Parties with a Purpose: Kids' Volunteering Birthday Bash To Help Those in Need

Kids' birthday parties should be a blast, but they don't necessarily need to be two hours of lavish expense resulting in a mountain of under-appreciated gifts. Just as you can organize an at-home volunteering project during a playdate, it's easy to throw a party with a purpose. This goes beyond encouraging guests to donate to charity in lieu of presents (which is great, too). We've rounded up fun and easy things kids can do to help those in need that can be incorporated into many themes, and all of our ideas can be done at home. Make sure you have a brief discussion with the kids before you get started about why you've chosen to host a party with a purpose, and who will benefit from their generosity. That way the children not only understand the concept, they can feel good about giving to others. Isn't that the greatest birthday gift of all?

Classes For Kids in Charlestown, MA

Given its close proximity to downtown and the airport, beautiful new parks, and kid-friendly streets, families are flocking to Charlestown, MA and staying put.  Because of this influx, businesses are stepping up to the plate to meet the demand for enrichment classes in the area. Read on for the details about Charlestown's classes for expectant moms, babies, toddlers -- all the way up to big kids.  

20 Things To Do With Kids In Charlestown

Located on the banks of the Boston Harbor, Charlestown has become increasingly popular for young families due to its proximity to the city and neighborhood feel.  Made famous by several landmarks like the Bunker Hill Monument and Old Ironsides, Charlestown offers plenty to do for kids in all seasons.  It's hard to believe this 'hood is only one square mile! 

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon on Stage at Wheelock Family Theatre: A Parent Review

My daughter and I are big Grace Lin fans. Her storytelling and gorgeous illustrations continually mesmerize us, and we really like that she’s a local author.  Our fandom began when I first read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, the story of a girl named Minli who, inspired by her father’s fantastical stories, sets out on a journey to change her family’s fortune. With a young, quick-witted heroine and its messages of the value of selflessness and recognizing one's own good fortune, I knew it would be the perfect family read-aloud.

When I heard about the stage adaptation of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon playing at the Wheelock Family Theatre, I imagined how beautifully the lyrical writing would translate to script and the ways a theatrical performance would bring the magic of the story to life.  Keep reading to find out if the production measured up, plus five highlights and five things to be aware of before taking your kids to the show.

Fairy House Fun in Boston and Beyond This Spring

There’s just something about the idea of fairies that captures the imaginations of kids and adults alike. This spring, there are plenty of opportunities to see and make whimsical elf homes, fairy gardens, and troll villages for the magical woodland creatures that only live in our imaginations (or do they actually exist?). After you see the fairy gardens in Providence or build houses for fairies in the woods, you might even be inspired to make your own fairy or dragon garden at home.  Then check back here at the start of summer for more fairy festivities happening throughout New England during the summer and fall months.

Visiting the MIT Museum with Kids

The MIT Museum is a haven for science and engineering geeks, but it’s also a fascinating place to visit for everyone else. It’s where all things STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) are explained, learned, and celebrated. It's also a quieter, calmer alternative to the Museum of Science for families with tweens and teens. Read on for highlights of the museum’s offerings, tips to get the most out of your visit, and things to do before and after your visit. 

Blue Man Group: A Parent Review

Going to the Blue Man Group performance was the most fun my family has had in ages, and that’s really saying something, because we’ve been doing whole lot of fun springtime activities in Boston lately. During the Blue Man Group show, we laughed until we were blue in the face (ha) and a week later, my kids haven’t stopped talking about how cool it was. Keep reading to find out why we think Blue Man Group is a winner, plus what to expect if you decide to go, things to be aware of when taking your kids, and a few bonus tips. 

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Puppetry, Easter Bunnies, and More, April 5-6

Bunnies and turtles and giraffes... Oh my! Turtle's New Home opens at the Puppet Showplace Theatre in Brookline and Brundibar and But the Giraffe! closes at the Central Square Theater. Easter festivities kick off this weekend with photos with the Easter Bunny, an egg hunt, and an Eggstravanganza (if you're on the hunt for eggs, see our post on more  Easter Egg Hunts in Boston). Spring has just arrived, but if you are already planning for summer check out the open houses at Camp Sewataro and the Dedham Country Day Camp. See the full calendar of events for more fun family activities this weekend.

Also on Mommy Poppins Boston this week:

Enjoy the weekend!

Top 10 Boston-Area Nature Centers for Young Children

Local mom and “Outdoors with Kids Boston” guidebook author, Kim Foley MacKinnon, shares her best family outing tips and picks with you as part of our guest blog series with the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Kids Outdoors Boston free online community.

Young children are insatiably curious, and nature centers offer a great way to indulge their interest about the world around them. From birding kits to aquariums, to nature-themed games and special programs, several Boston-area centers have plenty to keep youngsters engaged. Here’s our pick of the top ten within an hour or so of the city.


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