9 Fun Places to Take Kids (Within an Hour of Boston)

There’s really no argument about it: Boston is a fun city for all ages.  But if you live around here you know that busy tourist seasons can mean that the usual institutions for family outings can get very crowded.  If you’re looking for somewhere fun to take the kids but don’t want to face the agony of trying to find a parking space near the aquarium (without paying a thousand bucks for a garage spot), look a little bit outside the city!  Here are nine of our favorite places for kids that are all less than an hour from Boston (even less if you already live in one of the surrounding suburbs!).

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crafting :: pysanky eggs 2018

Around this time last year I learned about the art of Pysanky eggs. It’s a really fun craft of decorating eggs using melted wax and dyes.  I was so intrigued by it’s complexity that I bought a kit in hopes of making more at home.  Well, I think Easter came sooner than I had hoped so I didn’t get back to it last year.  Luckily, my friend motivated me to try it again this year and we got together to begin our designs.

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the new discovery museum

If you haven’t already heard, the construction of the new building at the Discovery Museum in Acton, Massachusetts has been completed and will open its doors with a celebration weekend, March 3rd – 4th, 2018.  We got a sneak peek during a members preview day and were blown away by the sheer size of the new building; its spacious and modern feel; and how the museum managed to combine the elements of two buildings into one.

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card making :: one stamp, many colors

I was struggling to come up with a card design after a friend texted and asked for some valentines, and it didn’t help that it’s just a couple of days from now! I have a lot of stamps in my creative stash and sometimes that becomes more of a hindrance than a solution.  I haven’t used this heart stamp in quite a while so I decided to play around with it and include a sentiment that wasn’t strictly “happy valentine’s day” so that the card can be given to someone on any day.  It’s a good example of how you can take one stamp and combine it with multiple ink pads to create a very simple card design.

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crafting :: toilet paper roll crayons

The Concord Museum in Concord, Massachusetts has a special exhibit during November and December called “Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature“. During the holiday season, the museum is filled with about 30 or so trees that are decorated by original ornaments based on children’s storybooks. Volunteer decorators use their imagination to dress up the trees based on a story’s theme, illustrations, or characters.  Our daughter’s kindergarten class took a field trip there and she enjoyed it so much that she wanted to go back so that she could show me her favorite trees. It really was quite an amazing and inspiring exhibit!  So much creativity was poured into making each tree a work of art.

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card making :: berry burst

With Valentine’s day around the corner, I’ve been pulling out all of our love and heart themed stamps and ink pads to create cards.  Here are a couple of examples of designs that were created using a particular Stampin’ Up! ink pad color: berry burst.

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saving holiday greeting cards

We have a really large chunk of blank wall space in our living room that becomes a canvas for all sorts of decorations and creations depending on the current holiday or season.  One thing that we look forward to each winter holiday season is filling up that space with the wonderful greeting cards from family and friends.  But what do you do with all of the cards once the holidays are over?  You could simply recycle them.  Or if you’re like me and want to save a few of them, you can keep them together with a simple binder ring.

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crafting :: candy cane + chocolate sleighs

{Edited on 12.20.17 to add new photos … scroll down to see them + a couple of new ideas!}

I saw this video on how to build little sleighs using candy canes and mini chocolate bars, and decided to try making some with our daughter.  It’s a really cute way to spread some holiday cheer to friends, teachers, and neighbors – and they’re simple to assemble.  She provides a helpful video on her website but here are some things that we did differently (plus a couple of things I learned along the way).

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card making :: ready for christmas

I’m sure that there must be a gazillion Christmas themed stamp sets, so how do you choose one?  One aspect that I look for when it comes to buying new products is versatility.  Can I use it in more than one way?  How can I get the most use out of it?  And when it comes to stamp sets, I try to think of how many designs I may be able to come up with.  I had the opportunity to try the “Ready for Christmas” photopolymer stamp and die cut set by Stampin’ Up! and enjoyed creating different scenes with it.

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card making :: home life

Doesn’t it look like I stamped half a million flowers and leaves on this card design?

If you’re a crafty stamper too, you may have picked up on this trend of “layered stamping” because I feel like it’s everywhere. When I first began using stamp sets that came in multiple pieces (the layers), I’ll admit that I found it daunting. I’m supposed to line up what to what now? How do I know where this one goes compared to that one? You get the idea.  It took some practice (and patience!) to figure out some of the unique qualities behind layered stamping, and I think the “Home Life” stamp set from Stampin’ Up! is a great way to ease your way through the use of this fun technique.

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