Jamaica Plain

12 Playgrounds with Tot Lots Designed Especially for Boston Babies and Toddlers

One of the things I’ve been looking forward to doing with my little boy is taking him to a playground. A stable sitter, he’s just about ready for a bucket swing...just in time for spring! But not all playgrounds cater to the sub-preschool set. Luckily, there are several in and around Boston that do have sandboxes, swings, and smaller play structures built specifically with the littlest kids in mind. Here are some of our favorite local "tot lots" with special features that are perfect for older babies and toddlers.

Boston-Area Spring Festivals You Don't Want to Miss

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!

10 Boston Winter Festivals You Won't Want to Miss

The holiday season is so festive and fun that it’s easy to get some serious post-holiday blues. Add to that the fact that winter is just gearing up here in Boston, and you (and the kids) could be going stir crazy in no time. However, just because the holidays are over and the weather is frightful doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Here are 10 kid-friendly festivals that will have you beating the post-holiday blues in no time and keep the fun rolling all the way until spring!

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.

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.

10 Awesome Boston-Area Playgrounds Worthy of Getting in the Car

Having a playground in your neighborhood is ideal. It’s a nice break from playing in your own yard and a great place to meet up for playdates. But going to the same playground over and over can get tiresome. Luckily there are several really special playgrounds near Boston that are worth packing up the snacks and strollers and driving to. Here are 10 of the best that are ready to host your kids’ summer adventures.

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.

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.

5 Spots to Go Fishing with Kids Near Boston

Looking for an antidote to the fast-paced, tech-saturated culture our kids are growing up in? One word: fishing. Demanding preparation, patience, and stillness, fishing is a pasttime that might be a challenge for our instant-gratification generation—and that's exactly what's so great about it. Our street backs up to a little pond, and from the time they could capably hold a pole, our kids have tried their luck hooking sunfish and striped bass on free weekend days and evenings. Our catches have been few, but our boys have learned some lessons about treasuring the process over the final product, and the quiet moments contemplating the water have made for some great memories. 

Spring is a great time to introduce kids to fishing, as many local ponds and lakes are often brimming with fish (sometimes stocked by MassWildlife). Here are some family-friendly fishing holes within a short drive of Boston—and some tips for making a day out on the pond or lake a successful one, whether the fish are biting or not.

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