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.
Every June, we pack the kids into the car and head to the Cape, where we hop on the ferry over to Nantucket. It's a family tradition we hope to keep up for many years to come. Although it is further than Martha's Vineyard, we choose Nantucket because of the wealth of things to do on the island with young children. Here are some of our favorite spots (including a few secret gems), plus insider tips for getting the most out of your visit. See you "on island!"
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.
Strawberries? Raspberries? Blueberries? Our family debate over which is the best berry may never be resolved, but that just may be because each time one of these berries is in season, it’s hard not to declare it the best. Our favorite this time of year? It’s the blueberry, by far. Blueberries just may be the easiest fruit to pick, prepare and serve. No peeling, no pitting, no coring, no cutting. Plus, they have few natural pests other than birds, so much is grown pesticide-free.
The pick-your-own blueberry season begins early July and continues through late August or early September. We’ve rounded up some farms in the Boston area which are beginning to open up for blueberry picking, plus we've included a few helpful tips. At the end of the post, you'll find a recipe for our favorite blueberry treat: the classic blueberry buckle.
It’s that time of year: The weather is increasingly wacky and predictably unpredictable. What’s a parent with an energetic baby, toddler, or preschooler to do? On those days when the weather is a little iffy, head out to one of Boston’s wonderful, sanity-saving indoor play spaces. We’ve got the skinny on some pretty great ones for the under six set.
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.
The Inn at East Hill Farm is a special place. It combines hands-on learning at a working farm with all the fun of sleepaway camp and the blissful convenience of an all-inclusive resort.
Nestled in the Mount Monadnock Region of New Hampshire, the resort has views that go on forever, and a relaxed, when-you're-here-you're-family vibe. There are activities galore and all meals are included, so you won’t need to go anywhere else during your stay—and I’m guessing you’ll be happy to leave the car parked, let someone else do the cooking, and focus your energy on having a ball with your kids.
There was a time when the release of any Pixar movie seemed like a major event. Even before I became a mom, I ran to the theater on opening weekend to see Toy Story 1 and 2, Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc. After my daughter was born, we enjoyed WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3 together. But I admit, our Pixar fever waned a bit over the past few years, perhaps due to increased animation competition, or maybe it was just those awful Planes movies (technically not Pixar flicks, but spun off from Cars). So my 9-year-old kid and I were thrilled to discover that Pixar's brand-new adventure, Inside Out, harks back to the studio's best work. It's got Toy Story's perfectly balanced blend of wistfulness and whimsy, mixed with a surreal, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-style take on the complex emotions and memories that make us tick.
At the advance screening we attended, kids and grown-ups were enthralled—even the group of rowdy teens in front of us stopped texting, they were so into it. At times, each group laughed out loud (or cried) at different scenes, proof that the movie works on multiple levels. And yet, even though this is the first must-see family film of the summer, is it good for all ages? It's rated PG for a reason, so here's what you need to know before taking young children to see Inside Out.
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!
Hikers from all over the world flock to Mount Monadnock for a relatively easy climb that’s rewarded by breathtaking views and bragging rights. But you don’t have to be a mountain climber to enjoy the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. Tucked in the southwestern corner of the state, the area offers activities for every age and interest—toddlers to great-grandparents, nature lovers to shopaholics—making it the perfect place for a multigenerational family getaway.
Even if trekking mountains is what draws your adventurous family to the Monadnock Region, you’ll want to take a break to explore the quaint towns that dot the magnificent landscape. Stroll the idyllic New England main streets of Peterborough and Keene, stop in a restaurant with a view for a bite to eat, and explore the arts, culture, and unique shops. Then you’ll be ready to scale another of the region's mountains.
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