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35+ Fun Things to Do in Boston with Kids in 2024

Fun Things to See and Do with Kids in Boston35 Things to Do in Boston with Kids - The 2024 Guide

We've identified some of our favorite things to do with kids in Boston, so you can have a great go-to list when you are looking for something fun to do.  You'll find great ideas for all ages with lots of indoor and outdoor options to suit all kinds of Boston weather. 

After 20+ years of bringing up kids here and writing about it - we've got a pretty solid grasp on the good stuff.  Many of these activities & venues are free things to do, or at least low cost, and if you are visiting a Boston museum, on a rainy day in Boston, you can usually find discount passes at your local library. 

1. Boston Museum of Science

Boston Museum of Science with Kids

Anytime is a great time to get out and discover all of the wonderful Museums that Boston has to offer. The Boston Museum of Science is a great destination for families with kids, and it's full of mind-expanding exhibits and activities for you to explore.

Parents and children alike will marvel at the exhibits at the Boston Museum of Science. If you are a local, a membership is well worth the cost as it includes 2 hours of free parking per visit, guest passes, and tickets to see IMAX movies, planetarium shows.

The musical staircase called Soundstair is a cool place for kids to burn off some energy, as well as the interactive playground at Science in the Park where you can learn about momentum, mechanical advantage and harmonic motion.

Learn all about harmonic motion, momentum, and mechanical movement. Hop on a swing and measure how long it takes to go back and forth.

It's a fun challenge for families or friends to work together to try to balance on a seesaw; or for kids to race a fast-moving row of lights to discover their speed.  Discover more Boston Museums here. 

Boston Museum of Science Seesaw

Photo Credit©: Nicholas Czarnecki

Mugar Omni Theatre 

Within the Museum, The Mugar Omni Theatre is a dome-based IMAX experience that always has exciting new documentaries to enjoy. The theatre is located right next to the planetarium (toward the back of the museum), which also offers a variety of timed shows and presentations.

Things to do in Boston with kids Mugar Omni Theater

2. Boston Children's Museum

For the younger set, Boston Children's Museum is chock full of entertaining things for kids to do & explore. Located in the Fort Point Channel, you can enjoy great views of the city over the waterway, refreshing breezes, and even a snack at the famous Hood Milk Bottle, that is now run by the local favorite snack shack, Sullivan's.  You can get an idea of what to expect on visit in our photo guide of the Boston Children's Museum.  

Things to do in Boston with kids Boston Children's Museum

Upon arrival to the Children's Museum, you are greeted by the 3 story New Balance climbing structure - a favorite with kids. The 3-story New Balance climbing sculpture is made of flowing curved platforms, rising up through the glass lobby of Boston Children’s Museum and inviting children to scamper and scale this vertical maze.

Things to do in Boston with kids New Balance Climb Boston Children's Museum

photo credit: BostonCentral

Young kids will have lots of fun in the bubble room, exploring Peep's World, which is full of river- like water tables, and check the schedule to see if you can catch one of the fun, interactive performances at the Kidstage.

If you've got very young children, the new Playspace for babies and toddlers is definitely the place to be!  This magnificent new space features a wonderful, safe environment for babies & toddlers to explore with their grown-ups.  

things to do in boston with kids boston childrens museum playspace

photo credit: BostonCentral

3. Martin's Park & Playground

Just steps away, Martin's Park, the outdoor playground dedicated to the memory of Martin Richard, which was opened and dedicated in summer 2019.

Martin’s Park sits along the Fort Point Channel and features a lush and inviting playscape with spectacular water views and breezes. There are close to 350 trees, 700 shrubs, 9,400 ground cover plantings, and 4,400 white daffodils.
things to do in boston with kids martins park boston

Wooden benches — some carved from logs — provide the perfect resting spot for parents and caregivers. A path winds through the grounds, leading visitors up a slope across a pedestrian bridge to take in views of the water and skyline.  There are many more parks in and near Boston to enjoy; this is one of the newest.

Kids can play on swings, slides, and a replica of a marooned ship. Or they can watch a puppet show in a mini amphitheater. 


