Looking for a city that both parents and children can enjoy? Steeped in history and loaded with family activities, Boston is sure to educate and entertain! Hearing unique accents and visiting authentic neighborhoods, museums and world famous sporting events is sure to keep any family happy. Additionally, the compact nature of the city makes walking a breeze.
1. Museum of Science (all ages):
This large museum is a host to some excellent and interactive exhibits. Think dinosaurs, mystical creatures, chick hatchings, a butterfly garden and more. We love the electricity show and the little monkeys. For younger children, explore in the Discovery Center. Most weekends, they offer story hour with live animals. You can review the MOS website for daily events and don’t forget to pre-order iMax tickets, because the shows sell out quickly. Additionally, you can catch the Duck Tours from here. *Note: You can see my previous Ciao Bambino post “Museums and Kids – A great Combination” for helpful tips on exploring museums with children.
Ok, so maybe I didn’t get into Harvard or MIT, but we can certainly soak up the area around these meccas of education. We enjoy Harvard’s Museum of Natural History. The amazing collection of both large and small taxidermied animals is a simple pleasure for kids. Also, don’t miss the intricate glass flowers. For older children, try the MIT Museum, which has more technical exhibits. If you’re in the mood for an inspiring bookstore for children, head over to Barefoot Books. They publish beautiful global stories and have a wonderful collection available to purchase. Or, if you’re in the mood for an old classic head to the Curious George Book and Toy Shop. For toys, we also love Stellabella Toys. If you want a great meal, but have kids that are in an “active stage”, you may enjoy Full Moon where they have a train and toy area that rivals their wine list. However, be prepared to wait for this family favorite. The Charles Hotel is a perfect resting place for families because they know how to take care of parents and kids alike! Besides their amazing restaurants where they host children’s cooking classes, they also have scheduled activities where they entertain your children
3. New England Aquarium:
The 200,000-gallon glass tank is perfect for kids because they can put their faces right up to the glass and feel so close to the sharks, turtles, fish and eels. Additionally, the three variations of penguins put on quite a silly show. If you’re pressed for time, enjoy the seals outside and skip the seal show. For the summer months, there is a shark and ray petting tank that’s a big hit with the kids. The waterfront area around the New England Aquarium is fantastic! Walk across the street and grab lunch in Faneuil Hall. In the summer, the pop-up water fountain is on the way and a great place to cool off on hot summer days. You are also within walking distance to the North End (don’t miss this ethnic Italian neighborhood. Regina’s Pizza and Mike’s Pastry Shop are the best).
4. Sporting Events (ages 5+):
The Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics offer year-round sports entertainment. Look ahead for tickets and be prepared to shell out a pretty penny for good seats.
5. Boston Duck Tours (all ages):
These tours make the city come to life while giving you an overview of the city. Your kids will be involved from the beginning, quacking at people on the street (who quack back!) and playing captain of the boat while cruising on the Charles. I love to start a city visit with a tour to get your bearings and to see what piques your interest. *NOTE: The drawback of these tours is their popularity. You need to make reservations if you don’t want to wait for hours.
If your are traveling with older kids, you may want to also take a look at the Tomb,Urban Adventure Bike Tours and Little Feet Freedom Trail Tour, Boston Children’s Theatre and Wheelock Family Theatre.