Thursday, June 28, 2012

Local Playgrounds for the Littles

Written by Ellie Beasley

Perry Park in Needham
Looking to visit a new or different playground this summer? Ever wonder where the parks are located in Needham and nearby towns, and whether they are the right fit for your child? Check out the list below with some of favorites. Also, please leave a comment with any recommendations that you'd like to share! 


Perry Park
Two separate climbing/sliding structures for little and bigger kids, sandbox with lots of trucks, swings, playhouse, picnic tables; adjacent to a basketball court where kids can ride bikes, scooters, push cars; next to a playing field with lots of grass for running around

DeFazio Tot Lot
Playground suited for the younger child, two sandboxes with lots of trucks, climbing structures, slides, play bus, seesaw, swings, playhouse; near tons of fields (baseball, track, lacrosse, etc) so there are lots of fun sporting events to watch; picnic area with several picnic tables

Mills Field/Gould St
Small space-themed playground for the younger child; web-like climbing structure, climbing structure with slide, sandbox, play rocket ship with control panels, seesaw, talk tubes; near basketball court, baseball diamond, tennis courts; picnic tables

Across the street from the Needham dump, small playground with a big sandbox with lots of trucks, swings; next to playing fields and picnic area
Perrin Park
Shaded playground especially for younger kids; climbing/sliding structure, sandbox, seesaw, web-like climbing structure, swings; next to a soccer field with a walking path around it
Warren Park
Huge playground for all ages with separate large climbing structures for both little and bigger kids, sandbox, swings, seesaw, slides, picnic area, basketball court, huge grassy hill that is fun for kids to run up and down
Hunnewell Field Playground
Next to tennis courts on Rte 16, small climbing structure for little kids, sandbox, baby swings, relatively small playground but a close walk from Whole Foods if you park there and need your toddler to get some energy out before a grocery shop

Newton Center Playground
Large playground with separate climbing/sliding structures for little and bigger kids, near tennis courts, lots of open grass for running around)
Caryl Park Tot Lot
Relatively shaded playground with separate climbing/sliding structures for little and bigger kids, several cozy coupes for kids to ride/push, swings, playhouse, play school bus; near walking/hiking trails through the woods, basketball courts, tennis courts, and playing fields
Ellie Beasley lives Needham with her husband, Andrew, and her son, Grant. She has a baby girl on the way in August. After working in non-profit fundraising in NYC and Virginia, she is now staying home full-time with her children. Ellie enjoys running, golf, tennis, needlepoint, cooking, and volunteering.

Reading Spotlight: June Book Recommendations

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver is pretty much at the top of my list of favorite writers, really for her fiction writing.  But I loved this book and thought it was appropriate for this season, when it is so much easier for us here in New England to eat locally grown food.  The book is the story of Kingsolver and her family, who decided for one year to only eat food that was grown within 100 miles of their home in Virginia.  They grew and raised a lot of their own food, and found local sources for the rest of it.  It is an inspiring and thought-provoking book without being preachy; it really is a beautifully written and fun read.  And if you enjoy it, I highly recommend checking out her fiction.  “Prodigal Summer” is one of my favorites.

I Love You, Stinky Face  
 by Lisa McCourt

This is a great book about the love of a mother for her child, whether the child is a slimy swamp creature or a green alien from Mars.  A child who is trying to delay bedtime wants to know if his mother would still love him if he were a number of creepy/scary/weird creatures, and his mother always lets him know that she would love him no matter what.  It’s not sappy, just sweet, and little kids think it’s pretty hilarious, both the questions and the answers.  The illustrations are great as well.  Highly recommended.