4. New England Aquarium

Of course, a visit to Boston wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the New England Aquarium on Boston's scenic Waterfront. The unique four-story central tank shows off all the colorful inhabitants of its Caribbean coral reef, complete with small sharks, many varieties of fish and a huge sea turtle.

Boston Aquarium Jellyfish Tank Jay Sao Boston Kids Things to do

photo credit: BostonCentral

Colorful & educational exhibits feature more than 8,000 aquatic creatures throughout the aquarium, including the playful penguin pool featuring three different species of more than 80 penguins that dive, swim, waddle and frolic in the first floor waters.

The rockhoppers are popular for their punk-rock hairdo of wild yellow feathers. The African penguins are known for their loud call, which sounds like a donkey’s bray. And everyone loves the little blue penguins, which are the smallest penguin species in the world.

Boston Aquarium

Out in front of the Aquarium, (and free to see), frolicking sea lions swim back and forth in their tank entertaining walk-up visitors. Out back, near the pier, Northern fur seals and California sea lions cavort and Atlantic harbor seals swim out front.

Be sure to check the daily activity schedule so your whole family can attend some of the special presentations that take place, like penguin feedings, harbor seal training sessions, live animal interactions, and divers descending into the Ocean Tank.

The Aquarium also shows animal-themed films on New England’s largest I-Max screen at the Simons IMAX Theatre. The Theater is in the building adjacent to the Aquarium on the wharf, and movies are mainly animal themed and all family-friendly.

5. Take a Swan Boat Ride in the Public Garden

Other purely Boston adventures include taking a ride on a swan boat in the middle of the Public Garden, Enjoy a peaceful 15 minute paddleboat cruise around the Boston Garden lagoon. The only boats of their kind in the world, they were inspired by the opera Lohengrin.  The Boston Public Garden is a beautiful place to walk around, with wide paths, bronze sculptures, impressive trees, and masterfully maintained plantings. 

Swan Boat Boston Things to do with kids

Photo Credit Saba Ahadi | Boston Photowalks Tours

6. Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

Visit the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum and reenact historical events. Visitors interact with costumed characters at a town meeting regarding taxation without representations; and then you'll get to board the ships and toss tea into the harbor in protest. It all makes for great fun as a family, offering experiences that are both educational and entertaining.

Boston Tea Party Museum Ship Things to do with kids

photo credit: BostonCentral

The Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum is a re-creation of the famous protest in a full scale replica of the tea party ship, also museum exhibits. It's a great place for kids to learn first-hand what happened at the Boston Tea Party.

Each interactive tour will last about one hour with a guided experience throughout the ships & museum. Your 18th Century Host will lead you through a colonial town meeting, where you will play the part of a historic participant, and then move onto one of the ships to "dump the tea" into the harbor.

Inside, exhibits, shirt films and artifacts are displayed, and to round out your experience, you can visit Abigail's Tea Room, where you can enjoy freshly baked goods, and of course, a cup of tea.

7. Visit a Historic Fort

Visit a historic fort, (Fort Independence at Castle Island) or Fort Warren on Georges Island. Castle Island is accessible by car, and features a beautiful walkway (a 2.16 mile loop), big grassy areas for running and playing, a playground, BBQ pits, lots of parking, and a small beach area. Carson Beach is just down the road offering more space to stretch out on.

Castle Island things to do with kids in boston

Fort Warren is only accessible by boat, so you can take a Boston Harbor Ferry out for a visit. Ferry rides are about 50 minutes so it's a terrific day trip.  During the summer, lots of fun family-friendly activities take place out here, including vintage Base Ball games, kite flys, live music and of course, tours of Fort Warren. If you are daring, you may opt to take the "Lady in Black" tour, and hear the tale of Fort Warren's infamous ghost!

8. Harvard Museum of Natural History

Explore 12,000 specimens drawn from Harvard’s vast research collections at the University's most visited museum --The Harvard Museum of Natural History. Dinosaur fossils, meteorites, gemstones, and animals are on display from around the globe.

