Each year on or around April 22, Boston comes alive with many special events to celebrate Earth Day. Kids learn about how they can help protect the the environment and how your family can become more green. From community service projects like the DCR’s Park Serve Day and festivals at the Spellman Museum and EcoTarium to outdoor festivals at the Franklin Park Zoo, families can get out, have fun, and make a difference.
Spring is fighting its way tooth and claw into Boston, and what better way to celebrate than to bring the kids out into nature? This weekend we put on our rain boots and prepared to get muddy in Franklin Park. Boston's biggest park sprawls through Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and Roxbury with lots of great areas to explore.
We're finally seeing signs of spring! On the farm at this time of year, there is new life everywhere, and the sheep are due for haircuts. That’s right, it’s sheepshearing festival time! Locally, Drumlin Farm and Gore Place make merry and have a whale of a shindig to celebrate. (It’s not that strange, think of the big deal you made about your child’s first haircut – I’ll bet you even kept a lock of hair from that momentous occasion.) If you can’t make it to the sheep shearing festivals in our area, or if your family just can’t get enough of the wooly animals, follow the festivals to Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts and make a day – or even a weekend getaway – of it.
As Boston's largest and oldest neighborhood, Dorchester boasts lots of fun activities for kids, families, and teenagers. Whether you are looking for a hike, an animal encounter at the zoo, fresh food from a farmers' market, classes, or a museum, you are bound to find it in Dorchester.
For most of the country this winter seems to be never-ending. If we have to put up with permafrost, we might as well try to get something out of it. Making an icicle sun catcher studded with natural materials is a favorite winter activity for my son. With just a some water, natural materials, freezing temperatures and a little time, kids can create an unexpected, glistening decoration to brighten up the doldrums of winter inside your home or out in the yard. It isn't just pretty, this simple project offers some great added benefits. Searching for the leaves and twigs will force the kids to leave the house and venture outside on a gloomy winter day and waiting for the project to freeze hard is a great way for them to experience delayed gratification. If you don't have freezing temps (lucky) you can also just toss this in the freezer.
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.
Hiking? In the winter? Yep. We started with a New Year’s Day hike several years ago, and we’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve written about some of my family’s favorite hiking spots in and around Boston, but we also like to get out and explore places farther afield. We’ve discovered five fun and relatively easy hikes for kids in Rhode Island. These natural playgrounds are perfect for a winter hike – they might even be more fun in the winter than they are in the summer. Here are the details, along with tips and some suggestions for activity pairings to make it a full day of adventure for the family.
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