North Suburbs

9 Polar Express and Christmas Train Rides for Kids Near Boston

What is it about trains and Christmas? The two have become inextricably linked—especially since The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg's glorious picture book about the magic of Christmas, captured kids' hearts and imaginations. During the holiday season, train rides complete with hot chocolate and visits from Santa bring Christmas stories like The Polar Express to life..for all who believe, of course.

Lucky for us, we have plenty of delightful train ride options in driving distance from Boston, from cozy, seaside New England journeys to 4-D movie experiences that feel like a real locomotive ride, right down to the sounds, sights, and even smells. Like other hot holiday shows, teas, and events that tend to sell out, seats on most of these trains fill up fast, so we recommend getting your golden tickets now. 

Just-Spooky-Enough Haunted Houses and Halloween Attractions for Boston Kids

Halloween is a holiday that everyone from toddlers to grandparents can enjoy, and there's no shortage of parades, events, and parties in the Boston area. But while there are plenty of sweet Halloween activities for preschoolers as well as terrifying haunted theme parks for 'tweens and teens, it can be hard to find Halloween activities that can feel suitably exciting (but not terrifying) for the elementary-school set. Here are local activities that will thrill kids ages 6 to 12 without scaring the pants off of them. Happy haunting! 

Halloween in Salem, MA: Spooky, Not-Too-Scary Activities for Kids

If your kids are Halloween-obsessed like mine, you know how lucky you are to live close to what may be the country's Halloween capital: Salem. Despite what you might have heard about "Witch City," it’s not all scary stuff. Many of the events happening in Salem over the next month are tailor-made for families, replacing most of the tricks with treats. There's a Wednesday program just for kids, and some old favorites have slowly become more fun than frightening over the years. If you've never done fall in Salem, it's time!

12 Pumpkin Picking Spots Around Boston

Signs of Halloween are cropping up everywhere, and it’s time to start thinking about finding your perfect pumpkin. While local farm stands and even grocery stores typically have some handsome specimens, it can be a lot more fun to pick your own straight from the fields they were grown on. A couple of the spots here even allow you to pull your picks straight from the vine, which can be a special experience akin to cutting down your own Christmas tree. Plus, many of these pumpkin patches offer additional activities for families, like hayrides, bouncy houses, and corn mazes, so you can turn your hunt into a fun fall day excursion.

Hayrides Near Boston: Harvest or Halloween Fun

Hayrides are an fall 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. Tons of Boston-area farms offer hayrides, and we’ve rounded 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!

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.

5 Apple Picking Day Trips for Boston Families

Carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating are classic fall activities, but our favorite by far is apple picking. It’s especially festive since we live in New England, the site of the first apple orchard in America. There are several terrific places to pick apples close to Boston, but it can be even more fun to venture a little further afield. So we’ve rounded up five of the best places to pick apples in Massachusetts that have other fun attractions—and good food—nearby, so you can make a day trip out of your visit to the farm.

20 Fun Fall Activities for Preschoolers in the Boston Area

So many fall traditions in Boston and Massachusetts seem tailor-made for preschoolers: Who better to upend a freshly raked leaf pile or run around a pumpkin patch long enough to find that perfect Jack-O-Lantern? From events like the Topsfield Fair and Frog Pond Pumpkin Float to annual favorites like apple picking and corn mazes, we've rounded up twenty of the best ways to have some big fall adventures with little companions this fall. And if you have even tinier tykes, check out our fall fun guide—toddler edition!

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, hayrides, pumpkin patches, 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. 

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

Ah, fall … can there be a better season to get out and do things as a family in Boston? Whether you and your kids are partial to hiking, apple picking, corn maze exploring, festival hopping, or celebrating all things spooky and sweet on Halloween, there's something for kids of all ages and stages to enjoy during busy, beautiful, autumn in New England. To herald in the season, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite, must-do activities in September, October, and November, but for even more ideas for getting out their with your family, be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide.

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