North Suburbs

15 Fun Indoor Playgrounds for Kids North of Boston

When winter won't budge, and you've run out of at-home craft and project ideas, it may be time to hit an indoor play space. Head north and you can have your pick: From trampolines to crazy mazes to inflatables, Boston's North Shore is home to tons of play zones where kids can get their energy out. In addition to exercise and entertainment, many of these venues offer special events (like parents' nights out), healthy snacks, birthday parties, workshops, and classes. Here are 15 of our north-of-town favorites; for dozens more options in and around Boston, check out our indoor fun guide.

9 Drop-In Indoor Playgrounds Where Boston Kids Can Get Their Energy Out

As temperatures hover around freezing and even trusty toys are getting tiresome, every parent is looking for fun winter activities that can help kids expend energy and get their sillies out indoors. Just in time for February school vacation, we’ve rounded up 10 indoor play spaces where little and big kids can slide, climb, dodge, play pretend, and make friends—just as they might on their favorite outdoor playgrounds. Most are a drive outside city limits, but all have lots enough space and options for high-energy fun to make a day trip feel well worth it.

8 Family-Friendly Places to Watch the Super Bowl Around Boston

The Patriots are in the Super Bowl (again!) this Sunday, and if you have children, they're probably just as stoked as you to watch it. But while your toy-strewn living room might have sufficed for an early season matchup, it may not inspire the appropriate excitement now that the team is playing in the biggest game of the year, with a chance to make history. Then again, you don't want to take the kids to a crowded, testosterone- and beer-soaked bar, either. So, to kick off a fabulous February of fun events with kids, we've compiled a number of family-friendly venues around Boston where you can take the whole clan to cheer on the Pats with fellow fans.

27 Things To Do with Kids North of Boston in Winter

The cold temperatures and snow have arrived, but that doesn't mean we have to hibernate. There's still plenty to do—inside and out—even when the mercury plummets. And the area North of Boston is no exception. From museums and indoor play centers to parks and skating rinks, these winter-savvy towns flanking routes 95 and 495 northbound have you covered. Cross one or all of these 27 super activities off your Winter Fun list and show Jack Frost who's boss. 

10 Places to Take Kids Ice Skating for Free in Boston

We're huge fans of the many outdoor ice rinks that open every winter around Boston, but these popular (and touristy) spots can get pretty crowded and just a bit pricey. What’s a Boston mom or dad to do? Don't worry: Boston happens to have lots of public skating options that are totally free! Here’s what you need to know to have a fun, no-cost time as a family at these 10 free skating rinks around town.

7 Indoor Water Parks in New England

Dreaming of warm waters and balmy temperatures? A tropical vacation may be out of the question, but an indoor water park venture is just as thrilling for kids (and a lot less debilitating to the budget). We've reviewed seven water parks—some big and splashy, others small and convenient— that are within a one- to five-hour drive of Boston. Whether you’re looking for a quick day trip or a weekend escape, there are plenty of options for sneaking in some water fun before swimming season officially begins. No matter where you go, be sure to call ahead and check about special rates; and consider planning a trip for a weekday or weeknight outside of school vacation to steer clear of crowds.

Free Admission for Kids at Boston Museums and Attractions

It’s been said that the best things in life are free, but when it comes to visiting museums and other attractions with kids, it’s not always clear when they are free. Mommy Poppins has set out to uncover these freebies so Boston families can enjoy the best of the city without breaking the bank. Here, we've ID'd the museums that let young children—and in some cases, all kids—in at no charge.

If you're working your way through our Boston Kids' 100 Things to Do bucket list, you may want to coordinate with the cut-off ages below; some of the museums you can catch on their free admission days, but several other attractions really drive home the bittersweet point that you're only young once.

50 Fun Things To Do This Winter With Boston Kids

Winters in Boston can sometimes feel dark and dreary, but there are so many fun things to look forward to in the wintertime. Here’s a list of our favorite things to do in and near the city with kids during the coldest months of the year—activities to brighten even the grayest of days. Most are free or are inexpensive, because we know how empty wallets can feel after the holidays. 

10 Great Indoor Places to Have a Kid’s Birthday Party in or Near Boston

If you want to have a wonderful party for your child, but you’re overwhelmed by the choices and don't have time to mine for information, I have a gift for you: Recommendations for 10 super-fun, parent-lauded indoor birthday party places in the Boston area, and everything you need to know about them.

The places featured are different in many ways, but they all have some things in common: They have been recommended by local parents, are indoors (so you don't have to worry about the weather), minimize the amount of work you have to do, and offer parties that kids with a wide range of interests enjoy. So read on, pick a place, and have a party your child will be talking about for a long time to come. Since prices may fluctuate and there's a range of packages at many places, we give you an idea of costs ranging from $ (inexpensive) to $$$ (more pricey).

If your child is a little older and prefers parties with more of a sporty spin, you may want to also consider our picks for indoor parties for active kids in Boston, the North suburbs, South suburbs, and MetroWest.

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.

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