Harvard Museum of Natural History Animals Things to do with kids in boston

Visitors will get a closer look at hundreds of animals including giraffe, elephant, rhino, tigers, lions, birds of the world, armadillo, platypus, giant whale skeletons, & more.

9. Old Ironsides and the USS Constitution Museum

Climb aboard Old Ironsides in Charlestown - the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. A free tour of this 200-year-old ship may give your little landlubber a chance to get his/her sea legs.

Tall masts, and miles of ropes, and large cannons adorn the decks of this massive vessel. Visitors can climb down into the chambers below to see the layout, and even where the sailors sleep (in hammocks).

USS Constitution Old Ironsides things to do in boston with kids

photo credit: BostonCentral

Steps away, The USS Constitution Museum houses over 3000 original artifacts, and opportunities for lots of hands-on activities for little ones.   A daytrip to Charlestown is a fun way to explore this part of the city, including a ferry ride from Long Wharf, and a 294 step trip to the top Bunker Hill Monument


10. Thomas Menino Park & Playground

Just a 10 minute walk up the pier, you'll find the Thomas Menino Park & Playground. This playground is adjacent to the Spaulding Rehabilitation Clinic and features a wonderful array of play structures for kids to climb on.  Find more playgrounds in Boston here. 

Thomas Menino Playground Things to do in boston with kids Boston

Photo Courtesy of



11. Legoland Discovery Center

Budding architects shouldn’t miss a stop at Legoland Discovery Center, set in Somerville's Assembly Row shopping complex. A popular attraction for young and old alike is Miniland, a little replica of famous Boston landmarks built with Legos. 

It’s a solid choice to visit whenever the weather is too hot or too cold, and in addition to playing with LEGOs, kids of all ages can marvel at a miniature Lego Boston built by master crafters, see a 4D movie, or play in the climbing-wall area.

LegoLand Discovery Center Boston Things to do with kids

photo courtesy of LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Boston

12. The Lawn on D

The Lawn on D is a newer park and playground oasis for children and adults near the Boston convention center. The park features interactive art installations, live music, and very cool LED illuminated circular (glowing) swings. Visitors are welcome to play popular backyard games like cornhole, ping pong, bocce, Jenga and more. 

The Lawn is open to the community unless it is being rented for a private event. Check their event schedule for special public events like Pumpkin Palooza, and Red Sox Game Watches!

Lawn on D Swings Boston things to do with kids

Photo courtesy of The Lawn on D

13. Paul Revere House & Old North Church

Old North Church Paul Revere Statue Things to do in boston with kidsThe Paul Revere House is the oldest standing private home in Boston and once belonged to Paul Revere. It is a small museum comprised of rooms decorated in authentic colonial style. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house in about 30 minutes and the nominal admission it cash only.

The Old North Church & Historic Site is famed by Paul Revere's 'One if by land, and two if by sea' lantern ride. Built in 1723, it has the city's tallest steeple in Boston at 191 feet. Old North Church is right in the heart of Boston's North End, so be sure to grab a cannoli at Mike's or Modern pastry or some delicious Italian food as you pass through.

14. The Freedom Trail

Take Walk into history on the Freedom Trail! Follow the path yourself, and let your kids guide you; or join a Colonial guide dressed in old fashioned garb as he or she takes you on a 90-minute walking tour, from Boston Common to Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market.

Can you follow the Freedom Trail all the way to Bunker Hill Monument? That's quite an accomplishment!  If you are into historic landmarks, Boston is chock full of them.

15. Bunker Hill Monument

Bunker Hill Monument Things to do in Boston with kids

Bunker Hill is located over the bridge (just about a mile from TD Garden, with a pretty walk over the bridge to Charlestown).

The obelisk that was built to commemorate the famous Battle of Bunker Hill has 294 steps and you can challenge kids of all ages to climb to the top.  

There is only one way up and one way down. The views (and bragging rights) are worth the climb. Be prepared for a cardiovascular workout.

If you you do make it all the way to Bunker Hill Monument, reward yourself with a quick visit to see Old Ironsides. and then a scenic ferry ride back downtown from Charlestown pier.

