Boston

Weekend Fun: Dickens, Kwanzaa, and a Mariachi Band, Dec 15-16

As much as we all look forward to the traditional holiday events happening each year, it's refreshing to see unique, multicultural events pop up on the calendar. This weekend, families can take a candlelit peace walk, discover the true meaning of Kwanzaa, and carol with a mariachi band. Catch this classic Dickens tale with a dance-theater twist or attend a holiday hootenanny (and CD release party) with Matt Heaton. And for an always delightful, theatrical twist on global holiday traditions, head to Cambridge for the Christmas Revels, back for its 48th season with a Nordic theme this year.

6 Places Where Kids Can Learn to Ski or Snowboard Near Boston

Teaching a child to ski is no easy feat. Between the gear, ticketing costs, and power struggles, it can often be a better bet to sign a child up for ski lessons. Luckily, within an 80-minute drive of Boston, there are a half-dozen simple ski facilities—five downhill mountains, and one cross country course—with gentle, wide-open slopes that are perfect for learning this great winter activity. All offer rentals and lessons, courtesy of experienced instructors who are accustomed to working with new (and sometimes overwhelmed) skiers, and a family-friendly atmosphere where a slopes-confident parent can, alternatively, have plenty of space to teach a child on their own. While a good snowstorm can happen at any time, the mountains are making as much snow as they possibly can. Call or register online ahead as far in advance as possible, and take heart—just like a potty training and two-wheeling, they will get the hang of it eventually! After a few lessons, your family may even feel a bit more ambitious and ready for a classic New England ski weekend getaway!

6 Easy Winter Day Trips for Boston Families

Ah, winter—the season of cozy togetherness, indoor fun, and, yes, the need to escape the house (at any cost). While a trip to a local museum or play place often fits the bill, sometimes, we all feel the need to stretch our horizons beyond the I-495 corridor. There's plenty of nearby skiing and indoor water park action to be had, of course, but in the event you're looking for something mellower (and, let's face it, cheaper), we have some ideas for you. Here are five day trips that allow you to wake up and fall asleep in your own beds, while packing in lots of beyond-Boston fun in between.

25 Fun Things to Do in Miami with Kids (Beyond the Beach)

When you travel with kids, it's hard to think about vacationing in Florida beyond the mega theme parks in Orlando. Yet, the Sunshine State delivers numerous family-friendly destinations, from Tallahassee to the Keys, as well as one of our favorite cities: Miami.

Miami offers beach-ready weather for most of the year and moderate temps for the rest of it, so it welcomes visitors fleeing northern climes year-round. But there's more than the beach to entertain kids in this South Florida hot spot. You'll find outdoor activities galore, from boating and pools to fun splash pads and parks for strolling. Top-notch museums, animal encounters, and even top sports teams offer families endless options, and don't forget about Miami's proximity to the Everglades.

 Read on for our favorite things to do with kids in and around Miami, Florida.

Homes with Awesome Holiday Lights and Decor Around Boston

For some of us, it's a struggle to string our own little Christmas trees without losing a bulb (or our tempers). Others—including some of our Boston neighbors—are veritable pros at decking out their homes for the holidays. All over Boston and the 'burbs, there are spectacular public holiday light displays, but also families who've made a tradition of creating special sparkle on their own properties. So next time you have a free evening, pack some hot chocolate in a thermos, buckle up the kids, and take a road trip to see some of these joyful dwellings. It's sure to inspire holiday spirit (and maybe some ideas for your own abode). Note that some homes and neighborhoods might be still finalizing displays or take periodic days off...drop us a tip at boston@mommypoppins.com if you have any updates.

Weekend Fun: Gingerbread, Nutcrackers, and Pops; Dec 8-9

This weekend is all about gingerbread and nutcrackers with these special storytimes. Celebrate winter with sock skating and winter crafts, catch this Disney winter classic on the big screen (for free!), and listen to the music of the season at this popular family-friendly show. With Hanukkah's eighth and final night on Monday, don't miss the last of the celebrations at a menorah lighting and one more Vanessa Trien concert

Polar Express 4-D: A Movie with Train Ride Thrills at the MOS

Each of the past five years, I've planned to bring my Polar Express-obsessed boys to a Christmas-themed train ride down the Cape or Rhode Island. But packed sports schedules and school calendars have caused me to lose steam on the idea of even a slightly far-flung locomotive journey. Luckily, I found out about a new, Polar Express-themed adventure that's right in Boston, lasts all of 20 minutes, costs just $6, and packs real charm and excitement into almost all of that time. New this year, the Museum of Science is running the Polar Express 4-D Experience in its specialty theater space through January 6, 2019. As a bonus: All Aboard! Trains at Science Park, featuring model trains and interactive train tables, is on exhibit, too. Do your kids have trains on the brain? Here's what to expect with a train-themed visit to MOS.

25 Christmas Movies to Fill Your Family with Holiday Cheer

 Is your house brimming with the magic of Christmas and the holiday season? When the tree has been trimmed, and all the gifts have been wrapped, it's time to put the kids into those Christmas jammies to snuggle up with the perfect family Christmas movie. Don’t let picking the wrong festive flick turn you into a Grinch.

Unlike the naughty list, this holiday movie list is filled with positive messages, classic tales, and just the right amount of seasonal cheer. So, pop some popcorn and enjoy a family movie night with one of these Christmas classics perfect for kids. 

8 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks for Kids and Families in and Around Boston

Whether your family is hitting the rink for the very first time or your kids have already taken several ice skating lessons, gliding on one of the outdoor ice skating rinks around Boston can be a fun, affordable way for families to get outside and stay active in the wintertime. Read on for some of our favorite rinks in the Boston area, with offerings like gorgeous city views and snack bars where you can warm up with a cup of hot cocoa.

Best Things to Do in Charleston, South Carolina with Kids

Warm, charming, and packed with history, Charleston, South Carolina, regularly tops the lists of America’s most visit-worthy cities, and it’s easy to see why. Beautiful beaches and waterways, leafy streets and parks, gorgeous architecture, and a thriving cultural scene mean there’s always something to see and do. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that Charleston is one of the best food cities in the country.

Best of all, Charleston is especially fun to visit with kids. It’s easy to get around, the weather is almost always nice (even though the summer months can be sticky and humid), and the overall vibe is incredibly welcoming to families. Our family has been vacationing in Charleston and the neighboring barrier islands for over a decade: Here are the things we love to do, the places we love to eat or stay at, and—just as important—what we’d recommend skipping with children in tow.

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