We're huge fans of the many outdoor ice rinks that open every winter around Boston, but these popular (and touristy) spots can get pretty crowded and just a bit pricey. What’s a Boston mom or dad to do? Don't worry: Boston happens to have lots of public skating options that are totally free! Here’s what you need to know to have a fun, no-cost time as a family at these 10 free skating rinks around town.
Latest posts by Elyse Andrews
There are all sorts of local spots to play indoors when the weather gets frightful. And some of the best spots are absolutely free—including some very special local libraries, which feature unique play spaces along with shelves of books. Whether you’ve got a preschooler or a pre-teen, a trip to at least one of these libraries will be a fun, brain-boosting escape on a cold or wet day.
One of the quintessential holiday activities for kids is meeting Santa and telling him their Christmas wishes. Make this tradition even better this year when you and your family attend a breakfast or brunch with the big guy in red. At these events, you’ll get to enjoy a delicious holiday meal, spend some extra time with Mr. or Mrs. Claus, and participate in other seasonal activities. Bring your camera to capture all of the festive fun and make your reservation early—spots at some of these events go quick!
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.
New Englanders big and small love their doughnuts. And while we’ve got nothing against Dunkin’, we really enjoy visiting local shops, which serve up everything from classic apple cider doughnuts to maple-bacon-flavored beignets. We can hardly think of a more kid-friendly food—especially when sprinkles and frosting are involved—so bring the whole family when you go sample of some of the tastiest treats in the city at a dozen of our favorite doughnut shops.
Boston has long been home to some of the best museums in the world, showcasing art from around the world. Recently, the city has acquired an extensive collection of free public art where families can get up close and personal with installations of all kinds. Some of these exhibits are permanent, while others are on view during the fall. Either way, crisp autumn weather provides the perfect backdrop for exploring public art throughout the city.
Salem gets most of its visitors in October, when Halloween rolls around the city is absolutely packed with revelers. But while Witch City really comes alive in the fall, it's a smart destination for an easy day trip or weekend getaway in other seasons, too. From getting there on the ferry and learning the history of the Salem Witch Trials to eating some great local food and exploring beautiful outdoor areas, there's year-round fun for the whole family.
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 and mountain resorts nearby, there’s likely a beer garden near you that's open from summer through fall or just in celebration of Oktoberfest. Sip—and play!