5 Top Boston Attractions for Families

Jocelyn Murray September 23, 2012 No Comments

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The largest city in New England, Boston Massachusetts was founded in 1630 by English Puritan colonists. It is rich in early American history from its battles, to its monuments and historical sites. This diverse city has fantastic attractions for the family, including museums, an aquarium, zoo, and much more. Listed alphabetically, the follow places rank among the best in Boston for families with kids.

 

Boston Children’s Museum

Boston Children's Museum fun

For fun learning and hands-on activities galore, the Boston Children’s Museum is a big hit

Boston Children’s Museum provides a child-centered environment with delightful hands-on exhibits that help children learn through their innate curiosity about the world around them. Included among the popular exhibits is the Art Studio which allows families and children ages 5 and over to express their creativity through a variety of fun activities using media like clay, paper, paint, fabric and more. The Construction Zone encourages kids to build, dig and play with pint-sized replicas of real world construction site themed paraphernalia. There is a KidStage for performing arts, PlaySpace for infants and tots 0-3 years to safely explore, a Science Playground that engages all the senses through play and lively activities, a 3 story high sculpture called New Balance Climb with paths and colorful platforms for children to safely climb, and lots more. Boston Children’s Museum is open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is located at 308 Congress Street, Boston, Massachusetts www.bostonkids.org

 

Franklin Park Zoo

Franklin Park Zoo gorillas

Franklin Park Zoo is open year-round and features many amazing animals like this gorilla

Established in 1912, the Franklin Park Zoo is run by Zoo New England and is an exotic 72-acre oasis in the middle of Boston. Meander through a tropical rainforest with their amazing gorilla exhibit, lemurs, pygmy hippos, and free-flight birds. The zoo is also home to the African-themed Kalahari Kingdom, Giraffe Savannah, and Serengeti Crossing with lions, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests and more. Also featured are tigers, kangaroos, birds and butterflies (seasonal). Kids can get up close and personal to farm animals in the zoo’s Franklin Farm that includes a barn and contact corral with goats and sheep. Guests can also hand-feed birds in the Aussie Aviary. The Franklin Park Zoo is open year-round and located at One Franklin Park Road in Boston, Massachusetts www.zoonewengland.org

 

Freedom Trail

Freedom Trail Boston Common

Boston Common is the nation’s oldest park and dates back to 1634

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile walking trail that takes visitors on a fascinating tour of 16 historical sites that help tell the story of the American Revolution and the ideals and freedoms upon which this country was founded. This is perfect for families with school-aged children. Among the historical sites are Boston Common – the nation’s oldest park founded in 1634, the elegantly domed Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere’s house, the Old Corner Bookstore that had its beginnings as an apothecary shop, the Old State House, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Bunker Hill, the USS Constitution, and more. There are many other historical sites off the trail that provide much enrichment as well. The historical tours bring history alive with costumed guides and exciting tales of the bravery of those intrepid colonists who dared to defy Britain and establish a new republic. For more information visit their website at www.thefreedomtrail.org

 

Museum of Science

Museum of Science planetarium

The planetarium light shows at the Museum of Science are spectacular (photo courtesy of Museum of Science)

With hundreds of interactive exhibits, live presentations, a planetarium, an IMAX theater, 3-D digital cinema, over 100 live animals, and exciting simulator experiences through space, the deep sea, and much more, the Museum of Science is a wonderful venue for the whole family. Guests can observe real bees go about their work in a glassed-in beehive, get a close view of a 23-foot-long triceratops named Cliff that is 65-millions years old, learn about the fascinating live animals that reside at the museum, see beautiful dioramas depicting New England habitats with touchable collections, explore a rock garden including petrified wood and Egyptian granite, learn all about the first moon landing, and so much more.

Young children from infants through 8 years can play in the discovery station with its many objects, live animals, and activities that foster learning by stimulating their imaginations. A playground exhibit called Science in the Park is a great place for children to learn about the science of motion while playing and exercising on swings and other familiar equipment. Museum of Science is located at 1 Museum of Science Driveway, Boston, Massachusetts www.mos.org

 

New England Aquarium

New England Aquarium touch tank

The touch tanks offer visitors a close-up encounter with the creatures that live there

This highly acclaimed aquarium is found along Boston’s historic waterfront and home to more than 30,000 animals and 70 exhibits. A variety of large tanks with amazing creatures like seadragons, sharks, tropical fish, sea stars, crabs, octopus, moon jellies and much more await. Other animals at the aquarium include rays, seals, sea lions and penguins. A large touch tank with sharks and rays offers an up close experience for kids and adults. In another touch tank guests can pet sea stars, hold hermit crabs, and explore other species that live in the sea’s tide pools. Younger children can play in the Curious George Discover Corner where they will learn more about the ocean through games, stories, art projects and other activities. There are daily shows and presentations, as well as an IMAX theater with exciting films on a huge screen that makes viewers feel as though they are part of the action.

The New England Aquarium was also featured in our 10 Best Aquariums in the USA article. It is located at 1 Central Wharf Boston, Massachusetts www.neaq.org

 

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Jocelyn Murray is a travel writer and historical fiction novelist. She holds two university master's degrees in both English and Education, along with a bachelor's degree in Economics and European Studies. She also has a teaching credential and taught at the elementary school level.

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