Living only 2 hours from Boston I can honestly say that there is no other city so close to central NH that offers so much for kids and their families. You could stay in Boston for years and never see it all. I have gone there once or twice a year for my entire 36 years of life and I still haven’t seen everything as of yet. As a matter of fact, today, I was searching the web for open times and pricing for this article when I came upon an interesting website, http://www.gobostoncard.com/ . This website not only tells you all about the 70 or so partner locations around Boston that are perfect for children but it also offers you a discount card that will get you into those locations!! These cards start at only $54.99 for adults and $34.99 for kids 12 & under. A bargain since you can use it at any of their partner sites for 1, 2, 3, 5 & 7 day increments. Since almost all of my top choices for children are found at their site I would recommend starting there first when planning your getaway. Now for my top choices for children in no particular order.
Liberty Fleet Tall Ship Adventures Where else can your kids actually sail a tall ship? I didn’t think you could answer that one and that is why I included this fun cruise on my list. I haven’t tried this yet but as an avid boater I can tell you I will be on the next boat out!! They allow adults and kids alike to set sails, take the wheel and throw tea into the harbor. They are located at 67 Long Wharf, Boston. For more information call 617-742-0333 or go to www.libertyfleet.com .
New England Aquarium No introduction required on this fun classic. If you live in or near Boston you have probably been here a million times or more. I know I have!! Unlike when I was a child, they now have Imax!! I truly enjoyed my Imax trip under the ocean on my last visit. However, my daughter thought it was boring so I will leave the Imax portion of this trip to your discretion. No one disagreed on the fun we had watching the various fish and playing with the assortment of hands on activities. They are located at Central Wharf, Boston. For more information call 617-973-5200 or go to www.newenglandaquarium.org .
The Mary Baker Eddy Library/Mapparium This fun little museum is a new find for me but it sounds like a must see. According to Go Card you can walk across a bridge that spans the interior of a three story stained glass world globe!! So why not bring your kids to the center of the earth while teaching them a thing or two about world geography!! They are located at 200 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. For more information call 617-450-7000 or go to www.marybakereddylibrary.org
Franklin Park Zoo This one is yet another classic. Bring your picnic lunch and make a day of watching all the exotic animals, 160 different species to be exact. Best yet, if you are from the city, you can get a taste of life on the farm at the petting zoo. They are located at One Franklin Park Road, Boston. For more information call 617-541-LION (617-541-5466) or go to www.zoonewengland.org
New England Sports Museum Some people find this exciting but I find it a huge bore. If you are a big sports fan like my husband and kids then you wont want to miss this one. They are located at TD Banknorth Garden, Causeway St, Boston and their admission desk is located at the Box Office. They can be reached by phone at 617-624-1235 or on the web at www.sportsmuseum.org .
Fenway Park My kids and husband love this one so here it is for all of you Red Sox fans. According to the Go Card website you can get a tour of Fenway Park by visiting 4 Yawkey Way, Boston or by calling 617-226-6666. They also have a website of www.redsox.com/tours.
