Preschoolers

Visiting Play: The New Indoor Spot at The Westchester Mall

We can all get a little stir-crazy in these cold winter months, but that doesn’t mean you always want to spend money on activities. Thankfully, The Westchester mall in White Plains has opened a brand-new play place that is a perfect spot to kill some time on a ho-hum day. The best part? It’s FREE! 

Looking for more things to do that won’t necessarily cost an arm and leg? Consult our Indoor Fun Guide and sign up for our newsletters

20 Free Things to Do with Long Island Kids This Winter

Wintertime in the Northeast means getting creative about keeping the kids entertained and engaged. But indoor play space and fun zones, museum admissions, and theater can all start to add up. So how to do it without breaking the bank? Lucky you. We've rounded up FREE events for Long Island kids and families happening this winter!

We found indoor STEAM events, outdoor hikes at the Fire Island seashore and Quogue Wildlife Refuge, hands-on workshops for little builders, and more special events. 

Remember, you can always check our Events Calendar for FREE events by using the "free" search filter. Be sure to also keep an eye on our Winter Fun Guide as we continue to update it with more season-specific ideas like sledding and winter walks.

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Eagles, Whales, and LEGOs, January 7-8

I have to confess that my household is struggling a bit in the first week back to reality: We've forgotten our school and routines and are trying to find our groove. I'm looking forward to a weekend of downtime and plenty of fun, perhaps with a little ice skating or eagle watching or maybe event a little yoga (serenity now!). 

It is a wonderful weekend to explore the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. LEGO and super hero fans alike will be thrilled to see the Billion Bricks: LEGO Super Heroes in Gotham exhibit, as well as special planetarium show on Sunday and, weather permitting, a visit to the animals on Heckscher Farm. If your interests are more inclined to marine life, check out the Celebrate Whales exhibit at the Maritime Aquarium where you can walk through a 43-foot long inflatable humpback whale.

To keep up with the latest family-friendly fun, check our January Go List, our round up of our favorite activities for the month, and be sure to sign up for our newsletters, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Stay warm out there!

Hockey Lessons for Kids in Fairfield County

I think a backyard ice hockey rink sounds like something straight out of a Rockwell painting (well, maybe not the hockey part, but humor me here).  Snow falling, a stand of trees in the background, the unmistakable scraping sound of metal on ice.  Whoops. How idyllic is this gonna be if my boys have no clue how to skate, much less handle a stick?!   Being that this is the Northeast, there are a good many rinks in Fairfield County where your little boys and girls can learn the game (while you hone your bleacher warming skills). For more winter fun, check out our Winter Fun Guide.

NYC's Kindergarten Application: Everything You Need To Know

It's kindergarten application crunch time in New York City. Kindergarten Connect, the relatively new form that New York City parents need to fill out either online, on paper, or by phone in order to apply their children to kindergarten for the 2017-2018 school year, must be filed by Friday, January 13 (although that deadline has been extended by the Department of Education in the past). It is not first-come, first-served, so when you turn it in doesn’t matter, as long as you do it by the deadline.

Perhaps it seems you sweated through preschool options and the pre-K decision just moments ago and are once again feeling overwhelmed at the options—the process. As the author of Getting Into NYC Kindergarten, I realize that there is a great deal of confusion about what goes on Kindergarten Connect, and what doesn’t, as well as the optimal way to rank your options to raise the odds of getting into your top-choice school, including a popular zoned kindergarten. So I've put together some simple tips to demystify the process. Relax, it's not high school—not yet!

Holiday Break Camps for Houston Kids

It's a school holiday and your kids are at home, but you still have to go into the office, leaving you scrambling for childcare. If you find yourself in this situation, or if you just want to have the kids do something fun and different on a day they're out of school, check out some of these holiday day camps around Houston. We picked a variety of camps that span everything from arts and crafts to gymnastics to a day at the Zoo, so your kids can spend their day learning through creative outlets and active play while you're at work.

15 Holidays to Celebrate in January

Welcome 2017. Welcome January. It’s time to kickstart the new year by celebrating 15 holidays sure to make your heart burst with happiness. We see you rolling your eyes: Didn’t the holiday season just end? No worries. These celebrations do not require ugly sweaters or schmoozing at obligatory gatherings, and spending extra money is optional.

A Day Trip to the Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven

The Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven houses one of the oldest natural history collections in the world and is one of the best family-friendly museums in Connecticut. Featuring three floors of exhibits, it makes for a wonderful and memorable day trip with children. In the colder months, you can spend plenty of hours indoors, learning about birds, gemstones, dinosaurs, and everything in between. On warmer days, walking around the city becomes a pleasure, as does taking a detour through Lighthouse Point Park, relaxing on the boardwalk or exploring the playground. Don't leave head home before sampling the delicious cuisine at one of the many restaurants in the neighborhood, and if time allows, check out It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course. There is no doubt that the New Haven area packs many opportunities for adventure, including free family activities, and below are reasons why the Peabody Museum should definitely be on your "Must See" list. 

Manhattan's Best Kid Play Spaces and Gyms

Finding a non-membership, drop-in play spot for your toddler or preschooler in your neighborhood is like gold to New York City parents—almost as good as scoring a deal on rent. Because when it gets too cold for the city's many playgrounds, and another playdate at home seems dull (or, let's be honest, stressful), taking your kid to a cool indoor kiddie gym or other play space, where everything seems new to them and someone else will do the cleaning up, is a relief to the whole family.

While outer boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn dominate the indoor play space market, Manhattan has some of the more creative kid spaces. Some of the 11 awesome spots we rounded up allow families to drop in while others ask that you make reservations, but none require any kind of long-term financial commitment. And if you've got a child under the age of 5 to entertain, you might also check out our roundup of a dozen indoor play spaces perfect for the pint-sized set.

Where Westchester Kids Can Ski, Snowboard and Sled

We've already covered the ways kids can learn figure skating and ice hockey in Westchester, but now we're going to turn our attention to some of the other outdoor winter sports. 

We've rounded up the best places for kids and families to learn snowboarding and skiing of all kinds ... and even curling for any of you Olympic lovers! Looking for more skiing fun? Check out our Snow Sports Guide dedicated to the subject, and also sign up for our newsletters

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