Boston

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Feb Fest, Animal Adventures, and a Pizza Party; Feb 24-25

One more weekend and then it's back to school! While you still have a household to entertain, the vacation week activities continue with special Blue Man Group performances, animal adventures, and MIT's Feb Fest. It's your last chance to catch the Skating Path before it closes for the season, and superhero wannabes can take a special cruise. If you're feeling hungry, check out storytime at Taza Chocolates or this DIY pizza party

Also on Mommy Poppins:

12 Books that Make Kids Proud to be Bostonians

Boston is a city steeped in history, and one of the best ways to learn about all of its famous landmarks and residents is through books. Next time you head to one of our city's great libraries or bookstores, look for one or more of these 12 great children's books, including a brand-new, beautifully illustrated story about the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. From landmark lore to rich biographies, these great reads will inspire hometown pride in Boston kids in different, age-appropriate ways.

10 Free Ways to Keep Boston Preschoolers Busy this Winter Break Week

With so much going on this week for the big kids enjoying their school break, we can't forget about the little guys (our preschoolers!) and how to keep them entertained too. While many kid-friendly events happening this week welcome youngers siblings, there are a bunch that are designed with them in mind. Best of all—these activities are all free, so you can save your money for a fun breakfast or a hot chocolate outing one day.

Empowering Kids and Parents After a School Shooting

By Susan Jara

It’s a terrifying scenario that has become all too familiar: A gunman walks into a school and starts shooting. Parents rush to the scene and wait in desperation to find out whether their child survived. Some of them do not.

The shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is one of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. Since the tragic 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, more than 400 people have been shot at schools, according to the New York Times.

As a parent watching these tragedies unfold over and over again, I felt powerless, frightened, and bewildered as to how to discuss these events with my children—and really, how to keep them safe going forward. Many parent friends say they’re afraid to send their kids through the school doors every day in light of these mass shootings. We wonder: Are the active shooter drills they’re participating in even helping?

“Every day I leave the house, thinking, ‘What if something happens at my school or at my child’s school,’ says Jill Murray, a mom and social worker in a high school near Newtown, Connecticut. “What if this is the last time I see my son?”

So I sought the advice of experts to help guide myself and other parents through this. What can we do to keep them safe, and what can we do to prevent anxiety from taking over?

Thrilling Family Fun: 5 Escape Rooms and Quests to Do With Boston Kids

As kids get older, it gets harder to find indoor family activities that aren’t “boring” or “stupid.” Fear not; there’s good news. If you’re the parent of older school-age kids or 'tweens, you might want to try an escape room adventure. People all over America are paying to be locked in a room for an hour—to try to get out, together. Escape rooms are the newest trend, and your family might love it. We’ve found five nearby escape rooms, or similarly-themed quest activities, where you and your kids can test your quick-thinking and problem-solving skills (and maybe do some bonding at the same time).

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Film Fests, Eagles, and a Birthday; Feb 17-19

Who's ready for a break? For those of us sticking around town this week for a staycation, there are not one but two film festivals geared towards young cinema goers, not to mention a festival celebrating some of the coolest birds found in New England. Learn bread baking techniques, sing along to this popular Disney flick, and catch the mother of all demo derbies.

Reptiles, Glow-in-the-Dark, Mermaids, and More: Unique At-Home Birthday Parties for Boston Kids

Boston is packed with great indoor party places that cater to kids. But there are still plenty of parents—myself included—who really enjoy hosting a good, old-fashioned, at-home birthday party. The one catch: Coming up with ways to keep kids engaged that don't involve trashing the house. Recently, we rounded up some of our favorite musicians, magicians, clowns, and character actors who travel to homes to perform for Boston-area kids. But in the event you have a child who yearns for something a little different, we've scouted around for party entertainment that's a little outside the gift box, so to speak. Whether you have a kid who's into exotic creatures, cooking, or just romping around, you can count on one of these companies to create a one-of-a-kind party for your unique birthday boy or girl. Rates fluctuate by group size and sometimes seasonally, so be sure to ask details when you reach out for more information.

30 Ideas for a Fun February Vacation Week with Boston Kids

If your plans for winter break include a staycation right here in Boston, you're in luck, because there are tons of cool things to do while the kids are off of school between February 19th and 23rd. Along with some very special exhibits, performances, and activities, we've discovered some drop-off programs for kids of parents who need childcare (or just a break). We're also happy to report that there are also oodles of events that are free (or nearly free). True, none of these events involve lounging on the beach with a tropical drink; on the plus side, they're all easy to get to—and easy on the wallet. 

A-maze-ing! Review of the New MOS Mirror Maze Exhibit

The Museum of Science is a gift to families in Boston, offering dozens of interactive displays that take hours to investigate, with ever-changing rotating exhibits. Its newest temporary exhibit, A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature, is just as enthralling and informative as the Museum’s permanent collections, teaching visitors about how patterns are found everywhere, from a shell's spiral to the veins on a leaf. Bonus: Entrance to the exhibit is included in the general admission, so you can check it out without having to chip in any extra. Here's what we discovered in this truly cool exhibit, and our recommendations for visiting.

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