Tomb by 5 WITS My daughter and I read about this fun locations interactive special effects and cool riddles and we just had to put it onto our to do list!! In this fun game you get placed into a Egyptian tomb with other people and a flashlight. You have to solve riddles and complete challenges in order to get out!! So if I suddenly stop writing articles send help to their location at 186 Brookline Avenue, Boston!! For more information they can be reached by phone at 617-375-9487 or on the web at www.5-wits.com
Museum of Science I keep getting lost both mentally and physically in this museum!! There is so much to do here that I cannot even begin to tell you about it. The best thing to do is go again and again and again and again. That is what I have done but I still keep finding new stuff. They are located at Science Park, Boston. For more information call 617-723-2500 or go to www.mos.org
The USS Constitution Museum This is one of my all time favorite attractions in Boston. What boat lover cannot fall in love with roaming about the oldest commissioned warship still afloat? My biggest dream is to get locked up aboard this fine vessel and sail her away into the sunset. Unfortunately my luck would land me in federal prison!! So if you just want to visit her go to the Charlestown Navy Yard. For more information call 617-426-1812 or go to www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org
Boston Children’s Museum This one has to be one of Boston’s most classic and most revered children’s destinations. When I was a child I practically passed out in anticipation of our yearly visit to this fun hands on museum. As an adult I feel pretty much the same way!! The sheer sight of that giant milk bottle in the sky evokes all kinds of fun, funny and frightening memories like the time I got the wrong Mommy and almost had heart failure or the time my daughter jumped in the water exhibit and went home soaked in the middle of winter!! To start making your own memories head to the big milk bottle at 300 Congress Street, Boston. For more information call 617-426-6500 or go to www.BostonChildrensMuseum.org
Boston Duck Tours Ok, I will admit this one scared the wits out of me the first time but after I was fully sure we were safely afloat I had to sit back and laugh. The idea of a floating car had never occurred to me except when my Beatle got caught in the Mother’s day flood of 2006. I still have no idea how that thing kept us afloat but it did and in the end it was a really great time. Departures are from the Museum of Science only so you will want to head to Science Park, Boston. For more information call 617-267-DUCK (617-267-3825) or go to www.BostonDuckTours.com
Mass Bay Lines Whale Watch I went on this one when I was my daughter’s age and have never forgotten it!! The sheer majesty of those whales can’t help but leave your jaw agape. Top that with the splendid feeling of a boat rocking beneath your feet and you have a trip you will never forget either. They are located at 60 Rowes Wharf, Boston. For more information call 617-542-8000 or go to www.massbaylines.com/whalewatch/default.html
Seaport Express Water Taxi This new water taxi will get you to a lot of my suggested destinations the best and most fun way Doc knows how. For more information call 617-406-8584 or go to www.roweswharfwatertaxi.com . They dock at Rowes Wharf: 60 Rowes Wharf, Seaport World Trade Center: 200 Seaport Blvd and Central Wharf: Behind the New England Aquarium.
The Freedom Trail My daughter just completed this walking tour with her class and she couldn’t say enough wonderful things about it!! I have to confess that I have only walked bits and pieces of it myself but I did thoroughly enjoy what I did see. For more information call 617-357-8300 or go to www.TheFreedomTrail.org . They are located at 148 Tremont Street, Boston at the Boston Common Visitor Center.
Boston Harbor Cruises 45 minute Constitution Cruise This is another new one for me but hey it is on a boat and has the word Constitution in it so how bad could it be?! They are located at One Long Wharf, Boston. For more information call 877-SEE-WHALE or 877-733-9425 or go to www.bostonharborcruises.com
The Swan Boats of Boston Another must do, this fun and relaxing adventure has been taking place since the 1870s!! 138 years of boating enthusiasts cannot be wrong!! They are located in the Boston Public Garden, bounded by Arlington, Boylston, Charles, and Beacon Streets. For more information call 617-522-1966 or go to www.swanboats.com
Faneuil Hall Market Place No introduction is needed here!! Where else can you eat yourself into oblivion while sampling cuisine from around the world without stepping out of one building? I can only think of Faneuil Hall!! All though I go for the food they also have fun kids activities and all sorts of live entertainment. I even met Davy Jones of the Monkees at Faneuil Hall when I was just 16!! I grabbed a kiss from him on the sly and got him to sign oodles of books and tapes for me!! For more information call 617-523-1300 or go to www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com .
China Town This fun city within a city has great traditional food you cannot find in an American style Chinese restaurant. Food aside there is also a fun aquarium there, bakeries, ethnic stores and a Chinese New Years party that cannot be beat. My friend from Taiwan got married in China Town and I will never forget the awe inspiring decorations, festivities and food. For a little cultural fun look for the red dragon arch and you are there!! If you stay for dinner try the Dim Sum (I hope I spelled that right!!) restaurants. This is where the Chinese hang out according to my Taiwanese friend. He brought me to one of these places one Thanksgiving and I have never forgotten it. They serve little platters of food on carts. As a cart passes you by yell for the food and they come over and hand you the number of plates you desire. They then write your request on the slip setting on your table. It is like ordering hundreds of appetizers but for very low prices. Great for a kids small appetite!!