Boston

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.

10 Great Places to Hike with Kids Around Boston

I’ve always loved hiking, so I was eager to get back to it not long after having my first baby. Last fall, we joined the Babes in the Woods' weekly guided hikes for baby-wearing caregivers at the Middlesex Fells, one of my favorite local hiking spots. And this spring, I'd love to explore even more local trails. Whether your kids are in a carrier or old enough to hike alongside you, there are plenty of fun and scenic trails throughout the Boston area to enjoy. Here are 10 nearby spots to take in the great outdoors on foot.

The Greenway Carousel is a One-of-a-Kind Kids' Birthday Party Spot

Picking the perfect kids' party spot is no easy feat, so we're pretty much in birthday-planning heaven when we come across an option that's sure to standout from the crowd. And if you didn't already know you could host a celebration at the completely one-of-a-kind Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, you're bound to be as thrilled as we were to realize this city hotspot is totally up for grabs.

If this gem isn't already on your venue-searching radar, we've got a solid list of reasons why the Greenway Carousel is one of the best places to blow out the candles with your kiddo!

8 Sheepshearing and Wool Festivals in New England

We're finally seeing the first signs of spring! On the farm at this time of year there is new life everywhere, and the sheep are due for haircuts. That means it's shearing festival time. Locally, Gore Place and North Andover are celebrating sheepshearing season with big shindigs. (It’s not that strange—think of the big deal you made about your child’s first haircut.) If you want to make a fun family day trip or even a weekend getaway out of it, there are also sheepshearing and wool festivals in nearby Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts.

Patriots' Day Weekend Events for Families in Boston, Lexington, and Concord

Patriots' Day commemorates the April anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord, the first clashes of the American Revolutionary War. It is a Massachusetts state holiday, officially observed on the third Monday in April, and is celebrated with parades and ceremonies from Boston to Roxbury, and all along the Battle Road.

We’ve rounded up some of the key reenactments, parades, and special events leading up to and on Patriots' Day, as well as special events at local museums, historical houses and Minute Man National Park. Note: most of the events listed are free but also very popular, so plan to arrive early and expect crowds. (If you're interested in more happenings or places to eat while in Concord, check out our 20-plus things to do in Concord post.)

Beyond the Goody Bag: 10 Great Birthday Party Favor Ideas for Kids

Whether you love them or hate them, party favors are still a huge part of any child’s birthday celebration. I happen to love figuring out favors for these festive occasions, because it’s creative and challenging—something I can happily pat myself on the back for, if done successfully. For that to happen, it needs to be equal parts pleasing for the kids and their parents, and either edible, memorable, practical, shareable, or charitable.

Do yourself a favor and read on for 10 ultra unique ideas to take your little guy or girl’s goody bag from basic to brag-worthy.

For more unique ways to fete your youngsters, check out our list of free ways to celebrate and 10 sweet alternatives to birthday cake, or learn how to create a DIY photo booth for the big event. Planning to celebrate your little one's first birthday soon? We've got ideas for your soon-to-be-turning-one babes, too. Whatever you're looking for, we’ve got birthday hints in the bag.

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Circus, Butterflies, and Ninjago, Apr 7-8

It may have snowed just days ago, but it must be spring because the circus is back in town! If you're looking for circus acts on a smaller scale, check out this one by Ringling Brothers-trained Johnny Peers and his Muttville Comix. Also back for the spring is I Spy Butterfly at the Puppet Theatre Showplace, free soccer demo classes, and these Patriots' Day reenactments. Excited for the latest Ninjago movie? Head over to Legoland for a weekend filled with screenings of the 4D movie, interactive demonstrations, scavenger hunts, a Ninjago-themed build, and even some photo ops with Ninja Kai. 

Also on Mommy Poppins:

Skydiving and Surfing Under One Roof in Nashua

Here in chilly Boston, we're grateful for the inside playgrounds and indoor water parks that allow kids to replicate outdoor fun all year long. But when you really want to take four-seasons adventure to the next level, point the family cruiser toward the Granite State: At SkyVenture, located just over the New Hampshire border (and less than an hour from Boston), kids as young as preschool-age can "fly," surf and slide under one roof—in a single, glorious afternoon. We got the scoop from parents and kids who've made the trip.

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