Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day off from school, when families can explore the life, legacy, and lessons of the iconic civil rights leader (and take a break from schedules a bit). But Monday is also a day on: when kids and adults are encouraged to help out in their communities and find ways to show kindness to others in gestures of service. Boston offers families plenty of ways to commemorate and learn more about Dr. King’s legacy throughout the holiday weekend.
Audrey is a veteran city editor who brings over a decade of experience in seeking out the best events and activities for families in the greater Boston area. She was one of the original six-person team that founded and built GoCityKids.com and continued with the site through its transition to ParentsConnect Local, eventually covering all of New England - plus San Antonio! Reach her at email@example.com or follow her on Google+.
Latest posts by Audrey
It’s been said that the best things in life are free, but when it comes to visiting museums and other attractions with kids, it’s not always clear when they are free. Mommy Poppins has set out to uncover these freebies so Boston families can enjoy the best of the city without breaking the bank. Here, we've ID'd the museums that let young children—and in some cases, all kids—in at no charge.
If you're working your way through our Boston Kids' 100 Things to Do bucket list, you may want to coordinate with the cut-off ages below; some of the museums you can catch on their free admission days, but several other attractions really drive home the bittersweet point that you're only young once.
Whether it’s a family holiday tradition or a new experience, cutting your own Christmas tree adds a dimension to the holiday season that’s hard to match. There’s nothing quite like the real deal—a pine-smelling, sap-sticky, Christmas tree—and the opportunity for creating a lasting family memory in the process is an added bonus. We have rounded up a sampling of cut-your-own locations to get started; keep reading to the end for helpful tips to manage the selection process and keep your evergreen fresh through the season!
This time of year, kids can find Santa ho-ho-ho-ing it up at most holiday events in the area, like tree lightings, craft fairs, and festive breakfasts. We've rounded up some of our other favorite places where the kids can see Santa in and around Boston, especially for a photo.
These visits pair well with holiday shopping or a fancy meal out...after all, children might be happy they're already wearing their holiday finest for a photo with the man of the hour. See our list below for more than a dozen places where you can get a photo with Santa near Boston; most visits are free (with photos being available for purchase). All the kids have to do is be sure that they're good, for goodness sake!
This time of year, holiday markets are springing up all around the greater Boston area, from church fairs to school bazaars to high-end artist markets. We’ve highlighted 12 fun finds that feature the handiwork of artisans from both near and far. Many have extras like food and live entertainment, and some even have Santa on hand for sharing holiday wishes! Take this opportunity to get into the holiday spirit; and find one-of-a-kind gifts for loved ones, too.
The Nutcracker Ballet: It's among the most enduring of holiday family traditions in these parts. And just as there are many kinds of Boston families, there are different Nutcrackers appealing to different tastes, from the Boston Ballet classic to a high-energy, hip-hop interpretation. But Tchaikovsky's beloved confection is hardly the only holiday-themed stage performance delighting kids across Boston this month and next. Families can carol with the Pops, root for the Whos, giggle at Elf, and more. All the shows are terrific, but tickets will go faster than cookies at Christmas Eve, so we'd advise booking sooner than later. Want to make a special day or evening of it? Reserve a table at one of these family-friendly restaurants nearby, too.
While our 21st century Thanksgiving feast may bear little resemblance to a 1621 celebration or to the meal popularly referred to as the First Thanksgiving, it's fortunate that we don't have to travel back in time to learn about the traditions that are at the root of today’s holiday. In fact, we only have to travel about 45 minutes south of Boston to Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MA, to find what is often called the birthplace of our national Thanksgiving celebration. Curious to know what a “first” Thanksgiving would have looked like, we spoke with Kathleen M. Wall, culinary historian at Plimoth Plantation, for some insights and recipes that kids can help make.
Signs of Halloween are cropping up everywhere, and it’s time to start thinking about finding your perfect pumpkin. While local farm stands and even grocery stores typically have some handsome specimens, it can be a lot more fun to pick your own straight from the fields they were grown on. A couple of the spots here even allow you to pull your picks straight from the vine, which can be a special experience akin to cutting down your own Christmas tree. Plus, many of these pumpkin patches offer additional activities for families, like hay rides, bouncy houses and corn mazes, so you can turn your hunt into a fall pumpkin patch day trip.
Read to the end, where you'll find my family's favorite pumpkin bread recipe. Yum!