Nothing says fall in New England like a family excursion to the apple orchards. With many orchards to choose from, families can head a short distance from Boston for their choice of places to pick their own apples starting in late August through mid-October.
We’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite places to pick apples near Boston, but with over 50 farms in the area offering apple picking, there are many more to choose from. In addition to apple picking, many of the orchards offer petting farms, country stores, hay rides, corn mazes, and other kid-friendly activities, so leave plenty of time to take advantage of all these farms have to offer. You can also plan your child's fall farm birthday party at some of the farms.
And if you're looking for some ideas for what to do with all those apples, we've put together some of our favorite apple recipes for inspiration!
We've already stocked up on back-to-school supplies from new backpacks to jeans, but now comes the fun part: books!
If you have voracious summer readers, it's likely your kids are already complaining that they’ve read everything. Or maybe you want to inspire a less than enthusiastic reader to kick off the 2015-2016 academic year on a wordy note.
Either way, Mommy Poppins has put together a list of more than a dozen books for kids of all ages, from preschool to high school, that were published within the last year, and, based on the awards they've already won, seem destined to become future classics. So pull up a comfy chair, whip out that library card and read on. You might just find a new family favorite.
You can see stars all over Boston. No, we're not talking about spotting Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen at the playground with their kids. The stars we're seeking are in the sky over Boston every night – even if the city lights make them a little difficult to see. Stargazing in the city can be very rewarding if you know where to look and you have access to the right instruments, which is where local observatories and planetariums come in. Take your kids to these places to make the whole family feel closer to the stars.
Massachusetts is considered one of the best locations in the world to see whales, which makes us feel pretty darn lucky. With Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary (whale central in the warmer months) practically in our backyard, we Bostonians have our pick of whale watch cruises. You can take a New England Aquarium Whale Watch right from Long Wharf and be back in time for dinner in Faneuil Hall, or pick from the many cruises heading out from the North Shore and South Shore. Whichever whale watch you choose, it's sure to be an extraordinary excursion.
There are certain must-do activities for Boston families during these magically long days and warm summer nights. Somehow it all seems to come to a halt once Labor Day arrives and school starts: Bedtimes are once again enforced, the swimsuits are packed away in the closet, and every day is scheduled down to the minute.
It’s time to seize these summer days before they start slipping away! Here are 25 Boston summertime experiences to have with your kids before it turns colder, because that's where it ends. (Are you hearing "Summer Nights" from Grease? You’re welcome.)
We’ve been working our way through the most fun to-do list ever, and we decided it was high time to check off number 37, a whale watching cruise. After an exciting Whale Watch with Boston Harbor Cruises, I am – for the record – ranking it as one of the top 10 things to do with kids in Boston before they grow up.
However, I don’t recommend just jumping on the next BHC Catamaran going out to Stellwagen Bank. The difference between having a great experience and a phenomenal one, especially when you’re taking kids on the cruise, is knowing what to expect and getting a few tips from a fellow parent before you go.
Maybe we all hope that our kids will spend the summer mostly outdoors, but let's be honest: they're going to find their way to the computer or phone from time to time. So why not make the most of screen time by signing them up with an online summer camp from the likes of Google? Or how about a Maker Camp run by a former Pixar staffer?
There are a number of reputable online camps available to get kids excited about STEM topics or to dive into other offline, DIY experiments that can help to bridge that gap between June and September.
My 9-year-old son put several online camps to the test and excitedly waited to sign on each day to see what challenge awaited. Check out these seven virtual camps—some of them free!—and let your kids get a little extra summer learning in at their own pace.
We thought we’d take advantage of some free time this summer and make our own ice cream. After all, how tough could it be? But by the time we had Googled a recipe (found plenty that did not require a machine) and made a list of ingredients we needed, the enthusiasm had waned, and we decided it would probably be best if we left the ice cream making to our favorite ice cream shop and enjoy the fruits of their labor!
From good quality ice cream chains founded right here in New England to one-of-a-kind specialty shops, there are plenty of places for Boston families to satisfy that need for something cold and sweet to beat the heat. Read on to find some of our favorite ice cream and frozen yogurt experiences.
The much anticipated Minions Movie, prequel to the popular Despicable Me movies, opens this weekend in a burst of yellow. Kids and their grown-ups love Minions – the movie and the characters. The audience I watched with was thoroughly enchanted by the Minions, who are indeed adorable. Their silly gibberish, peppered with recognizable words and a smidgeon of Spanish, is hilarious. But what do they get up to in this prequel to Despicable Me, and is it suitable for your kids? We'll try to help you decide.
Until recently, when asked by kids if two boys or two girls could get married, my standard answer was, "No, but they can be in love if they want to." On June 26, 2015, my answer to this common question changed for good—now it is simply, "Yes." For some children, the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is a nonevent; for others, it is life-changing. Perhaps your little one noticed the deluge of rainbows on TV, or you’ve suddenly been invited to Uncle Bruce’s wedding to his longtime roommate. Maybe you're celebrating the historic ruling with your family, or you took a wrong turn and found yourself smack-dab in the middle of the NYC's Pride Parade. However the topic has come up—or even if it hasn’t yet—consider checking out one of these fantastic books to help explain inclusive ways to define family.
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