What Can Families Do At Night In Boston
Just like in the previous section, there are so many family-friendly activities to do in Boston at night! But if you need more suggestions, below are some more ideas of things to do in Boston at night as a family.
- Outdoor movie watching in various parks especially in summer
- Climbing at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Find Out What’s Happening In Bostonwith Free Real
Fear not, parents! Boston is full of great free activities for families to do together. From outdoor activities to cultural events, these free things are bound to keep the kiddos entertained — and your wallet happy. You won’t feel like you have to spend all day at the museum to make up for that shocking ticket price, and if a little one has a meltdown, you can just pack up and try again next week. After all, admission was free!
Next time that you or your kid reach the point where spending one more moment at home feels about as exciting as watching paint dry, it’s time to check out one of Boston’s many free activities for kids. Here are 10 of our favorites to get you started.
Why Visit Boston With Kids
Many people stumble upon Boston when they come for work or to look at schools. This is exactly how I was introduced to the city in 4th grade. My parents had a conference in Boston and brought us along for the trip, and I fell in love!
But, it is truly one of New England’s treasures, and one must visit place in the United States.
One of the best things about Boston is that it is easy to get around, making it one of the best USA weekend trips! You can see and do a lot of things with kids in just two or three short days.
We definitely experienced some of the best activities in Boston for kids, so much so that I always dreamed of living here! In fact, there are many amazing things to do in Massachusetts.
But, this city is particularly special. In Boston, fun things to do with little ones isn’t hard because it is a very family friendly city. Here’s why you should bring kids to this wicked amazing city.
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Enjoy A Free Tour Of Harvard
Known for being one of the most well-respected schools in the United States, Harvard has a long and storied history in the Boston area.
Free tours led by students and it includes an outdoor walk around the campus and Harvard Yard.
While walking through Harvard, a guide will provide valuable information about the school and give you a look into the life of a student.
We also have a free self-guided tour of Harvard University.
Free Admission Days At Boston Museums
Boston’s Museum scene offers interesting venues for all interests, from art & history to science and nature, and everything in between. Many museums offer free admission days for kids, so it’s helpful to know how & when you can take advantage of that.
The Seaport area has enjoyed significant development in recent years. We always recommend stopping by the Lawn on D to play in Boston’s community ‘backyard’. This park and playground oasis for children and adults is just a short walk from the seaport area, over near the Boston convention center.
Well known for their giant circular swings , visitors are welcome to come play popular backyard games like cornhole, ping pong, bocce, Jenga and more, while listening to live music and enjoying the outdoors.
One of our favorite things to do is to visit the Rose Kennedy Greenway – one of the most welcome results of the famous post-Big-Dig transformation.
Theres always something wonderful to enjoy from the open green spaces, artisans markets, well-manicured gardens, revolving art installations, splash fountains, coloful murals, food trucks and of course the Greenway Carousel This one-of-a-kind carousel features uniquely designed animals native to Boston, and its a terrific photo op.
Quincy Market is right across the street. Quincy Market is great destination for shopping, grabbing a drink or a snack, people watching, and of course enjoying a an entertaining busker performance.
Castle Island and Fort Independence
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Boston Public Garden Best Free Things To Do In Boston With Kids
The Public Garden next to Boston Common was Americas first public botanical garden and remains a beautiful example of Victorian traditions. Its one of Bostons top points of interest and one of the top free things to do in Boston on a sunny day.
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One of the highlights for kids? A ride on the famous Swan Boats which have been operating on the pond since 1877. Rides are about 15 minutes and cost just $4 for adults and $2.50 for kids up to 15 years old.
Youll also love taking the kids to the Public Garden in May for the Duckling Day Parade, one of many fun things to do in Boston with toddlers. Every year, over 1,000 people dress up and celebrate the book Make Way for Ducklings while led by the Harvard Marching Band.
Let Your Kids Reenact The Boston Tea Party
Every year on December 16th, costumed re-enactors portray Colonial Patriots and Loyalists as they recreate the famous Boston Tea Party, the Boston protest that sparked the Revolutionary War. Your kids can watch the town debate leading up to the decision, and then join the procession to the Harbor to dump the tea.
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Stop At Mike’s Pastry
While in the North End, after dinner, Mike’s Pastry is a must visit for a famous cannoli. Don’t be alarmed when you see the massive crowd inside. This place is famous and tourists come from all over to try it and get a box of sweets in one of the signature white and blue boxes.
