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. 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. Parents only have to pay extra for photo packages, in some cases, not face time; all the kids have to do is be sure that they're good, for goodness sake!
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
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, giggle at Elf, root for a red-nosed reindeer, 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.
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 10 fun finds that feature the handiwork of artisans from both near and far. Many have extras like 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.
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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!
History, nature, literature, and the arts—whatever grabs your family’s interest, chances are, you’ll find lots to do in Concord. Just 45 minutes west of Boston, Concord has been called one of the more picturesque New England villages and is known far and wide for its revolutionary roots, extensive literary culture, and, of course, the "shot heard round the world." If you've ever been on Boston's Freedom Trail, a visit to this town is a perfect next step.
With great family-friendly spots to eat, too, we'd venture to say that Concord is just about the easiest, quickest, most satisfying day trip one could take from the city. Just plan your itinerary wisely using our tips below, and we're pretty sure that everyone will come home from Concord satisfied, and having learned a thing or two about our state's great history.
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!
Nothing says fall in New England like a family excursion to the apple orchards. With many orchards to choose from, families can head a short distance from Boston for their choice of places to pick their own apples starting in late August through mid-October.
We’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite places to pick apples in greater Boston, but with more than 50 farms in the area offering apple picking, there are many more to choose from. In addition to apple picking, many of the orchards offer petting farms, country stores, hay rides, corn mazes, and other kid-friendly activities, so leave plenty of time to take advantage of all these farms have to offer. You can even plan your child's fall farm birthday party at some of the farms. Take it from us and contact the farms and orchards before heading out to confirm hours and amenities: Many are small, family-run operations, and crop yields and staff schedules fluctuate from week to week. Also, it's a good idea to leave pets at home when heading to any orchard, or you may be asked to leave apple-free.
Finally, we realize you may be looking for some ideas for what to do with all those delicious fall apples, whether you picked them from the tree or from the farm stand. We've put together some of our favorite apple recipes for inspiration!
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 early July and continues through late August or early September. We’ve rounded up some farms in the Boston area which are beginning to open up for blueberry picking, plus we've included a few helpful tips. At the end of the post, you'll find a recipe for our favorite blueberry treat: the classic blueberry buckle.