Greater Boston

Jack O’Lantern Journey at Franklin Park Zoo: 5 Tips for a Fun Family Evening

Eager to experience some Halloween night magic before October 31? This fall season, Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo is just the place to do it. Through November 4, the zoo is home to the Jack O’Lantern Journey, a spectacular jack-o’-lantern display filled with thousands of intricately carved pumpkins over a half-mile trail. I headed to the event with my two children to find out everything you need to know before visiting. Here are my insider tips to make sure your visit with children is a real treat (with no tricks).

Free Public Art Around Boston that Will Blow Your Kids' Minds

Boston has long been home to some of the best museums in the world, showcasing art from around the world. Recently, the city has acquired an extensive collection of free public art where families can get up close and personal with installations of all kinds. Some of these exhibits are permanent, while others are on view during the fall. Either way, crisp autumn weather provides the perfect backdrop for exploring public art throughout the city.

20 Free Halloween Activities and Parades for Families in and Around Boston

The days finally have a real fall crispness to them, the leaves are turning, and front steps are flickering with the glow of carved pumpkins at night. There’s lots of spooky fun to be had, from costume parades to pumpkin festivals, and there's plenty to do for free. Take the kids to a few of these no-cist Halloween activities for families—and save your pennies for goodies to give to trick-or-treaters.

16 Boston-Area Beer Gardens and Oktoberfests that are Fun for Families

Boston has seen an absolute boom in beer gardens (or biergartens) in the last few years, and luckily for anyone with kids, many are welcoming to families. If you like to sip a craft brew outside, these are the places to go with little ones in tow: Many have live music, lawn games, and great views. From the heart of the city to several of the suburbs and mountain resorts nearby, there’s likely a beer garden near you that's open from summer through fall or just in celebration of Oktoberfest. Sip—and play!

25 Things We Can't Wait to Do in Boston This Fall

Ah, fall … can there be a better season to get out and do things as a family in Boston? The draining heat of summer is behind us, back to school jitters have subsided, and the threat of winter’s cold and snow is (hopefully) still weeks away. The beauty of nature surrounds us and family fun is plentiful, whether you want to experience a little culture or frolic on a farm. To herald in the season, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite, must-do autumn activities for families.

10 Fall Festivals in Boston You Don't Want to Miss

It’s not officially autumn yet, but it will be soon and that means it’s time for fall festivals. There are so many in the Boston area that it can be hard to know which ones are good for families. We took the guesswork out of it by narrowing the field down to our favorites. You’ll find good food, fun activities, music, performances, and much more at these 10 fall festivities in Boston that are perfect for both parents and kids.

17 Places to Go Apple Picking—and More—Near Boston

Nothing says fall in New England like a family excursion to the apple orchards. With many orchards to choose from, families can head a short distance from Boston for their choice of places to pick their own apples starting in late August through mid-October. We’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite places to pick apples in greater Boston, but with more than 50 farms in the area offering apple picking, there are many more to choose from. In addition to apple picking, many of the orchards offer petting farms, country stores, hay rides, corn mazes, and other kid-friendly activities, so leave plenty of time to take advantage of all these farms have to offer. You can even plan your child's fall farm birthday party at some of the farms. 

8 Consignment Shops for Kids: Back-to-School Clothes and Toys on a Budget Around Boston

With school and new classes starting soon, it’s time to think about outfitting your kids for the year. If your children are anything like mine, they blow through sizes at an alarming rate. Instead of always buying new, I like to browse consignment or secondhand shops, where I often find name-brand, gently used (or even never worn) apparel at a deep discount, not to mention enriching toys, books, and games. What's more, most of these stores are always looking for items to sell, so you can offload some of your own outgrown or never-used clothes and gear for credit. Here are 8 consignment shops where you can score some beautiful clothes and toys at a fraction of what you'd spend at the mall or main street.

9 Makerspaces Where Boston Kids Can Be Creative

Looking for ways to reboot kids' brains as the school year approaches? Consider a makerspace visit. For parents not familiar with makerspaces (also known as hackerspaces), think of them as similar to art classes—with an engineering twist. People go to create something through free expression with tools they otherwise don't have, but instead of oil-based paints and canvases, makerspaces provide 3D printers, computer-aided design software, and other technology.

Although folks of all ages can participate in makerspaces, the best ones for kids have an emphasis on youth-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning. Here is a rundown of fun and kid-centric makerspace options in the Boston area.

10 Al fresco Dining Spots for Families in and Around Boston

When the weather is so nice that you just want to spend every moment outdoors, you might wish you could find a restaurant with the elusive combination of good food, open-air seating, and a kid-friendly atmosphere. We’ve discovered a few places that meet all three of those criteria and will make a meal out with children downright enjoyable. Some of them even made our list of restaurants where kids can play while you relax, the ultimate combination for happy dining as a family.

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