Mommy Poppins Boston and the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Kids Outdoors Boston are excited to bring you a new series of guest blog posts on getting outdoors as a family. Kids Outdoors is a free online community for families filled with ideas on close-to-home outdoor activities in the Boston area and expert advice on how to get started. Each month “Outdoors with Kids Boston” author and local mom, Kim Foley MacKinnon, will have new tips and picks for you – enjoy!
Camping out is one of summer’s greatest pleasures. Finding a campsite, setting up the tent, roasting marshmallows, snuggling down in sleeping bags—it’s all a wonderful family adventure. But when you’re a parent with young kids who haven’t camped before or you’ve only got the weekend, you may want to stick close to home.
The 2013 Free Fun Fridays schedule is out, and it’s time to start planning your family’s summer adventures! Every summer, the Highland Street Foundation gives us the opportunity to visit cultural attractions in Massachusetts for free each Friday, from the end of June through August.
The Free Fun Fridays are truly a gift and offer the chance to visit varied attractions, from art museums to historical villages. This year, the fifth anniversary of the program, there are six options each Friday – some venues are right here in Boston, while others are as far away as Western Mass. With so many wonderful choices, it can be difficult to decide which ones to visit.
I have chosen five to highlight, taking into consideration whether other significant discounts (such as library museum passes) are available at another time, how much money is saved, proximity to Boston, and whether the place is good for children.
Taking full advantage of Boston’s location - the Charles River to the west and Boston Harbor to the east - community boating programs provide numerous opportunities for kids and families to learn to sail in Boston. Look a little further to the north and south, and options multiply. From annual memberships to five-day passes to one-day rentals, the following sailing centers offer packages that will fit your budget and schedule. Note that many of the lesson and camp programs fill up fast, so be sure to plan ahead.
What do you do when your kids run from the room screaming in protest when you merely mention the idea of camp? Sign them up and hope they get over their bizarre aversion? Send them to counseling instead? What if neither camp nor counseling are in the budget?
That’s where I found myself this summer. As a result, I ended up with a new job: Director of “Camp Mommy”. We’ve had a lot of fun this summer, bopping around the city, spending lots of active green time at the park, and having a steady stream of kids over for playdates. But coming up with a plan for each day – and successfully executing the plan – has presented some challenges. I have been tweeting “Diary of a Camp Mommy Director” entries about the pleasures and tribulations of my summer job. Read on for an expanded version of those entries, complete with links and ideas for anyone who has the job of entertaining kids for a day, a week, or – like me – an entire summer.
By mid August, summer camp is often winding down, the family vacation is just a memory, and back to school is still a few weeks away. Restless kids and free, unstructured time can leave parents looking for things to do.
Day trips can be the perfect diversion - venture out to explore new territory, and return home in time to sleep in the comfort of your own bed (no hotel expense, either!). We’ve rounded up more than 15 places in Massachusetts that are all at the most two hours from downtown Boston. If your family has a favorite day trip to go with kids, please add to our list in the comments section, below.
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