After seeing Christmas trees lit up everywhere from Boston Common to your own neighborhood square this time of year, kids get excited to select and decorate their own towers of evergreen. Cutting your own Christmas tree, straight from a New England farm, adds an outdoorsy, adventurous feel to this annual family outing. We've rounded up a sampling of cut-your-own locations around Massachusetts, many with festive music, hot cocoa or cider, and beautiful ornaments for sale, too, making an extra-special day trip out of the Christmas tree picking process.
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+.
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The Nutcracker: 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, sing along with Rudolph, discover what your elves on the shelf are up to 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.
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 hayrides, bouncy houses, and corn mazes, so you can turn your hunt into a fun fall day excursion.
Ah, fall … can there be a better season to get out and do things as a family in Boston? Whether you and your kids are partial to hiking, apple picking, corn maze exploring, festival hopping, or celebrating all things spooky and sweet on Halloween, there's something for kids of all ages and stages to enjoy during busy, beautiful, autumn in New England. To herald in the season, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite, must-do activities in September, October, and November, but for even more ideas for getting out their with your family, be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide.
Nothing says fall in New England like a family outing to pick ripe, juicy apples at a nearby orchard. With many orchards to choose from in the greater Boston area and across Massachusetts, families won't have to travel far to find a place to pick their own apples, starting in late August through mid-October. We’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite apple picking spots, some of which also have petting farms, country stores, hayrides, corn mazes, and other kid-friendly activities. Craving more seasonal activities? Check out our Fall Fun Guide with Boston kids.
Strawberries? Raspberries? Blueberries? Our family debate over which is the best berry may never be resolved, but this time of year, the blueberry is everyone's favorite pick. This tart little superfood just may be the easiest fruit to pick, prepare, and serve: There's no peeling, pitting, coring, or cutting. Plus, they attract fewer natural pests other than birds, so much of the fruit is grown pesticide-free.
The pick-your-own blueberry season begins in July and continues through late August or early September. From simple you-pick blueberries to full-service farms with play areas and petting zoos, we’ve rounded up some of the best farms in the Boston area to visit. Read on to the end of the post to find a recipe for our favorite blueberry treat: the classic blueberry buckle.
If you've had your fill of berries or missed the growing season, check out these u-pick peach, plum, cherry, and corn farms or these gorgeous pick-your-own flower farms. Check out all of our guides for seasonal u-pick farms in the area!
When it comes to pick-your-own produce, I don't think there's a better fruit for kids to pluck than the strawberry. The plants are close to the ground, and the berries are accessible without having to reach way into the plant. Ripe berries are clustered together, so kids have the satisfaction of picking a lot in a short period of time. Searching for ripe, jewel-colored specimens feels like an exciting treasure hunt. And no prickers!
June is "strawberry month" and most farms are open for picking by mid-month, but some are ready even sooner. Read on for farms where you can plan a trip to pick your own strawberries, followed by tips for getting the most out of the experience.
Whether our kids are adventurous eaters or too timid to try anything beyond boxed mac ’n’ cheese, teaching them about food prep, healthy eating, and nutrition is one of the more important things we as parents can do for their well being. Cooking together at home is one way to do this, but there are also plenty of opportunities for “instructive” fun through kids’ cooking classes and workshops.
One of the appealing aspects of kids’ cooking instruction is that it quite often takes the form of a single-class workshop or two- to three-session program. So, even if your children have regular sports team commitments or semester-long dance or music classes, they can still satisfy their inner foodies without missing a goal or a beat. Plus, many kids’ cooking classes are offered during those long school vacations or summer breaks—just the thing to keep kids engaged and entertained. Cooking workshops also make fun birthday parties - kids learn something, have fun, and are well fed. And (maybe best of all!), no mess for the parents. (More cooking party ideas here.)
We’ve rounded up five places that offer kids’ cooking classes and workshops in and around Boston. Get ready for your kids to cook up something great!