All aboard the STEAM Train. Next stop: The intersection of Arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Summer is coming to an end, and your kids want to continue to do the amazing things they were introduced to in a STEM summer camp. They’re in luck, because the STEM/STEAM (the A adds Arts) offerings for kids in Boston extend into the school year. Check out these places offering unique classes that encourage them to use their creativity while learning STEM-related skills. (And take a look at some really cool places for STEM birthday parties, too.)
Even if your kids haven’t seen Night at the Museum or read The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the appeal of staying overnight in a museum or zoo seems to be universal. These favorite destinations, within an hour’s drive from Boston, make the fantasy a reality. For a night your child will be talking about for a long time, read on and start planning your family or group slumber party among science exhibits, with nocturnal animals, on a battleship, or in a baseball stadium. You might even want to add one of these sleepovers to your list of things to do with the kids before the end of summer.
Here at Mommy Poppins, we enjoyed spending quality time with our kids during our SUMMER OF PLAY CHALLENGE, and we're thrilled that it resonated with our readers, too. Hundred of parents from across the country shared photos of their playtime adventures with us on social media. We loved seeing so many pics inspired by the ideas in our SUMMER OF PLAY GUIDE; some folks transformed old cardboard boxes into really nifty playtime items, like the cool plane in our photo gallery. Other families played dress-up, fashioned and flew kites, made a mess and buried each other in the sand. We also saw some ideas we're going to have to try next year, like sticking snowballs in our freezers in the winter and then breaking them out on a hot summer day (our NYC editor Raven thought of that one, but it takes advance planning). Click through the pics above to see some of our favorite SUMMER OF PLAY moments. You can see all of the awesome photos submitted throughout the season on our Facebook page.
If you have a young builder-maker, budding scientist, or technology enthusiast in your house, there are birthday party possibilities around Boston that will thrill you both. You could choose 3D printing at Einstein’s Workshop, design challenges at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, paleontology at the Discovery Museums, nature exploration at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, or from among many other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) themes. You’ll not only be celebrating your child, you’ll be celebrating your child’s interests and dreams for the future. Plus, your kid will have a super cool party, which is what it's all about. Here's the lowdown on geektastic parties in and around Boston.
Sometimes Mom and Dad's ideas for summertime play involve hopping in the car and getting out of Dodge. Many of us have fond childhood memories of family road trips taken with our own parents, but now that we're grown up, we sometimes forget how boring the backseat can be. A great SUMMER OF PLAY should involve games that can be played inside, not just outside, and definitely within the confines of a car. So put away the electronics this road trip, and try some of these fun games that keep everyone in the car playing together.
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 now? You’re welcome.)
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.)
On a recent summer Saturday, Boston Harbor Cruises ferried us across the Boston Harbor to Georges and Spectacle Islands for a day of adventure. The ferry ride only took forty minutes, but it might as well have been hours, because we felt like we were on vacation – not just in another place, but in another time as well. It's the ultimate Boston summer staycation.
You can easily enjoy both Spectacle and Georges Islands in one day, and passage to both is included in your ferry fare. Spectacle is the quieter, more relaxed of the two and honestly, it’s our favorite. There’s so much good, sandy fun to be had on the former island of refuse. Here are some of the top things to do with kids on Spectacle Island, plus a few tips to make your day even more vacation-like.
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