Tag: family entertainment

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...

Read More

Kubo and the Two Strings: Why this exquisite film is worth a trip to the theater.

If like me, you try to choose carefully when it comes to which movies make sense to see in a theater where it costs you a year’s college tuition for a family of four — and then, decide which movies seem worth forking over the extra few bucks for the 3D experience — I highly recommend the extraordinary Kubo and the Two Strings. This exquisite stop-motion feature from Laika Entertainment and first-time director Travis Knight comes to life so spectacularly on the big screen I would even see it a second time, and that’s saying something. The story of a young, one-eyed Japanese boy on...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

11 family-friendly television shows that everyone can agree on. Seriously.

We’ve been moving away from solo gadget time in my house and exchanging it for family screen time, within reason, of course. That means we all gather around the television and watch something that we all enjoy. Really. With kids ages 5 to 12, you might think that it’s hard to find a television show that we can agree on, but that’s absolutely not the case. Here are 10 family-friendly television shows that are perfect for families to enjoy together, from little kids to tweens and teens, and most importantly, the grown-ups too. Related: Documentaries to watch with kids about other kids:...

Read More

The 9 worst children’s TV shows that made my life a living hell: 2002–2009 Edition

We’re happy to welcome guest columnist, Wendi Aarons. She’s funny. When I was pregnant with my first son, way back in 2001, I had no intention of ever letting him watch television. Expose my precious baby’s developing brain to the mindless crap that spewed from the idiot box? Not I! Instead, I would spend all day, every day lovingly teaching him to calculate sums with the wood abacus I’d handcrafted out of the olive tree in our yard. The olive tree that was nourished by my buried placenta, of course. That grand notion didn’t last long. In fact, it...

Read More

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...

Read More

Finding Dory review: What to expect before you take your kids

This past weekend, my family and I braved the crowds to catch the new Finding Dory movie, the long-awaited sequel to the perennial favorite, Finding Nemo. With kids ranging in age from 5 up through 12, I was hoping it was something they would all enjoy, and thankfully I was right, though I think I might have laughed the most. While I don’t feel as though it was as funny or enjoyable as Finding Nemo, the kids were all glad we went, which is a pretty big deal if you’re like me and have a couple of very anxious movie watchers. And it’s not...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Web coolness: Cool gift ideas for dad, lifesaving tips for moms, and the biggest parenting laugh we’ve gotten all week

Here are some links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too.   We’ve launched our annual Father’s Day Gift Guide! Yay! We’ll be rolling out a new one every day or so, but be sure to check out our picks for 13 of the coolest personalized Father’s Day gifts right now (like the beautiful tie clips made from children’s artwork from Formia Designs, shown above) because you’ve got to hurry on those. Also check out our Cool Mom Tech  guide to cool audio gifts for dads who love their music and movies. (We kind of want them all ourselves....

Read More

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...

Read More

A reusable tablecloth our kids can draw on? Yes, please.

With family picnics and outdoor parties on the horizon, I’m loving Jaq Jaq Bird’s Chalk Board Table Runner that gives kids — and adults, if we’re being honest — a creative canvas on which to doodle while they (cough) patiently wait for their food. It’s a much better way to keep kids occupied and in their seats than playing with their utensils. At 6-feet long, this portable table runner offers ample space for an entire group of kids to draw side-by-side. Or, hang it on a wall for some space-saving art opportunities. I even love that this table runner can be used to deliver...

Read More

9 fantastic girl power movies for kids, streaming right now

Having two girls, I am definitely hyperaware of their increased interest in a film when it has a strong female lead. That said, when they’re with their male friends, and they’re trying to pick a movie to watch together, I realize how rare it is for some of the kids to be aware of movies beyond the usual big blockbusters. I really think it’s important for all kids to see girls and women in positions of power in the media they watch — whether that means fighting crime, protecting a family, solving a mystery, or just getting through life. I mean, as much...

Read More

Sponsored Message: Never miss a game, season finale or live TV event with Slingbox

This is a sponsored message from Slingbox. Whether you travel for work or just need a diversion while you’re waiting for your kids at soccer practice, Slingbox lets you watch and control all the cable TV channels you already pay for when you’re on the go — on your tablet, phone, PC, or Mac. All with absolutely no monthly fees. – Don’t miss a special offer below! –  Getting set up with Slingbox is easy. Just connect it to your set-top box in seconds via WiFi or Ethernet cable, and the service will “sling” all of your cable channels right to your...

Read More

9 fun, easy Easter crafts you can make with everyday household objects.

Spring is in the air and our kids are clamoring to make some easy Easter crafts — the holiday will be here before you know it!  So this year, I’m looking for some fun, realistic (ahem) craft ideas for Easter that incorporate things I have at home already. These easy Easter crafts I found are made with everyday supplies, hopefully to save you some money and a trip to the arts & crafts store (you’re welcome) — take a look at what kids can do with things as basic as plastic spoons, empty paper towel rolls,  drinking straws and egg cartons. Oh, and their imagination. Which isn’t basic at all....

Read More

There’s more to kids’ movies than Disney and Marvel: Top picks from the NY International Children’s Film Festival

This weekend kicks off the NYICFF, or the NY International Children’s Film Festival, which has become one of our favorite annual traditions. We are definitely a movie-loving household, and work hard to find the good stuff.  (Multiple viewings of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic not withstanding.) Which means there are times we spend more time scrolling through Netflix looking for trying to agree on something decent, than watching the actual film. For those of you nodding vigorously right now — or just want something, anything besides the latest shoot-em-up superhero flick or insipid animated franchise — take a look at some of this...

Read More

The coolest kids’ music of the year: Our 15 top albums | Editors’ Best of 2015

2015 was a very good year for kids’ music, with new releases from favorites like They Might Be Giants and Recess Monkey, as well as new-to-us bands like The Bazillions and Jazzy Ash. And if you have kids, but no idea what I’m talking about, well, you’re in for a treat! Kids’ music these days is definitely more than those albums of kids belting out pop covers in unison, and our children are lucky to have so much amazing music out there to choose from, that also happens to have lyrics that are fun, catchy, and don’t make us cringe...

Read More

Feelings, nothing more than feelings: Inside Out now available on DVD and digital download

If you missed Disney Pixar’s Inside Out when it came to the theaters, perhaps you thought that getting kids to watch an animated movie about “feelings” would be about as exciting to them as one of those hour-long health movies that they have to watch in school. And yet, after laughing and crying through the film together — even my picky young teen — we can’t wait to do it all over again in the comfort of our home with the release of Inside Out on Blu-Ray/DVD. Just in time for a long, active weekend with family, when a little quiet time in front of the TV might be...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest