Boston Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended Boston Family-friendly activities

Boston: New England Aquarium Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket

1. Boston: New England Aquarium Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket

Enjoy a skip-the-line entry ticket to the New England Aquarium. Start your visit to the New England Aquarium at the charming penguin colony, before experiencing 360-degree views of the spectacular new 4-story Caribbean coral reef teeming with more animals than ever before. Take a stroll on the spiral walkway around the reef as sea turtles, sharks, moray eels, and tropical fish glide through their vibrant habitat. From sea jellies to sea dragons, you will explore the planet without leaving downtown Boston. The Aquarium is a treasure trove ready for exploration by families and ocean lovers. Your admission ticket includes entrance to the following exhibits: Amazon Rainforest Head to the Amazon rainforest without leaving Boston. The New England Aquarium’s 6 Amazon exhibits allow you to dive into the Amazon River and climb through the dense forest without getting wet or needing bug spray. Several of the exhibits feature large windows that reach nearly to the floor, providing perfect viewing opportunities for small children. Atlantic Harbor Seals The harbor seals exhibit is the only one you can actually visit before buying your Aquarium ticket. Watch the seals swim, play, and sleep, and learn more about them during a free training session. The 42,000-gallon harbor seal exhibit is located outside on the Front Plaza, to the left of the Aquarium’s front doors. The exhibit is open to the New England weather, which suits these New England creatures perfectly. Blue Planet Action Center This dynamic exhibit presents the serious challenges facing the oceans and showcases the Aquarium's global leadership in searching for solutions, through its interactive displays, interpretive presentations, and small live animal exhibits. Coral Reef Center At the top of the Giant Ocean Tank, a glass railing maximizes your view of many of the predators swimming high in the water column. You can now easily recognize creatures resting on the tank’s bottom more than 24 feet below. That exceptional viewing is enhanced by a theatrical-quality lighting system that is built into a beautiful blue reflective ceiling dome. A new exhibit gallery on the same level showcases reef biodiversity and gives visitors a closer look at a hidden world populated by unique coral reef animals. The Giant Ocean Tank The 4-story Giant Ocean Tank features a brand new coral reef, an underwater communications system, large windows, and hundreds of Caribbean reef animals, including sea turtles, stingrays, eels, and fish. At its deepest point, the exhibit goes down 26 feet, is 40 feet wide, and holds 200,000 gallons of salt water. The water is heated to between 72 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the perfect temperature range for this tropical exhibit. The exhibit is so big that it was built first and then the rest of the Aquarium was constructed around it. Gulf of Maine The Gulf of Maine stretches from Cape Cod to Canada and includes Boston Harbor and the Stellwagen Bank. The water is cold but bursting with life. As you explore exhibits ranging from shore to deep-water boulder reefs and sandy sea floors, you will encounter lobsters, cod, goosefish, and giant sea stars. The 6 Gulf of Maine exhibits cover more than half of the Aquarium’s third level. Pacific Community Reef Dive into the tropical waters of a Pacific coral reef and get to know some of the rainbow-colored fish that call it home. This 5,100-gallon exhibit houses nearly 70 different kinds of tropical reef fish. Marine Mammal Center Watch California sea lions dart through the water and limber northern fur seals lope in this beautiful open-air exhibit space. Learn about the challenges marine mammals face in the wild, and get a new perspective on these fascinating marine mammals. Penguins The Aquarium is home to more than 80 penguins who live in a bustling colony found on Level 1 surrounding the Giant Ocean Tank. The Aquarium breeds African penguins as part of a Species Survival Plan and promotes educational programs about penguins. Seadragons Every visit to the New England Aquarium should include a stop at the seadragon exhibit. There are only 2 seadragon species in the world, and this stunning exhibit displays both of them. The leafy seadragon and the weedy seadragon both use their exceptional camouflage to hide from hungry predators. Challenge yourself and see how many seadragons you can find during your visit.

