Boston Family Attractions
New England Aquarium
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1969, the aquarium is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation and attractions. Explore vibrant coral reefs, from the Bahamas and the tropical Pacific to temperate Australia. Marvel at lionfish and stonefish, some of the most poisonous fishes in the sea or just enjoy the beauty of brilliantly colored fish and the playful antics of the penguins at this delightful center where science meets learning and fun. The aquarium is 3-4 hours well spent by kids and adults and can include Simons IMAX Theatre via a dual-ticket. The aquarium combines education, entertainment and action to address the most challenging problems facing the ocean through a wide variety of conservation initiatives.
ADMISSION: see price matrix on website
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 9a-5p, Sat-Sun 9a-6p, longer hours in summer
ADDRESS: Central Wharf at Boston Harbor, Boston, MA MAP
PARKING: garage nearby
TRANSIT: Blue Line and Orange Line at Aquarium Station
Museum of Science
DESCRIPTION: Considering that greater Boston is the hub or more academic scientists than anywhere else on earth, one should expect a top-flight science museum and this one has delivered for more than 170 years. A Discovery Center, T-Rex, and Natural Mysteries, exhibits will uplift and at times astound you. The venue includes major computer exhibit and planetarium and exciting many interactive exhibits for families; despite the steep admission fee, this museum delivers a great value.
ADMISSION: see price matrix on website
DAYS & HOURS: Sat-Thu 9a-5p, Fri 9a-9p
ADDRESS: 1 Science Park over Charles River, Boston, MA MAP
PARKING: garages nearby on the Boston side, but its best to take transit
TRANSIT: Green Line at Science Park Station
Boston Children’s Museum
DESCRIPTION: Recently renovated, this museum has been building innovative, engaging, meaningful, and fun exhibits for 95 years and has inspired children’s museums worldwide. It is also home to Art Studio, a fun and messy activity space where children and families make art together; Arthur and Friends immerses visitors in imaginative settings based on Marc Brown’s books and the popular WGBH television series. Boston Black: A City Connects is a unique exhibit that celebrates all that is good fun for families in Boston’s Black community; The Common, Construction Zone, Japanese House, Johnny’s Workbench, KidStage and other exhibits round out the numerous offerings. Topping it off, the museum was awarded LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
ADMISSION: Adults $9, ages 2-15 and seniors $7, One year olds $2 and Fridays 5p-9p admission only $1 each
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sun 10a-5p
ADDRESS: 300 Congress Street, Boston, MA MAP
PARKING: garage nearby
TRANSIT: South Metro Station
Franklin Park Zoo
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1913, this 72-acre site nestled in immaculately designed Franklin Park features a number of upgraded naturalistic habitats such as Serengeti Crossing where ostrich, Grant’s zebras, Nubian ibex, and white-bearded wildebeests. Kalahari Kingdom lets great African lions sniff around the hood of your car. Franklin Farm where children can touch and see animals such as goats and sheep, a brooder building, where newly hatched chicks. Tiger Tales features new tigers, Anala and Luther, and aims to educate guests about the problems that arise when exotic animals fall into the wrong hands. Giraffe Savannah features wonderful giraffes, who come out when the temperature is above 65 degess; Tropical Forest features an indoor gorilla habitat that features mandrills, capybaras, Baird’s tapir, and a pygmy hippopotamus. Butterfly Landing, open from June-September, Butterfly Landing is home to nearly 1,000 butterflies in free flight. Bird’s World has also been upgraded to house home to dozens of species of birds from around the globe.
ADMISSION: Adults $12, age 62+ $10, ages 2-12 $7, age 1 and under enter free, 1/2 off first Saturday of the month from 10a-Noon
DAYS & HOURS: Oct-March daily 10a-4p, April-Sept daily 10a-5p
ADDRESS: 1 Franklin Park Road, Boston, MA MAP
PARKING: garage nearby
DESCRIPTION: Since opening in 1995, this 19,600-seat arena has served as home to the legendary Boston Celtics basketball team, the Boston Bruins hockey team and a welcome replacement for that trap of a old building called the Boston Garden. You don’t have to be a basketball fan to enjoy 3 fully equipped private restaurants, 110 executive suites, and the multi-million dollar video scoreboard.
ADMISSION: see pricing matrix on their website below
DAYS & HOURS: game dependant
ADDRESS: 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA MAP
PARKING: garages surround the arena
TRANSIT: Orange and Green Lines to North Station
DESCRIPTION: Showcases the rich sports heritage of New England through an unparalleled collection of artifacts, multimedia, works of art and interactive exhibits; exhibits also honor Bill Russell, Reggie Lewis, (basketball), David Ortiz, Jim Rice, Troy Brown, Jim Nance, Marvin Hagler and Willie O’Ree (first black player in the NHL); daily 11a-5p; admission limited to 11a, Noon, 1p, 2p and 3p; purchase tickets at TD Banknorth Garden box office on the West Side of the North Station Platform, next to Pro Shop.
