Things to do in Boston

Locals share their favorite places to bring kids in Boston in 2019

We recently asked our readers to share some of their favorite places to visit in Boston with kids, and we got some amazing responses.  Some people submitted venues are quote well known, as you will see in our top ten list; but many others revealed  hidden gems that you may not be so familiar with. 

Every single one of these venues is a favorite and each one has something special to offer!  Here's what Boston parents had to say & share:

Top 10 Venue Submissions from Parents in the Boston Area 

"Perfect mix of educational activities, fun and exercise (rock climbing, jungle gym, dancing lights, etc) for children and it’s all in one place! The Boston Children’s Museum makes learning fun."  - Karen

"We love Friday nights at Children's Museum. $1 per person. An actually affordable evening for families on a fixed income.". - Jessica

"Great variety for the large age range of my kids.  Keeps my kids busy and interested for hours.  There is really something for everyone here, including great live animal shows.  The Museum of Science Membership is a great deal - the kids never want to leave."  - Maria

"The discovery center is awesome for smaller children. Bring your lunch and eat it while watching the giant marble run. So fun!" - Ariela

"Boston's Aquarium is educational and has fun things to do for the kids plus the staff is very engaging with kids" - Jan

"Its fun and exciting for the kids. It's a special adventure to the city and we get to see the dolphins and fish. Something dont get a chance to see and do every day. Makes it really special." - Cherayna

"The Greenway is a great place for the children to splash in water on a hot day. There is also a carousel for them to ride.  It's close to the North End, where you can go get some pizza or some goodies from the bakeries. " - Cheryl

"Kids love the carousel - it's like Magic in the City!",  - Angela

There are lots of fun public events going on at The Lawn on D, like the Summer Block Party, summer movies, live music & oversized games for the kids.  The swings alone are great.  It's asy to get to.  Something for all ages to enjoy".

- Deb

"So much to see and do at Castle Island. We love walking the loop, catching a breeze, watching planes take off and land at Logan, playing on the playground and of course grabbing a snack from Sullivans." - Paige

"First off “Sullivan’s” for hot dogs! Then the kiddos spend some time in the playground 
If we go on a Sunday, the Fort is open and they love going through it.  Often a walk around the inner loop and then they get their ice cream.  A great day for all. 

- Barbara"

"Great day out with kids. Free parking and plenty of picnic areas. An oasis in the city of Boston. The gorilla exhibit, outdoor bird feeding area, lions, and huge playground are our favorites". - Mary

"The renovations and improvements they have made at Franklin Park Zoo are awesome. Kids love the outdoor nature area with giant nest to climb".

- Jen

"The Boston Public Garden is accessible by multiple modes of transportation, lots of options of things to do (swan boats, frog pond, playground, carousel, etc.), different option for food (including bringing your own picnic). I have been bringing my daughter every summer since she was born, I can make a day out of it or just go in for a couple of hours". - Jessica

"It's easy to get to get to and centrally located. The green line has a stop at Boston Common. The Common has plenty of grassy areas, a playground, a carousel and Frog Pond wading pool, food, drinks, bathroom, and sitting areas.". - Keri

"There’s a playground and carousel nearby and the atmosphere is great. Kids have here so much fun and in general it such a happy place to be on a warm day especially."  - Sue

"It is very cool to go on a ship that was built in the 1700s at the time of our first president, George Washington. It was commissioned by the navy. It us amazing that a ship o that age us still around for us to tour". - Cheryl

"The USS Constitution Museum and Old Ironsides are free to visit, and you learn a lot of history.  We like to take the Charlestown Ferry over from Atlantic Wharf." - Angela

"You get to ride on an amphibious vehicle through Boston and into the Charles River, learning history along the way.  Boston Duck Tours are so fun!" - Jill

Okay - now for the good stuff.  The hidden gems! The off the beaten path ideas, the stuff you may not have heard of already, but should certainly visit...

"A new beer garden in Charlestown that is family friendly!   Great views, international beer selection, 90+ wines, and some delicious food options.  Plus lots of fun activities and programming for kids!  Win." - Jared

"In the spring it is fun to watch for turtles at the pond. I have seen logs with up to 6 turtles! The Arboretum is fun to run wild and free. No fear of vehicles, bikes or scooters! - Jill

"Such a beautiful space filled with local vendors, and delicious foods.  You can sample variety of things, connect with small businesses, sit and chat, or even take a cooking class." - Lindsay

"The cooking classes at Boston Public Kitchen are terrific.  Great way for kids to learn about turning a recipe into a dish, from prepping & measuring to serving.  Love the kitchen space - for all ages! " ~Lisa

"Who doesn't like a boat ride? It is great to see Boston from out in the harbor. It is also nice to see that the islands are not all built up like the city is. Each island is different. The island that has the fort is very interesting to children. Often there are special activities planned 
specifically for children on the islands". - Cheryl  

"This is a fun challenge for school-aged kids (and up) who love to climb the stairs in a tower and look at the view.   It's 294 steps up so it's definitely a workout!  We like to make a day of it and walk over the bridge from downtown, and then take the Charlestown Ferry back to Atlantic Wharf".  ~ Kristen

