Friday, February 15, 2019

Family Friendly Boston

Boston, Massachusetts, the capital of Massachusetts is one of the oldest cities in the US. Founded in 1630, the city played a key role in the American Revolution. This is highlighted on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile walking route of historic sites. In addition to experiencing the city’s rich history, visitor’s will enjoy the diverse neighborhoods, arts, culture, and educational opportunities of the area.


New England Aquarium- Located near Long Wharf, and close to Faneuil Hall/ Quincy Market. Popular attractions include the Caribbean coral reef, Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank, Penguin colony and the newest exhibit, Science of Sharks. Hours vary by season. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.


Skywalk Observatory- Take in the 360 degree view of the city and beyond from 50 stories up. An Acoustiguide audio tour will detail the city’s many points of interest.  There are also two short film presentation available. Opens daily at 10 am, closing time varies by season.


Museum of Science- Not just a science museum but an indoor zoo as well, located along the Charles River. There are more than 700 interactive exhibits, daily presentations, and hands-on activities. Open daily except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day at 9 am, closing time varies by season.


Boston Harbor Cruises- Many different cruise options available, including whale watching, harbor cruises, and celebration cruises. If you purchase the City Pass you get a 90 minute fully narrated historic sightseeing cruise.


Harvard Natural History Museum- Located on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, with more than 10,000 specimens on display. There is an outstanding earth sciences gallery with rare minerals, meteorites, and a timeline of Earth history. Other popular exhibits include the dinosaurs, prehistoric mammals, and current day mammals. New exhibits include, New England forests, Sea Creatures in Glass and Marine Life. Open daily 9 to 5 except New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.


Boston Children’s Museum- The second oldest children’s museum in the US, it is located on the Children's Wharf along the Fort Point Channel. The exhibits in the museum emphasize hands-on learning focusing on the areas of science, culture, environmental awareness, health & fitness, and the arts. The museum is open daily except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Hours are Saturday-Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm and on Fridays from 10 am to 9 pm.


City Pass Boston- You can save money on many of Boston’s best attractions when you package them together and purchase a City Pass. Attractions include the New England Aquarium, Skywalk Observatory, Museum of Science, and Boston Harbor Cruises or Harvard Museum of Natural History. By purchasing the City Pass you also get Skip the Line entry to many of these attractions.


Quincy Market- A historic market complex near Faneuil Hall comprised of 3 historic market buildings and a promenade. Today there are over 100 shops and restaurants. Must try Boston foods that you can find here include Clam Chowder, Boston Cream Pie, Boston Baked Beans, and Lobster Rolls.


Freedom Trail- A 2.5 mile path through downtown Boston that links 16 significant locations to the history of the United States. The trail, made largely of brick winds between Boston Common and the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. Stop by the Visitor’s Center located on the first floor of Faneuil Hall. It is run by the National Park Service and they offer tours and free maps of the area. If you have limited time here, below are the top spots on the Freedom Trail:


Old North Church- This is the place that the residents of Cambridge were signaled that the British were coming. It is the oldest church building in Boston and still an active Episcopal church.


Paul Revere House- One of the top spots on the Freedom Trail, older children will enjoy hearing the story of Revere’s ride and a history of his home.


USS Constitution- Completed in 1797, it is the oldest commissioned, still-afloat warship in the world. Guided tours depart every 30 minutes, leaded by guides in period dress.


Boston Common- The oldest public park in the United States has something for everyone. The Frog Pond is home to ice skating in the winter, and a splash pond for children in the summer. The park has a children’s carousel, softball fields and several statues and monuments including one commemorating Pope John Paul II’s visit to the park in 1979 that drew an estimated 400,000 people.


Boston Massacre Monument- Located in Boston Common, a tribute to the victims of the Boston Massacre, these citizens were the first casualties of a movement that started the American Revolution.


Bunker Hill Monument- Park Rangers provide history of the battle, and musket-firings are offered seasonally. Climb the 294 step monument for amazing views of he city.


Boston Professional Sports Teams- Boston has four professional sports teams, many of which offer Stadium or Arena tours. For game tickets visit the team website.


Boston Red Sox- Professional Baseball Team, regular season runs late March through the end of September. Tours of Fenway Park are available year round and depart at the top of every hour. Hours vary by season and when the team is in town.


Boston Celtics-Professional Basketball Team, regular season runs from mid-October through mid-April. Tours of TD Garden are available through the onsite Sports Museum. Tours are not offered during the Basketball/ Hockey season.


New England Patriots- Professional Football team, regular season runs September through December. There are no tours offered of Gillette Stadium, but visitors can visit The Patriots Hall of Fame which is adjacent to the stadium. Visitors can also get a good view of the stadium from the CBS Sporting Club, a restaurant and bar which is part of Patriot Place, a 1.3 million square foot dining, shopping and entertainment destination.


Boston Bruins- Professional Hockey Team, regular season runs from October through early-April. Tours of TD Garden are available through the onsite Sports Museum. Tours are not offered during the Basketball/ Hockey season.


Area Family Friendly Restaurant suggestions:


Picco- Located in the South End, kids love their wood fired pizza and homemade ice cream. The menu also offers salads, pasta dishes and calzones.


Flatbread Pizza Company at Sacco’s Bowl Haven- A restaurant and a bowling alley all in one. Perfect for kids. Even better for parents is that the flatbread pizza is really good. Save room for Barbara’s Homemade brownie ice cream sundae.


Full Moon-This kid friendly spot in Cambridge has good food at reasonable prices and an indoor playground within sight of the tables. Open 7 days a week from 9 am to 9 pm.


Legal Sea Foods Harbourside- Located in Seaport, this seafood restaurant on the harbor has a stocked fishing pond inside the restaurant and kids also enjoy watching boats come in and out of the harbor.


American Fresh Brewhouse and Beer Garden- Six locations in the Boston area, parents can enjoy some beer and great food while the kids will enjoy the outside spaces and kid-specific entertainment.


Shake Shack- The location in Chestnut Hill is perfect families with a huge lawn for kids to run around on and outdoor seating with umbrellas so parents can comfortably keep an eye on them.


Summer Shack- Serving classic and unique seafood dishes in Cambridge that appeal to both parents and kids, the best day to come is on a Sunday when there is a sundae bar and balloon animals.











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