Boston USA: 10 fantastic things to do with kids
It’s never been easier to explore America’s family-friendly East Coast, with plenty of direct flights taking under eight hours from the UK, including a freshly launched route with JetBlue.Once there, New England’s largest city offers a wealth of attractions to entertain kids of all ages, from retracing the steps of history along the Freedom Trail, to exploring the great outdoors with an epic whale watching expedition. Zoey Goto rounds up the ten best things to do in Boston for families.
1. Boston Children's Museum
Founded in 1913, this local landmark is a sure-fire hit with pre-schoolers and primary school aged children. Across three spacious floors, the educational fun-house is crammed with a performing arts space, leafy rooftop garden, a space zone and walk-in traditional Japanese house that will transport little ones to the tranquil streets of Kyoto. The emphasis is on getting hands-on with science, arts and maths, while having a really good time. For more information visit >> Boston Children's Museum
2. Union Oyster House
Bring history to life for children with a foodie visit to America’s oldest continuously running restaurant. Dating back to 1826, this institution has been serving delicious clam chowder, lobster rolls and fresh-out-the-sea fish and chips since 1826. Be sure to ask to be shown to John F. Kennedy’s favourite booth, to dine where the 35th president of the United States once ate. Children are welcome at this historical eatery, which offers a special menu for under 12s. Visit >> Union Oyster House
3. Legoland Discovery Center
The perfect choice for an overcast Boston afternoon, this museum dedicated to the famous colourful little brick has everything needed for budding architects in training. After admiring a miniature replica of Boston’s landmarks in Lego form, there’s also a 4D cinema to catch a screening. Jungle gym and climbing wall zones are perfect for youngsters to let off steam, while an onsite café serves up brick-tastic snacks. For more info >> Lego Discovery Center
4. The Freedom Trail
Take a walking tour with a difference, by retracing the steps of US history along the 2.5-mile Freedom trail, which weaves through the city. Start at Boston Common, America’s oldest public park and pitstops along the way include the spot where the Boston Tea Party started and Faneuil Hall, known as the ‘home of free speech’.
It’s hard to get lost as a brick trail leads the way, but there’s also the option of joining a 90-minute group tour led by a guide in period costume. For more information visit >> The Freedom Trail
5. Make Way for Ducklings sculpture at the Boston Public Garden
To really make the most of your Boston visit, source a copy of the children’s classic book Make Way for Ducklings, written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey in 1941. Book in hand, then head to Boston Public Garden to hunt for the bronze statues of the literary ducks, waddling along the path.
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Nearby, the swan boats in the Public Garden Lagoon offer 15-minute glides across the scenic lake.
6. Bowling at Kings Dining and Entertainment
It doesn’t get more American that an evening of bowling and burgers, at this retro-inspired entertainment venue. Once you’ve scored a strike on the neon-lit lanes, feast on speciality pizza, mountains of wings and tacos, in the casual onsite diner and sports bar. Vintage arcade games, billiards, air hockey and giant Jenga are also available. A decent menu of mocktails and a relaxed atmosphere make Kings a good early evening activity for families. More info >> Kings
7. Boston Duck Tour
Cruise Boston in style, on a WW2 landing vehicle that travels on both land and water. On board guides make the tours lively and engaging, as they take in the sights from the golden domed State House to the bustle of Quincy Market. But hold onto your hats as the highlight of the tour is really the moment when the tour bus launches into the water, creating a big splash and squeals of excitement! To book visit >> Boston Duck Tours
8. The Mapparium
This enormous, illuminated glass globe is one of the city’s quirkiest and most beloved attractions. Perfect for budding explorers, you can walk right inside the three-story model to marvel at the 608 stained-glass panels, with territories still labelled as they were in the 1930s, when the sphere installation was created. The curved surfaces bounce sound back, so kids will enjoy exploring this echo chamber.
9. Boston Museum of Science
This outstandingly child-friendly museum is the place to come for children to get hands-on with their learning and play. Highlights include an awe-inspiring multimedia planetarium where families can fly through the solar system, daily live presentations and the Discovery Center area, specifically aimed at under-eights.
After all that active learning, take a seat in the plush IMAX theatre to watch a movie on the five-story-high domed screen. On your way out, there’s a vast gift shop crammed with goodies and stunning riverside views. More info >> Museum of Science