We know you have one goal when traveling with kids – keep them occupied! Luckily, Boston is full of fun for the entire family that will prevent you from hearing those dreaded words “I’m Bored.” From throwing tea into the Boston Harbor to experiencing the energy of a crowd at Fenway Park (Have you start them young, right?), here’s our list of 25 family friendly activities to consider adding to your Boston itinerary.
1. New England Aquarium
Dive deeper at the New England Aquarium, where you'll discover thousands of aquatic animals, from sharks, a giant Pacific octopus, Myrtle, the green sea turtle, and our favorite, the African penguins. Plus, you can even make art with Atlantic Harbor Seals! Even Picasso would give that the SEAL of approval.
Putt your way into a summer itinerary staple no matter the season at Puttshack. Offering a tech-infused mini golf experience that skips the paper, pens, and the outdoors, this is the perfect stop on those cold winter afternoons or rainy spring days. And don't worry, we won't judge you if you get a little competitive!
What to know before you visit: After 7:00 pm is 21+
3. Boston Museum of Science
Immerse the family in the latest in science and technology at the Museum of Science. Featuring permanent exhibits like To the Moon, Exploring AI: Making the Invisible Visible and the Hall of Human Life, you might be the smartest person in the city after this stop. Well, at least you’ll feel like you are!
Have some free time away from the kids? Check out the Museum’s calendar of adult-focused events.
4. Boston Children’s Museum
Discover the power of play at the Boston Children's Museum. With three floors of exhibits created to encourage hands-on play, the museum is the perfect place to keep young kids busy for hours. Take it from us, you'll want to play too!
After your visit, check out Martin's Park & Playground just outside the museum.
5. Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Channel your inner revolutionary at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum as you participate in the “Destruction of the Tea!” Start your journey in the replica Meeting House where Samuel Adams will guide you towards uprising before storming the 18th-century sailing vessels Brig Beaver and Eleanor to join in the “single most important event leading up to the American Revolution.”
6. Frog Pond
Experience four season fun in the heart of the Boston Common at the Frog Pond. Home to the summer spray pool, the Frog Pond Carousel, winter outdoor skating rink, Downtown Movie Nights and more, no visit to Boston with the family is complete without a stop at the Common.
7. The Freedom Trail
Earn your “Liberty” Junior Park Ranger badge offered by the National Park Service as you stroll the Freedom Trail. Featuring special activities at the Old State House, Old South Meeting House, Paul Revere House, Old North Church and USS Constitution Museum, this is the perfect way to immerse the kids in Boston’s revolutionary spirit.
8. Duck Tours
Take the best introDUCKtion to Boston with a Duck Tour, as you cruise by the places that make Boston the birthplace of freedom and a city of firsts. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you’ll end with a big splash as your ConDUCKtor drives the DUCK straight into the Charles River. We bet this stop will leave you quaking!
9. Harvard Museum of Natural History
Get admitted to Harvard. Well, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, that is. Featuring 18 exhibits like the famous “Glass Flowers” and the “Roomer Hall of Vertebrate Paleontology,” the museum provides an unmatched look into the natural world.
10. LEGO® Discovery Center Boston – Opening May 25, 2023
Let your imagination run wild at Lego® Discovery Center Boston. Featuring eight interactive exhibits with over two million bricks, a workshop led by master builders and even a 4D cinema, the possibilities for what you and your family can create are endless!
11. Swan Boats
Experience true nostalgia with a Swan Boat ride in the Public Garden. Virtually unchanged since opening in 1877, the Swan Boats are as uniquely Boston as Fenway Park, Boston Baked Beans, and the Boston Marathon. Plus, they provide some of the best views of the Public Garden!
12. Lawn on D
Challenge your kids to a game of giant Jenga, bocce, ping pong or pickleball at the Lawn on D. Open during Boston’s warmer months, the Lawn on D provides free access to its swings, lawn games and live entertainment, making it one of the top free things to do in Boston. Don’t forget to grab a drink from the onsite concessions while the kids play!
13. USS Constitution Museum
Enlist as a sailor on “Old Ironsides” at the USS Constitution Museum. Conveniently located on the Freedom Trail in the Charleston Navy Yard, the Museum offers interactive exhibits, hands-on activities and historic artifacts that entertain your kids for hours. Make sure to plan your visit around the Cannon firing at 8:00 am and sunset.
14. Kings Dining and Entertainment
Have a blast with the whole family at Kings Dining and Entertainment, a modern bowling alley with an upscale twist. With locations in Back Bay and Seaport offering 10-pin bowling, billiards, shuffleboard, a variety of arcade games and delicious food and drinks, there's something for everyone. And, in case you forgot, we won't judge you if you get a little competitive here!