Katie Edwards lives in Needham with her wife and two children, ages 13 and 3.   She has a Master’s Degree in Library Science, but has been a stay at home mom for many years, so she is happy to have an outlet to share good books with others.  She loves to read [obviously], travel, try new restaurants, and gab with her friends.  Luckily she is in a book group where she can simultaneously eat and talk to friends about books!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Recipe Spotlight: Mussels with Tomatoes and Shallots

Written by Joy Errico Seusing

For the past few years, every time I went to a restaurant, I would find myself ordering the mussels appetizer if it was on the menu. I finally decided to try to make my own. The following recipe is the result of much experimentation. This is served best with crusty bread or toasted garlic bread and a green salad. This recipe serves 2-3 people as a full meal. Enjoy!
1 lb mussels 
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. minced garlic
2 shallots, diced
1 bulb fennel, sliced thin (optional)
1 tbsp. butter
2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup good white wine (if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t use it!)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
½ tsp. thyme (dry)
4 tbsp. cream (use half and half, soy milk creamer, lite cream or heavy cream, depending on preference)
¼ tsp. red chili pepper flakes

Put mussels in a large bowl with cold water to clean them. Sit for 30 minutes and drain. You should sit dirt on the bottom of the bowl. Give the mussels another rinse.
In the meantime, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, fennel, and lemon juice. Heat for 5-7 minutes until shallots become translucent. Add the tomatoes, white wine, broth, salt, pepper, red chili pepper flakes, and thyme. Saute for another 7 minutes. 

Add water to the bottom inch of a large put. Put mussels in a steamer basket within the pot. Set on high heat and cook for 7-8 minutes until mussel shells open (that is how you know they are done!)
While mussels are cooking, add cream to the skillet and incorporate into the broth.
When mussels are done, sauté with the sauce for one minute. Serve immediately.
Joy Errico Seusing lives in Needham with her husband and two young children. She is the Vice President for External Relations at Jumpstart, a national early education organization headquartered in Boston. In addition to being a happily busy working mom, Joy loves traveling to new places, reading on her Kindle, interior design, power yoga, and of course, cooking!  Joy is a monthly contributor for the Parent Talk blog so be sure to check back for new recipe ideas each month.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Needham Children's Theatre

Schools out for summer! Are you looking for some afternoon entertainment for the kids? Funded by ParentTalk, come enjoy the fun at Needham Children's Theatre performances at Memorial Park Gazebo on Tuesday afternoons at 1:30pm (inclement weater site - Eliot School Performance Center). July dates and information are listed below. For more information, visit the Town of Needham's website

July 10 Jenny the Juggler Show

Jenny will shock and amaze with her FULL-ON, INTERACTIVE PROFESSIONAL VARIETY SHOW...get ready to get silly!!!

July 17 Ed Popielarczyk's Magical Moments

COMEDY MAGICIAN and BALLOON SCULPTOR that will keep the whole family on the edge of their seats!!!

July 24 The Bubble Music Man
A WILD BUBBLE PARTY with INTERACTIVE CHILDREN'S MUSIC that will have the whole park moving and grooving!!!

July 31 Stacey Peasley

SING and DANCE along with Stacey and her band as they teach you all of her clever, award winning, original songs!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thank you to the Parent Talk Sponsors 2012

As the board year changes for Parent Talk, we just wanted to take a minute to thank our many sponsors from the past year.

A Fine Dance Studio
Acapulcos Mexican Family Restaurant Anton's Cleaners
Avery Crossings
B In Touch Massage Therapy
Baby Boot Camp
Barn Babies
Be You. Be True.
Big Apple Circus
Big Joe the Storyteller
BJ’s Wholesale Club
Boston Baby Photos
Cafe Fresh Bagel
California Pizza Kitchen
Charles River Ballet Academy Charles River School
Charles River YMCA
Copley Motorcars
Creative Memories
Davis’ Farmland and Megamaze Designer Consigner

Disney on Ice
Energy Fitness & Gymnastics Exxcel Gymnastics and Climbing Flavours by Sodexo at Olin College Food Should Taste Good
Gentle Giant Moving Company Gorno Couture
Green Mountain Coffee
Hazel's Bakery
Healthy Habits Kitchen
Holly Cleaners
Isis Parenting
J.C. Timmerman
J.P. Licks
Kaiser Law Group
Kids’ Fun Stop
Koko FitClub
Lakeshore Learning Store
Magic Beans
Metrowest Face Painting
Mini Athletes
Music Together
My Gym Children's Fitness Center NannyKins
Needham Bowlaway
Needham Dance Theatre
Needham Fire Department Needham Martial Arts Center Next Step Living
Not Your Average Joe's

