Dorchester

6 Summer Birthday Party Spots for Boston Kids

Summer is nearly upon us and that means it’s time to plan birthday parties for kids born when school is out. I have a summer baby, so I’ve thought a lot about where to have a party when the weather is nice and everyone’s on vacation. We've shared ideas for outdoor options where you can plan a free, spontaneous celebration, but we discovered several more venues—some indoors, some out—that specialize in summery kids' parties. Here are six of our favorite warm-weather birthday bash spots around Boston.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Halloween Art, Pumpkin Science, and Jack-O-Lanterns; Oct 2-6

From storefronts to Starbucks beverages, pumpkin is everywhere. But don't think kids are tiring of seeing, tasting, or celebrating the humble squash that heralds Halloween season. This week, they can get their fix at a number of events that feature pumpkin-themed activities. Artsy kids can make some spookily beautiful holiday decor close to the city, while science lovers are invited to dig into pumpkin science in the north 'burbs. At the the end of the school and work week, a trip to Providence would be well worth it, since the region's most stupendous Jack-O-Lantern display is illuminated at the zoo.

For more science, drop by Brighton for a kid-friendly exploration of buoyancy; or for more Halloween fun, don't miss the big parade that officially kicks off seasonal fun in Salem. Whatever you do, don't forget to bookmark our Events Calendar, since we're adding new activities to the mix each day.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Eco-Pop, Tidepools, and Yoga with Goats; Aug 7-Aug 11

Crabs in the library? Yoga with goats? Some of the events we're excited about sound more like a Seuss story than real life, but that's partly what makes this early-August week so much fun around Boston. On Wednesday, the Aquarium folks bring their mobile touch tank to Brighton bookstacks. The next day, you can bring your limber little ones up to Bedford for barnyard yoga and some farm treats. 

Speaking of farm treats, Gore Place is once again hosting its fantastically simple (and delicious) roast corn party, where the kids can let loose some energy on the property while you take care of dinner. (If you have a yen for more peak produce, you can pick-your-own blueberries this week, too).

It's also a good time to help kids think beyond themselves. A workshop in Dorchester bring children's attention to the historic buildings that shape our city, while an event in J.P. teaches environmental awareness through music. Still eager for more activities? Check out our Events Calendar for other exciting events this week and beyond.

20 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 entertain your tot and get you both out of the house.

15 Spots in Boston to Get an Amazingly Delicious Frappe

It may be below freezing for long chunks of the year in Boston, but that doesn’t stop our city from absolutely loving ice cream. And to show just how serious they are about cool treats, northern New Englanders have developed their own term for a thick, creamy ice-cream-based drink—a frappe. Basically, a frappe is just a fancy term for what the rest of the country calls a milkshake (and what Rhode Islanders, no joke, call a cabinet—because, duh, that's where the blender is kept.) Whatever term your household uses, these frozen drinks are huge hit with kids, especially when temperatures rise. The next time a special treat is in order, hit one of these amazing frappe joints, which range from a 19th-century dairy farm to a lactose-free creamery. We can hear the happy slurping already.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Flower Art, Bubbles, and a Swan Parade; May 1-5

 Perhaps Boston's prettiest month, May is always ushered in with a bit of fanfare in Boston. The week starts with an annual celebration of artistic flowers downtown, and a parade for a fine-feathered celebrity couple in the Public Garden. Local birds are also in the spotlight at the zoo this week, with an educational event honoring some very special species. By week's end, kids can also learn how two of their very favorite phenomena—bubbles and Star Wars—have a lot to teach us about science. See our Event Calendar for more reasons to bust loose of the regular routine this week.

7 Secret Playgrounds in the Boston Area

Big, splashy, and downright fantastic playgrounds and parks abound in Boston, and they're the cornerstone of spring and summer fun around town. But sometimes you need a rec space where mayhem is at a minimum, and keeping track of your kid doesn't feel like a "Where's Waldo" challenge. If you’re looking for a playground that won’t be packed with children (and their parents), you’re in luck! Here’s a list of seven local playgrounds where you and your kids might be able to frolic in (relative) peace and quiet.

8 Parks for Great (and Cheap!) Outdoor Birthday Parties in Boston

With warm weather making an appearance, it will soon be the best time of year to be outside in Boston. If your child was born in late spring, summer, or early fall, hosting their birthday party at a local park or playground is an easy, fun, and super-affordable option. Fortunately, there are a number of green spaces from Waltham to the water where kids parties' aren't just permitted, but welcomed. The best part of all? Most are free (or nearly free). Just be sure to call or email each park in advance to reserve a spot to spread out (if necessary) and find out what kind of food and extras—like bounce houses or live entertainment—are allowed.

Indoor Pools with Drop-In Family Swim Times in Boston

When the kids are wired but outdoor swimming is out of the question—nearly 10 months of the year in these parts—a dip in an indoor pool can be just the thing to set the day right. Swim lessons are important for setting a foundation for pool safety, but simply splashing around in the off-season can also help transform doggy paddlers into capable swimmers more quickly, making summer a little safer—and less stressful—for all.

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