A quick list of useful information and links for new parents in and around the Medford area. Not at all a complete list, but just some ideas for new and expecting parents.
Please contact the webmaster to request additions to this list.
There are many email groups you can join in the area to exchange information, find out about events, post questions, and buy baby and kid items. You don’t have to live in the community to join the lists, but most have moderators whom you first contact to get added. Here are a few popular ones, but you should always check if your community has one too.
Medford Parents List — http://groups.yahoo.com/group/
Arlington Parent’s List — http://lists.arlparents.org/
Somerville Mom’s List — http://groups.yahoo.com/group/
Garden Moms — https://www.bigtent.com/
Clothing & Gear
We don’t like to endorse specific stores, here, but there are plenty of children’s clothing and gear Consignment Stores in the area. Check out The Little Fox resale store (www.littlefoxshop.com) in Arlington, whose proceeds go 100% to support the Little Fox Library. Also, check out Craigslist Boston for gently used items, and www.Freecycle.org for all sorts of kids items being given away.
Don’t forget the Medford Family Network’s Swap, where everything is donated and given away on a first-come-first-serve basis. You do not need to donate to take items, but please remember that we are able to provide items due to the amazing in-flow of clothing, gear, and maternity wear from the community, so give if you can! Swaps happen 3-4 times a year, and are posted in the MFN newsletter.
Outfit the Kids – a huge, communal consignment event that happens twice a year: http://www.outfitthekids.com/
Amazon.com offers (3) months of Amazon Prime membership FREE to new care-givers (parents, grandparents, nannies). Sign up, and you can have diapers, wipes, and all the random stuff of new parenting (as well as anything else with the “Prime” designation) delivered with free, two-day shipping. (as of March 2013)
Website lists of Milestones, Songs & Games
National Institute of Environmental Health Services:
Boston Websites for Parents
Bay State Parents website
Jewish Families and Social Services (with services for ALL Boston families!)
JF&CS New Mom’s Groups:
144 Free Things To Do in Boston
Article by Elizabeth Gehrman
**published April 22, 2012** (Please check info updates at relevant locations before going anywhere!)
Babes in the Woods hiking program
Free, guided hikes for children and their care-givers at various locations in the Middlesex Fells Reservation. Hikes are year-round, 2-3 times a week.
Our local Public Libraries have sing-alongs, readings, puppet shows, etc. Check the suggested age (some of the book readings are better for older kids), and make sure you call ahead to see what they suggest for arrival time. The Main Cambridge library’s Sing-along, for example, usually fills up half an hour before the event, so go early to reserve a spot.
Public Libraries also offer Museum Passes giving you free or discounted access to many museums around the area, including the Boston Children’s Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contempary Art, the Museum of Science, and many others. You may reserve passes online or at the library’s info desk.
The Department of Early Education and Care list shows caregivers currently certified:
The MFN also puts together a local listing of all Medford, certified care-givers. Contact the MFN Center directly at 781-393-2106 for for more information.
Fun Locations for Small children and Toddlers
(Paid pass or membership required)
Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA is a great place for toddlers, with lots of levels to explore, places to run, hike trails, and farm animals to see up-close.
Drumlin is part of the Mass Audubon group, with hiking trails, events, and learning centers all over Massachusetts: http://www.massaudubon.org/
Boston Museum of Science
The Discovery Room (past the cafeteria, near the Omni theater) is fantastic for toddlers and even barely-crawling kids. For toddlers, it’s a safe environment with lots of sensory areas, hands-on experiments, puppets, games, and a few live animals to view. There is also a small area for very young children gated off from the toddlers.
A year’s membership can be worth the cost if you visit more than four times, since it includes free 2 hour parking and you can bring a friend (children under 3 are free).
The Stone Zoo
The zoo grounds are helpful for fledgling walkers, and pros, alike. With level walkways and plenty of animals to provide entertainment, it’s a great place to walk around with a kid in a stroller, or to let a child roam and explore.
The Discovery Museum of Acton, MA
If you’re a Medford resident, you have access to the Wrights Pond beach in July/August:
ALL Massachusetts DCR rinks: http://www.mass.gov/dcr/recreate/skating.htm
LoConte Memorial Rink: 97 Locust St., Medford, MA 02155
Flynn Memorial Rink: 300 Elm St., Medford, MA 02180