We all have our hands full with family and work obligations, and the pending holidays certainly don't lighten the load. And yet, it's the time of year when we're also inspired to count our blessings—and teach our children to do the same. To inspire my children to think about what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, we’re going to try one of the Fun Projects That Help Kids Give Thanks. But I also want my kids to think about other people and do something to make a difference in our community, and we've found some great opportunities for volunteering as a family during the holiday season. For year-round opportunities to lend a helping hand, see our post on Volunteering with Boston Kids.
Tara constantly seeks out opportunities for enrichment and exploration with her kids. When she started writing about it as the Boston Community Ambassador for Ziptivity.com, she discovered a passion for sharing her unique finds with parents, helping to make their lives a little easier and a lot more fun. Her work, which has been highlighted by Huffington Post, can be seen nationally across the Mommy Poppins sites and on Appalachian Mountain Club's Kids Outdoors blog.
Latest posts by Tara
Along with seasonal celebrations of Native Americans as well as the humble turkey, November in Boston is packed with kid-friendly films, live performances, and museum programs. It's also the start of holiday season excitement, so get the early scoop on festive light displays (from Faneuil Hall to the Stone Zoo), Christmas trains, and more.
We hear about exciting new family-friendly happenings each day, so keep tabs on our events calendar to make sure you don't miss a thing as one holiday blends into the next. Many events require advance registration or tickets, so go ahead and claim your seats to the season's hottest events!
What is it about trains and Christmas? The two have become inextricably linked—especially since The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg's glorious picture book about the magic of Christmas, captured kids' hearts and imaginations. During the holiday season, train rides complete with hot chocolate and visits from Santa bring Christmas stories like The Polar Express to life..for all who believe, of course.
Lucky for us, we have plenty of delightful train ride options in driving distance from Boston, from cozy, seaside New England journeys to 4-D movie experiences that feel like a real locomotive ride, right down to the sounds, sights, and even smells. Like other hot holiday shows, teas, and events that tend to sell out, seats on most of these trains fill up fast, so we recommend getting your golden tickets now.
Halloween is a holiday that everyone from toddlers to grandparents can enjoy, and there's no shortage of parades, events, and parties in the Boston area. But while there are plenty of sweet Halloween activities for preschoolers as well as terrifying haunted theme parks for 'tweens and teens, it can be hard to find Halloween activities that can feel suitably exciting (but not terrifying) for the elementary-school set. Here are local activities that will thrill kids ages 6 to 12 without scaring the pants off of them. Happy haunting!
For little kids, Halloween is usually more about the treats than the tricks. The excitement is in getting dressed up for a costume parade, making decorations, and hitting the trick-or-treat trail with a pillowcase or pumpkin bucket in hand.
For fun, not-so-scary Halloween happenings in and around Boston this month, read on. While big brothers and sisters may want to be spooked (or even scared silly), these activities are for kids and families who just want the Halloween festivities to be sweet.
October in Boston is the greatest. In addition to fall fun like pumpkin picking and the excitement of Halloween, there are country fairs, festivals, special events, and performances galore. Opportunities for families to enjoy the fall foliage during special day or weekend trips are bountiful (and so are the pick-your-own apples at local farms!). Narrowing down our favorite things to do with kids in October is tricky, but here are our top 10 picks; and don't forget to look at our guide to all-free October family activities, too.
Sure, a haunted trail is spooky, a nighttime hayride is eerie, and a haunted castle is even better. However, if your kids have been there and done that, they might be looking for a more extreme adventure this Halloween. New England’s theme parks, including the eerie new Ravenwood Haunted Farm north of the city, go all out for the most frightful holiday, mixing the thrills of the rides with chilling theatrics and special effects. Too scary? No worries: Our Halloween Guide is packed with seasonal parades, crafts, and other activities that are just plain fun.
New England is brimming with fall festivals, but kids are particularly enamored with events celebrating the humble pumpkin: the symbol of autumn and Halloween. Whether you stick close to home or make a day or weekend trip out of it, going to a pumpkin festival or visiting a glowing jack-o'-lantern display is a fun, family-friendly way to get into the spirit of the season. Here's a sampling of pumpkin fun in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine over the next month. Get inspired for a trip to the pumpkin patch for a jack-o'-lantern display on your own front porch!