Mom holding a baby hugging in front of a carousel in Boston, Ma

Boston With Kids: How to Plan a Fun Family Trip

Are you planning a family trip to Boston with kids but unsure how to plan your trip? This post can be a great start.

Exploring Boston with kids is an exciting adventure filled with history, culture, and fun. This vibrant city offers a variety of activities that cater to children’s curiosity and energy levels, ensuring that your family trip is packed with memorable experiences.

From interactive museums to historic trails and beautiful parks, Boston has something to keep every family member engaged.

Boston is a big city, and Crafting a kid-friendly itinerary in Boston might seem daunting initially. However, with some guidance, you can create a journey just right for your family.

Remember, there’s no need to rush when there’s so much to discover at your own pace. Embrace the opportunity to create lasting memories with your little ones in one of America’s most historic cities.

Read More: Boston Staycation at Omni Boston

We recently visited Boston for the second time. I have researched multiple family-friendly attractions and visited most of them. Now, I am sharing the list with you!

I added a few sights we could not check off, but I still wanted to share them with you. You can always pick your favorites from the list.

This post may contain affiliate links to tours, hotels, and Amazon products. These help me earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.

Boston Itinerary with Kids: Planning Your Visit

Getting the most out of your Boston trip with kids requires upfront planning. Consider the season, how you’ll navigate the city, and where you’ll stay to ensure a smooth and enjoyable vacation. So, let’s dive in!

Best Time to Visit

Boston offers plenty of activities year-round, so you can choose when to visit. Spring through fall are ideal for exploring with children.

The weather from April to October is pleasant, and the colorful fall foliage makes September to October incredibly picturesque. While winter in Boston is cold, it looks festive and offers many indoor activities.

Funny enough, we visited Boston in winter both times, and I can assure you it is indeed cold. However, there are plenty of family-friendly indoor activities. You can also have many breaks for hot cocoa and Boston cream pastries!

Getting Around

For a hassle-free experience, use Boston’s public transportation system, the MBTA or simply the “T.” It’s an affordable and convenient way to reach most attractions.

Alternatively, consider walking — the city’s compact layout is great for strolls, enhanced by the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile route leading to historic sites.

Navigating the road network and parking in Boston can be challenging due to its historical development and lack of a uniform grid system. However, with a little street guide and preparation, you can navigate it.

Boston Itinerary with Kids: Top Family-Friendly Attractions

Boston is full of activities catering to children’s curiosity and energy. Here are the top family-friendly attractions in Boston.

Museum of Science

The Museum of Science in Boston, founded in 1830 as the Boston Society of Natural History, is a major American museum of science and technology located in Science Park, Boston, Massachusetts. The museum features interactive exhibits, IMAX films, and Planetarium shows and emphasizes STEM fields.

Boston Museum of Science featuring the large hanging planet earth in the lobby

We spent a few hours at the Museum, and you could explore it all day if you have no other plans. The kids are certainly going to love spending time here!

kid watching happily a giant ship decor at the Boston museum of Science

New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is one of the most popular destinations in Boston for families due to its wide array of aquatic animals, engaging exhibits, and immersive experiences.

2 penguins sitting on the rock at the New England Aquarium in Boston

Here, you can witness diverse marine life, including adorable African penguins, giant green sea turtles, sea lions, and an extensive range of oceanic species.

Mom and son watching fish from the glass at the New England Aquarium.

Boston Children’s Museum

Encourage your kids to climb, create, and learn at the Boston Children’s Museum. This hands-on museum is all about learning through play, with exhibits that cover art, culture, environmental awareness, and science designed especially for children.

Boston Public Library

One of my favorite places to check out with kids was the Boston Public Library. The Boston Public Library is popular due to its rich history, architectural significance, and extensive collections of distinction.

Established in 1848, the library is the first large free municipal library in the United States, and its McKim Building at the Central Library in Copley Square is a masterpiece of architectural significance.

The exterior architecture with beautiful archs at the Boston Public Library

I highly recommend checking the main Bates Hall room if you have a little time. It is stunning. We arrived late at the library and had a few seconds in the room to ourselves when everyone left as the library was closing.

Girl in jeans and pink hat exploring the bates Hall at the Boston Public Library

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

One word: stunning! This is undoubtedly the most unique museum I have ever been to. I am so glad we made it here, but I only wish we had enough time to explore it in depth. There is so much that the Museum offers.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, is renowned for its diverse collection of European, Asian, and American art. It was established in 1903 by Isabella Stewart Gardner, a prominent art collector and philanthropist.

