Things to Do with Kids in Boston
Beantown is simply buzzing with history and culture your whole family will enjoy. World-class museums, countless historic monuments from the American Revolution era, and unique tours make this charming New England city a very popular vacation destination. Plus, you'll love spending time on the lovely Boston Harbor and in the remarkable urban parks. A myriad of diverse attractions offer tons of things to do in Boston with kids, so get started planning your vacation!
5 Kid-Friendly Attractions in Boston
When you visit Boston with your family, don't miss out on any of the allures this great city has to offer. Instead, head to the attractions both you and your kids will love. Here are five of the top-rated attractions for families with kids.
The Aquarium is one of Boston's premier attractions and a great place for kids to explore for an afternoon. The NEAq features a giant, four-story ocean tank and a new "touch tank" where you can pet sting rays as they swim by. Lots of exhibits are designed especially for children, like "Penguin Power!" where kids learn about the penguin's natural habitat and how to protect it. With 70 international exhibits hosting diverse habitats, you'll feel like you're in the tropics while still looking out on the magnificent Boston Harbor. The NEAq also has a unique gift shop to visit and several dining options.
This part-land, part-water adventure is one of Boston's most famous tours. After all, you can't miss the colorful duck-shaped vehicles filled with quacking passengers. Boston Duck Tours are entertaining for the whole family as they combine a super fun ride with a unique look at Boston's history and distinct geography. The highlight of the tour-your quirky and knowledgeable guide will lead you right through Boston and into the Charles River! This 80-minute trip promises lots of laughs for everyone and a look at all of Boston's top sights!
Designed specifically for children, this museum is truly a treasure for families with kids. The Boston Children's Museum emphasizes "hands-on engagement and learning through experience," which you'll witness through 96+ fun exhibits. You'll be able to make art projects with your kids in the Art Studio, explore an authentic house from Kyoto, Japan at Japanese House, and watch as your child rides a real Bobcat in Construction Zone! This museum is a must for any family with young children, and it really offers a fun time for everyone.
If it's your first time to Boston, or you've never taken the time to learn any of Boston's history, a tour of the Freedom Trail is truly a must-do activity. The legendary red brick line leads you through the city's most important historical sites of the American Revolution. On the official Freedom Trail tours, guides in character as famous patriots like James Otis or Abigail Adams lead you around 16 sites while sharing lively anecdotes of historic people, places, and events. If you don't think your kids can handle the whole trail, feel free to pick and choose the sites you want to see. The red-brick line serves as a marker for the trail all over the city.
The Boston Museum of Science is a world-renowned science museum that has something for everyone. Over 700 interactive exhibits feature hands-on activities for visitors of any age. Permanent exhibits include To the Moon, highlighting full-size models of the Apollo and Mercury Space Capsules, and Colossal Fossil: Triceratops Cliff where you'll see one of only 4 nearly-complete Triceratops on display in the world. For those with young children, Discovery Center provides in-depth scientific exploration through fun kids games and activities. Don't leave without catching a show inside New England's only IMAX Dome theater or watching the stars up close on a state-of-the-art projector at the Hayden Planetarium.
5 Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Boston
Finding a place to eat with kids in Boston doesn't have to be a hassle. Actually, there are tons of family-friendly restaurants in the area that make dining out a fun (and delicious) event. Here are some of the best family restaurants.
1. Full Moon Restaurant
With an eclectic menu designed just for families, there's bound to be something for everyone at this casual Cambridge café. They serve brunch, lunch, and dinner at Full Moon, a restaurant created by two young mothers who knew the importance of a menu that appeals to both adults and kids. Kids menu items include selections like chicken fingers, fries, and fruit or mac and cheese with a side of green beans, but the European-American style "grown-ups" menu will leave you more than satisfied, too.
This option is slightly pricey, but if you want to dine in style while eating delicious food, check out Durgin-Park. All kids menu items come with a beverage, cornbread, and French fries. Options for the main course include cheeseburgers, franks & beans, and several pasta dishes. The regular menu features classic New England fare and your favorite comfort foods. This century-old establishment provides a great meal and a slice of history all in one. Be warned, the servers are intentionally a little playful and smart-mouthed-it's all part of the experience!
3. UFood Grill
If you're looking for a quick meal without all the grease and grime of fast food, head over to UFood Grill for what they call "Unfast Food." They cook the food you know and love-burgers, fries, wraps, sandwiches- in a healthier way with organic ingredients and whole grains when possible. It's perfect for a quick meal you know the kids won't fuss about, and you won't feel guilty indulging in it either!
4. Papa Razzi
Treat your family to a taste of Italy at this modern family-friendly restaurant. They serve lunch and dinner and have a wonderful kids menu. Children will enjoy options like grilled cheese or ravioli followed by the kids-only sundae or served with an IBC root beer. Papa Razzi boasts an eclectic, cozy, and comfortable atmosphere for a dinner experience you won't soon forget.
5. Jasper White's Summer Shack
This fun New England clam shack has locations in Boston and Cambridge, but the Cambridge Summer Shack is the one renowned for its kid-friendliness. It even won Boston Magazine's award for the most kid-friendly restaurant in Boston! Jasper's menu is so diverse that there's no need for a separate kids menu. In addition to the seafood classics, Jasper's serves things like corn dogs, French fries, and corn on the cob-there's something for everyone. Plus, kids will love the loud and energetic atmosphere, including the large fish tank that is the focal point of the restaurant.
5 Kid-Friendly Free Activities in Boston
Boston's historic legacy, diverse culture, and old New England charm make it easy to find inexpensive activities for the family. Check out these five free things to do in Boston with kids to enrich your vacation.
1. Bunker Hill Monument
Climb to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument for 294 steps of fun. The reward? Gorgeous views of the Boston skyline...and bragging rights, of course. Your kids will love climbing the spiraling stairs of this historic and unique monument that marks the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution.
2. USS Constitution
Tour the USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat. Free guided tours are offered to visitors, given by active-duty Navy Sailors. Kids love exploring below deck and visitors of all ages appreciate the rich history of "Old Ironsides."
3. Boston Harborwalk
Stroll along part of the Boston Harborwalk, which stretches for 40 miles from Charlestown to South Boston. Along the path there's so much for you and the kids to enjoy. From playgrounds and beaches to art exhibits and architectural masterpieces, this walk has it all. There are also several places where you can see the working port in action, which is sure to entertain the kids.
4. Boston Common / Public Garden
Picnic in the Boston Common or Public Garden. If you're in the downtown area, pack a picnic and sprawl out on the lawn in one of these two beautiful urban parks. The action-packed Common is full of characters, and everyone will enjoy the hustle and bustle. You'll find vendors, street performers, caricature artists, musicians, and so much more. In the slightly mellower Public Garden, enjoy the perfectly manicured lawn, colorful flowers, and a diversity of trees. You can watch the swan boats glide over the Garden's pond, and you'll see plenty of Boston's ducks of Make Way for Ducklings fame.
5. Harvard Square / Harvard Book Store
Visit the Harvard Book Store in Harvard Square and head to the children's section. Although this renowned bookstore isn't just for kids, they have a great selection of children's books for kids of all ages, from toddlers to young adults. Plus, these shelves hold books for absolutely every interest. When you're done in the book store, make sure you spend some time exploring Harvard Square. It's a charming area with over 300 registered street performers!
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