Wellesley

Action Athletics: Heaven for Active Kids (and Ninja Warrior Wannabes)

If your family is familiar with "warped walls" or worships some guy named the Cowboy Ninja—or you simply have a kid with energy to burn—we've found a place for you: Action Athletics in Wellesley. Though a lot of camps and gyms are starting to offer obstacle course activities as more and more kids become hooked on the television show American Ninja Warrior, Action Athletics is the real deal: It's the training home of several prominent TV Ninjas, including Jon "the Giant" Alexis, Jesse Labreck, and Allyssa Beird. And with 25 different obstacles that can be made into countless configurations, it also caters to challenge-seeking children—of all ages—who want to leap, swing, and test their limits, just the way their Ninja heroes do.

When I found out that Action Athletics was expanding from its Newton location to a big new space in Wellesley, where we live, I thought I'd bring my sons and their friends to give it a try. Here's what we learned and what we thought about the place. (Spoiler alert: We've been back three times since). This fall, the Newton location is reopening, too, giving families more options for channeling their inner Ninja.

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.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Concerts, Bubbles, and Goddesses in the Garden; Aug 14-Aug 18

We're kicking it old school this week in Boston, celebrating the 1980s and then moving backward in time later in the week. First: Move over Moana—Mayor Walsh's movie night planners know that what the parents will really come out for is Spielberg.  On Friday, don't miss your chance to experience colonial life—for free!—at Old Sturbridge Village

You can follow the music to other unique events this week. Two popular concert series close out their summer lineups with kindie rockers taking the stage in Back Bay and Medford. In Easton, a local performer combines two of children's very favorite things—bubbles and dancing—at a museum birthday party. There's also some live music, as well as gardening demonstrations, kids' activities, and the unveiling of a special postal stamp at one of the prettiest places in Wellesley.

That's not all there is to enjoy during the heart of August. Check out our Events Calendar for other fun goings-on—summer will be a memory before you know it!

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.

5 Rock Music Camps for Kids Near Boston

If your house sounds like CBGB all day long, or you’re looking for a summer camp that will help your aspiring Hendrix hone some real skills, then you’re in luck. The Boston area offers a plethora of summer rock music camps that cater to kids of all ages, abilities, and specialties—guitar, drums, bass, or vocals. Thanks to these camps, blossoming musicians will be jamming from Andover to Seekonk.

14 Boston-Area Gyms with Childcare

Between family and career, it can be really tough for busy parents to fit in a workout. But we all know exercise is an important part of staying healthy and it can be fun to boot. With that in mind, we rounded up 14 local gyms that offer on-site childcare.

10 Reasons It's Great to Be a Wellesley Mom

This is the second post in our new series about why it's great to be a mom in different towns around the Hub. Got pride in your 'hood? Let us know at boston@mommypoppins.com and your town could be featured in a future post.

We know, we know...Swellesley has a reputation for maybe being a little too pleased with itself already. But when we moved here with two small kids (and one on the way) six years ago, we found out that this town—which celebrates its 136th birthday today!—has a lot to be proud of beyond all the manicured lawns and nails. Great green spaces and terrific local businesspeople make this community one of the warmest and friendliest places we've ever lived in. Here’s just a sampling of what we’re grateful for—with what’s worth checking out when you swing through the ‘burb.

Where to Have Brunch With the Easter Bunny in Boston

Getting a picture taken with the Easter Bunny is a major rite of passage for many kids. Make the tradition even more special this year when you take your child to a breakfast or brunch where the famous rabbit will be milling about—for photo ops or just some shy gawking. Whether you’re looking for a fun pre-holiday activity or want to find a kid-friendly spot to eat for the big day, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to make reservations (many of these events fill up quickly); and take lots of pictures.

12 Summer Camps for Boston Kids who Love STEM

Surrounded as we are by so many tech start-ups, a world-class science museum, and some of the top college computer-science departments in the country, it's no surprise that many of our kids are fascinated by all things STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Luckily, a growing number of tech-minded summer camps are cropping up all over the region to meet demand, and the options for local kids range from a program for wannabe inventors to a science immersion program just for girls. We’ve rounded up a dozen great school vacation programs where kids can tinker, make, build, code, invent, and experiment. Read on to find one that’s a good fit for your Junior Einstein, and sign up soon—early-bird specials are widely available this month, and some of these camps fill up fast. And if your kids are itching for some STEM fun in the meantime, check out these brain-building boredom busters especially suited to cooler weather.

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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