15. Museum of Fine Arts
Explore the world of art at the Museum of Fine Arts. Home to over 450,000 works of art, including more Monets than any museum outside of Paris, an unrivaled Japanese art collection, treasures from Egypt and the ancient world and American art from colonial to modern times, this is a must-stop for any family with a young artist!
16. Zoo New England
Get up close and personal with over 160 species at the Franklin Park Zoo and the Stone Zoo. From African lions to western lowland gorillas, sloths to kangaroos, there's an animal for every animal lover. Can’t wait to visit? You can even live stream some of the animals from your home!
17. The Mapparium
View the world like never before at The Mapparium in The First Church of Christ, Scientist. The Mapparium, a three-story stained-glass globe bisected in the middle by a glass walkway, offers an undistorted 360-degree view of the world as it was in 1935.
What to know before you visit: The curved glass walls of the Mapparium do not absorb sound waves, so if you whisper at one end of the bridge, your kids will hear it on the opposite end loud and clear. Make sure to try it out!
18. Emerald Necklace
Escape to the great outdoors without leaving the city. Stretching over 1,100 acres from Back Bay to Brookline, the Emerald Necklace offers everything from hiking and biking trails to playgrounds and ball fields, so there's plenty of room to let the kids run and play. Don't miss the stunning views at Jamaica Pond and Arnold Arboretum.
19. Catch a Game
Experience the energy of a Boston sports team home game. No matter when you visit, the Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots or Revolution will be firing up crowds throughout the city.
20. Whale Watching
Set sail on a whale-watching adventure with Boston Harbor City Cruises. Departing from 1 Long Wharf, just steps from the New England Aquarium, this is your chance to get up close and personal with large whales, including humpbacks, finbacks, minkes and the critically endangered right whales. They even guarantee you’ll see a whale on your trip!
21. Fort Independence
Travel back in time by visiting Fort Independence on Castle Island. Built between 1834 and 1851 to defend Boston Harbor, the fort is now a top destination for families looking to dive deeper into Boston’s history. Plus, it has some of the most stunning views of the harbor and city skyline.
22. Charles river Esplanade
Take a stroll or bike ride along the Charles River Esplanade, a 3-mile stretch of parkland that runs along the Boston side of the river. With beautiful views of the water, playgrounds, and a variety of events and activities, the Esplanade is the perfect place for a family outing.
23. The Black Heritage Trail
Stroll through Beacon Hill and uncover the story of the Boston’s largest community of pre-civil war African Americans on The Black Heritage Trail. Highlighting stops like the 54th Regiment Memorial, the Abiel Smith School and the African Meeting House, The Black Heritage Trail shares the story of struggle, persistence and hope as Black Bostonians organized toward the equality and freedom promised in America’s documents of national liberty.
24. View Boston – Opening June 15
Let the kids curate their own Boston itinerary at View Boston. Featuring a 360-degree observation deck on the Prudential Tower's 52nd floor and an interactive neighborhood discovery tool, all the kids have to say is, "I want to go there!"
25. Attend a Family Friendly Event
Discover something new happening in Boston with an upcoming event.
4-D Films at Museum of Science
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Atlantic Harbor Seals Exhibit
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Boston by Little Feet - tour for children & families
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Boston Common Visitor Center - Open Daily
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Carousel on The Boston Common Frog Pond
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Dark Side of Boston tour
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Dino Safari: A Walk-Thru Adventure
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Ghosts and Gravestones Tour
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Grand Opening Summer Celebration at LEGO® Discovery Center Boston
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Heart of the Freedom Trail tour
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How Do You See the World? + Mapparium™ experience
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María Berrío: The Children’s Crusade
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New England Aquarium reintroduces 3D films
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North End: Boston's Immigration Gateway tour
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Prince’s Pew Pursuit at Old North Church
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Raptor Ridge at Franklin Park Zoo
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Road to Revolution tour
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Swan Boats - Spring and Summer Hours
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The 40th annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl®
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Virtual Fenway Park Tour
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VR Experience at Key to Amaze
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You, Me, We! at Boston Children's Museum
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Brunch & Puppies at the Boston Public Market!
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LUNG FORCE Walk - Boston
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Back Bay's Victorian Architecture tour
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Beacon Hill's South Slope tour
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Eat, Poop, Die: How Animals Make Our World with Joe Roman
Dr. Joe Roman, renowned conservation biologist from the University of Vermont, joins the New England...
26th Annual Do It Your Damn Self!! National Youth Film Festival
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Fort Point Channel tour
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Scouting Saturdays: Playing the Past
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BOSTON Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
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Play Songs and Games
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Father's Day Premier Brunch Cruise
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Father's Day Signature Lunch Cruise
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Roxbury Film Festival 2023
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Friday Flicks: Outdoor Movie Nights at Boynton Yardsm
Enjoy FREE outdoor movies, popcorn, candy, and fun at The Block at Boynton Yards, all summer long!...
The First Annual Beantown Beanfest
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