35 Awesome Things to Do in Boston With Kids

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Boston is a very family-friendly city with many things to do with kids. Whether you’re interested in exploring parks, museums, beaches, or play zones, there’s a never-ending list of activities for your family to enjoy.

This post outlines 35 of the best things to do in Boston with kids, separated by indoor and outdoor activities. Enjoy planning a fun outing with your littles!

Indoor Things to Do in Boston With Kids

Rainy day? Or want to escape the summer heat or winter cold? Here are some of the best indoor things to do in Boston with kids.

Visit the Boston Children’s Museum

The Boston Children’s Museum is an amazing place to spend a few hours. As the name suggests, all the activities inside the museum are geared toward kids. You’ll find a marketplace where kids can pretend to buy and sell food, a sock skating rink, a water play zone, and much more. There’s even a dedicated PlaySpace area for kids ages 0-3.

Best for: Ages 0-10

Tour Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Take the kids to this historic fine arts museum in the Fenway neighborhood, notorious for its nine stolen paintings. Challenge your kids to locate the empty spaces where the paintings once hung. The museum also has a beautiful courtyard to explore.

Best for: Ages 5 and up

Explore the Museum of Science

The Museum of Science is one of the top museums to visit in Boston with kids. There are dozens of interactive exhibits where kids can learn and experiment. Special activities are also offered on certain days, such as a trampoline-building contest. Check the museum website for the list of upcoming events.

Best for: Ages 3-11

Walk Through the Mapparium

A Boston hidden gem, the Mapparium is a large glass globe that depicts how the world looked in 1935. Kids will especially enjoy the “whispering gallery” effect caused by the acoustics inside the globe. Have two people stand on either end of the walkway and speak into the tube, and they’ll be able to hear each other perfectly.

Best for: Ages 5 and up

See Marine Life at the New England Aquarium

Kids will love the variety of marine animals at the New England Aquarium, featuring a range of exhibits, including Amazon Rainforest, Atlantic Harbor Seals, Giant Ocean Tank, Penguin Colony, and Shark & Ray Touch Tank.

Best for: All ages

Browse the Books at Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library has an expansive children’s section with a diverse selection of books and reading areas. Instill a love of reading in your kids by letting them browse the bookshelves and sit down with a book or two. See the BPL website for upcoming library events geared toward kids.

Best for: All ages

Learn at the Harvard Museum of Natural History

For an educational experience that’ll fill your kids with wonder, stop by the Harvard Museum of Natural History. They’ll find mounted specimens of wildlife from around the world, including a hippopotamus, lion, cheetah, butterflies, and much more. They can also explore the vast rock collection, see glass flowers, and learn all about shark biology and behavior.

Best for: Ages 5 and up

Enjoy a Game or Two at Kings Bowling

Bowling is always a kid-pleaser, so if you’re looking for a nice indoor activity, hop on over to Kings Bowling, located in both Back Bay and Seaport. What makes Kings special is their expansive food menu, which goes beyond the basic pizza and fries. Think shrimp, buffalo chicken wontons, fried Brussels sprouts, quesadillas, and more.

Best for: Ages 3 and up

Admire Masterpieces at the Museum of Fine Arts

Older kids might enjoy exploring the more than 500,000 pieces at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, featuring art from the Italian Renaissance, English Regency, Korea, Southeast Asia, and more. There are also rotating exhibits throughout the year, so check out the MFA website for the most current list of items on display.

Best for: Ages 8 and up

Engage With STEM Activities at MIT Museum

Let your kids examine the history of the nautical world, architecture, art, photography, science, and technology at the MIT Museum. This is an especially great destination to take kids interested in STEM activities. There are regular, featured activities in the Maker Hub where kids can tinker with mechanical motion, balance sculptures, and paper circuits, among other cool things.

