When I received a flyer in the mail for the grand opening of Toddler Town at the Marina Bay Sports Complex, I practically jumped for joy. As the days grow colder I can't help but think about the indoor house itch we all tend to get with young kids. There are plenty of museums in Boston and lots of great indoor play spaces outside of Boston to the west, but there wasn't much available to us south of Boston. Until now. The Bay's massive indoor turf field in Quincy has been turned into the king of all jungle gyms, complete with a snack bar, infant play area, and even Disney tunes bumping! That's my kind of turf. Below are some highlights and tips to maximize your play time at the Bay.
The Museum of Science recently sent me tickets to check out the 4D movies it is currently showing: Dora & Diego and Happy Feet. My three year old doesn't nap anymore, but every afternoon we have "rest time," when I'll put on a short movie to let her body rest. I was excited to switch it up and go experience something a little different for an afternoon. But let me tell you, it was the opposite of "rest time"! 4D movies feature multi-sensory effects to provide a thrilling immersion into short films. Sure, I knew this going in, but I thought, "What could be so thrilling about a cartoon penguin and a pre-schooler?"
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 early September 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 love that there are so many options for enrichment outside of school for our kids. From music to art to robotics, Boston has it all. What we don’t love is how difficult it can be to choose from all those options. We definitely don’t relish the idea of blindly committing to several weeks of a class when we’re not even sure who the instructor is or what our kids will actually be doing in the class. Really, if you can sample ice cream before deciding on a flavor, shouldn’t you be able to try a class before you register? We think so, and luckily, so do the places on this list. Some are hosting open houses where you can check out programs and meet the instructors, while others offer a free trial class – try before you buy, so to speak.
School is upon us. That means the Internet is drowning in after-school snack and breakfast recipes guaranteed to make most of us mere mortals feel inadequate. But my idea of the the perfect after-school snack recipe is one that I can whip up in under ten minutes and makes more than one day's worth (cause, let's face it, I'm not doing this every day, folks), not fruit skewers shaped like cute animals or pizzas on a stick. A wallop of protein is a plus to recharge their engines for after school activities. Oh yeah, and it's gotta be good on the go, since we always are.
Abandoning the Internet after becoming thoroughly discouraged by homemade owl crackers that probably teach your kids French, we headed to the kitchen and created this healthier rice crispies bar recipe. This protein boosted twist on the classic rice crispies treat are sure to be the perfect way to welcome a kid after a hard day at school. You could even serve them as a sweet breakfast bar on the go. And it's a great no-bake recipe that even little kids can help make.
For little kids, Halloween is usually more about the treats than the tricks. The excitement is in getting dressed up, making decorations, and enjoying sweet treats from neighbors – not gore, creepy stuff, or being scared silly. I guess that usually comes later, although it’s hard for me to imagine a time when my kids will appreciate the more macabre side of Halloween.
For fun, not-so-scary – but maybe slightly spooky – Halloween happenings in and around Boston this month, read on. I’ve rounded up activities for creative types, nature nuts, and animal lovers who just want the Halloween festivities to be sweet.
Halloween is a holiday that celebrates creativity. Decorations and costumes provide opportunities to let your imagination go wild and to see old things in a new way. The policy in our house is that costumes must be created primarily from things we already have. Last year, my Smurfs-obsessed child went as Gutsy Smurf – his kilt and sash were made from an old flannel shirt we had stashed in a “get rid of” bag in the basement. In that vein, I've found a few DIY costume pieces that could be the inspiration for (or cherry on top of) a great costume. I've also rounded up some Halloween decor to create with your kids. Why buy decorations when you can make fabulously spooky ones like these? (If this post inspires your inner crafter and you're looking for even more ideas, take a look at these cheap and easy Halloween crafts from our LA editor.)
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