South Suburbs

Halloween Events at Zoos Around Boston

How do you possibly make Halloween even more fun for children? By adding some real live animals in the mix! Zoos in New England are getting into the Halloween spirit and inviting guests to visit in costume to trick or treat with the critters who live there. Halloween events at all zoos are even included with the price of admission...and costumes are highly encouraged, of course.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Banned Books, Fun Physics, and Giant Pumpkins; Sept 25- 29

What would we do without our libraries? For one thing, we wouldn't necessarily know about all the interesting, commemorative months and weeks being celebrated around the country. This week kicks off with a nod to Hispanic Heritage Month with an event to open preschoolers' eyes (and ears) to Spanish music, when Berklee dynamo Naty Hernandez leads a singalong on Boylston. A day later, older kids can take a stand against censorship with a clever craft project for Banned Books Week in the North End. 

You wouldn't know it by the balmy temps outside, but some outdoor programs are ending for the season, and a public arts' program on the Greenway closes with a showing of a Tim Burton classic. Physics takes the spotlight with a new program in the south 'burbs, while up north, the Topsfield Fair gets going with our favorite fall spectacle of all: gargantuan pumpkins

For more interesting activities this week in Boston and beyond, check out our Events Calendar.

Got a Horse Lover? Here are 6 Spots for Riding Lessons Around Boston

For many kids, learning to ride a horse is a distant dream. The good news? That dream could become a reality with several stables and farms offering lessons within easy driving distance of Boston. Some cater to beginners, and others only to committed equestrians, but they all offer lessons to kids dreaming of riding into the sunset. Find more interesting, out-of-box athletic programs in our class guide.

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

Larger-than-life corn mazes offer families the challenge of finding their way through winding paths to solve a mystery, claim a prize, or just make it to the other side – a perfect fall activity that gets kids and parents working together. Choose a farm with a corn maze to take your apple picking and pumpkin patch excursions up a level, plan an unforgettable birthday bash for your child, or just have a blast as a family. Here are some of the Boston area's best corn mazes for an outdoor autumn adventure—some are opening this weekend. Note: Most mazes are not stroller friendly, so if you’re bringing young children, consider using a backpack carrier.

Six Boston-Area Playgrounds with Shade

Recently, we went on a hunt for special playgrounds that have unique elements that make them worthy of getting in the car and driving to. But in the dog days of summer, we have one more criteria that's essential for a perfect day at the park: shade. Here are six tree-lined parks and playgrounds with an hour of Boston that have natural elements to keep you cool while you're having fun.

Top Spots for Summer Stargazing around Boston

Summer is all about exploring the wonders of the outdoor world, and we have plenty of ideas for filling your days with meaningful family activities to fill your photo albums and memories. However, some of the most brilliant spectacles of summer are visible after the sun goes down. Along with the big show—the Perseid Meteor Shower, lighting up the night sky on August 12th and 13th—there are stars, planets, and moons to behold, if you're in the right place on a clear night. Consider bringing the family to one of these observatories or "star parties" one late-summer or early-fall evening; and if daytime activities are more your family's speed, stay tuned for our upcoming article about watching the partial solar eclipse with kids on August 21st.

Note that most events involving telescopes or other equipment—not to mention late-night hours—are best for kids around age 5 and up. Also, most of the following happenings are canceled or postponed if it's cloudy or foggy, so be sure to call the organization or check its website or social media pages on the day of the event to make sure it's on. Happy viewing!

New Moms' Groups for Boston-Area Moms and Babies

As a soon-to-be new mom, one of the things I’m most looking forward to is finding a group of other new moms to bond with. Finding others in a similar stage of parenthood can be a great way to gather support and share advice, especially during those tiring newborn days. Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from in Boston, no matter what type of group you’re looking for or what neighborhood you live in. And best of all? Most of them are free!

11 New Ice Cream Shops in or Near Boston

There are few things more quintessentially summer than eating an ice cream cone or sipping a frappe on a hot day. It’s a rite of passage for kids—and one that adults definitely won’t mind partaking in, too. And we can’t think of a better time to snag a cool treat than on National Ice Cream Day, which is Sunday, July 16, this year. So we’re bringing you a rundown of the newest ice cream shops in Boston that are open just in time for you to celebrate.

Best Swimming Ponds and Lakes Around Boston

Living in or near Boston means that there are plenty of beaches that are perfect for families looking to spend the day outside. But swimming in the ocean can be tricky. First of all, it's usually freezing, which may not bother your kids, but makes most parents feel like popsicles. Also, the sizeable waves at many coastal beaches are often too strong for little ones to enjoy. Luckily, there are many local ponds and lakes where swimming is not only easy, but super-fun. So we’ve rounded up 10 places near Boston where you and your kids can splash around in freshwater all summer long.

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