Olin College
Panera Bread
Palettes Paint Studio
Paulette's Ballet Studio
Pawtucket Red Sox
Pollywogs Children’s Boutique Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Roche Bros.
Sculpture Hair Studio and Day Spa Sheraton Needham
Showcase Cinemas
Sentient Jet
Stacey Peasley
Stone Hearth Pizza Co.
Sudbury Farms
Super Soccer Stars
Sweet Basil
Sweet Bites
Swizzles Frozen Yogurt
TD Garden
Trader Joe's
Treat Cupcake Bar
Vive Design
Waldron H. Rand & Company, P.C. Wildtree
Zinnia Designs 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

100 FREE things to do with your kids this summer

Written by Nikki Amara Myers

My daughter’s first year of preschool ended last week.  Now what?  Camps?  Play dates?  Crafts?  Parks?  Adventures to here-and-there?  There are endless opportunities; however, finding the time to research and organize these activities can be time consuming.  Thank goodness for Sarah B., author of the wonderfully creative Digital Reflections, an incredible blog with a plethora of ideas, tips, and recommendations regarding crafts, digital scrap booking and discovering the ordinary.  I’m so glad I found Digital Reflections’ post as it was a healthy and wonderful reminder that having fun with my children doesn’t have to cost anything.  Creativity, planning ahead, and developing a back-up-plan will yield various opportunities to build a summer filled with weekly, or even daily, activities where you child will have fun, learn (without it being obvious), be inspired to try new things, and perhaps grasp that interesting and fun things to do are all around them, and that daily life provides an exciting canvas for them to paint. 

How many free activities will you choose to plan?  Ten?  Forty?  All?  It is up to you.  For me, if it’s not in the calendar it doesn’t get done so I’m planning ahead, making my list, and getting those soon-to-be adventures into the calendar.  Whether you go only with your children or you coordinate a group remember to have fun, document what you’ve done through photographs or words, share your experience, and continue to build a wonderful framework of fun for you child.  Happy Summer!

A big, huge thank you to Digital Reflections’ author, Sarah B., for allowing us to benefit from her wonderful summer suggestions.   Thank you, Sarah and Digital Reflections!  

100 FREE THINGS to do with your kids this summer

A little break from our summer activity to bring you a list of things to do this summer, that won’t break the bank, and if you are handy they will actually be FREE.  If you are keeping up with our summer you know I am all about keeping the kids from being bored, but also about enhancing their education in the process and bringing them back to nature.  

1.  Library - check out books that have IDEAS - give reason for further hands-on study (activity).  Reserve books through your online service at your local library that has items of interest for your child’s age group, how to make paper airplanes, science experiments, craft projects, etc.  

2. Library - STORY TIME - something about a different setting can break up the routine for the kids and it gives them something to look forward to.

3. Local Parks - go early, pack a lunch, bring a drawing tablet, and enjoy the outside before it’s too hot.

4. Take a field trip.

5.  Visit a fire department

6.  Play in the water - but aside from the everyday play in the sprinkler and kiddie pool - make games with the water.  Use the water with paint brushes and paint the fence (it dries clear), put food coloring in the water and stretch paper across a fence or fill water guns with this colored water and then they are really painting with water colors. 

7.  Build a fort - go to nearby woods, gather sticks, broken branches, etc. then build a fort or house.  This will provide days -worth of enjoyment both in the gathering/building/playing inside.

8. Take a nature walk ( - take along a journal, let the kids bring cameras, then go home, identify everything your photographed and create a nature book.  That’s a whole other day’s activity (paper, photos, glue, scissors, and notebook).  This is especially good if saved for a rainy day.

9.  Take an "Alphabet tour" - again camera(s) in hand, journals and letter guides for younger kids. Begin with the letter a (Apple street), b (building), c (coliseum), d (dairy queen), e (eatery)…you get the drift.  When you are done each child has a personal and creative alphabet memory book.