ADMISSION: $6 adults, $4 ages 6-17 and seniors, kids under 6 enter free; $15 Family tickets for up to 5 people
DAYS & HOURS: daily 11a-5p; on game days, museum closes at 3p
ADDRESS: 100 Legends Way; 5th and 6th levels of TD Garden, Boston, MA MAP
TRANSIT: Green and Orange ines to North Station
DESCRIPTION: With its nemesis Green Monster wall, the baseball park remains a lovable attraction since its opening day in 1912; home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, this park has arguably seen more historic plays than any other, including Baseball Hall of Famers: Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, Carlton Fisk, Jim Rice and Carl Yastrzemski. The ballpark takes its name from Fenway District.
DAYS & HOURS: typically 7:30p
ADDRESS: 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA MAP
PARKING: parking lots nearby
TRANSIT: Green Line at Kenmore Station is 2 blocks north on Brookline Ave, then east 1 block on Commonwealth Ave
Rose F. Kennedy Greenway
DESCRIPTION: The Central Artery/Tunnel Project, also known as the “Big Dig”, created more than 300 acres of landscaped, restored open space, aided shoreline restoration and created a series of parks that extend in the path of a freeway from Chinatown through the Wharf District and North End to the TD Garden to Charles River Basin.
ADDRESS: atop I-93 Freeway Downtown MAP
DESCRIPTION: An inviting public walkway along the waterfront, with parks, public art, seating areas, cafes, exhibit areas, interpretive signage, water transportation facilities, and a wide range of other amenities in an attractive the 47-mile HarborWalk; Currently, 80% complete and is accessible by the public, harborwalk is a the culmination of many years of public funding and collaboration between City and State agencies, private property owners, residents and harbor advocacy groups since 1984.
ADDRESS: Boston Harbor from Charles River to Fort Point Channel MAP
John F. Kennedy Park
DESCRIPTION: Five acre park with landscaped plants, memorial fountain and entrance pillars inscribed with quotations from President JFK’s speeches.
ADDRESS: 95 JFK Street at Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA MAP
Harvard Museum of Natural History
DESCRIPTION: Explore 12,000 specimens drawn from Harvard’s vast research collections of dinosaurs, meteorites, gemstones, and hundreds of animals around the globe; get close to the world’s only mounted Kronosaurus, a 42 ft-long marine reptile; one of the first Triceratops ever discovered, a 1,642 lb. amethyst geode; and the ever-popular whale skeletons; an exhibit unique to HMNH, the world famous exhibit Ware Collection of Glass Models of Plants are amazingly realistic models of plants, fruits and flowers created by father-son glass artists Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka from 1886-193; other exhibits include Language of Color, Sea Creatures in Glass, Arthropods: Creatures that Rule; Dodos, Trilobites, & Meteorites, and Climate Change: Our Global Experiment
ADMISSION: Adults $10, Non-Harvard Students with ID and age 65+ $8, ages 3–18 $6; ticket includes admission to the adjacent Peabody Museum featuring archaeology and cultural artifacts from six continents.
DAYS & HOURS: daily 9a-5p
ADDRESS: 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA MAP
PARKING: garages nearby and on street metered parking; best to purchase parking passes online
RAPID TRANSIT: Harvard Square MBTA Station
Opened in 2002 and located 28 miles southwest of downtown Boston, it serves as home stadium for the NFL New England Patriots football team, MLS New England Revolution soccer team and University of Massachusetts football team. Seating capacity is 65,878, including 5,876 club seats and 89 luxury suites. The Patriots have sold out every home game since moving to the stadium.
DAYS & HOURS: varies depending on game day
ADDRESS: One Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA MAP
PARKING: parking on premises
RAPID TRANSIT: Gillette Stadium MBTA Station
Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
DESCRIPTION: True basketball fans must make the pilgrimage to this shrine; marvel at the records, winning spirit and dominance of men who shaped the game: George Mikan, Bob Cousy, Bob Petit, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Billy Cunningham, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Nate Thurmond, Rick Barry, Pete Maravich, Wes Unseld, Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan; Max’s Tavern, Pazzo Ristorante and Cold Stone Creamery are also on site; located 1.5 hours west of Boston via I-90 Turnpike
ADMISSION: Adults $17, age 65+ $14, ages 5-15 $12; three day passes are also available
age 4 and under enter free
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 10a-6p, Sat-Sun 10a-6p
ADDRESS: 1000 West Columbus Avenue, Springfield, MA MAP
PARKING: on premises