"The entire family can have fun splashing in the fountain, get in some exercise running after each other, and cooling off.  Lots of great restaurants neary to duck in for lunch or a quick snack. The plaza is a beautiful promenade the city.   - Tribora

"We love Friday nights at Children's Museum. $1 per person. An actually affordable evening for families on a fixed income.". - Jessica

"Many fun events take place here, there is a playground nearby, lots of benches, open green space, a small spray fountain, waterfront views, and the Greenway Carousel is right across the street.  Plus you can walk to North End or Quincy Market for food and ice cream".  - Lily

"Another family fun place to roller skate to some great music. It’s a great roller skate rink that attracts diverse families". - Nadine

"This park is close to the zoo, Jamaica Plain pond, Arnold Arboretum and other venues.  It's a great place to get kids outside to hike and explore" - Nancy

"There is often entertainment here and street performers. There are lots of food vendors to choose from and some shopping.  It is a great place for kids to pick up their Boston souvenirs.  For a bit of history, visit the Great Hall, (doors are right across from Quincy Market entrance), and the Ancient & Honorable Artillary Museum".  - Sara

"Can picnic and watch a movie under the stars at the Hatch Shell.  Something so cool about outdoor movie nights.  Get there early for fun kids activities." - Ginnie

"The area is rich with the Boston history and so beautiful.  This tour is better for older children because of the amount of walking and because of the historical content. It is a great way to see what you read about in your history books." - Charlotte

"Spooky real fort, history, a playground, a boat ride, a picnic area...  ALL THE THINGS! - Amanda

"The kids love exploring the fort and the ferry ride is relaxing."  - Heidi

"This museum was once the home of the wealthy, well-educated Isabella Stewart Gardner. Her appreciation for great art and displaying it fittingly continues to astound people from around the world today. The best features include a beautiful courtyard with an Italian feel and a rotating display of seasonal flowers, and the artwork of many renowned painters including Rembrant and John Singer Sargent. This whimsical museum is small and suitable for young children to give them a sense of wonderment and appreciation for art." - Elizabeth

"Fun and interesting all the vehicles in pristine condition very well kept and informative. Then after the museum we went to lars anderson park for a picnic playground and play fields a complete day of fun." - Jodi

"My kids have a blast and a hungry and tired when we are done. It's great place to have them play and get in loads of exercise". - Nadine

"We love Friday nights at Children's Museum. $1 per person. An actually affordable evening for families on a fixed income.". - Jessica

"The huge screen is amazing and the films there show us places and nature close up, in a way we would never see otherwise. I have seen my children and my grandchildren mesmerized watching the films there". - Cherie

"Incredibly beautiful park with awesome views of Boston Harbor and the Boston Skyline.  Splash park is a nice feature on hot days and the playground has lots of things for the little ones.  Love walking along the tree-shaded pier.  T stop is Maverick Station.  Some say this is the best kept secret in Boston - I tend to agree.." - Elizabeth

"Such a relaxing, fun area to cool off and share some smiles and to make memories!  There is so much to do on the Greenway in general, but on a hot day, nothing beats splashing in the fountains.  In the evening, the fountain spray lights up which adds a whole new dimension to the fun." - Kate  

"Affordable way to get around the city and catch some awesome views!" - Natalie

"A fun adventure around the Harbor.  We like to take a roundtrip ride for the views, the breeze and to watch the planes land. - Erika

"My girls l& I ove to take the Charlestown Ferry over to the USS Constitution Museum." - Sarah

"Awesome playground in Charlestown, fun equipment, beautiful views!"  Take the ferry over from Atlantic Wharf and make a day of it.  It's also a short walk to the USS Constitution Museum and Old Ironsides.  - J.D.

"You don’t get much cheaper for an adventure, and they could ride it for hours if I let them!" - Amanda

"My boys love trains.  We love to ride the commuter rail during off peak hours and watch the world go by". 

- Sallie

*All content above this line borrowed from the Boston Central website.

And last but not least, some of our partners & friends providing tours in Boston.

Old Town Trolley Tours of Boston shows you the best of Boston on their 100-minute, fully narrated tour. As the official tour of the Boston Red Sox, guests will enjoy 19 stops where you may disembark for shopping, dining and attractions. Each ticket comes with free admission to a 45 minute cruise of Boston Harbor, the Old State House Museum and coupons worth over $50 in savings. Old Town Trolley Tours has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Boston Harbor Cruises, (BHC) is the nation's oldest and largest private operator of passenger vessels. BHC's current service offerings include Whale Watches in partnership with the New England Aquarium, the Cape Cod Fast Ferry, a variety of sightseeing tours including lunch and brunch cruises, the Salem Ferry, private charters, Codzilla - a high speed thrill ride, two pier side patio bars -The Landing at Long Wharf and The Landing at the Salem Ferry, offshore support services for underwater survey, research, LNG work, commuter ferry service for the MBTA and more

Urban AdvenTours offers quality bike rentals and exciting guided bike tours of Boston - from historic landmarks to quaint neighborhood streets of Boston and Cambridge - for families, students and visitors. Ride with us and see Boston the way it was meant to be seen - we'll show you a "wheely" good time!

  • Trip Advisor Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon