Family Attractions in Boston

Boston provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience an incredibly wide variety of activities from historic landmarks, to culture and arts, to local sports teams, and local natural beauty. For families it’s a rare chance to combine fun activities with educational experiences that will bring history alive and leave a wonderful lasting impression.

The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail in Boston is a 2.5 mile walking train which takes you past 16 historic sites which tell the story of the American Revolution and what has happened since. Since the trail is a self guided walk you’re free to start wherever you want, spend as much time as you’d like and end when the mood moves you. The historic stops along the way include: The Boston Common, The State House, Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, King’s Chapel, King’s Chapel Burying Ground, Benjamin Franklin Statue/Boston Latin School, Old Corner Book Store, Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Site of the Boston Massacre, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, The Old North Church, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Bunker Hill Monument and the USS Constitution.

Boston Public Garden

Public Garden in Boston was created in 1837 and was designed to feature garden art and Victorian notions of gardening with showing flowers in bright colors in meticulous beds. One of the more popular attractions in the Boston Public Garden are the Swan Boats, which are a wonderful way for a family to spend part of their day in Boston. The swan shaped boats are pedaled around by guides from the region, so you can pump them for information on insider family attractions while you’re enjoying the lake.

Boston Common

Another public park created by the city of Boston is Boston Common which was founded in 1634 and is one of the oldest city parks in the United States. Originally the area was not seen as a modern park but it served as an open cow pasture for many families. The park also was a camp for the British before the Revolutionary War and then as a location for public hangings. It’s also been a popular gathering place for speakers and protesters. In 1987 Boston Common became a National Historic Landmark and today it serves as a traditional modern park.

Fenway Park

Fenway Park has been the home ballpark for the Boston Red Sox since its inception in 1912 and is the oldest major league baseball stadium still in use. Throughout the years the park has undergone a number of additions and renovations and doesn’t even resemble the original stadium, but it is still located in the same exact spot and has some unique features that have stood the test of time. The park’s had its ups and down when it comes to attendance and in the 1965 season there were two games with less than 500 fans in attendance, but in 2009 the Red Sox and Fenway Park celebrated its 500th consecutive sellout.

Museum of Science

The Boston Museum of Science was established in 1830 when a handful of people established the Boston Society of Natural History and began collecting and studying natural history specimens. But it wasn’t until 1864 that the group got a permanent facility. Throughout the years the museum has grown and expanded and now contains more than 500 interactive exhibits, features live presentations every day, there is a Planetarium and IMAX and is home to more than 100 rescued and rehabilitated animals.

New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium was founded in 1969 and is currently one of the most popular attractions in the city of Boston. The aquarium is different from most you’ve probably seen because their emphasis is on creating a more natural setting for the critters they house. They also stress their commitment on conservation, research and education, not putting entertainment last but bringing that element in as well. There are a variety of exhibits and habitats including: New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center, Atlantic Harbor Seals, Amazon Rainforest, Edge of the Sea, Giant Ocean Tank, Gulf of Maine, Pacific Reef Community, Penguins, Seadragons and Amazing Jellies.

Boston Harbor Islands

The Boston Harbor Islands are a national recreation area with a Civil War era fort, historic lighthouses, tide pools, hiking trails, swimming areas, picnicking facilities, and camping groups. There are also several programs throughout the year which provide educational experiences for children, adults and families. One of the popular tours is the Boston Light Climbing Tour which is a 3 hour trip with a boat ride, a lighthouse tour, and information packed tour guides to lead you on your way. You can also sign up for Island Kayak Tours which are lead by experienced guides. These tours are not difficult or strenuous but do require a bit of skill. You reach the islands by ferry which charges a nominal fee. The two most popular islands are the Georges Island which is a national historic landmark and is home to Fort Warren, and Spectacle Island which has lifeguards so it’s one of the best swimming spots. There are also free jazz concerts on Sunday afternoons in the summer.

USS Constitution

The USS Constitution or Old Ironsides and its museum is a great family adventure as it’s a chance to see a bit of history that isn’t readily available in other parts of the world. The USS Constitution is a wood hulled, three mast frigate. The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat in the world, and was named by President George Washington himself. First launched in 1797 the USS Constitution was designed to be an integral part of the newly formed navy. Throughout her storied history the USS Constitution served a variety of functions until 1907 when she became a museum ship, touring from port to port. In 1997 the USS Constitution sailed on her own steam for the anniversary of her 200th year. Today you can visit the USS Constitution and its museum to get a better understanding of the Navy’s role in war and peace, the history of the ship and her crew and important functions the ship has served throughout the centuries.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Global Jet