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Your Kid Can Play Halo IRL at This Interactive Xbox Experience

Whether or not your teen or tween is a video game geek, you've probably heard of Halo, the Xbox series from Microsoft that has dominated the gaming space since it was released in 2001. It has spawned a TV series, comic books, novels, and now a live tour.

The "Halo: Outpost Discovery" tour promises to bring the popular sci-fi game to life with a special fan experience "for the whole family" as it visits five major U.S. cities—Orlando, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, and Anaheim, California—this summer.

Cheap Spring Break Travel Ideas for Families on a Budget

Is there a way to travel for cheap with kids during spring break? The short answer is... yes!

While some might automatically head to Orlando or even the Caribbean for spring break, airfare for a family of four can quickly add up to waaaay over budget. Families-in-the-know deploy a few tricks to plan a fun spring break vacation for the kids without blowing their mortgage payment, from scoring a secret deal to compromising a bit on the location.

There are plenty of family-friendly cities and destinations that cost a bit less but don’t scrimp on the family attractions, including top museums, eateries, beaches, and even amusement parks.

Read on for some of our editors’ favorite hacks in planning a cheap spring break and where they like to vacation as a family!

Mall of America's Most Amazing Attractions for Kids of All Ages

Mall of America, located in the heart of the American Midwest in Bloomington, Minnesota, is nothing short of an indoor entertainment epicenter for kids. Sure, it has over 500 stores, but there’s way more to do than just go shopping at the country's largest mall (so big that it requires its own zip code: 55425).

From Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower to the Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee, the Midwest is full of fun, interesting, and educational things that kids and their parents will love. Mall of America might possess a more commercial feel than some of the area's other travel destinations, but it also likely offers the most entertainment per square foot (5.4 million square feet to be exact) with some of the most popular kids' characters and brands on hand, including Lego, Nickelodeon, American Girl, and Paw Patrol. There's an indoor amusement park, aquarium, arcade, mini golf, and so much more, all within just a few minutes of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

Read on to check out our list of the top 25 amazing things that kids of all ages can do at Mall of America.

Stay on a Houseboat in Amsterdam for a Total Family Vacation Win

Amsterdam is a wonderful city to visit on a European family vacation. The city is kid friendly with lots of fun things to do for families, including wonderful parks, engaging museums, and many delicious restaurants to try. It's also relatively easy to navigate with children in tow.

The city is full of canals, which is another plus for kids as they often love to watch the boats or even take a ride. One of the most special (and affordable) ways to visit Amsterdam is to stay on an actual houseboat instead of in a hotel. 

When you visit Amsterdam, you can’t help but notice these charming houseboats lining the canals and Amstel River. They look so cozy, and many even have gardens growing around them. Our family stayed on a houseboat in Amsterdam for a long weekend and found it to be a comfortable and fun way to visit the city with children.

Tidying Up Kids' Stuff: 2 Easy Takeaways from Marie Kondo

While the world binge-watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and my social media feeds filled up with photos of freshly organized sock drawers, I didn't bother tuning in. After all, I'm already a Very Organized Person—the kind of mom who sorts her kids' toys according to category, and who may have an addiction to The Container Store. What could I possibly have to learn?

Then an image sprang to mind of me, huffily sorting papers on the kitchen counter while a hundred other urgent matters vie for my attention. When things get hectic, the piles of mail, magazines, kids' artwork, school forms, and other random papers crowding our countertops suddenly seem like a five-alarm fire. My husband calls it "angry organizing."

100 Things To Do in Chicago with Kids Before They Grow Up

Chicago is home to so many incredible parks, playgrounds, museums, and things to do with kids that one childhood doesn't seem like enough time to fit them all in—though who could blame you for trying? That's why we rounded up this list of great things to do with kids in Chi-town. Whether it's racing with your toddler through the sprinklers at Mary Bartelme Park, wowing your preschooler at the Field Museum, gliding with your grade-schooler on the skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park, or taking in engineering marvels with your tween at the Chicago Architecture Center, take advantage of everything this beautiful city has to offer kids of all ages. We're also big fans of FREE fun, so we included as much of that as possible.

Whether you're a local or a visitor to the Windy City, we hope you can use this list to make some great new memories with your kids. Now I'm off to scarf some Chicago-style hot dogs at Portillo's.

The Best and Worst States for Raising a Family

Everyone wants to raise their family in a healthy, safe, and yes, fun community. But, how do you go about finding the right corner of this country for your family? Trial and error perhaps, but WalletHub is also throwing a little data our way on just this subject. The credit report and personal finance site just released its ranking of the best and worst 50 states in which to raise kids.

It weighed a number of factors to determine the top family-friendly states, looking at schools, housing, crime, childcare costs and quality, parental leave options, salaries, and of course, the amount of family fun per capita, including access to parks and playgrounds.

Read on to find out how your state stacks up—and where you might want to consider relocating to with the kids!

25 Fun Things to Do with Kids in the Phoenix Area

At first glance, Phoenix might seem like just cactus and desert as far as the eye can see. Yet, there is so much more to this western city than scorching heat and golf. Families will find fantastic museums, unique attractions, such as a stunning desert botanical garden and a Butterfly Wonderland, as well as a fascinating history that makes this capital city come to life.

A trip to the Valley of the Sun makes a perfect winter getaway or spring break for sun seekers. There are water parks, pools, hiking, spas for the grown-ups and plenty of resorts from which to choose. We've already explored neighboring Scottsdale, Arizona, and now we want to take you on a tour of the 25 top things to do in Phoenix for families with kids. Whether you stay at a five-star resort or spend your vacation with family and friends, this gem of the Grand Canyon State has a little something for everyone.

Coding for Kids: Free Websites That Teach Kids Programming

Basic programming has become an essential skill for grown-ups and children alike. And the benefits of picking up this skill, especially for kids, are huge: Learning how to build simple websites and games helps kids refine their design, logic, and problem-solving abilities. It also allows them to express ideas and creativity in unique ways.

There are a number of FREE and low-cost websites that teach children how to play around with code. We've rounded up a dozen of our favorites below.

Sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox, and find even more educational tech posts for kids in our STEAM Guide.

50 Things to Do in Washington, DC with Kids Before They Grow Up

Note: During the current government shutdown, the Smithsonian museum and the National Zoo are closed. But there's plenty of other great, kid-friendly things to do on the list below and don't forget to check out our event calendar to find fun things to do in DC!

The days are long but the years are short when it comes to raising kids, and for parents in and around the bustling hub of our nation's capital, the time can really speed by. Finding the best events and activities that will make the most of the precious time we have with our little ones is a top priority here at Mommy Poppins Washington, DC.

To help you sort through this ever-changing, ever-growing city that we love, we've compiled a list of the top 50 things to do with kids in the Washington, DC area before they grow up. With a city steeped in the sciences, from natural to political, culture, arts, and history, there's no better time to make the most of your time with your little ones. Get out, explore, and see just how many activities on our bucket list you can cross off before childhood whizzes by.

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