North Suburbs

9 Hayrides Near Boston: Harvest or Halloween Fun

Hayrides are an autumn ritual for many families. Depending on the age of your child, you might be in search of a gentle meander through fields or a spine-chilling adventure that sparks Halloween excitement. Dozens of Boston-area farms offer hayrides, and we’ve rounded up them up for you here. The best part? Most of these farms also offer other activities to entertain your family, like apple pickingcorn mazes, and delicious cider doughnuts. Happy—or spooky—trails!

6 Corn Mazes Near Boston With Fun Extras Like Zip Lines, Playgrounds, and Rides

Larger-than-life corn mazes offer families the challenge of working through a tricky puzzle together, all while enjoying New England's crisp fall weather. Add exciting play areas and quirky country games (like apple and pumpkin blasters), and a corn maze outing becomes one of our favorite fall activities. Here are some of the Boston area's best corn mazes for an outdoor autumn adventure. Note: Most mazes are not stroller friendly, so if you’re bringing young children, consider using a backpack carrier.

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.

7 Mind-Blowing Ice Cream Treats to Try with Kids in Boston: Fluff Cones, Snowdaes, and More

Sometimes you go to an ice cream parlor because it's the neighborhood fave; or maybe you heard it's one of the best in Boston. But on an empty summer's day, it's extra special to go to an ice cream store simply because it has one fantabulous, unique treat that will knock everyone's Crocs off. These are the seven treats we're drooling over this summer. 

5 Free Outdoor Playgroups for Boston Babies and Toddlers

As soon as the weather turned warm, I couldn’t wait to get outside with my son. And while we love going to the park or playground by ourselves to swing or play with toys, it’s extra fun when a friend or two can join us. So when I started hearing about outdoor playgroups, an increasingly popular alternative to meet-ups in houses and rec centers, I knew we had to check them out. We’ve mostly been going to the Growing Center (see below) because we live in Somerville, but all of the groups look like really fun (not to mention no-cost) ways to soak up the sunshine and fresh air while meeting new friends.

4th of July Fireworks in and Around Boston

If you’re looking for a fireworks show to celebrate Independence Day, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is a classic choice. Heading over to the Esplanade in the morning to stake out a spot, enjoying a picnic and the outdoors all afternoon, then in the evening hearing the 1812 overture as fireworks explode in the sky is a Boston tradition families have been enjoying for decades. 

But if the sounds and crowds on the Esplanade seem a bit overwhelming, there are plenty of other great options. Lots of towns around Boston put on their own 4th of July displays that are just right for families with young children. Read on for some wonderful local celebrations with fireworks from June 30th through July 4th, and check out other Independence Day activities (an Ice Cream Cruise!) on our events calendar.

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