One of my favorite things to do in Boston in the summer and fall is to browse the SoWa Market, New England's largest outdoor weekly bazaar. May through October, this three-block section along Harrison Avenue (South of Washington Street = SoWa) turns into an open-air crafts and art market featuring amazingly talented local small business owners and their wares. What better way to expose your children to the arts andthe outdoors...for free? I get it: Tightly packed toddler-height tables displaying potential breakables may not seem like the kid-friendly activity you were going for, but it can be done, and it can be fun! Here is a top 20 list of helpful tips to browse these sought-after "mini" shops with your mini people:
Portsmouth, New Hampshire is one of our favorite destinations for a short New England getaway. Each time we visit, we discover something new. During our most recent Portsmouth mini-vacation, we found terrific burger joint, explored the many wonders of Prescott Park, and had a blast at Water Country.
As a seacoast city, Portsmouth is a hot spot in the summertime, and with good reason: The Prescott Park Arts Festival brings world-class live entertainment to New England at affordable prices. The lush gardens in Prescott Park and across the street at the Strawbery Banke Museum are gorgeous oases in the summer months. Water fun abounds, whether at a water park or on one of Portsmouth’s islands. However, the town shines in the colder months too, especially during the holidays. The annual Vintage Christmas celebration is on our must-do list. Whenever you decide to go, there is an abundance of fun for families. These are 25 of our top picks for exploring Portsmouth with kids:
All aboard the STEAM Train. Next stop: The intersection of Arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Summer is coming to an end, and your kids want to continue to do the amazing things they were introduced to in a STEM summer camp. They’re in luck, because the STEM/STEAM (the A adds Arts) offerings for kids in Boston extend into the school year. Check out these places offering unique classes that encourage them to use their creativity while learning STEM-related skills. (And take a look at some really cool places for STEM birthday parties, too.)
My favorite thing about summer is how much time we spend outdoors, enjoying nature. These nature wands help keep the magic of summer alive a little longer. Nature wands are perfect for inspiring a little creativity and imaginative play.
Got a stick? Then you have a Nature Wand! We used sticks that we had collected on a recent walk through the woods. We also collected some leaves, flowers, seeds, and grasses. We added a bit of extra sparkle to our wands by sorting through our left over craft materials and having a wee bit of fun with glitter, paint, ribbon and stickers.
Made with creativity and loaded with the magic of nature, what could possibly be more powerful? Hazzah!
Even if your kids haven’t seen Night at the Museum or read The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the appeal of staying overnight in a museum or zoo seems to be universal. These favorite destinations, within an hour’s drive from Boston, make the fantasy a reality. For a night your child will be talking about for a long time, read on and start planning your family or group slumber party among science exhibits, with nocturnal animals, on a battleship, or in a baseball stadium. You might even want to add one of these sleepovers to your list of things to do with the kids before the end of summer.
Here at Mommy Poppins, we enjoyed spending quality time with our kids during our SUMMER OF PLAY CHALLENGE, and we're thrilled that it resonated with our readers, too. Hundred of parents from across the country shared photos of their playtime adventures with us on social media. We loved seeing so many pics inspired by the ideas in our SUMMER OF PLAY GUIDE; some folks transformed old cardboard boxes into really nifty playtime items, like the cool plane in our photo gallery. Other families played dress-up, fashioned and flew kites, made a mess and buried each other in the sand. We also saw some ideas we're going to have to try next year, like sticking snowballs in our freezers in the winter and then breaking them out on a hot summer day (our NYC editor Raven thought of that one, but it takes advance planning). Click through the pics above to see some of our favorite SUMMER OF PLAY moments. You can see all of the awesome photos submitted throughout the season on our Facebook page.
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