Tag: family entertainment

Kid-friendly Chicago activities: The best museum exhibits for kids

This year my husband and I loaded everyone up (even the grandparents) for a long weekend over fall break, and flew to Chicago, one of my very favorite cities, in search of some awesome kid-friendly activities. Our focus: checking out all the must-see exhibits for kids at Chicago museums. Lest you think that New York and DC are the only big museum cities in the US, know that Chicago has a ton of awesome options. In fact, it was a lot to tackle, especially with three children in tow, but I’ve survived to tell you it can be done–as long as you embrace the idea...

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The Book of Life movie review: A treat that will last long past Halloween

We sat down in the theater to see The Book of Life movie, and as the lights dimmed, my nine-year-old daughter whispered, I have literally been waiting to see this since the day we saw the preview! And indeed she had. After that many months of anticipation, I didn’t know if it could live up to her expectations, but indeed, The Book of Life movie is entrancing, charming, whimsical and wonderful. The gist is that in a small Mexican town long ago, Manolo and Joachim, friends and rivals since childhood, fight for the love of the gorgeous Maria, voiced by...

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The best kids and family albums of 2014: The Fids and Kamily Award winners

The Fids and Kamily Poll has been announcing the best kids music  of  the year for kids and families since 2006, and we’re always so glad to be a part of it, along with other top bloggers,  journalists, publicists and kids’ music radio show hosts who all have a passion for seeing the best kids music succeed. And, today, the top albums of 2014 were announced. Whoo! This award is a great way to honor those musicians and singers who have helped blast the negative stereotypes about lame kids’ music and who make raising kids so much more joyful–and danceable–for us modern families who...

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5 simple tips to get kids involved in ending poverty

Getting my kids involved with helping others has always been an extremely important part of parenting for me, and I’ve done my best to include them in my own charitable passions when I can. But after attending the recent Global Citizen Festival on behalf of our sponsor (and event partner) Citi, I’ve been thinking more deeply about global poverty, an epidemic affecting a staggering 1.2 billion people, and how I can get my own kids involved.     Admittedly, poverty is not an easy topic to broach with kids, but it’s an extremely important one. Start when they’re young and it’s not only...

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DIY Board Games for kids gives family game night a creative twist

Playing a board game with the kids can be fun, but it’s bound to feel a lot more special when your kids get to put their own finishing touches on the games themselves, like they can with DIY Board Games. And, don’t worry: The “DIY” doesn’t mean they get to make up their own rules as they go along. DIY Board Games are a set of semi-finished games that let kids flex their creative muscles by customizing their boards and game pieces with tons of stickers and markers. Kids who are handy with the safety scissors can even assemble the pieces...

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Baby Loves Disco turns 10! Which kind of makes it Tween Loves Disco, huh?

I’ve been a huge fan (and friend) of Baby Loves Disco ever since I shook my groove thing at my first dance party with them back in 2006. Well, they’re turning ten this year (10!), and they’ve got a slew of cool dance parties all around the country to celebrate. They’ll be touring the U.S. all fall (starting with Baltimore tomorrow!) with fun events where you and your kids can cut a rug, get down, or do whatever it is that you love to do on the actual dance floor of a hip club–cool music included, although there’s no shortage of other...

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More printable coupons full of little surprises that prove free can be fun

Yesterday we shared a fun page of free printable coupons for fun little family surprises that won’t break the bank (or even require a bank at all). And as promised, we’re excited to offer another free page of awesome printable coupons we designed on behalf of our sponsor Cracker Jack. Put them all together and you’ve got one awesome gift for any reason at all. You might even get hugs. (No guarantees with regards to moody 13-year-olds but worth a shot.) The best part: none of these ideas will cost you more than $20, and most are totally free. Just print, cut, and you’re...

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Free printable coupons for little family surprises that bring big smiles.

We are always looking for cool printable coupons to share with our readers. When they’re nicely done, they can make such great gifts for birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations. But the truth is, we’re picky! (As you know.) So we thought, hey, why not create our own? And so we did.     On behalf of our sponsor Cracker Jack, we’ve got six awesome printable surprise coupons for you, absolutely free, all to help you create little surprises for your family under $20. (After all, Cracker Jack is kind of like the master of little surprises, right?) Just cut out and you’re ready to...

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12 little surprises under $20 that can make big memories for families

For years, we’ve been preaching that it’s often the little things that make the biggest impact, especially when it comes to those fun treats and creative ideas that help make summer magical for families. Just ask our own kids how much they love it when we set up a spa in the bathroom, or make a Tuesday movie night, just because. Best of all, it doesn’t have to cost a lot. We’re super excited to be partnering with our sponsor Cracker Jack, the original master of little surprises, on their brand new initiative, The Surprise Inside Project, which kicks off today in New...

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The Fed Up Movie: Everything you may or may not want to know about what you’re eating.

It’s pretty shocking to think that in 2010, there were nearly 58,000 cases of Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in adolescents–while in 1980 there were zero. Zero. In fact, it used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes, which isn’t even accurate anymore. It’s equally shocking that we’re now at a point where more people in the world will die of obesity than starvation. And that’s what the Fed Up Movie, which opens in theaters tonight, explores and explains if uncomfortably at times. If you have ever had trouble losing weight, if you have ever read a nutrition label, if you have...

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Rio 2 movie review: Grab your fanny pack, go outside, and teach the kids to samba.

