You'd be hard pressed to find a more wholesome ambience than downtown Boston. Charming urban parks, hip markets and a scenic waterfront make this particularly clean and tidy city a dream for families. As one of America's most historically rich cities, even the most obstinate kid won't be able to avoid getting an education in this city where history comes alive in the scattered historical monuments and buildings - and its many Ivy League-educated citizens! Of course, it's not all weighty history and green spaces in Boston. The cosmopolitan city offers much more for families. From aquariums and interactive science to world class child-friendly museums and even duck tours, the following are five of the best family friendly attractions in Boston.
The centerpiece of downtown Boston, Boston Common is one of the city's most iconic areas. City parks often cause security concerns among anxious parents, but this one is an impressively well maintained, self-contained and safe urban park with a range of activities on offer for the kids including swan boat rides and a frog pond for wading in the summer and ice skating in the winter. Lounging or picnicking on the expansive green is a picturesque and relaxing way to spend an afternoon with kids, and the experience costs absolutely nothing.
If you're intrigued by the idea of a Science Playground, then imagine how excited the kids will be... The Boston Children's Museum, always a safe bet for families, is an American pioneer in the practice of interactive, hands-on, proactive learning experiences. As such, the museum is packed with subtly clever physics-based novelties like the charming Bubbles exhibit and the Raceways challenges. This innovative museum is fun for all the family, from tots right through to parents.
With a pretty location on the waterfront, the New England Aquarium is an atmospheric and involving aquatic experience, packed with charming sea life. From the huge sea turtles to the colorful jellyfish, a wide range of creatures are beautifully displayed here in huge spaces. Certain exclusive, up-close-and-personal animal encounters are available at an extra cost, but visitors can time their visit with the regular presentations and activities throughout the aquarium - like seal training and penguin feeding - and still get serious entertainment value for the entry fee.
Science museums are always a good bet for young families, but the Boston Museum of Science is satisfyingly pushing boundaries to offer visitors the most innovative experience. Constantly changing and entirely interactive and educative exhibits are the backdrop to a range of exciting on-site activities: if you think your energetic tykes would enjoy a simulator experience, an IMAX movie or a planetarium show, then the Museum of Science in Boston is your perfect day out. The museum is also set to introduce an immersive 4-D cinema this year, with immersive special effects including tactile in-theatre experiences, like snow.
While a regular bus tour might be a little too subdued for a young family, the Boston Duck Tours are an upbeat, exciting alternative with a twist. The colorful bus travels around the city, introducing tourists to the history and culture of the area with light hearted comedy and lots of personality. The experience is all the more memorable and engaging for the kids, though, as the tour's grand finale sees the bus splash down into the Charles River, allowing tourists a privileged view of the city from the water.