Resources for Partners and Families
Students’ Spouses and Partners Association (HSSPA)
Harvard Neighbors International Group
Harvard Childcare and Education Resources
Private Lactation Spaces at Harvard
Activities to Do with Children
International Family Resources
Resources for Partners
Membership to Harvard Athletics
Graduate students may buy a family membership for a spouse and any dependent children. Memberships can be purchased online through the Harvard Athletics webpage or obtained in person at the Athletic Ticket Office.
Harvard Department of Athletics
phone: (617) 495-1789
Library Cards for Spouses/Partners
Spouses/partners can obtain library privileges for Harvard College libraries by visiting the Library Privileges Office located on the first floor of Widener Library, Room 130.
Please note, the GSD library is not included. Please click here for information on obtaining a card for our library.
Library Privileges Office
Widener Library, Room 130
phone: (617) 495-4166
Auditing or “Sitting in On” Courses
Only Harvard students in degree programs can audit, and, officially, there is a form that must be signed by the instructor to allow it. Adult family members may sit in on regular lecture courses at FAS and some other graduate schools, but may not formally audit at the GSD. The public lecture series and daily lectures by student groups, Loeb fellows, and faculty can usually provide more than enough content for one to absorb.
Harvard Students’ Spouses and Partners Association (HSSPA)
HSSPA is an organization open to spouses and partners of all Harvard students. Since 1896 it has provided a way for its members to make friends, find intellectual stimulation and, most of all, and feel a sense of belonging within the University. HSSPA organizes a variety of events throughout the year for Harvard students and their spouses and families, such as social gatherings, dinners and outings. If you are interested in their events and activities or have any questions, contact them directly.
Harvard Students’ Spouses and Partners Association
Many institutions, especially those that operate on a non-profit basis, depend on the goodwill of people who contribute their skills and time without pay. Volunteering is an opportunity to become involved in the local community, to meet people from outside the University, and to learn something about American society. Volunteering may also provide a way to keep active in a professional area when paid employment is not a possibility. Information about volunteer opportunities is available from the HIO. You may also consult the web site.
Find Volunteer Matches
For a list of Boston opportunities, click here.
Harvard Neighbors International Group
Become a member of Harvard Neighbors’ International Group and enjoy cultural events, area tours, informative discussion panels, and social activities; designed to foster community connections, friendships, and cultural exchange while at Harvard. See what is happening now at neighbors.harvard.edu/calendar.
Resources for Families
Harvard Childcare Resources
It is so important to get your family all set before school gets underway, because you’ll find your disposable time disappearing quickly. Explore the extensive Harvard-Wide resource page for childcare at hr.harvard.edu/childcare.
Private Lactation Spaces at Harvard
CGIS/Knafel Building Lactation Room
The closest full-service lactation room for GSD students is next door in the CGIS/Knafel Building, accessible through the GSD basement tunnel. The room is equipped with one Medela Symphony pump and one Medela Lactina pump. Contact Bettina Burch for information about reservations.
1737 Cambridge Street
Campus-Wide Lactation Room locations
GSD Quiet Room
In addition to the fully-equipped spaces, all GSD mothers have access to the GSD Quiet Space in 7 Sumner by reservation.
7 Sumner, 104b
Child Care Choices of Boston
Child Care Choices of Boston offers a comprehensive listing of caregivers and day care centers in the area.
Phone: (617) 542-5437 (KIDS)
National Association for the Education of Young Children, based in Washington, D.C., reviews preschools. Preschools that receive a stamp of approval have to have a high-quality curriculum. The group also judges the schools’ health and safety, teacher-student ratios, physical environment and a child’s experience. Go the the url, and enter your zip code to find out which schools in your area are accredited.
Toll free: 800-424-2460
Department of Early Education and Care
The Department of Early Education and Care provides a list of licensed daycare centers and care providers.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
The Massachusetts Department of Education provides standardized school profiles of private and public schools.
Harvard Office of Work/Life Resources
Students may contact Harvard’s Office of Work/Life Resources for information about child care and education. The Office provides information about the Harvard-affiliated child care centers as well as community day care centers and nursery schools, information on local school districts, after school programs, summer camps and school vacation programs.
Office of Work/Life Resources
phone: (617) 495-4100
email: [email protected]
Family resources outside of Harvard
The City of Cambridge Department of Human Services provides information on programs and activities for families, adults, kids, and youth.
Department of Human Service Program Office
51 Inman Street, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 349-6200
Activities to Do with Children
Public libraries have free or reduced price admission passes for popular museums and events such as the Science Museum, the Children’s Museum, the New England Aquarium, Drumlin Farms in Lincoln and some zoos. Check with your local library branch. Passes are popular so plan ahead. Museum passes with Cambridge Public Library.
Visit the Children’s Museum’s child-centered exhibits, and take part in programs and activities for endless fun and learning. Be aware, the museum is very crowded on the weekends.
308 Congress St., Boston
Phone: (617) 426-6500
Museum of Science
Located just outside of Cambridge, the Boston Museum of Science features exhibits that appeal to many different age groups. Don’t miss the new Hall of Human Life interactive exhibit. The youngest visitors will have the most fun in the Discovery Center past the café on the first floor. Also, check the calendar for daily live animal shows.
1 Science Park, Boston
The Institute of Contemporary Art
Monthly Play Dates and Family Art-Making events inspired a writer at the Boston Globe to call the ICA “one of the most family-friendly, kid-friendly, down-to-earth museums in Boston.” Check the website for the calendar of events.
