Summer is almost upon us and that means… family vacations! As all of the Clark Griswald’s of the world gather up their regrets to share with their families the largest balls of mud across the U.S., we here at I Walked decided to try and help you find some more worthwhile destinations here in our hometown of Boston. Traveling with families can be expensive, and entertaining the little ones can be a bit of a hassle unless you have a good tour guide—like us! Thus, I Walked Audio Tours proudly presents our Top 10 Things To Do With Kids in Boston:
1. Children’s Museum
Well, duh! The second oldest Children’s Museum in the United States. Afterwards, grab some ice cream at the Hood Milk Bottle ice cream stand situated outside the front entrance.
Address: 308 Congress Street, Boston. (617) 426-6500
Hours: Sat-Thur 10am-5pm; Fri 10am-9pm
Cost: Adults, Children and Seniors $12; Children under 1 are free.
2. New England Aquarium
Kids will love the 200,000 gallon central tank you can walk around all the way to the top. If price is an issue at least check out the harbor seals outside of the aquarium within a glass case for some free entertainment.
Address/Phone: 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA. (617) 973-5206
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun 9am-6pm. Summer hours (Jul 1- Sept 3) are typically extended 1 hour.
Cost: $22.95 Adult and $15.95 Children (Ages 3-11)
3. Public Gardens
Take a leisurely ride on the Swan Boats and let your kids sit on the Make Way For Ducklings statues. Better yet, bring a blanket and have a picnic and enjoy the picturesque scenery (or the parents can at least while the kids run around screaming).
Address/Phone: Bordered by Beacon Street (north), Charles Street (east), Boylston Street (south) and Arlington Street (west), Boston. (617) 635-4505
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
4. Museum of Science
Kids can interact with numerous exhibits and stare in awe at the life-sized T-Rez or Tryceratops. The domed Omni theater is a trip for older kids (younger ones may get scared). Also take part in the Community Solar System (http://www.mos.org/sln/wtu/passport.pdf), a little known treasure hunt of planets throughout the city!
Address/Phone: 1 Science Park, Boston. (617) 723-2500
Hours: Sat-Thu 9am-5pm; Fri 9am-9pm. Hours are extended Sat-Thur during summer months (Jul 5-Labor Day) by 2 hours.
Cost: Exhibit Halls: Adults $22, Seniors $20, Children $19. Omni theatre and planetarium are extra.
5. Boston Duck Tours
A bit expensive, but kids does get to drive these giant land-water vehicles! Don’t worry parents… only when you’re in the water and there’s nothing they can hit.
Address/Phone: Departures exist in 3 locations. (1) The Museum of Science at 1 Science Park, Boston, MA. (2) The Prudential Center in Boston’s Back Bay at 53 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA. (3) New England Aquarium at 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA. (617) 267-DUCK.
Hours: 9am-Sunset with departures every 30-60 minutes (from the Museum of Science and Prudential Center). 3pm-8:30pm from the New England Aquarium. (Note: This is a seasonal tour typically offered beginning in March and ending in November.)
Cost: $28.99-$32.99 Adults and $19-$22 Children (Ages 3-11)
6. Fenway Park
A family tradition. Need I say more? Tours are obviously more affordable, but if you can swing tickets to a game, it is a must to experience.
Address/Phone: 4 Yawkey Way, Boston. (617) 226-6666
Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm. On game days the last tour is offered 3 hours prior to game time.
Cost: Tours: Adults $16; Seniors $14; Children (3-15) $12. Game ticket prices will vary.
7. Quincy Market / Faneuil Hall
Top touristy area with more than 18 million visitors annually (more than Disneyland). Lots of shops, restaurants and area to run. Watch street performers (each of whom is required to audition).
Address/Phone: 1 Faneuil Square Boston. (617) 523-1300
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 11am-6pm. Individual restaurant hours may vary.
Cost: Free to people watch. Shopping and food are obviously at your own discretion.
8. Frog Pond at Boston Common
During the summer the pond is a free wading pool for kids. By winter, a beautiful skating rink. And if you really want to gross out the kids tell them about how this used to be the site a cow pond (evil laugh).
Address/Phone: Intersection of Beacon Street and Walnut Street, Boston. (617) 635-2120
Hours: Check website for details.
Cost: Free summer wading pool. Skating admission in the winter is $5 for adults and free for children under 13. Skate rental is extra.
9. Franklin Park Zoo
Kids love animals! Of all of the local zoos this one is by far the best. Nearby Drumlin Farms are also fun, but you need a car.
Address/Phone: 1 Franklin Park Road, Boston. (617) 541-5466
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm; Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. The zoo closes at 4pm during winter months (Oct 1-Mar 31).
Cost: Adults $17; Seniors $14; Children (2-12) $11; Children under 2 are free
10. Christopher Columbus Park
Near the waterfront and the North End, this is probably one of the best maintained children’s play areas.
Address/Phone: Intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Richmond Street, Boston. (617) 635-4505
Hours: Dawn to Dusk.