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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: Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum Interactive Tour

2. 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: Historical Sightseeing Cruise

3. Boston: Historical Sightseeing Cruise

Board a sightseeing cruise in Boston and take a tour around Boston Harbor. Experience breathtaking views, refreshing sea breezes, and vividly told stories of Boston's past and present as you admire the city's sights from the water. Depart from Long Wharf, then Cruise past the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned US Navy warship afloat today, marvel at the Bunker Hill Monument, and catch a glimpse of the fabled Old North End Church steeple. Hear heroic tales told by expert narrators and learn about local legends from the Revolutionary War. You'll also discover how the harbor was transformed into one of the cleanest waterways in the country. Enjoy the best view no matter the weather, with spacious outdoor viewing decks when the weather is fine, and indoor spaces with large windows if you want to be indoors. Onboard refreshments and snacks are also available for purchase.

Boston: Harvard University Guided Walking Tour with Student

4. 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: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor

5. 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

6. Boston: Franklin Park Zoo Entry Ticket

Book your entry ticket to the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and meet hundreds of remarkable species from around the world. Explore the 72-acre zoo nestled in the 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.

Boston: Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

7. Boston: Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

Go whale watching off the coast of Boston on a comfortable, high-speed catamaran with maximized outdoor and indoor viewing capacity. Look out for humpback, finback, and minke whales, as well as white-sided dolphins on this adventure cruise. Benefit from the best-guided experience, with professional researchers from the Whale Center of New England, the region's foremost authority on whale populations, on-hand to provide you with expert commentary. After you find your crew at the dock, board the high-speed catamaran that offers the fastest, most comfortable way to explore the Atlantic.  Make the most of the 3 outside viewing decks, climate-controlled cabin space with cushioned seating, tables, state-of-the-art sound and video systems, and a galley offering snacks and beverages for purchase. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for:  Humpback whales The humpback’s name comes from the way its back arches out of the water when preparing for a deep dive. “Megaptera” is its true scientific name, which means “large-winged,” in reference to its long flippers. Finback whales Finbacks are second only to Blue Whales in overall size, measuring in at 45-70 feet in length and weighing approximately 40 tons as full-grown adults. Minke whales A sleek, small dolphin-like baleen whale, Minkes are the most abundant whale in the world today with a population numbering well over 1 million worldwide. White-sided dolphins Found only in the North Atlantic, in waters just south of New England and north to Norway, these playful mammals feed on single prey such as squid, unlike whales, who feast on large numbers of small fish.

Boston: North End Pizza Tour with 3 Slices and Cannoli

8. Boston: North End Pizza Tour with 3 Slices and Cannoli

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: Self-Guided Audio Tour

9. Boston: Self-Guided Audio Tour

Download a vibrant MP3 self-guided audio tour combined with a fully detailed map of the area of your tour. Enjoy the historical city of Boston in the beautiful state of Massachusetts and learn about its long and rich history on a self-guided audio tour. This incredible audio tour will show you sights such as the famous Boston Tea Party Museum and the historical John Adams Courthouse. You will also see the Old State House, the Massachusetts State House, the City Hall, New England Aquarium, and the Market. Educational and informative, this tour delves behind the scenes of old Boston allowing you to discover the city and travel back in time at your own pace. Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the sights. 

Harvard Yard: The Mysterious Porcelain Club Exploration Game

10. Harvard Yard: The Mysterious Porcelain Club Exploration Game

Explore the Harvard Yard in a unique way with an exploration game downloaded on your smartphone. Discover mysterious clues, solve puzzles, and use logic to lead you to the next destination. See Boston's iconic locations, tease your brain, and have a little fun. Begin the game at Harvard Square by opening the application on your phone. The tour takes between 1.5 and 2 hours, but feel free to explore at your own pace. Pause the game and resume anytime from your last visited location. Solve challenges and allow the story to unfold in front of you. Follow the exact directions and get the next code to crack. Find yourself exploring the Widener Library, pondering the statue of John Harvard, and learning the truth of The Statue of Three Lies. Figure out who keeps stealing the chair of the president of The Harvard Crimson and finish the tour at Harvard Lampoon Building. Play on your own, in a small group, or divide all your friends into groups and compete against each other. Try something new and go on an adventure in Boston.

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What people are saying about Boston

Our harbor tour was great! The weather was working with us during our hour tour. Seeing Boston from the harbor was wonderful. Give you a different perspective. Plus, the guide was very good. Easy to hear, funny and very informative. I would highly recommend the tour.

Scotty is a great tour guide. He was very friendly and informative. I appreciate learning about the history of Boston, Salem Witch Hunt, and how the pizza pie started. Things I didn’t learn in the school classroom.

Nice walk and funny facts about Harvard! But, sometimes the guide started explaining something about a place when not everybody was there yet..

Great tour and very informative. Guide Cameron was engaging and made the experience interesting.

It was a great tour, interesting and worth the money