Framingham is part of the greater Boston area, located along the Massachusetts Turnpike about 30 miles west of Boston. The family-friendly town has an abundance of parks, beaches and activities sure to keep children busy all year round. The challenge will be picking which activities to do with your child, not finding activities.
1. Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs Department
This department (framingham.gov) alone could keep you and your preschooler busy every day. Classes for children aged 3 to 5 include dance, soccer and art. There is also a playgroup for children aged 2 1/2 to 4 1/2. Parents can also accompany kiddos 6 months to 3 years old to swimming classes. There are even horseback -- well, technically ponyback -- riding lessons for kids as young as 4. Families can also use the town's indoor pool and its skating rink during certain times on the weekends.
2. Arts Opportunities
If that's not enough to keep your preschooler entertained, that's okay. Framingham is also home to the Whimsy Arts Center (whimsyartsandcrafts.com) and the Danforth Museum of Art (danforthmuseum.net). The Whimsy Arts Center combines a walk-in craft studio, a play area, art classes and yoga classes into one huge children's activity mecca. They even sell coffee for parents who need an extra pick-me-up. Toddlers through teenagers can drop in to make projects most suited to their abilities and interests or they can attend classes offered through the center. Classes are also available at the Danforth Museum of Art; there are parent and child classes for kids aged 2 through 4 and independent classes for children 4 and up. If your preschooler is not ready for an art class, he can still have fun visiting the museum's Children's Illustration Gallery to see the works of famous illustrators like Faith Ringgold and Clement Hurd. There are also drop-in family art programs held monthly.
Have a more action-oriented preschooler? Then head over to the Metrowest YMCA (metrowestymca.org) for their activities. Swimming classes are available for little ones as young as 6 months old, but moms don't have to get in after their little ones turn 3. Children can also take tumbling classes, introductory preschool classes that cover music, art and movement, craft classes, pre-reading classes, soccer, gymnastics, basketball, T-ball and general sports; and those are just for children under 6 years old.
4. Library Activities
But maybe you're looking for some free activities. Try Framingham's library (framinghamlibrary.org), which has two branches and tons of activities for children. In addition to weekly story times just for preschoolers, there are special dad and kid story times, kid-friendly movies, holiday crafts for young children and story times in Portuguese. Kids in kindergarten and first grade can attend special activities at the library on their school's early release days.
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