It's about an 18 minute ride that affords splendid views of the skyline as well as a refreshing breeze.

Once back on land, you can head across the street to find the Cookie Monstah Food Truck for a giant ice cream sandwich.  Check out our guide to a Charlestown Daytrip from Boston for more details!

photo credit: BostonCentral

16. Boston Harbor Islands

A great day trip might include taking a ferry ride out to visit one of the scenic Boston Harbor Islands. Ferries depart from Atlantic Wharf with destinations of Spectacle Island or Georges Island and Historic Fort Warren. During the summer months, the parks host a number of performing artists, and structured activities geared especially for kids.

Boston Harbor Islands things to do with kids

photo credit: BostonCentral

17. Codzilla

If ferries are too slow for you, you may be into taking a ride on Codzilla! Boston's only high-speed thrill boat ride featuring two turbo-charged diesel engines generating 2,800 horsepower and speeds of approximately 40 miles an hour. It's fun, loud, and ya go fast.

Codzilla Boston things to do with kids

photo courtesy of Boston Harbor Now

Depending on where you sit, there's a good chance you'll get wet, but that's part of the fun. After the speedy ride, the guides are happy to take a few minutes to take photos of you and your guests with the Boston skyline as a backdrop.  

In addition to Codzilla, there are many other opportunities to enjoy boating & sailing in Boston.  From ferry rides & water taxis, to whale watching and sailing, you are sure to find a water adventure for everyone.




18. Boston Segway Tours

Another great tour option that might appeal to older children is a Segway Tour of Boston. They may grumble about a historic walking tour, but throw a Segway into the mix and you've got a captive audience.  Riders must be 14 years of age and weight least 100 lbs. to operate a Segway (due to city ordinance).

There are plenty of stops for cool Boston photo ops - so you can document this unique and fun experience of seeing the city together.   This is just one of many unique ways that you can tour Boston.  


Boston Segway Tours Zakim Bridge things to do with teens in Boston

photo courtesy of Boston Segway Tours

19. The Rose Kennedy Greenway

One of our favorite excursions on a nice sunny day is to walk through the Rose Kennedy Greenway. There is always something going on, and lots of things to see on the Greenway as you meander through one of Boston's most vibrant parks.

You can start at Chinatown or Dewey Park near South Station and stroll way all the way up to the North End, or vice versa. Dewey Park features it's signature red Adirondack chairs and a giant colorful mural backdrop that changes annually.

Dewey Square Mural Boston Greenway

photo courtesy of Rose Kennedy Greenway

- Rings Fountain

From the manicured flower beds, and wide open green spaces, to Rings Fountain, and the beautiful Greenway Carousel - kids & families are sure to have a great day. Plus, there are plenty of permanent and rotating art pieces that you'll encounter - great for photo ops as you stumble upon them.

Rings Fountain Rose Kennedy Greenway boston kids

photo credit: BostonCentral

- Greenway Carousel

Rose Kennedy Greenway Carousel Dad Child Things to do with kids

photo courtesy of Rose Kennedy Greenway

- Labyrinth at Armenian Heritage Park

Kids and tweens will enjoy the challenge of the labyrinth maze at Armenian Heritage Park. It's fun to see who can walk through it the fastest. This circular winding path paved in grass and inlaid stone celebrates life’s journey.

A single jet of water and the symbol of eternity mark its center, representing hope and rebirth. It is the only Labyrinth on public land in the Northeast.

Things to do in Boston with Kids - Greenway Labyrinth

The beautiful Boston Greenway encompasses gardens, plazas, and tree-lined promenades. Offering lots of open space for relaxation within the heart of Boston's urban environment, the Greenway is a key feature of that came out of the famed Big Dig project

Boston Greenway North End Fountain

photo credit: BostonCentral

The park area nearest Boston's North End features relaxing swing benches, that overlook a lush green lawn and a series of fountain jets that kids love to frolic in on hot days.

Food Trucks are common fixtures along the park for snacks, and lunch - and on weekends, it's fun to peruse the art vendors selling all sorts of unique creations.

