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Kid-friendly activities in Boston

We’re highlighting the best kid-friendly activities that Boston has to offer — complete with museum experiences, animal encounters, and outdoor fun.

Statue and Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown

Spend a day exploring Charlestown after a family visit to the USS Constitution Museum. | Photo by @travelikealocalma

We’re not kidding around. From major attractions like the Franklin Park Zoo to moving and grooving at family dance parties, there’s something in Boston for children of all ages.

You’ll have no trouble entertaining the youngsters with this list of 20+ kid-friendly activities around the city.

☀️ Summer fun

Public pools, Various locations
Beat the heat at one of Boston’s public pools. Kids will remember jumping into the pool from the rooftop of The Colonnade Hotel.

Frog Pond Spray Pool, Boston Common Frog Pond
Through Labor Day, you can bring the kiddos to this outdoor splash pad after walking through the Boston Common. Kids will remember getting splashed by the fountain.

ParkARTS Marionette Puppets, Various locations
Local parks throughout Boston come alive with marionette puppets made by professional actor-puppeteer Charlotte Anne Dore. Kids will remember watching the unique, colorful puppets.

Canobie Lake Park, 85 N. Policy St., Salem, NH
Bostonians can travel to this outdoor amusement park and waterpark in under an hour. Kids will remember swimming with a mermaid or riding the dragon coaster.

Want more summer fun? Check out these free, outdoor summer series.

Two giraffes looking into camera

See tigers, and lions, and gorillas (oh my) at the city zoo.

Photo provided by Franklin Park Zoo

🌳 Great outdoors

Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway | 🎟️ Memberships available
Take one of the guided tours or set off on your own stroll with the kiddos at the oldest public arboretum in North America. Kids will remember the free Discovery packs.

Rose Kennedy Greenway, Downtown Boston
Check out the year-round public art installations, grab a bite to eat from a food truck, or splash around in the water fountains during the summer heat. Kids will remember a ride on the Greenway Carousel.

Castle Island Park, 2010 Day Blvd.
Put a little exercise and history into the day with a swim or walk at the South Boston peninsula. Kids will remember a tour of Fort Independence.

Swan Boats, Boston Public Garden
Open from April through September each year, this must-do Boston activity is an affordable family event — adults pay $4.50 and tickets are $3 for children. Kids will remember the mallard duck sightings.

Martin’s Park & Playground, 64 Sleeper St.
A visit to the Smith Family Waterfront is a must for families — the climate resilient park has a garden with over 350 trees and one of the best playgrounds around. Kids will remember exploring the playground’s timber maze.

Haven’t had your fill of Boston’s green spaces? Find 10 hidden gem parks to explore with the family.

    🦁 Animal encounters

    Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Rd. | 🎟️ Memberships available
    Take a journey through the tropical forest, tiger exhibit, and giraffe savannah at the city zoo. Kids will remember playing in the Kids’ Corner.

    Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., Stoneham | 🎟️ Memberships available
    Just ~nine miles from Boston, this zoo offers a jungle fun ride, a Mexican gray wolf exhibit, and a playground for the young ones. Kids will remember a visit to the Animal Discovery Center.

    New England Aquarium, 1 Central Wharf | 🎟️ Memberships available
    Head to the Long Wharf area and spend a day seeing the largest shark and ray touch tank on the East Coast + the four-story Giant Ocean Tank. Kids will remember the colony of 60+ penguins.

    Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge | 🎟️ Memberships available
    Explore the Great Mammal Hall, a dinosaur fossil exhibit, and various other natural history exhibitions. Kids will remember the “Birds of the World” gallery.

    Ready for more animal sightings? Check out our guide to whale watching tours.

    Exterior shot of Boston Children's Museum

    Check the museum’s calendar for up-to-date programming information.

    Photo by @exploringpaths

    🎳 Indoor adventures

    Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St. | 🎟️ Memberships available
    The second oldest children’s museum in the US boasts a Polar Playground, STEAM and Art Labs, and a PlaySpace exhibit for youngsters. Kids will remember building forts with their family.

    Museum of Science, 1 Museum of Science Driveway | 🎟️ Memberships available
    Blast off to the Mission: Mars experience with Roblox, or explore some of the world’s most ancient caves. Kids will remember the Lightning! exhibit that hurls indoor bolts.

