Kids

On the Way: 2 New Places Westchester Kids Can Swim & Play

Parents looking for places for kids to burn off steam or learn a new sport will be happy to know Westchester has two new businesses on the way: SwimLabs Westchester in Elmsford and Kids in Sports in Scarsdale. Both are franchises of larger chains, and both intend to provide families with new ways to stay active. 

Looking for more places kids can have fun? Check out our Sports Centers, Gyms & Fun Zones Guide and sign up for our newsletters

8 Family-Friendly Restaurants Near Disneyland, Not in It

It's no wonder Disneyland is nicknamed the Happiest Place on Earth; Main Street USA is crowded with costumed characters, light-up parades, and thrill-seeking rides, making this California landmark a must-see destination for tourists from all over the world. But while people flock to the Mouse House for its incomparable entertainment, many prefer to look outside the park for budget-friendly restaurants and variety in cuisine. Not that we have anything against character-shaped grilled cheese, pizza, and corn dogs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; it's just that dining outside the park before or after your adventure may be a calmer, cheaper, tastier way to go. Anaheim does have a lot more to it than just Disney, and these 8 kid-friendly eateries are just the beginning.

Family Dance Party: A NYC Kindie Band Playlist for Kids

There's no doubt about it: The kindie band movement is thriving in New York City. Although I make it a point to expose my son to kid-friendly “grown-up” music, I also have a soft spot for kindie bands—even hopping on the bandwagon and heading Putumayo Kids and producing Kindiefest, Brooklyn’s Family Music Conference.

For those of you new to the kindie music scene—or well-versed but looking for some variety—I've pulled together a curated list of my top picks for NYC-based artists available for streaming on both Pandora and Spotify. Of course, these artists reflect the multicultural city that New York is and draw on their many diverse backgrounds, producing bilingual and global tunes.

Got a little music fan? Find upcoming NYC kindie band concerts, including these artists below, in our Event Calendar, or check out these parent and me baby music classes. The big kids might consider music camp, too!

Where to Celebrate Black History Month with Westchester Kids

February is Black History Month and Westchester is bustling with ways to learn about and celebrate African-American heritage. 

The origin of Black History Month can be traced to back to 1926, when it was founded by Harvard historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now ASALH) as a week-long event. Woodson, who selected February because it coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, was troubled by the inequality in black education. The event was expanded into a month-long honor in 1976 by President Gerald Ford, and, since then, every U.S. president has issued Black History Month proclamations. (We will see if our new president follows suit.) 

All month long throughout Westchester, you'll find family-friendly ways to learn about and celebrate the contributions of African-Americans throughout our country's history. Below are some of of our favorite Black History Month events, almost all of which are FREE. Read on, and then visit our Event Calendar for other great happenings throughout Westchester this month!

Outdoor Ice Rinks on Long Island for Family Skating

Moms and dads, button your overcoats and grab your hats, because it’s time for outdoor ice skating. Enjoy the crisp winter air and a delicious cup of hot chocolate as you take part in a fantastic activity with the entire family. 

From Roslyn all the way to the East End, we've compiled a list of the best outdoor skating rinks on Long Island. Most are inexpensive, offer simple amenities, including skate rentals and snacks, and lessons for toddlers through adults. Weather permitting, most of these rinks open in late November and remain operational until mid-March. They are all open to the public without residency restrictions, but admission can be higher for nonresidents.

There are also quite a few indoor rinks across Long Island, so if the weather is too cold or wet or if it's the offseason, families still can strap on skates and have fun.

A NASA-Themed Family Vacation at Florida's Kennedy Space Center

More and more kids are looking up to scientists as the heroes they really want to emulate. There’s no better place to revel in the science of space than at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Something between a museum and a theme park all about space exploration, there’s a lot to see and do at this family destination, including the brand-new Heroes and Legends attraction.

The Kennedy Space Center is a must-do for any family interested in science, space and American history.

Philly Cooking Parties, Baking Parties, & Cake Decorating Birthday Parties

Planning another birthday party? Looking for something different? For those kids whose interests lean to the culinary or who love to decorate with sugary goodness, here's a great idea: a cooking party! There are a bunch of places in and around Philadelphia that host cooking, baking, and decorating parties, and even some who will drive to the birthday kid's home. So, if you've got an aspiring chef, check out some of these great nearby birthday parties.

February GoList: Best Things to do with Houston Kids This Month

It seems Houston's few days of winter have passed, and that's the way we like it, but in case you need ideas for indoor activities on the random chilly days we will likely face - trampoline parks, rock climbing gyms, or a fun indoor playground are always good options. We've also come up with a list of eight museums you've probably never heard of to take the kids to. 

And if you're the planning type, you may have started thinking about summer plans, like what in the world you're going to do to keep your kids busy all day. Check out our summer and vacation camp guide for ideas on things they can do out of the house. Read on for the best things to do with the kids this month.

Weekday Picks for Connecticut Kids: Groundhogs, Zumba, and Science, January 30-February 3

When it's cold and grey but not very snowy, this time of year can be a bit of a slog. We've been working hard to beat back those winter doldrums by chasing down the best family activities to be enjoyed across the state this week. Whether you're interested in exploring the great outdoors at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, enjoying a bit of Zumba at Stepping Stones, or hearing what Chuckles the Groundhog has to say about the arrival of spring at the Lutz Children's Museum, there's lots of options.  For more ideas, be sure to check our frequently updated Event Calendar and our Winter Guide. Follow Mommy Poppins CT on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and don't forget to cast your vote for your favorite Connecticut businesses in our Bestie Awards Contest!

Boston Kids' Activities That Fit Working Parents' Schedules

Music, art, swimming, dance, playgroups: When you're the parent of a young child, the opportunities to introduce your son or daughter to new experiences and friends can seem limitless. But if you're a working parent, the last thing you want to do is cram your already packed calendar with classes that happen at inconvenient times. Luckily, Boston is home to many stellar programs that are particularly accommodating to working parents' schedules. Here are some of our favorites.

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