20. Walk Along the Boston Harborwalk

Parallel to the Greenway, and just across Atlantic Avenue, the Boston Harborwalk is a near continuous, is linear park & walkway that runs along Boston Harbor. If you walk through the city on the Greenway you can turn around and walk back on the Harborwalk for a completely different, waterfront experience.

Things to do in Boston with Kids - Boston Harborwalk

photo credit: Boston Waterfront Partners

Enjoy stunning views of the harbor that include sailboats, luxury yachts and ferries; and you can see planes taking off and landing in the distance at Logan airport. In addition to refreshing breezes and lots to see, you can stop off at Christopher Columbus Park, or the Boston Harbor Hotel or circle out to the seaport.

21. Take a Tour of Fenway Park

Are your kids baseball fans? No visit to Boston would be complete without a trip to Fenway Park! Tour the home of the Boston Red Sox, including the press box, dugout, field, and more. Tours run daily and leave from the Souvenir Store across Jersey (Yawkey) Way.

Fenway Park Tours Child Ami Sao Boston Kids Things to do

photo credit: BostonCentral

22. Boston Common

The nation's oldest public park, Boston Common is the site of wide open green spaces, and boasts a bandstand, a carousel, frog pond wading pool and tot lot playground, tennis courts, as well as the site of many fairs & festivals.

frog pond tadpole playground boston

The wide open grassy fields on Boston Common can make for a fun day for any kid. Bring a ball or a frisbee and romp around in the grass. Find a bench and read, people watch, lay in the sun,, enjoy a picnic or just sit and chat. You'd be surprised how much fun the simplest activities can be.

Boston Common Fun Ami Sao Boston Kids

photo credit: BostonCentral

23. Boston Public Garden

The Boston Public Garden was the first public botanical garden in America. It is filled with dozens of beautiful old trees, lush, well manicured flora and fauna, and even some tropical plants.

Boston Public Garden Statue

Make Way for Ducklings Statues

There are a number of interesting statues and small fountains to discover as well, including the famed: "Make was for Ducklings" statues and Bagheera Fountain, which is named for the Jungle Book character.

Make Way for Ducklings Statues Boston

Swan Boats

The Public Garden was decorative and flowery from its inception, featuring meandering pathways for strolling. Today, parents with strollers and young visitors can still admire the rich and unusual plants, the Lagoon, monuments and fountains, and the Swan Boats created & operated for over 100 years by the Paget family.

Swan Boats Boston

Located in the Public Garden Lagoon, a ride on a famed Boston Swan Boat lasts about 12-15 minutes while the driver pedals you around the Public Garden lagoon. Each swan holds about 20 people and is a relaxing way to view the beauty of the park, and to spot the ducks and the park's two resident Swans, Romeo and Juliet.

24. Take a stroll along the Esplanade

A short walk down Charles Street through Beacon Hill (you can stop in to a number of cool shops and eateries along the way), brings you to a footbridge on the left.

Walk over the footbridge (crossing Storrow Drive) and you will arrive at the Charles River Esplanade. Enjoy miles of walking paths along the river, views of sailboats and paddleboarders, a serene space ideal for a warm summer day!

Charles River Esplanade Boston

Photo Courtesy of Saba Ahadi: Boston Photowalks Tours

Walk to the right to find a small spray park and playground - keep going and you'll hit the Boston Museum of Science.

Walk left and you'll pass Community Boating & Sailing, The Hatch Shell, several playgrounds, the Owl's Nest beer garden, public docks, benches, shady trees, water views, and wonderful breezes.

There are a lots of places to sit along the paved path that is very popular with student joggers, bicyclists. The view across the river features Cambridge, MIT and Harvard University. One could just sit here all day and enjoy the scenery, read a book, walk or jog, or sun, or ride a bike. 

25. Community Boating & Sailing

Rent a Canoe, Kayak, or sailboat for the day and cruise around the Charles River at Community Boating & Sailing (CBI). Single and double kayaks are available, as well as stand-up paddle boards and sailboats.

