Rich with cultural and historical significance, Boston is a favorite travel destination for millions of families each year. As a metropolitan area of the oft-traveled New England region and a seat of the American revolution, there’s no shortage of exciting entertainment to be found in the Boston area. From modern fun to activities with a more anachronistic bent, here are ten of the reasons why kids and their families love to vacation in Boston!
- The Discovery Museums (Acton, MA 01720) – The Children’s Discovery Museum and the Science Discovery Museum are two separate parts that form a cohesive whole, with something for the whole family to enjoy between them. The Children’s Discovery Museum is directed at children between the ages of one and six, offering hands-on exhibits and interactive activities to keep curious fingers engaged all afternoon. School-aged youngsters, especially those with an affinity for science, are sure to flip for a day at the Science Discovery Museum.
- Kidstock Theater (Winchester, MA 01890) – While the activities at Kidstock Theater are directed more at residents and visitors with a more long-term stay in mind than the average vacationing family, there are single-day events available for those who are merely passing through. As a complete art center, Kidstock boasts performance spaces, instructional studios, art rooms and costume shops on their list of many activities for kids with a fondness for the arts.
- Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA 02360) – Plimoth Plantation offers kids and their families a realistic glimpse into the lives of the first European settlers of the Colonies, as well as the Wampanoag People who already inhabited the area. A variety of exhibits, performances and other interactive programs allow kids and adults alike to explore the first days of European settlement, and how the decisions made then shape the world we live in today.
- Wicked RC (Framingham, MA 01702) – While there’s no doubt about the fact that the city of Boston has great historical significance for Americans, you may find your kids itching for an afternoon of fun that’s a bit more modern. Wicked RC boasts one of the best indoor remote-controlled race tracks in the area, and is sure to be a favorite destination for kids itching to leave history behind them for a moment.
- Boston Children’s Museum (Boston, MA 02210) – Featuring an in-house art studio that encourages kids to be their messiest, most creative selves and exhibits that emphasize cultural sensitivity and diversity, Boston Children’s Museum will offer your kids an entertaining and informative afternoon. There’s also an area emphasizing the importance of and encouraging physically active play, like climbing and powering exhibits with their own energy.
- Wheelock Family Theatre (Boston, MA 02215) – This non-profit theatre strives to provide both kids and the opportunity to explore and observe the ancient art of stage-play. There are classes and workshops in place for pint-sized residents of Boston, but visiting families are able to take in a production or two during their time in the city without committing to any classroom instruction.
- Harvard Museum of Natural History (Cambridge, MA 02138) – The award-winning Harvard Museum of Natural History isn’t just a must-see for the dinosaur junkie on your list, as it also features exhibits touching upon the space sciences and animal husbandry. Keep in mind before visiting, however, that available street parking is very limited.
- Beantown Trolley Tours (Randolph, MA 02368) – With several ticket locations scattered around the city, you shouldn’t have any trouble tracking down a Beantown Trolley for a guided tour of the city. Purchase of a ticket allows you access to the trolley throughout the day, as well as a Harbor Cruise from the New England or, in colder weather, a visit to the U.S.S. Constitution.
- Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm (Lincoln, MA 01773) – A working farm that also houses several species of birds, the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s 232-acre Drumlin Farm lets kids take a hay ride on nature trails, explore the farm itself and watch exciting demonstrations put on by the resident animal experts. There are also a variety of “Drop-In Discovery” activities along the way, meaning that your youngsters will be engaged throughout your visit.
- The Haymarket (Boston, MA 02109) – The Haymarket, an open-air produce market that’s been operating for more than two centuries in the same spot, is one of Boston’s cherished traditions. Beloved by locals and visitors alike, be prepared to encounter sizable crowds at this charming and venerable attraction.
During your visit, don’t forget to sample some of the local cuisine that New England is known for. Boston boasts a strong culinary culture, playing host to several renowned eateries. A jaunt out to nearby Cape Cod, with its fishing villages, beaches and historical sites of its own is always a great way to spend some quality family time together during your travels.