Guide written by Nancy Solomon.
Looking for a city that both parents and children can enjoy? Steeped in history and loaded with family activities, Boston is sure to educate and entertain! Hearing unique accents and visiting authentic neighborhoods, museums and world famous sporting events is sure to keep any family happy. Additionally, the compact nature of the city makes walking a breeze.
Note: Be sure to read the Day Notes for the kid-friendly details on recommended attractions
Ciao Bambino provides tips and advice around all things related to traveling with kids
and is a guide to the best kid friendly hotels
Day 1 - Boston
These tours make the city come to life while giving you an overview of the city. Your kids will be involved from the beginning, quacking at people on the street (who quack back!) and playing captain of the boat while cruising on the Charles. I love to start a city visit with a tour to get your bearings and to see what piques your interest. *NOTE: The drawback of these tours is their popularity. You need to make reservations if you don't want to wait for hours.
If your are traveling with older kids, you may want to also take a look at the Tomb, Urban Adventure Bike Tours and Little Feet Freedom Trail Tour, Boston Children's Theatre and Wheelock Family Theatre.
3 Copley Place, Suite 310 (Office)
Boston, MA 02116
tel: +1 617 267 3825
fax: +1 617 450 0065
77 North Washington Street
Boston, MA 02114
tel: +1 617 367 2345
fax: +1 617 720 7873
Day 2 - Boston
The Waterfront, Boston Harbor
The Boston Aquarium
The 200,000-gallon glass tank is perfect for kids because they can put their faces right up to the glass and feel so close to the sharks, turtles, fish and eels. Additionally, the three variations of penguins put on quite a silly show. If you're pressed for time, enjoy the seals outside and skip the seal show. For the summer months, there is a shark and ray petting tank that's a big hit with the kids.
The waterfront area around the New England Aquarium is fantastic! Walk across the street and grab lunch in Faneuil Hall. In the summer, the pop-up water fountain is on the way and a great place to cool off on hot summer days. You are also within walking distance to the North End (don't miss this ethnic Italian neighborhood. Regina's Pizza and Mike's Pastry shop are the best).
Institute of Contemporary Art
This modern art museum is set along the harbor near both the Aquarium and the Children's museum. They feature amazing artists like Shepard Fairy and Tara Donavan, that appeal to children as well as adults. The glass building itself is a piece of art. From the huge windows inside, you can watch planes take off and the ships zip around the harbor. Be sure not to miss the gift shop—they have creative and fun items.
Boston Children’s Museum
For younger children, this is a great place to come and play. They can build, climb, and explore in this nationally recognized children’s museum.
Regina’s Original Pizza
This is a landmark in the North End. Their pizza is simple, delicious and delivered by waitresses that border on rude—perfect for the Boston feel! Be prepared to stand a while for a spot, but it’s worth the wait. Kids fit in well at this casual eatery.
Mike’s Pastry Shop
The best cannolis in town! This is a famous shop that serves delicious Italian pastries, cookies, cakes, gelato and coffee. It’s a fun stop with kids, but again, be prepared for a line.
1 Central Wharf
Central Wharf (off State St. and Atlantic Ave.)
Boston, MA 02110
tel: +1 617 973 5200
Dock Sq (Congress St and North St)
Boston, MA 2203
tel: +1 800 7 3326 7866 (Tourist Info - Toll Free)
fax: +1 617 424 7664 (Tourist Info)
100 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 2199
tel: 617 478 3100 (General) / 617 478 3101(Visitor Information) /617 478 3103 (Box Office)
300 Congress St
Boston, MA 2205
tel: +1 617 426 6500
fax: +1 617 426 1944
11 1/2 Thacher St
Boston, MA 02113
300 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113-1835
tel: (617) 742-3050
fax: +1 617 523 2384
Day 3 - Boston
The Museum of Science
This large museum is a host to some excellent and interactive exhibits. Think dinosaurs, mystical creatures, chick hatchings, a butterfly garden and more. We love the electricity show and the little monkeys. For younger children, explore in the Discovery Center. Most weekends, they offer story hour with live animals. You can review the MOS website for daily events and don't forget to pre-order iMax tickets, because the shows sell out quickly. Additionally, you can catch the Duck Tours from here.
Ok, so maybe I didn't get into Harvard or MIT, but we can certainly soak up the area around these meccas of education. If you're in the mood for an inspiring bookstore for children, head over to Barefoot Books. They publish beautiful global stories and have a wonderful collection available to purchase.
The Charles Hotel
The Charles Hotel is a perfect resting place for families because they know how to take care of parents and kids alike! Besides their amazing restaurants where they host children's cooking classes, they also have scheduled activities where they entertain your children
1 Science Park
Science Park, off O'Brien Hwy. on bridge between Boston and Cambridge
Boston, MA 2203
tel: +1 617 723 2500
fax: +1 617 589 0363
Day 4 - Boston
Skywalk at the Prudential Center
For children eight and older, this is an amazing spot to take in the view of the city from the top of the Prudential building. Not only do you get a view, but it features the story of immigrants in Boston. My children find it both interesting and educational.
A garden for all seasons! This lovely urban garden is home of the Swan Boats in the summer months and the Frog Pond in the winter months. You can see the ducklings and have some time to roam around.
Sporting Events/Fenway Park
The Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics offer year-round sports entertainment. Look ahead for tickets and be prepared to shell out a pretty penny for good seats.
800 Boylston Street
50th Floor, Prudential Center Tower
Boston, MA 02199
tel: +1 617 859 0648
148 Tremont St.
Between Beacon, Park, Tremont, Boylston, and Charles Sts
Boston, MA 2203
tel: 888-733-2678 (Tourist Information)
fax: +1 617 424 7664 (Tourist Information)
4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215
tel: +1 617 267 1700