As the holidays approach each year, three things are always on my list: Burn off the extra calories we consume during holiday feasts, find festive and fun activities my whole family will enjoy, and get the kids involved in giving back. I’ve finally figured out how to do all three at the same time: Rally the whole family to run together in a race.
These local turkey trots, jingle bell runs and other holiday-themed races are kid-friendly (a few are also dog-friendly), festive, and even downright silly. They’re also for a good cause, so round up the family, sport your most festal running attire, and go for it!
Across Westchester County, families will be celebrating Thanksgiving this month with a fun and healthy tradition—the turkey trot. No longer a fancy dance step, the turkey trot is an annual ritual in many places—and occasionally involves an actual frozen turkey! Running a 5K can torch 300 to 500 calories, depending on individual person and his or her current fitness level. That’s enough for a second helping of Uncle Jim’s famous pumpkin pie, extra gravy on everything or a cup full of stuffing!
We've rounded up some of the best turkey trots around Westchester, so what are you waiting for? Get out there and preemptively work off your Thanksgiving dinner while raising money for some good causes. Be sure to click through to the event listing for even more details. And look for more fall fun on our Event Calendar and our November GoList!
What's the first thing my family does to prepare for Halloween season? No, not make costumes or crafts or plan out our calendar. Our very first activity is to throw out all the stale candy my daughter has been hanging on to since last October 31.
Whatever you do with your child's Halloween haul—donate, repurpose, hoard or eat—there's no question that trick-or-treaters collect way too much candy. And while I'm glad my kid doesn't actually ingest it all, many children do, and the health implications of that are pretty scary.
So this year I'm not going to be part of the candy craze. Instead, I plan to give out small, fun, non-edible treats, like the kinds of tchotchkes you might find in a birthday goody bag. (So if you have any of those lying around the house, start gathering them up now.) Yes, I realize these things may end up sitting around as long as last year's candy, but since they don't go bad I can always hand them out again next Halloween.
Here are some cool things to hand out on Halloween besides candy that won't get you egged.
As parents, it seems like the list of things to worry about never ends. From prenatal health to getting them into college, raising kids is probably the most anxiety-provoking thing we will ever do. And, as if that isn’t bad enough, the 24-hour news cycle seems determined to inject new fears into our overwrought minds all the time.
But, as it turns out, much of what we’re told to be concerned about is actually quite harmless, while more likely dangers are seldom discussed. If we’re going to put so much energy into worrying about our kids, let’s at least worry about the right things.
Last week there was an article in the NY Times, “Watch How You Hold That Crayon,” about OT and handwriting. In the article Anthony DiCarlo, a Principal stated, “In the last five years, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of kids who don’t have the strength in their hands to wield scissors or do arts and crafts projects, which in turn prepares them for writing."
He goes on to say that while many kids head back to school with accomplishments like music, yoga and sports classes, they may not have logged enough time in open-ended play. “I’m all for academic rigor,” he said, “but these days I tell parents that letting their child mold clay, play in the sand or build with Play-Doh builds important school-readiness skills, too.”
As a child I did not go to a local school, and it was always my dream to be able to walk to class. Now grown up with kids of my own, I live in a very foot-friendly Los Angeles community. From the moment my kids could take off on two feet, we have been promenading in the park and walking to the library, the grocery store, the farmer’s market, and our multiple options for fro-yo. I like to think that I have modeled safety and caution, and hope that's been absorbed by my children.
My daughter is off to middle school next year and I know she is going to want to walk on her own. Should I let her? Yes. No. Maybe. It is possibly more difficult to parent a middle schooler than to be one.
While we've written plenty of posts about downhill skiing with NYC kids, we've never covered cross-country skiing. Also known as Nordic skiing, cross-country skiing is a great winter sport for families. Children as young as five can ski alone, and parents can tow tots in a sled or carry them in a backpack while on the trails. You can't do that while swooshing down a mountain!
Cross-country skiing is a fun way for active kids to burn off energy in the colder months and spend time outside. While you use most of the same equipment that you'd need for a day on the slopes—skis, boots, bindings, poles, goggles, helmets and warm clothing—cross-country skiing is nowhere near as dangerous or as expensive as downhill skiing. You won't be at risk for slamming into a tree at full speed, and trail passes usually cost about $20 per person.
After a good snowfall in New York City, you can cross-country ski just about anywhere. I've seen people doing it in parks and even right down the middle of Fifth Avenue before the snow plows cleared the street. But if you're looking to go cross-country skiing in a more scenic (and less bumpy) environment, there are tri-state area destinations that offer many miles of well-groomed trails, as well as amenities like warm lodges where you can sit back, relax, sip on hot cocoa and enjoy a family meal.
Unlike traditional ski resorts, most cross-country trails aren't in the business of making their own snow. So you're going to have to wait for the white stuff before you can get out there. Once that happens, here are six spots where families can enjoy cross-country skiing, most less than a two-hour drive from New York City.
Whether your family is inspired by the amazing winners of our Boston Kids Who Really Rock contest or you've just been thinking about teaching your kids ways to be kind, you can start pumping the positive vibes of kindness right now. And you don't have to do it alone. There are a slew of organizations -- local, national and international -- that can help plant the seed that will grow your child into a pint-sized philanthropist. All it really takes is one small act of kindness, of which there are many to choose. Read on to discover how these organizations are hoping to change the world one act of kindness at a time, and how you can get started.
We're glad you're here at Mommy Poppins Boston, your free online resource for everything for families and kids in the greater Boston area. We'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions! — Tara