Preschoolers

Slurping Encouraged: Where to find Ramen in Connecticut

It's a well-known fact around here that Ramen fixes everything. Not feeling well? Ramen. Had a rough week? Ramen. Tired of the cold, gray skies of winter? Ramen. Trying to solve the Reimann Hypothesis? Ramen. OK. You get the point. Any excuse for Ramen is a good excuse. And luckily, because this delicious noodle bowl has seen a sharp spike in well-deserved popularity, a serving is never too far off no matter where you are in Connecticut. So whether you're new to Ramen or a tried and true noodle aficionado, read on for some of Connecticut's best noodle houses. And remember, slurping is encouraged.

16 of the Best Party Places for Toddlers and Preschoolers in Westchester

As adorable as first, second and third birthday parties can be, the idea of my toddler and 10 to 15 of her closest friends wreaking havoc on my living room and our unsuspecting cats is enough to make me consider just skipping the festivities until she is old enough to lend a significant hand in the post-party clean up. Luckily, there are professionals all across Westchester County who have mastered the delicate science of toddler birthday parties.

If you prefer to party at home, check out our post on in-house party entertainers and stand back as little ones are delighted and amazed. For those of us who opt to leave the work entirely in the hands of the professionals, read on for our top picks for celebrating yearly milestones with the 4-and-under-crowd.

21 Wacky Ways to Celebrate Dr. Seuss' Birthday with Kids

“If we didn’t have birthdays, you wouldn’t be you. If you’d never been born, well then what would you do?” Thank goodness Dr. Seuss’ birthday comes once a year—and it always gives us great reason to cheer!

On March 2, we’ll celebrate literacy and Seuss with fun crafts, treats, and other activities in honor of the literary rhyming master. Dr. Seuss’ birthday kicks off a nationwide reading celebration known as Read Across America Day. Schools, libraries, and community centers across the country observe the day with read-alouds, crafts, and Seuss-a-rific treats!

Use this list of 21 zany activities to commemorate the day at home with the kids. Whether you want to start it off with some green eggs and ham or plan your next family vacation to the birthplace of Dr. Seuss himself, there is something for everyone on this list—no matter how small. 

Court 16 Opens Kid-Friendly Tennis Spot in Long Island City

When it comes to family-friendly amenities, Long Island City is experiencing a boom. From inventive play spaces to sprawling parks and cool tot spots, there's plenty to see and do, including a brand-new tennis facility, Court 16.

Four years after opening its flagship location in Gowanus, Brooklyn, Court 16 has opened a new indoor tennis complex geared toward the kids who are rapidly taking over this neighborhood's sidewalks. With nine tennis courts of varying kid-friendly sizes, there's something for tennis players of all ages at this new spot.

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Sloth Weekend, Rodeo Run, Feb 24-25

Everyone, giddy-up! Rodeo season (it is a season, right?) is upon us. This weekend kicks everything off with the some finger-licking good food at the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, informally known as cook-off. Before you head out, make sure you check out our guide to tackling the rodeo; coming up with a game plan ahead of time will make the whole experience much less overwhelming! And don't forget to check out the best places to purchase rodeo gear for your kids so they can show up in style. 

On a more serious note, it would be remiss not to acknowledge the most recent school shooting. Our hearts go out to the families who are suffering right now. The current culture of fear is both sickening and heartbreaking, and we know firsthand how difficult it is to know the right course of action when addressing this. There are ways both parents and children alike can feel empowered in the wake of this event, however, and we hope these tips provides some small measure of hope and confidence moving forward. 

As you plan out your upcoming week and weekend, keep in mind that our event calendar always features events and activities in Houston and the surrounding cities. We also highlight the best events happening throughout the month in our February GoList, and our Top 100 Things to Do With Houston Kids list is the perfect place to find something unique to do with the family. We know it can be hard to stay on top of everything that's happening, so we also have a FREE weekly newsletter that will deliver the best of the best straight to your inbox.

Have an upcoming event you want to share with the city? Let us help! Simply submit your event to our calendar, and we'll take care of the rest. 

Without further delay, let's check out what the weekend has in store! 

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Magic, Maple Syrup, and The Cat in the Hat

From Winter Storm Warnings to 70-degree days in 72 hours, Connecticut's winter took a fluky turn this week. That trend looks set to continue this weekend, with high temperatures expected to be comfortably into the 50s for much of the state.

But daytime temperatures in the 50s and evening lows in the 30s means the weather is perfect for maple sugaring, with demonstrations (and tasting) going on all over the state. For a combined nature walk with a downtown feel, take a Branches and Bark hike through New Haven, or try a more traditional winter nature walk in Fairfield. Whatever you do, make sure to call ahead for all outdoor activities before leaving the house, and have a great weekend.

What's Purim and Why All these Carnivals and Festivals?

Not too sure what Purim is? Imagine something between Hebrew Halloween and Middle Eastern Mardi Gras, and you'll more or less have it. Jewish families know Purim as a time of uncharacteristically raucous rabbinical revelry, marked by costumes, noisemakers, interactive storytelling, triangular pastries, and enough drink (for the grown-ups) to muddy the lines between good and evil. Gentile families generally don't know it at all. But Purim is worth knowing. Its story has all the best elements: a party-hearty king, a beautiful and courageous queen, a resourceful good guy, and a bad guy so hateful that everyone drowns out his name with noisemakers at carnivals all over town. Check out one of the events below for classic Purim carnival activities, costume parades, and boisterous retellings of the Purim story.

And if you know of a celebration we've missed, please let us know!

10 Places to Host a First Birthday Party in Houston

Congratulations! You've almost survived an entire year of keeping a tiny human alive and now, it's time to plan a celebration to mark the occasion. First birthday parties come in all shapes and sizes and often involve guests of all ages including parents, siblings, friends from daycare, and more. Choosing the theme, decor, food, and location for a first birthday party can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. We've rounded up a list of Houston area venues that provide age-appropriate activities for your birthday boy or girl to help you plan a fun, festive first birthday celebration. And for more ideas, check out our Birthday Party Guide for Houston families.

Robots, Rockets, and Explosions Wow Kids at NORY STEM Camps

Summer is a time when kids should be trying new things, asking crazy questions, and exploring wild possibilities, even if it sometimes means failing along the way. At least that’s what the two dads who founded NORY believe.

NORY is a summer camp for New York City’s youngest innovators. Kids ages 3-12 can sign up for STEM-focused programs with weekly themes that are totally worth geeking out over, like wood working, kitchen science, and chemical engineering and explosions. The 5 to 1 ratio of curious campers to inspiring instructors helps to keep kids totally engrossed in the hands-on curriculum. And it’s clearly doing the trick, because the popular camp is expanding to three main campuses in FiDi, Midtown East, and the Upper West Side this year.

These Bakeries Make the Best Birthday Cakes in Los Angeles

"Good things come in small packages" - or so my mother told me. And though she's always right, I'd argue that good things from bakeries come in large packages: as in, I'd take a whole cake over a cupcake any day, wouldn't you? If your little guy or gal has a birthday on the horizon, have a look at our long list of delectable bakery possibilities below, including vegan and gluten-free options. And just a heads up: though we've all been told that "good things come to those who wait," don't feel you must wait for a birthday to take home a confection! Oh go ahead, let them eat cake!

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