Boston

Boston Restaurants for Thanksgiving: Hosting All That Family Without Messing Up Your House

Thanksgiving is all about food and family, two of our favorite things. And while we love cooking a big meal, we also love when someone else does it for us … especially the clean-up! Going out to eat on Thanksgiving isn’t exactly traditional, but with a little help from some of Boston’s best restaurants, you can have a holiday that’s delicious, relaxing, and memorable. We rounded up 10 local spots that are serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal fit for the whole family so you can have a fun and festive holiday without all the mess and stress.

20 Free (or Almost Free) Halloween Activities for Families in and Around Boston

The days finally have a real fall crispness to them, the leaves are turning, and front steps are flickering with the glow of carved pumpkins at night. There’s lots of spooky fun and not-so-spooky fun to be had, from costume parades to pumpkin festivals, and there's plenty to do for free. Take the kids to a few of these free Halloween activities for families—and save your money for goodies to give to trick-or-treaters.

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Halloween Events at Zoos Around Boston

How do you possibly make Halloween even more fun for children? By adding some real live animals in the mix! Zoos in New England are getting into the Halloween spirit and inviting guests to visit in costume to trick or treat with the critters who live there. Halloween events at all zoos are even included with the price of admission...and costumes are highly encouraged, of course.

Cooking with Kids in and Around Boston: Classes, Camps, and Parties

Whether our kids are adventurous eaters or too timid to try anything beyond boxed mac ’n’ cheese, teaching them about food prep, healthy eating, and nutrition is one of the more important things we as parents can do for their well being. Cooking together at home is one way to do this, but there are also plenty of opportunities for “instructive” fun through kids’ cooking classes and workshops.

One of the appealing aspects of kids’ cooking instruction is that it quite often takes the form of a single-class workshop or two- to three-session program. So, even if your children have regular sports team commitments or semester-long dance or music classes, they can still satisfy their inner foodies without missing a goal or a beat. Plus, many kids’ cooking classes are offered during those long school vacations or summer breaks—just the thing to keep kids engaged and entertained. Cooking workshops also make fun birthday parties - kids learn something, have fun, and are well fed. And (maybe best of all!), no mess for the parents. (More cooking party ideas here.)

We’ve rounded up five places that offer kids’ cooking classes and workshops in and around Boston. Get ready for your kids to cook up something great!

25 Things to Do in Concord, MA with Kids

History, nature, literature, and the arts—whatever grabs your family’s interest, chances are, you’ll find lots to do in Concord. Just 45 minutes west of Boston, Concord has been called one of the more picturesque New England villages and is known far and wide for its revolutionary roots, extensive literary culture, and, of course, the "shot heard round the world." If you've ever been on Boston's Freedom Trail, a visit to this town is a perfect next step.

With great family-friendly spots to eat, too, we'd venture to say that Concord is just about the easiest, quickest, most satisfying day trip one could take from the city. Just plan your itinerary wisely using our tips below, and we're pretty sure that everyone will come home from Concord satisfied, and having learned a thing or two about our state's great history.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Peace Day, Family Science, and Shopkins; Sept 18- 22

Looking for a treat to make busy September a little sweeter? Look toward the end of next week, when there's fun to be had from downtown stages to the country fields. As if the little plastic confections don't seem to pop up in every nook and cranny of your world already, Shopkins will be taking the spotlight on Thursday only; if you have a collector on your hands, grab your tickets now. And on Friday, the all-new Mega Farm Festival, a souped-up offshoot of all the family fun and great eats that Davis Farmland has long hosted, kicks off harvest season.

And yes, there's enrichment to be had this week, too. Homework helpers, those wonderful fairies who volunteer their time at the Boston Public Library, start their (free!) services in J.P. this week. There's a very special storytime focusing on world peace at the Mary Baker Eddy, and an opportunity to get the whole family thinking about science—and working together—at a fun event in Roslindale.

For more interesting activities this week in Boston and beyond, check out our Events Calendar.

New at the Aquarium: A Cornucopia of Lobsters and Shark Science

Want to thrill your kid or wow an out-of-towner? The New England Aquarium, just maybe the crown jewel of our many awesome downtown attractions, seems to produce more oohs and aahs than just about any other tourist spot in town. That may be because its regular highlights are living creatures who age, change, and shift positions depending on the day; or perhaps because the scientists there are regularly adding new, interesting species into the mix. Case in point: the new, exceedingly rare yellow American Lobster, whose arrival makes for a seasonally appropriate cornucopia of crustaceans in the suddenly colorful Northern Waters Gallery on the Aquariums third floor.

Fall Festivals in Boston You Don't Want to Miss

It’s not officially autumn yet, but it will be soon and that means it’s time for fall festivals. There are so many in the Boston area that it can be hard to know which ones are good for families. We took the guesswork out of it by narrowing the field down to our favorites. You’ll find good food, fun activities, music, performances, and much more at these 10 fall festivities in Boston that are perfect for both parents and kids.

8 Great Indoor Places to Have a Kid’s Birthday Party in or Near Boston

If you want to have a wonderful party for your child, but you’re overwhelmed by the choices and don't have time to mine for information, I have a gift for you: Recommendations for eight great indoor birthday party places in the Boston area, and everything you need to know about them.

The places featured are different in many ways, but they all have some things in common: They have been recommended by local parents, are indoors (so you don't have to worry about the weather), minimize the amount of work you have to do, and offer parties that kids with a wide range of interests enjoy. So read on, pick a place, and have a party your child will be talking about for a long time to come. Since prices may fluctuate and there's a range of packages at many places, we give you an idea of costs ranging from $ (inexpensive) to $$$ (more pricey).

If your child is a little older and prefers parties with more of a sporty spin, you may want to also consider our picks for indoor parties for active kids in Boston, the North suburbs, South suburbs, and MetroWest.

Six Boston-Area Playgrounds with Shade

Recently, we went on a hunt for special playgrounds that have unique elements that make them worthy of getting in the car and driving to. But in the dog days of summer, we have one more criteria that's essential for a perfect day at the park: shade. Here are six tree-lined parks and playgrounds with an hour of Boston that have natural elements to keep you cool while you're having fun.

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