Loving Family Time in Boston

Is Boston Kid-friendly? My kids say “Yes!”

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Zooga: It’s Yoga for Kids

Kids' yoga  // (c) 2013 Janeen Christoff
Kids’ yoga // (c) 2013 Janeen Christoff

I love finding cute new things for my kids to do in Los Angeles – especially when it’s a fun, healthy activity such as yoga. When invited to experience Zooga, a yoga studio just for kids, I jumped at the chance. Zooga is a play on words. Since many of the names for yoga poses are derived from animals that are at the zoo – Zooga is something that children can relate to.

Zooga’s corner location on Overland in Culver City, Calif., is easy to spot with an orange sign and a cute elephant logo. My kids saw it from the car before I did and there was a chorus of “are we going there” coming from the backseat before I could even find parking. (Conveniently, there is parking in the back of the building.)

The one-room studio is a large space, perfect for a kids’ yoga class. The room is bathed in a comforting orange light and a handpainted mural of a small lion, a tree and a baby elephant lines one wall. Kids have toys to play with while they wait for their class to start and the studio and waiting area are divided by a half wall so that parents can keep an eye on young ones – or just watch as the magic unfolds – during class.

My older daughter does yoga classes in school, so I knew that she was excited to show off her down dog and tree pose. I didn’t know how my younger one would take to yoga, but five minutes in, I had no doubts. Both girls followed along with the teacher as they mimicked animals with sounds, expressions and poses.

“Teachers at the studio use imagination, adventure, play, props and music in every class,” said Antonia King, founder and owner.

The teacher followed along with a book to keep the younger ones entertained. They sang songs and did more poses. As a mom, I thought that they would possibly get bored after about a half hour but, after the full hour had passed, I think they could have gone on even longer.

As we walked out of the studio, they asked if they were coming back tomorrow…sadly, no, I told them. But I will definitely be bringing them back soon.

Zooga Yoga

Zooga is dediated to yoga for babies, kids and teens, but also offers adult classes as well as a variety of specialty classes including Sing and Sign for babies, ballet classes and family classes. The studio also offers family drop off nights as well as birthday parties and holiday camps.

Four Things for the Perfect Hotel Stay According to My 4-Year-Old

Hotels as told by Audrey. // (c) Janeen Christoff 2013
Hotels as told by Audrey. // (c) Janeen Christoff 2013

What makes a hotel perfect in the eyes of a child? Four things, according to my 4-year-old daughter. I asked her to enlighten me so that I could choose a hotel that would meet her high standards for our trip to Boston. Here is what she said:

1: A Jumpy Bed. She prefers her hotel bed to be springy and large – perfect for jumping on and flopping about. The Westin Heavenly Bed seems to be a winner in this respect.

2. Food Delivery. By this, she means room service and nowhere did my daughters’ eyes light up more than at the Four Seasons Vancouver where the macaroni and cheese was a highlight of the menu.

3. A Giant Pool. Since she is 4, I am giving her some leeway on this, since pretty much every pool is giant to her. For Boston in the fall, this will be a challenge, I think…maybe somewhere has an indoor pool?

4. A Bathtub. For the simple fact that she hates the quick shower and had to take one at the last hotel that we stayed at, she told me that hotels should all have bathtubs. I couldn’t agree more.