West Suburbs

Look Up, Kids! Giant, Mirrored Hot Air Balloon Coming to Massachusetts

Come mid-July, you're going to want to keep your eyes on the sky around Boston, because you just might spot a giant, mirror-surfaced hot air balloon floating above reflecting the landscape below. Created by artist Doug Aitken and presented by the Trustees of Reservations, this 100-foot flying balloon sculpture titled New Horizon will be soaring above Massachusetts from July 12th through the 28th, 2019. Traveling from Martha's Vineyard to the Berkshires, this reflective piece of art will touch down for special events along the way. Boston, and Massachusetts as a whole, are well known for showcasing kid-friendly art, so it's no surprise that this exhibit will be no exception, featuring family-friendly dates that even the youngest of art critics can participate in. 

Swimming Pools and Spraygrounds with Day Passes or Memberships for Families Around Boston

We all could use a dip in an outdoor swimming pool during Boston's humid summertime. If you're looking for more of a swim than a splash pad will allow, or a little more excitement than Boston's free or nearly free pools offer you might want to consider paying for a day pass or a seasonal membership to one of these kid-friendly swimming pools featuring spraygrounds, kiddie pools, slides, and more. Here are seven gloriously refreshing options that will keep kids entertained all day. On a scorcher of a long day, the fees—and a bit of a drive, in some cases—will feel well worth it.

Boston-Area Beer Gardens That are Fun for Families

Boston has seen an absolute boom in beer gardens (or biergartens) in the last few years, and luckily for anyone with kids, many are welcoming to families. If you like to sip a craft brew outside, these are the places to go with little ones in tow: Many have live music, lawn games, and great views. From the heart of the city to several of the suburbs, there’s likely a beer garden near you that's open from summer through fall. Sip—and play!

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 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.

Best Spray Parks and Water Fountains for Preschoolers in Boston

Boston has a lot of big, splashy, exciting spray parks and fountains that can be great fun for families in summer. But I've learned the hard way that not every water playground is suited for preschoolers. 

A few years back, when one of my sons was 4, I took him and his brothers to the Christian Science Plaza fountain along Huntington Avenue. To me as a parent, it was a wise selection: awesome fountain, I didn't have to walk far from the parking spot, and bathrooms were nearby in the Prudential Center. But my 4-year-old kid was horrified by the fountain and how big it was. It took him a half hour to even wander up to the where the water shot out of the ground, and soon after he got soaked and was freezing. It was not the best choice for a young child. 

With that thinking in mind, we've rounded up some gentler, preschooler-friendly local fountains and splash pads. Be sure to check out these outdoor pools with fun slide and spray features for more ways to cool off this summer, or if a climate-controlled environment is more your family's speed, consider a visit to a preschooler-friendly indoor water park. There are plenty of ways to get wet around Boston—without tears!

Where To Pick Strawberries with Kids Near Boston

When it comes to pick-your-own produce, I don't think there's a better fruit for kids to pluck than the strawberry. The plants are close to the ground, and the berries are accessible without having to reach way into the plant. Ripe berries are clustered together, so kids have the satisfaction of picking a lot in a short period of time. Searching for ripe, jewel-colored specimens feels like an exciting treasure hunt. And no prickers!

June is "strawberry month" and most farms are open for picking by mid-month, but some are ready even sooner. Read on for farms where you can plan a trip to pick your own strawberries, followed by tips for getting the most out of the experience. 

10 One-Mile-or-Less Hikes to Take with Your Preschooler Around Boston

Being a parent to a little one doesn't mean you need to hang up your hiking boots. Boston boasts plenty of tree-lined walking paths that accommodate strollers, and even more short, easy hiking trails to suit kids who've become a little more sure-footed. Along with the many short, winding routes that snake through Blue Hills, just outside city limits, these 10 hikes are well-maintained, close to Boston, and offer just the right amount of challenge for preschool-age trailblazers. 

May GoList - Best Things to Do with Kids in Boston

We’re feeling festive this month! For our May edition of the GoList, we’re highlighting fabulous and free spring festivals, annual Mother's Day traditions, and performances you won't want to miss. As you check out our top picks for things to do with kids in Boston and the 'burbs this month, click through to the event listings so you can add them to your calendar. Also, be sure to bookmark our Spring Fun Guide for even more family fun opportunities in and around town. Plus, we'll still send our free e-newsletters with our family-friendly event picks every week. Happy planning!

Animal Farms and Petting Zoos for Boston Kids

Your city slickers may not come across a lot farm animals on the daily, but that doesn't mean that they should miss out on some cute and cuddly barnyard fun. Whether you're city folk or farmers-in-training, these local farms and zoos are the perfect places for little ones to interact, feed, and play with some of their favorite furry creatures. Check out all the best places in Boston and the suburbs to meet cows, chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, and more below.

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