Ah, Boston! What an amazing city to explore with kids. From learning about the history of the United States to visiting some of its oldest attractions, Massachusetts’ capital city is full of unforgettable ways to create lasting memories with your little ones. Read on to discover some of our favorite fun and educational things to do in Boston with kids.
Play at the Boston Children’s Museum
The Boston Children’s Museum is the second oldest children’s museum in the world. Founded in 1913 by the Science Teachers’ Bureau, it was the first to include hands-on exhibits. The museum spans three floors, offering novel experiences, rich interactions, and opportunities for creative expression.
Here are just a few exhibits at the Boston Children’s Museum:
- Bubbles (experiment with bubbles of all sizes)
- Kid Power (participate in a variety of vigorous activities)
- Raceways (discover the laws of motion using golf balls on a variety of tracks)
- Johnny’s Workbench (safely use hand tools)
- Peep’s World (all things waterplay, based on the show Peep and the Big Wide World)
- Dinos In Space (use your imagination to think about if dinosaurs went to space)
- You, Me, We! (explore issues of bias, empathy, and fairness in our world)
My favorite exhibit is Arthur and Friends, which brings you inside the world of Marc Brown’s beloved books and cartoon characters. You will truly feel like you’re in an episode of Arthur! This is my five-year-old daughter’s favorite of the activities included in this fun and educational things to do in Boston with kids post.
Admission is $22 for ages 1+.
Pro Tip: The Boston Children’s Museum has a dedicated lunch room to dine in while visiting. Bring your lunch or choose from a carefully curated selection of kid-friendly snacks from the lunch room’s vending machines.
Looking for more educational things to do in Boston with kids? Check out my 3 day Boston itinerary written with first timers in mind.
Visit the New England Aquarium
Opened in 1969, the New England Aquarium has more than 50 years of experience protecting and advocating for the ocean.
The centerpiece of the New England Aquarium is a four-story Giant Ocean Tank. As you explore the aquarium, you walk up a spiral ramp, allowing you to see all of this Caribbean coral reef exhibit. Holding 200,000 gallons of saltwater, the Giant Ocean Tank is home to hundreds of animals, including Myrtle, the Green Sea Turtle, estimated to be between 70 and 90 years old.
My daughter’s preferred exhibit is the Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank, with Epaulette Sharks, Atlantic Rays, and Cownose Rays in a mangrove-themed tank. It’s the largest touch tank on the East Coast.
My favorite exhibit is the open-air Penguin Colony, where 50 African and Southern Rockhopper penguins live in a bustling colony. The space contains six manmade islands and 150,000 gallons of water filtered in from the Boston Harbor.
While I’ve only mentioned a few animals, more than one thousand call the New England Aquarium home. Admission is $34 for adult tickets and $25 for children. Those under three are free.
See harbor seals in a natural setting at Acadia National Park, just 4 1/2 hours away.
Stroll around the Franklin Park Zoo
Nestled in Boston’s historic Franklin Park, the 72-acre, AZA-accredited Franklin Park Zoo was founded in 1912. It aims to inspire people to protect and sustain the natural world for future generations by creating fun and engaging experiences that integrate wildlife and conservation programs, research, and education.
The Franklin Park Zoo has ten unique areas. In Bird’s World, look for kookaburra and Andean condors. Franklin Farm has goats, mini donkeys, and barn owls, while Outback Trail’s stars are emu and red kangaroo.
You’ll find porcupine, wildebeest, and Hartmann’s Mountain zebra at the Serengeti Crossing and lemur, two-toed sloth, and pygmy hippos at the Tropical Forest. Lastly, the Franklin Park Zoo offers a sweet little Children’s Zoo with prairie dogs, red panda, and spotted turtles. There are more than 100 animals at this attraction.
Admission changes based on the date you visit but is typically around $20 for adults and $15 for children over two. The Zoo has an adorable playground based on drawings made by children asked to create their dream playground.
Museum of Science Boston
At the Museum of Science Boston, science is a life-changing journey of discovery for everyone. It’s one of the world’s largest science centers and New England’s most highly attended cultural institution.
Laid out in three different wings (Blue, Green, and Red), each offers a variety of exhibits.
Ones that we really enjoy are the Hall of Human Life (discover what makes you, you), Science in the Park (investigate the pushes and pulls of everyday life), Garden Walk & Insect Zoo (warm conservatory filled with exotic plants and insects), and The Rock Garden (rocks and minerals from around the globe).
Visitors can learn about the region’s wildlife at the New England Habitats and Yawkey Gallery on the Charles River exhibits.
The Museum of Science offers several Omni Films, Planetarium Shows, Live Presentations, and 4-D Films. Pretty cool, huh?
Exhibit Hall Admission is $29 for adults and $24 for children, though ages under three are free.
The Boston Public Library was the first in the country to have a designated children’s room. Visit their Central Library in Copley Square branch to see the designated Children’s Library.
This vibrant space is full of fun things for children to enjoy and offers stellar programming. Check the library’s event calendar before your visit to see what is going on during your visit. Programming includes Preschool Storytime, LEGO Club, Art Exhibits, STEAM Team, Family Story Time, Music and Movement, and more!
My visit to these attractions were hosted. As always, reviews are unbiased and my own.