Cambridge

Bust My Buffers! Thomas the Train Rolls Into the Museum of Science

Wondering what a cheeky little tank engine can teach our kids about science? With STEM learning stations and opportunities for developing social skills, the Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails temporary exhibit at Boston's Museum of Science is a sneakily educational outing that children will experience as just plain fun. In a city filled with fun museums for kids, I recently chose to bring a preschooler and a toddler to this new exhibit at MOS, and I was so glad I did. The kids came away from the visit with new knowledge about train engineering and history, and an even deeper love for Thomas.

Special Needs Classes and Enrichment Programs for Boston Kids

Like all kids, children with intellectual or physical differences are born with a natural curiosity, and deserve programs that boost their brains, bodies, and social skills. The right environment is critical to a child's development, so we've sought out classes and programs that provide fun and nurturing opportunities for children with special needs, specifically. Along with these classes in sports, the arts, and more, you'll find more enrichment programs in our Boston Classes and Activities Guide.

8 Great Full Day or Extended Day Preschools in or Near Boston

Finding a preschool that fits your family is a huge undertaking: From Montessori programs to bilingual preschools, there are many nursery school and pre-K options in the Boston and greater Boston area. For many families, a key feature of a preschool is a full-day schedule. So we've rounded up some popular, parent-approved schools in the Boston area, from the city to Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville, that have full-day programs or widely-used extended-day options. More time in a super school can mean peace of mind for busy parents, not to mention extra learning and social time for your budding student.

5 Free New Spraygrounds and Splash Pads to Visit with Boston Kids this Summer

During our short, humid summers, Boston kids are always on the hunt for ways to cool off in the summertime. While free swimming pools are a great affordable option, spraygrounds are sublime for toddlers, preschoolers, or big kids looking for a quick way to cool off. Even if you've scouted out the these popular splash parks and splash pads, you might not know about these new spots in the Boston area. So throw on your suits, slather on the sunscreen, and head to one of these five fun (and free!) spraygrounds.

What to Do on the Charles River with Boston Kids: Sailing, Kayaking, Duck Tours, and More

Winding through 23 towns, Boston's beloved Charles River is a great place to visit with kids, whether they're keen to cruise on the water or just play alongside it. We've rounded up our favorite family activities on the Charles, including hopping a Duck Boat, renting a canoe, picnicking on the Esplanade, and cheering on rowers at the Head of the Charles. No matter how you choose to spend your waterfront day, kids are sure to come away from their adventures with renewed appreciation for our hometown river.

12 Boston-Area Restaurants Where Kids Can Play While You Eat (and Relax)

It’s one thing to go to a kid-friendly restaurant, where you know you won’t get any dirty looks from the proprietors or other patrons. But family dining heaven might just be a place that also allows kids to play—the idea being that you can actually enjoy your meal after they wolf down theirs. We decided to round up a list of such restaurants, focusing on ones that serve up truly good food along with some sort of entertainment. We call that a win-win!

10 Family-Friendly Boston Hotels that Make Stays Special for Kids

Whether you're planning a little staycation or are visiting Boston on a trip, the right hotel can make a getaway feel all the more special. There are plenty of places to stay in Boston, but some hotels are better than others at making families feel comfortable and catered to. From spectacular pools to scavenger hunts, check-in goodies to cooking classes, these 10 hotels pull out all the stops to make sure tiny travelers have an unforgettable stay. And while you may be tempted to hang out in your room all day, Boston has so much to offer families, so get out and explore! Hit some museums, walk the Freedom Trail, take a spin on a carousel, or head to one of the city's awesome parks. You'll take heart knowing that a comfy bed awaits you at the end of a fun-packed day.

10 Great Summer Camps for Preschoolers in and Around Boston

Ready or not, summer is just a few months away and it's time to plan a way to keep your Boston kids occupied. This is especially true for preschool-aged kids, for whom summer planning can be particularly tricky: They're old enough to want (and need) some mental and social stimulation outside the house, but not so mature that you can plant them at any old camp and trust they'll make do (or articulate why they're not). The good news is that the Boston area offers lots of great summer programs for preschoolers, from traditional day camps to out-of-the-box options. We've listed some of our favorite summer camps that cater to the little kids, even as young as toddlers.

Find more great summer camp options for your Massachusetts kids in our Camp Guide and Directory of listings, which is searchable by interest, age, or location.

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.

Cooking with Kids in and Around Boston: Classes, Camps, and Parties

Whether our kids are adventurous eaters or too timid to try anything beyond boxed mac ’n’ cheese, teaching them about food prep, healthy eating, and nutrition is one of the more important things we as parents can do for their well being. Cooking together at home is one way to do this, but there are also plenty of opportunities for “instructive” fun through kids’ cooking classes and workshops.

One of the appealing aspects of kids’ cooking instruction is that it quite often takes the form of a single-class workshop or two- to three-session program. So, even if your children have regular sports team commitments or semester-long dance or music classes, they can still satisfy their inner foodies without missing a goal or a beat. Plus, many kids’ cooking classes are offered during those long school vacations or summer breaks—just the thing to keep kids engaged and entertained. Cooking workshops also make fun birthday parties - kids learn something, have fun, and are well fed. And (maybe best of all!), no mess for the parents. (More cooking party ideas here.)

We’ve rounded up five places that offer kids’ cooking classes and workshops in and around Boston. Get ready for your kids to cook up something great!

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