Boston Kayaking with Kids Charles River

Photo courtesy of Community Boating & Sailing (CBI)

CBI is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing sailing and boating opportunities to anyone interested in learning to sail. They offer fantastic learn-to-sail summer programs for kids of all ages.

26. Boston Public Library (BPL)

The Boston Public Library's Central Branch is located in Copley Square, and features some amazing architecture, murals, and event an interior, outdoor courtyard.

The grand entrance boasts soaring vaulted marble staircases and arches. People enjoy seeing the 2 famous lion statues who guarding all the splendor that's inside. Don't miss the mural room upstairs and the expansive reading room, and there's even a cafe!

Boston Public Library Arches

photo credit: BostonCentral

The map room is a favorite spot for kids and teens, with small nooks for young kids to sit and explore books about maps and map crafts. Our favorite destination is the puzzle room, located at the end of the map corridor. There are always several puzzles to work on, and it's fun to add a few pieces in to the community effort.

Boston Public Library Map Room Puzzle with Kids Jay Sao Ami Saophoto credit: BostonCentral




27. Mapparium

The Mapparium, the world-famous, three-story, stained-glass globe that you can walk through, is one of the key attractions at the Mary Baker Eddy Library. The new ""How Do You See the World" experience gives visitors a three-dimensional perspective of the world of 1935. This unique experience is available for view on a tour only, but it's totally worth it. Tours of the Mapparium typically run every 20 minutes, lasting 15-20 minutes.


Photo Courtesy of the Mary Baker Eddy Library

Christian Science Plaza

Just outside the Mary Baker Eddy Library, you'll find the The Fountains at the Christian Science Plaza. During the summer, the fountain is a fun spot for kids & teens to cool off in the spray. This expansive plaza is home to the 'Mother Church' and is located on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Huntington Avenue.

Christian Science Plaza Fountains Boston Kids

Photo Credit: Sarah Nichols FlickR

28. Kings Bowling

If your kids are into bowling, there are 2 Kings Bowling Lanes locations in Boston. The first is a 24,000 square foot entertainment facility in Back Bay, and the other resides in the newly developed Boston Seaport District.  In addition to bowling in Boston, visitors can enjoy air hockey, arcade games, skee ball, or catch a game on one of many big screen televisions.

We've put together lots of other ideas for Things to do in Boston on a Rainy Day for you in our handy guide. Sometimes it's too hot, too cold or just rainy. Find out what you can do in Boston on a rainy day and still have lots of fun.

29. Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is an elegant and impressive space filled with captivating masterpieces from around the world. The museum offers many hands-on art and drop-in programs for families and children, as well as revolving, high profile exhibits.

In fact - the world is your oyster when it comes to Boston Museums, as you can find a venue that specializes in everything from art & science and medical innovation to ships & nautical historytelephonesfire trucks, waterworks and even 'bad art'.  Be sure to seek out the brand new MIT Museum in bustling Kenmore Square.

Museum of Fine arts Boston with Kids

Photo courtesy of MFA Boston

30. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

In our opinion, one of Boston's best kept secrets is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Beyond the famed robbery which stripped this museum of 9 priceless works of art, that have still not been found, it is one of the most splendid and unique museums you will ever visit.  Here's a great list of other hidden gems in the city of Boston

There is always something new to discover here. And the ever changing courtyard is perpetually being filled with seasonal plants and flowers. Kids under age 18 are always free, and adults can grab a library pass for $5 admission.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Courtyard

photo credit: BostonCentral

31. Boston Customs House Observation Deck

The observation deck at the top of the Boston Customs House offers some spectacular ones of Boston Harbor, The Greenway, Quincy Market, The North End and the Financial District.  The beautiful clocktower that is centrally located near Long Wharf and the Boston Harbor Walk offers reserved tours at 2pm each day.  Definitely a highlight experience!

customs house boston observation deck bostoncentral

photo credit: BostonCentral

View Boston offers another observation deck atop of Prudential Center that opened in 2023.  The venue occupies the 50th, 51st, and 52nd floors of the iconic skyscraper.  In addition to a restaurant and museum, visitors can enjoy View the 360 observation deck offering breathtaking views from high above the heart of Boston. 

