In addition to being incredibly cool and thrilling (I’m not the only one sitting on the edge of her seat through most of the events, am I?), the Winter Olympics are a time to come together with family and friends, enjoy wintertime, and feel pride in our country's athletes. Most importantly, in the Olympic spirit, the Games are a time to connect with the other cultures of our small world. I say that calls for a celebration of Olympic proportions.
Here are party ideas for a kid-centered Winter Olympics hootenanny, whether it’s with just your immediate family or 50 of your closest friends. I’ve chosen simple, inexpensive, and fun ways to get together and celebrate the excitement of the Olympics, the season of light, cultural understanding, and family time.
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.
I wasn't into sports as a kid. However, as a parent, I see a lot of value in having my kids participate in organized sports. As a result, I have spent many hours washing uniforms, sitting through practices, juggling schedules, and watching my kids’ games. I’ve even coached their soccer and t-ball teams. Because I want my children and their teammates to get the most out of their sports-playing experiences, I’ve tried to learn a few things about being a good spectator over the years. It hasn’t been easy (I am ûber-competitive and can be very intense when it comes to my kids), but I do have some tips to share. This is my list of do’s and don’ts for watching kids’ sports. Feel free to pass it along to other parents, grandparents, and coaches, too.
Eagle, birdie, bogey, par… It doesn’t matter whether you know what these terms mean or not to have fun playing mini golf. What does matter is that mini golf is a great way to keep the whole family entertained. It offers something to do to pass a few hours on a summer evening and the chance to spend time outdoors - without the time commitment, training, or investment in equipment of the “big” version. Read on for some of the most popular Boston-area courses.
Looking for a different kind of birthday party? Mini-golf can be loads of fun for kids of just about any age - no skills required. And a mini-golf party is often one of the most affordable options around. The party can be a simple gathering - a round or two of golf and cake and ice cream that you "carry in" - or a more elaborate affair that include golf, arcades, even bumper boats or batting cages, depending on the location. Nearly all the locations we've highlighted offer birthday parties; see their websites for package details. And while it's quite often possible to put together a mini-golf outing as a last-minute party, advance reservations for "official" party packages are usually required.
Watching the Red Sox play at Fenway can be a magical experience. But when you’re bringing the kids, it can turn into something, well, less than magical. Instead of being awe-inspiring, the massive and crowded stadium might be terrifying to your little one. You end up leaving before the end of the first inning or spending the entire game at the overpriced concession stands. That’s a whole lotta moolah down the drain.
There is one day a year when you can experience the magic of watching a game at Fenway without breaking the bank: Futures at Fenway. For the rest of the season, there's the Pawtucket Red Sox (PawSox), welcoming Boston families to their home stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Read on for 5 reasons to go to a PawSox game, plus 5 tips for getting the most out of the experience.
I’m going to be completely honest with you: I don’t like football. In fact, I’ve never really been into any sport, unless you count gymnastics (and I know many people don’t). That said; I truly enjoyed my family's summer field trip to The Hall at Patriot Place. Maybe it’s because I like museums, especially ones that are highly interactive. Or maybe it’s that the whole place is so visually stunning. Perhaps it’s the way they've struck just the right balance between being educational and entertaining. Could it be because they found ways to celebrate women in some of their exhibits, even though football is totally male-dominated?
I’m guessing the biggest reason is this: It was really fun to watch my kids having a great time – blocking players, trying on helmets, and kicking field goals – and get in on the action myself. If you’re wondering what you can do in a football museum, I’ll tell you: A whole lot. Read on for highlights of fun things to do with your kids in The Hall at Patriot Place. (And after a couple of hours of celebrating all things New England football at The Hall, you could round out your day with a 5 Wits adventure.)
As you may have pieced together from some of my previous posts, I’m consistently on the hunt for fun, engaging programs to take my toddler to in the city (like Baby Wiggle Little Groove). Which is why I was so very excited to come across the Super Soccer Stars program.
Super Soccer Stars teaches soccer skills in a fun, non-competitive educational environment for ages 2 and up. Kick & Play is run by Super Soccer Stars and offers a pre-soccer and movement program for toddlers 12-24 months old and their parents; taking you through a world of exciting activities to help develop pre-soccer skills. I started the Kick & Play program with my 12 month old and have since “graduated” to Super Soccer Stars. Below are just some of the reasons I can highly recommend both of these programs...
Taking full advantage of Boston’s location - the Charles River to the west and Boston Harbor to the east - community boating programs provide numerous opportunities for kids and families to learn to sail in Boston. Look a little further to the north and south, and options multiply. From annual memberships to five-day passes to one-day rentals, the following sailing centers offer packages that will fit your budget and schedule. Note that many of the lesson and camp programs fill up fast, so be sure to plan ahead.
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