Boston

8 Drop-In Craft Spots where Kids Can Make Gifts and Art Around Boston

Homemade gifts are sooo adorable; a home covered in glue and paint, not so much. Holiday time and winter weekends are an ideal to time for kids to unleash their creativity, preferably a distance from your own upholstery. With "open studio" hours that welcome kids without a reservation, these crafty spots provide a variety of artistic materials for children to choose from and plenty of room to experiment. They'll be entertained; and you may even get a cute keepsake for yourself out of the bargain.

5 Easy Winter Day Trips for Boston Families

Ah, winter—the season of cozy togetherness, indoor fun, and, yes, the need to escape the house (at any cost). While a trip to a local museum or play place often fits the bill, sometimes, we all feel the need to stretch our horizons beyond the I-495 corridor. There's plenty of nearby skiing and indoor water park action to be had, of course, but in the event you're looking for something mellower (and, let's face it, cheaper), we have some ideas for you. Here are five day trips that allow you to wake up and fall asleep in your own beds, while packing in lots of beyond-Boston fun in between.

25 Top Palm Springs Resorts, Attractions , & Things To Do for Families

No matter the season, you can always count on Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley for balmy weather and lots of fun in the sun. In fact, this glamorous resort area, only a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, is blessed with an average of 350 days of sunshine each year and is the ideal playground for countless family activities. Here are a few ideas on how to make the most of a vacation in the desert.

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Dreidels, Revels, and Rudolph; Dec 9-10

Can you hear the sleigh bells? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical arrives in Boston next week, and to get ready, Legoland Boston is hosting a Bricktacular event in honor of Rudolph all weekend. And though December can be consumed with all things Christmas, sometimes we forget that there are all kinds of things to celebrate this month. With Hanukkah starting on Tuesday, start celebrating the Festival of Lights on Sunday with a dreidel making workshop, a cantata, and even a Hanukkah-themed S.T.E.A.M. fair.

Free and Cheap Kids' Ski Programs in the Northeast This Winter

Let's face facts: No matter how exhilarating skiing and snowboarding are, they are also among the most expensive activities in which a family can participate—especially if your kids take a single run and spend the rest of the day sipping cocoa.

Thankfully, many nearby state ski associations offer free or mostly free lift tickets to grade-schoolers, even if you're not a resident of that state. Of course, there are hurdles to clear to get those benefits—kids need to be the appropriate age, apply online and, in some cases, be accompanied by a paying adult. There are also "processing fees" attached to several, but it breaks down to a very discounted ticket if you use it more than once. But for avid skiers and riders, or those who merely want to try out the sports, these programs can save you plenty of cash when skiing with the kids.

Read on for more information on how to ski for free in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. (Note: Connecticut has a residents-only program for free ski passes for kids at Mohawk Mountain.)

Check our Ski and Snow Sports Guide for more fun on local hills and mountains.

Boston-Area Restaurants Open on Christmas Day

As cozy as it is at home during the end of December, there's something about the idea of someone else doing the cooking and clean-up for the family that is just so appealing—no matter what holiday you celebrate. As it turns out, not only are there a bunch of amazing restaurants open in Boston on Christmas Day, but they have all kinds of special holiday plans for guests as well.

10 Special Holiday Tea and Treat Events for Boston Kids

Getting kids to don some decent clothes and use some manners is a struggle. But that's less the case, we've found, around the holidays. Many children—girls and boys—get excited to dress up and head out to a fancy, festively decorated place, especially when special treats are involved. These restaurants and hotels are rolling out the red carpet (and some pretty fantastic pastries) for kids and their parents this month. Make your reservations soon for a perfectly sweet and civilized afternoon. (Some are more of a splurge than others, so be sure to call ahead for updated prices for your group.)

12 Hotels Around the World That Will Blow Your Kids' Minds

When planning a family getaway, where you stay can easily be as exciting as the vacation destination. Amazing hotel suites, bungalows, and villas abound, offering one-of-a-kind experiences for kids and families—they may even end up becoming the main attraction!

We've rounded up 11 splurge-worthy options from across the globe—and one more that's coming soon. These rooms are designed to spark imaginations and ignite adventure for kids of all ages, with plenty to offer for mom and dad, too. For more travel ideas, check out our Family Travel Guide.

Homes with Awesome Holiday Lights and Decor Around Boston

For some of us, it's a struggle to string our own little Christmas trees without losing a bulb (or our tempers). Others—including some of our Boston neighbors—are veritable pros at decking out their homes for the holidays. All over Boston and the 'burbs, there are spectacular public holiday light displays, but also families who've made a tradition of creating special sparkle on their own properties. So next time you have a free evening, pack some hot chocolate in a thermos, buckle up the kids, and take a road trip to see some of these joyful dwellings. It's sure to inspire holiday spirit (and maybe some ideas for your own abode). Note that some homes and neighborhoods might be still finalizing displays or take periodic days off...drop us a tip at boston@mommypoppins.com if you have any updates.

Minecraft Lovers Get Something New for Hour of Code 2017

The annual Hour of Code is entering its fourth year next month, and Microsoft is adding something for 2017 that your little Minecraft lovers will surely go nuts over. Whether your family is new to this free international mass coding phenomenon or you've explored it before, the 2017 campaign has new and exciting features for everyone—including coding projects about Moana, Star Wars, and Minecraft.

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