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Fun Things to Do In Boston As a Family

  March 31

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Last week, our beautiful twin babies turned 1, and so we decided to take them on a weekend trip to Boston to celebrate. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Boston as a family, we have some great suggestions. Our trip was super quick, but we really had a good time.

We are a bit different than the average family because we didn’t throw our twins a birthday party or buy them presents for their birthday. Instead, this trip and actually making the effort to find fun things to do in Boston was their present, and it’s something we planned well in advance. We spent less than $100 for a weekend there, and it’s all part of our parenting goal to promote a curiosity of different cultures, places, people, and things.

In fact, we decorated their entire nursery in a travel theme because we believe in it so much!

By: Joylynn Breaux, Cher Bebe Birth Stories
By: Joylynn Breaux, Cher Bebe Birth Stories

It so hard to travel with kids, though. Y’all know that. The last time we really took them somewhere was when they were 6 weeks old and we drove for 3 days during our move from Louisiana to New Jersey. So, although that move was harrowing for us, they pretty much slept the whole time because they were so tiny.

During this trip, however, we had wiggly 1-year-olds on our hands. Kids who scream – loudly. Kids who don’t want to be in their carseats for 4 hours, so we weren’t sure how they would do at all but we learned a few things along the way.

So before I get to all the fun things to do in Boston, first let me share some…

Tips for a Road Trip With Babies

1. Leave at nap time. We actually had our neighbor come over and help us the morning we left. She watched the babies while we packed the car, and it worked out well. We rolled out of there like the cool kids that we are at 10AM with our car completely packed to the brim with bottles, formula, snacks, puffs, diapers, wipes, you name it. For a two day trip, we had 5 pieces of luggage. It was madness.

2. Find a mall. When the kids woke up two hours later, they were – how shall we say it – really, really ready to not be in the car anymore. And they politely let us know it of course. 😉 So, we lucked out and I found a mall that had a children’s play area. We took them in there, and they crawled around, through the little tunnels, and played a bit to get their energy out. We also fed them, changed them, and fed ourselves during this stop. From now on we’re always going to plan our road trip route where we can find a mall strategically along the way, because after they played they were ready to get right back in the car.

3. Have someone sit in the back seat. There came a point where the kids just were bored. No amount of yellow giraffe or bug toys or anything would keep them interested. I mean, they are 1. They already napped, and they couldn’t really move and they didn’t like it. So, I got in the back seat with them for a time, sang them songs, made them laugh, held their hands etc. and that really helped get them over the boredom hump so we could finish out the rest of our 4 hour trip without stopping again.

Fun Things to Do In Boston

So, once we actually got to Boston, we really wanted to make the trip about the kids. There are some amazing restaurants and sights to see there, but this was more of a family trip. So, the first place we hit up was children’s museum, and it’s definitely among the top fun things to do in Boston when you have little ones.

1. The Boston Children’s Museum

fun things to do in boston twins

Admission to the museum is free for kids under 1, so naturally I strategically planned to visit there two days before my twins turned 1 so I wouldn’t have to pay for them. 😉

It’s typically $15 for each child and each adult, but you can go to the public library and get a half-off date specific coupon. We stayed with our wonderful frugal blogger friends, the Frugalwoods, and they were kind enough to give us a half price coupon from their library.

So, all in all, our family of 4 got to enjoy the museum for $15 total. Without the coupon and had we gone a few days later when the kids were 1, it would have been $60 for our family. So, definitely plan because you can save a buck!

Although most of the museum was geared towards older kids, they had a whole section for kids 0-3 and an area just for crawlers so the beans were able to play together and try some new things. It feels so good to put so much effort into something (i.e. actually bringing the beans out of the house and to another location) and to see their little brains work as they play and learn something new. We just loved it.

fun things to do in boston twins 2

2. The Boston Fire Museum

This is a nice, small museum that I think is perfect for kids. It has several fire trucks in it for kids to look at and best of all, it’s free, although donations are appreciated. It was a bit tough to push the stroller in there because the corridors in between the fire trucks were a bit tight, but they have a lot of  things to look at. We just took a quick stroll through, but our little beans by that point were sound asleep.

fun things to do in boston fire museum

I love history and it was fun for me to see some of the memorabilia. It was within walking distance to the Children’s Museum mentioned earlier so it’s easy to hit both in one day. They are open mostly on Saturdays with some hours smattered throughout the week, so if you’re looking for fun things to do in Boston with your little ones, definitely give it a try.

3. Walk/Drive the Freedom Trail

I should mention that it’s actually hard to find fun things to do in Boston when it’s snowing out, and it totally was while we were there. When I planned the trip for late March, I hoped we could take a little walk with the stroller through the Freedom Trail, but because of the snow, that was not really an option with the little ones.

