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 :: 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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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 :: skeleton halloween card

We’ve become one of those households that loves celebrating Halloween.  It has also become a good reason for me to whip out some of my old stamps and embellishments, and I love that our 5-year-old enjoys crafting as much as I do!

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baking :: blueberry oatmeal crumble bars

I believe it took living sixteen years here in New England before I realized that blueberry picking was even possible.  Last summer was the first time my daughter and I made the drive up to Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro, MA to try our hand at the pick-your-own blueberry experience.  It was a particularly hot and humid summer day, and as the sweat on my forehead fogged up my sunglasses I wondered why in the world we were even there to begin with!  (It was still fun and worth it … just sweaty!)

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card making :: popping in by waffle flower

popping in by waffle flower stamps

It seems to be that time of the year again where more than a handful of friends (including one of our daughter’s teachers) are expecting babies to arrive anytime soon.  I played around with the “Popping In” stamp and die sets from Waffle Flower Stamps to create a couple of super cute cards, and our daughter made something to give to her teacher too.

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card making :: kid friendly love robots

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Here is a way to create quirky love themed cards featuring the “Favorite Human” clear stamp set by Technique Tuesday but you can substitute it with any of your favorite stamp sets. This is also a great way to let little hands help make fun cards for Valentine’s day (or everyday) as you can stamp the image and let them color in the images.

o sushi (cambridge)

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O, sushi!  Yes, it certainly is my all-time favorite food.  I could never get tired of eating it and I’m so happy that my family enjoys it almost as much.  Yup, that includes our 3-year-old daughter who – during the day while at home bored and on the kitchen floor – decided to video call her daddy at work and begged to have sushi for dinner.  Luckily, he agreed.  And that’s when we decided to try out O Sushi in Harvard Square.

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