50 Fun Things To Do This Winter With Boston Kids

Things to do with kids in the winter months; indoor activities; outdoor fun like sledding, snowshoeing and ice skating; annual events, MLK Day, Chinese New Year, President's Day, February School Vacation, Valentine's Day
Boston has some prime sledding spots. Photo by Lynne Graves courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Winters in Boston can sometimes feel dark and dreary, but there are so many fun things to look forward to in the wintertime. Here’s a list of our favorite things to do in and near the city with kids during the coldest months of the year—activities to brighten even the grayest of days. Most are free or are inexpensive, because we know how empty wallets can feel after the holidays. 

Explore the galleries with a fresh pair of eyes. Photo courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

  1. Take the family on a sleigh ride
  2. Find out why Larz Anderson Park in Brookline is awesome for kids in the colder months. FREE
  3. See the Annual Ship Model Show at the USS Constitution Museum and make your own model ship (through the first week of January). FREE
  4. Let the kids climb the walls – literally – at an indoor rock gym.
  5. Take your preschooler sledding on a just-right hill. FREE
  6. Reimagine winter with a celebration of light, nature, and seasonal cheer at Tower Hill Botanic Garden (through Jan. 8).
  7. Trek the world in four days during Belmont World Film's annual Family Film Festival (mid-January).
  8. Honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the Boston Children’s Chorus during its annual Tribute Concert at Jordan Hall.
  9. Teach your kids how to cook with easy recipes you can make together.
  10. Explore an indoor garden.
  11. Embrace the wonders of the season at a winter fair, like the Harvard Square Chocolate Festival. FREE
  12. Indulge in a cup of steaming hot chocolate.
  13. Get crafty at these drop-in art and craft places.
  14. Nosh your way through Eataly or the Boston Public Market.
  15. Celebrate firefighters and perhaps a birthday at the Boston Fire Museum (open Saturdays).
  16. Ice skate on an outdoor ice rink or at one of the free ice skating rinks in Boston.
  17. Spend the day at the MFA
  18. Discover the wintertime secrets of The Cove. FREE
  19. Explore the grounds at Gore Place in Waltham on snowshoes (January through March).
  20. Experience art in a new way at the ICA Play Dates (last Saturday of each month except December). FREE
  21. Get up close and personal with the gorillas at Franklin Park Zoo
  22. Immerse yourself in a riot of color and sound during one of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown and around town.
  23. Explore the nooks and crannies of the Boston Public Library. FREE
  24. Listen to spoken word poetry, story-telling, or music at the long-standing, family-friendly Roslindale Open Mike Night, held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. 
  25. Celebrate Presidents Day at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum with special family programs.
  26. Take a winter day trip with the whole fam.
  27. Point your way to Providence, where New England's first ice rink bumper cars are available for cruising at the Alex and Ani City Center.
  28. Show some love with handmade Valentines.
  29. Experience Boston's favorite attractions in jelly bean form and have an adventure on the new ropes course in at Jordan’s Furniture in Reading.
  30. Join your neighbors and help birds by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count (mid-February). FREE
  31. Try cross-country skiing at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton and warm up in the Blue Hills Trailside Museum.
  32. Take a wonderful wintertime walk in and around the Boston area or in Rhode Island.
  33. Get your theme park fix at the indoor LEGOLAND Discovery Center.
  34. Monkey around at an indoor play space on the South Shore.
  35. Try hands-on engineering projects during National Engineers Week (mid-late February).
  36. Escape the dreary weather with a visit to a cheery indoor playground north of Boston.
  37. Visit the Harvard Museums to see flowers, totem poles, and world-class art.
  38. Enter the magical world of marionettes at the Puppet Showplace Theatre.
  39. Be STEM-ulated by the exhibits at the Museum of Science (and check out our tips for visiting with kids of different ages).
  40. Welcome spring at the Boston Flower & Garden Show (March). 
  41. Learn to ski (or snowboard) without leaving the Boston area.
  42. Play at these indoor locations (for free!). FREE
  43. Build your very own indoor obstacle course without leaving the house. 
  44. Participate in a free class or workshop and learn a new skill. FREE
  45. Skate down a path in Boston Winter, open through Feb 25.
  46. Too cold to skate outside? Vist this Snowmazing exhibit which includes indoor (sock) skating.
  47. Explore this winter-themed Snowflake Festival.
  48. Escape the chill in the air at an indoor water park.
  49. Have breakfast at Drumlin Farm and learn all about how to collect maple syrup.
  50. Visit Springfield and one of Massachusetts' newest, wackiest museums.

Published Dec 2013; updated Dec 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017