Family Fun Seeker
Fun and Edutainment Await You and Your Gang
It's one thing for your kids to read and learn about U.S. history in school. It's quite another for them to walk the streets of Boston and get a first-hand -- and fun -- glimpse of the nation's colonial era and the seminal moments that led to its founding. That's just one of the many reasons why our city is ideally suited for your family getaway. You and your brood will have a ball and make memories to last a lifetime, and you just might learn a thing or two while you are here.
For the latest news on family-friendly events and things to do around town, be sure to check out HUBa HUBa, the BostonUSA blog.
History Comes Alive in Boston
There's no better way to discover the historical treasures of Boston than to hit the bricks of the Freedom Trail
, a 2.5-mile route that winds its way through the city's neighborhoods and past many of its important sites. There are all kinds of resources available to help you take a self-guided journey back in time, or you could book a tour with a costumed guide. Relive one of the city's and the country's most famous and significant events by taking a multi-sensory adventure aboard the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
. Discover Boston's 19th century African American history by walking the Black Heritage Trail
. If you are a sports fan, you'll want to tour the circa-1912 Fenway Park
, home of the Boston Red Sox, and discover why it is America's most beloved, charming, and oldest
INSIDER TIP: Consider booking a tour of the Freedom Trail specifically designed for youngsters ages 6 to 12 called, appropriately enough, Boston by Little Feet.
Duck, Duck, Goose (er, Swan)
Boston has something of a love affair with ducks what with the delightful Make Way for Ducklings
statue in the Public Garden, the country's first botanical garden. Kids of all ages will love taking a Boston Duck Tour
or a Super Duck Tour
, which have nothing to do with quacking birds and everything to do with a narrated tour in a vehicle that can both travel on land and kerplunk into the water for a unique duck's-eye view of the city. Speaking of boats, for an only-in-Boston experience, be sure to take a gentle ride aboard the famous Swan Boats
The city is brimming with world-class museums, which have exhibits and features that can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. One in particular, however, is geared especially for the younger members of your family. The Boston Children's Museum
, the second
oldest, one of the largest, and one of the most celebrated institutions of its kind in the world, is a great place to get immersed in hands-on activities, creative exploration, and play. Likewise, the Museum of Science
features lots of kid-friendly, interactive opportunities to inspire and foster understanding of our world.
Harvard University offers the Harvard Museum of Natural History, which offers family programs and story times to engage children. If your kids enjoy geography, don't miss the Mary Baker Eddy Library and its fascinating Mapparium, a stained glass, three-story globe into which visitors can walk and examine a 3-D globe from the inside out. The Museum of Fine Arts, one of the world's great art museums and most respected collections, caters to families in a number of ways, including complimentary activity totes filled with a sketchpad, colored pencils, and gallery activities.
INSIDER TIP: Children 17 and under are admitted free to the Museum of Fine Arts on weekends and after 3 p.m. on weekdays. No matter when you visit, you won't pay anything for your children 17 and under to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
On the Go
Active families will want to explore the Boston Harbor Islands
, accessible by brief ferry rides (which are part of the fun). Venture beyond the harbor for close-up looks at really big animals on a New England Aquarium Whale Watch
. Head to the Boston Common Frog Pond
(don't worry, it's amphibian-free) and lace up for ice skating in the winter or a spray pool and carousel rides in the warmer months. There are a number of trolley tours ready to whisk you and your family around the city, including Beantown Trolley
, Boston CityView Trolley Tours
, Old Town Trolley Tours
, and Boston Upper Deck Trolley Tours
Other Fun Stuff
There are many other ways for families to have fun in the city. For example, you could get a unique perspective of Boston 50 floors above it all at the Prudential Center Skywalk Observatory
. While you are there, consider dining at the Top of the Hub, and enjoy a meal with a truly spectacular view. Marvel at marine life in the 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank at the New England Aquarium
. Visit the Aussie Aviary, go on a Rhino Rescue Adventure, check out the Tropical Forest, and explore many of the other animal habitats at the Franklin Park Zoo
Photos: Boston by Little Feet, The Swan Boats of Boston, The Boston Children's Museum