Family Vacation Destinations
Historical Boston is packed with entertainment for kids and adults alike. In addition to great indoors attractions for families like the museums and Aquarium, there are also plenty of green space and pedestrian areas to run free in.
Must Do: Eat at Faneuil Hall
A tourist spot par excellence, this old market place and meeting hall has been a hotspot in Boston since 1742. Today Faneuil Hall is a bustling place which offers a lovely indoor and outdoor space with street artists performing, crowds milling around the pedestrian area, and plenty of stalls displaying various types of foods. Don’t miss the chance to sampling the famous Clam Chowder, best enjoyed in bread bowls which the kids will love! Come in the evening, November through to January, for “Blink” a free light and sound show.
Must See: Boston Children’s Museum
Boston being a historical city, you’ll be spoilt for choice with museums, but there’s no doubt the Boston Children’s Museum is a must. The second oldest children’s museum in the United States, it’s a firm favorite with local families. You’ll find an array of sections suited to different ages, from the Construction Zone to the Science Playground, the New Balance Climb and Kid Power exhibits. Toddlers have their own set space. Make sure you arrive there early.
Must Do: Run around Boston Common
Boston Common at the heart of the city is a green space beloved by locals and visitors alike. Best known as the start of the Freedom Trail, the 50-acre park is key to the famous “Emerald Necklace” of green spaces connected around Boston’s neighborhoods. Packed with history, it’s seen it all, from cattle grazing to public hangings, British troops camping out and famous faces making speeches there including Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope John Paul II. Mostly, the kids will be keen on the Frog Pond that turns into a public ice-skating rink in winter months.
Must See: New England Aquarium
With plenty to see in the New England Aquarium, the kids are bound to have a whale of a time! Big hits include the penguins where you can peek into their burrows and see them zoom at high speed under water. “Penguinology” is the Aquarium’s latest endeavor to educate kids about the feathery creatures in a fun way. Other species worth visiting are the slightly more fearsome sharks and lionfish, leafy sea-dragons, impressive giant Pacific Octopus and Sea Lions, as well as the lovely Harbour Seals.
Must Do: Boston Duck Tours
Riding along in the WWII style amphibious landing vehicle will be an unforgettable experience for kids. An entertaining way to see the city, the Boston Duck Tours get the entire family to join in the wild ‘quacking’ when it visits the city’s main sights, from the golden-domed State House to Bunker Hill via Copley Square and the Big Dig, before the highlight of the tour, the “Splashdown” — a dip in the Charles River. The kids will be delighted!
Must See: Fenway Park
Baseball fans will love a trip to the legendary Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. The red brick structure is a real historical sight, a mecca for sports fans and patriotic Bostonians alike. Join in the fun and catch a game and be enthralled by the energy and enthusiasm that oozes from the game, the team and the fans. Don’t miss the gift shop on your way out for some Red Sox memorabilia and a souvenir hat or t-shirt. Even if you don’t support the team, it’s a slice of Boston’s soul you can keep and treasure.
Must See: Franklin Park Zoo
With over 220 species, you’ll be able to visit the Tropical Forest, a dome home to gorillas, crocodiles, ocelots, ring tailed lemurs and vultures as well as a pygmy hippopotamus. At the Franklin Park Zoo you’ll also enjoy the Serengeti Crossing, a grassland exhibit with ostriches, zebras, wildebeest, and warthogs on show. The Kalahari Kingdom is the spot to spot a lion, while the Outback trail is where the kangaroos, emus and cockatoos reside. Other attractions include the Giraffe Savannah, Birds’ World and the Children’s Zoo. Best of all are Tiger Tales, where Anala and Luther, an orange and a white tiger are the star attractions, and the butterfly landing where 1,000 butterflies flutter amidst the waterfalls in a giant outdoor tent.
Rowena Carr-Allinson contributed this to MiniTime.