We're finally seeing signs of spring. On the farm at this time of year, there is new life everywhere, and the sheep are due for haircuts. That means it's shearing festival time!
Locally, Drumlin Farm and Gore Place celebrate sheepshearing season with big shindigs. (It’s not that strange, really—think of the big deal you made about your child’s first haircut.) If you want to make a fun family day trip or even a weekend getaway out of it, there are also sheepshearing and wool festivals in nearby Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts.
Boston Ballet’s Shades of Sound is not your grandmother’s ballet. Whether it’s the innovative choreography, the vast range of music spanning Tchaikovsky to the White Stripes, ballerinas dancing in heels, or the sparse but eye-catching sets, Shades of Sound stretches the definition of ballet – with extraordinary and highly entertaining results. If your tween says ballet is boring, ask her (rhetorically, of course), “You wanna bet?” and take her to the Boston Opera House this weekend to be proven wrong by the Boston Ballet.
After the winter we've had, we're more delighted than usual to welcome spring in Boston. It's the season when everything comes alive and each day brings a small but wonderful surprise. The city's green spaces are vibrant centers of color and activity, and It's the perfect time to get outdoors and reconnect with nature. It just may be my favorite season in Boston (though I did once say that fall is my favorite season in Boston, so let's call it a tie). Here are my picks for Boston's best activities for families in springtime.
Please note: This year's information is not yet available for some events.
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!
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