Natick

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.

Fun Miniature Golf Courses in Greater Boston

Eagle, birdie, bogey, par…you don't need to worry about what those terms mean to excel in miniature golf (a.k.a, putt-putt). Miniature golf is a great summer outing for families because it's entertaining for a variety of ages and a chance to spend time outdoors—without the time commitment, training, or investment that comes with "real" golf. We have several special mini golf spots not far from Boston where you and the kids can perfect your putts, dodge elaborate obstacles, and grab a treat; read up to see where your next round should be.

Coding and Computer Science Classes to Prepare Kids for the 2030s

As parents, we hear about the growing importance of STEM education all the time. Specifically, Computer Science which is getting more and more attention as the technology boom shows no signs of stopping (and fears about robots snatching up our children's future jobs continues to grow...). But can parents rely on schools to prepare our kids? Technology is evolving so fast, it’s hard to stay on top of it all. Let alone, understand how it might impact our children’s futures.

To help provide insight into the best coding and STEM education practices, we sat down with Holly Horrigan, a computer science instructor at CS Recitations, a year round after school program in Natick that features a comprehensive curriculum for grades 3 through 12. Read on to learn why exactly these types of programs are so important, and how to make sure you're setting your child up for major STEM success.

5 Kids' Farm Camps Near Boston for Little Plant and Animal Lovers

If your Boston kid is enchanted by things that grow in the dirt, whether they're pea shoots or baby piglets, it might be time to consider farm camp. Trust me when I tell you your kids will love it—when else are children encouraged to get messy and play with farm animals? Hosting summer camp on the farm offers kids the chance to explore the countryside while still in close proximity to the city, and your kids will get to be outside, do a lot of learning about ecology and environmental science, and discover the wonders of vegetables.

Here are five summer farm camps within about a half hour of Boston in Newton, Waltham, Natick and more nearby cities and towns. Please check the websites or call for exact prices, which may fluctuate seasonally. 

Find more great summer camp options for your Massachusetts kids in our Camp Guide and Directory of listings, which is searchable by interest, age, or location.

9 Family-Friendly Spots to Watch the Boston Marathon with Kids

It's finally mid-April again, and Boston’s time to shine. Marathon Monday brings out the best of Boston, as half a million people come together to cheer on competitors from around the world. With 26 miles to choose from, it’s hard to know the best places to go to get the best view, while staying away from rowdy crowds. Here are a few spots along the marathon route where you can get a great view, while staying close to transportation and places to eat. If watching fife and drum brigades, battles, and other historical enactments is more your family's speed, check out these other Patriots' Day activity ideas.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Peppa Pig, Brunch Class, and Scientific Inspiration; April 24-28

Spring break week might be over, but spring weather—and the crop of cool activities that tend to come with it–has really just arrived. This week, little kids get the spotlight on them at the Boston Children's Museum; and they'll also be thrilled to know that their favorite pig will be coming to town (looking at the forecast, she—and likely you—will be able to splash in some of her beloved mud puddles on show day.) For bigger kids, brunch is on the menu at the latest American Girl cooking class, and scientists will be on hand in Cambridge to explain the super-cool innovations being developed in labs across the country right now. Equally mind-blowing: An interactive "sound sculpture" at the Seaport. On the hunt for even more fun? Study our Event Calendar for more reasons to bust loose of the regular routine this week.

Fun Purim Events for Families Around Boston

Technically, Purim is the Jewish holiday commemorating the defeat of Haman's plot against the Jews, as recorded in the Book of Esther; but to kids, Purim is mostly just pure fun. Across the city and 'burbs, schools, temples, libraries, and museums are hosting Purim parties and activities, in which kids can dress up in their favorite or zaniest costumes and nosh on traditional treats.

Best Birthday Party Places for Boston Babies

Deciding where to have your baby’s first (or second) birthday is a big deal. Having a party at home isn’t always an option—sometimes your living space doesn’t allow for large gatherings or you just want someone else to do the heavy lifting. Luckily there are several no-hassle options in the Boston area for making your baby’s birthday party unforgettable. And if you’re looking for more birthday party ideas, perhaps for an older child, be sure to check out Mommy Poppins Boston's Birthday Party Guide.

Yoga Classes for Boston Moms and Babies

Pregnancy and the weeks after birth are a special time in the life of a mom and her baby. Many local yoga studios offer classes tailored specifically to new and expectant moms to exercise, relax, and connect with other women who are pregnant or have recently given birth. Classes are offered all over the Boston area, which means there’s likely a studio nearby. And if you have older children (anywhere from toddlers to teens) looking to get in on the yoga action, check out our guide to yoga classes and birthday parties just for them.

Yoga Classes and Birthday Parties for Boston Kids

Many adults love attending yoga classes for exercise or just to relax, and now kids in the Boston area can get the same benefits. Several local yoga studios offer classes – and sometimes birthday parties – specifically tailored to kids and teenagers. With short days and cold weather upon us, this is the perfect time of year for kids to try a new indoor activity like yoga. Here are 18 great options in the Boston area for future yogis: 

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