Preschoolers

Silver Lights Festival Adds Sparkle to the Season

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, gorillas swung from trees, playful penguins surrounded an igloo, and a seal put on a rooftop show. Technically, the time is now, the land is the not-so-distant city of Meriden, and the adorable creatures are more than 300 characters featured during the Festival of Lights. This annual and very family-friendly holiday lights event in the New Haven area is not to be missed due to its charm, great photo opportunities, and affordable price tag (umm, it's free!). 

Lights, Shows, & More Lights: Holiday Fun at Magical Winter Lights

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and there is so much truth to that statement when it comes to celebrating the holidays in Houston. Our city is full of beautiful public holiday light displays and has no shortage of neighborhoods with lights galore. However, there is Houston light display extravaganza so mesmerizing, it can only be called one thing: Magical. Magical Winter Lights presents magnificent displays of holiday lights arranged into several themed areas, celebrates Chinese culture with acrobatic performances and crafts, and is home to a host of carnival games and rides. We took our kids (ages 3, 9, and 11) to check out the festival this year and it did not disappoint. 

December GoList: Best Holiday Events and Activities for LA and OC Kids

Thanksgiving is behind us, and the daily, backward-counting dose of chocolate known as Advent begins. Suddenly we have barely three weeks left to squeeze every bit of holiday fun out of this city that we possibly can—with a week left over to decide whether we should try to celebrate New Year's Eve with our kids, or elusively without them. There are amazing holiday light displays to take in; and then there are more amazing holiday light displays. There are Santa photos to snap, trees to lightNutcrackers to see, and Hanukkah looms large on the lit horizon, too. In short, no matter how hard you try to do it all, there is more epic fun stuff going on than anyone could possibly do in a month. If you had to choose, though, below are the dozen December events we would suggest you make time for.

December GoList: The Best Things To Do With CT Kids This Month

The holiday season is in full swing. Connecticut families looking for fun don't have to look far this December. There are lots of great shows, holiday festivals, Santa Claus visits, reindeer sightings, and holiday strolls in our GoList. So many that we've rounded up 25 of our favorite events. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, where you'll find a list of each week's highlighted events as well as information for great giveaways. And for even more holiday fun, including where to find that perfect Christmas tree, be sure to check out our CT Holiday Fun Guide. Happy Holidays!

Drop-in Play Spaces for Kids in NYC That Cost $12 or Less

New York City is packed with fun indoor play spaces to keep kids active all year. Unfortunately, the average price at these parental lifesavers keeps creeping up. Admission often runs $20 to $25 per child for a single drop-in. Pricey fees or membership commitments can quickly ruin your plans for a quick escape from the staying-in doldrums.

Of course, we're here to help. We've rounded up a dozen options for drop-in play—all for under $12 a visit, and a few that cost significantly less!

Read on for open play sessions that won’t break the bank in nearly all five boroughs, and find more indoor fun spots in our local NYC guide, or at-home boredom buster games and crafts for those days when you really want to pinch a penny.

Family-Friendly Car Services with Car Seats in New Jersey

There's no sugarcoating it: traveling with small children is overwhelming. For most parents, the days of packing a small bag and jet-setting across the country are a distant memory. Babies and small children need a lot of stuff, which means traveling families have to lug strollers, pack 'n plays, and big suitcases stuffed with everything from bottles to blankies.

Luckily, if you're using a car service, there's one important—and heavy—item that you can stop stressing about. Many NJ car services now offer car seats for babies, toddlers, and young children, and we've rounded up a dozen of them here. On your next vacation, lighten your load! 

Want to call a Lyft or Uber? Not so fast. Uber only offers car seats for passengers in New York City, Philadelphia or Washington, D.C. Lyft charges an extra $10 per ride for a car seat, but this service is currently only available in NYC. To find more car service with car seat options in NYC, check out NYC Car Services with Car Seats for Babies & Kids.

Natural Beauty & Stellar Play Areas at Houston's Bay Area Park

Nestled on the edge of the Armand Bayou Nature Preserve in Southeast Houston, is a beautifully shaded park with newly renovated playground equipment for children of all abilities, two dog parks, a canoe launch, and plenty of ducks to feed. Bay Area Park is also home to a host of wildlife living in natural marsh lands, making it a great place to visit for nature lovers. The park even has its own designated campground for scout troops. Whether you're fishing or hiking, playing ball or picnicking, this park is sure to delight. This 64-acre park is a mere minutes away from our home now, but with so much to do here, we found ourselves frequenting the park even when we didn't live nearby. Take a look at what makes Bay Area Park is one of our favorites in the Bayou City. 

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Dickens on the Strand, Parade of Lights, Dec 2-3

With Thanksgiving officially behind us, we can start looking forward to the biggest holiday-filled month of the year! For the month of December we are your official stop for all holiday happenings in and around Houston. 

If you're new in town or looking for new holiday activities to do with the family, be sure to take a look at our Guide to Holiday and Christmas Events for Houston families, where you'll find everything you need for a successful holiday season. A few favorites from the guide include the best public holiday light displays and the best Houston neighborhoods and homes for viewing holiday lights

We also have an event calendar that is always stocked with events happening throughout Houston and all of its surrounding areas, as well as a list of 26 FREE Christmas and holiday events in the area, our ever popular December GoList, and our free weekly newsletter

Have an event worth sharing? Share it with us by submitting your own event to our calendar, and we'll share it with all of our loyal readers.

Now, without further ado, let's get on to this weekend's events!

Where To Go Ice Skating Indoors with Kids in NJ

Indoor ice skating is a fun way to take part in a winter activity without exposing yourself to the elements. Happily, there are many indoor rinks throughout the Garden State. We've focused on those that host public skate sessions, but most of them also offer skating lessons, hockey, birthday parties, and more.

Read on for our indoor rink recommendations for NJ families—and for more wintry sports, check out our Ski & Snow Guide.

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