Boston: Harvard University Guided Walking Tour with Student

2. Boston: Harvard University Guided Walking Tour with Student

Join a student-led walking tour of America's oldest university, Harvard. See the historic campus through the eyes of a student and visit highlights, including the John Harvard Statue and Memorial Hall. Beginning in the heart of Harvard Square, you'll be led into the historic Harvard Yard by an enthusiastic Harvard student. Enjoy the sights while your guide entertains and inspires with tales of Harvard history and personal experience at the university they call home. You'll get an up-close look at major Harvard landmarks including Johnston Gate, the John Harvard Statue, Memorial Hall, and Widener Library. You'll even become privy to a few Harvard secrets along the way! Whether you're a student visiting colleges or a family on vacation, the Hahvahd Tour is undoubtedly the top way to see Harvard.

Boston: Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum Interactive Tour

3. Boston: Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum Interactive Tour

Considered the most important event that led to the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party was part of a resistance movement in British America. Be part of this event that changed history on an interactive tour. Meet live characters, see replica ships, and learn about the people involved. Take a handbill from one of the colonists and find out what part you’ll play. In the meeting house, hear the story of the night of December 16, 1773 and receive your own mohawk disguise before the march to Griffin's Wharf begins. Experience the thrill of throwing a crate of tea into the sea and explore the replica ships that recreate the original vessels from the 18th century. Inside the museum, travel back in time with 3D holographic characters and watch British soldiers and colonial patriots argue right before your eyes. Then experience the battle inside the giant wraparound theater for a complete history lesson.

Boston: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor

4. Boston: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor

Admire the sights of Boston with a 2-hour lunch or 3-hour dinner cruise on Boston Harbor. Savor an extensive buffet aboard the Spirit of Boston, and visit any of the 3 climate-controlled decks to watch the city glide by. Upon arrival, receive a personal greeting and have your photo taken by the ship's photographer to capture the memory. After being seated at your private table, feast on your lunch or dinner buffet consisting of creative meals prepared fresh daily. While you eat, listen to tunes from an onboard DJ. After your meal, go out on deck for panoramic city views. SAMPLE BUFFET MENU Salads Caesar Salad Romaine Lettuce | Aged Reggiano Parmesan Cheese | Herb Croutons Bow Tie Pasta Salad Scallions | English Cucumbers | Roma Tomatoes | Dill & Mustard Vinaigrette Vegetables, Potatoes, and Pasta Roasted Broccoli Florets, Creamed Corn and Cheddar Cheese Casserole, Mashed Potatoes Entrees Baked Ziti Pasta, Oven-Baked Atlantic Flounder, Filet Honey, and Sesame Chicken, Italian Beef Meatballs, Braised Beef Short Ribs Desserts Seasonal Spirit Dessert Display Please note that menu items are subject to change.

Boston: Franklin Park Zoo Entry Ticket

5. Boston: Franklin Park Zoo Entry Ticket

Pre-book your entrance ticket to the Franklin Park Zoo and enjoy a day filled with meeting hundreds of remarkable species from around the world. Explore the 72-acre zoo nestled in Boston’s historic Franklin Park. Make your way around at a leisurely pace as you go from exhibit to view remarkable species that call the zoo home. Visit exhibitions such as the Kalahari Kingdom, Giraffe Savannah, Nature’s Neighborhoods, and the Outback Trail. Stand face-to-face with western lowland gorillas at one of five glass viewing stations. Come across ring-tailed lemurs, pygmy hippos, and a giant anteater. Discover African lions, Masai giraffes, Grevy's zebras, cute red pandas, prairie dogs, kangaroos, and emus.

