Preschoolers

October GoList: Best Things To Do with LA and OC Kids Halloween Month

Kids cannot live by Halloween alone—or can they? Just in case, we've included several events on our October GoList that are not about Halloween. Just to mix it up. Of course, if Halloween festivals and pumpkin patches are what you're craving, they're with us all month long in abundance. Ghost trains and mega-haunts, too. But with all the activities October has to offer, a little curating is definitely in order. Read on for our top choices of things not to miss in LA, Ventura, and OC this month. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletters, too; with so much going on, we'll have to!

The Met with Kids: Exploring NYC's Biggest Art Museum

One Friday afternoon, my son came home from kindergarten and announced that we must go to The Met over the weekend because he had to see the Renoirs. (His wonderful art teacher had introduced the class to Impressionist art.) I was overjoyed—and I had to laugh, too. Hey, maybe my husband and I were living up to the NYC parenting dream after all, if our 5-year-old was requesting weekend visits to The Met instead of his favorite playground!

If you're lucky enough to live down the road from a world-famous art museum, why shouldn't your whole family should take advantage, and explore it together? We've made countless trips to this irreplaceable cultural institution over the years. The anchor of NYC's Museum Mile, The Met is more than 2 million square feet and houses at least that many pieces in its collection, which date back more than 5,000 years—so, as any parent knows, it's impossible to really cover it all in one outing, or even several. Fortunately, admission is always "suggested," so you can visit as often as you like. And with the enticing Ancient Playground and all of Central Park right outside its doors, The Met is always worth the trip. Here are our top tips for visiting The Met with kids, including our favorite sections to explore, and hidden treasures.

Halloween Festivals and Theme Park Haunts LA Kids Can't Do Without

I have a mama friend who refers to this time of year as the High Holidays, and she ain't talking Yom Kippur. She's also not wrong; there really is no higher holiday on the kid calendar than Halloween. And Southland families can enjoy a long slow build to All Hallows' Eve with more spooky celebrations, haunted happenings, and evil events per capita than any other urban area. Little ghouls and goblins have their pick of pumpkin patches, haunted houses, corn mazes, and ghost trains—but wait; there's more! SoCal theme parks get all creepy at this time of year, too, and the annual festivals below scream Halloween like nobody's business.

Indoor Play Spaces for Babies and Toddlers in Montgomery County, PA

From moon bounce centers to indoor toddler playgrounds to swing set superstores, Montgomery County has plenty of inside play options for babies and preschoolers. Whether your goal is exercise for the kiddos, creative stimulation, peer social opportunities, or just to escape the confines of the house, our list of indoor play spaces is certain to have a fit for every family.

Be sure to also check our lists of indoor play in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Philadelphia. Many of these play centers are well worth the drive from Montco.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Waller County Fair, Texas Renaissance Festival, Sept. 29-30

Say "Hello" to fall festival season! Like some people's pumpkin spice latte obsession, we have a big thing for all the amazing fall festivals out there, and this weekend kicks off some big ones! Froberg's Farm, Blessington Farms, Dewberry Farms, and P-6 Farms all officially have pumpkin patches and fall festivals ready for YOU to visit, so let's ignore to too-hot-for-fall weather and dive right into the fall festivities. 

And for even more fall activities, be sure to check out our Fall Fun and Harvest Guide, where you'll find everything from hayrides to corn mazes and our exhaustive Fall Bucket List, so you can check off all your fall favorites one by one.

When it comes to events around Houston, we love to highlight them all - big and small. If you have an event coming up you want to get some extra publicity for, we would love for you to submit your event to our calendar. Anyone who's stopped by our event calendar can attest to the fact that we're constantly updating and adding the best events around town, and we want yours to be one of them! We also have a highlight reel for the month in our September GoList, which features a bucket list of monthly activities you don't want to miss.

Interested in staying in the loop with minimal work on your end? You definitely want to sign up for our weekly newsletter; we'll deliver everything happening on Mommy Poppins right to your inbox.

Let's check out all the awesome events happening this weekend.

Apples, Fairies, and Spooky Family Fun for Connecticut Kids, September 29-30

Okay, there may have been Halloween candy in the stores for months already, but this weekend marks the beginning of the "Spooky Season," as my kids like to say, with Haunted Hay Rides, Haunted Isles, Haunted Graveyards, and other assorted things that go bump in the night launching in CT this weekend.

If you're in more of a daytime mood or have younger kids, check out the Apple Harvest Festival in Southington, the Wee Faerie Village in Old Lyme, or Soupstock, an unexpected marriage of music and soup, making its debut as a fall festival after spending the last few years as a late-spring event. There's also a fantastic, free Touch-a-Truck in Norwalk, a celebration of Native American culture at the Hammonasset Festival in Guilford, and the family favorite Ambler Farm Day in Wilton.

To make sure that you don't miss any of the seasonal fun, subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Have fun!

Drop-In Storytimes for Kids in Queens

Kids in Queens have no shortage of storytime opportunities, with popular library branches, bookstores, and playspaces all offering great choices. We've rounded up the best spots where babies, toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy listening to their favorite books in Jackson Heights, Astoria, Sunnyside, and other family-friendly Queens neighborhoods.

A number of these read-along sessions include crafts, music, puppetry, or even yoga, so it's a great way to pass the morning for parent and babe or caregiver and tot. After the stories are put away, peruse the bookshelves or nearby toys. Most are drop-in events, but we've noted if registration is required. Expect all sessions to be FREE or inexpensive. Read on for our insider's take on Queens storytimes with kids.

Magicians to Puppies: 12 Great LA Party Entertainers Who Make the Party

Like the people who throw them, birthday parties have evolved. Grandma might point out that she managed just fine without ponies or puppeteers, but that doesn't mean we have to. The truth is that a good party entertainer can make a budget party in the backyard or local park feel like the event of the season. If you're that mom who's never at a loss to entertain a dozen 8-year-olds, our hats are off to you (and please contact us about writing a party piece!); for everyone else, here are 12 party entertainers who we think are really neat.

14 Best Things to Do in Staten Island's Greenbelt with NYC Kids

At 2,800 acres, Staten Island’s Greenbelt is one of the largest public parks in New York City. Like Central Park in Manhattan, Brooklyn's Prospect Park, the Bronx's Pelham Bay Park, and Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, the Greenbelt is considered one of NYC's flagship green spaces. However, it's actually several parks linked together in Staten Island’s interior, including the popular Willowbrook Park, home to the Carousel for All Children, the wild High Rock Park, and Bloodroot Valley named for its large population of signature flowers.

The Greenbelt makes for a great staycation destination for NYC families. It's jam-packed with attractions, including 30 miles of groomed hiking trails, a nature center, a recreation center, a public golf course, a merry-go-round, barbecue grills, a lake for fishing, a living history museum, and playgrounds. It's also filled with a wide variety of plants, flowers, and wildlife, such as Great Blue Herons, muskrats, hawks, owls, woodpeckers, frogs and turtles. It's possible to see most of the Greenbelt's big attractions on foot in one day, but it's more relaxing to choose one area to explore at your leisure. Here are our top 14 things to do in the Greenbelt with kids.

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