Whether it’s extreme heat, freezing cold, or rain that sends your family running for cover, there’s no need to sit around at home. There are some great places in the Metrowest area for you and the kids to avoid the elements, create something wonderful, and maybe even make some new friends.
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
There’s always something new at the Museum of Science to engage you and your young Einstein (or maybe Frankenstein) in scientific inquiry. The place is so humongous, it’s sometimes difficult to choose what to do while you’re there, given the kids’ limited attention spans and basic needs, like snack breaks and naps.
We like to see what’s new first, then visit some old favorites, like the schoolhouse and the Science in the Park exhibit. On our recent visit, we checked out the new gecko exhibit and spent a lot of time in the Discovery Center, which is a great place to go any time you visit with young children.
Last weekend, my daughter and I went to see Karen K and the Jitterbugs on stage at the Regent Theatre. After the show, we waited as Karen’s adoring pint-sized fans came up one by one for a post-show hug, then we sat down with her for a chat about music and community. After spending minutes with Karen Kalafatas (that’s what the K is short for), you can’t help but like her unique blend of city savvy and southern charm, even if you are determined to disrelish her for being talented, witty, pretty, and great with kids.
Karen K and the Jitterbugs cut their kindie music chops in Brooklyn, NY, where Karen and her family moved from last June, but she is no stranger to Beantown. She and her husband have roots in this area – he grew up here and they both have family nearby. They actually met here years ago, while both were working with City Year. That passion for building community has stayed with Karen and is evident in her shows, her music and her classes.
Last week, I took my kids to the Boston Children’s Museum for an afternoon. It had been a while, and the kids acted like they were visiting old friends: “Let’s go to the beauty parlor in Boston Black. There she is! Oh, it looks like she has lost a lot of hair since we last saw her.” “Let’s go climb in the Construction Zone! Remember that time we hid from you up in the top?” That was the sort of thing I heard for most of the afternoon, as we hit all our favorites. But we also made some new discoveries, and I think my kids now have some new old friends they would like to go back and see again. There are three new exhibits at the Boston Children’s Museum, and they are definitely worth a visit: Big and Little, OddAnimals, and Native Voices.
Sheri and Eli Gurock, intrepid proprietors of Magic Beans, keep planting more seeds and making their toy store business grow. It started in 2004, with a single store in Coolidge Corner. Eight years and 5 stores later, their latest beanstalk has sprung up in The Shops at Prudential Center.
The new Magic Beans store in the Prudential Center quietly opened for business in November and made a splash in January with a grand-opening Kazoo Flash Mob – Skip to My Lou through the Pru with kazoos – led by the incomparable children’s songstress, Vanessa Trien. It was quite a celebration, complete with a visit from Elmo and giveaways galore. For those of us who missed it, we can have our own micro celebrations by taking our little ones to the new store to check out the selection of gear, gadgets, gifts and games.
When you’ve all got cabin fever, it’s time to get out, make something fabulous, and have fun. We recently highlighted some great places for arts and crafts in Boston; here are five great places to create art and get crafty in Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville.
My family has so many food allergies and sensitivities, dining out has become more of a chore than the pleasant, relaxing experience I would like it to be. At different times in my life, going out to eat has been a celebration, an escape from the drudgery of the kitchen, a gastronomic adventure, or an opportunity to share a stress-free meal with friends and family. After visiting Burtons Grill in Burlington, I have hope that it can be those things for us once again.
There are many reasons for taking your children to an artsy-craftsy place: Bringing out their inner artist, encouraging creativity and self-expression, doing something fun together, having access to teachers, equipment and materials… I could go on and on.
While all those things are important, this is the number-one reason for visiting the fabulous places I have selected: The mess isn’t in your house! So take the kids out, unleash the creative spirits within, have a great time.