When the Rio movie ended, I was left with two kids who loved to shake their tail feathers to the samba and a sinking feeling that Type A Blu and fiercely independent Jewel were going to need some relationship counseling. Now, after a whirlwind weekend in Miami Beach for the Rio 2 premiere, I’m glad to report that the sequel doesn’t smooth over the conflicts of the first movie, as so often happens. Nope; there are kids, marital discord, the world’s toughest in-laws, and a villain who’s badder, balder, and more hilarious than ever. Not to mention a great message about...

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The ultimate guide to snow day activities, part two: 20 more indoor ideas to keep you sane

As the east coast gets hit with yet another snow storm, and parents everywhere slowly lose their minds looking for snow day activities, you can start with our ideas for 12 fun things to do during a snow day from games to crafts to an impromptu dance party. For even more inspiration,  here are 20 ideas for activities that can get you through a long day indoors. Of course, this is the time you start hoping you have enough colored ink in that printer. Related: 20 awesome kitchen products to do with kids when you’re stuck indoors 1. Make a toy...

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Remembering Shirley Temple: Her best 3 films to watch with your kids.

We were so, so sad to hear that Shirley Temple Black passed away Monday night. She was one of our (and probably your) most very favorite child stars ever—those dimples! Those curls! Not to mention the respected diplomatic path she took as an adult. If your children are asking Shirley who? allow us to offer you three of Shirley Temple’s best  films that they definitely have to watch. Get that Netflix log-in or that Amazon account ready. Quickly, before all the prices triple.   Bright Eyes This is the movie Shirley Temple first became famous for, and most of us...

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The Lego Movie Review – A real block buster.

As the cultural discussion continues about building toys for girls and gender specific toy aisles, let me start by saying that my girls have been talking non-stop about The Lego Movie since they first saw a preview for it months ago. They are fans of everything Lego from the classic sets to the movie themed sets to Lego Friends, which means that sitting in the theater watching an early screening of the movie, they thought they died and went to block heaven. Now this movie could have been terrible. Really. In less adept hands it might be a pat, cheaply produced, plot-light franchise to...

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Great experience gifts for kids, because memories make for awesome presents.

When we’re asked for ideas for a great gift for the kid who has everything–or even those who don’t–the first thing that comes to mind for me are experience gifts . They don’t have to be expensive at all, or they can be super splurgey. An experience gift can be an activity you do with the kids, or something they do on their own. So broaden your mind if you’re still stumped for gifts–we’ve got some fun idea starters, along with some thoughts on how to package an experience gift so your kids have more to open under the...

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The Sound of Music Live. Tonight. Without spending $450 on tickets.

As an avowed musical geek, I’m so thrilled about tonight’s daring production of the The Sound of Music Live on NBC.  Yes, live. I’ve got the inner track and the word is that Carrie Underwood is simply brilliant as Maria, if you can forgive her for not being Julie Andrews; Steven Moyer makes a big leap from True Blood’s Bill Compton to the decidedly un-bloodthirsty Captain Von Trapp; and the kids are all simply wonderful. Plus? Audra McDonald as Mother Abbess is an inspired choice. What I’m most excited about is the attempt to capture the same thrill of live theater–no do-overs, no...

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Make your own family trivia game for Thanksgiving. Beats fighting about politics.

There’s something about Thanksgiving that brings out the sentimental side of our ordinarily feisty family. In part it’s the memory of family who’s no longer with us, in part it’s seeing the next generation start to fill their seats–if still with boosters in the chair. So I really am smitten with this printable Family Trivia Game DIY project at Martha Stewart that’s super easy to make and might be a fun way to keep the conversation rolling. You can let one family member create a master list of questions, and then everyone has to fill out their own answers in...

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Free Birds movie review: Thanksgiving is not for turkeys.

Let me start out this review with a spoiler alert: although Free Birds is a buddy film and the buddies are dudes, the strongest and most intelligent character by far is a girl. And a turkey. And she has a lazy eye. And let me go on to say that I’ll definitely be taking my kids to see this movie in the theater. And that after hearing Amy Poehler, Owen Wilson, and Woody Harrelson dish on their kids, I think we need to have a playdate. Keep reading if you want to know more about why turkeys can be...

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The ultimate last-minute Halloween idea guide for parents: costumes, treats, pumpkins, printables and more.

We have featured so many helpful posts lately on Halloween treats, tricks, costumes and beyond, we wanted to put them all in one place. After all, we can’t be the only ones who still have plenty to do–or uh, haven’t gotten started?–when it comes to Halloween. Good luck out there! Last-Minute Halloween Costume Help 5 zero-effort Halloween costumes for babies Easy geeky Halloween costumes Halloween costume ideas for moms and new babies Handmade Halloween costumes for kids who don’t really want to wear costumes Easy DIY baby Halloween costumes that just require onesies DIY cardboard Halloween costumes The perfect...

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Heading to NY? Free author events for kids at MoMA Design Store NYC!

If you are going to pick the perfect time to visit New York City, you could do a lot worse than fall. The family-friendly options here seem endless this time of year. So whether you live in town or you are building an itinerary for your special Saturday visiting the Big Apple, we’d like to suggest adding the MoMA Design Store to your schedule. Yes, for kids. Set on the charming Spring Street in Soho, the MoMA store has been a long time shopping favorite of ours. We were extra pleasantly surprised to discover that in addition to the killer...

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