Waterfront/Faneuil Hall

What to Do on the Charles River with Boston Kids: Sailing, Kayaking, Duck Tours, and More

Winding through 23 towns, Boston's beloved Charles River is a great place to visit with kids, whether they're keen to cruise on the water or just play alongside it. We've rounded up our favorite family activities on the Charles, including hopping a Duck Boat, renting a canoe, picnicking on the Esplanade, and cheering on rowers at the Head of the Charles. No matter how you choose to spend your waterfront day, kids are sure to come away from their adventures with renewed appreciation for our hometown river.

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 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!

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.

25 Ways to Spend a Morning with Your Toddler in Boston

Once you've gotten through breakfast and downed your second (or third) cup of coffee, have you ever looked at your toddler and thought, "what the heck am I going to do with you today?" Too young for many full-time schools or camps, too old to just tag along on errands all day, toddlers are suited for fun, interactive activities that don't require a long attention span and will tucker them out for their afternoon nap. Fortunately for parents and caregivers, there are a plenty of great local activities that will get you both out of the house; and many attractions are 100% free for toddlers.

Boston's New England Aquarium: Guide to What's New and What to Do with Kids

My son loves animals of all kinds, so I knew we had to take him to the New England Aquarium as soon as he was old enough for the outing. Our trip did not disappoint! He was enthralled by the beautiful sea creatures and even got to experience some up close at the touch tanks. Here’s what I learned when we went to the Aquarium, including which exhibits are "must-sees," where the best kid-friendly dining options are, and how you can score discounts. With a new, 9,000-gallon Indo-Pacific coral reef display opening this spring, it's an especially exciting time to hit the Aquarium. Interested in more of our favorite kid-friendly Boston attractions? Check out our museum guide.

Where To See Holiday Lights In and Around Boston

Sure, not everyone goes in for all the traditions and tchotchkes that are associated with the holiday season. But we don't know anyone—young or old—who isn't delighted by winter wonderlands filled with lighted displays, twinkling trees, and sparkling scenes. We've rounded up some of the best light displays in or around Boston, from newer sensations like Blink!, downtown, to the storied La Salette Shrine, south of the city. Whether you venture out to a dazzling display or just drive around to these spectacularly decorated neighborhood homes, set aside an evening, bring a thermos of cocoa, and experience some magic as a family.

Boston Restaurants for Thanksgiving: Hosting All That Family Without Messing Up Your House

Thanksgiving is all about food and family, two of our favorite things. And while we love cooking a big meal, we also love when someone else does it for us … especially the clean-up! Going out to eat on Thanksgiving isn’t exactly traditional, but with a little help from some of Boston’s best restaurants, you can have a holiday that’s delicious, relaxing, and memorable. We rounded up 11 local spots that are serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal fit for the whole family so you can have a fun and festive holiday without all the mess and stress.

Best Pizza and Ice Cream Near Family Attractions in Boston

Introducing children to a great hiking trailmuseum, or landmark is always fun; that is until someone suddenly—and it's always suddenly—gets hungry. We've found that the best strategy for a smooth outing en famille is to pair an activity with a quick meal and easy dessert. Avoid frantic last-minute smartphone searches and map out these pizza and ice cream parlors, which are conveniently close to some of our favorite day-trip sites and also just happen to serve up some of the best slices and scoops in the area.

10 Enrichment Classes for Boston Babies

Many new parents look forward to participating in classes focused on music and art with their children. If you think you have to wait until your little one is older to do any sort of formal enrichment activity, you might be surprised to learn that there are many options available for even the littlest babies. These classes are a great way to bond and are perfect for providing much-needed stimulation for babies who are past the newborn stage. So here’s a roundup of 10 classes designed especially for Boston babies. 

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