Best for: Ages 5 and up

Imagine and Play at Little Lovage Club

In the Prudential Center in the heart of Boston, Little Lovage Club offers a 3,000-square-foot playspace with climbing structures, a foam pit, a bounce house, a play kitchen, a book nook, and more. Register your kids for a two-hour time slot where they can roam and play in a safe and fun environment. This place is especially great for young children!

Best for: Ages 0-8

Go Ice Skating at Dcr Steriti Memorial Rink

While not available year-round, if you’re looking for a fun indoor activity for kids in the winter, consider ice skating at Boston’s DCR Steriti Memorial Rink. Their public skating is free, and skate rentals are just $5. Check out the skating rink page on the mass.gov website for the latest skating hours.

Best for: Ages 3 and up

Channel Their Inner Artist at Muckykids Art Studio

The Muckykids art studio in Cambridge has a drop-in studio open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, where you are welcome to stop by with your kids without any prior registration. Kids can participate in one of the featured projects that day for $18. (Adults can accompany them for free!) This studio is a great place to let your kids experiment and learn new artistic skills.

Best for: All ages

Challenge Them to New Heights at Rock Spot Climbing

If you want to introduce your kids to the world of climbing, there are rock climbing classes at Rock Spot Climbing that are available to kids of all ages. There’s even a dedicated “toddler time” when the youngest kids can play on the climbing gym!

Best for: Ages 1 and up

Outdoor Things to Do in Boston With Kids

Hoping to get some fresh air during a day in the city? Check out this list of the best outdoor things to do in Boston with kids.

Go on a Boston Duck Tour

If you want your kids to learn about the history of Boston in an entertaining way, take them on a Boston Duck Tour. The tour takes place on an amphibious vehicle capable of riding on land and water. Kids will get a thrill from watching the vehicle convert into a boat as it slides into the Charles River. It’s one of the best ways to see many of Boston’s major sites in a short window of time.

Best for: Ages 3 and up

Take a Ride on a Swan Boat

Riding in a swan boat in the Boston Public Garden is one of the most quintessential Boston things to do. Just as the name suggests, these boats are decorated with giant swans. Once you’re on the boat you’ll likely see some real swans, too. It’s an unforgettable activity your kids are sure to love.

Best for: All ages

Play At Martin’s Park

Martin’s Park was built in loving memory of the only child killed in the Boston Marathon bombings. Located in Seaport, this beautiful park is a hidden gem in Boston. The park includes climbing walls, slides, climbing gyms, a splash pad, and a giant wooden ship. 

Martin’s Park is also close to the Boston Children’s Museum and would make for a nice place to visit after the museum.

Best for: All ages

Run Around Boston Common

Boston Common is essentially a massive playground for kids. Not only is there an actual playground, but there are plenty of other attractions for kids. One of them is the Frog Pond, a giant wading pool that becomes an ice rink in the winter. There’s also a carousel, water fountain, and large grassy areas to run around or toss a ball.

Best for: All ages

Admire the Flowers at Boston Public Garden

The Boston Public Garden is adjacent to Boston Common and is a labyrinth of trees, flower beds, and pathways surrounding the beautiful swan pond. It’s the perfect place to let kids run freely without worrying about cars. 

During warmer months, swing by the bridge overlooking the swan pond, and you may see a man giving out balloon figures for kids. Make sure to also stop by the famous Make Way for Ducklings statues!

Best for: All ages

Have Fun in the Sun at Constitution Beach

Constitution Beach is one of the most fun beaches to take kids to Boston, just a short walk from the Orient Heights stop on the Blue Line. It’s not an open-ocean beach, but the water is perfect for swimming. There are plenty of rocks, shells, crabs, and snails to keep them busy on the sand, and there’s a nice playground nearby. 

Best of all, the beach is right across from Boston Logan Airport, so kids have a front-row seat to watch all the planes come and go!

Best for: All ages

Wander Around Castle Island

Castle Island is a small peninsula along the Boston Harbor, connected to the mainland only by a small strip of land. Take your kids for a walk along the Harborwalk trail nearby, or let them play at Pleasure Bay Beach. 

