Outdoor ice skating rinks are great for some fun, unstructured time, but if your budding skater dreams of forward skating, backward skating, stops, edges, crossovers, turns and Mohawks, some formal instruction may be just the thing. Lessons are offered at most of the outdoor rinks featured in our related post, and three skating schools also provide lessons at indoor rinks in the area. We’ve highlighted these skating schools and lesson options below; schedules, registration forms and pricing details can be found on the rink or school websites.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had the day off every time the kids got a day off from school? If you’re scrambling to find childcare for December vacation, take a look at these camps in and around Boston. You may not have the day off, but you can rest easy, knowing that your kids are safe, staying active and having fun (while you toil away at work).
If you're planning to be home for the holidays and need some fun things to do with the kids during those long school-free days, check out our Holiday Fun Guide for ideas aplenty.
Magical winter wonderlands, full of lighted displays, twinkling lights and sparkling scenes. Each year, it seems like holiday light displays get more and more elaborate. Some can be viewed by car, some by train, others on foot. There are even tour buses that will take you to some of the neighborhoods that really get decked out for the season.
We've rounded up some of the best holiday displays in and around Boston that families can visit throughout December. Is it time to start a new holiday tradition this year by checking out these spectacular sights? (For more holiday traditions, please see our Winter Holidays Fun Guide.)
Shopping with kids (groan). It can be a drag, both for the children and the adults. But sometimes it is necessary, especially during the holidays. Some Boston stores really go out of their way to make kids and families happy, and we love ‘em for it. Many offer free activities, a few have play spaces, and others are like theme parks! Check out these places to take the kids during your shopping excursions to add a little (or lot of) fun to running errands. Want more ideas for free things to do with kids in Boston? Take a look at my posts about visiting museums for free in the city of Boston and in Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline.
Whether your family is trying skating for the first time or your budding ice hockey or figure skating athlete is just looking for a change of scenery from their indoor lessons, skating on one of the outdoor ice skating rinks in and around Boston is a family activity that can be a fun, affordable way to get outside, get active, and burn off some energy. Most rinks offer skate rentals, so no need to haul your equipment or buy skates before you go. So if you have an hour to spare, dig out the hats and mittens and get ready to rosy up those cheeks!
We’ve rounded up six outdoor rinks in greater Boston that offer public skating hours. We recommend checking the rinks' official websites to verify the public skating hours haven't changed or been affected by the weather. So enjoy the season, and if the kids are clamoring for more ice time, please check out our round up of Boston area skating lessons.
As a parent, finding time for doctor's appointments, job interviews, or the much-coveted date night out can be challenging enough -- finding someone to watch the kids can be even more difficult. Turning to your virtual village to organize a childcare cooperative is a great, free alternative to costly babysitters or drop-off centers.
A babysitting co-op lets you trade time watching each other's kids for time to do real grown-up things like go to appointments, clean the house, or just take a break. Lots of parents do this informally in a "you get my back this time, I will get your's next time" approach, where the only reckoning of debts owed is karmic. This works great among friends, but tends to involve only a small group of select people. Creating a more formally organized cooperative allows parents to expand their network of willing sitters while accurate tracking keeps things fair and equitable. Here's how to get started:
Local mom and “Outdoors with Kids Boston” guidebook author, Kim Foley MacKinnon, shares her best family outing tips and picks with you as part of our guest blog series with the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Kids Outdoors Bostonfree online community.
This is a gorgeous time of year to take a family bike ride, which is even more enjoyable when you don’t have to worry (too much) about traffic and other distractions on the road. Here are five top-notch places to take the kids, whether they are on a trail-a-long bike, using training wheels, or biking on their own. For more trip ideas, as well as some smart tips, check out advice from outdoor experts and bicycling trip leaders at Great Kids, Great Outdoors.
They say it takes a village to raise a family, but few parents these days live in such small, tight-knit communities. Fortunately, the wonders of technology can help create a virtual village where parents can turn to other parents for support , information on events, and even gently used clothes and toys.
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