Whether you’re looking for traditional music and dance, a parade, a big Chinese New Year festival complete with a Lion Dance, or simply a fun craft to celebrate the the Lunar New Year, Boston has it all. Check out these great picks for families to celebrate the Year of the Goat.
You’ll also find links for cooking traditional recipes for kids, children's books about the New Year, and visiting Boston’s Chinatown.
Skiing - it sounds so appealing, doesn't it? Getting some much needed exercise, filling everyone's lungs with fresh mountain air, letting the kids play in snow, enjoying an activity the whole family can do together -- ah, right. That's what stops you every year. Because the whole family sounds like a whole lot more people when you're counting lift tickets rather than heads.
The good news is that some ski resorts seem to understand this dilemma and have been inspired to create 5th Graders Ski Free programs around the country. Not only did you read that right, there are no tricks or strings. No, you don't have to give anyone a credit card number that auto-pays annual ski passes every year until college. In fact, you don't really have to do anything but choose the right ski resort and prove that your kid is in the 5th grade. The rest is a win-win for all involved: the ski resort takes a gamble on hooking your kids for life after letting them ski free for an entire season. Fair enough. Mom and Dad get to ski without coughing up the extra cash to find out whether Junior loves or hates snow sports. Everyone wins; everyone skis, and all just for reaching the ripe old age of ten.
Our wallets tend to take a lot of hits this time of year, so it's a bonus when we can find festive family fun that's also free. Here are twenty things to do with the kids in and around Boston this month to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah -- without even touching your wallet.
Boston lights it up with dazzling holiday tree lighting ceremonies in and around town. By late November, lights are aglow in Faneuil Hall and Christopher Columbus Park, and the festivities continue through early December with tree lighting ceremonies in neighborhoods throughout the city.
It's not all just about flipping the switch, of course. The tree lighting ceremonies are treasured annual community celebrations, with live performances, activities for kids, holiday giving, and appearances by Santa himself.
The holidays are upon us. Grocery stores have clearanced out fall goodies to make way for winter holiday treats. Malls are playing Christmas carols and setting up Santa's chair for young visitors. And our Mommy Poppins calendar is no different. This weekend, we notice some holiday events creeping onto our pages with many more to come!
However, there are some non-holiday events to embrace before we are immersed in the season. There are Boy Scout or Girl Scout events to help scouts earn badges. If you are looking for a bargain, check out this weekend's consignment sales. Or, channel your artsy side and make a mosaic cookie plate... just in time to leave cookies for St. Nick on Christmas Eve.
I have a confession to make: I have three kids (ages 11, 7 and 5) and I've never taken them to see Santa. Its not that my family doesn't enjoy Christmas. We love looking at decked-out houses and decorating our own tree, all that good stuff. It just so happens that my kids have never been keen on characters—from Elmo to Mickey, they turn away from all of them, and whenever we pass Santa in the mall or at a holiday event, they never want to meet him.
However, when I heard about DreamWorks' brand-new North Pole Adventure at Westchester's Ridge Hill in Yonkers, I was intrigued. I figured even my character-shunning kids might enjoy going on an immersive journey to find Santa, with Shrek and his pals leading the way. And, since everybody hates lines, I was thrilled to hear that, unlike Macy's Santaland and other Kris Kringle spots, you book your North Pole Adventure time slot in advance online, so no wait! Plus it's FREE (though purchasing photo packages is, of course, encouraged but not required).
As you can see from our pics, my kids and I really enjoyed our North Pole Adventure experience but there are some important things to know before you go, especially if you're making the trip from NYC or upstate.
Poor November! After the Halloween decorations and political campaign signs have all come down, it seems November doesn't have a chance as we are thrown right into the winter holidays. However, our jam-packed Mommy Poppins calendar and our November Go List remind us to pause and take time to enjoy some family fun.
If your family appreciates the arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art offers multiple programs this weekend: Family Gallery Tours, Drawing in the Galleries and Tours for Tots. If the theater appeals to your clan, there are plenty of shows to keep the family entertained. The Walnut Street Theatre's Mary Poppins opened this week while The Media Theatre's Annie Jr. and The Players Club of Swarthmore's Peter Pan still have performances going on. And, don't forget it is the last weekend for the Weeki Wachee Mermaids so be sure to swim over to Adventure Aquarium for their unique performance.
Remember, take some time and enjoy the 11th month of our calendar... because, you know, there are only 3 more weeks until Black Friday...
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