Being a parent to a little one doesn't mean you need to hang up your hiking boots. Boston boasts plenty of tree-lined walking paths that accommodate strollers, and even more short, easy hiking trails to suit kids who've become a little more sure-footed. Along with the many short, winding routes that snake through Blue Hills, just outside city limits, these 10 hikes are well-maintained, close to Boston, and offer just the right amount of challenge for preschool-age trailblazers.
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Like many kids, my boys started begging to go to Disney around the time they could walk. Once they were swimming, however, the object of their spring break fantasies became Atlantis—the Bahamas mega-resort known for its gigantic water park, marine life encounters, and luxe casino. For years, unsure whether a place nicknamed "Vegas by the Sea" was the best choice for a family vacation, my husband and I brushed aside their pleas. But after another harsh Boston winter, we broke down and booked a trip, figuring our boys were at the ideal ages—12, 10, and 7— to appreciate all the 'tweeny bopper fun that Atlantis offers (and for which it charges big).
We had a fun-packed five-day stay, and along the way, accumulated plenty of advice for other families who are considering an Atlantis trip, including whether or not it is a kid-friendly destination. Here are the main things moms and dads should know to make sure their vacation in Paradise (Island) lives up to the hype.
Find more top places to stay on vacation in our Hotels & Resorts Guide for Families.
Do you know that one of the area's most beautiful and peaceful parks is inside city limits—and absolutely free to visit? The second largest "link" in the Emerald Necklace of green space that encircles Boston, the Arnold Arboretum is 281 rolling acres of four-seasons fun, operated by Harvard University and located in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. The Arboretum is most well-known for its springtime blooms, especially lilacs, but families also flock here for summer hikes, fall foliage, and wintertime sledding. Here are 10 ideas to while away a day in nature, just a short drive or subway ride from downtown.
If there's a season when Bostonians are itching to get out and explore, it's spring: After a long, cold New England winter, it's liberating to pile the family in the car and discover someplace new, preferably one that showcases flora and fauna in kid-friendly ways. We're blessed to be in driving distance of many beautiful places fit for a weekend escape, but sometimes, you don't have multiple days to spare. All of these places offer unique ways to celebrate the season, and clocking in at around or under two hours from city limits, make for a fine springtime day trip.
No matter where you live, exploring New England with kids ought to be on your short list of family vacation goals. Steeped in history and natural beauty, the Northeast offers families a chance to learn about the earliest Americans, frolic on snow or sand, and enjoy all sorts of old-fashioned fun, from farm-fresh ice cream to vintage carousels.
Drawing from our carefully curated lists of the best things to do with children in Boston and Connecticut as well as the inside scoop from parents in Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, we've come up with 100 things to see, do, and eat with kids in New England. It includes our favorite beaches, children's museums and amusement parks, charming New England towns with kid-friendly activities, ski and holiday trips, and top seasonal events and carnivals. One thing is for certain: You'll be wicked glad you visited Yankeeland.
There are few things more satisfying than pulling a fast one on your own kid, but elaborate prep work is sure to sap the fun out of any good April Fools' Day joke. In the past, we've shared ideas for old-school gags and fun tricks to play on children, but more recently, we've found that the very best pranks are also the simplest.
Here, we run down 15 easy ways to show kids that we still have the upper hand—at least when it comes to April Fools' Day!
Surrounded as we are in Boston by so many tech start-ups, a world-class science museum, and some of the top college computer-science departments in the country, it's no surprise that many of our kids are fascinated by all things STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Luckily, a growing number of tech-minded summer camps are cropping up all over the Boston region to meet demand, and the options for local kids range from a program for wannabe inventors to a science immersion program just for girls. We’ve rounded up a dozen great school vacation programs where kids can tinker, make, build, code, invent, and experiment.
Read on to find a STEM camp that’s a good fit for your sci-tech lover, and sign up soon—early-bird specials are widely available this month, and some of these camps fill up fast.
Going to sleepaway camp is a rite of passage for many kids in Boston, Connecticut, and the rest of New England. But the idea of being away from home for more than a few weeks can be a dealbreaker for many kids, especially if they're on the younger side or tend to have separation anxiety. Luckily, many overnight camps offer one- or two-week (or even shorter) sessions that are specially designed to introduce children to the independence and kid bonding of sleepaway without forcing them to "stick it out" for longer than they may be ready to handle.
Established on shorelines and lakefronts across six states, we've rounded up popular overnight summer camps with first-timer-focused starter sessions for children 6 to 12 years old. The only catch may be if you're not sure you can part with your kiddo for more than a night. (Trust me—you can!)