As the center of landmark events in American history, Boston exudes nostalgia and old stories everywhere. You can feel it in its architecture, old buildings, and streets. With the emerald hues of the Charles River, expansive green spaces, cultural attractions, and museums – visitors to Boston are in for a treat!
Contrary to popular perception, Boston isn’t all about history or educational institutions. Dig a little deeper and you will discover a young and vibrant city with attractions for everyone, and a whole lot of interesting kids activities in Boston.
If you’re on the lookout for things to do in Boston with kids, here’s a glimpse of amazing experiences you will find in the city.
Boston Children’s Museum
With younger children, it can be difficult to find places to match those unlimited energy levels! Here to the rescue is the incredible Boston Children’s Museum set against the backdrop of the Fort Point Channel. Established in 1913, it is one of the oldest children’s museums in the world with several interactive exhibits.
Undoubtedly one of the most fun things to do in Boston with kids, Playspace is an exciting hands-on exhibit designed especially for younger children. Watch them scamper, climb, and crawl their way through the amazing New Balance Climbing structure – a three-storied maze that rises from the museum’s glass lobby. Gifted by the city of Kyoto, the whimsical Japanese House allows you to walk inside an authentic Japanese silk merchant’s house.
New England Aquarium
When you’re scouting for fun kids’ activities, you can bet there’s water involved somewhere! Make the experience fun, informative, and other-worldly all at once at the delightful New England Aquarium.
Watch penguins, sea turtles, and sharks as they glide beautifully inside the waters.
One of the most popular attractions is the colossal four-stories Giant Ocean Tank – a riot of color with its Caribbean coral reef and the creatures that call it home.
Do check the aquarium’s calendar of daily activities for special sights such as divers in the Ocean Tank and penguin feedings.
Boston Museum of Science
Take your budding scientist for a memorable day out at the Boston Museum of Science. Filled with worlds of discovery and mind-blowing exhibits, the hours will fly by before you know it!
This museum is a fantastic place for children who are in the third grade and up. It allows kids to think like scientists at the Investigation Station or take on a Design Challenge as an engineer, making it one of the cool things to do in Boston. Have fun and learn as you play at the interactive Science in the Park. The family can try activities such as working together to balance a see-saw or race a moving row of lights to measure your speed.
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Revisit a landmark day in American history at the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum. While the kids might think history’s a drag, this experience will change their minds!
The Museum allows visitors to re-enact the day as 18th-century characters. Attend an 18th-century town meeting as a historical participant. Proceed to board the ships afterward and toss tea into the sea as a sign of protest – exactly how events transpired in 1773. Theatre is always fun and this is one of the most unique things to do in Boston with kids.
Harvard Museum of Natural History
Simply utter the word ‘Dinosaur’ and you will have the kids’ attention! Visit the celebrated Harvard Museum of Natural History for over 12,000 specimens as part of Harvard’s research collections.
Take in awe-inspiring displays of dinosaur fossils, animals, and meteorites painstakingly curated from across the world. Visitors can also get up-close and personal with skeletons and displays of giraffes, tigers, rhinos, lions, and giant whales.
Old Ironsides and the USS Constitution Museum
Hop on board the oldest warship in the world at the Old Ironsides in Charlestown. Allow the kids’ imagination to set sail on a tour of this 200-year-old ship. The ship is a fascinating sight with endless miles of gigantic rope, war cannons, and towering masts.
The USS Constitution Museum comprises hands-on exhibits where visitors can experience life at sea. Kids can try furling a sail or swing in a hammock down in the chambers where sailors would sleep.
Legoland Discovery Center
Everything is awesome at the Legoland Discovery Center! And the little architects of the family will agree. Located in Somerville’s Assembly Row shopping complex, the Center is a wonderland of LEGOs. Whether they choose to build their LEGOS or gape at a miniature Boston city crafted from LEGOs, the kids will have a grand time! They could also have a go at the climbing wall or watch a 4D movie. Playing with legos at the center is one of the best things to do in Boston.
Baseball fans, catch a game at the iconic Fenway Park! Inaugurated in 1912 and home to the Boston Red Sox, this is America’s oldest ballpark and known to induce tears of nostalgia for anyone interested in the sport. Make the experience special by sampling the legendary Fenway Frank – widely considered the king of ballpark hot dogs.
If you can’t attend a game, relive the greatest sporting moments on a guided tour of the park including the dugout, press box, field, and hand-operated scoreboard.
Whale Watch Cruises
Leave the city shores to visit some of Boston’s most awe-inspiring visitors – the whales. The waters around the city act as feeding grounds for the minke finback and humpback whales who visit the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary each year.
Take a three-hour cruise with the Boston Harbor Cruises for an experience the family will never forget. Almost out of a documentary (but worlds better!), watch these gentle giants blow bubbles or flip their bodies into the air and crash into the waters.
Pack a picnic lunch and head to the beautiful vistas of Esplanade. This scenic parkland stands along the Charles River and has great playgrounds, walking and biking trails, and boat rentals. Play catch with the kids, fly a kite, read a book, or take a nap – Esplanade is the perfect place for playing it by ear. Sometimes the best plans are no plans!
If the family likes some adrenaline, rent a Hubway bike or hop on a skateboard. The Hatch Memorial Shell at Esplanade hosts a series of free summer family films. Attending their Friday Night Flicks is one of the best things to do in Boston with kids or a group of friends. The park comes alive during the Fourth of July celebrations with concerts and events.
Ice Cream Outings
A day of fun family time would be incomplete without ice cream! Sample the best of Boston’s unique flavors at ‘Emack and Bolio’, famous for oversized cones and outrageous flavors, or enjoy signature homemade ice cream at J.P. Licks.
A list seems inadequate to describe the fantastic hidden gems in Boston. But we hope it’s a good starting point for discovering exciting things to do in Boston with kids. Most attractions are easily accessible with great hotels and restaurants nearby. Happy exploring!
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