Tag: family activities

10 of the best Halloween events for kids around the country: From treats for littles to tricks for teens.

The leaves are crunchy, the air is crisp, the sky is blue, and your kids need to have fun in those adorable costumes too. So we’ve put together a list of we think are some of the best local Halloween events for kids all around the country. So mark your calendars for fun family time this Halloween season! And wow, do we wish some of these would come to our own own towns. Top: LEGOland via attractions magazine | Rogerio Barbosa 2011   Photo: philly.com The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place If you’ll be in the Pennsylvania area between now and October...

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15 not-so-scary Halloween crafts and treats for kids who want the fun without the nightmares.

Not everyone has kids that want scary Halloween decorations around the house. Like mine, for example. Hosting a trick-or-treat party is one of my kids’ favorite traditions of the year, and they totally love Halloween, but they’d prefer we do more non-scary Halloween crafts to get them excited for the day. They’re too young to be into the whole fright-night thing, and so are their friends, so we keep things fun and light with pumpkins, silly monsters, funny skeletons, and the occasional friendly ghost. Adding some not-scary Halloween crafts for kids to your evening like these 15 we’ve found — as an...

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29 cool Star Wars pumpkin ideas we’ve found for Halloween: The internet has taught us well.

This year, with all five of my nieces dressing up as Star Wars characters, I couldn’t think of a more perfect Halloween craft than creating Star Wars Halloween pumpkins together. So I’ve searched the web for them — and all of you! — and rounded up some of the most fun, DIY Star Wars pumpkin projects for a front stoop that will impress the galaxy. We’ve got droids. We’ve got Stormtroopers. We’ve got Yoda. And if you’re still wondering, Where is Rey? Well, we’ve got her here too. Related: 13 fabulously easy no-carve pumpkin ideas for the kids. We recently spotted this little BB-8...

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How to plan an awesome long weekend with the kids in Asheville, NC

My favorite fall break destination with the kids is unquestionably Asheville, North Carolina. Even though it isn’t a kid-centric destination per se (no Mickey Mouse for miles), there’s still so many fun, family-friendly activities we can enjoy in the city and surrounding area. Plus, getting a chance to see the leaves change in the Appalachian Mountain region? Stunning. Asheville is kind of like a smaller, quainter little sister to Portland, Oregon. You’ll see hikers coming off the Appalachian Trail, art galleries on every corner, and even a few drum circles. I just love its slower pace and refreshing outlook, plus the cool, crisp mountain air is such a welcome...

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Turn signal gloves, inflatable helmets and other cool bike safety gear for the whole family

This summer my family hit a new milestone on our bikes: my youngest learned to ride without training wheels, and my oldest is now big enough to be trusted to ride his bike a couple blocks to his friend’s house on his own. (Although I still sit next to the phone until that “got there” text comes through. Exhale.) But now that my kids are growing more independent on their bikes, I’m thinking of some gear — beyond the mandatory helmet — that can help them stay safe on the roads during the day and night. From innovative lighting...

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Happy Heart Kids: fun, easy, educational craft kits that teach kindness and empathy.

If you ask me, it’s never too early to teach a child about emotional intelligence. I still remember my teacher making us practice “I” statements — as in, “When you steal my Hello Kitty pencil, I feel hurt and sad.” A couple of decades later, I’m still finding this lesson crucial to calming conflict (and a lot more effective than shouting — who’d have thought?). So I was excited to hear about Happy Heart Kid, a company making craft kits for kids that teach kindness, empathy, gratitude, and other life essentials. I had my 3-year-old niece try out the Feelings & Faces...

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5 fun and easy last-minute birthday party ideas your kids will love. (Not that we think you forgot or anything.)

I’ve never actually forgotten to send the invites out to one of my kids’ birthdays, but I’ve definitely waited until the very last minute to plan their parties. The thing is: if your child’s birthday happens to land during one of the crazy-busy times of the year (ahem, back-to-school) then their big day can sneak up on you. Before you know it, you have a party to plan in less than a week. And it needs to be as awesome as your kid is. Well, I can assure you from experience, you don’t need to transform your home into a magical fairy land or...

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The (totally evil) family tabletop game for wicked word nerds and master strategists.

If your family is divided by the word nerds who love Scrabble and the strategists who love Monopoly, then we’ve found the family tabletop game for you. It’s called Word Domination, it’s on Kickstarter now, and it’s already winning gaming awards. Bonus: You get to be a super villain, minus the hidden volcano lair. Related: The 2016 board games of the year For $30, you can be the first family on the block to collect (and steal!) priceless artifacts and use fiendish weapons from your super-mega-evil arsenal in your plot for world — and word — domination. To play, you...

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The easiest, cutest bike bell? Ding ding ding! We found it.

We all know the transition from balance bike to training wheels to full-on bicycle takes a while (and can get a little wobbly). Add the required coordination to ring that out-of-my-way-new-rider-here bell and your kid may be in danger of an all-out collapse on the pavement. Which is no fun for anyone involved. So I’m pretty stoked to discover the Mirrycle Incredibell Jellibell Bicycle Bell (try saying that five times fast), which requires a mere touch to deliver its bell sound. That’s something even the most novice cyclists can handle while still balancing on two wheels. Related: 7 of the absolute coolest ride-on toys...

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The Taga family bike is back, and more affordable. Well…relatively.

Back in 2014, Kate spent some time with the original Taga Bike with some pretty stellar results, and I’m not the least bit surprised she fell for this cool family bike. It’s brilliantly designed, can ferry up to two kids in the front compartment where parents can see them, and to top it off, it flips into a stroller in a mere 20 seconds. In fact, the only major criticism from our readers was the bike’s steep price — about $1,500 for the basic model. Eek! Related: The coolest bike helmets for kids. As in, ones they’ll actually want to wear. With that in mind, the creators have just rolled...

