Boston is a great city to visit with kids and there are lots of interesting and fun activities that both parents and kids will enjoy! It is an affordable family city and many attractions are free or low-cost.
If you are staying for a few days, a Go Boston Card is a great idea as it provides discounts to Boston’s top attractions and allows card-holders fast-track admission, so you avoid the long queues. Here are our Free Things to do in Boston with Kids and please let us know if there is something we should add!
The Boston Children’s Museum is just $1 on Fridays and free with the GoBoston discount card. It is packed with lots of spaces and activities where children from 3 to 10 years can explore the world around them!
“Everything is built at child height and the kids are encouraged to climb, play with and even touch the exhibits!” Andrea L.
The grassy Boston Common is gorgeous anytime of the year. It has ice-skating in winter, but it truly comes alive in spring. It is the country’s first public park and a traditional carousel operates here in the warmer months. Visit the neighbouring Public Garden and get a photo of the iconic Make Way for Ducklings sculpture- child-size bronze statues by sculptor Nancy Schön. Inspired by Robert McCloskey’s classic book, we picked up a copy of this classic tale as a lovely reminder of our Boston trip!
Perhaps more for older children, tours of the State House last approximately 30-45 minutes and include an overview of the history and architecture of the State Capitol. A stunning building with a beautiful gold dome, it is open to the public on weekdays and admission is free.
More than just a great shopping area, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is like a festival venue with jugglers, magicians, clowns and musicians. There are plenty of free family seasonal events all year round, such as a collection of interactive ice-sculptures in December and summer concerts.
Looking for more things to do? See 10 Best Things to do in Boston with Kids.
Borrow a fun Discovery Pack at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and go exploring the 281 acres of plant life and trees as a Living Museum or Science Lab. Activities range in ability for children over 3 years of age and you can customise the packs to suit your child’s age.
Visiting New York too? Check out our 10 Free Things to do with Kids in New York here!
For the best views in Boston, and a little history, head to the Bunker Hill Monument. Ideal for all ages, but especially 8- to 12-year-olds who may be studying the American Revolution. You won’t mind climbing the 294 steps to the top that lead to the pinnacle when you see the spectacular vista from the monument.
“The Battle of Bunker Hill Museum is free! It’s very interesting for history buffs and features a large diorama.” Teresa R.
Follow Boston’s 2.5 mile historic Freedom Trail and really get a sense of the city’s landmarks and history. If you are with young children it is easy to just pick a short section that includes a site your children might like such as the USS Constitution (See below, No. 8). Then follow it up with tea and a treat at Quincy Market or in a North End bakery.
Experience life as a sailor in 1812 on board the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world! Admission is free and tours start every 30 minutes.
Free with a GoBoston Discount card, The Prudential Observatory occupies the 50th floor of the Prudential Center and gives you 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.
Enjoy free observations of the night’s sky at Coit Observatory on Wednesday evenings starting at 7:30pm in autumn and winter and 8:30pm in spring and summer, weather permitting. Look at the starry sky through telescopes and binoculars while learning a little astronomy. The program is an hour long and perfect for the whole family!
“My son loves the astronomy nights at the Observatory! Wrap up warm in the winter though!” Mike H.
What did I miss? I’m sure you can recommend some more free things to do in Boston with kids! We’d love to hear them, so please let us know in the comments below!