Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Get Ready! Here are the Best Family Movies on Netflix in April

This April, as you scroll through Netflix's Children and Family section, and become suspicious of the sea of bright colors and flashing lights, you're probably starting to wonder how many of these flicks are actually good. If already know the difference between a film that will (hopefully) inspire their young mind and one that simply numbs it, you've come to the right place. We've found the films meant for some quality TV time with your relatives, with many of them good enough for both of you to find something to enjoy.

The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles was such an instant classic that many were worried that even an OK sequel would tarnish its legacy. Fortunately, this sequel packs enough pizzazz and heart to sit side-by-side with its predecessor. Vibrating with a wonderful jazzy soundtrack and inventive visuals, The Incredibles 2 is a joy to watch. Story-wise, everybody's favorite super-powered family is back, and dealing with the immediate aftermath of the original film: a society that wants to ban their abilities. Scenes featuring Bob (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) dealing with the uber-powered Jack Jack steal the show, and function as fantastic centerpieces.

Peter Rabbit

This refreshing adaptation of Beatrix Potter's novels revive Peter Rabbit for the younger set, by injecting the character with a bit of mischief. Yes, while that decision upset those tied to Potter's original work, the film doesn't come across as mean or insincere.  A couple of warnings, though: a human character dies relatively early, so this might not be a perfect movie for the super-young set. Also a minor ruckus was raised over a scene where a child allergic to blueberries was pelted by blueberries, which forced him to use his Epipen.

Mary and the Witch's Flower

If you're looking for a new twist on solid tropes, check out this film from Academy Award nominee Hiromasa Yonebayashi, whose credits include Studio Ghibli masterpieces Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo. This animated film centers around a young girl named Mary who finds herself surrounded by the utterly fantastic: a magic flower that grants magical powers, a broomstick that she flies above the clouds, and the magic university of Endor College (no, there aren't any Ewoks). Features voice acting by Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent. 

A Wrinkle in Time

Ava Duvernay's adaptation of the Madeleine L'Engle classic may have rubbed some critics the wrong way, but most agree that this is a great flick for kids. As long as you watch the film with a child-like sense of awe and wonder, so you can enjoy the movie's gorgeous special effects and not blanche at its wholesome demeanor. Its focus, a depressed 13-year-old named Meg — whose misery is linked to her dad's mysterious disappearance — who goes on a mystical journal that will answer her biggest questions.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Gaming: Video Game Releases in March 2019

After the bumper year that was 2018, it might seem unlikely that 2019 can top it. There are some fantastic releases lined up though, from Bioware’s action MMO Anthem, to a new Pokemon game from Nintendo. 

March 2019 is a little bit quieter for game releases, but there are some great games coming out. Here are the game releases for March 2019.
  • Dead or Alive 6 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - March 1
  • ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove (PC, Mac, Lin, Switch, Ps4, Xbox One) - March 1
  • Left Alive (PS4, PC) – March 5
  • Total War: Three Kingdoms (PC) – March 7
  • Devil May Cry 5 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – March 8
  • Kirby's Epic Yarn (3DS) - March 8

  • The Division 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – March 15
  • Super Robot Wars T (Switch, PS4) - March 20
  • The Sinking City (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – March 21 

  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – March 22
  • Tropico 6 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - March 29
  • Yoshi's Crafted World (Nintendo Switch) - March 29

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Sneak Previews: New Kids Movies in 2019 You're Going to Want to See!

It's a fun, family tradition that every summer the best family movies of the year are released during the crazy-days (and no schools) of summertime.

Below are the most exciting kids movies of Summer 2019!

Dumbo - March 29

Plot Summary
Struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists a former star and his two children to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When the family discovers that the animal can fly, it soon becomes the main attraction -- bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus. The elephant's magical ability also draws the attention of V.A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture.
Cast: Colin FarrellMichael KeatonDanny DeVitoEva GreenAlan ArkinNico ParkerFinley Hobbins

Missing Link - April 12
Plot Summary
Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link -- 8 feet tall and covered in fur -- recruits fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, the trio encounters their fair share of peril as they travel to the far reaches of the world. Through it all, they learn that sometimes one can find a family in the places one least expects.

Ugly Dolls - May 3
Plot Summary
In the adorably different town of Uglyville, weirdness is celebrated, strangeness is special and beauty is embraced as more than meets the eye. After traveling to the other side of a mountain, Moxy and her UglyDoll friends discover Perfection -- a town where more conventional dolls receive training before entering the real world to find the love of a child. Soon, the UglyDolls learn what it means to be different -- ultimately realizing that they don't have to be perfect to be amazing.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 - June 7
Plot Summary
The further adventures of Max the dog and his furry animal friends.

Toy Story 4 - June 21
Plot Summary
Woody and Buzz Lightyear embark on an adventurous road trip with old and new friends.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Kids: Birthday Party Ideas for April-May-June

April showers bring May flowers—and a whole new range of birthday party themes. Give your springtime baby a bash worth remembering with one of these fun spring birthday party ideas. Here are kids parties we think will be big this spring and beyond.


Everything is Awesome

LEGO bricks never go out of style, but we predict LEGO parties will be especially big this spring building off of The LEGO Movie 2. We love this theme because the party activities plan themselves. Dump out a pile of bricks and let your master builder have at it. Pass out Minifigs as the perfect party favor. Then, follow Mer Mag's inspired example and set out a plate of rectangular cookies, bright icing, and Spree candies so kids can make their own party treats. For more LEGO party ideas, check out Mer Mag's post.

Fab Flamingo

Flamingos in party-perfect pink are an extra-festive kids' party theme. We love this party's tropical flair that will brighten up even the rainiest spring day. Plus, flamingos are the hot new bird—suddenly, we're seeing them everywhere. Flap on over to Catch My Party for more flamingo party style.


Think your springtime baby will never be able to have a pool party? Fear not! Pack up your pool noodles and head down to your local pool or an indoor water park. Great Wolf Lodge has 18 locations in the US and Canada full of water slides and wave pools. Bring your kiddo and their BFFs for a wild, splash-filled bash. Bonus: when the kids' fingers turn to prunes, they can have fun out of the water on Great Wolf Lodges' ropes courses or wand-waving magical quests. Check out the party packages with extras like Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream cake.

Camp It Out

You'll want to invite all your forest friends to this woodland lumberjack party. We love that it offers an indoor twist on a camping party, so you'll be ready to celebrate rain or shine. The animal-covered cupcakes are adorable and delicious. Pull out your plaid flannel and get inspired by the Woodland Lumberjack Party featured at Kara's Party Ideas.

Sleepunder + Donuts = Magic

If you're kiddo's begging for a sleepover, but you're worried about whether or not it's the right time to open that door, throw a sleepunder instead. It's all the fun of a sleepover—think PJs, movies, and giggle-fests—and then everyone goes home to sleep in their own cozy beds. Add in a giant pink donut cake like this one, and we think you've got a super spring party.


A golf-themed party is a hole in one. We love Pretty My Party's birthday par-tee. Argyle-patterned pretzels and golf-adorned desserts make it a delicious celebration. For bigger kids, you can add some extra fun with a mini-golf outing.

Bug Out Bash

Bug out with the tiny critters that are buzzing in your garden. Little explorers will love a creepy crawly celebration complete with gummy worms and ants on a log. Check out this Events by Taryn party for some creature-filled ideas.