Museum of Fine Arts, Boston with a Toddler: Five Things to Do and Five Things to Know

In my college intro to art history class, I learned how to examine and really 'read' a painting, its symbols, icons, and contexts.  I loved how all the details contributed to a greater understanding of the composition as a whole. Since kids have an uncanny ability to observe (and remember) the most obscure details, why not help them practice on a painting? When summer days are hot (or winter days, miserable), we trek out to the Museum of Fine Arts with our daughter. Read on for tips we've learned from our visits. For more tips on ways to engage your children before and after your visit to the MFA, check out Tara's post from last summer

The New England Aquarium: Transformed?

This past week was what we call in New England a “scorch-ah.” At 7 months pregnant carrying around a 30-pound toddler, I make it my mission to seek out indoor, air-conditioned play time. We live close to the Aquarium and make good use of our membership there. Even during the renovations when everything was covered in drapes, we would still go to check out the make-shift tanks, hopeful for the day when it would be back to full throttle.  

Walking into the Aquarium during the re-opening was a little bit like walking through the parade of The Emperor’s New Clothes. I kept looking for the dramatic changes but couldn’t detect anything that special. The newly painted and decorated walls are nice but our beloved Curious George toddler station was taken away and replaced with, well, nothing (just like that naked Emperor.) Although I left with a general feeling of disappointment, I know a lot of work was done to improve the aquarium. I don’t want to be a negative Nelly, so here are three highlights of the renovations (plus an old favorite) that your toddler might enjoy: 

Things to Do at Boston Area Zoos - What's Happening at Zoo NE, Southwick's, and Roger Williams Park Zoo

In the words of Paul Simon, “…it's all happening at the zoo. I do believe it, I do believe its true…” And there’s no better time to see what’s happening at the zoo than during the summer, when the animals (like our children!) can fully enjoy their outdoor habitats.

While zoos are often host to special events like really cool sleepovers and outdoor birthday parties, they also make great local getaways during the hot, lazy days for summer. Kids can visit with animals from different continents, like the giraffes at the Franklin Park Zoo or the the wildlife from Down Under at the Stone Zoo. They can celebrate the birthdays of the zoo animals at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, and Southwick’s Zoo has daily animal encounter shows that offer an up-close look at the resident birds, reptiles and other animals.

Read on for some ideas for summertime fun at four Boston area zoos.

10 Reasons To Love Super Soccer Stars

As you may have pieced together from some of my previous posts, I’m consistently on the hunt for fun, engaging programs to take my toddler to in the city (like Baby Wiggle Little Groove). Which is why I was so very excited to come across the Super Soccer Stars program.

Super Soccer Stars teaches soccer skills in a fun, non-competitive educational environment for ages 2 and up. Kick & Play is run by Super Soccer Stars and offers a pre-soccer and movement program for toddlers 12-24 months old and their parents; taking you through a world of exciting activities to help develop pre-soccer skills. I started the Kick & Play program with my 12 month old and have since “graduated” to Super Soccer Stars. Below are just some of the reasons I can highly recommend both of these programs...

Father's Day Weekend in Boston with Kids - Fun and Free Things to Do

Happy Father’s Day!

We’ve got plenty of things to do for plenty of types of dads. For the sports fan dad, there’s the vintage baseball tournament in Ipswich; for the nature lover dad, the Butterfly Landing reopens at the Franklin Park Zoo. The history buff dad can attend the Bunker Hill Parade; the foodie dad can indulge at Arlington’s Feast of the East. And for the easy-going dad who will do whatever his kids want to do, there are plenty of festivals and performances and other special events.

Also for Father’s Day, we’ve rounded up some places to take Dad for breakfast; some chef-recommended recipes to make for Dad at home; and some places to go to make gifts for Dad.

Still figuring out what to do this summer? In the latest addition to our Cape Cod and the Islands Guide, guest blogger Eastham Vacation Guide shares its top things to do in Eastham with kids.

Read on for more of our weekend picks, and be sure to check our Events Calendar for more ideas.

Father's Day Breakfast With Dad: Breakfast Nooks for Families in and Around Boston

If you're like Audrey, you'll gather the kids in the kitchen and whip up a fabulous Father's Day meal of quiche, smoothies and hot bananas for Dad. But if you're like me, you're looking for a restaurant where the chef is whipping up something good, because Dad is usually the one who makes the delish dishes. 

For those of you who are like me, I've rounded up some breakfast nooks where dads can be king and kids can be themselves. And after breakfast, you'll still have the whole day ahead of you - no clean up!

My Love Affair with Baby Wiggle Little Groove Music Classes

I was first introduced to Baby Wiggle music classes when I happened to stumble upon one at the Boston Children’s Museum with my then-5-month-old baby. She was too little to participate in most of the activity rooms, but I found a lively group of tots and parents circled around a musician in the common area. Not knowing what to expect, I sat down and propped my baby in my lap. She immediately started clapping her hands, for the very first time! I will never forget the expression on her little face that day. She was enthralled, and our love affair with Baby Wiggle Little Groove began. 

Your Guide to the One Family Music Festival

You may have already realized this, but I’ll just come out and say it anyway: We want your family to be at the One Family Music Festival. Moms, we get that it’s Mother’s Day, we really do. But the music festival starts at noon, leaving plenty of time in the morning for brunch, whether it’s homemade or chef made. Plus, what better way to celebrate being a mom than to get together with other families, rock out with Boston’s best kids’ bands, reclaim the city for our kids, and do something good for the community?

This is your guide to the festival. There’s lots going on and free stuff galore, and we don’t want you to miss a thing. Read on for the who, what, when, where, and why of the One Family Music Festival

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.  


Subscribe to RSS - Boston