Boston lights it up with dazzling Christmas tree lighting ceremonies in and around town. By late November, lights are aglow in Faneuil Hall (pictured) and Christopher Columbus Park, and the festivities continue through early December with tree lighting ceremonies in neighborhoods throughout the city.
It's not only about flipping the switch, of course. Tree lighting ceremonies are treasured annual community celebrations with live performances, activities for kids, holiday giving and appearances by Santa himself (and sometimes even Mayor Walsh).
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Westchester's Ridge Hill is once again teaming up with DreamWorks Animation to take families on an Adventure to Santa with the help of Shrek and his pals. My family and I visited when the experience debuted in Yonkers last year, and we're delighted it's returning for the 2015 holiday season.
Prior to DreamWorks' interactive experience, I had never taken my kids to see Santa. It's 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 an event, they never want to meet him.
However, when I heard about this unique holiday experience, I had to check it out. I figured even my character-shunning kids might enjoy going on an immersive journey to find Santa, with Shrek and friends leading the way. And, since everybody hates lines, I was thrilled to hear that, unlike Macy's Santaland and other Kris Kringle spots, you can book your North Pole Adventure time slot in advance online to cut down on wait times!
My kids really enjoyed the experience, and we have some important tips to know before you go, especially if you're making the trip from NYC or upstate.
The days finally have a real fall crispness to them, the leaves are turning,and front steps are flickering with the glow of carved pumpkins at night. There’s lots of spooky fun and not-so-spooky fun to be had, from costume parades to pumpkin festivals, and there's plenty to do for free. Take the kids to a few of these free Halloween activities for families—and save your money for goodies to give to trick-or-treaters.
October may be our favorite month in Boston. Besides fall fun like pumpkin picking and the excitement of Halloween, there are plenty of fairs, festivals, special events and performances to fill our weekends. Every year we count the days until Opening Our Doors and the Boston Book Festival, plus new events we can't wait to experience. 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 our top 10 picks for this October.
Faneuil Hall might be a great place for tourists, but it's a pretty fantastic spot for locals, too. With one of the 10 coolest stops for kids on the Freedom Trail and some of the best places to eat along the Trail, along with tons of fun activities especially for children, you can easily spend a full afternoon without once hearing, "I'm bored." Read on for the 10 best kid-tested things to do while visiting Faneuil Hall with kids.
Sure, taking the kids to a fireworks show for July 4th seems like a good idea—until you’re there. The little one (who refuses to wear earplugs) has his hands over his ears and a terrified look on his face, everyone is getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, and you know you'll be getting home well past the kids’ (and your) bedtimes.
Luckily, the city of Boston and the surrounding towns also mark Independence Day with parades, fairs, festivals, carnival rides, live music and food—no fireworks needed. There’s no better place to show the great ol’ U.S. of A. some love than right here in Boston, the cradle of the American Revolution. Do it in style at these kid-centric Independence Day celebrations, from the city's annual Harborfest to small-town festivities all around the Boston area.
You know it's summertime in Boston when kids are running through fountains and splashing in shallow pools of water on the Greenway and Boston Common. There is plenty of water fun to be had in neighborhoods all around the city, and we've rounded up some of our favorite spots. Most locations are open on weekends after Memorial Day, and then daily from the end of June through Labor Day. Bonus: they're all free!
The Highland Street Foundation's 2015 Free Fun Fridays schedule is out, which means it’s time to start planning your family’s summer adventures!
The organization offers families the opportunity to visit Massachusetts attractions for free every Friday from the end of June through August. There are 70 museums and cultural venues on the schedule, and with so many wonderful choices, it can be difficult to decide which ones to pick. We're highlighting five, taking into consideration whether free admission or library museum passes are available at other times, how much money is saved on entry, proximity to Boston and, most importantly, kid-friendliness and cool factor.
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