Kelley Heyworth

Kelley Heyworth

Latest posts by Kelley Heyworth

5 Fall Foliage Trips with Extra Fun for Families in New England

Other regions around the country might be a bit superior for, say, soaking up the rays or skiing through powder. But when it comes to leaf peeping, I don't think it's biased to say that New England might be tops. With rolling hills, a high density of deciduous, mature trees, and, probably most importantly, relatively crisp late September and early October temps, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, as well as Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, kick off the fall foliage season with early, vibrant, and lasting color.

Sure, kids might not thrill to the wonders of changing foliage quite the way grown-ups do. But most enjoy trips to pretty destinations, with fun stops to hike, eat, and play along the way. While choices are plentiful in these parts, we're highlighting a few especially lovely fall locales that combine great fall color with fun family activities. Now all you have to do is convince the kids to put down their devices and appreciate the scenery. For more autumn hotspots around the country, check out our complete fall leaves and foliage guide.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Banned Books, Fun Physics, and Giant Pumpkins; Sept 25- 29

What would we do without our libraries? For one thing, we wouldn't necessarily know about all the interesting, commemorative months and weeks being celebrated around the country. This week kicks off with a nod to Hispanic Heritage Month with an event to open preschoolers' eyes (and ears) to Spanish music, when Berklee dynamo Naty Hernandez leads a singalong on Boylston. A day later, older kids can take a stand against censorship with a clever craft project for Banned Books Week in the North End. 

You wouldn't know it by the balmy temps outside, but some outdoor programs are ending for the season, and a public arts' program on the Greenway closes with a showing of a Tim Burton classic. Physics takes the spotlight with a new program in the south 'burbs, while up north, the Topsfield Fair gets going with our favorite fall spectacle of all: gargantuan pumpkins

For more interesting activities this week in Boston and beyond, check out our Events Calendar.

Halloween Events in Salem, MA: Spooky, Not-Too-Scary Fun for Little Ones

If your kids are like mine, they started getting excited for Halloween about the time the 4th of July fireworks ended. From the costumes to carving pumpkins, it’s a whimsical time full of imagination, and revolves around children like no other holiday. And we’re lucky to live very close to what may be the Halloween capital of the country: Salem

But despite what you might have heard about "Witch City," it’s not all scary stuff. Many of the events happening in Salem over the next month are tailor-made for families, replacing most of the tricks with treats. This year, the town has introduced a new Wednesday program just for kids, and have made some old favorites more fun than frightening. If you've never done fall in Salem, it's time!

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Peace Day, Family Science, and Shopkins; Sept 18- 22

Looking for a treat to make busy September a little sweeter? Look toward the end of next week, when there's fun to be had from downtown stages to the country fields. As if the little plastic confections don't seem to pop up in every nook and cranny of your world already, Shopkins will be taking the spotlight on Thursday only; if you have a collector on your hands, grab your tickets now. And on Friday, the all-new Mega Farm Festival, a souped-up offshoot of all the family fun and great eats that Davis Farmland has long hosted, kicks off harvest season.

And yes, there's enrichment to be had this week, too. Homework helpers, those wonderful fairies who volunteer their time at the Boston Public Library, start their (free!) services in J.P. this week. There's a very special storytime focusing on world peace at the Mary Baker Eddy, and an opportunity to get the whole family thinking about science—and working together—at a fun event in Roslindale.

For more interesting activities this week in Boston and beyond, check out our Events Calendar.

10 Fall Activities to Keep Toddlers Busy Around Boston

Fall is a lovely season in Boston, but can leave toddlers (and their parents) feeling a little bereft. With beach days behind us and big kids back in school, it can be tricky to find activities that keep little ones busy (and mama sane). Luckily, our city and 'burbs are full of autumnal treats that are especially suited to new walkers and talkers. There are lots of parent-child classes, yes, but sometimes we're all just looking for a fun outing that doesn't require much advanced planning. Here are a dozen of our favorite things to fill the time between naptime.

New at the Aquarium: A Cornucopia of Lobsters and Shark Science

Want to thrill your kid or wow an out-of-towner? The New England Aquarium, just maybe the crown jewel of our many awesome downtown attractions, seems to produce more oohs and aahs than just about any other tourist spot in town. That may be because its regular highlights are living creatures who age, change, and shift positions depending on the day; or perhaps because the scientists there are regularly adding new, interesting species into the mix. Case in point: the new, exceedingly rare yellow American Lobster, whose arrival makes for a seasonally appropriate cornucopia of crustaceans in the suddenly colorful Northern Waters Gallery on the Aquariums third floor.

Weekday Picks for Boston Kids: Puppets, Sculpture, and a Skating Show; Sept 11- 15

We're calling this arts' appreciation week in Boston—from performing to visual arts, there's something that's going to speak to every type of creative kid across the region. At the week's start, children can flock to the library to enjoy a mini acting class or a feel-good puppet show. A little farther west on Wednesday, nature—and sculpture—will be on display. To close out the week, some of the most brilliant figure skaters will be performing in Allston to help raise money for the Dana-Farber cancer center. That's art—and sport—for a great cause.

If you're a mom of twins, consider heading to Walpole to meet and swap notes with others who will truly get you. There's connection to be had—and perhaps just as important, Bubbling Brook ice cream. I think you ladies deserve at least a double scoop.

For more September treats in Boston and beyond, check out our Events Calendar.

Coding Classes and Clubs for Boston-Area Kids—Scratch, Java, and More

Not loving the idea of your kids whiling away the afterschool or weekend hours in front of a tablet or computer? But what if they were engaged in programs that help nudge them away from mindless click-and-tap games and toward some serious 21st century computer skills? These cutting-edge area programs introduce children to coding and programming concepts through interactive games and challenges, and provide an alternative to these great online coding courses by enouraging collaboration in a social setting. My takeaway, after learning about these cool classes: Not all "screen time" is created equal!

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