BackBay/ Beacon Hill

8 Great Full Day or Extended Day Preschools in or Near Boston

Finding a preschool that fits your family is a huge undertaking: From Montessori programs to bilingual preschools, there are many nursery school and pre-K options in the Boston and greater Boston area. For many families, a key feature of a preschool is a full-day schedule. So we've rounded up some popular, parent-approved schools in the Boston area, from the city to Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville, that have full-day programs or widely-used extended-day options. More time in a super school can mean peace of mind for busy parents, not to mention extra learning and social time for your budding student.

What to Do on the Charles River with Boston Kids: Sailing, Kayaking, Duck Tours, and More

Winding through 23 towns, Boston's beloved Charles River is a great place to visit with kids, whether they're keen to cruise on the water or just play alongside it. We've rounded up our favorite family activities on the Charles, including hopping a Duck Boat, renting a canoe, picnicking on the Esplanade, and cheering on rowers at the Head of the Charles. No matter how you choose to spend your waterfront day, kids are sure to come away from their adventures with renewed appreciation for our hometown river.

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!

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.

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.

Boston-Area Spring Festivals and Fairs for Kids and Families

As March winds down and the city blossoms into springtime, there are few better ways to celebrate than by getting outside at one of Boston’s fun, family-friendly festivals. With so many to choose from, it seems like the whole city is cheering the warmer, sunnier days with music, art, flowers, and food. And the best part? Many of these special events are free. Mark your calendars now and enjoy the anticipation of balmier, more festive days ahead!

17 Science and Tech Summer Camps for Boston Kids who Love STEM

Surrounded as we are in Boston by so many tech start-ups, a world-class science museum, and some of the top college computer-science departments in the country, it's no surprise that many of our kids are fascinated by all things STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Luckily, a growing number of tech-minded summer camps are cropping up all over the Boston region to meet demand, and the options for local kids range from a program for wannabe inventors to a science immersion program just for girls. We’ve rounded up a dozen great school vacation programs where kids can tinker, make, build, code, invent, and experiment.

Read on to find a STEM camp that’s a good fit for your sci-tech lover, and sign up soon—early-bird specials are widely available this month, and some of these camps fill up fast.

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.

7 Public Libraries With Great Play Spaces Around Boston

There are all sorts of local spots to play indoors when the weather gets frightful. And some of the best spots are absolutely free—including some very special local libraries, which feature unique play spaces along with shelves of books. Whether you’ve got a preschooler or a pre-teen, a trip to at least one of these libraries will be a fun, brain-boosting escape on a cold or wet day.

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.

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