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!
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
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.
With school and new classes starting soon, it’s time to think about outfitting your kids for the year. If your children are anything like mine, they blow through sizes at an alarming rate. Instead of always buying new, I like to browse consignment or secondhand shops, where I often find name-brand, gently used (or even never worn) apparel at a deep discount, not to mention enriching toys, books, and games. What's more, most of these stores are always looking for items to sell, so you can offload some of your own outgrown or never-used clothes and gear for credit. Here are 8 consignment shops where you can score some beautiful clothes and toys at a fraction of what you'd spend at the mall or main street.
When the weather is so nice that you just want to spend every moment outdoors, you might wish you could find a restaurant with the elusive combination of good food, open-air seating, and a kid-friendly atmosphere. We’ve discovered a few places that meet all three of those criteria and will make a meal out with children downright enjoyable. Some of them even made our list of restaurants where kids can play while you relax, the ultimate combination for happy dining as a family.
If you’re looking for a fireworks show to celebrate Independence Day, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is a classic choice. Heading over to the Esplanade in the morning to stake out a spot, enjoying a picnic and the outdoors all afternoon, then in the evening hearing the 1812 overture as fireworks explode in the sky is a Boston tradition families have been enjoying for decades.
But if the sounds and crowds on the Esplanade seem a bit overwhelming, there are plenty of other great options. Lots of towns around Boston put on their own 4th of July displays that are just right for families with young children. Read on for some wonderful local celebrations with fireworks from June 30th through July 4th, and check out other Independence Day activities (an Ice Cream Cruise!) on our events calendar.
Farmers' markets are a great place for kids to learn where food comes from, which fruits and vegetables are harvested during each season, how to conduct a financial transaction, and how to make healthy choices. When we visit a farmers' market or farm stand, I give my kids a small amount of money to use as they choose, provided they make the purchases themselves. I have enjoyed watching their confidence, composure, and decision-making skills grow.
Now that spring is here and summer is fast approaching, the local farmers' markets are setting up their tents and filling their stands with fresh foods harvest nearby. For more ideas for eating local, check out our family-friendly Boston restaurant guide.