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Boston - with kids/ teens what to do see?

(14 Posts)
Somewhereovertheroad Mon 05-Feb-18 11:04:38

we are looking at going to Boston this Summer. Have previously been to West coast US and wanted to show the Dc 10,13,16 the difference on East coast but not sure what to do, see etc

We would ideally want a cottage/ villa type house with pool for some of it.

Anybody been or from there. Are there any theme parks, water parks kind of places?

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Mon 05-Feb-18 20:02:32

Boston is more about culture and history. I cannot imagine going for theme parks but there is Plimoth Plantation where first settlers landed. There are beaches on Cape Cod. If you don’t like natural landscapes and all Boston has to offer, including whale watching, I’m not sure it’s the destination for you.

pallisers Mon 05-Feb-18 20:18:17

Boston is a great destination for kids/teens. loads of culture/history but in wonderful surroundings. Easy to walk around - also those zip-bikes are widely available.

Off the top of my head:

Freedom Trail - walking tour of sites on the revolutionary war sites
Black Freedom Trail - walking tour of historical black sites including the underground railroad places
Duck Tour
Wander around Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market
Walk down the Charles River and through Beacon Hill - some lovely old houses also open to the public around there
Dim Sum in Chinatown
North End - italian part, lovely restaurants (some tourist traps too) often have saint festivals at weekends during the summer
Boston Common/Boston Garden and do a swan boat ride
Aquarium
Whalewatch
Children's museum (if kids are young)
Museum of Science
Museum of Fine Arts
Isabella Stewart Gardner
Salem - of witch trial fame - near other lovely towns north of boston like Marblehead etc. Peabody essex museum is great too
Cape Cod - you can take a highspeed ferry to Provincetown or Martha's Vineyard.

For accommodation, take a look at air b&b as well as just googling self-catering/summer rentals.

There are theme parks - Six Flags new england is a couple of hours drive away. I hate it but it has good rides/water park.

Somewhereovertheroad Mon 05-Feb-18 22:23:51

Bubblesbuddy We are going for the History and culture but I was just wondering if there were theme parks too.

I have been whale watching before and would take the kids. Will also go to the Science Museum, JFK museum and possibly Marthas vineyard.

OP’s posts: |
butteredbarmbrack Mon 05-Feb-18 22:29:37

We had a few days in Cape Cod (staying with friends) and Boston last summer. Another vote for Isabella Stewart Gardner museum ( even my 10 year old loved it after asking if we really had to go, following on a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts - which was also great). Harvard was another trio, and the Freedom Trail. We considered a baseball game but timings didn't work oit. Shopping in Gap and Old Navy was a hit, and the Public Library with the amazing murals worth a detour.

pallisers Tue 06-Feb-18 02:12:31

I'm not a huge fan of Martha's Vineyard. Take them to Provincetown - the teens will love it.

godricshollow Tue 06-Feb-18 12:03:40

I thought Lexington and Concord worth a visit more than Marblehead. If you have time consider going up to Maine/Bar Harbor/Acadia.

pallisers Tue 06-Feb-18 13:49:12

Yes agree with lexington/Concord and the minuteman trail. Also Walden Pond near Concord is lovely for a swim/walk.

sydenhamhiller Tue 24-Apr-18 10:56:20

Hope you don't mind me piggy-backing on to your thread OP (worries about MN etiquette), but we are planning a similar trip.

It seems Cape Cod can be pricey and crowded/ small road and lots of cars etc - but we would like to go... I was wondering if worth just taking ferry from Boston to P-town for the day, or is that crazy talk?

Am slightly overwhelmed by information at the moment - think I need to go for a month rather than the 12 days we have!

Holidayaddict Sun 29-Apr-18 09:10:51

We did three nights in Boston in August a couple of years ago with a 12 year old & 10 year old and it was enough. It was extremely hot which caused much moaning from DCs. We also found it very pricey. We did a hop on hop off trolley bus one day which included a boat trip round the harbour, had lunch at Cheers bar, went to the park where the swan boats are. There's also a park with a big paddling pool which was welcome in the heat. Quincey Market is worth a visit - reasonably priced street food for lunch. It's a beautiful city but we really didn't enjoy the heat!

We then drove down to Cape Cod and stayed at Pilgrims Village in Chatham which I booked after recommendations on here. Very basic cabin accommodation but a beautiful setting right on a pond, the kids loved it and temperature on the cape was distinctly cooler than Boston. Accommodation on the cape is very expensive. We did a whale watch from Provincetown while there plus a drive in movie at Wellfleet. We did Pilmouth Plantation on way back to Boston which was very interesting. We also did a couple of nights in Salem but were not impressed - tacky, overpriced witch attractions and not much else - again bloody hot!
Hope this helps!

pamplemoussed Sun 29-Apr-18 09:14:52

Lots of great advice already but I’d add , cross the Charles river and visit Cambridge - home of Harvard & MIT. It has more of a cool , edgy vibe, student city which your older kids will love ( and perhaps be inspired!)

Spockster Sun 29-Apr-18 10:10:40

Essential to stop at Mike's Pastries for cannoli. Don't let the queue put you off, they're definitely worth it.

marjorie25 Tue 15-May-18 03:11:05

sydenhamhiller
Take the train from Boston South to Hyannis in Cape Cod. You can decide which stop to disembark.
The price was around $40 round trip, when I went a couple of years ago. Its a really nice slow journey to Cape Cod.
The train leave at 8:00 a.m. (sharp) and returns to Boson around 9:30 - 10:00. p.m.
This train only runs at weekends from Friday evening until Sunday evenings.
On Hyannias there is a FREE trolley or you could take the bus to the other towns.
Providence and New Port in Rhode Island is 30 minutes by train from Boston - Fare - $24 round trip for the day if you book early.
You could leave Boston at 7 am be in PRI by 8 and have the whole day there.
Public transportation is really good in RI.
You could also take Amtrak DownEaster to Maine, it's about $60 round trip. - children under 12 pay 50% of the adult fare.
Parking in Boston and Rhode Island is atrocious, that's why I take public transportation, I do not need the headache on vacation.

LassoOfTruth Tue 15-May-18 04:32:10

I have to go to Boston with work about once a year and it's one of my favourite cities. With teens in tow I would recommend trying to take in a baseball game, and whale watching (though like lots of things in the region that can be expensive). The Freedom Trail is fascinating and there's also the Boston Tea Party site/museum. It's well worth a tour of Harvard but even if you just walk around that area, Cambridge is fun for the younger studenty vibe. Outside the city, Walden Pond is stunning (you don't have to have read Thoreau to appreciate it!). I don't know about the type of accommodation you mention. I've often been there in the winter when the Boston Common pond is frozen enough to walk on so it's hard to imagine anyone with an outdoor pool! grin

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