Winter Day Trips from Boston for families

Shake off the cabin fever with our top picks for winter day trips from Boston for families! Photo courtesy of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Shake off the cabin fever with our top picks for winter day trips from Boston for families! Photo courtesy of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
1/19/24 - By Kelley Heyworth

Winter day trips from Boston for families fit bill when the temperature drops. If the family has felt cooped up, winter day trips with the kids can raise everyone's spirits. An escape to these parks, museums, and farms can provide a little excitement during winter. And these Boston-area trips are a welcome break from the winter routines.

For more cold-weather outings, see our roundup of the best winter activities near Boston and our guide to winter hikes and walks to take with kids.


Winter Day Trips from Boston for Families

Image of Snowport - Winter Day Trips from Boston for families 
A family trek to Boston's Seaport can pack an entire day trip with winter fun! Photo courtesy of the Boston Seaport

1. Boston Seaport—Boston 

In winter, the Seaport transforms into Snowport—an outdoor winter wonderland of fun. The Seaport is also home to one of our favorite spots for indoor mini-golf in Boston!

2. Blue Hills—Canton

The spot where so many local kids learn how to ski is adjacent to a exciting, kid-friendly hiking trails (think fun rock scrambles) and a quaint Trailside Museum that has year-round outdoor exhibits of animals, including otters and owls. 

Image of kids with farm animals - Winter Day Trips from Boston
A welcome reward for a winter walk: meeting some friendly barn animals on a winter day trip from Boston. Photo courtesy of Appleton Farms

3. Appleton Farms—Hamilton and Ipswich

One of the country's oldest continually operating farms offers is a great destination for winter day trips. The farm has guided tours, miles of hiking trails (including stroller-friendly farm roads), snowshoe rentals, and more. Kids can join in on environmentally-focused afternoon programs, with opportunities to learn and explore nature, trails, crops, and more. On winter weekends, there are fresh-baked treats for sale, and fire pits going for a cozy, afternoon.

4. Great Brook Farm—Carlisle

This gorgeous, flat property features groomed cross country skiing trails, Native American historic sites, and free tours of a working dairy farm, and barn.

5. Gore Place—Waltham

The expansive property around the Gore mansion has become a favorite for local snowshoeing and a popular spot for winter day trips. There is also a nature playscape for kids to frolic around. Be sure to check the website to see what events are coming up, including concerts, tours, and festivals.

6. Drumlin Farm and deCordova Sculpture Park—Lincoln

Lincoln is a special for winter day trips with kids. At Drumlin Farm, kids can explore the farmyard filled with animals like pigs, sheep goats, chickens, and cows. The deCordova Sculpture Park grounds (always free for children under 12) offer an expansive place to run around and see art in the fresh air. Inside the museum, kids will be in awe of the sculpture exhibitions and interpretive programs.

Image of Tower Hill Botanic Garden - Winter Day Trips from Boston 
Step out of winter with a day trip to Boston's Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Orangerie photo courtesy of the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill

7. New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill—Boylston

Families can enjoy memorable winter day trips at the garden’s 15 acres. The children’s Winter Discoveries program also runs through the end of December, and then again in February. Children can explore a different topics through games, interactive investigations, trail explorations, and more. Check the website for offerings and changes due to weather.

8. Boston Children's Museum—Boston

This is always among the kids' favorite winter day trips. This beloved museum is known for its engaging, interactive activities and programs for kids of all ages. Some favorite exhibits include New Balance Climb, a fun, curvy 3-story climbing structure. And there's PlaySpace, with various creative experiences.

9. Eric Carle Picture Book and Museum—Amherst

This museum offers a life-size exploration of artwork by a celebrated children's author. The space is well-suited to bringing out kids' own creativity. Explore an interactive studio filled with art materials. And there are plenty of oversized renderings of Eric Carle's most beloved characters.

First published December 2017; updated December 2018, 2020, 2021, 2024

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