Boston

Free Water Fun for Boston Kids: Spraygrounds, Splash Pads, and Wading Pools

You know it's summertime in Boston when kids are running through fountains and splashing in shallow pools of water on the Greenway and Boston Common. There's plenty of water fun to be had in neighborhoods all around the city, and we've rounded up some of our favorite spraygrounds, splash pads, and kiddie pools in the area. Most locations are open on weekends after Memorial Day, and then daily from the end of June through Labor Day. Bonus: they're all free!

25 Things to Do on the Boston Seaport and Fort Point with Kids

Boston's neighboring Seaport District and Fort Point neighborhoods are bursting with cool new spots to play, learn, and eat, and families are flocking to live here. So it's no surprise that this waterfront district just across the channel from Faneuil Hall and the Freedom Trail is becoming a day-trip hot spot with young kids. Between awesome playgrounds, kid-friendly art installations, world-class museums, and drool-worthy restaurants, these 25 ideas for enjoying the Seaport and Fort Point area with kids will keep your family plenty busy when exploring the area. Warning: If you don't already live here, you may find yourself thinking about a move after reading this list!

Best Beaches for Families Within an Hour of Boston

We’re lucky here in Massachusetts to have so many beautiful beaches to choose from when the temperature soars. With lots of room to dig, play, and swim, a stretch of sand on the edge of the salty surf might be the perfect place to take kids in the summer. But with so many beaches to choose from, it can be tough to know which ones are really right for families. So we’ve rounded up ten of our favorite sandy spots to visit each summer—all within an hour of Boston!

Swimming Pools and Spraygrounds with Day Passes or Memberships for Families Around Boston

We all could use a dip in an outdoor swimming pool during Boston's humid summertime. If you're looking for more of a swim than a splash pad will allow, or a little more excitement than Boston's free or nearly free pools offer you might want to consider paying for a day pass or a seasonal membership to one of these kid-friendly swimming pools featuring spraygrounds, kiddie pools, slides, and more. Here are seven gloriously refreshing options that will keep kids entertained all day. On a scorcher of a long day, the fees—and a bit of a drive, in some cases—will feel well worth it.

Boston-Area Beer Gardens That are Fun for Families

Boston has seen an absolute boom in beer gardens (or biergartens) in the last few years, and luckily for anyone with kids, many are welcoming to families. If you like to sip a craft brew outside, these are the places to go with little ones in tow: Many have live music, lawn games, and great views. From the heart of the city to several of the suburbs, there’s likely a beer garden near you that's open from summer through fall. Sip—and play!

Best Spray Parks and Water Fountains for Preschoolers in Boston

Boston has a lot of big, splashy, exciting spray parks and fountains that can be great fun for families in summer. But I've learned the hard way that not every water playground is suited for preschoolers. 

A few years back, when one of my sons was 4, I took him and his brothers to the Christian Science Plaza fountain along Huntington Avenue. To me as a parent, it was a wise selection: awesome fountain, I didn't have to walk far from the parking spot, and bathrooms were nearby in the Prudential Center. But my 4-year-old kid was horrified by the fountain and how big it was. It took him a half hour to even wander up to the where the water shot out of the ground, and soon after he got soaked and was freezing. It was not the best choice for a young child. 

With that thinking in mind, we've rounded up some gentler, preschooler-friendly local fountains and splash pads. Be sure to check out these outdoor pools with fun slide and spray features for more ways to cool off this summer, or if a climate-controlled environment is more your family's speed, consider a visit to a preschooler-friendly indoor water park. There are plenty of ways to get wet around Boston—without tears!

12 Boston-Area Restaurants Where Kids Can Play While You Eat (and Relax)

It’s one thing to go to a kid-friendly restaurant, where you know you won’t get any dirty looks from the proprietors or other patrons. But family dining heaven might just be a place that also allows kids to play—the idea being that you can actually enjoy your meal after they wolf down theirs. We decided to round up a list of such restaurants, focusing on ones that serve up truly good food along with some sort of entertainment. We call that a win-win!

May GoList - Best Things to Do with Kids in Boston

We’re feeling festive this month! For our May edition of the GoList, we’re highlighting fabulous and free spring festivals, annual Mother's Day traditions, and performances you won't want to miss. As you check out our top picks for things to do with kids in Boston and the 'burbs this month, click through to the event listings so you can add them to your calendar. Also, be sure to bookmark our Spring Fun Guide for even more family fun opportunities in and around town. Plus, we'll still send our free e-newsletters with our family-friendly event picks every week. Happy planning!

10 Family-Friendly Boston Hotels that Make Stays Special for Kids

Whether you're planning a little staycation or are visiting Boston on a trip, the right hotel can make a getaway feel all the more special. There are plenty of places to stay in Boston, but some hotels are better than others at making families feel comfortable and catered to. From spectacular pools to scavenger hunts, check-in goodies to cooking classes, these 10 hotels pull out all the stops to make sure tiny travelers have an unforgettable stay. And while you may be tempted to hang out in your room all day, Boston has so much to offer families, so get out and explore! Hit some museums, walk the Freedom Trail, take a spin on a carousel, or head to one of the city's awesome parks. You'll take heart knowing that a comfy bed awaits you at the end of a fun-packed day.

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