10.  Check out kid’s free days at your local museums.

11.  Make homemade ice cream (if you don’t keep heavy cream on hand you will have to buy it, but hey it’s still pretty cheap entertainment/enjoyment).  Make popsicles, smoothies, and ice-cream sundaes.

12. Go on a scavenger hunt – create one.  

13.  Host a neighborhood carnival (we're talking bean bag toss, eggs on a spoon races, and those kinds of games).  Each neighbor hosts a game/activity and gives out a snack/drink. This makes for a very fun day.

14.  Go to an outdoor concert (most towns/cities have a website where you can see what/when and which ones are free.)

15.  Check your movie theatre for free summer movies (usually morning showings).

16.  Go to the beach.

17.  Check out your local hardware store - they offer free kids club building projects.

18. Cook with your kids (my kids are still love to cook the evening meals with me) but let them plan it, be a part of the shopping and table- setting.  Make dessert!).

19.  Host a cooking party - invite some friends (your kids are not the only ones home and wanting something to do).  Have each mom bring a few ingredients and spend the day making cookies, treats, etc. (maybe you know someone who could use some extra love and attention - make a whole meal with these friends, let the kids make cards, and go make someone’s day brighter and happier).

20.  Teach the kids Frisbee golf.

21.  Go fly a kite (why not make them first).

22.  Do a sewing project together.  Make a picnic or story time blanket, apron, or summer dress.

23.  Make sock puppets - put on a puppet shows.

24.  Go outside for reading time.

25.  Make and blow bubbles.

26. Hide-and-find all the army men/dinosaurs/little people/cars/mini-animals, etc. in a sand pit - have an excavation.  You can even read a book about archeologists before or after the excavation.

27.  Play dress up.

28.  Have a tea party.

29.  Make an obstacle course out of your back yard and have races.

30. Play jacks.

31. Go fishing.

32. Go on a bike ride.

33. Camp in your back yard.

34. Melt and create with crayons.

35. Visit a local state park.

36. Go bowling (a lot of the alleys offer students 2 free games over the summer).

37. Plant a garden using seeds from your vegetables/fruits.

38. Tour local historic sites.

39. Make a star gazing map.

40. Teach the kids to knit.

41. Check with a local farm - offer to help feed the animals.

42. Set up a lemonade stand.

43. Set up hot wheels races in the driveway.  Have them make a trophy to give to the winning car.  At the next race, the new winning car gets the trophy.

44. Have a LEGO building contest (using x# pieces, only using blue pieces, creating something a certain height, create something that moves, etc.).

45. Make a doll.

46. Hunt for animal tracks - get a book from the library to help identify them.  

47. Have a dress up party (doesn’t have to be Halloween to wear those costumes).
48. Learn bird calls.

49. Use magazines to make mosaics.

50. Check your craft stores for make and take craft projects (Michael’s, Joann’s Fabrics, Lakeshore Learning Center, etc.).

51. Tour a factory.

52. Make musical instruments and become a 'home band' sensation! (Think pie pan tambourine, paper towel holder rain stick, and string and cereal box guitar).  Don’t forget to dress the part!

53. Make tie-die shirts, listen to some groovy tunes, and dance around the house.

54. Take a picnic to dad/mom/grandma/etc, and give them a nice break from their work day.

55. Make a tent or a fort in the living room.

56. Go to an Arboretum.

57. Make a bird feeder with pine cones and peanut butter (and bird seed of course).

58. Paint with fruit and veggies (and anything else you will let them paint with - think q-tips, old toothbrush, sponges, leaves, etc.).

59. Teach and play charades.

60. Have a "BORED" game day - pull out all those dusty games and let each child pick a game. If it’s nice outside, take them out on a picnic blanket.

61. Walk your neighbor’s dog.

62. Blow up Diet coke with Mentos.

63. Make silhouettes.

64. Check out local volunteer offerings.  Teach the importance of helping others.

65. Learn/Go Orienteering.

66. Make a compass. (Ties in to 65)

67. Gather friends and have a "clean" the park day.  Celebrate your good deed with a picnic and play time.

68. Sculpt with homemade SALT CLAY.

69. Collect Seashells - then sort by color/size etc.  Make a seashell necklace or use the shells to decorate an empty jar. (Adults should use the glue gun).

