned country fair at the Hallockville Fall Festival, visit the Fiddle and Folk Festival at Benner's Farm or bike to breakfast. Or keep things in Nassau and take a gander during a walk and craft at Old Westbury Gardens.

Get active this weekend with the great events below. Don't see your event listed here? Add it to our events calendar. And if you didn't receive this post in your inbox, sounds like you need to subscribe to our newsletter.

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Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Raptors, Trains, & Fairs, September 10-11

And here we are! Getting back into the groove of a daily school routine can be exciting (as well as challenging) and all of us here at Mommy Poppins wish your family a smooth and easy transition. If you are figuring out what to do after school our Classes and Activities Guide for CT Kids will come in real handy right about now. It's amazing how quickly summer ends and you can feel fall in the air. Corn mazes, apple picking, and Fall festivals start the season off right. If you love oysters, don't miss the Norwalk Oyster Fest, unwind during a hike to Gillette Castle, or check out the Harvest Musical Festival this weekend.

To see what else is happening around the state, browse the Mommy Poppins Family Events Calendar. For the latest and best family-friendly events, subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Preschool Programs in Fairfield County Independent Schools

Fairfield County provides one of the most enriching and diverse independent educational experiences in the country.  There are so many opportunities available, it may be hard to choose the right match for your child. Although the school year may have just opened, it is the perfect time to start thinking about the 2017-18 academic year. Admissions season is just gearing up, so make sure to make note of open houses and admissions schedules.  

All of the schools on this list provide a thoughtful educational experience for the youngest of learners, and are sure to set the stage for a lifelong love of learning. Most of these programs run for the academic year, from the hours of 9-3. Many provide enriching before and after school programs for parents who need to extend the school day. 

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25 Fun Things to Do with Your Kids in Queens This Fall

Queens may be “the new Brooklyn,” but New York City’s largest borough is not newly discovered. Queens consistently ranks near the top of the list of the most diverse counties in the United States, and is a mecca of international cuisine. In the autumn, as in most seasons, there’s no shortage of interesting and unique things to do in Queens.

The borough is blessed with the space to host cool spots like the Queens Botanical Garden where you'll find a pumpkin patch and harvest fest this fall, fun children's theater like Squirrel Stole My Underpantsand global destinations like NYSCI, which will host one of our absolute favorite annual events in October, Maker Faire. The best part about the borough is that each neighborhood has its individual charm. For example, in Jackson Heights residents speak an estimated 167 languages, the most in the country. Sunnyside is the place to go for Irish dancing, and the Rockaways have gained a “cool factor” as surfers tote boards on the subway to get to the best waves in New York City.

So read on for our list of 25 fun fall activities to do with your kids and see what the buzz is about.

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