I didn't grow up in Los Angeles; and although I have Latin American family, we are not of the Mexican or Guatemalan variety - meaning I arrived in SoCal knowing next to nothing about Day of the Dead. I've gradually pieced together the whole fascinating cultural and historical puzzle, discovering how many Halloween traditions we actually owe to the Native Americans who were in the city of angels before us, before the Spanish, before Christianity. El Día de los Muertos is a rare opportunity to understand several layers of angeleno culture, while celebrating something that looks a heck of a lot like Halloween.
While LA offers many Day of the Dead celebrations, the most authentic may be the novenarios, the nine nights of revelry leading up to November 2. Many Spanish-speaking countries have novenarios leading up to Christmas, but there is a similar build-up to the Day of the Dead, and here in LA it is most celebrated, not surprisingly, on Olvera Street. I've been curious to check out this traditional celebration for years, but between ghost trains and haunted houses our last week of October has always been booked solid. Not to mention that whole parking downtown thing. This year I finally decided to take the sugar skull by the horns and go see what it's all about. Curious?
WaterFire just might be the greatest thing that’s ever happened to Providence, Rhode Island. In the 20 years since the first bonfires were lit on the rivers in Providence, the brilliant and moving art installation has helped to transform the city into a vibrant, family-friendly destination.
Part community festival and part art exhibition – complete with bonfires juxtaposed with water, music, arts and crafts vendors, boat rides, and live performances – WaterFire is an event not to be missed. But just like other wonderful, very popular events such as First Night Boston, having the inside scoop on WaterFire can mean the difference between having a magical night with the family and a total bust. Here are 25 things to look for and to know before you go – with wisdom learned (sometimes the hard way) from my family’s WaterFire adventures and from the very knowledgeable team at WaterFire.
If you went to the One Family Music Festival last year, you have a pretty good idea of how rockin’ the Boston Kids Really Rock music and arts festival will be. Conceived of and organized by the very same visionary, Karen Kalafatas of Karen K and the Jitterbugs, the festival will feature many of the same wonderful Boston bands and community-building activities for families. What you may not know is that Boston Kids Really Rock is going all out with Dan Zanes as headliner and special guest Father Goose. The festival's focus is on sharing messages of kindness, creativity and community spirit with Boston kids. Mommy Poppins Boston will announce the winners of our Boston Kids Who Really Rock contest at the festival, too. We're excited to celebrate local kids and tell the inspiring stories of how they are making a difference in their communities.
If that’s not enough to convince you, keep reading for the top five reasons to make some time in your schedule and take the kids to the Lawn on D this Sunday for a glorious day of community, music, arts and family fun.
All throughout the month, there are opportunities for families to get outdoors, enjoy the autumn weather, and experience the best of Boston (often for free). Here are some of our top picks for this October.
We love that there are so many options for enrichment outside of school for our kids. From music to art to robotics, Boston has it all. What we don’t love is how difficult it can be to choose from all those options. We definitely don’t relish the idea of blindly committing to several weeks of a class when we’re not even sure who the instructor is or what our kids will actually be doing in the class. Really, if you can sample ice cream before deciding on a flavor, shouldn’t you be able to try a class before you register? We think so, and luckily, so do the places on this list. Some are hosting open houses where you can check out programs and meet the instructors, while others offer a free trial class – try before you buy, so to speak.
After a morning of hiking, swimming and treasure hunting on Spectacle Island, hop on the ferry. It’s a sort of time machine that will take you and your kids back in time to the Civil War era on Georges Island. The island's Fort Warren once held Confederate soldiers as prisoners during the war. Now, it gives visitors a fascinating glimpse into a time long past and ignites the imaginations of kids (both big and small). There is much to do and many areas to explore on the island, from the museum-like visitor center to the top of the lookout tower. Take the kids on an adventure and challenge yourselves to do everything on this list. (Fair warning: It may take a few visits.)
Coding, movie making, and robotics are all the rage these days, and there are plenty of great STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) camps in and around Boston for kids to learn those skills. But what if you just want your child to get a taste before committing to a full week of summer camp, or those camps don't fit your budget? The solution is here, in this roundup of free summer camps and workshops where kids to learn how to design video games, combine electronics with everyday crafts, make movies, use iBooks, become makers, and more.
When you and your little ones need some downtime from summer sun and fun, story time may be just the thing. There are indoor and outdoor story times all over the Boston area, almost every day of the week throughout the summer. So, drop in to one of these free story hours we’ve rounded up for you – then sit back, relax, and enjoy listening to someone else read to your child for a change.
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