Weekend Getaway With a Toddler: Boston

Boston, Massachusetts is a vibrant city, rich in history, big on nature, and full of excitement for people of all ages. While you may think Boston is a better destination for older kids because of the many historical sites, professional sports, and big-name colleges, you may be surprised at how much you can do and see in the city with a toddler in tow. Parents with young children need not fear a weekend trip to Beantown because they will find more than enough to appeal to their interests while keeping their little ones entertained at the same time. This information can help you get an idea of what to include on your itinerary.

Boston Harbor and Financial District in Massachusetts.

Boston Harbor and Financial District in Massachusetts.

Hitting the Hot Spots

Toddlers may not be up to the challenge of a full baseball game at Fenway Park or a walking tour of Harvard Yard, but they can get a lot out of many other popular tourist attractions in and around Boston. Here are a few that may make your weekend memorable:

  • New England Aquarium-because who doesn’t love watching fish, penguins, and jellies? The aquarium also offers touch tanks and even a whale watching cruise off the harbor, if you have the time.
  • The Boston Children’s Museum-over 100 years of enriching the lives of children. Your toddler and you will fall in love with the exhibits designed to enthrall and engage.
  • The Freedom Trail-two and a half miles of historic Boston awaits your family. The 16 sites along the way may be high on your list of must-sees, but the fun red-brick path and traditionally dressed tour guides can keep your little one entertained as well.
  • Boston Duck Tours-an amphibious boat that take you from sea to land? These unique vehicles may be one of the best ways to take in the sites around the city because the ride itself is just as appealing. If you think it’s over the top for your little one, you can opt for a more serene water cruise to enjoy the sights from a different point of view.
  • Boston Common-the oldest city park in the country is also one prime spot for letting your toddler run off some energy. If the weather is cooperating, stop by the Frog Pond for playtime before heading back out for more sightseeing.
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long red (mostly brick) path through downtown Boston.

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long red (mostly brick) path through downtown Boston.

Great Photo Ops

What parent doesn’t want an iconic photo to treasure for years after a great weekend trip? Boston has many great spots to snap away; here are a few to add to your must-see list:

  • Mrs. Mallard and her Ducklings-this sculpture, located in Public Garden, harkens to the Robert McCloskey classic children’s book, Make Way for Ducklings. A picture of your toddler among the baby ducks may be one of your favorites, and you may even want to pick up a copy of the story from a nearby shop to read at bedtime.
  • Skywalk Observatory-high overhead at the Prudential Tower is a 360 degree view of the city that is unmatched. Try to grab a shot at sunset if your toddler is well-rested from an afternoon nap.
  • Swan Boats at Public Garden-these historic paddle boats are not only a great place to sit down and relax, they are also a wonderful spot to get a family picture that you can’t take anywhere else but Boston.
  • Acorn Street-this cobblestone roadway is proof you survived, nay, enjoyed taking in all that Boston has to offer. With your toddler in tow, you can snap a keepsake photo of a popular locale to treasure long after your trip.
Here Come the little Ducklings in Boston, MA

Here Come the little Ducklings in Boston, MA

When Hunger Strikes

Dining with a toddler can be a challenge even when you aren’t on vacation, but you have a number of options to satisfy you and your little one for meals and snacks. Here are few suggestions for kid-friendly eateries in Boston:

  • Quincy Market-located at Faneuil Hall, this marketplace has over 50 vendors to appeal to every palate. The lively and casual atmosphere may ease your worries about any behavior issues. In the warmer months, you can take your food outside and enjoy the entertainment of street performers (jugglers, magicians, and clowns) while you eat.
  • The Union Oyster House-you can pop in here for a break from the Freedom Trail. This is the nation’s oldest restaurant, and with a kids menu to boot, it may be worth the wait. Can you say chowdah?
  • Hood Milk Bottle-if you need a pick-me-up after enjoying the Boston Children’s Museum, stop near at the giant, yes, milk bottle-shaped building. You can grab an ice cream or hot dog to power up before your next activity.
  • Regina Pizzeria-a Boston favorite is also close by the Freedom Trail. Take a detour to this North End location for a slice and some local flavor.
Panoramic view of Quincy Market in Boston, MA

Panoramic view of Quincy Market in Boston, MA

Words of Wisdom

You don’t need Paul Revere to ride by with any helpful hints about taking your little one to Boston for a quick vacay. These pointers can do the trick for you:

  • Look into a Boston CityPASS -this ticket can get you into several popular attractions in Beantown and save you some money at the same time. You can take care of planning and admission fees before you leave home!
  • Make a wise stroller decision-with cobblestones to navigate, give some thought to which stroller is up to the task. You should be able to use one you have or borrow from a friend, but you may also be able to rent one and other toddler equipment that you need from Baby’s A-Go.
  • Ditch the diaper bag-a backpack may be more user-friendly when you need to be hands-free to corral or carry your toddler. Take some time to pack it well before you leave to have a fresh supply of all of your essentials.
  • Think before you book-do a little online research to find child-friendly accommodations.  Pick a place to stay that is close to the attractions you want to see or offers extra touches to keep little ones cozy. 

Our community of moms and dads has lots of great ideas to make weekend getaways in Boston and other towns. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to let us know your smart toddler traveling tips or to share your success vacation stories.

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