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19 random acts of kindness you can have fun doing with your kids

There have been a lot of hard things in the news this year, and I think we can all agree we need a little more happy in our lives. So when a friend told me that her kids found $5 and a note to buy some candy “on us” tucked into her movie rental (yes, some people still rent DVDs!), I got inspired. What simple, random acts of kindness could I do with my kids to help other people have a happier day too? We’ve collected some of our favorite ideas here — from nice things you can do for strangers to...

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Fun backyard Olympic games that give your own gold medal athletes a chance to shine

With the Summer Games set to begin on August 5, we are getting ourselves ready to do some Olympic-sized television viewing as we cheer on the amazing athletes from around the world. So if you’re celebrating what is sure to be a spectacular opening ceremonies this weekend, we’ve put together some awesome ideas for throwing your own backyard Olympic games, with Olympic themed activities for all ages. Here are our favorite ideas! Don’t worry…no pole vaulting. (Top: Olympic javelin toss backyard game idea via Hoosier Homemade) Related: Throwing an Olympics Party? Some of the coolest printables, snacks, and party ideas.   Bring all of your athletes together with the free printable...

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10 cool nighttime activities for kids that let you be the fun parent

With the kids out of school and the days so much longer, I’ve been trying to make summer extra fun for them, which means extending bedtimes way past their normal time and heading out for nighttime adventures. Seriously, there are so many fun things to do with kids when it’s dark (even though admittedly, I find them sleeping soundly in their beds very fun. Ha). As a glasses wearer, this has all been made so much easier for me thanks to our newest sponsor, ZEISS DriveSafe, which can actually give you better vision at night. I’m not sure if it’s my age (cough 40 cough) or...

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The 2016 best board games of the year from Spiel des Jahres. Family game night just got a whole lot cooler!

During the summer I usually let my kids stay up late, but we ditch the screens and play board games together instead. So, each year I keep my eye on the Spiel des Jahres award-winning board games to find the best new board games that are guaranteed to be interesting for the whole family. Sorry, Chutes and Ladders. This German-based award that literally means “game of the year” is basically the Pulitzer prize of board games. They consider games from all over the world, and we’re never disappointed with their choices. So, we wanted to share the winners that were announced today, because it just so happens we have loved...

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The coolest bike helmets for kids. As in, ones they’ll actually want to wear.

Now that summer is here, our kids are looking for chances to bike, scoot, and skate to the park or pool with us. Yay for extra activity to wear them out, but we can’t help but think about their safety too. And we know it starts with a good helmet. The best helmet in the world won’t do any good, though, if your kid doesn’t want to wear it. To help you out, I’ve spent hours searching our favorite shops (so you don’t have to) to find the very coolest bike helmets for kids. As in, ones they’ll actually want to wear. Our kids...

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7 fantastic children’s books to pick up before they hit theaters this year.

My kids love to read. But they also love to go to the movies. Luckily, that makes our summer reading easy this year, since I’m going to encourage them to pick up some of the great children’s books that are being adapted into movies this summer and fall. From classics like The Little Prince and The BFG to new favorites like The Queen of Katwe, there are a handful of movies based on kids’ books coming out soon that I know they won’t want to miss. So my rule is, you’ve got to read the book first. Smart, right? Here, 7 terrific children’s books turned movies that we...

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The clever Bring Your Own Book game is our new favorite for family game night.

Now that my kids are old enough to play “real” games — you know, the ones where I don’t have to let them win — I love finding new clever and fun options for when we all gather around the table to play. So I was really excited to learn about Bring Your Own Book, a truly unique activity for our family game night. Created first by Matthew Moore and Luke Nalker, who launched it successfully via Kickstarter, it has been newly released by Gamewright, one of our favorite game companies, for people ages 12+. Since each game only lasts about 20 minutes, it’s perfect for families who might...

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11 truly clever tips and tricks for camping with kids to make it fun and easy. (Well, easy as possible.)

If you’re up for the adventure, camping with kids can be a really fun, inexpensive way to get away for the weekend. While it’s admittedly not the best night’s sleep you’ll ever get (though really, what parent gets a good night’s sleep anyway?), I’m a big fan of the unplugged quality time you get when you camp with your family — hiking, cooking over the campfire, snuggling up in sleeping bags. (Provided you leave your devices at home or in the car, that is. Free tip, from me to you.) Of course, knowing what you’re doing makes the whole experience so much nicer, so as an...

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13 awesome Father’s Day gifts for dads who love camping | Father’s Day Gift Guide 2016

We’re excited to kick off our brand new 2016 Father’s Day gift guide with something super adventurous: Truly amazing gifts for dads who love camping. As for my own husband, he’s taken our kids on enough camping trips this year to earn him whatever amazing new piece of camping gear he wants for Father’s Day. So I’ve been reading up on the newest and best camping tech to give him a Father’s Day gift he’ll really love as someone who likes camping. Wow, there’s some cool stuff out there! I’m looking for camping gifts for dads that just might make his time a...

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Clear the table for 11 of the best board games for older kids. (Hooray for outgrowing Candy Land!)

The school year is winding down and I’m looking forward to nights with no homework (yay!) and fewer extracurricular activities on our calendar (double yay!). That means board game night. So I started to track down the best board games for older kids, since mine are quickly outgrowing the likes of Candy Land and Pictionary Jr. Of course, there are always classics like Risk or regular old Chess, which we’ve loved and played for years at home. But I’ve also discovered some newer games for older kids that are a little more challenging for kids 10 and up. And that, of course, means they’re a bit more fun for us adults to...

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