If you love a destination that is full of history, easily walkable and full of delicious food, head to Boston. A family trip to Boston is a chance to have a ball experiencing history together with your kids.
For a great overview … Hop on a Duck Boat tour
Not only does this tour give you a good overview of the city and the highlights, there’s something pretty amazing about driving from the street and splashing down in the Charles River. If you’re lucky, the ConDUCKtor will let kids help navigate the boat in the river.
For history buffs … Hit the Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is 2.5 miles long and a must-do, even if you only walk a portion of it. It’s free if you want to wander it yourself, and there’s an app to help you understand the significance of all 16 historic sites along the way. However, consider taking a guided tour to get the most out of the experience. There are several tours with guides in costume who can offer fascinating insight into what life was like in Boston leading up to and during the Revolution. We took a 90-minute tour through Lessons on Liberty and our tour guide, Michele, was a historian who is also a middle school social studies teacher. She was fantastic with the kids in our group, most of whom were tweens. Younger kids may love the Boston by Little Feet tour aimed at kids as young as six.
For those feeling rebellious … Meet colonists at the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum
This highly interactive museum is located on the Congress Street Bridge and makes you feel like you’re a part of the Tea Party. Kids can even toss tea overboard as the Sons of Liberty did in 1773.
For sports fans … Take the behind-the-scenes tour of Fenway Park
I know, it’s not Wrigley Field, but the Green Monster is also legendary and it’s worth checking out. Find details on the tour, which is also offered in the winter, here.
For book lovers … Take photos with the Make Way for Ducklings statues
The statues pay tribute to the book of the same name by Robert McCloskey and are fun photo ops.
For those who need tranquility … Glide across the water on a Swan Boat
Across the street from Boston Common is the Public Garden; it was founded two hundred years after the Common and maintains a Victorian feel today. The Swan Boats are in operation April through September. They have been gliding along the lake, operated by a driver who propels them by pedaling, for more than a century.
For nature lovers … Boston Common
In 1634, the Common was created as America’s first public park. While they let livestock graze there then, today it is a modern park. Kids will love the Frog Pond and the Tadpole Playground. There’s also a carousel.
For animal lovers … Befriend sea creatures at the New England Aquarium
There are several reasons more than 1.3 million people visit the aquarium, including the IMAX theater and the Giant Ocean Tank, a four-story coral reef featuring hundred of animals.
Where to eat:
The North End is culinary delight for everyone, especially kids, because it’s known for its pizza, pasta and amazing sweets. Try Regina Pizzeria, or just wander until you find a spot that calls your name. You can’t go wrong.
There are lot of places to get some amazing chowder, but the chowder from Legal Sea Foods has been served at every presidential inauguration since 1981. It’s a chain with many locations around the city and yes, there is lobster on the kids menu.
See if you can find the Cookie Monstah food truck in warmer months (they hit the streets starting in April). Sometimes you can find it and other food trucks along the Rose Kennedy Greenway, which is near Faneuil Hall. If you’re there, check out the Boston-themed carousel.
Where to stay:
When we visited, we stayed at the Omni Parker House, a historic hotel just off the Freedom Trail and close to Boston Common. It’s also where Boston Cream Pie and Parker House rolls originated.
The flight from Boston to Chicago is just over two hours, so it’s not a long haul at all.
If you’re up for a road trip, it’s just under a 15-hour drive.