Why Boston, MA is Great With Kids
Updated: Mar 27, 2019
Boston, MA has been at the top of my travel list since I was a young girl. And, what's not to like? Storied American history, dreamy architecture, lush city parks, professional sports dynasties, museums galore and fall foliage in the city you'd never forget. I was so enamored by this place that my family and I moved to Boston! We lived just outside of Boston for the first two years of my son's life so I know all about what works for kids. Because, when your little one is that small they're practically attached to your hip and a constant companion on all your adventures.
Why It's Great With Kids!
The walk score of any where in the city of Boston must be a 100! The BEST thing about Boston (besides its overwhelming beauty) has to be the ability to walk from one end of the city to the other in just one day. For example, take a look at the Google Map below. You can make a round trip loop of the city proper in under 10 miles! Compared to other cities like NYC or Chicago, that makes Boston a tiny city. But, it's also why it's great with kids. You could UBER around or take public transportation but....why not walk and take in the sights like a local?Boston is incredibly safe and when you've got the stroller and the bag and the camera (and whatever else you're lugging around), it can be so much easier to just keep the peace. Don't you agree?
NOTE: The Google walking map is not an actual preferred walking route, the destinations were chosen to showcase the distance from one possible end of the city to another.
2) Great Day Escapes
Boston is great and you know what else, so is all of New England. As a road tripper, I'm a big fan! When my husband and I lived in New England we could not believe how compact the region was. Most major cities in New England are located just hours from each other. When we drove to NYC from Maine, we were parked in Midtown Manhattan within five hours. As Florida natives, it took us five hours just to traverse one end of the state to the other. So, take advantage of the New England area while you're there.
If you've got your car or a rental, head out for one or two of these great day trip destinations. Look for an upcoming blog post on why each one of these day trip destinations is such a unique experience!
Massachusetts: Rockport, MA, Provincetown, MA (via ferry), Concord, MA, Gloucester, MA
Maine: Ogunquit, ME, York Beach, ME,
Cape Neddick, ME
New Hamsphire: Portsmouth, NH
Rhode Island: Newburyport, RI
3) It's A Living History Book
I mean, I wish walking around gorgeous American cities was how we learned our country's history. When you follow the Freedom Trail, a historic self-guided walking route through the city, you'll not only meander through famous streets important to our country's American Revolution but also be led to many still intact buildings of historical significance. For example, the Union City Oyster House at Quincy Market, pictured left, is the oldest restaurant in the city. Remember, although the self-guided walk is free, admittance and guided tours at many of the historical sites along the route are an additional fee.
And, don't be afraid to get off the red marked Freedom Trail path which will be jammed with tourists. Head on over to the quiet (and posh) neighborhood of Beacon Hill to visit one of the most photographed streets in America, Acorn Street. Also, one of my favorite historical walks in the city is a family stroll down tree-lined Commonwealth Avenue in Back Bay. Locally, known as Comm Ave. This wide pedestrian boulevard is lined with statues of local historical significance. The walk dead ends at the Boston Public Garden!
4) Active Water Fun
Are you and your family active? No. You might want to read on (or who knows maybe something will catch your eye). But if you and your family are an active bunch, Boston is your destination. If you are a jogger, you're in luck. The Charles River Esplanade which snakes along the river for 17 miles is a runner's dream. Pack the jogging stroller and wake up early for a sunrise run along The Charles River. You can end your day with a family walk at dusk. Here's a runner's map of different routes by Boston Runner.
You can also kayak on the river as a family. Imagine, the experience of kayaking in the Charles River while Ivy League crew teams pass you by. Now that's an experience! The company Paddle Boston provides kayak (and canoe) rentals at five different locations around the city!
If you're kids are older and know how to bike, you have to use the city bike share to get around. SO MUCH FUN! Buy a $10 24hr Adventure Pass from Hubway, rent a bike in Back Bay, bike over the water, return it in Cambridge. There are dozens of stations peppered all over the city and it's such a fun way to get some exercise while also seeing the city of Boston. In total honesty, my hubby and I went biking by ourselves on a day date without our toddler.
Finally, continuing with our water theme, if you've got a family of fish who love to be in the water (my hand is raised!) then head to The Colonnade Hotel rooftop pool on Huntington Avenue. The pool is on the 12th floor and is open to outside guests during the week on a first-come first-serve basis (for a fee). It's hip, it's swanky, it's got a view AND kids are allowed! Go ahead and posh it up while your little ones splash around.
5) Professional Sports
Oh, Boston. You've got the Red Sox (baseball), the Celtics (basketball), the Bruins (hockey) and the Patriots (football). All professional sports teams and all repeat champions. Boston is what we sporty folks call a sports dynasty. Their teams know how to win and because they're winners their games are usually a great visitor experience; packed crowds, famous stadiums, star athletes, unique fan experiences. And, because Boston is a founding American city, going to one of their team sports is a historical experience as well.
If you're a football fan and you don't mind dropping a lot of cash, you can go to a Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots game (if tickets are available!). If you visit during the spring or summer, I'd recommend attending a World Series Champion Boston Red Sox game. The tickets are cheap and a visit to Fenway Stadium is absolutely worth it with kiddos. When the whole stadium sings "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" at the top of the 7th inning, it's pretty magical.
Boston City Travel Gear
what to pack to make your trip to Boston (with kids) as enjoyable as can be
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1) Baby Carrier
Imagine a vacation stroller free and HANDS free! Remember Boston was founded before 1700 and the streets/sidewalks reflect their age. There are very few on/off ramps from the sidewalk to the street for bulky strollers. It's a pain! Babywearing is a great alternative as long as baby and momma are both on board. For me, my daughter adores being held and is most content near my chest so babywearing really works for us. I've listed my four favorite baby carriers below. If I HAD to choose, my favorite wrap is the Moby Classic and for soft carriers, I would choose the Infantino Flip 4-in-1. You don't have to spend more than $50 for a trusty baby carrier. If you do choose to babywear in the city make sure you do it safely by following the manufacturer's instructions, keeping your little's head covered with a hat and make sure they have on sunscreen. I'd plan to give your back a break every hour and also switch off with your partner!
2) Canon Camera
You remember when I said Boston is beautiful and bursting with architectural charm? Don't miss out on this opportunity to photograph it with a real camera! You'll want the image resolution to enlarge the photos of your family and preserve the memories. I recommend the Canon brand because it's what I've used since forever and it's my trusty vacation companion.
3) Jogging Stroller
If you do plan to take that sunrise jog along the Charles River, you'll want the right gear for you and your little one. I am a big fan of the Graco brand. After lots and lots and lots of research and pouring over reviews and talking to mamas, I decided on Graco car seats for my babies. They have been reliable, safe, and durable. We have the Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger and we've taken it on many walks in the city. My husband takes my son for jogs. I love that it has a large undercarriage and a cellphone compartment. The drink cup holder also fits are portable stereo so we can listen to music while we go for walks!
I hope you're sold and choose to travel to Boston with your kiddos! It truly is such a magical place (and my personal fav)! Best times to visit are summer and fall (also the busiest).
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