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.
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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.
The first storm of the season creates quite a stir for those of us who excitedly await a winter wonderland. Sure, building snowmen and having snowball fights leave us breathless with fun, but it's hard to match the thrill of holding tight to a sled while careening down a hill on a quest to be the one who finishes first and travels the farthest. For a truly great sledding experience, check out these awesome hills in the Hartford area. Winter lasts only about 12 weeks, so pack a thermos with hot chocolate, maybe grab an extra pair of mittens and socks (don't forget lip balm and sunscreen!), and embrace the snowy adventures.
If you are looking to explore more winter activities, check out our Ski and Snow Sports Guide. Mount Southington for downhill skiing and Winding Trails for cross-country are two local attractions worth exploring. Sledding fun also awaits in Fairfield County.
One of the scariest things about Halloween is the potential for sugar overdose, especially since few children left to their own devises are able to resist an all-candy binge. No, we’re not suggesting that you say “Boo” to the sweet stuff. After all, we enjoy it even as adults, whether it’s chocolaty, gooey, or nutty. But, most of us understand moderation a little bit better than we did in elementary school, and know that a sugar crash can leave us feeling terrible. So what to do with all the sweet quests? Here are nine suggestions for ensuring bright smiles and feel-good tummies.
Wondering where you can sink your toes into a 40-mile stretch of sand featuring some of the most beautiful beaches in the world? Look no further than Cape Cod. Of course, as a New Englander, I may be biased, but only slightly. Without dispute, the waves, ponds, marshes, and dunes that comprise the Cape Cod National Seashore are magnificent. Add biking and hiking trails, historic landmarks, old lighthouses, wild cranberry bogs, miniature golf, and delicious ice cream parlors, and you have a recipe for coastal adventure and lifelong memories.
And just like that, the last weekend of summer vacation has arrived. With only a couple of days left before the onset of early bedtimes and hectic morning routines, it's important to make the most of the last days of August. Maybe you're heading to the beach one more time, or looking to explore an outdoor museum. If you're seeking a sweet experience, consider touring Fascia's Chocolates or scouring the menu at an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
If you only have a few hours to spare, get lost in the Lyman Orchards Sunflower Maze, unwind at Gillette Castle, or check out Farmers Markets brimming with fresh produce around the state. The weekend features exciting events, including the Plainville Hot Air Balloon Festival and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation's annual Schemitzun Powwow.
To see what else is happening around the state, browse the Mommy Poppins Family Events Calendar. For the latest and best family-friendly events, subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Preschool. Once upon a time, it was mostly a time for play dates, but today, childhood experts agree that attending a high-quality program prepares little ones socially and academically for the school years ahead. Deciding which preschool to choose can be tricky since programs can be customized, such as nature-based preschools, or those that offer a bilingual environment.
Below are 10 suggestions for preschools in the Hartford area; no doubt, we’ve missed some great ones, so feel free to share them with us in the Comments section. Our Preschool Guide also includes a few suggestions for those residing in Fairfield County.
Looking for an adventurous day close to home? Look no further than South Windsor in Hartford County, where Nomads Adventure Quest awaits, featuring energy-burning and giggle-inducing attractions. Whether your child likes to climb, bounce, jump, or play games, this amazing indoor play space has it all. Nomads prides itself as New England’s largest indoor family entertainment facility and features 65,000 square feet packed with fun. A huge bonus: there is no entrance fee, so you pay only for activities that interest your child. For more family fun ideas check out or guide.