Boston

Great Outdoor Birthday Party Places for Kids In and Around Boston

For kids who love animals, nature, and adventure, an outdoor birthday party just seems right. Even if your young adventurer’s birthday is in the winter, there are good options for outdoor parties. And at this time of year, it almost seems criminal to be indoors when you could be outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

However, planning an outdoor party can be tricky. The weather is always a wildcard, so you want to minimize the variables. This means having a party somewhere you can choose a package and know exactly what you’re getting. It also means that at least part of the party is under cover, so you don’t have to worry about nixing the whole thing if the weather isn’t cooperating. I've found four really fun party places for kids in and around Boston that fit the bill – read on, and starting planning an epic outdoor birthday celebration!

Volunteering and Giving Back With Kids in Boston

So, you want to start teaching your kids about about showing kindness at a young age, but most volunteer programs are not able to accommodate children and it’s difficult to find the ones that do. My family is always on the lookout for ways to get involved in the community and do something good in the world, especially during the holidays. As a result, I have lots of great resources to share, whether you prefer fundraising, participating in hands-on programs coordinated by organizations like Catching Joy, or more of a DIY affair, like hosting playdates with a purpose.  

Marathon Inspired: 8 Family-Friendly Spring Races in Massachusetts

On Monday afternoon, inspired by the runners in the Boston Marathon, I started a Couch to 5K running program. When I got home after my first training session, I heard the terrible news of the tragedy at the marathon. At first, I thought about giving up on the 5K program. But then I made a completely different decision: Although I am in the worst shape of my life – I can’t even run a mile (seriously, but please don't judge) – I am going to start with a 5K, and then keep going all the way to next year’s Boston Marathon. Every race I run will be for all the people who are no longer able.

Races have always been a family affair for us. Over the years, my kids have done several fun runs and kids races  while one of the adults in the family runs the “big race”. I plan to continue our tradition. If you’d like to give a race a try, either just for fun, or in honor of the Boston Marathon runners and their loved ones, take a look at my round up of upcoming family-friendly races in Massachusetts this spring. 

Legendarium: Big Apple Circus Wows Boston Families

Walking into the Big Apple Circus was like taking a giant step back into my childhood. The aromatic mixture of popcorn, costume makeup, manure, and hay will do it to you every time. We took our two-year-old to the 4:30pm showing under the Big Top in Government Center. When we approached the entrance, I thought to myself how lucky Bostonians are to have this opportunity right in the middle of their city. The circuses of my childhood were all out in no man’s land. We had to trudge through fields of mud for what seemed like miles. With no shoes. (OK, that part isn’t true.)

Free and Fun Things for Kids and Families to Do in Boston Easter Weekend 2013

With two big holidays happening this weekend, Boston is buzzing with bunnies, Easter egg hunts, and Passover preparations. There is still time for kids to see the Easter Bunny around town and take part in some really big Easter Egg hunts. Plus, we have some great ways to fill your Easter baskets and Easter eggs if you’re celebrating at home. And signs of spring are finally cropping up all around us - including sheep shearing festivals! Plus, we’ve posted our April Go List - 5 special events happening in and around Boston this month.

Also on Mommy Poppins Boston this week, we share insights into two museums. Kristin and her toddler made some exciting discoveries when they decided to explore new territory at the Boston Children’s Museum, and Tara found a Providence museum that is well worth the trip: the Culinary Arts Museum. A reminder: it’s the final weekend of the Cre8tivity Challenge. We need some inspiration for our Pinterest board, A Month of Creativity. Send photos of your family's creative moments, and we'll post them.

Finally, are you prepared to have a good laugh with your kids on April Fool's Day? Check out some fun pranks you can play on your kids!

Here’s wishing everyone a great weekend. Read on for some of our suggestions of things to do. Enjoy!

Find Something New for Toddlers at the Boston Children’s Museum

I am an urban-dwelling mama. If a discussion ever comes up about moving to the ‘burbs, my initial reaction is always, "But what would I do without the Boston Children’s Museum?".

I have the luxury of having the museum in my backyard, and let’s just say my toddler and I put our annual pass to good use. Our children’s museum excursions are very predictable. It wasn’t until my most recent trip that I thought I might go batty if we didn’t break up the pattern. So we had a long chat about it. (Ever notice how toddlers need this kind of explanation if a routine is broken? Actually, so do most adults.)

Poppins Parents: Joy Olaes Surprenant, Mom on a Mission

For the March edition of Poppins Parents, our series highlighting local parents who make a difference in the lives of Boston families, we talked to Joy Olaes Suprenant, founder of Catching Joy.

Read on to find out who is her non-profit organization’s pint sized co-founder, where she says is one of her favorite places in the whole world (we agree completely!) and how much joy she brings to families throughout the area. Joy also shares tips for getting your family involved in volunteerism and giving.

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