The museum’s architecture and interior design reflect Isabella Stewart Gardner’s unique vision as she curated the layout and display of the artworks.

The beautiful courtyard of Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Outdoor Activities for Kids

Boston is a fantastic city for outdoor adventures with kids, so pack your walking shoes and prepare to make some wonderful family memories.

Boston Public Garden Swan Boats

The iconic Swan Boats grace the lagoon in the Boston Public Garden from spring through fall. Your kids will enjoy a leisurely ride on these pedal-powered boats, a Boston tradition since 1877.

Boston Public Garden Swan Boats in the lake

Franklin Park Zoo

Get up close with wildlife at the Franklin Park Zoo, where you can encounter creatures from around the globe. From the tropical rainforest to the Australian outback, your family’s day will be filled with exciting animal discoveries. We skipped the zoo since it was freezing, but we would love to check out the next time.

The Freedom Trail for Families

Step back on The Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile journey through historic sites that played key roles in the American Revolution. It’s a history lesson your kids won’t forget, with interactive stops along the way that bring the past to life.

If you are downtown, look for the Greenway Carousel, which is steps away from the Marriot Hotel. This was a quick, easy entertainment for my kids, but you can certainly pass if your kids are older.

The Greenway Carousel in Boston is a unique attraction located in the heart of downtown. It features hand-carved native New England creatures, such as lobsters, cod, and foxes, and offers visitors a fun and family-friendly experience.

When exploring Boston with kids, finding places to eat where your whole family feels welcome and satisfied is essential. Boston offers a variety of kid-friendly restaurants and lovely picnic spots that are perfect for family meal times.

Mommy hugging a baby in front of Greenway carousel

Quincy Market

Quincy Market in Boston is a historic marketplace near Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.

The market was designed to accommodate the overflowing number of vendors and patrons from neighboring Faneuil Hall.

Today, Quincy Market has evolved into a festival marketplace that continues to serve Boston’s locals and visitors with a variety of food, retail, and entertainment options.

Quincy Market exterior of the building
Festive street around the Quincy Market Boston

Fenway Stadium

Fenway Park is famous for several reasons, including its historical significance and unique features. As the home of the Boston Red Sox, it holds a special place in the hearts of baseball fans. The park’s intimate atmosphere and enduring charm further contribute to its fame, making it a must-visit for sports enthusiasts and tourists alike.

Tea Party Ships

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum offers a unique and immersive experience that brings to life a pivotal moment in American history. Visitors can step back in time to 1773 and participate in interactive exhibits, reenactments, and guided tours that provide insight into the events leading up to the Boston Tea Party.

The museum also features authentically restored tea ships, including the Eleanor, Beaver, and Dartmouth, providing a tangible connection to this historic event. Additionally, the opportunity to engage with costumed historical interpreters and learn about the impact of the Boston Tea Party visits the museum, both educational and engaging for individuals of all ages. 

Boston Itinerary with Kids: Kid-Friendly Restaurants

Boston’s food scene makes it easy to dine out with children. Restaurants like those listed on Tinybeans feature menus that cater to younger patrons, ensuring they’ll find something they love. The city’s rich culinary diversity means you can introduce your kids to everything from classic American fare to international dishes. Here are some top picks:

  • Burgers & Pizza:
    Enjoy classic family favorites that please everyone, from picky eaters to adventurous foodies.
  • Seafood:
    Taste Boston’s famous seafood in places that offer kid-friendly atmospheres.
  • Italian:
    Discover cozy spots serving pasta and pizza in Boston’s Little Italy, the North End.

Some restaurants also provide activities to entertain your kids, as Time Out noted.

Picnic Spots

If you prefer an outdoor dining experience, Boston’s green spaces allow for scenic picnics. Pack a meal and explore the city’s numerous parks and playgrounds, where you can relax and enjoy a laid-back lunch or dinner. Here’s a brief guide:

  • Boston Common:
    America’s oldest park offers ample space and is a perfect setting for a family picnic.
  • Public Garden:
    Surround yourself with beautiful flora and the famous Swan Boats as you dine alfresco.

Pack a blanket, sunscreen, and any games or toys to make the picnic enjoyable for your kids. You can also bring along your favorite foods or gather treats from local delis and bakeries to create your picnic.