70. Play "I Spy" as you walk around your neighborhood.

71. Go to a farmers market.

72. Check with a local pizzeria to see if you can come in for a tour (they will probably want you to buy a pizza, so it may not be "free" - but fun!).

73. Check your newspaper for local summer festivals.

74. Make school related activities fun - create your own matching cards (I make mine using these cute digital supplies found here and here). Use macaroni for math reinforcement, make a clock with a paper plate, help with geometry by giving building tasks, etc.).

75. Learn (play) street games.

76. Make Taffy.

77. Make a checker board and your own checkers, and then play for a bit.

78. Make your own board games.

79. Make a Milk Carton Boat  and head to a pond.

80. Have a holiday party in July party and ask all the guests to bring donations for your local food pantry.

81. Participate in local Free Friday activities (see previous Parent Talk Matters’ post).

82. Have a major league team in your area - call about free kids tickets this summer.

83. Take a trip to tour your state capitol, local courthouse, etc.

84. Gather, paint, and make pet rocks.

85. Plan a theme week (keep checking back here for more details about our themes this summer).

86. Make freeze pops.

87. Have a pajama day; enjoy movies and popcorn (great for a rainy day).

88. Color.

89. Make a Wind chime.

90. Write your own poems.

91. Have a toy swap (pack up those forgotten toys and swap with a friend - kids love new "to them" toys as much as they love new toys.

92. "Play" school.

93. Make paper dolls for boys, for girls, or for the more advanced.

94. Travel around the world. Have English scones for breakfast, Chinese Stir Fry for lunch, Italian for dinner. Make a craft to go with each country, get a library book with photos of these places (maybe even see if you have a friend your child can become pen pals).

95. Have a switcher-oo day.  You send your kids to someone else’s house and their kids come to yours... kids LOVE this... just plan a few activities (you can choose from some on this list) and give them a great day as your friend will do with your kids.

96. Play tennis, soccer, kickball, football, etc.

97. Make slime.

98. Make glowing fireflies. - We get our glow sticks at Target's $1.00 bins and they come with 10, so it’s practically free.

99. Make a sandcastle. If you don’t have a sand box, gather up all sorts of containers and some water jugs and head over to your local park.  Spend the day building a great sand castle together.  Lots of kids will want to get in on the action so it’s a great social time, too.

100.  Enjoy an art lesson.

Most importantly remember the simplicity of childhood is found in the quality of the time spent together.  Enjoy each moment; create an environment of joy and excitement.  I am certain this summer will be one we all remember for a very long time. 

List complied by Sarah B. from Digital Reflections.

Now what?  With so many suggestions where and how do you start?  My advice: either have your child pick a number, and start there or find your favorite one-or-two and make a commitment to trying those out.  For me, I just need to start.  PUT IT IN THE CALENDAR and it will happen (that’s my mantra for everything).  I know everyone in my house will benefit from having a plan (some structure but with lots and lots of flexibility). What about you?  What are your favorite summertime activities?  How do you make your summer fun for everyone in your home?  

About the Author

Nikki lives locally with her husband and two children.  She is a self-proclaimed foodie, photographer, and blogger.  Now a SAHM, she was a school counselor and cast member of Joey & Maria’s Comedy Wedding for many years.  Nikki currently consults as a private, independent college counselor.  She also writes her own personal blog, Days With Us (follow her at or @dayswithus).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Father's Day Ideas

Written by Amanda Liljedahl
With Father's Day less than a week away, there is still time to make this one Dad won't soon forget, by giving a thoughtful gift to show your appreciation for all he does. Here are some ideas I have come up with to make a happy father on his special day.

1) Dress up your little boy in Dad's suit and frame with the caption, "I wanna be just like you when I grow up."

