In my opinion, Boston is one of the best places to raise a family, because there is so much to do in Boston with kids. Although we moved to the western suburbs of Boston years ago, I still manage to get into the city all of the time to do things with the kids. From all of the fabulous sports teams, to the kid-friendly activities, events, and attractions, there really is no city like Boston for families. Earlier this year, I shut down my popular website Family-Friendly Boston, and now write about things to do with kids in Boston here.
Boston Activities with Kids
There are so many great activities to do with kids in Boston – in every season. In the summer, we love visiting the Boston Harbor Islands, which are just a short ferry ride away. Strolling through the city is really fun too. My kids love seeing the Make Way for Ducklings statue in the Boston Public Garden, along with the swan boats. Of course, no walk through the Boston Common would be complete without a fresh-squeezed lemonade from one of the kiosk.
In the winter, we enjoy watching the Frog Pond transform into an outdoor skating rink. One day, we’ll have to rent skates and join the masses. Several years ago, my daughter and I went to the Cupcake Tea at the Ritz-Carlton, and she’s still raving about it. The Four Seasons and the Taj Boston also offer holiday teas in the winter. Last Christmas season, I took my children to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular – that is something that will become a regular tradition for us.
In the fall, you can drive North, West, or South to visit one of the many apple orchards – our favorites are Honey Pot Hill in Stow and Belkin Farm in Natick. Some of them offer petting zoos and pumpkin picking in addition to apple picking, and Honey Pot Hill even sells delicious apple cider donuts. It’s one of the best parts of fall in Boston.
Boston Events with Kids
The Boston Garden is home to several regular shows that cater to kids, including the Ringling Brothers Circus and Disney on Ice. The Big Apple Circus also comes to City Hall Plaza in the spring. Another great kid-friendly event is the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl that takes place in June – who doesn’t love all you can eat ice cream?
In September, the Life is Good Festival at Prowse Farm in Canton, MA is a fun place to go with kids – it features fun kids’ activities, as well as a kid stage. Both of my children look forward to visiting the festival annually.
Boston Attractions with Kids
Boston is home to many kid-friendly museums and attractions. When my kids were young, we were members at the Boston Children’s Museum, where members can visit an hour early on the weekends (glorious, because it helps you avoid the crowds). Now that they are in school, they prefer the Boston Museum of Science. The ICA and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts also offer special programs for children. I prefer to visit the New England Aquarium in the summer, when you can enjoy walking around outdoors, but it’s great in the winter too. If you are willing to drive out to the ‘burbs, the Discovery Museums in Acton, and the Children’s Museum of Easton are wonderful options, especially for younger children.
Another great place to visit with kids is the Puppet Showplace Theater in Brookline, right on the Green line. My children love puppets, so they really love attending the shows at the theater. It’s so kid-friendly, and the shows change weekly. Adults are asked to sit along the sides, so all of the kids can see the action.
If you’d prefer to be outdoors, the Massachusetts Audubon properties are excellent. Our family’s favorites are Broadmoor in Natick and Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, but there are properties located all over the state – even on Martha’s Vineyard.
Traveling to Boston with Kids
If you are a visitor to our fabulous city, consider staying at one of the many kid-friendly hotels in Boston – like the Seaport Hotel or the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. Don’t miss out on taking a Duck Tour so that you can get a great tour and overview of Boston. You can also purchase a Smart Destinations pass, which will give you a discount off of several popular attractions.
You may also want to venture out of the Greater Boston area to visit Cape Cod and the Islands. There are great aspects to all three areas (Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard). If you plan to stay overnight, I’d recommend visiting Martha’s Vineyard, and for a day trip, I’d recommend Cape Cod. Another great area of Massachusetts, especially in the fall is the Berkshires.