    LEGOLAND Discovery Center, 598 Assembly Row, Somerville
    The new and improved center that reopened in 2023 features an interactive ride and video game, 4D cinema, and 2 million bricks to build with. Kids will remember taking the “Kingdom Quest” to save the princess.

    Boda Borg, 90 Pleasant St., Malden
    This gaming center was founded in Sweden and offers 16 challenges (aka quests) that range from solving escape room puzzles to climbing a rock wall. Kids will remember successfully solving a quest with their teammates.

    American Flatbread, Various locations
    Head to the Brighton or Somerville locations for a side of fresh pizza to compliment your bowling game. Kids will remember classic New England candlepin bowling.

    BOS-Fenway-Park-2022

    Take a family tour of Fenway Park with experienced tour guides.

    Photo by BOStoday team

    🧠 Learn about the city

    Freedom Trail, Various locations
    Teach your kiddos about the American Revolution on our city’s 2.5-mile walking tour. Kids will remember the Paul Revere House, an education center with plenty of interesting programming.

    Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, 306 Congress St.
    Re-enact the famous Boston Tea Party that sparked a revolution at the Seaport museum and see the only remaining tea chest from the historic event. Kids will remember joining the “Sons of Liberty” to dump tea into the water themselves.

    Duck Boat Tours, 1 Central Wharf
    Take the family on this quintessential Boston sightseeing tour that travels on land and through water. Kids will remember Bostonians quacking at them as the boat passes through the city.

    Fenway Park Tours, 4 Jersey St.
    Year-round, rain or shine, the whole family can enjoy a tour of America’s oldest baseball park. Kids will remember standing on top of the massive “Green Monster.”

    📚 Lean into the library

    Boston Public Library
    Each of the 25 library branches across the city offers programming for kids, like arts and crafts or LEGO Club. Kids will remember entering the beautiful Central Library in Copley Square.

    Somerville Public Library
    Bring the little kids to one of these storytime events or let them pick out a book they’re interested in. Kids will remember the opportunity to check out cultural passes to local museums.

    Cambridge Public Library
    Kids can participate in one of the weekly programs like toddler storytime, sing-alongs, and “movies for littles.” Kids will remember visiting the library’s creative makerspace.

    Not seeing your local library? View the list of all Massachusetts public libraries.

    🎶 Movin’ and groovin’

    Community Music Center of Boston, 34 Warren Ave.
    Let the kids rock out with private and group lessons, ensembles, or early childhood and elementary group classes. Kids will remember learning to play a new instrument.

    Groovy Baby Music, Various locations
    Sign your kiddo up for one of these local music and movement classes. Kids will remember singing, dancing, drumming, and stretching along to music.

    Urbanity Dance Parties, Various locations
    Stop by a Kids Jam Session at the Boston Children’s Museum for a fun family dance party, or a Kids Groove Session on Thursdays from July to September. Kids will remember battling it out on the dance floor.

    🧃 Be prepared

    Shop some of our favorite kid-friendly essentials to keep the whole family happy, hydrated, and ready to make memories.

    • Owala Kids Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler | This tumbler has a spill-resistant straw (yes, that’s a thing) and is top-rack dishwasher safe.
    • Bentgo Kids 5-Compartment Lunch Box | Pack snacks for kids in a popular Bentgo box that’s BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
    • Nintendo Switch | You just can’t beat a handheld gaming device for keepings kids quiet, happy, and entertained during car rides around town.
    • Hap Tim Travel Backpack | Keep everything in a backpack that’s got good padding on the straps, plenty of compartments, a wide mouth opening, and a rain-resistant exterior.
    • Kids sketch pad | Kids can sketch, take notes, and feel connected to your adventures with a sketchbook meant to inspire creativity.
    • Disposable cameras | Kids will have a ton of fun + stay entertained by taking their own pictures of what they see during your adventures.
    • KeepGoing Travel First Aid Kit for Kids | Be prepared for minor scrapes or bruises that could slow your day down — this kit contains 60 pieces of essential first aid supplies.
    • Sunscreen stick | Have a portable sunscreen stick handy for outdoor adventures.
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