2) Prove that "a picture is worth a thousand words" by taking a picture of your gang spelling out "I love my Dad". The letters can be made by shaping colored tape onto white jerseys or onesies, or use masking tape on matching darker colored shirts.

3) Have kids make Dad a paperweight for his office. Find a rock in the yard, wipe it clean, let dry then paint.  Wrap with the caption "You're Our Rock."

Some Other Ideas....

For the new Dad:
A framed picture of his little baby's hand print (use a washable stamp pad in pink or blue) will surely melt dad's heart on his first Father's Day, especially if mom writes a poem below like this one I came up with:
I know my hand is still so small
With your help it will learn to catch and throw a ball
My hand will always reach up to you
for love and guidance in all I do
With this hand, we'll give high five's
and hold each other close for all our lives

For Dad's that like to Grill
How about putting together a "cookout basket" with Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby's book, License to Grill or The Thrill of the Grill, some flavored smoking chips which give meat extra flavor while cooking (available at William Sonoma and Restoration Hardware) and a gift certificate or box of Omaha Steaks. If you have a gadget obsessed hubby or father include a Grill Daddy (as seen on infomercials) available at your local pharmacy to clean off your grill with steam power. To complete the basket, kids can decorate a white apron, sold at craft stores, with their hand prints for Dad to proudly wear while tossing burgers on the deck!

For Dad's that like to Golf:
How about a gift certificate to a local driving range? Hitting a bucket of balls is much more affordable and takes up much less time than a round of golf, but will still give dad a little time for himself and time to perfect his swing. Some personalized golf balls from might also be a nice touch. Kids can get in on the fun by setting up a mini golf course for dad to try with them in the yard. All you need are some small flags (colored paper and sticks), a few obstacles (hit the ball through the paper towel roll and into the tin) and a little imagination.

For Dad's that like the outdoors:
SIGG aluminum water bottle from a sporting goods store and the book Best Hikes with Children in Conn, Ma, and RI, might be a nice start. How about a hammock for relaxing in the yard? Make the gift giving an adventure in itself by having the children make a map of the house or yard and give clues to lead Dad to his gift.

For Dad's that drive the kids around all week/weekend:
Surprise Dad with a car wash on Father's Day morning. Give the kids some sponges, a sudsy bucket filled with car cleanser (available at any hardware store), and a hose and let them get to work making Dad's car shine. Maybe add in a gift certificate for an interior carpet and seat shampoo at your local car wash.

For the Baseball fan:
Red Sox tickets are pricey and difficult to obtain, but the minor league games provide a similar experience for a lot less money. Dad would surely love a trip with the family to see the Pawtucket Red Sox or your local minor league team. Wrap the tickets inside a pair of red colored socks from Walmart, and put together with an official shirt of his favorite player, all wrapped in the sports section of the newspaper and tied with a bow.

For the music lover Dad:
Find a time to "borrow" Dad's Ipod without him noticing and download a compilation of meaningful songs, from itunes and label; Father's Day Play listSome songs to consider might be, Paul SimonsFather and Daughter, Lonestar's Front Porch, Luther Vandross's Dance with my father, Bob Calisle's Butterfly Kisses and Daddy's little girl by Karla Bonoff.

These gift ideas are sure to please the great Dads and Grandads in your life this father's Day! Just use your children's help and a little time and creativity to show the important men in your life how much they mean to you.

About the author:
Amanda Liljedahl lives in Needham with her husband and five children (two boys, a set of identical twin girls and their newest addition, another girl). She chronicles her days which include arts & crafts projects, great recipes for the family and driving her kids from hockey practice and ballet to what's happening in her life as a mom, wife and friend on her blog:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Needham Farmers Market opens this Sunday, June 10.

Written by Emily Roach

It's almost here.  Really.  It has been a long time coming but Needham will finally have its own Farmers Market as of this Sunday.  It has taken over two years for this to come to reality and I am so excited to help bring this to our community.

