Preschoolers

Winter Bucket List: 45 Things to Do With Houston Kids This Winter

Houston has no shortage of fun activities for kids this winter. From the best holiday events to kid-friendly stage shows, we've rounded up a list of the top Houston happenings this winter. Keeping in mind that cooler temperatures have finally arrived, we've also included some of our favorite indoor activities to do with kids at home and around town. But because it's typically not too cold in Houston, taking advantage of milder days to get some fresh air allows for even more options for family fun. Read on for our list of the best of what Houston has to offer this winter season. 

Family Skiing and Ski Lessons for Kids near Los Angeles

On a clear day, as you head east in Los Angeles, you see them beckoning: those glorious snow-capped mountains. If we had bionic vision, we could watch skiers sashaying down the hills—the resorts are that close. And whether you're new to skiing or snowboarding, or you'd just prefer that someone else teaches your kids, you'll be happy to know how easy it is to arrange lessons.

So if you're ready for winter activities beyond skating and sledding, check out this list of area slopes that offer classes for kids and adults, from beginners to advanced. Plan it right, and you could be on the slope two hours after packing the car—because the mountains are even closer than they look.

18 Hanukkah Celebrations for Kids in LA and Orange County

However you spell it—Hanukkah, Hanukka, Hannukah, Chanukah, or Channuka—SoCal is a great place to be for the Festival of Lights. Home to a Jewish population larger than that of Jerusalem, Los Angeles is all about "lighting candles, wearing sandals, by the sea" (at least, that's why Tom Leher spent Hanukkah in Santa Monica). Giant menorahs light up open spaces from The OC to the Valley. Two of the season's biggest events are at the Skirball Center and the Shalom Institute, but these major festivals are just the tip of the dreidel; local events and candle lightings burn the sunset oil all week long...

7 Places to Have Afternoon Tea with Long Island Kids

Did you know that January is Hot Tea Month? We didn't either, but it makes perfect sense.

When the weather is cold, enjoying a warm cup of tea with your favorite little person is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. From sampling a variety of tea flavors to tasting yummy miniature sandwiches and scones, these Long Island tea rooms offer a warm welcome in an elegant setting. For more delicious fun with your little one, check out our guide to the best Long Island brunch destinations for families, or treat yourself to our roundup of the Island's most decadent dessert spots

Cheap Thrills: 20 Drop-in Play Spaces for NJ Kids That Cost $15 or Less

When it’s too cold for the playground, and another playdate at home seems dull (or, to be honest, too stressful), taking your kid to a warm indoor play space is a welcome respite for the whole family. 

New Jersey has no shortage of indoor playgrounds from North Jersey to South Jersey, plenty of which offer drop-in hours. Still, many of these hot spots require long-term memberships or pricey entrance fees that often run $20 to $25 per child for a single drop-in.

When you just need someplace clean, fun and warm for your kids to play—that's not your living room—we found 20 indoor gems, all for $15 per child or significantly less, and some that are absolutely free! Your kids still get out of the house to experience a play space where everything seems new to them, and you don't have to clean up after, or empty your wallet! 

And don't forget your nearby shopping mall, where you'll often find low-key indoor playgrounds where kids can work out the wiggles while you shop. 

Find more indoor fun spots in our local NJ guide, or try these at-home boredom busters for days when you just want to stay in. If you find yourself with a full day to fill and you're up for a little more adventure, plan a winter day trip.

50 Things to Do with Kids This Winter in Connecticut

Winter in Connecticut. Sure it's quaint and cozy, and classically New England. But it can also feel incredibly long. By February, you and the kiddos may find yourselves practically climbing the walls. Fear not, we have a list of 50 boredom busters sure to keep the entire family busy until spring. Whether you want to sled, ski, or ice skate, or if you've got a sweet tooth to satisfy, we've got something to occupy every whim. Don't let the winter doldrums get you down; there's much fun to be had out and we'll show you exactly where to find it. And if this isn't enough to keep your troops from a winter mutiny, you can find even more ideas in the Mommy Poppins CT Winter Fun Guide. Here's to winter! Make it your family's best one yet. 

Revamped Garden State Plaza Play Space Takes Kids Down the Shore

It’s hard to believe I started my Christmas shopping early this year, with a 9-month-old baby boy at home gobbling up all of our bananas and mama’s free time (in the best way possible). But in a twist of fate, I found myself at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus this past Saturday. After a full morning of shopping, I wolfed down some Wetzel’s Pretzel bites and wound up introducing my little guy to his first social indoor play space experience at GSP's totally revamped Westfield Family PlaySpace.

Sippy Cups Cafe: A New Play Space with Snacktime

A play space where parents can grab a cup of joe— and drink it while it's still hot—with the kiddies exploring in plain sight? That's the setup at Sippy Cups Cafe in Seaford, a play space plus cafe for adults with children ages 6 and younger.

Looking for more inside fun this season? Check out our guide to Long Island's top indoor play spaces. If you have a younger child, you might want to see our list of the best indoor play spaces for LI toddlers. Enjoy.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Jingle on the Boardwalk, Gingerbread Build-Off, Dec 9-10

Our weather may be alternating between being unseasonably warm and the more seasonably appropriate cooler temps, but our city is unwavering in its holiday spirit. This weekend is full of all sorts of holiday festivities you don't want to miss, such as La Marque's Magical Winter Lights, which promises to be a truly enchanting experience. 

Still need to put up the Christmas tree? Why not cut down your own at one of these five Houston-area Tree Farms? You can find all sorts of holiday happenings like this in our Guide to Holiday and Christmas Events for Houston Families

For those interested in getting outdoors and taking advantage of Houston's balmy winter temperatures, Bay Area Park may be just what you're looking for to shake up your normal park routine. 

We also have an event calendar that is full of all the best events happening throughout Houston and the surrounding areas, as well as a list of 26 FREE Christmas and holiday events that are nearby, our ever popular December GoList, and our free weekly newsletter

Have an event worth sharing? Submit your event to our calendar, and we'll make sure it reaches all of our loyal readers.

Now, onward to this weekend's events!

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Wreathmaking, Chanukah Wonderland, and The Nutcracker, December 9 & 10

We haven't set up our tree, and I've barely begun the shopping or even ordered the cards, but I heard the weather report say that there's a (very slim) chance of snow this weekend and suddenly I've located the holiday spirit within. Let it snow--but please, not enough to delay school by even one moment! This weekend, we're diving in with some Nutcracker viewing, a little wreathmaking, a torchlight parade, a Chanukah Wonderland, and perhaps even a visit with Santa

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