South Suburbs

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.

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. 

8 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks for Kids and Families in and Around Boston

Whether your family is hitting the rink for the very first time or your kids have already taken several ice skating lessons, gliding on one of the outdoor ice skating rinks around Boston can be a fun, affordable way for families to get outside and stay active in the wintertime. Read on for some of our favorite rinks in the Boston area, with offerings like gorgeous city views and snack bars where you can warm up with a cup of hot cocoa.

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.

8 Polar Express and other Christmas Train Rides 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 the hearts and imaginations of kids and adults alike. 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 close to 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. The seats on all these trains fill up quickly, though, so we recommend getting your golden tickets now.

12 Boston-Area Doughnut Shops We Love to Visit with Kids

New Englanders big and small love their doughnuts. And while we’ve got nothing against Dunkin’, we really enjoy visiting local shops, which serve up everything from classic apple cider doughnuts to maple-bacon-flavored beignets. We can hardly think of a more kid-friendly food—especially when sprinkles and frosting are involved—so bring the whole family when you go sample of some of the tastiest treats in the city at a dozen of our favorite doughnut shops.

Patriots, Pirates, Castles: Theme Playgrounds Spark Imaginative Play around Boston

Do you have a child who dreams about being a pro sports star, a pirate, or a princess? A handful of forward-thinking playgrounds in Massachusetts really take imaginative play to the next level. From a pair of Patriots-themed parks sure to thrill G.O.A.T. and Gronk fans to a castle-shaped playground fit for wannabe royals, these outdoor play areas—all within an hour of Boston and free and open to the public year-round—are perfect for kids who love to play pretend. For more parks that justify a trip beyond your own 'hood, check out our recent roundups of our favorite destination playgrounds and brain-boosting playgrounds.

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).

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.

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