Holiday Giving: Mommy Poppins Families Give Back to Local Communities

Every year we share articles about how families can volunteer and donate during the holiday season. But, we are also parents raising our children and working to improve our communities ourselves. Even as our website has grown (Hello, DC and Chicago!), we are proud to say that the values and mission of Mommy Poppins have not changed. We are committed to helping children and families, both online and in real life.

This year, we invited team members from each of our local areas to pick a holiday drive or organization that helps children in need. We funded a shopping spree or, if the holiday season was just too crazy, made a direct donation. In order to do as much good as possible, not just for children, but for local businesses too, we targeted some of our favorite local toy stores to make our purchases. Our children were great helpers in picking out gifts and delivering them.

As the founder of Mommy Poppins, I am grateful to our amazing team for rallying during the hectic holiday season and doing so much good. In all, we donated over $8500! Thanks also to all the local businesses, large and small, who support Mommy Poppins with advertising dollars throughout the year. It makes providing this resource to families for free possible, as well as these donations and our other initiatives. We are humbled and grateful for the support of our readers and local business community.

Read on to find out where our local families shopped and donated.


Things to Do on New Year's Eve with Boston Kids

Once you're a parent, New Year's Eve takes on a whole new meaning. It's a time for festivities, yes, but also remembering bedtimes, managing crowds, and keeping kids busy for the ninth (or more) straight day out of school. Whether you'd like to celebrate by going on a reindeer quest, dancing in your pjs, marveling at ice sculptures, or watching fireworks, there are lots of choices for activities will make the day festive for families without burning anyone out.

Best Family Travel of 2018: Great Cities, Beaches, Hotels, and Memories

Our Mommy Poppins families really traveled this year! We scoped out some amazing cities with our kids in tow, from New Orleans to Santa Barbara, up to Vancouver and over to Chicago.

There were some epic science museums to explore, Christmas towns to make us cheery, gorgeous beaches, fun at amusement parks, and of course, a slew of entertaining family-friendly resorts, from Mexico and the Caribbean to Los Angeles and New England ski resorts.

So if you’re planning your next family vacation, take a look at our favorite destinations from the last year, including these warmer climates for February or spring break. In each profile, we highlight the most kid-friendly activities and events and let you know what to skip with toddlers or what to see with the teens.

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.

Christmas Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Dec 22-23

Between the last-minute gift shopping and holiday get-togethers, parents may be on the hunt for additional family fun this weekend. Not to worry: The 2018 holiday season is still packed with activities. Enjoy a cozy candlelit evening of music and hearth fires, and create some last-minute presents for loved ones. Judge gingerbread house designs, watch a performance of The Nutcracker (by puppets!), and grab brunch with Santa before his magical night of gift giving. Or why not get some fresh air and go for a winter walk

Whatever you choose to do, we here at Mommy Poppins wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and fun holiday. Merry Christmas!

Mommy Poppins’ New City Sites Washington, DC and Chicago Launch for Holidays

As we approach the 12 year anniversary of Mommy Poppins, it’s amazing to reflect back on the past years, even as we are looking forward and adding new cities to our community.  Just like my children, who have grown in ways I never would have imagined, Mommy Poppins has become so much more than I ever planned for it to be when I started writing those first blog posts as a New Year’s resolution in 2007. 

This week we added Washington, DC and Chicago to our growing list of cities that now includes Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Houston, as well as NYC, Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester, and Connecticut.

20 Fun Things for Boston-Area Kids to do Over Holiday Break

Christmas is here, and with it comes school break. While it's nice to kick back and relax from busy December schedules, it can be stressful to be the social planner for your family in the midst of the holiday season. Thankfully, there is no shortage of fun and easy things to do in the Boston area, including these 20 prime picks. From artsy explorations to Fanastic Beasts scavenger hunts to DIY candy cane mazes, there's no shortage of ways to nip "I'm bored" in the bud all week long.

And don't forget to check out our events calendar and Holiday Fun Guide for even more ways to spend some time with your little ones this season!

New Orleans with Kids: Top Things to Do and See as a Family

New Orleans is a big city not because of its size but in personality and culture. From the music to the food, both deeply steeped in historical and emotional significance to New Orleans and its residents, it's unlike any other city in the south. Still standing after one of the country's most destructive hurricanes, everywhere you go in New Orleans, you'll find a compelling story, or, at the very least, some delicious gumbo.

This American city should be on everyone's travel bucket list as the Big Easy makes a great, multigenerational family vacation spot at any time of the year. There are so many fun things to do and see and eat with the kids, from delicious beignets and a French Quarter stroll to an incredible children's museum, an aquarium, and a zoo. We've also included some unexpected family hits like a swamp tour and a butterfly garden.

Read on for the top activities and attractions to check out when traveling to New Orleans with kids. We suspect you'll come for the food and entertainment but leave feeling inspired by its rich history. 

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.

Weekend Fun: Dickens, Kwanzaa, and a Mariachi Band, Dec 15-16

As much as we all look forward to the traditional holiday events happening each year, it's refreshing to see unique, multicultural events pop up on the calendar. This weekend, families can take a candlelit peace walk, discover the true meaning of Kwanzaa, and carol with a mariachi band. Catch this classic Dickens tale with a dance-theater twist or attend a holiday hootenanny (and CD release party) with Matt Heaton. And for an always delightful, theatrical twist on global holiday traditions, head to Cambridge for the Christmas Revels, back for its 48th season with a Nordic theme this year.


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