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 playspaces and classes for young children to our new favorite eats.
1. Rock out to a MamaSteph music class (various South Shore towns)
It seems like veryone in this area knows (and loves) local celebrity, MamaSteph. An accomplished musician, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, kids and parents alike are in awe of this one-woman act. Catch free shows at most South Shore town libraries or hire her for birthday party and events.
2. Plan a visit to Our World (Cohasset, MA)
This global discovery center is located on the first floor of the Cohasset Public Library and boasts 3 different play, craft and eating areas for children (including a pirate ship and ride-on rhino), plus an outdoor playground.
3. Spend a morning at the South Shore Children’s Museum (Hanover, MA)
Situated in the heart of the Hanover Mall, the South Shore Children’s Museum offers hours of hands-on play while providing rich education on American history. My favorites are the “cranberry bog” ball pit and covered wagon. Catch storytime and crafts Tuesday through Thursday at 10:30am.
4. While you're there, have fun at the mall (Hanover, MA)
Don’t miss the kids arcade, adjacent to a play area and down the path from various mini ride-on toys.
5. Read, play and shop at the Barnes & Noble (Hingham, MA)
Not only do they offer a variety of story times throughout the week, there is a play table in the middle of the toy section and a stage in the children’s book section. Plan on spending hours here.
6. Eat at the posh but super kid-friendly CornerStop Eatery (Cohasset/Hull, MA)
Kids get to use crayons to check off what they want on their own clipboard complete with a container of crayons and drawing book. Pick a protein, veggie, and dessert!
7. Run, Jump and climb at a Gym Dandy class (Cohasset, MA)
Gymnastics equipment, bouncy castles, and plenty of toys to keep kids of all ages occupied for an hour (drop-in, cash only).
8. Pretend at Playdipity (Cohasset, MA) - CLOSED (As of 2/15)
This "playroom for pretend," designed for caregivers and children to come together to experience serendipitous indoor play, is a local award winner.
9. Drop the kids off (various towns)
A lot of different establishments have drop-off programs so that you can get an errand (or two!) done. Check out Our World, Cohasset Recreation Department, and Hingham Recreation Department for starters.
10. Play at The Bay (Quincy, MA)
Toddler Town is one of the largest indoor playgrounds South of Boston.
11. Explore, imagine and create at Willow Creative Learning Center (Cohasset, MA)
Kids can take classes like Art Explorers (2-7), Sensory Surprise (2-7), Theatrical Expressions (8-11), and Better Builders (8-11).
12. Grow at Mamas Move (Norwell, MA)
Children grow and learn through a variety of play, music, art and movement at Mamas Move. From babies to 6 years, expert-led classes provide an opportunity to nourish your little one’s development.
13. Run wild at a recreation center (Hingham, MA)
Ride-on toys, obstacle courses, climbing structures and tumbling mats provide energy-burning fun for babies and toddlers (0-5 years welcome) each Friday and Saturday through mid-March.
14. Check out Kidzone (Norwood, MA)
Open play is available at specific times, or host your kid’s next birthday party there!
15. Launch at an indoor trampoline park (Norwood, MA)
With over 15,000 square feet of connected trampolines forming one GIANT jumping surface and angled trampoline walls to bounce off of, Launch will get your whole family off the couch and in the air.
16. Ice skate with the whole family at Pilgram Skating Arena (Hingham, MA)
17. Be part of a New England holiday tradition Edaville (Carver, MA)
Celebrate the season with Edaville's Festival of Lights and The Polar Express.
18. Visit the Pembroke Library (Pembroke, MA)
They offer story times, yoga, Frozen sing-a-longs, and even a therapy dog reading program to help children develop literary skills and build confidence.
19. Take a gymnastics class (Norwood and Rockland, MA)
Head Over Heels and South Shore Gymnastics Academy offer exceptional programs for South Shore kids.
20. Learn to roller skate (Whitman, MA)
Every Thursday from 10-11:30am Carousel Family Fun Center offers roller skating lessons and fun for little ones. (Bring your camera!)
21. Get a manicure with your little diva at Averie (Cohasset, MA)
22. Listen and play at Music Together classes (Hingham, Cohasset, Duxbury, MA)
This music program offers a large variety of class times and locations, and is now offering a class called Music Sprouts for Ages 3 to 5.
23. Explore the South Shore Natural Science Center (Norwell, MA)
The EcoZone museum is a multidimensional, interactive exhibit area that focuses on the ecosystems of Southern Massachusetts.
24. Make a mess at Plaster Fun Time (Braintree, MA)
Put on a smock, grab a paint brush, and have some fun!
25. Imagine yourself on an island at Imagination Island (Plymouth, MA)
Over 5,000 feet of island-themed play space for kids (ages 1-8). Need we say more?
Photo taken at Launch Indoor Trampoline Park