Shopping with kids (groan). It can be a drag, both for the children and the adults. But sometimes it is necessary, especially during the holidays. Some Boston stores really go out of their way to make kids and families happy, and we love ‘em for it. Many offer free activities, a few have play spaces, and others are like theme parks! Check out these places to take the kids during your shopping excursions to add a little (or lot of) fun to running errands. Want more ideas for free things to do with kids in Boston? Take a look at my posts about visiting museums for free in the city of Boston and in Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline.
Boston offers families plenty of vacation week and weekend activities, plus some fun ways to ring out 2013 and welcome in the new year. There’s a mix of indoor and outdoor events - because you never can tell what the New England weather will bring.
Families can choose from kid-friendly celebrations at area museums, the city-wide, first-in-the-nation First Night celebration, plus ice skating and New Year’s Day hikes to start the New Year out on the right foot. Most of the holiday events of 2013 wrap up this weekend, and, if the ever-changing New England weather cooperates, local ski areas will be making snow and grooming their trails.
There are many reasons not to take your kids out for traditional, around the neighborhood, nighttime trick-or-treating: Your little pumpkin is just too young and is still afraid of the dark. You have a sensory child (like mine) and a complete meltdown seems inevitable. You’re trying to move toward a more earth-friendly or less sugary Halloween. Or, you just want your kids to think more about giving than getting.
Whatever the reason, there’s no need to feel left out for Halloween. There are plenty of alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating in Boston, and dare I say, they may be even better than the real thing!
Toddlers thrive on structure and routine, but it can be hard to work circle time and play stations into life at home. Family Nurturing Center’s (FNC) free Parent-Child Playgroups in Boston neighborhoods provide an opportunity for stay-at-homers to experience Early Childhood education with their little ones. Children explore new toys and make friends under the guidance of Early Childhood specialists, while parents and caregivers get support for all of the specific challenges of caring for a one-to-five year old.
I have been taking my two-year-old to a Family Nurturing Center Parent-Child Playgroup in Roslindale for a little over a year now. Walking into the community center at Stonybrook Commons, where the group meets, is like walking into a well-funded daycare. The community center playroom has a play kitchen, dress-up clothes for pretend play, puzzles, a variety of different blocks, books, musical instruments, and my son’s all-time favorite: a bin full of cars, trucks and fire engines.
It’s been said that the best things in life are free, but when it comes to visiting museums and other attractions with kids, it’s not always clear when they are free. Mommy Poppins has set out to uncover these freebies so Boston families can enjoy the best of the city without breaking the bank. In this, the third in our series (be sure to check out our roundup of free admission days at Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville museums), we’ve rounded up the cut-off ages for free admission at some of the most popular local museums and attractions.
If you're working your way through our Boston Kids' 100 Things to Do bucket list, you may want to coordinate with the cut-off ages below; some of the museums you can catch on their free admission days, but several other attractions below really drive home the bittersweet point that you're only young once.
Note that the cut-off ages below imply that when a child reaches the age listed, he or she no longer qualifies for free admission.
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 and Audrey