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.
Over the last 20 years, South Boston (“Southie”) has been the setting for a number of Hollywood blockbusters. But with its uniquely Boston charm, proximity to downtown and beautiful beaches, many young families also call this bustling neighborhood home. In fact, since moving here in 2009 I’ve lived here the longest I’ve lived anywhere in 15 years! The strong sense of community known as “Southie Pride” is apparent in every business and aspect of South Boston living. For this reason (and many others) I am delighted to show off the area. So here are our favorite kid-friendly spots we love bringing our three-year-old daughter and our four-month-old son:
Had enough already? Unlike the last couple of years, when we were thankful for even a few inches of the fluffy white stuff, the winter of 2014 has shaped up to be one of the more memorable in terms of snow. Which means it's been a memorable winter for cross country skiing, too.
The first time we took our kids cross country skiing was in child carrier sleds that we strapped around our waists and pulled behind us - great fun for them, and a great workout for us. While they’ve since grown too big for those carriers and now prefer the speed of downhill, they are still willing to spend some family time together cross-country skiing. We usually go to a local forest to ski, although we also go to Great Brook, Farm State Park, in Carlisle. Great Brook is dependent on natural snow coverage, but when it’s good, the groomed trails are fun. For near-guaranteed coverage, Weston Ski Track has snowmaking on a 2K, lighted loop as well as additional groomed trails when the weather cooperates.
Read on for the details about these and other places to ski. (Looking for downhill ski areas? You can find details on three close-by mountains here.)
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