Boston

Beat Winter Boredom with 8 Awesome STEM Activities

Winter days can leave families in need of fun indoor activities. We worked with Sylvan Learning, a leader in STEM education for kids, to develop ideas for a “boredom buster” jar full of STEM activities. Each fun project is super simple and includes concrete STEM educational tips to bring the learning home. That’s what we love about Sylvan EDGE programs; the educators at Sylvan Learning always make sure that the kids go home understanding important STEM concepts while having fun doing it.

To make your STEM activities boredom busters jar just print out the downloadable sheets, cut out the activity cards, fold and place in a jar or bowl. Any time the kids get restless or need a screen time break, just pull an activity out for some at-home fun. Note: Some of these activities do take some preparation, so make sure to gather your materials—including freezing your colored ice sculpture shapes—in advance so you are ready to go when boredom calls...or whines, as the case may be.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Martin, Annie, and Winnie; Jan 16-20

We saw Hidden Figures over the weekend, and not only would I highly recommend the film to families with older kids, I think it's a fitting way to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Of course, there are many other meaningful ways to mark the holiday, and the Boston area has service opportunities aplenty along with celebrations through art, stamps, and music for all ages.

This week is also a big one for whimsical January holidays, starting with Nothing, moving on to a honey-loving golden bear, and wrapping up with a holiday double header. Keep reading to find out exactly what is being celebrated on Friday (hint: it's a little cheesy).

With these picks I hope you have an enriching and engaging week. If you're looking for more ideas for exploring the city with your kids each day, check our Event Calendar.

Ways to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. With Boston Kids

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day off from school, when families can explore the life, legacy, and lessons of the iconic civil rights leader. Monday is also a day on, a day of service when kids and adults are encouraged to help out in their communities and find ways to show kindness to others.

Boston offers families numerous ways to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy throughout the holiday weekend:

25 Things To Do With Kids in Woodstock, Vermont

Winter, spring, summer or fall, there’s never a bad time to visit Woodstock, Vermont. There’s plenty to do for all ages, but it’s an especially nice place to travel with kids. There are farms with animals to meet, nature trails to explore, and lots of great family-friendly food to enjoy. The town itself looks like a postcard and the surrounding areas are absolutely breathtaking, especially with fall foliage or fresh snow on nearby peaks.

Since we love Woodstock so much, we put together this list of 25 things to do with kids in and around the town. It’ll give you fun ideas no matter the season!

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend, January 14-16

There are many ways to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this weekend, and one of the best is by volunteering in the community, like at the annual MLK Day of Service. Other great ways to celebrate MLK Day include free events at the Museum of Fine Arts and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and special activities at the Spellman Museum of Stamps.

This weekend also features kids painting a snowman, Joyful Noise, and a miniature clay food making workshop. Swing by Club Passim for some family-friendly Celtic music on Saturday and then ring in the Japanese New Year on Sunday.

Also on Mommy Poppins Boston this week:

We wish you an enjoyable weekend and don't forget to check out the full Event Calendar!

25 Things To Do on an MLK Weekend Staycation in Boston

With winter break just behind us and February break coming up next month, you may be sticking close to home for the long weekend associated with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 16. But just because you aren’t traveling doesn’t mean your long weekend can’t feel like a vacation. We've rounded up 25 family-friendly activities that are sure to make your Boston staycation extra fun. And if you’re looking for MLK Day-specific events, check out our post on what's happening around the city.

See National Parks for Free in 2017 on These Free Entrance Days

A trip to one of our nation's incredible national parks may already be on your family travel to-do list for 2017. Whether it is or not, you may want to check out the just released FREE admission days at some of the country's largest parks. Courtesy of the National Park Service, the 10 FREE days all take place on easy-for-planning weekends, school breaks, and national holidays at select parks.

While many parks have free admission every day of the year, more than 100 of them, including some of the most popular destinations, charge $15 per person or more. Those waiving admission for these 10 holidays include some of those iconic, bucket list spots like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Acadia, Zion, Shenandoah, Glacier National Park, Olympic National Park, Harpers Ferry, Everglades National Park, and the Cape Cod Seashore. The freebies also extend to a few historical sites under the National Park Service's purview, like the New York home of celebrated American president Franklin D. Roosevelt and national historic parks like Morristown National Historic Park, the scene of an American Revolutionary War battle.

Mark your calendars as the first FREE admission day is coming up this month, Monday, January 19, Martin Luther King Day; and now, read on to find out the rest of the FREE days, and get a peek at some of the kid-friendly parks that are waiving admission. 

Free Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: A Wintry Mix; Jan 9-13

Whether the weather outside is frightful or delightful, we've found a reason for each day of the week to get out of the house with the children. This week's top picks, which are all free and all indoors, include trying a new class, enjoying the oasis of the library, joining in a meaningful celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and solving winter-themed math puzzles.

It looks like the latter part of the week may bring warmer temperatures and some sunshine: perfect for a winter walk, ice skating, or even a trip to the park.

Have an enriching week, and remember to check our Event Calendar for more ideas each day.

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Paw Patrol, Fantastic Beasts, and Free Skate; Jan 7-8

Hello, 2017! I may not have made it to midnight on New Year's Eve, but I feel like I’ve hit the ground running this new year and I hope you have, too. This weekend is all about family-friendly entertainment around the Boston area. South Shore Theatre Works is showing The Big Bad Musical: A Howling Courtroom Comedy and Debbie and Friends performs in Brookline with an interactive variety show. Vanessa Trien has teamed up with Julie Winslow to perform in their family music project, the Flip Flops Band (a free event!).

Looking to get outside and enjoy nature? Winter Trails Day is being celebrated in Weston with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (if there’s snow). There’s a Free Open Skate in Foxboro and on Saturday, Franklin Park Zoo is recognizing World Bird Day.

Also on Mommy Poppins this week:

Need more family fun ideas? Check out our full events calendar.

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