10 Reasons It's Great to be a North End Mom

This is the third post in our series about why it's great to be a mom in different towns around the Hub. Got pride in your 'hood? Let us know at boston@mommypoppins.com, and your town could be featured in a future post.

Whether they're stopping by for history, culture, or the food, most tourists put the North End on their list of places to visit in Boston. But you don't have to wander far from the hustle of Hanover Street to realize there is a lot more to the neighborhood than pasta and cannoli. The North End is a mix of residents whose families who have lived in the borough for generations, professionals of all ages who like the proximity to the financial district and downtown, and young families. On the surface, the small apartments, high rents, and limited parking options might not seem like the ideal place to raise kids, but ask just about mom and she'll tell you she wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I've lived in the neighborhood for four years and fell in love with it long before I welcomed my first child in January. But now that I'm a mom, I love the neighborhood even more. Here are a few reasons why...

"Light the Way" Lighthouse Art Exhibit Street Stroll

My kids love art (and walking) so what could be better than a stroll this summer down Main Street in Stratford to check out the 20 lighthouse sculptures in the "Stratford Light the Way" art exhibit? This is Stratford's second street art exhibit, following on its popular "Share a Chair" art benches in 2015. This summer, Main Street in Stratford is dotted with six foot tall fiberglass lighthouses, designed and painted by local artists. Those who love art, lighthouses, and strolling down Main Street will be pleased!

10 Kid-Friendly Restaurants with Room to Play in Houston

Relaxing on the patio with good food and drinks is something that, prior to kids, we used to love to do... and then we had kids and going out to eat became nothing short of a nightmare that quickly got nixed from our weekend plans. Where we once sat back and talked uninterrupted about our respective weeks, we now went through constant rounds of "don't touch that!" and, "honey, leave those nice people alone." All seemed lost, and we resigned ourselves to spending our evenings out at Chick-fil-A... until we found restaurants with play spaces for kids (and the skies parted and the sun shone through!).

Talk about a game changer - it's like these restaurants knew that us parents needed a space to unwind a bit with the kids in tow, and they delivered with patios that opened up to enclosed playgrounds, sand pits (ok, this one is a catch-22 because of sand everywhere) and toys. So when you find yourself wanting to let someone else do the cooking and need a venue that caters to your kids without being solely for them, look no further than here. (However, if you are looking for something outdoors to do with the kids one evening, be sure to check out these free movies under the stars!)

Swim Philly Pop-Up Pool Project: Public Pools with a Fun Twist

The heat of summer is upon us. Kids haven't been out of school that long yet and already they're getting fidgety. One of the many great things that Philly has to offer its communities is the sheer number of free public pools- there are over 70 outdoor pools! Philadelphia has more outdoor public pools per capita than any other city in the country.

If you're looking for more free water fun this summer, be sure to check out our roundup of the city's free spraygrounds.

Weekday Picks: Sawdust Art & Craft Festival, Shakespeare, Anime, and 75¢ Floats

The Sawdust Art & Craft Festival kicks off in Laguna Beach this week. The summer-long event features a Children's Art Spot and demonstrations by artists and craftspeople, including glass-blowing, ceramics, and jewelry-making. Families can make a day of it in Laguna by visiting the nearby Art-a-Fair, also opening Friday, and the Festival of Arts, which is host to the unique Pageant of the Masters, beginning next week.

Continuing the arts round-up, families can brush up their Shakespeare at one of the Southland's free summer festivals: Shakespeare by the Sea celebrates its 20th year with productions at 24 sites throughout LA and OC, including Taming of the Shrew at Point Fermin Park in San Pedro this week, and the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival is underway with the Independent Shakespeare Company's Measure for Measure kicking off the season. Our review from last year has all the key info for enjoying this festival.

And, since we cannot live by art and Shakespeare alone, there are also plenty of free concerts, free movies and movie festivals going on—pretty much one for every day this week.

Here are some picks for the week; there's much more to be found on the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar. Read on for our favorite outings this week.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Hoops, Fireworks, and Free Children's Museum; June 26-30

Can't wait for July 4th festivities? There's plenty of excitement to keep kids entertained before the sparklers come out next week. You can start Independence Day activities off with a bang in Somerville, where the fireworks display is an annual tradition not just for town residents, but lots of Boston-area families. Another way to burn some energy is to sign the kids up for a one-day basketball camp in Westwood, where a former Celtic and some other top coaches will be in attendance to provide tips (and inspiration). A classic puppet show will delight littles on Monday, and there are some special science activities in Acton and Boston this week, too. Looking for more ways to close out June? Check out our Events Calendar for more fun ideas this week and beyond. 

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Fireworks, Fireman's Carnival & Parade

School's out for the summer, and Mommy Poppins has you covered! As June comes to a close, the fun shifts from predominantly happening on weekends to predominantly happening seven days a week! If you’re nervous about not having enough to keep your kids busy, fear not, because we’re populating our Event Calendar with options Westchester kids won’t want to miss. In fact, there's so much going on this week that we even have extra events!

Towns are busy gearing up for Independence Day celebrations, and a Westchester harbinger of July 4 is the annual Fireman's Carnival. A FREE concert at Ridge Hill will help you get over the midweek hump, And if you haven’t yet been sparked by this new trend, you can make your own vision board—a collage mantra to help visualize your dreams.

These are just a few of our top picks for the week. Read on for the rest, as well as additional details—and don't forget to sign up for our weekly newsletters!

Weekday Picks: Fireflies, Fireworks, and Strawberry Shortcake, June 26-30, 2017

Last week was our first full week of summer vacation, and one thing is clear: if we're going to make it through this summer with our sanity and our sense of humor in tact, I'm going to have to up my planning game. Fortunately, there's no shortage of things to do! Free outdoor family concert and/or movie series are up and running in West Hartford, Trumbull, Westport, and Groton (for more ideas, check the events calendar). 

You'll have your pick of early Independence Day celebrations on Friday night in Stamford, Hamden, and Killingly among many others--for a full run down of more than 40 fireworks celebrations across the state, click here. Check back here often and follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest so that you don't miss a thing. Happy Summer!

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