Learning to Skate at Larz AndersonThis past weekend, my husband and I took full advantage of Boston’s winter wonderland. We began the new year by taking our three year old daughter to Blue Hills Ski Area, where we enrolled her in the Mountain Mites program. For the first half of the 45 minute lesson, she learned how to put on her skis. Then she learned how to fall down and have her instructor pull her up. But mostly, she learned that skiing is rewarded by hot chocolate in the lodge. Despite the snowfall, the mountain was packed with kids of all ages and we marveled at the fact that we could drive 20 minutes to a mountain (okay: hill) and have someone else do the heavy lifting of teaching a preschooler to snowplow.

The next day we hit the slopes again—only this time in an inner tube, gliding down the hills of Larz Anderson Park in Brookline. We arrived early, but we were far from the only family out there. All manner of sleds were employed: tubes, boards, toboggans. One fellow even had a kite-sled—new to me. We made about ten runs before the kids began to balk in hunger. (The park also has a great skating set up, with a rink dedicated to tikes, complete with milk crates for them to use for balance, but alas—we can only budget for one winter escapade a day.) We headed to Coolidge Corner for brunch at Zaftigs. This is easily the best Jewish deli in Boston. The restaurant is warm, filled with the aromas of your Yiddish grandma, and super kid-friendly. While waiting, our daughter was invited to investigate a basket of books. Once seated, she was given the requisite crayons and a place mat to decorate. The kids menu was perfect: what child in her right mind could refuse silver dollar pancakes and potato latkes? For the little one (a mere 11 months) we ordered a bowl of matzo ball soup, scooped out the goodies, mashed it onto a plate and—voila!—instant baby food.Boston Baby

My family’s weekend fun is a result of having worked with Kim Foley MacKinnon on Boston Baby. Due to hit the shelves in the next weeks (and available for pre-order on Amazon), Boston Baby is an indispensable guide to family-friendly Boston. As Kim says, the city and its environs is an entirely different planet with kids. I grew up in Greater Boston and my parents toted us everywhere—the Children’s museum was my living room, as far as I was concerned—and yet going around town with my kids this weekend, I truly felt like I’d discovered parts of Boston I’d known nothing about. It’s no secret that Boston is a great city for families, but I’ve found that as a parent of two active kids, information for tried and true adventures isn’t always easy to come by. I know Boston Baby will prove to be an invaluable resource for families all around the region—but of course, this is only my opinion and I’m not just a mom, I’m the publisher. Read Local!