From the renowned New England Aquarium to the many interesting stops on the Freedom Trail, there is so much to do with kids in Boston. Here are your best bets for where to go in Boston for fun adventures with your kids in this historic city.
Stroll, Skate, and Play on the Common
The 380-year old Boston Common is packed with so much to enjoy including monuments, historic significance, and beautful views. Take a long walk, go ice skating, and let the kids play on the playground. And, depending on when you are there, enjoy performances and citywide festivals at Boston Common too. This park, which is the start of the Freedom Trail in Boston, is a must-see.
Of course, this park hasn't always been a place for fun and recreation. Once upon a time, pirates, witches, and murderers were hung to their deaths there (the tree used is now gone!), and those in need of punishment were confined to the stocks—or worse, tied to a whipping post. Funny how things change, isn't it?
131 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02111
Shop Till You…Well, You Know
Okay, we’ll be the first to admit that a shopping excursion isn’t going to be for everyone. Still, Faneuil Hall and the surrounding markets (also a Freedom Trail stop!) are worth dropping by—if only for a short walk-through. And if you have tweens and teens with you, they will love the shops there. Heritage meets contemporary here, as you can shop for historic replica items alongside kitschy souvenirs and fabulous fashions (Urban Outfitters! Banana Republic! Crocs!). There’s something for most, and the historic Faneuil Hall has a small education center downstairs—right near some very well maintained and clean bathrooms—that you can drop by to watch videos and see historic Boston maps. Plus, if you are hungry, the food stalls in Quincy Market offer a wide berth of options for every appetite.
1 Faneuil Hall Square
Boston, MA 02109
Catch and Release…and a Little Lunch, Too
Have you worked up an appetite with all that walking around Boston? Head to the new Legal Harborside restaurant, the 20,000 square foot, three-floor flagship location of the famed Legal Seafood. Not only will you and your family get to try the chowdahhh that has made Legal Seafood famous, but on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m., kids can try fishing in the lobby trout pond. That’s right—kids under 12 can really cast lines in hopes of experiencing the thrill of the catch. The catch-and-release program is supervised, and Legal Seafood supplies all the gear. Just don’t forget your camera.
270 Northern Avenue
Boston, MA 02210
One If by Land…
You and your kids have all probably learned about Paul Revere’s famous ride (which we now know involved two other riders and ended in his arrest). Well, on that fateful night in April 1775, two lanterns were hung in the steeple of Old North Church in Boston as part of the signal from Paul Revere that the British were coming. That warning, along with the ride, marked the start of the American Revolution…and led to the United States being formed. Today, the church is still operating with services on Sundays. Other days, you and your kids can respectfully check out the bright church that was once a private church where parishioners had to purchase their boxes and could decorate them as they pleased. The interior is pretty unique, so it’s worth checking out—especially if there is a talk about the church history going on at the time. Though it’s free to enter, the church appreciates donations; they are not eligible for federal funding since they are still in operation.
193 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113
Home in the 18th Century
Paul Revere wasn't just the most famous of the Freedom Riders—he was also a goldsmith, silversmith, and foundry owner. In fact, in his later life he created brass fittings for ships and big church bells that still ring today. He was also the father of 16 children. You and your family can learn more about him with a stop by The Paul Revere House on the Freedom Trail in Boston. Paul Revere’s Boston home, complete with tilty wide board floors and mostly original wood, is open to the public for a nominal fee. Inside, knowledgeable volunteers share the history of the house. Though you can’t take photos inside, the living quarters are worth seeing and experiencing since it is so different from our modern experience. Ask about the ceiling height, which is unusually tall for a home of its age (higher ceilings meant harder to heat!) and how they cooked in the big open fireplace. Also, take note of the feather bed upstairs, which looks decidedly uncomfortable.
19 N Square
Boston, MA 02113
Love sealife? Boston is home to the recently renovated New England Aquarium, which is filled with an array of impressive ways to learn about and interact with marine life. The recently renovated Giant Ocean Tank is the center of the aquarium and gives families a chance to peek into the ocean with new viewing windows, a redesigned reef, and more species and animals to observe. Penguin lovers will delight in the Penguin Habitat, which boasts more than 80 penguins. And for hands-on kids, the Shark and Ray Touch Tank and the Edge of the Sea Touch Tank (which has a lobster, hermit crabs, and more) are perfect.
1 Central Wharf
Boston, MA 02110
Relax by the Harbor
Near Faneuil Hall, the Wharf District Parks make up a serene spot in a bustling city. The harborside area is an ideal spot for a stroll, a sit, or a ride ‘round. Take a ride on the Greenway Carousel (it opens on April 11th for the season). Or sit by the water’s edge on one of the benches to spy planes taking off from Logan Airport (beware, though—this isn’t a good spot for young and unpredictable kids who could easily fall in the water). And in warm weather, look in on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Garden, which is sure to be beautiful.
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