Boston is one of the top ten tourist destinations in America, and it has something for all the family, with exciting museums, super entertainment and the wonderful Boston Aquarium on the waterfront.
If visiting in summer you are just a few hours drive from the beautiful beaches of Cape Cod, where you can explore the islands of Martha’s Vineyard, or in winter head for the mountains of Vermont for some wonderful family skiing. Your city adventure starts here with our 10 Best Things to do in Boston with Kids.
#1. Boston Aquarium
Situated on the waterfront, the New England Aquarium is educational and amazing fun for kids! We loved that you can watch seals play in their enclosure from outside Boston aquarium while you queue to get in. The penguins are so cute but the highlight has to be the towering cylindrical tank in the middle, 4 stories tall, that you can walk all around and view reef animals, including sea turtles, stingrays, eels and fish.
#2. Explore Boston on a Duck Tour
The Boston Duck Tour is a great way to get to know Boston and your kids will absolutely love it! The unique amphibious vehicles (that look like big tanks) travel on the road and then into the Charles River for stunning skyline views. Tours are informative and amusing and the kids are encouraged to quack at the people they pass on the street!
#3. Excitement at Boston Children’s Museum
This is a phenomenal place with lots of entertaining hands-on exhibits for little kids and older ones! Boston Children’s Museum is one of the leading children’s museums in the world and covers topics like science, space, construction, culture and art in the most fun way possible!
If you are staying in Boston for a few days, a Go Boston Card is a great idea as it provides discounts to Boston’s top attractions, such as the Children’s Museum and the New England Aquarium, and allows card-holders fast-track admission, so you avoid the long queues.
#4. Shop at Faneuil Hall
Faneuil Hall has lots of family friendly eateries and it’s a fun place to visit with kids. Lots of street performers and live events lend it a festival atmosphere and there are plenty of free family seasonal events all year round. Enjoy a collection of interactive ice-sculptures in December, for example, or summer concerts in warmer months.
#5. Walk the Freedom Trail
“Boston by Little Feet” is a special tour designed for children aged 6-12 years old along Boston’s Freedom Trail. Each child gets a free Explorers’ Map which they can follow as they learn about the city’s role in American independence and fun interesting attractions along the way.
For more family activities, see 10 FREE Things to do in Boston with Kids!
#6. Picnic in Boston’s Beautiful Parks
Boston has some of the most beautiful parks, all perfect for an impromptu family picnic. Boston Common is the country’s first public park and a traditional carousel operates here in the warmer months. The Boston Esplanade and Rose Kennedy Greenway are also good choices.
Pick up your picnic goodies at one of Boston’s specialty food markets or bakeries. We love South End Farmers Market @ SoWa which operates every Sunday from May to October.
#7. Explore Boston Art
ICA Boston is a family-friendly contemporary gallery. Push-chairs are permitted through-out and there are baby-changing facilities in the men’s and ladies’ restrooms. Free Play Dates are held on the last Saturday of each month and are a great way to explore art with the kids, catch some dance performances and films, or squeeze in some hands-on art creation.
#8. Get a Big View of the City
The Prudential Observatory occupies the 50th floor of the Prudential Center and here you get a 360 degree view of Boston, 750 feet above the city! Headphones are provided to give you a free audio guide of the sites and attractions that you can see as well as a brief account of the city’s history and culture.
#9. Sports Fun at Fenway Park
Your sporty kids will love a visit to this old, iconic baseball ground. Fenway Park is known as “America’s most beloved ball park” and is home to the Boston Red Sox. A tour of the Park is a must but try and take in a baseball game if you can to get the true classic Boston experience!
#10. Experiment at the Museum of Science
The Museum of Science is great for kids (and adults too)! There is so much to see and do that you really need a whole day to get around to all the fascinating exhibits. Highlights include the Electricity Show and the 4D Theatre which are just awesome. The Butterfly Garden and Planetarium Shows are also superb. There’s even a nice playground across the street if the kids have any energy left!
Over to you now! Is your favourite place in Boston on this list? We’d love to hear your suggestions, so please let us know below.
If you’re visiting other US cities, you’ll find more great family ideas:
- Free Things to do with Kids in Dallas
- Free Things to do with Kids in New York
- Free Things to do with Kids in Orlando
- Free Things to do in Atlanta