Familydaysout.com has done ALL the hard work so you don’t have to by creating the ULTIMATE family guide to visiting Boston, to read, print and use!
Want to find out the "Top 9 Family Attractions" to visit in this great Massachusetts city? Keep reading, because below we list out some of the best museums, free attractions, transport tips and some fun facts for you and your family! We give you tips on transport information, fun and easy day trips from Boston, and also tell you about some famous Bostonians you may not know about! We want to make sure you don’t miss out on where you need to go and what you need to do, to have the best time!
So if you find yourself in Boston thinking “I wonder what great family things near me we can enjoy”, we have you covered! First up, let’s check out a little bit of information about Boston itself.
Founded all the way back in 1630 by English Puritans, the vibrant capital of Massachusetts Boston is one of the USA’s leading tourist destinations. Did you know that every year, close to 20 million people visit? Pretty amazing! With nearly 2 million of those visitors coming from overseas, Boston has firmly cemented its place as one of the worlds’ favourite cities for families to visit!
The city is a contrast of old and new, with modern buildings nestled next to cobbled streets (don’t forget your camera!), and with such a rich history, it’s an ideal place to take the kids to feed those hungry little minds. With so many great museums to visit it’s hard to know which to choose from! (Which is why we’re here!) Whether the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum with its realistic exhibits that transport you back in time, to a more modern approach with The Museum Of Science, with its hands on exhibits, where everyone can ‘touch and feel the science’
Whatever the weather or season, Boston has so much to do! During those Summer months, places like the historic Boston National Park come to life when they tell the story of the American Revolution. In Winter, check out the are many indoor attractions like Legoland Discovery Center and the fantastic New England Aquarium.
Known as ‘America’s Walking City’, (because it’s great to explore on foot!), Boston also features an accessible and extensive transportation system. Driving in Boston isn’t easy, but there are plenty of car parks but these can be expensive, so why not utilise public transport on your travels.
Take ‘The T’: The Boston Transportation Authority, which offers; subway, bus, trolley car and boat service all around the Greater Boston area and beyond. All the Subway stops are color-coded so this helps keep things simple.
If you kids are a little older, why not hire a bike at places like Bluebikes, with over 100 share stations and over 1000 bikes available? It’s a great way to see the city!
Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Boston
1New England Aquarium
Are you ready to explore the depths of the ocean waters? This popular aquarium is where kids can explore the amazing creatures that live beneath the oceans, without getting wet! (We love that!)
There are thousands of aquatic animals that call this fun aquarium home, from adorable blue penguins, to the delicate leafy seadragon, and the lumbering sea green turtle.
How about a museum that is JUST for kids? Yes, we’re talking about the Boston Children’s Museum! It's ALWAYS fun to find somewhere that kids can play and create, and of course learn at the same time!
This fun and very family friendly museum that boasts a huge number of interactive hand-on exhibits, all designed to keep those curious minds entertained!
The exhibits focus on science, culture, environmental awareness, health and fitness, and the arts, so no matter what your kids are into, there will be something fun for them!
Science IS fun, and the Museum of Science in Boston is waiting to show you exactly why! The kids imaginations can go wild as science and technology comes to life with over 700 hands-on and interactive exhibits for kids!
There are permanent exhibits that cover a range of topics, so kids will learn a LOT, from engineering, to how things work, to even the science of nature! They can even take a virtual tour of Acadia National Park and discover some amazing specimens of birds.
A must-do during your time at the museum is a visit to The Butterfly Garden, which is always popular with kids as those colorful creatures fly freely around their heads. Kids can also learn about conservation at the Conserve @ Home exhibit - its the little things in the house that make a difference!
16th December, 1773 was such as important date in American history. Why? Well, here’s a hint - it involves tea! In fact, it was on this day that a monumental event took place, that started the American Revolution.
If you want to learn more, we best head to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum then!
The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is located in a beautiful part of Boston Harbor, and in fact is located right on the very waters that the Boston Tea Party happened over 240 years ago. History comes to life, right in the spot it happened!
Through Boston Harbor Cruises, get ready for more thrills, more laughs and more speed than you ever imagined as you zip across the ocean at up to 40 miles per hour!
The Codzilla Boat Experience is a harbor cruise with a difference, where you can zip and zoom through the waves, as you see the skyine of Boston from a whole new perspective!
If you love adventure, then this might just be for you!
Want to really see Boston from new point of view? How about a birds eye view?
Skywalk Observatory is Boston's only sky-high vantage point for sweeping 360 degree views of Greater Boston and beyond, so get those cameras ready because it might just take your breath away!
Here, the family experience is made even more special with the exclusive state-of-the-art Antenna Audio Tour that details the city's many points of historic and cultural interest. See kids, you can learn anywhere!
