Waterfront/Faneuil Hall

Boston's New England Aquarium: Guide to What's New and What to Do with Kids

My son loves animals of all kinds, so I knew we had to take him to the New England Aquarium as soon as he was old enough for the outing. Our trip did not disappoint! He was enthralled by the beautiful sea creatures and even got to experience some up close at the touch tanks. Here’s what I learned when we went to the Aquarium, including which exhibits are "must-sees," where the best kid-friendly dining options are, and how you can score discounts. With a new, 9,000-gallon Indo-Pacific coral reef display opening this spring, it's an especially exciting time to hit the Aquarium. Interested in more of our favorite kid-friendly Boston attractions? Check out our museum guide.

Where To See Holiday Lights In and Around Boston

Sure, not everyone goes in for all the traditions and tchotchkes that are associated with the holiday season. But we don't know anyone—young or old—who isn't delighted by winter wonderlands filled with lighted displays, twinkling trees, and sparkling scenes. We've rounded up some of the best light displays in or around Boston, from newer sensations like Blink!, downtown, to the storied La Salette Shrine, south of the city. Whether you venture out to a dazzling display or just drive around to these spectacularly decorated neighborhood homes, set aside an evening, bring a thermos of cocoa, and experience some magic as a family.

Boston Restaurants for Thanksgiving: Hosting All That Family Without Messing Up Your House

Thanksgiving is all about food and family, two of our favorite things. And while we love cooking a big meal, we also love when someone else does it for us … especially the clean-up! Going out to eat on Thanksgiving isn’t exactly traditional, but with a little help from some of Boston’s best restaurants, you can have a holiday that’s delicious, relaxing, and memorable. We rounded up 11 local spots that are serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal fit for the whole family so you can have a fun and festive holiday without all the mess and stress.

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.

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. 

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. The trick is, many indoor pools require pricey memberships, and not all welcome kids. We've rounded up some pools that offer drop-in swim times for families. A note: Before digging out the swimsuits and announcing the idea to the kids, be sure to call ahead, as schedules and rates can fluctuate.

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!

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Banned Books, Fun Physics, and Giant Pumpkins; Sept 25- 29

What would we do without our libraries? For one thing, we wouldn't necessarily know about all the interesting, commemorative months and weeks being celebrated around the country. This week kicks off with a nod to Hispanic Heritage Month with an event to open preschoolers' eyes (and ears) to Spanish music, when Berklee dynamo Naty Hernandez leads a singalong on Boylston. A day later, older kids can take a stand against censorship with a clever craft project for Banned Books Week in the North End. 

You wouldn't know it by the balmy temps outside, but some outdoor programs are ending for the season, and a public arts' program on the Greenway closes with a showing of a Tim Burton classic. Physics takes the spotlight with a new program in the south 'burbs, while up north, the Topsfield Fair gets going with our favorite fall spectacle of all: gargantuan pumpkins

For more interesting activities this week in Boston and beyond, check out our Events Calendar.

New at the Aquarium: A Cornucopia of Lobsters and Shark Science

Want to thrill your kid or wow an out-of-towner? The New England Aquarium, just maybe the crown jewel of our many awesome downtown attractions, seems to produce more oohs and aahs than just about any other tourist spot in town. That may be because its regular highlights are living creatures who age, change, and shift positions depending on the day; or perhaps because the scientists there are regularly adding new, interesting species into the mix. Case in point: the new, exceedingly rare yellow American Lobster, whose arrival makes for a seasonally appropriate cornucopia of crustaceans in the suddenly colorful Northern Waters Gallery on the Aquariums third floor.

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.

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