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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. 

9 Drop-In Indoor Playgrounds Where Boston Kids Can Get Their Energy Out

As temperatures hover around freezing and even trusty toys are getting tiresome, every parent is looking for fun winter activities that can help kids expend energy and get their sillies out indoors. Just in time for February school vacation, we’ve rounded up 10 indoor play spaces where little and big kids can slide, climb, dodge, play pretend, and make friends—just as they might on their favorite outdoor playgrounds. Most are a drive outside city limits, but all have lots enough space and options for high-energy fun to make a day trip feel well worth it.

10 Great Indoor Places to Have a Kid’s Birthday Party in or Near Boston

If you want to have a wonderful party for your child, but you’re overwhelmed by the choices and don't have time to mine for information, I have a gift for you: Recommendations for 10 super-fun, parent-lauded indoor birthday party places in the Boston area, and everything you need to know about them.

The places featured are different in many ways, but they all have some things in common: They have been recommended by local parents, are indoors (so you don't have to worry about the weather), minimize the amount of work you have to do, and offer parties that kids with a wide range of interests enjoy. So read on, pick a place, and have a party your child will be talking about for a long time to come. Since prices may fluctuate and there's a range of packages at many places, we give you an idea of costs ranging from $ (inexpensive) to $$$ (more pricey).

If your child is a little older and prefers parties with more of a sporty spin, you may want to also consider our picks for indoor parties for active kids in Boston, the North suburbs, South suburbs, and MetroWest.

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.

12 Playgrounds with Tot Lots Designed Especially for Boston Babies and Toddlers

One of the things I’ve been looking forward to doing with my little boy is taking him to a playground. A stable sitter, he’s just about ready for a bucket swing...just in time for spring! But not all playgrounds cater to the sub-preschool set. Luckily, there are several in and around Boston that do have sandboxes, swings, and smaller play structures built specifically with the littlest kids in mind. Here are some of our favorite local "tot lots" with special features that are perfect for older babies and toddlers.

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.

10 Enrichment Classes for Boston Babies

As a new mom, I really looked forward to doing classes in subjects like music and art with my son. At first I thought we’d have to wait until he was older to do any sort of formal enrichment activity, but I soon learned that there are a ton of options available for even the littlest babies. These classes are a great way to bond and are perfect for providing much-needed stimulation for babies that are past the newborn stage. So here’s a roundup of 10 classes that are designed especially for Boston babies. 

Top Boston Area STEM Camps to Make Summer a Blast

If a summer filled with flying drones, engineering robots, launching rockets, and modding Minecraft sounds a dream come true for your kiddo, then the Boston Area camp scene certainly won't disappoint! With loads of STEM and STEAM programs available at nearby universities, parks, libraries, and more, there are plenty of options for you and your curious kid to choose from. Plus, with the growing importance of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math studies, you can feel extra good about signing your child up for these hands-on, highly-interactive, enriching summer programs.

9 Summer Art Camps for Boston Kids

Sure, kids dabble in paint and clay once a week or so throughout the Boston school year. But if you have a child who really loves to create, a weeklong (or longer) summer art camp might be just the thing to ignite a passion.

These nine visual art camps, happening throughout the summer around Boston, span ages and art media, so you're sure to find one that gets your creative kid excited.

Be sure to check out our complete Boston Camp Guide for other art-based programs, including theater camps and more.

Thrilling Family Fun: 5 Escape Rooms and Quests to Do With Boston Kids

As kids get older, it gets harder to find indoor family activities that aren’t “boring” or “stupid.” Fear not; there’s good news. If you’re the parent of older school-age kids or 'tweens, you might want to try an escape room adventure. People all over America are paying to be locked in a room for an hour—to try to get out, together. Escape rooms are the newest trend, and your family might love it. We’ve found five nearby escape rooms, or similarly-themed quest activities, where you and your kids can test your quick-thinking and problem-solving skills (and maybe do some bonding at the same time).

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