For some of us, it's a struggle to string our own little Christmas trees without losing a bulb (or our tempers). Others—including some of our Boston neighbors—are veritable pros at decking out their homes for the holidays. All over Boston and the 'burbs, there are spectacular public holiday light displays, but also families who've made a tradition of creating special sparkle on their own properties. So next time you have a free evening, pack some hot chocolate in a thermos, buckle up the kids, and take a road trip to see some of these joyful dwellings. It's sure to inspire holiday spirit (and maybe some ideas for your own abode). For more ideas for making merry, see our Boston Holiday Fun Guide.
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Many kids get excited to dress up and head out to a special place during the holidays—especially when delicious treats are involved. These restaurants and hotels are rolling out the red carpet (and some pretty fantastic pastries) for kids and their parents this month with festive holiday and Christmas teas. From the Four Season's celebrity-studded Teddy Bear Tea downtown to a Victorian-inspired Santa Tea in Waltham, these events are sure to get kids in the seasonal spirit (and provide some photo ops, too!)
Ah, winter—the season of cozy togetherness, indoor fun, and, yes, the need to escape the house (at any cost). While a trip to a local museum or play place often fits the bill, sometimes, we all feel the need to stretch our horizons beyond the I-495 corridor. There's plenty of nearby skiing and indoor water park action to be had, of course, but in the event you're looking for something mellower (and, let's face it, cheaper), we have some ideas for you. Here are five day trips that allow you to wake up and fall asleep in your own beds, while packing in lots of beyond-Boston fun in between.
Is there a part of the country that offers a more quintessential holiday experience than New England? From snowy vistas to historic town squares, it's tough to match our region's identity as a place where children can feel storybook Christmas magic come alive. We can (and do) fill our site with plenty of options for seasonal fun, but here are 30 activities and attractions that should be on your family's holiday bucket list.
Don't be spooked by a little rain on Halloween: Boston-area kids can still show off their costumes and haul in some candy on October 31st, indoors and out! You can always choose to break out the big umbrellas and trash-bag ponchos and bring the kids to one of our favorite trick-or-treating neighborhoods in Boston, Metrowest, the North Shore, or South Shore. Or, you can take cover—and protect those sparkly costumes and scary makeup—at one of these indoor trick-or-treating spots and Halloween events in the area. Malls and libraries in particular offer plenty of dry, comfortable space to celebrate Halloween, day or night. Wherever you find yourself on what's sure to be a wet-and-wild Halloween, stay safe and have fun!
Ask a family what their favorite trick-or-treating spot is, and it's likely to be their own neighborhood. It's always fun to see familiar houses lit up with spooky decorations or the sweet old lady from down the street answer the door with a witch's hat and cackle. But sometimes, kids—and adventurous parents—are looking for an exciting alternative to their usual route. In that case, you might consider bringing your loot bags and Unicef boxes to one of the following Boston-area neighborhoods, where residents really take Halloween festivities to the next level. (If you're looking for more spooky fun before the big day, check out these haunted attractions—if you dare!)
If your kids are Halloween-obsessed like mine, you know how lucky you are to live close to what may be the country's Halloween capital: Salem. 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. There's a Wednesday program just for kids, and some old favorites have slowly become more fun than frightening over the years. If you've never done fall in Salem, it's time!
When it comes to showing off fall colors, New England clearly does it best. And even though you don't have to travel to glimpse some red and gold, there are certain towns in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut that boast some particularly stunning foliage displays, drawing families for fall day trips or weekend getaways.
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. These fall locales 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 the complete Mommy Poppins fall leaves and foliage guide.