There’s also a large playground that’s always a kid-pleaser. Kids will also get a thrill from seeing the airplanes flying low overhead as they near Boston Logan Airport not far away.

Best for: All ages

Follow the Freedom Trail

If you’d rather have your kids do a walking tour of Boston instead of sitting in a vehicle, the Freedom Trail is an entertaining way to do that. This 2.5-mile trail is marked by a red-brick line throughout the city, which takes you past 16 historic sites of Boston. 

You can take a guided tour or go at your own pace. (The latter might be better with kids, so you can stop as often as you want.) You could even print off a map of Boston and give them stickers to mark off each place you visit to keep them entertained throughout the tour.

Best for: Ages 5 and up

Catch a Game at Fenway Park

Take your kids to Fenway Park, the oldest major league baseball field in the U.S. and home of the Boston Red Sox. Buy a bag of peanuts for the kids to enjoy cracking open, and if they get stir-crazy during the game, take them to the Kids Concourse, where they can play inside batting cages and enjoy other kid-friendly activities.

Best for: Ages 3 and up

Get a Taste of Italy at North End

North End, also known as Boston’s Little Italy, is a great place to visit with kids — especially those picky eaters. You can’t go wrong with pizza or pasta in North End, followed by a delicious cannoli from Modern Pastry or Mike’s Pastry. 

The Paul Revere Mall is another fantastic place in North End where kids can run around, and there’s even a hidden playground towards the back of the mall. Another attraction for kids is the North Canal Fountain, with its water jets. (Prepare for them to get wet!) 

The fountain is part of the larger Rose Kennedy Greenway, filled with water play areas, trails, food trucks, and more.

Best for: All ages

Splash and Play at Piers Park

Piers Park in East Boston is another public park with beautiful views of the Boston skyline. The entire park is fenced in, including the large dock that stretches into Boston Harbor, so it’s safe for kids to roam around. A large playground and splash pad are also on-site, making it the perfect place to spend an entire morning or afternoon with the kids.

Best for: All ages

Walk Along the Charles River Esplanade

The Charles River Esplanade is a three-mile trail along the Charles River stretching from the Museum of Science to the Boston University Bridge. This trail is great for kids to walk, run, bike, or roller skate and get their energy out. There are also several playgrounds and recreational areas along the esplanade where they can stop and play. 

Best for: All ages

Search for Wildlife at Belle Isle Marsh Reservation

Belle Isle Marsh Reservation is a hidden oasis in East Boston. It’s a popular place for birdwatchers, so you can have your kids keep their eyes peeled for various birds and other wildlife. There is a flat trail where kids can safely run and a watchtower with views of the skyline and ocean far in the distance.

Best for: All ages

Build a Sand Castle at Revere Beach

Revere Beach is known as America’s first public beach and is one of the closest sandy beaches to Boston. You can get there by taking the Blue Line to the Revere Beach station, or there’s plenty of free street parking along the beach (a rare thing to find in Boston!).

Revere Beach is a clean and safe beach for kids to enjoy, with public restrooms and restaurants nearby. It’s also home to the annual International Sand Sculpting Festival. Your kids will be wowed by the incredible sand structures people create.

Best for: All ages

Release Energy at Arnold Arboretum

Part of the Emerald Necklace chain of parks in the Boston metro area, Arnold Arboretum is a 281-acre park that makes for a natural wonderland for kids to explore. Download self-guided family activities from the Arboretum website to add entertainment to your visit. This park is a great option to escape the city noise without venturing too far away.

Best for: All ages

Walk and Taste Your Way Through Chinatown

Boston’s Chinatown is the only historic one in New England and is still a center of Asian-American life in the area. There are many Chinese, Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Japanese restaurants to try with your kids. (Generally, Boston is a foodie paradise with hundreds of amazing restaurants.)

