East 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!

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.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Outdoor Theater, City Splash, and Mobile Red Sox; July 17-21

With kids in tow, it can be hard—not to mention pricey—to make it to the theater, a lake vacation, or a professional baseball game. But a beautiful thing about this week (other than the weather looking up, of course), is that some of these attractions are coming to a regular old neighborhood near you...for free! On Monday, the dynamic theater group Liars and Believers bring their wacky physical comedy to a Cambridge elementary school playground. The next day, families with older kids aren't just allowed—but encouraged—to descend on the Esplanade and splash around the Charles. On Wednesday, baseball fans can have an interactive Red Sox experience in East Boston. 

If you're looking to soak up the sunshine this week, consider a picnic dinner (with singalongs) on the loveliest lawn in J.P., or a stop at a world-class sand sculpture contest (before the weekend crowds descend). There are loads of other ways to stretch your legs and get your sillies out; just check out our Events Calendar, which we update daily.

8 Pools Where Kids Swim Free (or Nearly Free) in Boston

When the temperatures soar in Boston, you can always stop by a sprinkler park or wading pool to cool off a little; but sometimes, a refreshing swim in a bonafide pool is in order. Sure, there are some swanky hotel or membership pools inside city limits where you can pay a pretty penny to swim, but when kids and diaper bags are in tow, you don't need much more than a safe stretch of cool water to feel happy. Here, we’ve rounded up eight great swimming pools in Boston where kids and parents can splash, float, or practice strokes all summ

Best Beaches for Families Within an Hour of Boston

We’re lucky here in Massachusetts to have so many beautiful beaches to choose from when the temperature soars. With lots of room to dig, play, and swim, a stretch of sand on the edge of the salty surf might be the perfect place to take kids in the summer. But with so many beaches to choose from, it can be tough to know which ones are really right for families. So we’ve rounded up eight of our favorite sandy spots to visit each summer—all within an hour of Boston!
 
Carson Beach—South Boston

5 Montessori Preschools in Boston for Little Learners

Deciding where to send your child to preschool isn’t easy, but selecting a specific type of school can really help narrow down your options. We have written about bilingual and language immersion preschools throughout the Boston area, and now we're focusing on Montessori preschools in the city so you can see which one seems like a good fit for your child.

The Montessori method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori about 100 years ago. Most Montessori schools place children in mixed-age classrooms, allow students to self-direct their activities, allow large blocks of uninterrupted time to work, focus on discovery rather than instruction and use specialized materials. There are five preschools in Boston that use the Montessori philosophy to help children learn and grow:

5 Places to Watch Airplanes on Boston's North Shore

I met a fella recently who was stationed with binoculars on the border of East Boston and Winthrop, gazing at the planes lift off from nearby Logan Airport.

“It's beautiful to watch. It's almost mystical,” he told me.

A handful of youngsters also peered at the planes, which, depending on the wind direction, buzzed right overhead with a thunderous roar as they headed to destinations unknown.

If you have kids who are into aircraft, there are some great spots on the North Shore to watch the planes come into and leave the airport. Here are top viewing choices, along with other nearby activities – including the beach, restaurants, and playgrounds – to enjoy:

10 Perfect Places to Fly a Kite in Boston With Kids

Chicago may be the Windy City, but it often seems like Boston could have earned that nickname, too. Ocean breezes are a near-constant presence and there’s no better way to harness them than by flying a kite. Despite Boston’s low elevation, there are plenty of hills and beaches in the area that provide the perfect places to get some air. We’ve rounded up 10 of them, some of which also have awesome playgrounds. Now go fly a kite!

Take the Train to These 10 Boston-Area Beaches

With all of the beautiful beaches in New England, spending a day on the sand by the ocean is a popular summer activity. But parking can be really difficult to come by—not to mention very expensive. Luckily there’s a better way: Take the T (or the commuter rail) to the beach! It'll add to the adventure and ensure a day of fun in the sun.

7 of the Best Playgrounds in Boston

Going to your local playground is the perfect activity for free summer fun. But sometimes you're away from home and in need of a jungle gym for the kids to play on. Luckily there are several really special playgrounds in Boston that are just waiting for you to explore. No matter what neighborhood you're in, chances are there's a great playground nearby. Here are seven of the best in Boston.

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