We all work so hard to teach our children to be kind and inclusive to one other, so why not play somewhere that celebrates many different kinds of ability? A growing number of playgrounds are working to create play structures and activities that are accessible to all kids of all physical capabilities, including Boston's newest playground Martin's Park set to open this June. From ramps to swings to sensory play areas, these 11 playgrounds are designed to make sure all kids have a blast playing outside. And if you're looking for even more outdoor fun, consider a day trip to these brain-boosting playgrounds or hop in the car for a new adventure and visit one of these drive-worthy spots.
Latest posts by Caitlin Dowling
Just because the weather calls for rain, your day doesn't need to be dreary, too. From free museums to indoor playgrounds to tasty treat spots, here are 25 ways to keep kids active and entertained when showers put a damper on outdoor plans. For even more things to do, check out our indoor fun guide; and don't forget to keep tabs on our events calendar, which is packed with plenty of fun activities—inside and out—for every day of the week.
As an active little boy in Dorchester, 8-year-old Martin Richard loved climbing, swinging, and playing ball at his neighborhood playgrounds. His parents say this playtime helped develop Martin's keen sense of sportsmanship and fairness before his life was taken too soon in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. So it was a natural fit that a playground that emphasizes both fun and inclusiveness has been built in his honor. Opening June 15th next to the Boston Children's Museum at the Smith Family Waterfront, this one-acre addition to Boston's awesome playground scene features lots of green space, harbor views, handicap- and wheelchair-accessible play equipment, and innovative structures, from a giant play ship to a "water garden" splash pad. Here's the scoop on how designers and Martin's loved ones envisioned the park, and what Boston kids and families are sure to love about it.
There's a new kid-friendly museum on the block! CuriousCity, a pop-up children's museum, opens Sunday, March 31st in Peabody, and after an exclusive sneak peek just before opening day, we learned that this new addition to our region of world-class museums is worth a visit—and soon. For just three months, this children's museum will occupy the George Peabody House Museum & Peabody Leather Workers Museum in the downtown area, offering kids seven different exhibits that invite learning, creative play, and interactive fun. Here's a preview of the unique, imagination stoking exhibits you'll see at CuriousCity, as well as some helpful hints for taking the kids.
With two five-year-old girls in the family, the American Girl Doll phenomenon has overtaken our home—quite literally. We have dolls, furniture, books, and an extensive wardrobe I find myself slightly envious of. "Julie" and "Maryellen" have hobbies we talk about, preferences on activities, and are with us so often that I sometimes forget that they're not real-life pals of my daughters. So, as you can imagine, when I announced we would be going to the all-new, first-ever American Girl Live show, I was met with shrieks of excitement—followed by weeks of planning outfits, accessories, and hair-dos, for both them and their 18-inch sidekicks.
American Girl Live, featuring six of the iconic dolls and an all-girl cast (not to mention an all-female crew and creative team behind the scenes) will be touring the country in 2019, with stops that include New Jersey, Connecticut, Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Long Island, and Maryland. In keeping with the American Girl mission, the show is all about "girl power," a message that came through to my girls loud and clear when I took them (and Julie and Maryellen, of course) to the Capitol Center of the Arts in Concord, New Hampshire, one of the show's first tour stops.
It's official: October 22nd through the 26th is Massachusetts' first annual statewide STEM week, and we couldn't be more excited! Schools will be planning fun activities, events, and lessons focused on science, technology, engineering and math (a.k.a. STEM). But can your kiddos ever get too much STEM-ulation? We didn't think so. From robots to outer space, we've rounded up 10 extracurricular activities sure to get your kids psyched about science.
Think your kid isn't old enough to appreciate the Museum of Fine Arts? Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic, will change your mind. This interactive exhibit, featuring the "hunny"-loving bear Pooh, encourages your kiddos to not only look, but to actually touch and play, as they're immersed in the world of Christopher Robin and all of his friends in the Hundred Acre Woods. As Pooh would say, "it's no bother" to bring littles; and as I discovered on a recent visit with my own kids, it is in fact a sweet and super-entertaining outing for the whole family.
The Topsfield Fair is one of our favorite fall traditions in Massachusetts, and since it's celebrating its 200th birthday this year, expect it to be bigger and better than ever. Running from September 28th through October 8th, this agricultural fair—which bills itself as America's oldest—has hundreds of vendors, rides, animals, shows, and special entertainment to see. But don’t worry: We share our tips for hitting all the highlights—and saving some bucks on tickets, too.