History, nature, literature, and the arts - whatever grabs your family’s interest, chances are, you’ll find something to in Concord that satisfies any interest. Just 45 minutes west of Boston, Concord has been called one of the more picturesque New England villages and is known far and wide for its revolutionary connections, extensive literary culture, and acres of diverse, protected land.
And if you and the kiddos work up an appetite as you work your way through town, there is no lack of places to eat - most of them casual and very family friendly - everything from sandwiches and pizza to ice cream and baked goods.
My kids have come down from the excitement (and candy overload) of Halloween and are starting to settle into the season of giving thanks. Actually, if I'm being honest, they are looking PAST the season giving thanks, already asking about letters to Santa. I happen to like Thanksgiving. There's no frenzy over gifts or costumes, just lots of good food and family gatherings...and football. Plus it's a perfect excuse to reinforce lessons in being grateful and giving back. So I try to find ways to help my kids appreciate the season and slow down a bit before we head into the holiday mayhem of Christmas. Crafts are usually a hit with my kids, so I like to start there.
I'm no Martha Stewart, but my kids love doing crafts, and the more glue and glitter, the better (according to them). So I've obliged, but on my own terms--they have to be quick and relatively easy. To help get in the Thanksgiving spirit, we've got some fun craft ideas for the family that fit my criteria. These crafts are also a fun way for kids to artistically show what (and who) they are grateful for, which can make it a more lasting lesson. Enjoy!
Fall brings pumpkins, hay rides, corn mazes, spooky fun, concerts, and festivals. But what really piques my interest is a different fall tradition (nerd alert!): The opening of new museum exhibits. I get excited just reading about the investigation of how humans change over time at the Museum of Science, going beyond human at the Peabody Essex Museum, the meditation on a single color at the MFA, stretching the definitions of art at the ICA, and redefining the topography of the deCordova Sculpture Park. All that, and some STEAM (that's Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) at the Boston Cyberarts Gallery and MIT Museum. Even if you don’t find it quite as exciting as I do, take a look – there’s something new for every family this Fall in Boston’s galleries.
For little kids, Halloween is usually more about the treats than the tricks. The excitement is in getting dressed up, making decorations, and enjoying sweet treats from neighbors – not gore, creepy stuff, or being scared silly (I think that usually comes later, although it’s hard for me to imagine a time when my kids will appreciate the more macabre side of Halloween).
For fun, not-so-scary – but maybe slightly spooky – Halloween happenings in and around Boston this month, read on. I’ve rounded up activities for creative types, nature nuts, and animal lovers who just want the Halloween festivities to be sweet.
Halloween is in the air, and it's one of my favorite holidays! I love the spookiness and silliness of the season and seeing my kids dressed up in their costumes, their imaginations running wild as they transform into princesses, devils, ladybugs, and vampires.
Last week we told you about Halloween costume swaps for kids. Now we've got five fun and EASY Halloween crafts, so even tots can join the fun. So grab your glitter, googly eyes, and scissors (and newspaper to protect your table) and enjoy these Halloween crafts.
Salem Haunted Happenings is a month-long celebration of costume parades, haunted houses, ghost stories, candlelit tours, and live music. While many of the activities go for the big scare factor, there are plenty of kid-friendly events to choose from, too.
We’ve highlighted some of the ongoing events, special tours, and one-time events below. Visit the Salem Haunted Happenings website for the complete schedule of ongoing and special events or to download the Haunted Happenings brochure. And note, many events sell out early, so plan ahead and purchase tickets in advance whenever possible.
While our Boston calendar is filled with plenty of near-by things to do for Halloween, we’re highlighting three special events we’ve found that may take you further afield, but that truly embody the Halloween spirit.
The Keene Pumpkin Festival, in Keene, NH, featuring two glowing pumpkin towers and the Great Pumpkin Fest in Worcester, MA, with its display of more than 1,500 carved and lit pumpkins, take place on Saturday, October 22. The Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, in Providence, RI, comes to life with approximately 5,000 intricately carved pumpkins that glow throughout the zoo area each night through Halloween.
Thinking back to my first fall in Boston as a college student, one of my favorite memories is of a day spent outdoors exploring Boston Common, the Public Garden, and the Esplanade for the very first time. It was a perfect day, culminating in a They Might Be Giants concert at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. That day, I fell madly in love. Not with my first college boyfriend (that was a couple of days later), but with the city of Boston in autumn.
Now I have kids in tow, and ironically, we would be just as likely to go to the Hatch Shell to see They Might Be Giants (since it's a band for kids now). And like that day a few (ahem) years ago, my idea of a perfect fall day in Boston means basking in the beauty of the city's great parks. Boston boasts other gorgeous green spaces like the Rose Kennedy Greenway and the Arnold Arboretum, but to me, there's nothing like strolling through the Public Garden and playing Frisbee on the Esplanade in the fall. Here are 20 of my favorite things to do on Boston Common, the Public Garden, and the Esplanade for a perfect fall day with kids in Beantown.
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