We're finally seeing the first signs of spring! On the farm at this time of year there is new life everywhere, and the sheep are due for haircuts. That means it's shearing festival time. Locally, Gore Place and North Andover are celebrating sheepshearing season with big shindigs. (It’s not that strange—think of the big deal you made about your child’s first haircut.) If you want to make a fun family day trip or even a weekend getaway out of it, there are also sheepshearing and wool festivals in nearby Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts.
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
It’s time for kids in Boston to break out the Easter baskets, because it's egg hunting season! We’ve rounded up some options for Easter egg hunts that take place in diverse locations—indoors and out—including parks, farms, local businesses, and even a carousel. Many of the egg hunts are for little ones only, but there are plenty of other festive activities like games, crafts, refreshments, and Easter Bunny photo-ops and brunches for any-age kids and parents.
My kids love to get free stuff, and to be honest, I get pretty excited about it too. Here are some of our favorite birthday clubs for kids, with great freebies like ice cream, burgers, and gift cards. I’ve chosen birthday clubs that offer free stuff to kids (and often to their parents), plus some that give you BOGO or free with purchase deals for your child’s birthday.
Even when it's not your child's birthday, you can visit museums in Boston and in Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline for free. And speaking of birthdays, find out the ages when kids can still visit Boston area attractions for free.
As the holidays approach each year, three things are always on my list: burn off the extra calories we consume during holiday feasts, find festive and fun activities the whole family will enjoy, and get the kids involved in giving back. I’ve finally figured out how to do all three at the same time: run together in a race.
These local turkey trots, jingle bell runs, and other holiday-themed races are kid-friendly (a few are also dog-friendly), festive, and even downright silly. They’re also for a good cause—so round up the family, sport your most cheerful running attire, and go for it!
Ever since I first saw the TV show Gilmore Girls, I have been searching for the fictional town of Stars Hollow—the quintessential New England small town, where everyone knows everyone, and you can walk (or bike) to just about anywhere you’d want to go. I had no idea that after years of looking, I would finally find a real-life Stars Hollow on the Lower Cape: Chatham, Massachusetts.
Chatham is a beautiful and enchanting town, rich in history and tradition. One of my favorite things about the place is its walkability. Main Street is bustling with adorable shops and good restaurants, and the beach and parks are just a short distance away. It may not be practical to live in a town like Chatham year round, but for a weekend getaway, I daresay it’s the perfect place. Read on for 25 fun things to do while you’re there, in the summertime and beyond. Whether you feel like getting in touch with nature, catching a ball game, sampling some treats, or having some quiet time in a museum or bookstore, there's something here for everyone in the family.
Less than two hours from Boston, Portland, Maine is a city filled with history, culture, jaw-dropping natural beauty, and truly great food. Though the busy, pretty waterfront on Casco Bay gets the most tourist love in Portland, there's a lot of fun to be had just a little farther afield, making it a perfect spot for a weekend trip with the kids. Pack up the car or take the train, and settle in for an engaging, relaxing, and picture-perfect weekend getaway.
To plan a memorable trip, take a look at these 25 things to do with the kids in Portland—it's truly one of my kids' favorite places in New England.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire is one of our favorite destinations for a short New England getaway: Each time we visit, we discover something new. During our most recent Portsmouth mini-vacation, we found foodie delights, explored the many wonders of Prescott Park, and had a blast at Water Country.
As a seacoast city just over an hour's drive from Boston, Portsmouth is a hotspot in the summertime, and with good reason: The Prescott Park Arts Festival brings world-class live entertainment to New England at affordable prices all season long. The lush gardens in Prescott Park and across the street at the Strawbery Banke Museum are gorgeous oases in the summer months. Water fun abounds, whether at a water park, on one of Portsmouth’s islands, or aboard a river cruise. However, the town shines in the colder months too, especially during the holidays. The annual Vintage Christmas celebration is on our must-do list. Whenever you decide to go, there is an abundance of fun for families. These are our top picks for exploring Portsmouth with kids:
WaterFire just might be the greatest thing that’s ever happened to Providence, Rhode Island. In the 23 years since the first bonfires were lit on the rivers in Providence, the brilliant and moving art installation has helped to transform the city into a vibrant, family-friendly destination.
Part community festival and part art exhibition—complete with bonfires juxtaposed with water, music, arts and crafts vendors, boat rides, and live performances—WaterFire is held on various evenings from late April through early November. And spectators will tell you: It's an event not to be missed. But just like other wonderful, very popular events such as First Night Boston, getting the inside scoop on WaterFire can mean the difference between having a magical evening with the family and a really long night. Here are 25 things to look for and to know before you go—with wisdom learned (sometimes the hard way) from my family’s experience and from the very knowledgeable team at WaterFire.