To say Boston loves its Pats would be an understatement. So it makes sense that the Museum of Science's newest exhibit would be an homage to the sport that this town obsesses over for at least half the year. On Sunday, "Gridiron Glory," considered the biggest exhibit about American football ever created, opened at the MOS, and my three boys and I got an early peek. Even if you or your kids aren't football fanatics, read on: There are plenty of interesting scientific and interactive elements—physics! computer stations! a broad jump area!—to keep most any visitor intrigued. And don't miss these other kid-friendly fall and winter museum exhibits...there's something for everyone in our lineup.
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Raising a kid doesn't come cheap. There's childcare, plus the downright shocking amount of diapers, clothing, shoes, and food growing bodies go through; tack on some fancy programs, and costs really hit the roof. But that doesn't mean affordable enrichment classes aren't out there; in fact, there are some great programs in and around Boston where kids can learn and hone new skills, at no cost to you. We've listed some of our freebie faves below; and don't forget to check out our new Deals page for lots of free trial classes in and around town.
Here we are, in the thick of autumn harvest season; and along with other fall activities that bring our kids closer to the earth, this week is full of opportunities to discover treasures from the ground. Kids can learn from paleontologists and get an up-close look at some very cool specimens on National Fossil Day, or dig into a farm garden for the makings of a special treat on "Fryday."
There's also a kid-friendly celebration of Sukkot in the Metrowest burbs, and a heartwarming, interactive play about a spelling bee in those parts, too. And don't forget all the Halloween fun, most free, that's sure to get your kids excited for trick-or-treat day. There are even more ideas on our Events Calendar—check in often, since we're adding new activities to the mix each day.
Art museums and kids aren't always a natural pairing. But here in Boston, cultural institutions like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art go out of their way to be welcoming to children, providing them with special guides at the door and recurring educational programs. But our family's favorite is one that remains relatively under the radar, tucked away as it is in the farmland of Lincoln: The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, which reopened on October 6 after a month-long closure as new exhibits were installed. Here are some tips for making a perfect day of it–and helping children appreciate the art and nature that surrounds them.
Columbus Day is an official state holiday, which means kids are blissfully free from school for the day—and we parents are forced to put our thinking caps on. What to do on a Monday in October? Luckily, our city isn't content to let this annual occasion for remembrance pass by without fanfare, and there are some great fall activities to occupy families or—if you're working or busy on Monday, just the kids—for the day. From fairs that celebrate the explorer himself to day-long science and art camps there's sure to be something that will inspire you to make the most out of the holiday.
From storefronts to Starbucks beverages, pumpkin is everywhere. But don't think kids are tiring of seeing, tasting, or celebrating the humble squash that heralds Halloween season. This week, they can get their fix at a number of events that feature pumpkin-themed activities. Artsy kids can make some spookily beautiful holiday decor close to the city, while science lovers are invited to dig into pumpkin science in the north 'burbs. At the the end of the school and work week, a trip to Providence would be well worth it, since the region's most stupendous Jack-O-Lantern display is illuminated at the zoo.
For more science, drop by Brighton for a kid-friendly exploration of buoyancy; or for more Halloween fun, don't miss the big parade that officially kicks off seasonal fun in Salem. Whatever you do, don't forget to bookmark our Events Calendar, since we're adding new activities to the mix each day.
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.
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.