32. Metropolitan Waterworks Museum 

For a truly unique experience, The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum, housed in an architecturally beautiful building, features mammoth steam pumping engines of the late 1800's.  Located across the street from the historic Chestnut Hill Reservoir near Boston College, the site unveils a most unique story of one of the country’s earliest metropolitan water systems.  It's free to visit, and super interesting.  

waterworks museum boston chestnut hill

33. Duck Boats Boston Tours

Boston Duck Tours allow kids of all ages to tour Boston in an authentic, renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicle. These fun amphibious vehicles provide truly one-of-a-kind summer tours of downtown Boston.

The "Duck" tours the city by both land and water, and splashdown into the Charles River is a memorable highlight. If you are lucky, you might get selected to "drive the boat" which is a really cool experience and photo op for any child.

Boston Duck Tours with Kids Ami Sao Things to so with kids Boston

photo credit: BostonCentral

34. Boston Whale Watching Tours

Get a front-row seat to view the ocean’s most fascinating and magnificent animals. The New England Aquarium Whale Watch conveniently departs from Central Wharf.

Featuring the only boats in Boston designed specifically for whale watching, with trivia, paper and crayons, snack bar, comfortable main cabin, and restrooms. Trips range from 3-4 hours, to allow for sea conditions and to maximize time with the whales.

There are a number of excellent tour operators who run whale watch trips in Boston.  Each offers a variety of amenities & time slots & durations, so you can find one that suits you.

Whale Watching Boston

photo courtesy of 7 Seas Whale Watch

35. Franklin Park Zoo

Franklin Park Zoo is a 72-acre zoo located in Boston, Massachusetts. It opened to the public in 1913, and is currently operated by Zoo New England, which also operates the Stone Zoo in nearby Stoneham, MA.  Collectively they are known as Zoo New England.  Each venue runs fun themed events throughout the year as well.

Boston Zoo Carousel Child

photo credit: BostonCentral

There are a ton of activities for kids to enjoy here, including a brand new playground at the, a carousel, train rides, an interactive farmyard, butterfly hollow, and some really cool seasonal exhibits. The zoo is open year round, and the Indoor Tropical Forest, where the Gorilla's reside, is a warm and inviting respite during the winter months.

Visitors can get right up close to all sorts of exotic animals including lions, tigers, giraffes, and zebras, along with gorillas, tropical birds, butterflies and farm animals. A large new play area is a great stop for young visitors.  Find more zoos near Boston here. 

Boston Zoo Gorilla

photo courtesy of Franklin Park Zoo

36. Castle Island

Another of our favorite off the beaten path spaces is Castle Island. This waterfront park, (located in south Boston), it is worth the trip as it features the popular Pleasure Bay Beach; plenty of open, walking space; cool views of airplanes taking off from Logan Airport; and free tours of Fort Independence.

Castle Island Fort Independence Boston

There is a good sized playground area and several small beaches where kids can take a dip and cool off on a hot summer day. Bring a picnic or plan on grabbing a hot dog, fried clams or an ice cream from Sullivan’s famous snack shack.

If you are looking for more of a beach experience, Carson Beach is a public beach just around the circular walkway. Moakley Park is just across the street offering shade, a playground, tennis courts and other sports fields.

37. Arnold Arboretum

Harvard University Arnold Arboretum is an oasis of green in the middle of Jamaica Plain. Head to the visitor center and grab a Discovery Pack full of hands-on activities that help kiddos explore their natural surroundings.

The visitor center is also home to other activities such as wildlife bingo, a photo scavenger hunt, and family walks. Both Peters Hill and Bussey Hill provide glorious views of the Boston Skyline.

Arnold Arboretum

Photo courtesy of the Arnold Arboretum

38. Ice Skating

There are a number of great outdoor ice skating rinks in and around Boston that make for a memorable family activity.  Most offer skate rentals and have some sort of hot cocoa station on site.  Grab a some friends and strap on your skates for a few hours of winter fun on the ice.  

things to do in boston with kids ice skating

39. Snow Tubing

Looking for some easy outdoor winter fun? Not into skiing yet? Prefer sitting down as you slide down a hill?  Perhaps snow tubing is more your speed.  From the Berkshires to the suburbs of Boston, here's a roundup of our favorite places to go snow tubing in MA.

