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11 Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Boston That Don’t Feel Like a Field Trip

Exploring Boston through the lens of Nyja Richardson and her 8-year-old son. In collaboration with Meet Boston.

Boston Travel Guide

You ever go to a place and leave saying, “I can see myself living here?” That is how I felt after my latest visit to Boston. My 8-year-old son Nolyn and I took a quick 40-minute flight to Boston from New York for the weekend and, let me tell you, a time was had. We actually felt like we were right at home, exploring what the city has to offer and scouting each neighborhood for amazing vegan eats. I never realized how walkable Boston is, and we were able to visit most of our destinations on foot. From Legoland to the New England Aquarium, Boston is the perfect destination for a family vacation.

Where to Stay

Fairmont Copley Plaza

\u200bThe Fairmont Copley Hotel in Boston

If you want that classic New England feel in the heart of the city, Fairmont Copley Plaza is the place for you. Built in the 1900s, this landmark hotel has 383 rooms and a resident hotel dog named Cori, who greets you upon arrival and is available to take on a walk. As a millennial mom, I grew up on Disney Channel, so staying at Fairmont Copley Plaza was very nostalgic. During check-in, I was told that this hotel was the set of ‘The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody’–I’ve never been starstruck by a hotel lobby, but there’s a first time for everything.

What to Do

Experience the Boston Duck Tour

Boston Duck Tour
Boston Duck Tour

See the city via land and water, a conductor will narrate your boat tour with historical facts, landmarks, and comedy. This activity is great for the entire family; my son was even able to play behind the wheel!

Ride the Water Taxi

Boston Water Taxi

Wrapped around the Bay and the Charles River, taking a water taxi is not only a great way to see the sights of Boston, but often much faster than getting in an Uber.

Outdoor Movie at the Hatch Shell

Act like a local and enjoy an outdoor movie under the stars. Get there before the show starts for family fun and a chance to win prizes.

New England Aquarium

New England Aquarium

This was my personal favorite, especially after being so up close with the seals. There's so much to see at The Aquarium, definitely give yourself a half day or more to explore.

Explore Legoland

Legoland Discovery Center Boston was the perfect place for us to hang out during the rain. If your child is into legos or building, look no further. Legoland offers a themed ride, building opportunities, a 4D movie (parents be warned–you will get a little wet), and your kids will be able to take home what they built. Situated in Assembly Row, there were countless food options just outside Legoland. This was, for sure, my son’s favorite experience in the city.

Where to Eat & Drink

Lunch at the View Boston

View Boston

At ‘View Boston,’ dine in the clouds with 360-degree views of the city. Grab a cocktail (or two), enjoy some light bites, and take in the breathtaking scenery of Boston below.

Lunch at Boston Public Market

Boston Public Market

Dine like a local and head over to Boston Public Market, where the vibe is food-hall-meets-farmers-market. There is an abundance of different cuisines, an ice creamery, fresh and local seafood, and so much more. Our favorite, Union Square Donuts, had a kiosk, so we stocked up on some delicious vegan treats.

Dinner at High Street Place

High Street Place Boston

You know those moments when you're with friends and no one can agree on a place to eat? Well, High Street Place is the perfect cure for that! The aesthetically pleasing food hall has every possible cuisine you can imagine. It also includes a beer bar, wine bar, and a champagne vending machine if you are interested in popping bottles. Nolyn and I couldn’t decide on one place, so we ordered a little something from each restaurant.

Where to Explore

Back Bay

Back Bay Boston

We stayed in Back Bay–Copley Square, to be specific. Back Bay has a city feel with a touch of Parisian architecture. If you happen to be in Boston between July and October, head over to pedestrian-only days on Newbury Street, where you are free to explore the eight-block stretch of shops, galleries, and restaurants in a lively block party atmosphere. Many Boston neighborhoods host Open Streets activations during the summer and fall months, including Jamaica Plains, Roxbury, Dorchester, Allston, and East Boston.

North End

The North End is home to narrow streets and holds a lot of America’s history. Also known as Boston’s Little Italy, this is the neighborhood to find homemade pasta, Italian canned goods, and authentic restaurants.

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