In any kind of weather, New England indoor water parks mean family fun!
Latest posts by Fiona Haley
Greater Boston has so many great parks and playgrounds for kids birthday parties If your child was born in late spring, summer, or early fall, hosting their birthday party at a local park or playground is an easy, fun, and super-affordable option. Fortunately, there are a number of green spaces from Waltham to the waterfront where kids parties' are possible. The best part of all? Most are free (or nearly free). Just be sure to call or email each park in advance to reserve a spot to spread out (if necessary) and find out what kind of food and extras—like bounce houses or live entertainment—are allowed.
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, 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 some gloriously refreshing options that will keep kids entertained all day. On a scorcher of a long day, the fees—and even the drive—will feel well worth it.
For more ideas for summer activities, our Ultimate Boston Kids Summer Vacation Guide is packed with our top picks for fun in the sun. And check out 15 Swimming Lakes Near Boston You Need To Discover for more of our summer fun ideas.
Zoos are a popular destination for families with kids of all ages—who doesn’t love to gawk at giraffes and roar like a lion? While Franklin Park Zoo is a popular (and wonderful) option, there are six others within a 90-minute drive of Boston that each offer something unique for animal aficionados. Whether it’s Franklin Park’s sister zoo in Stoneham or York’s Wild Kingdom in Maine, there is an option for you within day-trip distance, offering entrance to another world of miraculous and mysterious creatures not normally seen around Boston.
Hayrides are a fall ritual for many families. Depending on the age of your child, you might be in search of a gentle meander through fields or a spine-chilling adventure that sparks Halloween excitement. Tons of Boston-area farms offer hayrides, and we’ve rounded them up for you here. The best part? Most of these farms also offer other activities to entertain your family, like apple picking, corn mazes, and delicious cider doughnuts. Happy—or spooky—trails!
For more seasonal fun for Boston kids, explore our Fall Fun Guide.
Boston kids are ready to get outside and play! Even if you live outside the city, consider a day trip to one of these innovative Boston-area playgrounds, which feature nature-inspired layouts, brain-boosting equipment, and wheelchair-accessible structures that promote inclusivity. These new-school playgrounds—two of which are also on our "destination playgrounds" list—are beautiful, safe spaces for kids of all ages and abilities to entertain and challenge themselves, so parents can watch from a distance as kids do what they were born to do: play.
If it's an especially warm day, consider a day trip to one of these Massachusetts spraygrounds and splash pads, too.
Camping is a wonderful way to explore the outdoors while spending serious quality time with your family—and you can do it all for much less money than you'd spend at a Boston-area hotel or vacation rental home. While Massachusetts is home to many campgrounds and campsites, we have selected eight that go out of their way to create a kid-friendly experience that combines adventure and creature comforts.
Whether you are camping in a fancy lakeside yurt or a pop-up tent in your backyard, make downtime and evenings fun with these camping games to play with kids.
Do you have a child who loves adventure—or who can often be found scaling walls or scrambling up trees? While a family hike is always a great outlet for these high-energy kiddos, you might want to up the ante with a day trip to an outdoor zip line course or ropes course around Boston. Massachusetts is home to a number of zip line courses with a range of age-appropriate challenges that will excite thrill-seekers young and old.
What if the weather is cold or wet? Kids can monkey around at these Boston-area indoor obstacle courses instead.