Boston

Best Spray Parks and Water Fountains for Preschoolers in Boston

Boston has a lot of big, splashy, exciting spray parks and fountains that can be great fun for families in summer. But I've learned the hard way that not every water playground is suited for preschoolers. 

A few years back, when one of my sons was 4, I took him and his brothers to the Christian Science Plaza fountain along Huntington Avenue. To me as a parent, it was a wise selection: awesome fountain, I didn't have to walk far from the parking spot, and bathrooms were nearby in the Prudential Center. But my 4-year-old kid was horrified by the fountain and how big it was. It took him a half hour to even wander up to the where the water shot out of the ground, and soon after he got soaked and was freezing. It was not the best choice for a young child. 

With that thinking in mind, we've rounded up some gentler, preschooler-friendly local fountains and splash pads. Be sure to check out these outdoor pools with fun slide and spray features for more ways to cool off this summer, or if a climate-controlled environment is more your family's speed, consider a visit to a preschooler-friendly indoor water park. There are plenty of ways to get wet around Boston—without tears!

12 Boston-Area Restaurants Where Kids Can Play While You Eat (and Relax)

It’s one thing to go to a kid-friendly restaurant, where you know you won’t get any dirty looks from the proprietors or other patrons. But family dining heaven might just be a place that also allows kids to play—the idea being that you can actually enjoy your meal after they wolf down theirs. We decided to round up a list of such restaurants, focusing on ones that serve up truly good food along with some sort of entertainment. We call that a win-win!

May GoList - Best Things to Do with Kids in Boston

We’re feeling festive this month! For our May edition of the GoList, we’re highlighting fabulous and free spring festivals, annual Mother's Day traditions, and performances you won't want to miss. As you check out our top picks for things to do with kids in Boston and the 'burbs this month, click through to the event listings so you can add them to your calendar. Also, be sure to bookmark our Spring Fun Guide for even more family fun opportunities in and around town. Plus, we'll still send our free e-newsletters with our family-friendly event picks every week. Happy planning!

10 Family-Friendly Boston Hotels that Make Stays Special for Kids

Whether you're planning a little staycation or are visiting Boston on a trip, the right hotel can make a getaway feel all the more special. There are plenty of places to stay in Boston, but some hotels are better than others at making families feel comfortable and catered to. From spectacular pools to scavenger hunts, check-in goodies to cooking classes, these 10 hotels pull out all the stops to make sure tiny travelers have an unforgettable stay. And while you may be tempted to hang out in your room all day, Boston has so much to offer families, so get out and explore! Hit some museums, walk the Freedom Trail, take a spin on a carousel, or head to one of the city's awesome parks. You'll take heart knowing that a comfy bed awaits you at the end of a fun-packed day.

10 Things To Do at Harvard's Arnold Arboretum with Kids in Boston

Do you know that one of the area's most beautiful and peaceful parks is inside city limits—and absolutely free to visit? The second largest "link" in the Emerald Necklace of green space that encircles Boston, the Arnold Arboretum is 281 rolling acres of four-seasons fun, operated by Harvard University and located in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. The Arboretum is most well-known for its springtime blooms, especially lilacs, but families also flock here for summer hikes, fall foliage, and wintertime sledding. Here are 10 ideas to while away a day in nature, just a short drive or subway ride from downtown.

10 Great Summer Camps for Preschoolers in and Around Boston

Ready or not, summer is just a few months away and it's time to plan a way to keep your Boston kids occupied. This is especially true for preschool-aged kids, for whom summer planning can be particularly tricky: They're old enough to want (and need) some mental and social stimulation outside the house, but not so mature that you can plant them at any old camp and trust they'll make do (or articulate why they're not). The good news is that the Boston area offers lots of great summer programs for preschoolers, from traditional day camps to out-of-the-box options. We've listed some of our favorite summer camps that cater to the little kids, even as young as toddlers.

Find more great summer camp options for your Massachusetts kids in our Camp Guide and Directory of listings, which is searchable by interest, age, or location.

Animal Farms and Petting Zoos for Boston Kids

Your city slickers may not come across a lot farm animals on the daily, but that doesn't mean that they should miss out on some cute and cuddly barnyard fun. Whether you're city folk or farmers-in-training, these local farms and zoos are the perfect places for little ones to interact, feed, and play with some of their favorite furry creatures. Check out all the best places in Boston and the suburbs to meet cows, chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, and more below.

In Martin Richard's Memory, Amazing New Playground to Open in Boston

As an active little boy in Dorchester, 8-year-old Martin Richard loved climbing, swinging, and playing ball at his neighborhood playgrounds. His parents say this playtime helped develop Martin's keen sense of sportsmanship and fairness before his life was taken too soon in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. So it was a natural fit that a playground that emphasizes both fun and inclusiveness has been built in his honor. Opening June 15th next to the Boston Children's Museum at the Smith Family Waterfront, this one-acre addition to Boston's awesome playground scene features lots of green space, harbor views, handicap- and wheelchair-accessible play equipment, and innovative structures, from a giant play ship to a "water garden" splash pad. Here's the scoop on how designers and Martin's loved ones envisioned the park, and what Boston kids and families are sure to love about it.

25 Ways to Spend a Morning with Your Toddler in Boston

Once you've gotten through breakfast and downed your second (or third) cup of coffee, have you ever looked at your toddler and thought, "what the heck am I going to do with you today?" Too young for many full-time schools or camps, too old to just tag along on errands all day, toddlers are suited for fun, interactive activities that don't require a long attention span and will tucker them out for their afternoon nap. Fortunately for parents and caregivers, there are a plenty of great local activities that will get you both out of the house; and many attractions are 100% free for toddlers.

April GoList: Best Things To Do with Kids in Boston

April is jam-packed full of fun ways to soak up springtime...and as always, our Boston GoList features a carefully curated roundup of the absolute best things to do with kids throughout the month. Sheepshearing, stargazing, Easter egg hunts, and Patriots Day parades are just some of the awesome events on tap for April. And with warmer weather on its way, it's a good time to bookmark our spring fun guide, too. 

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