Entertainment for All Ages

Boston offers a variety of shows that captivate audiences, both young and old. The interactive performances of the Blue Man Group Boston and the enchanting tales of the Puppet Showplace Theater are uniquely engaging experiences tailored for family enjoyment.

Blue Man Group Boston

Your entire family will be dazzled by the vibrant colors and sensational rhythms at the Blue Man Group Boston performance. It is overflowing with energy, fun, and a creative spectacle, bridging the gap between music, comedy, and theater.

Puppet Showplace Theater

At Puppet Showplace Theater, you and your children can immerse yourselves in the imaginative world of puppetry. With shows designed for various age groups, this venue is ideal for introducing kids to the arts playfully and engagingly.

Where to Stay in Boston with Kids

There are a couple of options that you can choose to stay in Boston based on your preferences:

Back Bay: Known for its upscale shopping, dining, and proximity to attractions like Newbury Street and the Prudential Center. It’s a vibrant and central location with excellent hotel options

Look for accommodations near the Boston Common or the Back Bay area if you want to be close to attractions and many restaurants. But remember, you are also paying for the location.

Beacon Hill: A picturesque and historic neighborhood with cobblestone streets, gas lanterns, and charming brownstones. It offers a quieter atmosphere while close to the city’s main attractions.

Downtown is ideal for sightseeing, as it’s close to the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and the waterfront. Various hotel options cater to different preferences and budgets.

Cambridge: Just across the Charles River, Cambridge offers a more relaxed atmosphere. It is also home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Thus, Cambridge provides a different perspective of the city while still being conveniently located.

Seaport District: A trendy and modern area with waterfront views, contemporary dining options, and easy access to the Institute of Contemporary Art, New England Aquarium, and Boston Children’s Museum.

Father carrying a son on the shoulder in the Seaport district

When we first visited Boston, we stayed in the Back Bay area, which was great. However, this time, with kids, we chose to stay at the Omni Hotel at the Seaport, and we felt like it was a perfect staycation for us. I highly recommend this resort/hotel if you visit Boston with kids.

Read More: Staycation at Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport

Mom with 2 little boys happily reading a book at the Omni Boston at the Seaport

Boston Itinerary With Kids: Day Trips from Boston

Boston offers many excellent opportunities for day trips that are perfect for creating lasting memories with your kids. Whether you’re seeking educational experiences or a quaint getaway, these destinations promise a fulfilling escape from city life.

Salem

Discover the rich history of Salem, just a short drive from Boston. Dive into the past as you explore the Salem Witch Museum, where you’ll learn about the infamous witch trials.

Martha’s Vineyard

Take a ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard, where you can spend a day exploring beautiful beaches, lighthouses, and gingerbread cottages. Let your kids enjoy the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs, the oldest operating platform carousel in America, and cap off your visit with ice cream as you stroll around the charming towns.

Cape Cod

If you travel in warmer months and have a day to spend on a day trip, kids will be thrilled to visit Cape Cod. You can consider taking various fun activities such as visiting Provincetown, exploring quaint villages, and enjoying seafood shacks, lighthouses, and ocean beaches.

The journey from Boston’s center to Provincetown, located on the farthest tip of Cape Cod, can take as little as two and a half hours by car. Additionally, fast ferry options are available for a quicker journey. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Planning a trip to Boston with your little ones can bring adventure and educational experiences. From historical landmarks to fun rides, the city offers many activities perfect for children of all ages.

What Are Some Fun Activities For Toddlers to do in Boston?

The Boston Children’s Museum offers interactive and educational exhibits for toddlers, while the New England Aquarium provides an up-close look at marine life. The Swan Boats in the Public Garden are also a gentle and enchanting ride for the little ones.

What to do with Teenagers During a Family Trip to Boston?

Teens might enjoy the thrill of a Duck Tour on Boston’s historic streets and waters or the high-energy atmosphere of a sports game at Fenway Park. The Freedom Trail also offers a deeper look into American history, which might appeal to your older kids.

What Are the Must-Aee Attractions for a Family with Kids in Boston?

Families should take the chance to explore the Boston Children’s Museum, the New England Aquarium, and the Museum of Science. Historical landmarks like the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill Monument are significant for educational experiences.

Boston Itinerary with Kids: Summary

Here you go. You can choose your perfect family attractions from this Boston itinerary with kids. If you decide to stay at the Seaport, I guarantee you will love your staycation at Omni Boston at the Seaport Hotel.

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