South Suburbs

Things to Do at Boston Area Zoos - What's Happening at Zoo NE, Southwick's, and Roger Williams Park Zoo

In the words of Paul Simon, “…it's all happening at the zoo. I do believe it, I do believe its true…” And there’s no better time to see what’s happening at the zoo than during the summer, when the animals (like our children!) can fully enjoy their outdoor habitats.

While zoos are often host to special events like really cool sleepovers and outdoor birthday parties, they also make great local getaways during the hot, lazy days for summer. Kids can visit with animals from different continents, like the giraffes at the Franklin Park Zoo or the the wildlife from Down Under at the Stone Zoo. They can celebrate the birthdays of the zoo animals at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, and Southwick’s Zoo has daily animal encounter shows that offer an up-close look at the resident birds, reptiles and other animals.

Read on for some ideas for summertime fun at four Boston area zoos.

10 Reasons To Love Super Soccer Stars

As you may have pieced together from some of my previous posts, I’m consistently on the hunt for fun, engaging programs to take my toddler to in the city (like Baby Wiggle Little Groove). Which is why I was so very excited to come across the Super Soccer Stars program.

Super Soccer Stars teaches soccer skills in a fun, non-competitive educational environment for ages 2 and up. Kick & Play is run by Super Soccer Stars and offers a pre-soccer and movement program for toddlers 12-24 months old and their parents; taking you through a world of exciting activities to help develop pre-soccer skills. I started the Kick & Play program with my 12 month old and have since “graduated” to Super Soccer Stars. Below are just some of the reasons I can highly recommend both of these programs...

Volunteering and Giving Back With Kids in Boston

So, you want to start teaching your kids about about showing kindness at a young age, but most volunteer programs are not able to accommodate children and it’s difficult to find the ones that do. My family is always on the lookout for ways to get involved in the community and do something good in the world, especially during the holidays. As a result, I have lots of great resources to share, whether you prefer fundraising, participating in hands-on programs coordinated by organizations like Catching Joy, or more of a DIY affair, like hosting playdates with a purpose.  

Poppins Parents: Joy Olaes Surprenant, Mom on a Mission

For the March edition of Poppins Parents, our series highlighting local parents who make a difference in the lives of Boston families, we talked to Joy Olaes Suprenant, founder of Catching Joy.

Read on to find out who is her non-profit organization’s pint sized co-founder, where she says is one of her favorite places in the whole world (we agree completely!) and how much joy she brings to families throughout the area. Joy also shares tips for getting your family involved in volunteerism and giving.

Take the Challenge: A Month of Creativity for Boston Families

Did you know that March is National Craft Month? In honor of the occasion, the folks at Artbeat Creativity Store in Arlington have issued a challenge – A Month of Creativity – and we’re taking it up a level. Inspired by cre8time.org, the challenge is to find 8 minutes every day, for 30 days, to devote to an art activity. We've added a Mommy Poppins twist: Spend 8 minutes each day working on an art activity with your kids

We’ve started the challenge, and so have many of our readers. We know you can do it – and we’ve got a whole palette of tools to help you succeed. Read on for a roundup of ideas to get you started, stores for art supplies, and places to make arts and crafts in and around Boston. 

Are you in?

Hurricane Sandy in the Forecast: Get Ready!

Whether making a direct path for Boston or simply threatening to hit with high winds, a hurricane can wreak havoc on the unprepared. Rather than panic, though, when the news reports begin to hint of an impending storm, it's definitely worth spending some time to be sure you and your family are ready to handle emergencies that can arise. (Batteries? Check. Flashlights? Check. Water? Check.) Read on for a roundup of some sound advice about hurricane preparedness from a number of reliable sources.

Celebrate National Poetry Month with Kids in Boston - Contests, Festival, Workshops and a Walk

“Listen my children and you shall hear…” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

April is National Poetry Month, a celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Kids in the greater Boston area can celebrate with poetry contests, workshops, performances, a festival and an exploratory walk through the woods. Read on for a roundup of all things poetry.

7 Baby-Friendly Cinemas in Boston - Infants Welcome!

It’s not often that first-run movies and crying, sleeping, or just-waking babies are mentioned in the same sentence. But at several local cinemas, it’s a regularly scheduled event. These theaters offer baby-friendly matinees - special programs that give moms, dads, grandparents, and caretakers the chance to see a new, top-rated film – crying babies welcome!

A comfortable and early daytime setting and a baby-friendly environment where parents can park their strollers and socialize with other parents with infants are common among these theaters. Lights are kept brighter and the volume lower, and no “shush”ing required.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show - with your baby.

What’s New and Exciting in Toyland? Magic Beans in Boston!

Sheri and Eli Gurock, intrepid proprietors of Magic Beans, keep planting more seeds and making their toy store business grow. It started in 2004, with a single store in Coolidge Corner. Eight years and 5 stores later, their latest beanstalk has sprung up in The Shops at Prudential Center.

The new Magic Beans store in the Prudential Center quietly opened for business in November and made a splash in January with a grand-opening Kazoo Flash Mob – Skip to My Lou through the Pru with kazoos – led by the incomparable children’s songstress, Vanessa Trien. It was quite a celebration, complete with a visit from Elmo and giveaways galore. For those of us who missed it, we can have our own micro celebrations by taking our little ones to the new store to check out the selection of gear, gadgets, gifts and games.

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