Boston is a fantastic place for families. Known as “Beantown”, the city is an ideal spot to explore history, culture, science, and nature.
This New England treasure offers plenty of fun for everyone. Because of its rich history, it’s the perfect place to expand on what your kids are already learning about in school.
You’ll have a blast visiting museums, parks, and historical spots, as well as enjoying some delicious local eats.
Get your trip off to a great start with this list of 20 things to do with kids in Boston.
- Even though Boston is big, it’s easy to get around on foot. In fact, it’s known as “America’s Walking City”. You can also use public transportation – buses, trains, boats, subways, or trolleys – to get around the city. If you must drive, be prepared for expensive parking that can be hard to find.
- There are several ways to travel to and from Boston Logan International Airport. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) offers the Blue Line Subway as well as the Silver Line Bus Transit Service that can take you all the way to downtown Boston. You can also grab a taxi or rideshare service – they cost more, but you can avoid the hassles of transporting luggage, baby gear, and tired kids.
- You can get your kids connected to Boston before you even start packing. One of the best ways to do this is through books. Stories that take place in Boston like Make Way for Ducklings, Clementine, or the Lemony Snicket books are a great way to get them excited about your trip. You can also read books about important events in history, such as the ride of Paul Revere, The Boston Tea Party, or the Freedom Trail.
What to Pack
- June through October is the best time to travel to Boston if you prefer pleasant weather, and only requires some light layers. If you’re traveling from November through February, be prepared for cold weather and the chance of snow, sometimes heavy, by packing warm clothes, snow boots, hats, and gloves. March through May is beautiful, but the weather can be unpredictable, so you’ll want to check the forecast before you travel and be sure to pack layers as well as an umbrella and raincoat.
- Because Boston is such a walkable city, comfy walking shoes are a must! Be sure to pack shoes that are appropriate for the month you are traveling.
- If you have little ones, be sure to pack a lightweight stroller and/or a baby carrier.
- Haul around all the things you need while you explore the city with a roomy daypack. Don’t forget to add some reusable water bottles to stay hydrated!
20 Things To Do with Kids in Boston
- Boston Museum of Science – Your little scientists will have fun exploring more than 30 exhibits. They can feel the power of lightning, become an Arctic explorer, or check out dinosaur fossils. There’s also a planetarium, butterfly garden, and live animal exhibits.
- Boston Children’s Museum – This interactive museum offers three levels of fun for kids of all ages. Throughout the year you’ll find plenty of activities and exhibits to explore. Be sure to check out the “big dig” area, climbing structure, Art Lab, and the Japanese House.
- Martin’s Park and Playground – This outdoor play spot features beautiful grounds, outstanding views, and a unique, lush playscape. Little ones will love the puppet shows in the amphitheater, the swings and slides, and the fun replica of a marooned ship.
- New England Aquarium – This spot is a kid favorite and is located right on the harbor. Before you even enter, you can check out the Atlantic Harbor Seals exhibit. Inside, you can see sharks and penguins, explore coral reefs, touch rays, or watch sea life swim by in the Giant Ocean Tank.
- The Boston Public Garden – The oldest public park in America is a must-stop for fans of the book Make Way for Ducklings. Kids big and little will love taking a ride on the Swan Boats, playing on the playground, or riding the carousel. Frog Pond is the perfect place to do a little ice skating in the winter or to cool off in the summer.
- Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum – Kids will love climbing aboard an actual ship to learn all about the Boston Tea Party. Costumed guides will share a bit of history in a fun and engaging way. You’ll also have the chance to take part in a reenactment of this historic event!
- Harvard Museum of Natural History – This museum features more than 12,000 different specimens ranging from dinosaur fossils and animals to meteorites and gemstones. Be sure to check out the Marine Life Exhibition to learn more about New England’s coastal waters.
- Old Ironsides and the USS Constitution Museum – Kids big and small can experience life at sea as it was over 200 years ago. Take a tour of the world’s oldest commissioned warship that dates all the way back to 1797. You can also explore the museum and its hands-on exhibits.
- The Freedom Trail – This 2 ½ mile trail marked by red brick takes you through the streets of Boston past 16 locations important places in history. The trail goes from Boston Common to Charlestown and includes stops like the Paul Revere House, Old North Church, and Bunker Hill Monument. You could use a guidebook, but the best way to really understand the history is with a guided tour.
- Codzilla – This thrilling high-speed boat ride is best suited for older kids and adults. You’ll have a monstrous good time while you spot some famous attractions from the water. It’s a great way to cool off on a summer’s day while you speed along at 40 miles per hour!
- Labyrinth at Armenia Heritage Park – Located on the Greenway, this park features tons of kid-friendly activities. But the biggest and the best attraction is the labyrinth. Kids will have fun competing to see who gets out of the maze first. After you explore the maze, you can visit the gardens and water fountains, or grab a quick bite to eat at one of the food trucks.
- Fenway Park – If you’re a Red Sox fan, or just a sports lover, you’ll want to be sure to take a tour of the Fenway Park stadium. Depending on when you visit, you can also catch a game and experience a little bit of Americana with a Fenway Frank while you watch the beloved team play.
- Boston Public Library – This library is so much more than books. The whole family will enjoy the grand architecture, murals, statues, and an expansive courtyard. The Maps Room and Puzzles Room are equally impressive and not to be missed.
- The Mapparium – Located inside the Mary Baker Eddy Library, is a 3-story stained glass globe that you can walk through and explore. You’ll get a better look at how the world looked back in 1935. Make sure to book your tour before you visit.
- Franklin Park Zoo – If your kids love animals, they’ll have the chance to see and learn about a whole host of animals, including exotic and endangered species. Little ones will love the Children’s Zoo and the 10,000 square foot playground. Be sure to check out their calendar for programs and events happening throughout the year.
- Castle Island and Fort Independence – This historic fortification used to protect the shores of Boston. Take a free tour of the fort or spend a sunny day sunbathing and swimming at one of the many beaches. Explore the island by foot on one of the trails or burn some energy at the huge playground.
- Charles River Esplanade – This spot offers miles of beautiful walking paths. It’s a great spot to relax on a sunny day while you watch the sailboats or enjoy the playgrounds. Walk along public docks, take in gorgeous views, or stop at Owl’s Nest beer garden for a fun family meal.
- The Museum of Fine Arts – One of the country’s oldest museums features an extensive collection of art ranging from American artists to Asian artists to Impressionist art. Explore the galleries after picking up a free family activity tote complete with sketch pads and colored pencils. You’ll be ready to draw whenever inspiration strikes.
- Carson Beach – This popular public beach is located along the shoreline of South Boston and extends for more than 3 miles. Although it’s not a spot for swimming, it is a great place to search for seashells, explore park space, walk along the shoreline, or catch some rays while playing a game of volleyball.
- Ghost and Gravestones Trolley Tour – If your family loves ghost stories, you’ll want to hop aboard the trolley for a nighttime tour complete with frightful tales and fascinating history. Kids will love the guides who are dressed up in their spooky attire.
With this list of 20 things to do with kids in Boston in hand, you’ll be set for a great trip!