Mike’s Pastry is always well-staffed and used to quickly moving customers along so you won’t have to wait long before delighting in one of these incredible treats! Note that it is cash only.
Go On A Swan Boat Ride
Although its not technically free, there is a wonderful swan boat rental service available at Boston Common.
If youre already planning to come here for the free playground or the Frog Pond, you may also want to consider taking a short boat ride around the lagoon of the Boston Public Garden.
- Tickets: $4/Adults | $2.50/Children | $3.50/Seniors
This service is only available during the warmer months. Weather permitting, the Swan Boats are open every day during the Spring and Summer.
TIP: Tickets for the Swan Boat are included with the Go Boston Card.
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Enjoy The View At Top Of The Hub
While the food at this popular restaurant may not be free, the view wont cost you a dime.
At 52 floors above the Back Bay, Top of the Hub is one of the most popular dining establishments in the city thanks to both the quality of their meals and the incredible views of Boston.
Even though you have to make reservations for a table, you are free to visit the lounge whenever you like and there is no fee for admission.
As such, you dont necessarily have to pay anything to see the view for yourself.
NOTE: Looking for a good view of the city? Consider visiting one of the more popular Boston observation decks for a different perspective of the skyline.
Explore Boston Common And The Public Garden
Amidst the modern buildings that have surrounded the historic sites around the city, Boston Common along with the Public Garden is a beautiful urban park and a tranquil spot for quiet strolls and admiring nature. Americas oldest park, at about 50 acres, continues to offer so many things to both visitors and locals. The adjacent Public garden was the countrys first public botanical garden.
The Duckling Sculpture of Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings is a popular stop for photos. The sculpture was based on Robert McCloskeys bestselling classic called Make Way for Ducklings. If you want to see some real ducks or even some swans, make your way to the artificial lake. The lagoon was one of the best places for a stroll.
For a small fee , visitors can also go around the lagoon on Swan Boats for about 12-15 minutes. The boats are operational from April to September. We were here during late summer and loved seeing all the many flower beds, shrubs and trees. Im sure its even more beautiful and vibrant during spring and fall.
Walk around and you never know what will greet you around the corner. An audio tour of the Public Garden is available. The Frog Pond in Boston Common turns into an ice skating area during winter and a spray pool for kids in the summer.
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Visit The Bunker Hill Monument
Another must-see stop for any history buff is the Bunker Hill Monument and Museum. Ran by the National Park Service, youre sure to learn just about everything youd like to know about this important battle, which was one of the first major ones of the Revolutionary War, through tours and interpretive displays. If youre up to it, you can also get an amazing view from the top of the monumentIf you dont mind climbing up 294 stairs!
Ghosts And Gravestones Trolly Tour
One of my favorite recommendations to enjoy something fun in the evening in Boston with kids is the Ghost and Gravestones Trolley tour, for anyone who likes ghost stories. After boarding the haunted trolly, ghostly guides dressed in historically haunted clothing, lead families on a frightfully good time of tales of history and the ghost stories that accompany it.
In a place like Boston, a city with so much history and many fascinating stories, it is a great evening activity to enjoy with kids.
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Spend Some Time At Harvard Square
If youre going to be visiting Harvard, make sure to stop by this location to see if there is anything going on. Harvard Square is often the site of several events in Cambridge, including carnivals, musical performances, and even chocolate tasting festivals!
In addition to these activities, you can also drop by the Curious George store which is right across the street. While the products they sell wont be free, they dont charge anything to enter and look around.
This is the only store in the world that exclusively features items based on Curious George, one of the most beloved childrens books of all time.
After spending some time in this general area, you might want to think about heading North to Cambridge Common. This is where youll find the Alexander W. Kemp playground, which is a great place for kids to have some fun.
Alternatively, its worth noting that Harvard University provides free tours throughout the year. Even if you choose to visit at a time when these services are not available, you can always take our pay-what-you-wishCambridge and Harvard Tour or simply take our self-guided Harvard Tour instead.
Free Discovery Packs At Arnold Arboretum
Borrow a fun Discovery Pack at the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University and go exploring the 281 acres of plant life and trees as a Living Museum or Science Lab.
Activities range in ability for children over 3 years of age and you can customise the packs to suit your childs age.
