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.
Latest posts by Fiona Haley
It's finally mid-April again, and Boston’s time to shine. Marathon Monday brings out the best of Boston, as half a million people come together to cheer on competitors from around the world. With 26 miles to choose from, it’s hard to know the best places to go to get the best view, while staying away from rowdy crowds. Here are a few spots along the marathon route where you can get a great view, while staying close to transportation and places to eat. If watching fife and drum brigades, battles, and other historical enactments is more your family's speed, check out these other Patriots' Day activity ideas.
As kids get older, it gets harder to find indoor family activities that aren’t “boring” or “stupid.” Fear not; there’s good news. If you’re the parent of older school-age kids or 'tweens, you might want to try an escape room adventure. People all over America are paying to be locked in a room for an hour—to try to get out, together. Escape rooms are the newest trend, and your family might love it. We’ve found five nearby escape rooms, or similarly-themed quest activities, where you and your kids can test your quick-thinking and problem-solving skills (and maybe do some bonding at the same time).
The Museum of Science is a gift to families in Boston, offering dozens of interactive displays that take hours to investigate, with ever-changing rotating exhibits. Its newest temporary exhibit, A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature, is just as enthralling and informative as the Museum’s permanent collections, teaching visitors about how patterns are found everywhere, from a shell's spiral to the veins on a leaf. Bonus: Entrance to the exhibit is included in the general admission, so you can check it out without having to chip in any extra. Here's what we discovered in this truly cool exhibit, and our recommendations for visiting.
Nobody can deny that there are plenty of wonderful ski resorts in southern and central New England. That said, sometimes families want to branch out for something a little different (without going so far as to board a plane to do it). When my family goes skiing, we go to Sugarloaf. Now, look—I know what you’re thinking. Why in the name of all that is holy would we voluntarily drive all the way up to the heart of Maine with children just to go skiing? Let me explain.
Find more family ski destinations in our Skiing and Snow Sports Guide.
The Museum of Science is a paradise for pretty much any curious kid, which is why, in a city packed with brainy attractions, the MOS is probably our crown jewel. Many of the exhibits are specifically aimed at children, with lots of opportunities for fun and hands-on learning, but parents are certain to learn something new when visiting the MOS. The catch: With 130,000 square feet of exhibit halls, it's nearly impossible to soak up every part of the museum, so it's best to go with a game plan in mind. While not every family is going to agree on their favorites, we're pretty certain you can't go wrong by hitting these highlights—none of which, by the way, require extra money beyond regular admission fees.
“Hooray! It’s time to take the kids to the airport," said no parent ever. We all know bringing children and their bags and their feelings to the airport can be an absolute nightmare. But Bostonians are in luck: Logan is, without bias, one of the kid-friendliest airports in the country. It has comfy restaurants, clean play areas, lactation stations, and, yes, lots of good coffee that will make your wait or layover slightly less painful. Here are some tips for getting there on time, and finding the good stuff once settled (hopefully not for too long).
Let’s be honest: Going to the museum can be an expensive proposition, especially with a whole family. Buying a membership might save you some money if you visit on a regular basis, but it has considerable up-front costs as well. When you’re thinking of making a commitment like that, it’s good to know which museums have special perks for their members. Some offer reciprocal memberships to other museums in the area and beyond, some provide entry to special events, and others give you a discount on food or items for sale in (or even outside) the museum. Whichever you choose, be sure to make the most of your membership (which, by the way, is 100% tax-deductible). Our city has some of the best museums for families in the U.S.!