9 Drop-In Indoor Playgrounds Where Boston Kids Can Get Their Energy Out

As temperatures hover around freezing and even trusty toys are getting tiresome, every parent is looking for fun winter activities that can help kids expend energy and get their sillies out indoors. Just in time for February school vacation, we’ve rounded up 10 indoor play spaces where little and big kids can slide, climb, dodge, play pretend, and make friends—just as they might on their favorite outdoor playgrounds. Most are a drive outside city limits, but all have lots enough space and options for high-energy fun to make a day trip feel well worth it.

Weekend Fun: Science, Marionettes, and Chocolate; Feb 9-10

New England's Superbowl win is behind us, but families can continue to celebrate Boston in other ways this weekend, like a sweet festival on the North Shore, a glowing tunnel of love, plus this annual Lunar New Year bash at the MFA (for free!). There are not one but two opportunities to catch the Tanglewood Marionettes performing a special Lunar New Year show too. For all budding scientists, there is a beloved science fest on Saturday and this super cool (and free!) STEM workshop.

Ice Castles NH: A Gorgeous Winter Playground Entirely Made of Ice

From the moment we drove down the road and saw Ice Castles NH gleaming on the horizon, it was love at frost sight. The castles are a beautifully detailed work of art that is a frigid feast for all your senses and a perfect family winter weekend getaway.

Ice Castles is a completely immersive experience that is currently located in six cities throughout North America. Professional ice artists work tirelessly to hand-place hundreds of thousands of icicles into stunning formations. The end result is a labyrinth of twisting paths that open up into gorgeous ice canyons, grand archways, and a fun surprise or two.

25 Things To Do with Kids On Boston's South Shore in Winter

When I moved to the South Shore from downtown Boston, I was pleasantly surprised by how much there is to do with kids. I figured the list would dwindle significantly once the weather turned cold, but alas, it seemed to actually grow the more I investigated!  

Here are my top 25 choices for things to do with kids in the South Shore during the winter, from indoor play spaces and classes for young children to our favorite family-friendly restaurants

Cartoon Network Hotel to Open in Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Fans of Cartoon Network's Adventure Time, We Bare Bears, Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls, and other programs are getting a treat this summer. The TV network and Palace Entertainment are working together to open the Cartoon Network Hotel, a kid-friendly resort steeped in the channel's animated world, for summer 2019.

The nine-acre, 165-room property will be located in central Pennsylvania's Lancaster County along Route 30. It will neighbor Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, which is also owned by Palace Entertainment, so a family could easily enjoy both attractions in one trip. It is the Cartoon Network's first themed hotel.

Seems like there's one more reason to plan a Pennsylvania weekend getaway with the kids.

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 18 and 22. Along with some very special exhibits, performances, and fun 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) this February school break. 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. For more ideas for making the most of a chilly February vacation in Boston, check out our Winter Fun Guide.

Mall of America's Most Amazing Attractions for Kids of All Ages

Mall of America, located in the heart of the American Midwest in Bloomington, Minnesota, is nothing short of an indoor entertainment epicenter for kids. Sure, it has over 500 stores, but there’s way more to do than just go shopping at the country's largest mall (so big that it requires its own zip code: 55425).

From Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower to the Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee, the Midwest is full of fun, interesting, and educational things that kids and their parents will love. Mall of America might possess a more commercial feel than some of the area's other travel destinations, but it also likely offers the most entertainment per square foot (5.4 million square feet to be exact) with some of the most popular kids' characters and brands on hand, including Lego, Nickelodeon, American Girl, and Paw Patrol. There's an indoor amusement park, aquarium, arcade, mini golf, and so much more, all within just a few minutes of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

Read on to check out our list of the top 25 amazing things that kids of all ages can do at Mall of America.

15 Free and Fun Things to Do in February with Boston Kids

It's the dead of winter, yes, but if a groundhog can be lured to venture out of his burrow, so can we! For inspiration, remember that we have a lot to celebrate in February, including the Lunar New Year, Valentine's Day, school break, and more. Need more motivation? How about the fact that many of these cool activities are free? Check out our picks for no-cost fun, all month long.

Free STEM Summer Camp from Girls Who Code Opens Registration

Looking for more than mindless hanging out and screentime for your teenage daughter this summer? Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that aims to increase the number of women in computer science fields, is once again offering its FREE summer immersion program for girls entering their junior or senior year of high school. The 7-week STEM summer camp offering FREE coding lessons and more crucial skills will take place in select cities across the country, including the NYC metro area, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and Chicago.

Keep reading to find out who is eligible, how to apply, and when and where the program is happening in summer 2019. Hurry, because the early application period for this FREE summer program is already open!

Weekend Fun: Groundhogs, Valentines, and Patriots; Feb 2-3

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and kids can start sharing the love by making a heart-shaped candy box and a woolly valentine. It's also Groundhog's Day, and this event celebrates our favorite fuzzy weatherman. Outdoor adventurers can check out this wilderness fest and indoor enthusiasts can head to the (family-friendly) opera. Don't forget to cheer on the Patriots—with some gorillas or at a family-friendly restaurant


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