Preschoolers

10 Winter Activities for Connecticut Kids: January 22-26

Okay, it hasn't exactly been beach weather, but it's been nice to have a break from the gray days and bone-chilling cold of the last few weeks. We may still have two months until spring (who's counting, right?), but there's still lots of winter fun to be had all over Connecticut, from outdoor adventures including Eagle Watching and Winter Walking to cozy indoor crafts, stories, and snacks. Better yet, nine out of these ten events are free!

Best Spots Around Houston for Hosting a Birthday Party on a Budget

Planning a fantastically fun birthday party that your child and their friends will remember for years to come can seem like a daunting task, especially when you start counting out invitations and pricing venues. Making the most of a birthday party budget means getting the best deal possible on space, food, decor, and entertainment. Luckily for Houstonians, there are several great options for planning birthday parties on a budget all over town. 

Whether you prefer a more traditional party with streamers, balloons, and a bounce house, or want to go for a more unique experience like a museum tour, we've got you covered. Read on for our suggestions on where to go and what to do when you want to make the most of a birthday party budget, and consult our Birthday Party Guide for more ideas.

25 Things to do in Waterbury: The Brass City

Known as the "Brass City," Waterbury is the 9th largest city in New England. For families, the greater Waterbury-area is packed with things for kids to do. Whether you have a little conductor, bowler, ice cream lover or daredevil, there is something for everyone. But no matter what you come to Waterbury for, make sure you stop by Sultans Turkish Restaurant for some amazing food afterwards.

Enjoy These Long Island Cafes With Kids' Play Spaces

A place for children to play and parents to connect with other moms and dads.

That’s exactly what Long Island play cafes offer. Enjoy these fun, safe venues for your child’s next play date: They'll have fun and explore, and you'll relax with a snack, catch up with your peers, or just relish some me time. Of course, parents are required to keep an eye on their children at all times.

For more seasonal fun ideas, check out our guide to indoor play spaces and our roundup of sensory play spaces on Long Island. And don’t forget our Winter Fun Guide for a host of ideas sure to keep your kids happily occupied during the winter months.

Get Out and Drop In! Best Queens Play Spaces and Gyms for Kids

From Queens' formerly industrial waterfront to deep in the borough, family-friendly spots and amenities are on the upswing. There are wide-open spaces to run with abandon, playgrounds are aplenty, and indoor play spaces with open play hours are strong in number: In fact, it has more than Manhattan and is gaining on Brooklyn.

We found 14 indoor romping locations in the borough that offer drop-in sessions open to the public (no membership required), including newcomer Jump N Play, which opened in Ozone Park this past summer.

Bonus: All of these spots host birthday parties, too, and most are much more affordable than their Manhattan competitors.

A Dozen New Party Spots to Celebrate Kids' Birthdays in New Jersey

New year, new birthday party to plan! And luckily for Garden State parents, there are new party places popping up every day. From just-teed-up trampoline parks to Brooklyn-transplant ice cream parlors, these new-to-Jersey hot spots have more than enough hype to meet your little ones’ birthday riders. Check out some of the newbies below—and if you need more inspiration, brush up on our list of the best places for kids to party in NJ. The old standbys never fail to make them smile!

Free Admission for Kids at Boston Museums and Attractions

It’s been said that the best things in life are free, but when it comes to visiting museums and other attractions with kids, it’s not always clear when they are free. Mommy Poppins has set out to uncover these freebies so Boston families can enjoy the best of the city without breaking the bank. Here, we've ID'd the museums that let young children—and in some cases, all kids—in at no charge.

If you're working your way through our Boston Kids' 100 Things to Do bucket list, you may want to coordinate with the cut-off ages below; some of the museums you can catch on their free admission days, but several other attractions below really drive home the bittersweet point that you're only young once.

Note that the cut-off ages below imply that when a child reaches the age listed, he or she no longer qualifies for free admission.

20 Ways to Celebrate Maple Sugaring Season in Connecticut

In February, hundreds of sugar houses all across the state get to work on the process of collecting and evaporating clear watery sap into golden syrup. The traditional maple sugaring season extends from early February until late March, though that depends greatly on the weather (which has varied considerably over the last few years). Freezing nights and warm, sunny days are necessary to provide good sap yields. Did you know that it takes 40 parts maple sap to make 1 part maple syrup (10 gallons sap to make 1 quart syrup)? That's why the good stuff ain't cheap!

If you want to get in on the action yourself, there are open housesdemonstrations and festivals celebrating this sweet treat happening the next few weekends in LitchfieldHartford, Fairfield, and New Haven counties. Some sugar houses invite you to stop in anytime the evaporator is running (but call before heading out).

Look for more winter fun outings in our Winter Fun Activities Guide and our frequently updated Events Calendar, as well as our newsletters, FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Have a fabulous week!

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Arbor Day, Children's Texas Art Festival, Jan 20-21

How is it even possible that January is already over halfway done? 2018 is off to a running start, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon! To ring in the new year, we revamped our list of 100 Things To Do With Houston Kids Before They Grow Up so you can stay on top of all the must-do and must-see things around our great city. Make this year the year that you start crossing off all the best destinations and activities to take the kids! 

These colder months have meant we've focused a lot on keeping the toddlers and kids busy while indoors; now it's time to give a nod to all the babies out there, because we know they can get bored being stuck inside, too. Sensory activities are a great way to entertain, educate, and stimulate your baby's ever-expanding mind and senses, and most can easily be assembled with items you already have at home. 

Whenever you find yourself in an activity slump, you can count on our event calendar to have all the best events and activities across Houston and the surrounding areas, making it easy to find and plan a family-friendly outing. Want something more concise? Then you'll want to check out our exceedingly popular January GoList for the month's best family-friendly events. You can also have posts like this delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our free weekly newsletter, which makes it easy to stay on top of everything that's happening. 

We also know there are a ton of great events happening out there that we would love to give more visibility to, which we can easily do when you submit your event to our calendar. Just fill out the form, hit submit, and we'll take care of the rest! 

On that note, it's time to start planning the weekend!

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Theater, Owls, and Dinosaurs, January 20-21

The poet tells us that April is the cruelest month, but I have to tell you, from where I sit, that honor belongs to January: the damp and chilly days, the sniffling children, the arguments over the necessity of boots AND gloves AND hats. So we're focusing on the happy things, including the Northeast RV and Camping Show where we can try out the latest gear and plan our summer adventures, the annual Winterfest celebration at Earthplace, where we can toast the season with s'mores, and Sunday Explorers, where we can finish off the weekend by meeting some animals and enjoying some crafts at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center.

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