Book-Lover Crawl: 10 Ways Westchester Families can Celebrate Reading

New York City might get all the credit for the best and biggest bookstores, libraries, literary events, and authors, but Westchester is also full of great places to visit and things to do for those who love all things literary. So put your book down for just a minute and check out these 10 family-friendly ideas for book lovers.

Have a budding writer in the family? Check out our list of creative writing classes for Westchester kids.Or sign up for our newsletters to receive more suggestions right in your inbox.

Cotton Candy Spa: Brooklyn's New Party Place for City Princesses

It's been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and that's certainly the case for one new, mom-owned business in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

When Anna Bychowska went searching for an affordable birthday party spot for her then 6-year-old daughter last fall, she came up empty in her neighborhood and nearby Williamsburg. Party spots she found were either too expensive or booked months in advance. Discouraged with the offerings, she saw an opportunity and founded a party spot of her own. In late 2016, Cotton Candy Spa was born.

Storybook Experiences: A Magical Easter Bunny Meet & Greet

The Easter Bunny is just a fabled symbol of the holiday, right? At Storybook Experiences family and children's photography in West Islip, this folkloric character comes to life in a magical meet-and-greet that enchants and engages. Walk through the cottage doors and you are transported to a charming bunny village, delicately decorated in spring decor. Customers can wait in the bright playroom, equipped with a big-screen TV playing your favorite cartoon films on demand. 

Spring Wildflower Hikes and Super Blooms for Southern California Families

Spring is in the air, and spring means wildflowers! This season is turning out to be a particularly good one, in case you haven't heard. Words like "superbloom" are being bandied about, and in some cases with good cause. Some of the hillsides that we've been sad to see engulfed in fire or parched by drought in recent years finally got the rain they needed this winter to awaken seeds that lie waiting for years for this perfect combination of events. There are several locations that are known for spectacular annual displays of spring wildflowers in Southern California (not to mention the famous fields of Carlsbad), but this season brings some special guest stars as well. Large displays typically last two to six weeks, so you need to make plans quickly when word comes of a good display. (Don't have time to drive outside the city limits? We know plenty of local hikes worth checking, too!)

If we hear of more great displays, we'll share in our newsletter! (Have you subscribed?)

Elizabeth Park Spring Day Trip With Kids

It's beginning to feel a lot like “spring” here in Hartford County with the warmer temperatures! It’s the perfect time to enjoy an outdoor day trip. Elizabeth Park, a little gem tucked away in West Hartford, is a great spot to visit  especially this time of year. Be sure to also visit some of the other parks in the Hartford County area. For more springtime fun check out our CT spring fun guide!

New Jersey Summer Camps for Preschoolers

Before they grow up and want to go to sleepaway camp with their BFFs, preschoolers can get a taste of summer camp in a program created just for them. New Jersey is home to some wonderful day camps for the under-5 crowd, and we've rounded up more than a dozen of our favorites. In addition to low camper-counselor ratios, these programs offer developmentally appropriate fun for every interest, whether you want your little one to experience the great outdoors, bounce and tumble at a cool indoor spot, or delve into subjects like robotics, film, and fashion. 

To learn about more New Jersey summer camp options, check out our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings.

Philly Area Birthday Parties for Animal Lovers

For kids who love animals and have birthdays, and let’s be honest, that’s just about every kid, there are two ways to have special guests of the four-legged variety: at home or somewhere else. Traveling petting zoos will bring the animals with them, but if having a small menagerie at home isn’t appealing, consider hosting a birthday at a zoo or farm. There are many great options for outdoor, indoor, and at home birthday parties in the Philadelphia area for every type of animal-loving kid. 

8 Great Summer Camps for Preschoolers

Ready or not, summer is just a few months away and it's time to plan a way to keep your kids occupied. This is especially true for preschool-aged kids, for whom summer planning can be particularly tricky: They're old enough to want (and need) some mental and social stimulation outside the house, but not so mature that you can plant them at any old camp and trust they'll make do (or articulate why they're not). The good news is that the Boston area offers lots of great summer programs for preschoolers, from traditional day camps to out-of-the-box options. We've listed some of our favorite programs that cater to this age group here. For more options, check out our summer camp guide.

St. Patrick's Week Picks for Connecticut Kids: Music, Dance, and Crafts, March 13-17

It's the last week of winter, but it looks like March is not going to let us go without a fight. With a major snowstorm forecasted for most of the state this week, you'll want to be sure to check with any venue before heading out to see about potential cancelations and postponements beginning Monday evening and going into Wednesday. You'll find all kinds of St. Patrick's Day fun happening all over the state from craft workshops in Darien and Rowayton to a free family concert of traditional Irish music to an Irish dance performance

For even more activities, check our Event Calendar which we update daily and follow Mommy Poppins CT on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

25 Things to Do With Kids in Shelton

Nestled in the southwest corner of the Naugatuck Valley, at the edge of Fairfield County, Shelton is a hidden gem. Forget for a moment that downtown is currently experiencing a major renaissance with small restaurants popping up all along the main streets, many of them sourcing from local farms and breweries. Shelton is also brimming with things to do with kids. There is something for every season, age, and interest from ice cream to ice skating, hiking to hula hoops. Be sure to tune into our Facebook Live event Saturday at noon to find out who the winners are in our first ever CT Besties Awards! A few of these Shelton area businesses are finalists!


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