Purim is a joyous Jewish holiday celebrated with storytelling, costumes, and the making and giving of gifts. Jewish families know Purim as a time of uncharacteristically raucous revelry, marked by costumes, noisemakers, interactive storytelling, triangular pastries, and enough drink (for the grown-ups) to muddy the lines between good and evil. Gentile families generally don't know it at all.
But Purim is worth knowing. It celebrates the story of Queen Esther outwitting the evil Haman, a story that has all the best elements: a party-hearty king, a beautiful and courageous queen, a resourceful good guy, and a bad guy so hateful that everyone drowns out his name with noisemakers at carnivals all over town. Check out one of the events below for classic Purim carnival activities, costume parades, and boisterous retellings of the Purim story. (And if you know of a celebration we've missed, please let us know!)
One of the sweetest things about living in New England is being able to experience maple sugaring first hand. Bostonians don’t have to go very far to enjoy festivals, take tours of maple sugar farms, watch sap being boiled down in sugar houses, and learn to tap maple trees.
Of course, the best part is tasting the final product – in syrup form poured over pancakes, as candies, and even in hot dogs (!). Celebrate maple sugaring season with special events and visits to these local maple farms.
We parents know it’s important for our kids to do well in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines, but how do we get them – and keep them – interested? Start early, and make it fun! National Engineers Week, February 16-22, is a great place to start. Read on for some wonderful programs happening in the Boston area during National Engineers Week, which (thankfully) coincides with February Vacation Week. If you want to continue stoking your child's interest during the summer, take a look at our post highlighting summer camp options for kids who love STEM.
Welcome to Part II of our February Vacation Week coverage. There are so many things to do with kids in Boston this vacation that we're covering the activities in two separate posts: we’ve highlighted puppet shows, dance and theater performances, one-day events, and nature programs in our first post, and continue our coverage with a roundup of the many museum programs available during the break here. Whether your kids are into history or science, art-making or animals, they can find plenty to do at Boston-area museums this vacation.
Looking for fun things to do with kids during February vacation week? There are plenty of programs and special events for families going on in Boston - puppet shows, dance and theater performances, special museum happenings, one-day events, and nature programs. So many, in fact, that we almost wish there were at least another week of vacation to do all we’d like to do!
Read on to see highlights of some of the many wonderful things to do over midwinter break with kids, and be sure to visit our calendar of events for more ideas. Part II: Special Museum Programs is a roundup of museum programs during February vacation week.
When you're homeschooling and don't have a built-in school community, it's always nice to connect with other homeschooling (or unschooling) families. It’s also nice for your kids to have opportunities for exploration and enrichment beyond the regular curriculum. What’s even better is when organizations like the MFA, Mass Audubon, and The Eliot School offer those extracurricular activities where homeschooled kids can connect, at times that don’t revolve around a traditional bricks and mortar school schedule. Here are some excellent extracurricular classes and programs for homeschoolers in clay work, nature exploration, fine arts, woodworking, and even juggling.
I went back to work full-time this year after several years of working part-time as a high school teacher, and I spent the first few months feeling pretty inadequate at basically everything. By November, I started to feel a little more on top of things, just in time for cold, cough and stomach bug season. Here are some tips and ideas I wish I'd had back in August. (Note: I consider being a stay-at-home mom of young children full time work, so many of these tips are applicable whether you work in or outside of the home.) You might also want to check out the Poppins Parents profile on recent-blogging-award winner, yogi-extraordinaire Kristin Quinn for some inspiration (!) and tips on juggling work and family.
The Museum of Science is a paradise for any kid who ever wanted to push a button and see what happened. Some of the exhibits are specifically aimed at children, but even those with a wider audience in mind have lots of hands-on opportunities for fun and learning. Here are my favorite exhibits when visiting the museum with kids.
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 and Audrey