So, instead I downloaded a Freedom Trail app on my phone that talked about all the various historic markers as we drove past them. Fair warning, there are a lot of one way streets in Boston so it might take you a few tries to see it all, but there is some amazing history to soak up and enjoy. I was texting my best friend and fellow history nerd photos the whole time, and I can’t wait to go back with her someday!

There are, of course, many more museums and fun things to do in Boston but that is what we chose to do on our very quick weekend trip. As many of you know, we stayed with our blog friends but right before we were about to leave we saw a last minute Groupon deal for the Omni at $100 or so a night! That is a super nice hotel in a great location so I thought it was worth mentioning.

Hotels in Boston are extremely expensive, much like New York City, so if you want to stay somewhere nice, be sure to scope out those Groupon deals in the weeks leading up to your stay! As I said we only spent about $100 on this trip total since we stayed with friends, packed snacks, and got coupons to the museum. Our biggest expense was gas and tolls on the drives there and back!

So, just because Boston is an expensive city, don’t be deterred. As shown, there are tons of fun things to do in Boston even if you have a small budget. All you need is a little bit of time, some planning, and a few ideas of what you want to see to make your trip a success.

Do you know of any other fun things to do in Boston either by yourself or with family?

Boston can be an amazing trip for families! Check out these fun things to do as a family in Boston!

27 responses to “Fun Things to Do In Boston As a Family

  1. Belated happy birthday to your cutie twins Cat! I’m planning to have a one week vacation with my daughter too, having a great plan would totally make your trip a successful one!

  2. I had a summer internship outside of Boston ages ago. I really loved the area (though I did none of the things you listed above). I did tons of other things, though, which goes to show it’s an area that you can spend months on end, never do the same thing twice, and never get bored.

  3. So glad you all had such a good time in our fair city :)! We loved having you and, now I want to go to the Children’s Museum too!

  4. The Children’s Museum is such a gem!

    For more free activities, I love to go to Concord and see the Old North Bridge, Walden Pond, and where Emerson, Thoreau, and Alcott lived and are buried. There’s also the Battle Green in Lexington, and if you come on Patriot’s day, you can see a reenactment.

  5. The science museum is pretty good too. MIT has a nice little museum off campus and if you go into their main building on campus, they have little exhibits here and there that you can see for free, like a boat museum and stop motion photography and all sorts of machines.

    1. Oh and burdicks in Harvard square has amazing chocolate Cocoa and desserts. Pricey but high quality. Get the smallest sizes or plan to share.

  6. Boston has a ton of fun free stuff to do! I really like the MIT Museum and the Museum of Science, which are both well-suited for kids. Most of the museums in Boston will have a free night once a week.

    Some great spots if you like walking around is Mt. Auburn Cemetery (I swear it’s a lot less morbid than it sounds! And there’s a fun little tower you can climb and get great views of the Charles) and the Arnold Arboretum. Both are free. If you go to the Arnold Arboretum, you’ll be really close to the original J.P. Licks, a Boston-based ice cream company, which I’m sure the kids’ll love after a hard day of playing around.

  7. Our kids are a lot older but they love to visit the USS Constitution (admission is by donation) and walk around Faneuil Hall – there are usually street performers and lots so see! If only it would stop snowing 🙂

  8. Michael and I actually love going to children’s museums, even without kids. Is that weird? They’re so much fun, and there’s so much to see and play with! Thanks for the tip about the coupons for if we ever go to Boston.

  9. Boston is one of my favorite cities in the world. We have aaot of family in MA. My favorite thing is thing is probably the aquarium. Make sure you go next time!

  10. I LOVE the idea of a travel themed nursery! Adorable pics of your little ones during your time in Boston — sounds like you had fun and managed the car ride really well! I love visiting places with great history too, and hope to someday take a train or road trip and see a few places in the northeast, including Boston!

  11. When my daughter was only 1 year and 4 months, we travelled for about 5 hours and we were only riding on a public bus. It was very difficult especially when she got bored with the trip.

  12. I love Boston! Hubby went to school there so we love to take the train up and walk the city for a few days. My brother and sister in law moved up there last summer and we still need to go visit them, we are just waiting for the snow to melt. 🙂

  13. Boston is one of the places I have been wanting to visit. I heard that museums are really awesome in Boston and Fenway Park is a must-visit. I just wish I were with you to explore the place. Have fun!

  14. I’m amazed that you did this for only $100. We have nixed travel – except for visits to family – completely since our journey out of debt began. This post motivates me to think of ways that we might travel a bit as we continue to pay off our debts. Thanks : )

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