We all know that the best way to see a city is to take a tour around the sights, but what about a tour of the city, AND a cruise on the river? We’re talking about Boston Duck Tours , where it’s a bus AND a boat all in one
Boston Duck Tours departs from 3 locations around the city, and gets the whole family aboard their very cool DUCK vehicle. You can’t miss it, just look for the WWII style amphibious landing vehicle! This very cool vehicle not only takes you around the city on land, but then drives straight into the water, turning into a boat, to sail you away down the Charles River - now THAT is cool
We just LOVE animals at Family Days Out, so of course Franklin Park Zoo is on our Top Things in Boston list!
This popular Massachusetts attraction is home to hundreds of exotic animals from all over the world, and they are waiting to say hi! Kids can not only come face to face with some of their favorites, including the mighty lion and the grand elephant, but they can learn all about them too
A ROAR-ing family day out destination for all!
Kids, do you love LEGO? Well, you’ll be excited to hear that for you day out in Boston, there is no better place for you than LEGOLAND Discovery Center!
This super fun indoor experience is ALL about LEGO, and it's where kids can spend their day letting their imaginations run wild, as well as exploring their creative side, and even developing those key skills for later in life.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center offers fun kids activities, as well as workshops, rides and attractions, giving kids an experience that they might just want to head back to again, and again, and again!
Love the movies? You might just recognise this face then! Yes, Mark Wahlberg was born in Boston in 1971, and has entertained us with a host of movies, from The Other Guys, & TED!
Image Copyright: Caroline Bonarde
John F. Kennedy
Born in Greater Boston, JFK was the 35th President of the United States (and at that time, the youngest man ever to be President!). One of the most popular Presidents of the nation!
Image Copyright: Public Domain
5 Fun Boston Facts
Impress your friends with your amazing Boston knowledge!
- Boston is named after a town in England with many of its early settlers coming from there they decided to keep the name.
- Boston had the very! The first lighthouse in the USA, built-in 1716 in the harbor
- The first Baseball world series was held in Boston in 1903
- The state has a nickname of ‘The Baked Bean State’
- The first subway system was built in Boston in 1897
Top 5 FREE Things To Do With Kids In Boston
Walk the Freedom Trail
Spend the day immersed in the rich history of Boston, by following the freedom trail! This red brick line leads visitors through the sidewalks of Boston to 16 different historic sites throughout the city, including museums, churches and even burial grounds. Kids will have as the tour guide, spotting which way to head next!
It won’t he hard to spot the red brick line as it is nearly 2.5 miles long and runs through the city via its sidewalks.
For those little history buffs in the family, it’s a great way to bring history to life as they walk the streets, learning as they go! Image Copyright: Public Domain
Enjoy The River and Harbor
Family Days Out always enjoy visiting cities by the water, and Boston doesn’t disappoint - especially during the warmer months! The Charles River Esplanade enables everyone to enjoy, run, walk and play by the water for several miles, taking in the breath-taking views.
There are docks to relax on, as well as free movies and music available at the DCR’s Hatch Memorial Shell during the summer. Along the way, gardens and playgrounds make for fantastic pit stops or picnics. Take your time, and enjoy the waterfront! Image Copyright: AbhiSuryawanshi
Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market
Faneuil Hall is the heart of Boston, and a favorite of tourists and locals alike. The best part about this thriving marketplace is that no matter how often you visit, there's always something new going on!
The three buildings that make up the marketplace are filled with typical tourist-centric stores and restaurants, as well as food court-like stalls, so kids can discover new foods, and experience an iconic Boston attraction. Image Copyright: Tony Webster
The Frog Pond, Boston Common
The slogan for The Frog Pond of the Common is “four seasons of family fun!”, and that’s exactly what you get!
During the winter, the pond (which is actually a man-made pool) is a well-known ice skating destination. During the summer, it becomes a splash pad that becomes the perfect place to cool down on a hot summer’s day.
Frog Pond hosts special events like kid-friendly movie nights and even free yoga during the summer. Be sure to check the calendar before planning your visit! Image Credit: Boston Frog Pond
The Boston Public Library - Central
The children’s room at the Central Branch was recently renovated and is now a brightly-colored space twice the size of the previous room, thus making it a fun place for kids to visit if they want some quiet time. Great in wet weather too!
In the children’s room, kids can explore the library without worrying about disrupting other visitors. Check the calendar to see the myriad of free events hosted in the children’s room, including everything from playdates to preschool films and dance parties for the under-5 crowd. Sounds fun! Image Copyright: Public Domain
Most Unusual Things To Do In Boston
For all those history buffs, why not visit the historic town of Salem and learn all about the infamous Witch Trials that happened all the way back in 1691?. Salem is a short drive or train-ride away (only 20 mins from central Boston train station) so super easy to get to for a few hours.
This deeply historic city is filled with heritage sites and museums that chronicle the era of the Salem Witch Trials, giving kids not only a step back in time with the historic buildings, but also a learning experience in one of the most infamous events in US history. Whether they are writing a report for school, or just love to immerse themselves in history, Salem won’t disappoint.
Walking around the alleys, past the century old buildings, it is like being transported back in time, with many museums creating an interactive experience for you and the family to learn from.
Here’s our top 4 things to visit in Salem:
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