One of America’s oldest cities, Boston is often thought of as a treasure trove for both scholars and amateur history buffs alike. While the city does indeed have its fair share of awe-inspiring tales of olden times and gorgeous architecture, it’s also home to a whole host of engaging and silly venues and activities that will keep both parents and kids happy. Within the city proper and the Greater Boston area there are undoubtedly hundreds of exciting things to do with your family, but below are the seven things that you just can’t miss out on.
7 Family Friendly Activities in Boston
This swath of painstakingly manicured land is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Accessible by both the subway’s Green and Red lines, it makes the perfect jumpstart to any Boston itinerary. Enjoy a picnic on the grass, join a historic walking tour that will take you back in time on the Freedom Trail, play on the Tadpole playground, ice skate on the Frog Pond in the winter, or play in the water fountain there in the summer. Just a short walk away is the Boston Public Garden where you can often find talented street performers, take a scenic stroll, or pose to take pictures with the iconic Make Way for Ducklings statues. The beloved statues are based off the eponymous children’s book and make for a great bedtime story the night before you visit.
You’ll be hard-pressed to spend even one day touring Boston without running into a Duck Tour boat. A fan favorite among tourists, Duck Tours offer a unique and comprehensive way to take in the sites of the city. The tours offer an 80 minute guided ride that takes you to see Boston’s best views by both land and river in an often eccentrically decorated and joyously embarrassing vehicle.
Museum of Science
Boston’s science museum is incredibly interactive and will make for an engaging and educational day out for every member of the family. Its most notable permanent exhibit is their physics area, which is built in the form of a playground that kids can play on while also learning about the laws of physics. If you have young children, check out their Discovery Center, which caters to children from infancy up to age eight and their accompanying grownups. The MoS also houses a wonderful Butterfly Garden, an impressive Planetarium, and IMAX theater.
Boston’s Children Museum
Built especially for the littlest members of society, the BCM was recently renovated in ’07 to be even more fun and ridiculous. Between the KidStage, the Art Studio, the Construction Zone, Investigate, and the PlaySpace, every child will find something they can enthusiastically learn through the transformative power of educational play. Grown ups should be sure to bring along a camera for some supremely great photo ops.
If you’ve got a budding comedian on your hands, make sure to book tickets to ImprovBoston’s Family Show. The program has won a Nickelodeon award for Best Children’s Theater. The show is suggested for adults and children ages 4-12 and runs every Saturday at 4pm. No two shows are alike and audience participation is certainly encouraged.
The New England Aquarium
The Aquarium itself is home to many wonderful creatures. Their most popular exhibit is undoubtedly their penguin exhibit in the center of the aquarium, but if you venture into the depths you’ll find seas turtles, moon jelly, giant octopi, the Yawkey Coral Reef Center, and may even catch a seat at a seal feeding if you’re lucky. If you’re feeling up for a little more of an adventure, check out the Boston Harbor Whale Watch. The booth for tickets is located just outside the Aquarium. The tour will take you out onto the water to try and spot a majestic North Atlantic Right Whale.
Langham Chocolate Bar
The Chocolate Bar at the Langham Hotel in Boston is famous, and exactly what it sounds like. The decadent experience is a dessert lover’s dream. Its menu is comprised of local Boston classics as well as chocolate dishes from around the world. The buffet may be a bit pricey at $29-42 a head, but it is all-you-can-eat. Open only on Saturdays from 11:00am-1:30pm, the Chocolate Bar is ideal for birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebratory occasions that call for some eccentric and delicious indulgence.
by Linnéa Ryan