Preschoolers can be a finicky bunch. Maybe that's partly because they are straddling the fine line between little kid and big kid status: too old for some things, but too young for many others.
Fortunately, from museums to outdoor activities (not to mention tons of free stuff), Boston is filled with family fun that'll have your 3 to 5-year old jumping for joy.
Here are 25 wonderful ways to enjoy Boston with a preschooler.
1. Have fun preparing your preschooler for the next step at the Countdown to Kindergarten exhibit at the Boston Children's Museum.
2. Take a ride on the carousel on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
3. It's not just for tourists! Quack your way down the streets of Boston on a Duck Tour.
4. Ride the trolley to a specific destination or nowhere at all!
5. Visit the Make Way for Ducklings sculptures in the Public Garden and then hop on the Swan Boats.
6. In the warmer months, splash in the Frog Pond Spray Pool on Boston Common; in winter, skate under the stars on the Frog Pond's refrigerated ice.
7. Get some energy out at one or all of the three playgrounds on the Esplanade.
8. Get your preschooler excited about books and reading by visiting the awesomely renovated children's space at the Boston Public Library.
9. You can also visit two really cool book stores. The Make Way for Ducklings store is in Faneuil Hall, while the Curious George Store can be found in nearby Harvard Square.
10. Check out one of the many kid-friendly programs at Franklin Park Zoo, where kids can visit with the animals all year long.
11. Grab a hot dog or ice cream at Sullivan's on Castle Island and then fly a kite, collect shells and rocks on the beach and watch the planes from Logan Airport fly overhead.
12. Play with the penguins or check out one of the kid programs like Sea Squirts or Blue Discovery Family Days at the New England Aquarium.
13. For 40 years, Puppet Showplace Theater has been presenting engaging puppet plays to Boston area kids. Check out a show and introduce your preschooler to the theater arts.
14. The Museum of Science is not just for the big kids. There are plenty of things for preschoolers to enjoy as well, like the Discovery Center and Butterfly Garden.
15. Play a game of Wildlife Bingo at the Arnold Arboretum, a 281-acre living collection of trees, shrubs and vines.
16. Bring your preschooler to see a cool collection of historic cars at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum. And check their website for a calendar of family-friendly events.
17. Find a variety of music classes for you and your preschooler with Groovy Baby Music, with classes taught by professional musicians throughout the Greater Boston area.
18. Check out the Family Art Cart at the Museum of Fine Arts for activities for children ages 4 and up.
19. Your preschooler will feel on top of the world when you take the elevator to the top of the Prudential Tower and get a bird's eye view of Boston at the Skywalk Observatory.
20. Sign up for an Early Explorers session at the Boston Nature Center, where your preschooler can learn about the outdoor world through games, stories, art and outdoor time.
21. Check out a kids' show at the historic Coolidge Corner Theater.
22. Sign up for one of the Play Date programs at the Institute for Contemporary Art where children ages 3-6 participate in age-appropriate activities surrounding one of the exhibits.
23. Take the ferry to the Boston Harbor Islands and explore old forts, picnic on the beach or take a dip in the ocean.
24. Check out the antique fire equipment or celebrate a birthday at the Boston Fire Museum.
25. Visit the LEGO® DUPLO® Farm (and lots of other attractions) at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center and introduce your preschooler to the wonderful world of brick-building.