10 Fun family-friendly activities in Boston

Visiting Beantown? Here are some kid-friendly attractions to make your life easier. Read on for 10 of the best things to do in Boston with kids.

Planning a trip to Boston? If you're heading to the Massachusetts capital with little ones, you'll need to add some kid-friendly attractions to your itinerary. The good news is that there are plenty of things to do in Boston with kids.

Make life easy by joining guided tours that will introduce you to some of the most popular landmarks in the city. Planning on visiting with older children? Boston is home to many museums and exhibitions that cover everything from natural history to fine art. Eager to avoid the usual tourist traps? There are countless hidden gems waiting to be uncovered here. Still unsure of what to add to your bucket list? This guide explores some of the best kid-friendly destinations in Boston.

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1. Get kids thinking about college options early with a tour of Harvard University

Are your little ones already thinking about college? Why not book a guided walking tour of one of America's oldest educational institutions? Kids get an insight into campus life, while parents can explore the famous Harvard Yard and Memorial Hall.

Best time to go:

Best for teens and older children. Not recommended for toddlers.

Address and opening hours:

1374 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge. Opening times vary.

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2. Travel back to the time of the Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum Interactive Tour is a must if you're looking for fun activities for kids. Live performers are on hand to provide you with a first-hand account of life as a Boston Tea Party revel, while replica ships and fascinating exhibits are waiting to be explored.

Best time to go:

Suitable for all ages, although it might prove a little overwhelming for toddlers and much younger children.

Address and opening hours:

The Congress Street Bridge, Boston. Open 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, 7 days a week. Check-in 15 minutes prior to the tour time.

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3. Dig into one of Boston's famous dishes with a North End pizza tour

Boston pizza is renowned across the world. With a Boston North End pizza tour, you can explore some of the best pizzerias in the city. This is bound to keep hungry kids happy.

Best time to go:

Suitable for all ages, though toddlers may have trouble keeping up with this walking tour.

Address and opening hours:

Hanover St, Boston. Opening times vary.

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4. Discover an underwater world at the New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is an essential stop on any kid-friendly tour of Boston. With more than 800 marine animals to discover, there’s plenty to keep little ones entertained. Your New England Aquarium ticket includes access to every exhibit, allowing kids to get close to various creatures, such as seals, sea dragons, sharks, and stingrays.

Best time to go:

Suitable for all ages, with free access for children aged under 2.

Address and opening hours:

1 Central Wharf, Boston. Open Saturday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM.

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5. Take a walk through history along Boston's Freedom Trail

With a Boston Freedom Trail Walk history tour, it’s easy to bring a little learning to your stay in the city. You'll hear fascinating tales about some of America’s most famous patriots and stop off at some of the most iconic landmarks in the city.

Best time to go:

Suitable for all ages, but younger children may struggle to keep up with the group.

Address and opening hours:

Beacon Hill, Boston, MA. Opening times vary.

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6. Take to the water for a spot of whale and dolphin watching

Looking for things to do in Boston with kids that they’ll remember forever? Why not take a whale watching catamaran cruise of Boston Harbor? As well as being able to see the city from the water, you’ll be able to get up close with humpbacks, finbacks, and dolphins.

Best time to go:

This tour is suitable for all ages, with infants enjoying free access to the cruise.

Address and opening hours:

1 Long Wharf, Boston. Opening times vary.

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7. Head out on a sightseeing cruise with the whole family

Once you’ve exhausted your list of kid-friendly attractions, jump onboard for a sightseeing cruise of some of Boston’s most historic landmarks. You’ll sail past sights like the Bunker Hill Monument, the USS Constitution, and more.

Best time to go:

All ages are welcome, with free tickets available to infants.

Address and opening hours:

One Long Wharf, Boston. Opening times vary.

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8. Take a walk on the wild side at Franklin Park Zoo

Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo is one of the largest animal attractions of its kind on the East Coast. Visitors with Franklin Park Zoo tickets have access to hundreds of species, with enclosures spread across 72 acres.

Best time to go:

Kids aged 3 and above. Infants can enjoy free access.

Address and opening hours:

1 Central Wharf, Boston. Open Saturday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM.

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9. Uncover some of Boston's best-kept secrets

If you want youngsters to learn something during their trip to Boston, a history and highlights afternoon tour is the way to go. This kid-friendly experience will appeal to short attention spans, taking you past major landmarks like the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Custom House Tower, and more.

Best time to go:

Recommended for kids aged 6 and over. Younger children can join the tour for free.

Address and opening hours:

Downtown, Boston. Opening times vary.

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10. Explore the city with a Pink Panther twist

You'll have no trouble convincing kids to get and explore with this immersive Pink Panther app experience. This in-app tour encourages kids to seek out some of Beantown’s most iconic sites, with everything from famous museums and green spaces to live music venues included in the itinerary.

Best time to go:

You're free to go at your own pace, so this experience is suitable for all ages.

Address and opening hours:

Huntington Ave, Boston. Opening times vary.

FAQs

What are some of the top family-friendly attractions in Boston?

Boston's packed with kid-friendly attractions. If you're visiting in summer, head to the Frog Pond at the Boston Common to cool off. Visiting with younger kids? LEGOLAND Discovery Center will appeal to creative minds, while the LEGO-sized replica of the Boston city skyline will go down well with older children.

What are the best museums for kids in Boston?

The Museum of Science is one of Boston's premier cultural attractions. Here, you'll find a wealth of educational exhibits and interactive experiences. The Boston Children's Museum is another essential stop on any tour of the city, standing as the second-oldest museum of its kind in the United States.

What are some fun outdoor activities for kids in Boston?

Boston might be a big city, but it's right on the cusp of some of New England's most enchanting natural scenery. You can take to the water and explore the Boston Harbor Islands if you're feeling adventurous. If you don't want to stray too far from the city, head to Boston Public Garden instead.

What are some unique and off-the-beaten path experiences to have in Boston with kids?

If you want to avoid the usual tourist traps, you're spoiled for choice in Boston. This is one of the most historic cities in the United States, so you won't struggle to find undiscovered gems here. Take a ghost tour of one of Boston's many graveyards if you're visiting with older kids, or reach for your hiking boots and head to Castle Island or escape to the Blue Hills Reservation.

What are some fun day trips from Boston that are suitable for families with kids?

If you want to escape the city for a few hours, there are plenty of destinations to consider in the vicinity of Boston. Pack a picnic and take a catamaran cruise of the harbor. Alternatively, grab the entire brood and head to Cape Cod for a sun-drenched day out on warmer days.