Ah, fall… can there be a better season to get out and do things as a family in Boston? The draining heat of summer is behind us, back to school jitters have subsided, and the threat of winter’s cold and snow is hopefully still weeks away. The beauty of nature surrounds us, and family fun is plentiful, whether you want to experience a little culture or frolic on a farm.
The Museum of Science recently sent me tickets to check out the 4D Movies they are currently showing: Dora & Diego and Happy Feet. My three year old doesn't nap anymore, but every afternoon we have "rest time," when I'll put on a short movie to let her body rest. I was excited to switch it up and go experience something a little different for an afternoon. But let me tell you, it was the opposite of "rest time"! 4D movies feature multi-sensory effects to provide a thrilling immersion into short films. Sure, I knew this going in, but I thought, "What could be so thrilling about a cartoon penguin and a pre-schooler?".
The chill of fall may be in the air, but there is still time to get out and enjoy outdoor festivals. Arlington and Brookline both celebrate their town days this weekend with local artists, children's activities, and more. Assembly Row in Somerville (pictured) celebrates RiverFest with food trucks, a kids' area, and fireworks, and South Boston has its own street fair this weekend. You can even participate in a "pi" eating contest at Mathapalooza in Framingham.
Do you know a kid who is doing great things for the community? A kid who goes way out of his way to make a difference - organizing food drives, raising funds for a local nonprofit, volunteering with a charity organization, dishing it up at a soup kitchen - in short, a kid who really rocks? NOMINATE THAT KID NOW for the Kids Who Really Rock contest and she could win a $500 donation from Mommy Poppins for her favorite nonprofit organization!
A shared fondness for Renaissance Faires brought my husband and I together years ago, so we were excited to be invited to King Richard's Faire this fall. For my family, the fun began weeks before the fair actually opened for the season, with trips to the fabric store and internet searches for costume ideas. Of course, fancy costumes are not required. A pair of home-made fairy wings will do, and street clothes are totally acceptable as well (though less fun in my opinion!). Renaissance fairs are a strange mix of theater, music, and circus. King Richard's Faire is no exception, with everything from a multi-act story performed on the main stage to jousting, tiger shows, and fire-eaters. There is no real loyalty to historical era or national culture. Belly dancers perform on stage with bagpipe players in kilts.
Larger-than-life corn mazes offer families the challenge of finding their way through winding paths to solve a mystery, claim a prize, or just make it to the other side - a perfect fall activity that gets kids and parents working together. Choose a farm with a corn maze to take your apple picking and pumpkin patch excursions up a level, plan an unforgettable birthday bash for your child, or just have a blast as a family. Here are four of the Boston area's best corn mazes for an outdoor autumn adventure.
Nothing says fall in New England like a family excursion to the apple orchards. With many orchards to choose from, families can head a short distance from Boston for their choice of places to pick their own apples starting in early September through mid-October.
We’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite places to pick apples near Boston, but with over 50 farms in the area offering apple picking, there are many more to choose from. In addition to apple picking, many of the orchards offer petting farms, country stores, hay rides, corn mazes, and other kid-friendly activities, so leave plenty of time to take advantage of all these farms have to offer. You can also plan your child's fall farm birthday party at some of the farms.
And if you're looking for some ideas for what to do with all those apples, we've put together some of our favorite apple recipes for inspiration!
Do you know a kid who is doing great work in the community? Nominate them for our Boston Kids Who Really Rock Contest, and we will sing their praises. Plus, one grand prize winner will win cash for local nonprofits!
We love that there are so many options for enrichment outside of school for our kids. From music to art to robotics, Boston has it all. What we don’t love is how difficult it can be to choose from all those options. We definitely don’t relish the idea of blindly committing to several weeks of a class when we’re not even sure who the instructor is or what our kids will actually be doing in the class. Really, if you can sample ice cream before deciding on a flavor, shouldn’t you be able to try a class before you register? We think so, and luckily, so do the places on this list. Some are hosting open houses where you can check out programs and meet the instructors, while others offer a free trial class – try before you buy, so to speak.
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