How to Find a Summer Camp for Your Child: Introducing Our New Boston Camp Directory

This time of year, the planners, the worriers, and the Type A personalities among us start obsessing about finding the right summer camp for our kids. The bad news is that most of the camp fairs have already come and gone. The good news is that the open houses are just getting started. (To find upcoming camp open houses in Boston, use the keyword search in our Events Calendar.) That’s great, but you might be wondering where to even start. After all, there are hundreds of camps in the Boston area. It has been a long time coming, but we finally have the tool you need: A Camp Directory! The Mommy Poppins Boston editors have chosen quality camps in and around Boston to include in the directory, and there are multiple ways to search for camps your child will love. Keep reading for the answers to your burning questions, like where to find this handy dandy directory, how to use it, and what other camp resources we have to help you on your quest for the right summer camp for your child.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in South Boston

As condo buildings and new businesses sprout up all over South Boston, restaurant owners have clearly taken notice.  The area has been introduced to some great new culinary additions in the last couple years.  Combined with some fabulous old stand-by's, Southie is now holding its own as a reputable place to come and dine.  Luckily for the large numbers of families moving here, many of these establishments are kid-friendly.  Here are some of my favorites in South Boston, and don't miss my recommendations on where to eat when visiting the Boston Children's Museum.  

6 Indoor Birthday Party Places for Active Kids South of Boston

Looking for a place to hold a kid’s birthday party south of Boston? We continue our series of indoor birthday party places for active kids with six different types of parties on the South Shore - gymnastics, dance, rock climbing, swimming, open play, and skating - that all allow kids to stay active and have fun in a safe, indoors environment.

And as with any party that is not held in your home, they all offer advantages like plenty of space, no weather worries, no mess to clean up afterwards, and minimal preparation required for parents. Read on for details about 6 indoor birthday party places south of Boston to consider. Please check out our Birthday Party Guide for more places to have a kid’s birthday party in MA, including our roundup of indoor birthday party places for active kids in Boston.

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Trains, Science, Magic and More Trains, Feb 15-16

February school vacation kicks off this weekend, and Boston offers plenty of ways to keep kids busy throughout the break. Options this weekend range from interactive readings of Kadir Nelson’s I Have a Dream picture book at Faneuil Hall to a model train show at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation in Waltham.

National Engineers Week begins this week; check out the special events that will keep kids interested in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines. We’ve also highlighted over 30 museum events and special activities taking place throughout February School Vacation Week. And if you’re thinking about visiting Southie this weekend, take a look at Kristin's new post. Read on for things to do this weekend, and be sure to visit our events calendar for more ideas.

Our Wee Works projects continue to receive rave reviews - you can see the entire series here. If you’ve enjoyed the projects, why not sign up to get WeeWork activities delivered to your inbox?


Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Fun in Boston: National Engineers Week

We parents know it’s important for our kids to do well in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines, but how do we get them – and keep them – interested?  Start early, and make it fun! National Engineers Week, February 16-22, is a great place to start.  Read on for some wonderful programs happening in the Boston area during National Engineers Week, which (thankfully) coincides with February Vacation Week. If you want to continue stoking your child's interest during the summer, take a look at our post highlighting summer camp options for kids who love STEM

20 Things To Do With Kids In South Boston

Over the last 20 years, South Boston (“Southie”) has been the setting for a number of Hollywood blockbusters.  But with its uniquely Boston charm, proximity to downtown and beautiful beaches, many young families also call this bustling neighborhood home.  In fact, since moving here in 2009 I’ve lived here the longest I’ve lived anywhere in 15 years! The strong sense of community known as “Southie Pride” is apparent in every business and aspect of South Boston living. For this reason (and many others) I am delighted to show off the area.  So here are our favorite kid-friendly spots we love bringing our three-year-old daughter and our four-month-old son:

Cross Country Skiing for Families in Boston - Weston Ski Track, Great Brook and More

Had enough already? Unlike the last couple of years, when we were thankful for even a few inches of the fluffy white stuff, the winter of 2014 has shaped up to be one of the more memorable in terms of snow. Which means it's been a memorable winter for cross country skiing, too.

The first time we took our kids cross country skiing was in child carrier sleds that we strapped around our waists and pulled behind us - great fun for them, and a great workout for us. While they’ve since grown too big for those carriers and now prefer the speed of downhill, they are still willing to spend some family time together cross-country skiing. We usually go to a local forest to ski, although we also go to Great Brook, Farm State Park, in Carlisle. Great Brook is dependent on natural snow coverage, but when it’s good, the groomed trails are fun. For near-guaranteed coverage, Weston Ski Track has snowmaking on a 2K, lighted loop as well as additional groomed trails when the weather cooperates.

Read on for the details about these and other places to ski. (Looking for downhill ski areas? You can find details on three close-by mountains here.)

Volunteer From Home: Host a Playdate with a Purpose

Children of all ages from toddlers to tweens love getting together with friends for playdates. And you love hosting them—except when the kids complain about being bored (yes, even with all those games and activity kits spilling out of the closet). The next time your child asks to have pals over, consider organizing a simple and fun service project that can be done at home to help people in need. It's a great way to keep the kids entertained while teaching them the importance of giving back to their community—and reminding them of how lucky they are to have a room overflowing with toys!

Whether you connect the project to something personal, like your child's birthday, or highlight a difficult social issue like homelessness, a service-focused playdate is a gentle way to incorporate helping others into your everyday lives. And of course, doing it with friends makes it feel all the more special.

Here's a list of easy projects for all ages that can be done at home, as well as charities that would love to accept your donations. Always remember to include a handmade card—a sweet personal message from a child can brighten anyone's day.

Advice for Working Moms: Lean In and Lean On

I went back to work full-time this year after several years of working part-time as a high school teacher, and I spent the first few months feeling pretty inadequate at basically everything. By November, I started to feel a little more on top of things, just in time for cold, cough and stomach bug season. Here are some tips and ideas I wish I'd had back in August. (Note: I consider being a stay-at-home mom of young children full time work, so many of these tips are applicable whether you work in or outside of the home.) You might also want to check out the Poppins Parents profile on recent-blogging-award winner, yogi-extraordinaire Kristin Quinn for some inspiration (!) and tips on juggling work and family.

An Itinerary for Visiting Historic Concord with Kids

When you live somewhere for over 20 years, it can be easy to lose appreciation for your surroundings. We recently met up with a group of 8th graders from Richmond, VA, who were on a school trip to the Concord area and asked for their impressions as they visited historic sites in town.

Seeing the world from a 12 year old’s eyes can be enlightening!

Plus, we liked their itinerary - it was a good mixture of indoor and outdoor activities and covered many of the key sights for visitors trying to make the most of two days in town. Looking for more things to do in the area? Please see our 20 Things to do in Concord post.


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