100 Northern Ave, South Boston Waterfront
New England Aquarium
With its winding hallways, and dark corners, the aquarium can be a bit overwhelming with very young children, but it’s great for those 4 and up. The new Ray and Shark touch tank is very popular with kids. Arrive early to find a metered spot on the street if you are travelling by car, because parking in a garage is extremely pricey. Taking the T is a good option for getting to the Aquarium. Check the calendar for daily scheduled programs and feedings.
1 Central Wharf, Boston
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston
LEGOLAND is open in North Somerville. Designed for ages 3-10 years. Check the website for more information.
598 Assembly Row, Somerville
Phone: (866) 228-6439
Zoo New England
Accessible by bus and car, the Franklin Park Zoo has indoor and outdoor exhibits and a year-round cafe. Unfortunately, some of the exhibits are in a state of disrepair, but the zoo is slowly making improvements. The zoo is now home to an expansive playground that it is almost impossible to pull children away from on a nice day. The seasonal butterfly garden is also quite beautiful. Be prepared to walk a bit when visiting this zoo, which is the larger of the two area zoos.
One Franklin Park Road, Boston
A short drive up 93N, the Stone Zoo has a wonderful festival of lights around the holiday season, called “Zoo Lights.” It’s a tiny zoo, but the little ones love it, and it is rarely crowded. There is an indoor Discovery Center with daily activities planned for young children, which is a great resource during the winter months. The snack bar is only open seasonally, so plan ahead.
149 Pond Street, Stoneham
Getting Outside in the City
Parks with Water Features
Getting Out of the City
Mass Audubon Society has a number of locations with family-friendly programs. The most conveniently located to the GSD is Habitat in Belmont, and a popular location with families is Drumlin Farm in Lincoln.
208 South Great Road, Lincoln
10 Juniper Road, Belmont
Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation
Friends of the Fells runs a few programs that encourage families with young children to get outside as well. A hike for new parents, Babes in the Woods, meets at a different location each week on Tuesdays, and sometimes on Thursdays. The monthly event, Animal Habitats, led by a Zoo New is appropriate for families with children who are able to walk. Check the website for locations and times.
235 West Foster Street, Melrose
Indoor Activities for Families
Cambridge Public Library
The Cambridge Public library is a great resource for parents of young children. The third floor of the award-winning main branch building houses a children’s room designed for those 13 and under, and their caregivers. The various library branches offer music and story programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers as well as programs for parents and caregivers. Check out the Calendar of Events here.
Main Branch: 449 Broadway, Cambridge
Imagine is a drop-in play space with a kitchenette and an art room open seven days a week. The busiest times are after school hours on cold or wet days. Parking is limited. Easily accessible by bus from Harvard Square, and is a short walk from Alewife station on the Redline.
23 Baystate Road, Fresh Pond
Belmont KidSpace is a non-profit, parent-run, cooperative, indoor play space in Belmont, MA open to families with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers during the colder months.
365 Belmont Street, Belmont
Drop-in Art Centers
In addition to the drop-in times available Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Mucky Kids art studio offers classes, parties, and a summer program. Check the website for a description of the weekly activities offered.
1776 Mass Ave, Cambridge
Maud Morgan Arts Center
Children, teens, and established and emerging artists of all ages and all levels create, teach, exhibit, and collaborate at Maud Morgan Arts. All who value the visual arts — young and old, beginner and professional — can choose from a wide range of innovative and imaginative visual art classes and programs.
20A Sacramento St, Cambridge
Parent Support and Playgroups
JC&FS Cambridge New Parent Support Group
These groups (open to new moms and dads) are sponsored by the JC&FS. No religious affiliation required to attend. The Cambridge group meets online on Thursdays, 10:00 – 11:30am (during COVID). Check out their programs and groups:
Cambridge Center for Families (CFF)
Information, support, and activities for Cambridge families of children ages 0-8. All programs, playgroups, events, and workshops offered by CFF are free. The CFF staff speaks a total of ten languages in addition to English. For more information on this wonderful resource available to Cambridge residents contact them directly.
70 Rindge Ave, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 349-6385
Email: [email protected]
Online Resources for Parents
Families interested in Cambridge Public Schools may want to join the CPS Parents list. The CPS Parents list discussions are focused on issues that affect the Cambridge Public Schools but that are not school specific. The list also serves as a forum for exchanging information across the various Cambridge Public Schools.
Family Friendly Theatres
A baby-friendly movie is a movie for parents to enjoy while they care for their babies. The lights are kept up higher to make caring for the baby easier, and the volume is lower so as not to frighten (or wake) the babies. Not to worry about your little one making noise – as they say, “babies are free to be babies during the show.” All theaters listed have ample stroller parking available as well as changing stations in their restrooms.
Capitol Theatre & Creamery
The Capitol Theatre features a baby-friendly movie every Monday afternoon. Check the Monday schedule to see what’s playing.
204 Mass Ave, Arlington
Coolidge Corner Theater
New parents and their infants are invited to special bi-monthly, baby-friendly screenings of current features on the giant screen at the Coolidge Corner Theater. All Box Office Babies screenings take place every other Friday at 11am in the gorgeous main theater on the first floor.
290 Harvard Street, Brookline
International Spouses, Partners, and Children
International students should visit the Spouses, Partners, and Children section of the Harvard International Office(HIO) website to find out about its programs and resources for families.
Harvard International Office
The HIO has a compiled a flyer listing three different types of organizations that offer English classes in the Boston/Cambridge area.
HIO English classes flyer