You can also join a family walk or a family drop-in to experience the sights and sounds of the Arnold Arboretum on tours and activities geared toward children ages three to eight and above. Walks are free and led by Arboretum staff or volunteers. Meet at the Visitor Center or on the Hunnewell Building lawn. Adults may bring a maximum of three children. Free but registration requested for the hikes.
Visiting New York too? Check out our 10 Free Things to do with Kids in New York here!
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Check Out The Boston Fire Museum
Most kids love firefighters, so this is a no-brainer for families.
Located at the site of an old city firehouse, the Boston Fire Museum features several exhibits and artifacts detailing the history of firefighting.
In addition to buckets for water and trumpets used to direct firemen, there are also a few historic fire engines in their collection.
There is no admission charge for any visitor, but they do appreciate any and all donations that guests can give them.
The Boston Fire Museum is only open on Fridays & Saturdays.
- Admission: Free
Stargaze At The Coit Observatory At Boston University
Enjoy free observations of the nights sky at Coit Observatory on Wednesday evenings starting at 7:30pm in autumn and winter and 8:30pm in spring and summer, weather permitting. Look at the starry sky through telescopes and binoculars while learning a little astronomy. The program is an hour long and perfect for the whole family!
Tickets are free, limited to 5 per person, and made available online on Thursday mornings.
My son loves the astronomy nights at the Observatory! Wrap up warm in the winter though! Mike H.
What did I miss? Im sure you can recommend some more free things to do in Boston with kids! Wed love to hear them, so please let us know in the comments below!
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Prudential Sky Walk Observatory
The Skywalk Observatory on the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower, Bostons tallest buildings, offers spectacular 360 degree views of Greater Boston and beyond. On a clear day you can see for 100 miles, to the beaches of Cape Cod to the south and the mountains of New Hampshire to the north. Everyone receives an Acoustiguide audio tour to help pick out the citys most interesting sites, and theres a special version for children. Tickets also include a visit to the Dreams of Freedom museum, tracing the many nationalities that make up the multi-lingual Boston population and two short multi-media films, Wings Over Boston, and Dreams of Freedom. No worries about weather, as the glass-walled Observatory is completely indoors, but be sure to choose a clear day.10am 8pm, summer hours to 10pm.
The Freedom Trail National Park Service Visitor Center Fanueil Hall
Countless families have gotten a lively lesson in American history following the 2 1/2-mile, red-brick line of Bostons Freedom Trail, where sites such as the Old South Meeting House,and Old State House bring to life the events that led to American Independence. For young travelers,its probably better to do the trail in sections. Begin at Boston Common for the central sights, at Fanueil Hall for the Paul Revere House and Old North Church as well as the chance for a tasty meal in Bostons very Italian North End. The Trail is part of Boston National Historic Park maintained by the National Park Service. Brochures for self-guided tours and many guided tours are available at the parks Fanueil Hall Visitor Center as well as at the Boston Common Visitors Center at 148 Tremont Street. You can also opt for a hop-on, hop-off trolley tour or a special one hour walking tour designed for children ages 6 to 12 called Boston by Little Feet .Daily 9am 6pm.
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Paul Revere House & Old North Church
The Paul Revere House is the oldest standing private home in Boston and once belonged to Paul Revere. It is a small museum comprised of rooms decorated in authentic colonial style. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house in about 30 minutes and the nominal admission it cash only.
The Old North Church & Historic Site is famed by Paul Revere’s ‘One if by land, and two if by sea’ lantern ride. Built in 1723, it has the city’s tallest steeple in Boston at 191 feet. Old North Church is right in the heart of Boston’s North End, so be sure to grab a cannoli at Mike’s or Modern pastry or some delicious Italian food as you pass through.
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Visit the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum and reenact historical events. Visitors interact with costumed characters at a town meeting regarding taxation without representations and then you’ll get to board the ships and toss tea into the harbor in protest. It all makes for great fun as a family, offering experiences that are both educational and entertaining.
The Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum is a re-creation of the famous protest in a full scale replica of the tea party ship, also museum exhibits. It’s a great place for kids to learn first-hand what happened at the Boston Tea Party.
Each interactive tour will last about one hour with a guided experience throughout the ships & museum. Your 18th Century Host will lead you through a colonial town meeting, where you will play the part of a historic participant, and then move onto one of the ships to “dump the tea” into the harbor.
Inside, exhibits, shirt films and artifacts are displayed, and to round out your experience, you can visit Abigail’s Tea Room, where you can enjoy freshly baked goods, and of course, a cup of tea.
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