Boston is one of my favorite family-friendly cities to visit for several reasons: there are tons of things to do with kids, the food is delicious, and it’s easy to get around on foot. I also have family connections in the city, so when we visit we tend to enjoy more of the local flavor. If you have ever vacationed in Boston, you probably went to places like the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science, along with walking the Freedom Trail, riding the Swan Boats and visiting Faneuil Hall. So what’s next you ask? Here are five suggestions for other fun things to do in and around Boston.
1. Hop on the Ferry to Boston Harbor Islands. Most visitors to Boston probably don’t know much about the Boston Harbor Islands, which are just a ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The closest island is Spectacle Island, which is a short 20 minute ride from downtown Boston. Once there, you can take a hike, swim on the beach or have a picnic lunch. After being in the city, my kids loved being able to climb the rocks and explore the island. During the summer, enjoy the Thursday Night Clambake with steamed lobster and clams, along with s’mores on the beach. Four of the other islands offer rustic camping opportunities.
2. Take a Free Tour By Foot Little Italy Food Tour. Walk the streets of the North End of Boston with Free Tours by Foot, stopping along the way at some of the local favorites like Polcari’s Groceria and Mike’s Pastries. The beauty of this tour group is that you get to decide how much you think the tour is worth, and which food you would like to purchase along the way. If you love Italian food like I do, it will be hard not to try everything! Be sure to make a reservation in advance for these popular tours.
3. Ride the Subway to Cambridge. The MIT Museum is a unique museum for kids 10 and up who are interested in science and technology. Current exhibits feature inventions by MIT students and innovations in artificial intelligence. It’s a great excuse to visit the town of Cambridge, where you can stop for lunch at one of the local favorites like Area Four. The Harvard Museum of Natural History is also another interesting place worth visiting in Cambridge. We learned that it’s never too early to start visiting college campuses if you happen to be in the neighborhood (it may save you from having to make an expensive trip down the road!)
4. Spend the Night in the Skinniest House in Boston. The house on Hull Street which is just over 10’ wide, is conveniently located on the Freedom Trail in the North End. It’s known as a “spite house,” built in anger to block off the sunlight and the view from the larger house built next door. Besides the unique history, the house is in a fabulous location filled with history and local Italian food. You can easily walk to downtown Boston and places like historic Faneuil Hall. It’s available for rent through one of my favorite rental sites, VRBO.
5. Cool Off When the Temperatures Soar. Who doesn’t like running barefoot through a fountain? Head to the Rose Kennedy Greenway and enjoy over a mile and a half of parkland, where you can grab lunch off a food truck, or bring your own picnic to enjoy. From May through October, there are lots of ways to cool off at the Greenway Fountains which are scattered throughout the parks. Kids will want to ride the one of a kind carousel, filled with characters native to Massachusetts, like lobsters and sea turtles.