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.
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.)
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.
Today's project is a perfect way to make something fun out of the freezing temperatures. Kids find freezing things fun and mysterious. This project is an especially cool way to turn ordinary ice into something magical. And if you aren't in the deep freeze, you can just use your freezer and have the fun without the frostbite. And it's much prettier than finding frozen underwear in your freezer. (Please tell me I'm not the only mom this has happened to.)
Has the MLK holiday gotten you thinking about how quickly February Vacation Week is coming up? Luckily, fun and enriching programs abound during the break. I've rounded up some terrific vacation week programs for creative kids who like to craft, draw, create virtual worlds, sing and dance - and kids who love nature, too. Read on for my picks, from learning about modern architecture at Einstein's Workshop to creating museum creatures at the MFA.
Last week marked the beginning of Mommy Poppins' eighth year, which is hard for me to believe. We have worked hard over the years to try to provide the best activity and event ideas for local families in NYC, Los Angeles, Boston, Connecticut, New Jersey, Long Island and Westchester. But we know enriching experiences don't just happen when you are out exploring the world; a lot of them happen at home, too.
In our mission to inspire wonderful family time, we are starting a new series of posts dedicated to at-home projects kids and grown-ups can do together. Our WeeWork posts will feature simple crafts, recipes, indoor games and other activities that you can do at home for FREE, using things you probably already have around the house.
Starting next week, look for a post every morning, Monday through Thursday, with a simple WeeWork activity. Whether you are home with a young child, a homeschooler, or just looking for ideas for a rainy day, we hope WeeWork will inspire some fun together time.
If you want to get WeeWork posts delivered to your inbox, sign up for the separate daily WeeWork newsletter. And since none of these ideas will be local, you can finally share some Mommy Poppins fun with your friends who live in other areas. By the way, did you know we are on Pinterest, too? We'll be posting all these ideas to our Crafts, Activities and Games board.
To get us started, here's a sample WeeWork post. This three-step project allows kids to enjoy snowballs without the deep freeze. Make your own indoor snowballs for no-mess at-home fights or use them as pretty wintry decorations. All you need is some paper and plastic wrap.
If your family needs an escape from winter in New England, you don’t have to travel far – or at all. We’ve found five fabulous indoor garden spaces in the city of Boston and beyond, just a short trip away. From the tropics to the desert, featuring local and exotic plants and animals, these places offer a warm, green respite from the frigid temperatures and leafless trees of winter in Massachusetts. Read on for gardens where you’ll find butterflies, birds of paradise, or fountains – and feel like you’re a world away.
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.
There’s no need to look farther than a neighborhood park or your own backyard for free snowy family fun. With a few supplies you probably already have in your house, you can offer up any number of ideas for winter days when the kids can’t come up with their own entertainment.
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