Boston

Story Land, NH: Closer Than Disney, Tamer Than Six Flags for Kids Under 12

Amuseument parks are a big thrill for kids; but for younger ones, they can be little scary, too. New Hampshire's Story Land gets it. Nestled in the Mount Washington Valley, Story Land was created more than 60 years ago to simulate a storybook village where characters and animals can come to life to charm children. It's grown to include more than 30 rides (most recently the "Roar-O-Saurus") and splashy stage shows (Daniel Tiger visits this summer), but has maintained a low-key, family-friendly feel that's geared to kids 2 to 12 years old (though we find it especially appealing for preschoolers and young elementary schoolers). It's also a morning drive away from Boston (see that, Disney), and about half the price of a day at Six Flags Great Adventure. Read on for tips on a Story Land trip...with a little planning, it's possible you'll be just as enchanted as the kids.

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Block Parties, Stargazing, and a Whale Festival, May 5-6

Hooray, it is May! That means it is time to wake up the Earth, cheer on some superfast horses, and celebrate at the sweetest block party of the season. Get a jumpstart on Mother's Day at this annual breakfast and birding event, spout some whale knowledge at a free Aquarium festival, and then why not Walk for Hunger? At night, enjoy the warm spring air and gaze at the stars and planets (s'mores included!).

5 Kids' Farm Camps Near Boston for Little Plant and Animal Lovers

If your child is enchanted by things that grow in the dirt, whether they're pea shoots or baby piglets, it might be time to consider farm camp. Trust me when I tell you your kids will love it—when else are children encouraged to get messy and play with farm animals? Farm camps offer the best of the country in close proximity to the city, and your kids will get to be outside, do a lot of learning about ecology and environmental science, and discover the wonders of vegetables. Here are five summer farm camps within about a half hour of Boston to explore; please check the websites or call for exact prices, which may fluctuate seasonally. Check out our summer camp guide for more fun ideas to stay busy during school vacation.

Kids Obstacle Course Challenge Coming to Boston

Calling all active kids! A nationwide adventure race created just for children ages 5 and up is swinging through Boston, and it promises some heart-pumping fun for families. The Kids Obstacle Challenge will be held one day only, on May 19 at Kalon Farm in Lancaster (just less than hour west of the city) before it moves on to Washington, D.C. Expect mud pits, rock walls, ball pits, rope challenges, and more mud...basically an outdoor version of the ninja warrior courses that have become so popular. If you have kids who love to have fun, get messy, and challenge themselves, read on for more details about this one-day-only event.

May GoList - Best Things to Do with Kids in Boston

We’re feeling festive this month! For our May edition of the GoList, we’re highlighting fabulous and free spring festivals, annual Mother's Day traditions, and performances you won't want to miss. As you check out our top ten picks for things to do with kids in Boston this month, click through to the event listings so you can add them to your calendar. Plus, we'll still send our free e-newsletters with our family-friendly event picks every week.

25 STEM Activities Easy Enough for Preschoolers

STEM activities are all the rage in education right now, and for good reason. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) – and the Arts for STEAM – are crucial to kids’ learning and our future. But how to get your younger children interested?

They might not be ready for coding, but many preschoolers under age 5, and even toddlers, can enjoy some basic STEM principles through play. Although one of my family’s admitted guilty pleasures is relaxing with a little screen time, I was inspired by the upcoming national Screen-Free Week (April 30-May 6, 2018) to take my daughter on a STEM binge instead.

We built an apple boat, a toothpick-marshmallow castle, attempted a pom-pom drop, and indulged in baking soda science. Read on for a list of 25 tried-and-true screen-free STEM activities to do with your preschooler.

6 Boston-Area Zoos That Aren't in Boston (and Totally Worth the Drive)

Zoos are a popular destination for families with kids of all ages—who doesn’t love to gawk at giraffes and roar like a lion? While Franklin Park Zoo is a popular (and wonderful) option, there are six others within a 90-minute drive of Boston that each offer something unique for animal aficionados. Whether it’s Franklin Park’s sister zoo in Stoneham or York’s Wild Kingdom in Maine, there is an option for you within day-trip distance, offering entrance to another world of miraculous and mysterious creatures not normally seen around Boston.

Visiting Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya in Mexico with Kids

Mexico's Caribbean coast is known for its first-class resorts, especially along the Riviera Maya, including towns such as Playa del Carmen and Tulum. So much so that sometimes the sparkling waters, stunning beaches, and swank surroundings of this northern Yucatan peninsula's all-inclusive deals make it hard to want to leave the lovely confines of your hotel.

But there’s so much more to this gorgeous Mexican coastal region just south of Cancun than beachside getaways. To introduce the kids to a taste of authentic culture, including Mayan ruins, natural wonders, and unlimited adventure, you don’t have to go far. Some excursions may take only an hour and others a whole day, but these 25 ideas are surely worthy of drawing the family out of the resort for even just a few hours.

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Sheepshearing, Photography, and Birds of Prey, Apr 28-29

With the lovely spring weather that is (hopefully) here to stay, we've got plenty of chances to get outside this weekend. While parents can browse the spring tag sales going on, kids can enjoy the sunshine while watching sheep shed their winter coats and discovering the homes of fairies and gnomes. If the weather doesn't cooperate and indoor activities are necessary, kids can still get into nature at this birds of prey drawing workshop, or create sun prints and go on a treasure hunt at this photography exhibit. Love books and movies? Check out this film festival featuring literary-themed submissions all by kids.

Boston Kids' Swim Lessons Where Parents Don't Need to Get in the Pool

There are plenty of places that offer parent-child swim lessons for babies and toddlers in Boston, but that format doesn't work for all families. In some cases, parents aren't keen on the idea of getting in the pool themselves; in others, kids respond better to instructors when parents aren't around. Fewer places offer lessons for under-3-year-olds without a caregiver in the pool to participate, but many that do are highly rated by parents. Here are a few places to choose from if you'd prefer to stay dry while your little one takes the plunge.

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