One of the sweetest things about living in New England is being able to experience maple sugaring first hand. Bostonians don’t have to go very far to enjoy maple sugar festivals, take tours of farms, watch sap being boiled down in sugar houses, or learn to tap maple trees.
Of course, the best part is tasting the final product – in syrup form poured over pancakes, as candies, and even in hot dogs (!). Celebrate maple sugaring season with special events and visits to these local maple farms.
We welcome guest contributor Cyndi Reitmeyer, BostonTechMom blogger, who tells us about a gem of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) opportunity for middle schoolers.
If you have a 7th or 8th grade child and live in the greater Boston area, then I want to make you aware of a one-weekend program called Spark, hosted by MIT’s Educational Studies Program (ESP). For a small flat fee, your child can take a wide variety of really unique classes in STEM subjects, taught on MIT’s campus by MIT students and community members.
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.
Taking my son to Paramount Studios on a school night to see the new SpongeBob movie is one of those little treats I enjoy being able to dole out as an LA parent. I knew I was scoring some high quality Mom Points, and I was not remotely surprised that my 11-year-old loved the film. What did surprise me was that I really enjoyed it, too! And I'll be brutally honest: I don't think I've ever uttered the name SpongeBob without making some kind of pained facial expression. I have a dad friend who has tried tirelessly to convert me to the Square Pants team, even citing parallels to Commedia dell'Arte, but the best I've ever managed is a polite smile. So with THAT context and background, it means a lot when I tell you that I really enjoyed The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Is it your family's cup of sea? I'll try to give you just enough info to help you decide, without spoiling any of the guffaws.
We're always writing about how important it is for kids to learn to code. That's because most of the jobs our children will one day apply for will require basic coding skills. Even if your kids don't dream of becoming the next Bill Gates, computer programming can still teach them critical thinking, logic, creativity and patience. Plus, they can learn to make their own websites and video games, which is pretty cool.
Whenever the weatherman predicts a big snow, you can almost hear the collective cries of joy from children, and the sighs of resignation from the adults who know they’re going to have stir crazy kids at home to deal with. Somehow the initial excitement always seems to wear off way too early in the day, leaving hours still to be filled. Before your brood drives you batty, scan through this list of things to do. We think you’ll find enough ideas to keep them happily entertained until the school bus pulls up again. Have fun and good luck!
Water slides, ice rinks, laser parks, trampolines, and rock walls: We’ve found some unique spaces north of Boston to host a birthday party, places where kids can keep active, have fun, maybe try out something new. Since the parties take place indoors, there’s no need to worry about rain, snow, heat or cold. And, of course, since they take place somewhere other than your home, there’s no mess, minimal fuss, and it's great fun for parents, too!
Read on for details about indoor birthday party places north of Boston. Find even more birthday ideas in our Party Guide.
We're always on the lookout for ways to make parenting in Boston a little easier and a lot more fun, and blogs written by local parents are a terrific resource. Last year, we highlighted our 13 favorite new (or new to us) parent blogs in 2013, covering everything from autism to umami, parenting in Boston on a budget to LGBT parenting adventures.
Although I’m a proponent of STEM education, I’ll admit I was reluctant to jump on the “kids need to learn to code” bandwagon. Then my kids started learning to code, and I realized it was about more than becoming the creator of the next Angry Birds or Candy Crush.
Learning basic computer programming encourages creative problem solving and logical thinking, and can be a key that opens doors of opportunity for kids. However, there’s a big gender gap, with girls shying away from computer science. Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit organization, is working to change that with its free Summer Immersion Program for girls. Keep reading to find out when and where the program is happening this summer, who is eligible, and how to apply - starting this week.
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