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. With just a bit of planning, lending a hand with kids can be easy—and maybe the most meaningful and memorable experience in a season full of them.
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
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 the hearts and imaginations of kids and adults alike. 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 close to 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. The seats on all these trains fill up quickly, though, so we recommend getting your golden tickets now.
November in Boston is packed with kid-friendly films, live performances, and museum programs. It's also the start of holiday season excitement. As we update our Holiday Fun Guide throughout the month with the scoop on tree lightings, Santa sightings, winter skiing, outdoor ice skating rinks, and other seasonal fun, there are many great events to add to your calendar right now. Many require advance registration or tickets, so go ahead and claim your seats!
The days finally have a real fall crispness to them, the leaves are turning, and front steps are flickering with the glow of carved pumpkins at night. There’s lots of spooky fun to be had, from costume parades to pumpkin festivals, and there's plenty to do for free. Take the kids to a few of these no-cist Halloween activities for families—and save your pennies for goodies to give to trick-or-treaters.
Halloween is a holiday that everyone from toddlers to grandparents can enjoy, but the fear factor can be a little intense for some kids. While there are many gory and gruesome options 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 six local activities with varying levels of scariness that will entertain kids ages 6 to 12 without scaring the pants off of them. For more ideas for littler folk, check out our free Halloween picks.
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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. Here are our top 10 picks this October.
New England is filled with plenty of fall festivals, but kids are particularly enamored with events celebrating the humble pumpkin: the symbol of 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 and beyond over the next month; get inspired for a trip to the pumpkin patch for your own family Jack-O-Lantern display!
Larger-than-life corn mazes offer families the challenge of working through a tricky puzzle together, all while enjoying New England's crisp fall weather. Add exciting play areas and quirky country games (like apple and pumpkin blasters), and a corn maze outing becomes one of our favorite fall activities. Here are some of the Boston area's best corn mazes for an outdoor autumn adventure. Note: Most mazes are not stroller friendly, so if you’re bringing young children, consider using a backpack carrier.