The Needham Farmers Market will offer fresh produce, baked goods, locally landed fish, grass-fed beef, artisanal cheeses and much more to our friends and neighbors. Many of our vendors have ties to Needham and we are proud to support them.  As many of us strive to buy more local, seasonal foods, visiting a farmers market is an easy first step.  Everything the farmers are bringing to the market is grown in our area, either on their farm or a neighbor's farm.  You can expect to see tomatoes from MacArthur Farm, along with seasonal greens, radishes, strawberries, rhubarb and more. The Needham Community Farm will share their early produce. Don't miss the tea shop under the tent from Gay Grace Teas.  We will also be featuring two local artists each week throughout the season.

You are helping to cut down on the time it takes to transport the food by shopping locally.  Farmers don't need to spray preservatives on the produce because there isn't a long transit time to contend with.  There is also less packaging.  Remember to bring your reusable bags to the market to further limit the need for plastic bags.
This is a family friendly affair.  Bring your kids in the wagon, grab some goods, stop for some ice cream nearby and listen to our musicians playing throughout the afternoon.  We expect it will be crowded, but how exciting to have a fun social gathering place for friends on a Sunday afternoon in Needham center.

Parent Talk will be participating as well.  Stop by and visit us on Father's Day weekend at the Needham Farmers Market booth on June 17th.   If you would like to get involved, you can learn more about the farmers market by clicking here for the website.  You can visit the Calendar section to see who is scheduled to come each week. For volunteer opportunities, please click here.

About the Author
Emily lives in Needham with her husband Jim and two children.  After working in retail for 10 years, she decided to stay home with the kids and bake.  Emily is also engaged in the world of social media, helping both Parent Talk Marketing, Needham Farmers Market and writes the blog Random Recycling.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Local "Low-to-No Cost" Activities for Kids and Families

Recently, on the ParentTalk Yahoo Group page, there were some great suggestions for "low-to-no cost" activities for kids/families in the Boston and Metrowest area-- and we wanted to share these great ideas with our readers as well! Feel free to post additional recommendations in the comments section.

- Needham, Dover, Wellesley and other local library's story time hour. Also, Blue Bunny (Dedham), Pottery Barn Kids and Patriot Place have story times that many ParentTalk members attend.    
- A quick visit to see the animals at Petco is always a favorite on a rainy day. No cost to you (unless you decide to shop!).
- Natick Community Organic Farm.
- Weezie's Garden at Elm Bank. 
U-pick strawberries opens at Belkin Lookout Farm soon!
- Belkin Family Lookout Farm to go on a train ride, picnic outside, see the animals and play on the playground. U-pick berries are available soon.
- Owen's Poultry Farm is an exciting adventure for little ones, right in Needham.
- Natick Mall seasonally offers a free concert series for kids, one morning per week.
- Wellesley College walking trails and Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary on Eliot Street in Natick.
- Drumlin Farm (low-cost membership to Mass Audubon also include opportunity to visit other free spots).
Source: Drumlin Farm Audubon
- Swan Boats in Boston ($2.75 for adults, $1.50 for kids) and Make Way for Ducklings Walking Tour.
- BassPro in Foxborough to see the boats and fish.
- $1 entry to all at Boston Children's Museum on Fridays after 5pm (other museums in the area include Acton, Easton and Providence, RI)
- Open Gym at MyGym or Kids Street (free for members).
-Stacey Peasley shows throughout MetroWest. Check her Facebook page for updates.
- $5 ForeKicks in Norfolk "Little Kickers" Indoor Open Gym on Mondays from 9:00-11:00am.
- Of course, ParentTalk's playspace in Dover and the many local playgrounds in the area (stay tuned for a upcoming post about favorite parks in the area). If you are not a member, you can drop in to the playspace for just $5.
Are you a Parent Talk Member looking to join the Yahoo Group? Click HERE to access the link.  This is a private group and membership needs to be approved. Sign up for a daily digest of topics, or connect with them as they happen.  Start your own dialogue, find great deals on items (or houses!) for sale and hear about new places to visit.

Like the new Parent Talk Blog? Did you know you can sign up via email and get each blog post delivered to your inbox. Click HERE to activate your subscription. Emails are always kept private and never shared.

Printer Friendly