40. Skiing Near Boston (Downhill & Cross Country)

There are a fair number of options for skiing near Boston; as well as snowboarding, tubing, ice skating, sledding and other snow sports.  Special MBTA Commuter Rail ski trains operate on weekends from Boston's South Station.

For the beginner set, and closest to Boston, you might consider visiting Nashoba Valley Ski area in Westford, MA; Ski Ward in Shrewsbury, MA, Ski Bradford in Haverhill, MA and Blue Hills Ski Area in Milton, MA. Each of these locations are under an hour from Boston - and for a bit of a larger mountain definitely try Wachusett Mountain in Princeton.  The Weston Ski Track makes snow and offers groomed Cross Country Skiing as well.

things to o near boston with kids weston ski track xc

We hope that this list of Fun things to Do in Boston with Kids has been helpful to you.  In addition to this list, we took a reader poll to find some more terrific hidden gems.  There is certainly so much more to explore - so be sure to check out our guide to Free things to Do in Boston here, or our Rainy Day in Boston guide.  

If you are in the area Boston with kids, you'll want to get some ideas about family-friendly restaurants in Boston to try, along with some opportunities for day adventures like visiting Charlestown, a ferry ride out to Spectacle Island, enjoying views from the top of Customs House Tower Observatory, or other fun Day Trips from Boston that work well with kids.  

Some other fun summer adventures might include a visit to World's End in Hingham, a daytrip to Halibut Point State Park in Rockport,  or an Outdoor Waterpark.  Spending the day at one of many Boston Beaches is another great summer activity. 

Looking for a beautiful breeze with a view? Enjoy some summer fun at Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor, Castle Island in South Boston, a local Whale Watching Tour, or take a trip out to visit the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill in Boylston.   

Feeling adventurous?  Challenge yourself with a family hike up Wachusett Mountain, or explore the unique landscape at Purgatory Chasm

We also have a number of popular guides ranging from Boston Outdoor ActivitiesBoston Bowling Alleys, and Petting Zoos and Farms, to specific venue reviews like Worlds End, the Boston Public Market, and The American Heritage Museum to name a few.  And if ice cream is your thing, you'll find some delicious options in our Boston Ice Cream guide. 

The Boston Public Library's Copley Branch, which is a museum in and of itself, featuring amazing architecture and a multitude of art including a gallery from John Singer Sargent.  There are also lots of terrific Boston Tours that you can take to learn more about the city. 

Seasonally, our monthly guides feature all the fun events and Boston area festivals that take place throughout the year, like  Patriots Day & The Boston Marathon, and Head of the Charles.  And once the weather gets warmer there are lots of fun mini golf courses to test your skills, along with ice cream venues to enjoy.

If you have a passion for art, check out some of our photo journals that feature popular traveling exhibits that have visited Boston, including: Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, at SoWa Power Station, Titian: Women, Myth & Power at Isabella Gardner Museum, Basquiat: Writing the Future of the Hip Hop Generation at the MFA, and Love is Calling at the ICA Boston or you can explore the colorful Murals at Underground Ink Block.

Boston features quite a few farmer's markets that are worth checking out.  Boston Public Market is not far from Quincy Market & Faneuil Hall, and is adjacent to historic Haymarket  an outdoor produce market that runs seasonally on weekends. 

Our readers have shared a number of their favorite hidden gems for some off the beaten path ideas of places to explore.  You can find all sorts of kids activities and free things to do in Boston with the family right here. 

In addition, you can find lots more family-friendly events near Boston each week on our Boston events calendar, and in our our popular things to do this week newsletter.Stacey Sao

Stacey Sao has been the Managing Director of the family-friendly events and activities website, BostonCentral for over 20 years.  She continues to enjoy discovering and exploring new places to visit in the Greater Boston area.