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Activities in Boston & Beyond



Museums - A Great Family Activity for all Seasons & Weather

Anytime is a great time to get out and explore all of the wonderful Museums that Boston has to offer. The Museum of Science is full of mind-expanding exhibits and activities for you to explore. Within the Museum, The Mugar Omni Theatre is dome-based IMAX experience that always has exciting documentaries to enjoy.

For the younger set, The Boston Children’s Museum is a must visit. Try the super cool climbing structure, and enjoy the water & sand activities room in the Peep room, a favorite for all ages. Of course, a visit to Boston wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the New England Aquarium on the Boston Waterfront. See penguins, jellies & favorite creatures under the sea in the giant 4 story cylindrical tank.

If art is your scene, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is an elegant and impressive space filled with captivating masterpieces from around the world. The MFA also offers many hands-on activities for children. Just down the road, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum features extensive exhibits inside a stunning 15th-century Venetian-style palace. Take a leap into the future at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) along the Seaport Waterfront and be dazzled with the minds of today’s most gifted artists, as well as great family-friendly activities at the ICA family workshops.

Pop out to the burbs and visit The Decordova Museum & Sculpture Park in Concord, The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, the American Textile Museum in Lowell, or the Concord Museum.

Historic Landmarks

Boston boasts quite a bit of history with many Historic Landmarks to visit. Visitors often start their quest on Freedom Trail - a marked red line that leads you through the city to 16 historic sites.

Activity highlights include stops at The Boston Common, a large open park in the middle of the city. Here you'll find Frog Pond wading pool, a carousel, and great views of the Boston State House. Right across the way is the spectacular Boston Public Garden and the one of a kind Swan Boat Rides in the Lagoon.

A short walk brings you to the Old South Meeting House, Site of the Boston Massacre, Old State House, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, and the Old North Church where Paul Revere marked his famous "One if By Land, Two if By Sea" message. Trek over to Charlestown to visit the Bunker Hill Monument - (can you climb the 294 stairs to the top?), and then hop aboard the USS Constitution, (Old Ironsides) - the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.

Skiing and Winter Activities

Sure, Winter can be cold and bleak in the Northeast, but it also affords us with a wonderland of winter activities, including downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing, cross country skiing, ice skating, hockey and sledding. Families can ski within an hour of Boston at places like Wachusett Mountain, Berkshire East, Blue Hills Ragged Mountain, Bradford, or Nashoba Valley.

If you are willing to travel a bit farther you can reach popular destinations like Sunapee Ski Resort, Sunday River, or Bretton Woods. If hockey or ice skating is more your thing, you can take ice skating lessons all year round at an ice arena near you. Snowshoeing lets you trapse through the snow with greater ease and still enjoy the beauty of hiking trails. Cross country skiing tracks like The Weston Ski Track are within 20 minutes of Boston, and you can discover cross country skiing trails throughout Massachusetts.

Public Libraries

Libraries have long been the go-to place for learning and recreation. The Boston Public Library system and the Minuteman Library Network provide a wealth of resources and programming for families and individuals. The Central branch located in the heart of Copley Square is an architectural wonder that beckons visitors to come inside.

One of the hidden secrets of our library system is the coveted Museum Pass program. It's a terrific way to visit Area Museums for a fraction of the cost. You can reserve the passes online and then pick them up at your local branch.

Boston Sports Fans

If you live in New England, it’s hard not to be a sports fan. Each season, Boston collectively likes to root, root-root for the hometeam - The New England Patriots during Football season, The Boston Red Sox during Baseball Season, The Boston Celtics during Basketball Season, The Boston Bruins during Hockey Season and The New England Revolution during Soccer Season.

Hiking & Walking

State parks abound for three and sometimes four-season hiking. Castle Island offer walkways with amazing views of the Boston Harbor and Logan Airport - so it's a neat place to watch the planes take off & land.

The Charles River Esplanade features miles of delightful grassy shoreline along the Charles river. Bostonians and collegiates are often seen out running, biking & roller blading and even sun bathing here when weather permits. Don't forget about the The Rose Kennedy Greenway - right here in the heart of Boston.Enjoy some green as well as lots of activities each day. Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain.

Great Brook Farm in Carlisle features some lovely hiking trails, a pondside picnic area, and a working dairy farm with a fresh homemade ice cream stand as reward for a hike well done.

New England Wildflower Society’s Garden in the Woods is a delightful place to walk miles of paths and take in the beauty of native and non-native plants. (One of the area’s best kept secrets in our opinion). Purgatory Chasm State Reservation is one of the most unique and memorable rock formations to visit. It also has one of the coolest playgrounds nestled in the woods that will entertain your kids for hours.

Theatres

If live performances are your type of activity, you'll find an abundance of Theatres in Boston and beyond, offering performances year round. You can take in a Broadway-based production at the Wang Theatre, and enjoy fabulous shows at the Stoneham Theatre.

Family friendly performances abound at the Wheelock Family Theatre and live entertainment for all ages from music to stage at the Regent Theatre in Arlington.

The rich history of the Colonial Theatre enhances each performance using 21st Century technology surrounded by 19th Century elegance; and the Boston Children's Theatre Mainstage Series performs exciting productions each year to thousands of children in grades K-12. For more stage performance options, view our directory of Boston-area Theatres.

Beaches

Summer is the season of outdoor activity, and since it is relatively short, Bostonians relish every moment of it. So many wonderful beaches to explore some of our favorites include Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester, which is perfect for families including great low tide activities as you can explore the tidepools, climb the giant rocks, and walk way out on the sand bars.

Exploring the tidepools is a fun low tide activity, along with walking the sand bars. Salisbury State Park & Beach features an extensive coastline, camping, and a large playground. Other great north shore options include Singing Beach, Crane Beach Good Harbor Beach to name a few. Halibut Point Park and Stage Fort Park are also both lovely for families.

Beaches a bit closer to the city include Revere Beach, Wollaston Beach in Quincy, and Duxbury Beach to the south.



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