Boston is famous for its rich history and cultural attractions, but did you know this beautiful New England city also features hundreds of family friendly points of interest? With its walkable downtown and famous Emerald Necklace of green space and parks, there are tons of exciting things to do in Boston with kids, from toddlers to teens! Here are some of the most fun Boston family friendly attractions you’ll love.
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Boston Children’s Museum – Fun Activities for Kids of all Ages
All exploration of Boston’s many museums with kids in tow should begin with the highly-rated Boston Children’s Museum, one of the world’s oldest and biggest children’s museums. You’ll find it in the Fort Point Channel where you can take in sweeping views of the city and try out the three-story New Balance climbing sculpture — a big hit with older kids! — before heading inside.
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The Boston Children’s Museum is home to neat Boston activities for kids of all ages like Peep’s World with water features for young children and the Playspace for toddlers. Help kiddos explore other cultures with exhibits like the Japanese House with an authentic silk merchant’s home gifted from Kyoto then watch them become scientists at the Explore-a-Saurus exhibit where they can paint virtual skin on dino skeletons and see a life-sized animatronic Dilophosaurus.
General admission is $18 for adults and kids over the age of 1.
Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210 (617) 426-6500
New England Aquarium – Top Boston Family Attraction
Located on Central Wharf, the New England Aquarium is one of the most exciting things to do in Boston with kids. Along with the aquarium, the building also features the Simons IMAX and the New England Aquarium Whale Watch which goes to the nearby marine sanctuary and guarantees whale sightings.
The New England Aquarium is home to dozens of exhibits sure to be a hit with kids of all ages like the 200,000-gallon Caribbean coral reef exhibit, over 80 penguins, and touch tanks with sharks, rays, sea stars, and sea urchins.
Admission to the aquarium is $32 for adults and $23 for kids.
Castle Island – Boston Family Activities on the Beach
Located 3 miles south of downtown Boston, this peninsula in South Boston is sure to make your list of favorite kid friendly activities in Boston during the summer. Castle Island beaches are free and open to the public. Enjoy a beautiful, sandy beach and an enclosed lagoon where kids can swim and play.
There’s also a fun fenced-in playground with bridges, tunnels, and balance beams, one of Boston’s hidden gems and a great outdoor activity for younger kids and toddlers.
Pleasure Bay Beach at Castle Island was designed by Frederick Olmstead as a marine park and one of the jewels in the Emerald Necklace of Boston. Kids love playing at the shore and watching planes swoop over the water and land at Boston Logan Airport just across the water.
Castle Island, 2010 Day Blvd., Boston, MA 02127 (617) 727-5290
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston – Top Attraction in Boston for Kids When it’s Cold
Located in the Assembly Row shopping center in the Somerville neighborhood, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center is one of the top places to visit in Boston with kids when the weather is too extreme.
Kids can play with Legos, watch a 4D movie, enjoy a climbing wall, and see an entire Lego Boston on display. This indoor Lego play area is perfect for kids 3 to 10 and it even offers workshops and two indoor rides: Merlin’s Apprentice and Kingdom Quest Laser Rider.
To reach the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, take the Assembly Row stop on the Orange Line from downtown Boston. The discovery center is open 10am to 5pm Sunday through Thursday and until 7pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Franklin Park – Boston’s Best Park for Kids
Thinking about settling in Dorchester, Roxbury, or Jamaica Plain, three of Boston’s best neighborhoods? You’ll have the 527-acre Franklin Park right in your backyard!
Franklin Park is the largest park, a landmark, and a jewel of Boston’s Emerald Necklace and home to everything from a golf course to a zoo. Franklin Park features a large woodland preserve and The Playstead, a kids area for outdoor recreation and one of the top free things to do in Boston with kids. The Playstead boasts playing fields for cricket, football, soccer, softball, and baseball right next to the back entrance to the Franklin Park Zoo.
The zoo has plenty of family-friendly activities and exhibits with its own 10,000-square-foot playground. It’s small enough to explore in an afternoon but home to hundreds of animals like tigers, Western lowland gorillas, a Pygmy hippopotamus, giraffes, and a herd of Grevy’s zebras.
While living in Boston, you’re bound to spend plenty of time at Franklin Park with the kids through the spring and summer.
Boston Museum of Science – Best Things to Do in Boston with Older Kids
Boston is known for its many great museums and nothing quite compares to the Boston Museum of Science. It’s one of the best things to do in Boston with kids 10 and older.
The museum is packed with family friendly activities and exhibits. Kids love Soundstair, a musical staircase, and Science in the Park, an educational and interactive playground that teaches kids about momentum and harmonic motion.
The museum is also home to the largest air-insulated Van de Graaff generator in the world to see indoor lightning bolts plus animal exhibits and planetarium shows at the Mugar Omni Theatre inside the museum.
The Boston Museum of Science is open daily from 9am to 5pm and Friday until 9pm. Admission is $29 for adults and $24 for children 3 to 11.
Boston Public Garden – Best Free Things to Do in Boston with Kids
The Public Garden next to Boston Common was America’s first public botanical garden and remains a beautiful example of Victorian traditions. It’s one of Boston’s top points of interest and one of the top free things to do in Boston on a sunny day.
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One of the highlights for kids? A ride on the famous Swan Boats which have been operating on the pond since 1877. Rides are about 15 minutes and cost just $4 for adults and $2.50 for kids up to 15 years old.
You’ll also love taking the kids to the Public Garden in May for the Duckling Day Parade, one of many fun things to do in Boston with toddlers. Every year, over 1,000 people dress up and celebrate the book “Make Way for Ducklings” while led by the Harvard Marching Band.
Boston Public Garden, 4 Charles St, Boston, MA 02116 (617) 522-1966
Boston Common – Family Things to Do in Boston Year-Round
No matter the weather, there’s always something happening at Boston Common!
Young kids love stops at the Tadpole Playground which is next to the Frog Pond. In the summer, the pond is a massive wading pool for kids to cool off. In the winter, the Frog Pond is transformed into a giant ice-skating rink with skate rentals – perfect for older kids!
The Common also hosts tons of events throughout the year for family fun and it has an off-leash dog program called Common Canine, the first off-leash area in a non-fenced city park.
You’ll find the Common is the perfect place to stop and relax, enjoy a picnic with kids, or let them run around after you’re done enjoying the many other nearby fun things for kids in Boston. Don’t forget to check out our insider tips to Boston Common!
Map of Things to do in Boston with Kids
It’s no surprise that Boston is such a hit with families with tons of points of interest and fun places to visit with kids. Many of Boston’s common areas, parks, and attractions were designed with kids in mind and you’ll never run out of things to do, even when the weather gets cold. Now that you see what you can do to keep the entire family busy, are you considering a move to the Boston area? Trust New England’s best movers! Call the Boston movers at Mass Bay Movers today to get your free moving estimate.