South End

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.

Best Pizza and Ice Cream Near Family Attractions in Boston

Introducing children to a great hiking trailmuseum, or landmark is always fun; that is until someone suddenly—and it's always suddenly—gets hungry. We've found that the best strategy for a smooth outing en famille is to pair an activity with a quick meal and easy dessert. Avoid frantic last-minute smartphone searches and map out these pizza and ice cream parlors, which are conveniently close to some of our favorite day-trip sites and also just happen to serve up some of the best slices and scoops in the area.

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.

10 Enrichment Classes for Boston Babies

As a new mom, I really looked forward to doing classes in subjects like music and art with my son. At first I thought we’d have to wait until he was older to do any sort of formal enrichment activity, but I soon learned that there are a ton of options available for even the littlest babies. These classes are a great way to bond and are perfect for providing much-needed stimulation for babies that are past the newborn stage. So here’s a roundup of 10 classes that are designed especially for Boston babies. 

11 New Ice Cream Shops in or Near Boston

There are few things more quintessentially summer than eating an ice cream cone or sipping a frappe on a hot day. And we can’t think of a better time to expand your treat horizons beyond your neighborhood shop than on National Ice Cream Day, a mid-July annual tradition. So we’re bringing you a rundown of some of Boston's most drive-worthy destination ice cream shops, from old-fashioned soft serve purveyors to trendy rolled ice cream makers.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Theater, Scooper Bowl, and a Strawberry Moon; June 5-June 9

The flowers are putting on a show this week, and so are performers on various kid-friendly stages. Starting on Monday, the innovative Pineapple Project will be traveling to Boston Public Libraries as part of Pride Month in Boston. Later in the week, the Broadway blockbuster Wicked swoops into Boston Opera House, and the Create.Inspire.Change Theater company debuts their take on Dahl's classic James and the Giant Peach. Meanwhile, cool temps aside, it will feel like summer at Boston City Plaza and the Discovery Centers of Acton, where kids can indulge in all-you-can-eat ice cream and learn about June's beautiful strawberry moon, respectively. But wait, there's (always!) more: Check out our Events Calendar for family-fun ideas this week and beyond.

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.

14 Boston-Area Gyms with Childcare

Between family and career, it can be really tough for busy parents to fit in a workout. But we all know exercise is an important part of staying healthy and it can be fun to boot. With that in mind, we rounded up 14 local gyms that offer on-site childcare.

The Best Places for a Family-Friendly Breakfast or Brunch in Boston

Dining out with kids isn’t always a fun proposition, but breakfast or brunch can be a great time to go to a restaurant with the whole family. Kids tend to be less cranky earlier in the day, and morning menu offerings suit even picky palates. That’s fine with us, because we love breakfast—french toast! omelets! coffee!—best of all. 

The Velveteen Rabbit: Parent Review of the Boston Children's Theatre Production

Featured in our recent roundup of holiday shows other than The Nutcracker, Boston Children's Theatre's production of The Velveteen Rabbit is a fantastic experience for even the youngest theatergoers.

The adaptation of the classic story by Margery Williams absolutely captivates. The actors, lively puppets, and adorable set bring to life the stuffed toy and the boy who makes him real. Child and teen actors add an authentic feel, quite possibly with the added effect of infecting young audience members with the acting bug. In fact, I might need to check out some local acting and theater classes now that my girls have seen other kids on the big stage!

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