Plymouth: Plimoth Patuxet Living History Museums

6. Plymouth: Plimoth Patuxet Living History Museums

Journey back to the 17th century at Plimoth Patuxet and experience a unique immersion experience. The main campus includes two living history exhibits (Patuxet Homesite, 17th Century English Village) the Craft Center, Davis Gallery Exhibit in the visitor center, four retail stores, a cafe, and Nye Barn where some of the Rare Breeds animals live in addition to the Village to portray the Pilgrim story. After you view the orientation film in the Henry Hornblower Visitor Center, begin your experience at the historic Patuxet Homesite on the banks of the Eel River where guests learn about the Native peoples who have lived here for over 12,000 years. Learn about the indigenous heritage of the Northeast from contemporary interpreters who discuss the 17th-century life-ways of a culture that continues to thrive today. Following the path, your next stop is the Craft Center where you will meet Plimoth artisans reviving historic crafts. Restrooms and refreshments are available here. Then, proceed to the 17th-Century English Village, a journey 400 years back in time. Plymouth Colony comes to life in a recreation of the early English Pilgrim settlement, complete with timber-framer houses furnished with reproductions of the types of objects that the Pilgrims owned, aromatic kitchen gardens and heritage breed livestock. Historical performers, portraying real people who lived in Plymouth Colony, will educate and captivate with stories of the Mayflower's crossing, life among the Pokanoket and other nearby Native people. Help with chores, learn a dance, sing a song, or serve in the militia drill under Captain Standish's watchful eye. Back in the Henry Hornblower Visitor Center, you will find Plentiful Café, where a wide selection of culinary treats from history, including Wampanoag and pilgrim foods, can be found. Try a 17th-century recipe cheesecake or the sensational Indian pudding. Upgrade to a Combo Ticket or Heritage Pass to include a visit to Mayflower II or/and Plimoth Grist Mill. The iconic Mayflower II is docked on Plymouth's historic waterfront and welcomes visitors to climb aboard and experience what the 1620 crossing was like for the Pilgrims. Plimoth Grist Mill is a working mill on the original site of the Plymouth colony, within walking distance of the Plymouth waterfront and downtown, and approximately 2.5 miles north of Plimoth Patuxet. Journey back in time to the first water-power-driven grist mill in the country still in operation.

Boston CityPASS®: Save 47% at 4 Top Attractions

7. Boston CityPASS®: Save 47% at 4 Top Attractions

Boston CityPASS has collected the top must-see, must-do attractions and priced them 47% less than the same tickets purchased separately.   Boston CityPASS includes admission to: 1. New England Aquarium- Let your imagination swim wild! Marvel at the bustling penguin colony and soak in views of the spectacular four-story Caribbean coral reef teeming with more than 1,000 animals. Plus, don’t miss seals, sea lions, and the hands-on shark and ray touch tank during your unforgettable Aquarium adventure! 2. Museum of Science- Just imagine getting up close and personal with a 65-million-year-old Triceratops fossil, witnessing an indoor lightning storm and taking a journey inside the human body. With 700 interactive exhibits, exciting temporary exhibitions, daily presentations, and live animals, there is something for everyone! Create, experiment and have fun at the Museum of Science! Plus your choice of admission to 2 of the following: 1. Franklin Park Zoo - Explore 72 acres of wildlife habitat in Boston’s historic Franklin Park. See wild faces from wild places—from fuzzy forest dwellers to winged wonders. Visit Serengeti Crossing to see zebras and ostrich, experience farm life, and visit the tropics with ring-tailed lemur and gorillas. Be inspired by the Zoo’s mission to protect and sustain the natural world and learn how you can contribute to wildlife conservation. 2. Boston Harbor City CruiseEnjoy the sea breeze, spectacular skyline, and ocean views. Discover the historic and contemporary sites and nuances of Boston Harbor during this fun, informative, and fully-narrated 90-minute boat cruise. 3. Harvard Museum of Natural History Spark your curiosity in the natural world at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, located on the campus of the oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S., steps from the picturesque Harvard Yard. See dinosaurs, whales, and hundreds of wildlife specimens from around the world.

