Wellesley

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. 

7 Public Libraries With Great Play Spaces Around Boston

There are all sorts of local spots to play indoors when the weather gets frightful. And some of the best spots are absolutely free—including some very special local libraries, which feature unique play spaces along with shelves of books. Whether you’ve got a preschooler or a pre-teen, a trip to at least one of these libraries will be a fun, brain-boosting escape on a cold or wet day.

7 Destination Swimming Pools with Slides or Special Features for Boston Families

We all could use a dip in the pool during Boston's humid summertime. If you're looking for a little more than the basics you'll find at Boston's free or nearly free pools, you might want to consider paying for a day pass or a seasonal membership at one of the splashier aquatic centers around town or the 'burbs. Here are seven gloriously refreshing options, many with slides and spray features 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.

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.

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.

17 Science and Tech Summer Camps for Boston Kids who Love STEM

Surrounded as we are in Boston 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 Boston 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 a STEM camp that’s a good fit for your sci-tech lover, and sign up soon—early-bird specials are widely available this month, and some of these camps fill up fast.

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.

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!

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