February 19, 2018

Boston with Kids: Reader Favorites


I took a short trip up to Boston for work last week and couldn’t help but think how much fun Boston would be with my kids. So I took a quick reader poll and wanted to share a few of the great family-friendly suggestions if Boston is on your must-see list with kids (it’s definitely now on mine, especially since it’s fairly easy to hop a non-stop flight from DC where I live).

  • Boston Duck Tours: Enjoy this tour of Boston that takes you through the city both on land and sea. The tour departs from either the Museum of Science or Prudential Center and lasts 80 minutes (20 of these minutes are on the water). They also offer 55 minute evening tours, which take you past one-third fewer land sites. Both take you to see the U.S.S. Constitution, Faneuil Hall, the Old State House and Bunker Hill, among many other sites. Here’s the complete list of sites for both tours.
  • Faneuil Hall Marketplace: Also known as Quincy Market, your kids will love the world-famous street performers, like jugglers, clowns and musicians, that perform every day. Enjoy shopping and food from 40+ eateries. Plus, it’s just a five-minute walk to the New England Aquarium, Paul Revere’s House and the Boston Children’s Museum.
  • The Freedom Trail: No visit to Boston is complete without a walk along the Freedom Trail to check out a few or all 16 sites along the Trail, including the Boston Common and the site of the Boston Massacre. There are several official walking tours with 18th-century costumed guides that last 90 minutes and leave daily. What a great way to learn about the revolutionary history of Boston.
  • Museum of Science: There’s so much to do here, like taking a virtual tour of Acadia National Park to check out every bird found in New England and learning all about the energy sources we rely on in our daily lives. You can even visit a butterfly garden and observe bees in their natural setting courtesy of a glassed-in beehive. Plus, don’t forget to take in an IMAX movie and a planetarium show, as well as Friday Night Stargazing through November.
  • New England Aquarium: I’m a big, big fan of aquariums. I can already hear my nearly two year-old son, Paul, shouting out “FEESH!” (fish). You and your kids will be amazed by the four-story, 200,000 gallon Giant Ocean Tank, and your kids will love the Shark and Ray touch tank, as well as the Edge of the Sea touch tank where they can pet sea stars, horseshoe crabs and sea urchins.
  • Swan Boats: The Swan Boats have graced the waters of the Boston Public Garden for over 130 years. A ride on a Swan Boat lasts 15 minutes and you and your kids will enjoy a peaceful and picturesque cruise on the waters of the lagoon. The Swan Boats will be out on the waters through September 18.

If you’re planning to spend a few days in Boston, you may want to check out the Go Boston Card, which saves you money on more than 70 attractions, including the New England Aquarium, Swan Boats, Beantown Trolley, Franklin Park Zoo and more.

You may also want to check out this list of 20 free Things to Do With Kids in Boston!

Have you been to Boston with your kids? What are a few of your favorite family-friendly activities worth exploring in the Boston area? I’d love to hear your ideas.


  1. My boys loved the carousel in the Commons!

  2. I have lived in Massachusetts my whole life, and grew up just outside of Boston (in Quincy). My point of view is to SKIP the New England Aquarium altogether….it is basically one Giant tank, not much else…plus you will have to pay for parking. I would recommend the Mystic Aquarium, in CT which is prob 90 min from Boston. I take my kids to mystic at least 3 times a year and would never dream of the NEA. Also, the duck tours is not really for small kids, though with all the cartoons and the duck whistles, you would think it was. It was very boring with the droning on of history my 7 and 5 year old were not interested in. They sat there for a very long time with their duck whistles, that they were not allowed to blow. Skip this if you have little ones! The Swan Boats are a blast, you can walk over to Newbury Street to all the expensive stores, and you can walk to the Pru which has lots of shops and restaurants. The Boston Children’s museum is GREAT for kids and lunch at Flour Bakery + Cafe right next door in Fort Point is delish! I can’t say enough aboutnhow delish the food is, she has great kids pizza, and if you’re lucky…which I have been a few times, you will see Joanne Chang herself! Love her! Also, “the T” is quite user friendly in getting around Boston. Don’t forget the North End and Chinatown! Just my opinions! Oh yeah…..YAY BRUINS!!!!!!!!!

    • Karin,
      Thanks so much for your insight. I LOVE LOVE Boston! I live on the CT shoreline and don’t visit Boston enough. I like the Mystic Aquarium but my fav is the National Aquarium in Baltimore (www.aqua.org). The stingrays are my favorite. I agree the “T” is the way to go. My son loves riding it’s something we don’t get to do except in large cities like Boston and DC.

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