Chinatown is part of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, with unique water fountains to play in. There are also several festivals throughout the year that feature kid-friendly crafts, live music performances, outdoor markets, and more.

Best for: All ages

Explore the Boston Harbor Islands

Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park consists of 34 islands and peninsulas. For a fun day trip with kids, hop on a ferry to one or more of these islands from Long Wharf. Explore the islands’ historic sites and attractions, plan a family picnic, or enjoy a scenic hike. 

Check the Boston Harbor Islands website for the latest ferry schedule and list of islands open for visiting (varies by season).

Best for: All ages

Visit the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

Named Boston’s #1 patriotic attraction, the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is a family-friendly place where your kids can experience an interactive interpretation of the famous Boston Tea Party event that changed the course of U.S. history. Kids will even have the chance to throw a chest of tea into the Boston Harbor!

Best for: Ages 5 and up 

Take a Ride on Codzilla

For a thrill ride, take your kids on Boston’s Codzilla, a high-speed boat that looks like a sea monster. Bring ponchos or swimsuits along since you’ll get pretty wet while bumping and gliding around Boston Harbor at speeds up to 40 mph! 

Best for: Ages 5 and up

Book a Whale-Watching Tour

There’s nothing quite like the excitement of spotting wildlife in their natural habitats, especially large animals like whales! Give your kids the joy of a whale-watching tour on a high-speed catamaran from Boston’s Long Wharf. The tour will take place in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, offering the opportunity to see a variety of whales and dolphins.

Best for: Ages 5 and up

Enjoy a Day at the Zoo

The zoo is always a hit with kids, and they will be able to see dozens of different animal species at Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo. Some exhibits include an Aussie Aviary, Butterfly Hollow, Giraffe Savannah, Gorilla Grove, and Tropical Forest. 

Best for: All ages

FAQs

Here are answers to some common questions about visiting Boston with kids.

Is Boston a Good City to Visit With Kids?

Yes, Boston is a great place to visit with kids! There are so many sites and attractions catered toward kids and families. From playgrounds and parks to beaches and boats, there is an endless list of things to do with kids in Boston. This post covers 35 of the best things!

How Many Days Should You Spend in Boston?

You can see a lot of Boston in one day, but to fully experience the city and all it has to offer, you may want to plan on staying at least three full days.

Is Boston Walking-Friendly?

Boston is an incredibly walkable city, with sidewalks and trails everywhere. Boston’s subway, known as the T, has train lines that extend well outside the city, so there’s no drive in with a car. (Given the price and scarcity of parking, not to mention the TRAFFIC, you won’t want to.) 

It’s easy to get 20,000+ steps a day while exploring Boston, but that’s one of the things that make it such a great city to visit.

What Is There to Do in Boston for Families?

There are many family-friendly activities in Boston! This post highlights 35 of the best things to do in the city with kids, including museums, historic sites, boat rides, parks, and playgrounds.

What Is There to Do in Boston for Toddlers?

Each activity listed in this post has a recommended age range, and you’ll notice almost all of them are suitable for toddlers! The best activities for young children include the Franklin Park Zoo, Constitution Beach, Castle Island, Boston Common, Piers Park, Little Lovage Club, and the Boston Children’s Museum.

What Are the Most Unique Things to Do in Boston With Kids?

Since Boston is such a historic and innovative city, most of the activities mentioned in this post are one-of-a-kind. Some unique things to do with kids in Boston include walking the Freedom Trail, riding on Codzilla, visiting the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, touring the Mapparium, and riding the swan boats in the Public Garden.

Conclusion: Things to Do in Boston With Kids

There are so many fun and exciting things to do in Boston with kids. Whether you are interested in playing outdoors or staying inside, there is no shortage of options. Perhaps you want to educate your kids about Boston’s history, explore maritime life, plan high-energy activities, or bask in nature. Whatever your plans are, hopefully, this list has inspired lots of fun-filled ideas to help you plan your family trip to Boston!

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