Boston is a lively city filled with college students, young professionals, tourists, and rowdy sports fans. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not the perfect city for a family trip: there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Boston with kids. Whether you’re part of an adventure family, a family full of art-lovers, or you all want to learn about the history of the city, there’s bound to be something for you in Beantown.
Use this always up-to-date guide from us here at C&J to plan your unforgettable family trip to Boston. When you’re ready to head into the city, visit our website to check bus schedules and book your tickets. Be sure to take advantage of our new discounted fares from Dover, Portsmouth, and Newburyport into Boston South Station! Riders now save even more money while still enjoying luxury seating, free Wi-Fi, plenty of power outlets, and cold water in the galley.
Ready to start planning?
For Adventurous Families
Boston is the perfect destination for anyone who wants to learn, explore, and try new things. If you and your family are searching for a hands-on experience in the city, you can easily spend a whole day immersed in the New England Aquarium. We love the Animal Encounters at the aquarium, which allow kids to to feed the animals! It’s an awesome, one-of-a-kind experience that you will all remember for years to come.
The Museum of Science has an incredible selection of exhibits like the Planetarium and the Butterfly Garden. The Butterfly Garden is open year-round and is filled with incredible living plants from all over the world. You can experience the magic of watching butterflies emerge from the chrysalis and dry their wings!
- Now – January 2020: Bring Your Toddler to Thomas & Friends. Your little one will love exploring the model of Thomas’s cab and pulling levers to hear train noises! It’s perfect for ages 2-7, but parents will have fun watching their kids learn and play.
- Currently on View: See the Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Up Close. Within the aquarium’s signature four-story Giant Ocean Tank resides the incredible swirl of color and life of the Indo-Pacific coral reef. It’s a breathtaking sight!
- Now – November 17: Watch Out for Whales in the Boston Harbor. See whales, dolphins, and other marine life up close! Watch them feed off the coast of Boston at the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary.
For History-Buff Families
One thing that Boston has in excess is deep, rich history. The city was founded in 1630, and there are plenty of opportunities to take a step back in history to learn about colonial America and the birth of our nation. Walk the Freedom Trail to see the Paul Revere House, Old State House, Bunker Hill Monument, and more. If you’d prefer to stay warm inside, spend an afternoon in the Museum of African History. We’re huge fans of the current photography exhibit there which features pictures of many great American jazz musicians.
- Currently on View: Tour a Historic Chocolate Shop. There are daily demonstrations to show visitors how chocolate was made in the early colonial times (and plenty of chocolate to eat while you watch)!
- September 19 – March 2020: See Photographs of the Jazz Greats. This collection of over thirty photographs dating back to the 1920s captures the magic of jazz music. Be sure to see the dazzling photos before the exhibition ends.
For Art-Loving Families
With over 40 museums in the Boston area, it’s hard to choose which one to visit first. Most commonly known is the Museum of Fine Arts, which hosts nearly 20 different collections and thousands of priceless pieces of art. It’s easy to get lost in its halls for an entire day. You’ll be amazed by the intricate colors in the Monet paintings and the glitter of the jewelry exhibit.
The Institute of Contemporary Art houses incredible modern and interactive art exhibits, which are great for all ages. There’s even an Art Lab where kids under 17 can create their own art for free!
- July 1 – February 2020: Marvel Over Jackson Pollock Murals. Adults and children alike are sure to be wowed by these bigger-than-life murals. The abstract colors and patterns are hypnotizing.
- September 24 – February 2020: Explore LOVE IS CALLING. This is a giant, room-sized interactive art exhibition that you and your family can walk through. It’s filled color, light, mirrors, and even sound.
- October 17 – January 2020: Celebrate the ISGM’s Artists. Over the next few months, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will celebrate 25 years of artists-in-residence. The exhibition will feature lively works of art from many past artists-in-residence.
For Outdoorsy Families
Even though there’s a nip in the air, some people just need to get outside. Luckily, Boston is home to many pedestrian-friendly outdoor spaces. This fall, stroll along the Emerald Necklace and check out the foliage in the heart of the city. Or, head to Newbury Street and window shop with a cup of hot apple cider! It’s spread out across eight blocks, with shops like Nike and Tiffany’s lining its streets.
- October 18: See the incredible Pumpkin Float at the Common. This family-friendly event features music, activities, crafts, and a stunning pumpkin float at the end of the night. Watch as hundreds of glowing pumpkins float atop Frog Pond!
- October 19 – October 20: Cheer on Rowing Teams at the Regatta. The Head of the Charles is a classic Boston event. Cheer on all the incredibly talented rowers as they race towards victory.
- October 26: Take a Walking Tour of the Emerald Necklace. Learn about the history of the Emerald Necklace and stop by the oldest WWII Victory Garden in America.
No matter what your family loves doing together, there are always fun things to do in Boston with kids. Check back to this blog post every season for updated activities! Also, check out our interactive guide to Boston for more ideas to plan your trip!
Planning your trip to Boston is easy and stress-free with C&J Bus Lines. Are you ready for your family trip?