Belkin Lookout Farm
89 Pleasant St, South Natick, Mass.
Saturdays & Sundays: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$8/Children under 2: Free
To be honest, opinions on the Belkin Lookout Farm vary. If you are going solely for pick your own fruit, you’ll probably be appalled by the admission prices just to get in to the farm. But, if you come to the Lookout Farm for a family day, you’ll find so many things that kids love, including a petting zoo, burlap maze, caterpillar ride, hay bales, climbing structures and more. A tram travels around the farm to take you to U-Pick area, the play area, and the main entrance.
Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary
280 Eliot Street, Natick, Mass.
Nature Center: Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sunday, and Monday holidays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
$5/Nonmember Adults; $4/Nonmember children: 2-12
Do you want a relaxing family day with nature? Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the Mass Audubon properties, could be just the right spot. It’s just off the beaten path, and includes a 110-foot long bridge, as well as views of the Charles River. There are also loads of programs offered for families, so check out the schedule in advance because most programs require prior registration.
New England Wildflower Society – Garden in the Woods
180 Hemenway Road, Framingham, Mass.
Tuesday-Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The New England Wildflower Society’s Garden in the Woods is a place for kids to explore and learn about New England flowers in their natural habitat. It’s kid-friendly, with plant scavenger hunt maps available when you arrive. If your kids aren’t too excited about learning about plants, the scavenger hunt is a good way to engage them in exploring. There are numerous family activities scheduled throughout the spring and summer.
177 Main Street (Route 27), Acton, Mass.
Tuesday-Sunday: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Seniors (60+): $9.50
For those looking for a kids’ museum experience without traveling to Boston, I just love the small and intimate Discovery Museums in Acton. These museums pack a lot into a small area – with loads of exhibits and activities. There are two museums here – a children’s museum, and a science discovery center. My kids loved the children’s museum when they were younger, and now the science museum is more their speed. It’s especially great for families with toddlers because the parking is easy, and the museums are small and approachable. Keep in mind that because of the size, strollers aren’t really practical, so bring a baby carrier if you have a baby with you.
Barefoot Books Studio
89 Thoreau Street, Concord, Mass.
Monday – Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Barefoot Books store, which recently opened a pottery-painting studio, is unlike most bookstores in the area. With bright colors, a warm and inviting atmosphere, and kids’ activities, your kids will never want to leave. Activities, which take place everyday, are either free or for a nominal fee. I brought my daughter here on a rainy day last fall, and she just loved it. Just be prepared to buy some books – they are unique, engaging, and educational!
Jodi Grundig is a local freelance writer and blogger, as well as co-founder of Boston Parent Bloggers.