Boston: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions

8. Boston: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions

The Boston All-Inclusive Pass by Go City provides you access to over 40 of the area’s top activities, attractions, and tours for a single low price. Enjoy planning your own itinerary while saving up to 45% compared to the cost of individual attraction tickets. Choose a 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7-day pass and visit as many attractions as you like during that time. Take a Trolley Tour, visit the New England Aquarium, or explore the Museum of Science. These and many other options are included in the cost of your Boston All-Inclusive Pass. A free digital guide helps you decide what to do, where to go, and how to get there. Below, "(R)" means that reservations are required. Included attractions with your Boston All-Inclusive Pass: TOURS AND ACTIVITIES • Historic Sightseeing Cruise (Seasonal - April to October) • CityView Hop-On Hop-Off Boston Trolley Sightseeing Tour: 2-Day Ticket (Seasonal - April to November) • Fenway Park Tour • Swan Boats of Boston (Seasonal - April to September) • The Harvard Tour • Boston Movile Mile Walking Tour (Seasonal - April to October) (R) • Boston Bike Rental • Battle Green Tour • Hyannisport Harbor Cruise (Seasonal - May to October) • Cape Cod Canal Cruise (Seasonal - May to October) • Liberty Ride (Seasonal - April to October) • Boch Center Wang Theatre Tours MUSEUMS AND PLACES OF INTEREST • New England Aquarium • Old State House Museum & Old South Meeting House Combo Ticket • USS Constitution Museum • Museum of Science • Paul Revere House • Museum of Fine Arts • Salem Witch Museum (R) • Boston Children's Museum (R) • Harvard Museum of Natural History (R) • JFK Presidential Library and Museum • Plimoth Patuxet plus Mayflower II or Grist Mill Combo (Seasonal - April to November) • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston • Franklin Park Zoo • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum • Peabody Essex Museum • Institute of Contemporary Art • House of the Seven Gables • Buckman Tavern • Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology (R) • Otis House Museum • Concord Museum • Old Sturbridge Village • John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum (Seasonal - April to September)

Boston North End Pizza Tour

9. Boston North End Pizza Tour

Pizza is without a doubt America's favorite food. In all, there are over 61,000 restaurants serving pizza in the US, and Massachusetts alone boasts around 1,500 pizzerias. Enjoy a slice from Boston's oldest pizzeria that has a brick oven dating back to 1883, or a slice from a North End pizzeria voted Boston's Best Slice multiple times! Other stops may include a pizzeria named in the Top 25 Best in America, or from an eatery named one of the Top 10 Best Italian Restaurants in the World. Each tour features 3 different slices, all from top-rated Boston pizzerias. You’ll enjoy 2.5 hours of food, fun and history, and finish with a cannoli from a famous North End bakery.

Boston: Go City Explorer Pass including 2 to 5 Attractions

10. Boston: Go City Explorer Pass including 2 to 5 Attractions

Ensure a hassle-free trip with a Boston Explorer Pass that is accessible straight from your mobile phone (also available to print) and is valid for 60 days (starting with your first visit). Choose 2, 3, 4, or 5 activities and save time and money compared to paying individual admission prices. Marvel at the wonders of the sea with a visit to the New England Aquarium, explore the city aboard a hop-on-hop-off trolley or choose a Boston sunset cruise. Simply browse your digital guide for where to go next, show your pass to be scanned at the entrance or ticket office, and you're in. Choose any 2, 3, 4, or 5 attractions or tours from the following: Tours and Cruises • Historic Sightseeing Cruise (April to October) • CityView Hop-On Hop-Off Boston Trolley Sightseeing Tour: 1-Day Ticket (April to November) • Boston Sunset Cruise (May to September) • Fenway Park Tour • Boston Bike Rental • Boch Center Wang Theatre Tours • The Harvard Tour Museums and Places of Interest • New England Aquarium • Old State House Museum & Old South Meeting House Combo Ticket • Museum of Science • Harvard Museum of Natural History • Boston Children's Museum • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston • Museum of Fine Arts • Salem Witch Museum • USS Constitution Museum • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum • JFK Presidential Library and Museum • Franklin Park Zoo • Peabody Essex Museum • Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology Attractions and tours are subject to change. Check the digital guide included in your confirmation voucher for the full list of inclusions, opening times, and reservation instructions.

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What people are saying about Boston

Turned up at the wharf to see a small group of people sitting waiting for the boat to turn up. Had 45 minutes until the tour so decided to explore around the wharf. When we got back, the line was huge. Convinced that this must be about three ships worth of people, we were shocked to learn that all of these people were going with us. That being said, once you got on the boat, there was plenty of room to pitch up at your preferred spot, either inside or out on deck. I would recommend taking a drink/flask with you as the line for the servers was very long at times. If you struggle to stand, you may want to arrive early to get the start of the line to secure a seat but that will hinder your view as they are not around the side rails and that’s where the majority of people stand to see the action.

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Beautiful campus and such deep history at Harvard. Highly recommend.

It was a great experience. And my partner and I had a blast. We enjoyed the meals…very delicious

saw the biggest pod of dolphins & 4 whales played by the boat forever!

Mary was an excellent guide. She was knowledgable and engaging.