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Veteran's Day Weekend Fun For Boston Kids

This Veteran's Day weekend is full of great activities for the family to enjoy. Learn more about where food comes and see model trains in action with the Farm to Table by Train at the Wenham Museum. The International Kids' Film Festival highlights children's films from around the world and provides workshops for kids to learn more about film making.

In music this weekend, Laurie Berkner comes to the Shubert Theatre, Karen K and the Jitterbugs have their annual bug-out at the Regent Theatre and SteveSongs entertains at Temple Beth Shalom Children's Center. 

Add some magic to the day off on Tuesday with the Amazing Max Magic Show at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC. If you are looking for all-day options for your kids on Veteran's Day, Guard Up and Empow Studios have mini-camps running all day.  Veterans get in free at both Zoo New England locations for Veteran's Day.

Also on Mommy Poppins this week:

Finally, I'd like to let you all know that this is my last week as the events editor for Mommy Poppins Boston. I've started graduate school in Library Science and Children's Literature this fall, which does not leave me with much down time. You'll still see me around as a contributing writer though, and our new events editor Kip is sure to do a fantastic job. 

Have fun this weekend, and as always, be sure to check out the full events calendar!

Teaching Kids to be Kind: Great Resources for Boston Parents

Whether your family is inspired by the amazing winners of our Boston Kids Who Really Rock contest or you've just been thinking about teaching your kids ways to be kind, you can start pumping the positive vibes of kindness right now. And you don't have to do it alone. There are a slew of organizations -- local, national and international -- that can help plant the seed that will grow your child into a pint-sized philanthropist. All it really takes is one small act of kindness, of which there are many to choose. Read on to discover how these organizations are hoping to change the world one act of kindness at a time, and how you can get started. 

Holiday Shows for Families in Boston: A Christmas Carol

Whether you're full of Christmas spirit or feeling a little "bah-humbug," seeing a performance of Charles Dickens' classic story of redemption, A Christmas Carol, can be an uplifting and delightful family holiday activity. 

This holiday season, there are multiple versions of the story being performed in a variety of ways in the Boston area, including the unique “in-the-round” performance by the North Shore Music Theatre and a comedic version performed by puppeteers at the Puppet Showplace Theater. Keep reading for details, and if you're looking for more classic holiday performances, take a look at our roundup of Boston-area productions of The Nutcracker

Family Trees at Concord Museum: Celebrating Children's Literature and Creating New Holiday Traditions

After visiting Concord Museum's annual exhibition Family Trees: A Celebration of Children's Literature for the first time last year, my family now has a new holiday tradition. Concord Museum celebrates the town of Concord's rich literary heritage year-round with exhibits featuring literary giants, and during the holidays, the presentation becomes even grander. For almost two decades, the museum has celebrated classic and contemporary children’s books with Christmas trees and wreaths inspired by those books. Each tree pays tribute to or brings a story to life in its own unique way. Here's more about the exhibition and what’s happening at the museum during the holidays, plus some tips for getting the most out of your visit with kids.

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids November 1-2: Day of the Dead, Cartoon Festival and More

Start your November by celebrating the Day of the Dead in Arlington or Cambridge. If you aren't quite ready to say good-bye to Halloween, this weekend gives you one last chance to see the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular and the Marini Farm Corn Maze. Or, if you'd like to say a very dramatic good-bye to Halloween, check out the Smolak Farms Pumpkin Smash.

In performances this weekend, don't miss the Billy Jones Band making music from everyday objects. TIm of Tim and the Space Cadets performs at the Coolidge Corner Theater. And the music of Woodie Guthrie comes to life in a puppet show

Also on Mommy Poppins this week:

Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to check out the full events calendar!

Getting More Out of Boston with Baby: Resources for New and Expectant Parents

You’ve breathed through birth classes, drooled over adorable baby clothes, picked out the perfect stroller, and decided on a pediatrician. What about having a little fun after baby is born? Connecting with your baby and other new parents may seem like luxury, but we think it’s incredibly important. Here are a few things to check out before baby comes to ensure you have a social network and plenty of fun ways to connect with your little one once she arrives. 

These Kids Really Do Rock: Boston Kids Who Are Making a Difference

We wanted to know all about Boston kids who exemplify the spirit of the Kids Really Rock festival – kids who give back in small and big ways to their communities, demonstrate kindness, use their creativity to help others and make a positive difference in the world – so we asked for nominations from parents, nonprofits, youth leaders, and even the kids themselves.

The phenomenal entries we received confirmed our belief that Boston kids are making a difference in their communities, and that they really do rock! After careful consideration (and some very difficult decision-making), we selected five finalists, including one grand prize winner who is the recipient of $1,000 donation to local nonprofit Cradles to Crayons and a nonprofit organization of his choice. These are the inspiring stories of our five finalists in the Boston Kids Who Really Rock contest.

Boston Restaurants Serving Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Dinner

If I’m not hosting Thanksgiving dinner or visiting extended family and friends, cooking a big feast seems completely unnecessary to me. I’d rather go out for dinner and be thankful that someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning.

If you're thinking about dining out for Thanksgiving, here are four Boston restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinners that are both kid-friendly and budget-friendly. Plus, if you want to go all out this Thanksgiving, I’ve included an elegant (but also kid-friendly) Thanksgiving brunch that sounds hard to resist. 

10 Questions To Ask During a Preschool Tour

A preschool tour is the best opportunity for parents to get a feel for a school before tackling the admissions process. Hopefully, you see the school in action, or at least check out what the classrooms look like. Keep your eyes open for important details. What type of student work is on display? Do the kids seem happy and engaged? How do the teachers interact with them?

When you're on the tour, don't be shy about asking questions. This is your chance! "Parents should ask as many questions as they want to help understand and grasp our program's philosophy," says Lisa Pacheco, center director at Children’s Creative Learning Center. Jennifer Jones of Battery Park Montessori and the Pine Street School adds, "I encourage parents to ask questions based on their personal priorities for their children. For example, if the child is physically active and the parents are concerned about it, they should ask how the school will satisfy the child's need for physical expression." Open-ended questions are best, as they tend to reveal more about the school. For example, "How do you support literacy?" is better than, "When do you teach the alphabet?"

Here are the top 10 topics to ask about when you're visiting preschools.

The Biggest Baby Shower Ever is Coming To Boston: A Q&A with Big City Mom Co-Founders

We recently spoke with Leslie Venokur and Risa Goldberg, the driving forces behind Big City Moms and the organizers of the Biggest Baby Shower Ever. Big City Moms is a resource for for moms, moms-to-be, and families to connect through a variety of special and customized events. For the first time ever, the company has brought the Biggest Baby Shower Ever, a show that features over 100 of the best companies in the baby industry, to Boston.  We are excited to attend this event and meet our readers (and future readers!) face to face.  Stop by the Mommy Poppins Boston table to find out about our favorite things to do in Boston with kids, what you can do now to get connected with other new parents after the baby arrives, and how to get through the winter months with little ones. But first, get the details on the Biggest Baby Shower Ever straight from the moms who are making it happen. 

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