preloadBoston with kids and things to do

There are few cities in the United States more family-friendly than Boston. This beloved New England destination offers a long list of fun things to do. Compact and easy to navigate on foot. Boston guarantees a wicked good time with its collection of interactive museums, gorgeous public gardens and renowned attractions that will keep both the adults and little ones entertained. With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve mapped out the best things to do in Boston with kids.

We’ve also added a few insider tips to help take the stress out of planning and highlighted the top kid-friendly hotels nearby that offer on-site restaurants, indoor pools and rooms with city views.

Franklin Park Zoo

Photo| Gettyimages | JEEDO JEANSIPEN – EYEEM
Ring tailed lemur (lemur catta) posing and relaxing
Photo| Gettyimages | HOPSALKA

Animal-loving families can visit Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo, a 29-hectare park located six kilometres from downtown Boston. Get up-close to a unique variety of species, including gorillas, giraffes and kookaburras, then marvel at free-flight tropical birds or observe lions and tigers in the Kalahari Kingdom and Tiger Tales exhibits.

Tips for Visiting Franklin Park Zoo in Boston with kids

  • Visit the Serengeti Crossing to see ostrich, zebras, wildebeests and warthogs roaming an expanse of grasslands.
  • Walk through the Butterfly Hollow to see an array of colourful winged creatures.
  • Kids can plunge down giraffe-like tube slides and hop on frog rockers at the children’s playground.

Top Hotels near Franklin Park Zoo

Hampton Inn & Suites Boston Crosstown Center

Photo| Hampton Inn & Suites Boston Crosstown Center | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Located near downtown Boston, Hampton Inn & Suites Boston Crosstown Center is a family-friendly hotel that offers a free shuttle to nearby Boston attractions. In addition to complimentary breakfast with fresh-baked waffles and Wi-Fi, families can make a splash in its heated indoor pool.

The 2 Queen Beds room can accommodate families visiting Boston with kids and features an HDTV, work desk and coffee maker. Upgraded Premium rooms add an assortment of non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, refrigerator and Keurig brewer.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 138 – USD 496
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: 811 Massachusetts Avenue, Roxbury, Boston, United States

Sheraton Boston Hotel

Photo| Sheraton Boston Hotel | Provided by LEONARDO

Located in downtown Boston in the historic Back Bay neighbourhood, Sheraton Boston Hotel is a popular place to stay for families with kids. You can grab a quick bite at the Market, swim in the heated indoor pool or enjoy a casual meal at Sidebar & Grille. Parents in need of pampering can enjoy a facial or massage at the full-service Green Tangerine Spa & Salon.

Looking for a room with a view? Most of the rooms and suites boast sweeping views of Back Bay and the Charles River. The entry-level Traditional Double Bedroom features two double-size beds, a flat-screen TV and mini fridge, while the spacious Junior Suite adds a separate living room.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 99 – USD 406
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: 39 Dalton Street, Back Bay, Massachusetts, Boston, United States

Hotel Location

New England Aquarium

Photo| Gettyimages | IMAGE SOURCE
Photo| Gettyimages | IMAGE SOURCE

The New England Aquarium is home to thousands of aquatic animals, from northern fur seals and giant Pacific octopus to African penguins. There is a range of exhibits to pique your kid’s curiosity, including the incredible Shark and Ray Touch Tank where little ones can stroke cownose rays and epaulette sharks.

Tips for Visiting New England Aquarium in Boston with kids

  • Observe green sea turtles and other Caribbean reef animals at the four-storey Giant Ocean Tank exhibit.
  • Rub a seal’s belly and back on a behind-the-scenes Meet and Greet Harbor Seals program.
  • Enjoy skyline and Boston Harbor views from the casual on-site Harbor View Cafe.

Top Hotels near New England Aquarium

Boston Marriott Long Wharf

Photo| Boston Marriott Long Wharf | Provided by LEONARDO

Boston Marriott Long Wharf offers an ideal location for families with kids, with easy access  to Boston’s Long Wharf and historic North End. Take advantage of the indoor pool and 24-hour fitness centre with Peloton bikes or indulge in New England favourites at Waterline, which offers beautiful harborside views. Families can pick up coffee and to-go snacks at the on-site Starbucks.

Stylish rooms boast plush bedding, flat-screen TVs with Netflix and complimentary Wi-Fi. Upgrade to a Club-level room for a full American breakfast, snacks and dessert, or stay in a spacious Suite for separate living and entertainment spaces.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 206 – USD 564
Guest Rating: 8.4
Address: 296 State Street, Downtown Boston, Boston, United States

Boston Yacht Haven

Photo| Boston Yacht Haven | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Boston Yacht Haven is a leading marina destination and in New England, offering upscale waterfront accommodation with beautiful Boston Harbor views. The hotel offers free continental breakfast, while the marina features yacht berths and over 100 boat slips.

Rooms feature nautical-style decor, flat-screen TVs and refrigerators, with some rooms offering large private decks for patio-style dining. The Deluxe Queen, Harbor View room features two queen-size beds and a pull-out sofa, while the lavish Penthouse features a private, wraparound balcony with 180-degree views of the Boston skyline and marina.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 225 – USD 432
Guest Rating: 9.5
Address: 87 Commercial Wharf, Downtown Boston, Boston, United States

Hotel Location

Boston Public Garden

Photo| Gettyimages | SHOBEIR ANSARI
Swan boats in the Public Garden.
Photo| Gettyimages | EUNICE HARRIS

Established in 1837, Boston Public Garden was the first public botanical garden in the United States. Families flock to this gorgeous green space to spend a leisurely day strolling, taking photos with the ‘Make Way for the Ducklings’ statue and riding the iconic Swan Boats.

Tips for Visiting Boston Public Garden in Boston with kids

  • For an in-depth look at the park, join the free Untold Stories of the Public Garden guided walking tour.
  • The Swan Boats are available seven days a week from early April to late September.
  • The family-friendly garden is located next to the Boston Common, making a day trip to both these top attractions in Boston doable.

Top Hotels near Boston Public Garden

Four Seasons Hotel Boston

Photo| Four Seasons Hotel Boston| Provided by LEONARDO

Four Seasons Hotel Boston is the perfect choice for families who like a bit of luxury. Set in Back Bay, elegant rooms feature a natural colour palette, flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi, while Deluxe City View Rooms feature sweeping views of Boston. For luxury living, the Royal Suite has a media room, service kitchen and baby grand piano.

Need a pampering session? Parents can book an in-room massage in the privacy of their room. In-room dining is also available, while The Bristol restaurant offers fine dining and a children’s menu. Kids will also love the cookie-making classes and children’s movies available.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 679 – USD 5,340
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 200 Boylston Street, Downtown Boston, Boston, United States

W Boston

Photo| W Boston | Provided by LEONARDO

W Boston is a hip hotel in Boston for families with kids. Located in the downtown district, the boutique rooms feature custom decor, Theatre District views and signature beds with featherbed mattresses. Families can stay in a Mega 2 Queen, which has two queen-size beds, a Nespresso machine and seating area.

Just steps from the Wang Theater, the hotel’s on-site restaurant The Gallery is a hotspot for theatre-goers serving New England dishes such as lobster rolls and Boston cream pies. After a long day of sightseeing, parents can treat themselves to a massage at the glamorous Bliss Spa.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 202 – USD 2,551
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: 100 Stuart Street, Downtown Boston, Boston, United States

Hotel Location

Boston Duck Tours

Photo| Shutterstock | EVGENIIAND
Photo| Gettyimages | DENISTANGNEYJR
Bare kids' feet dangling in the water feature /public fountain.
Photo| Gettyimages | PHOTOGRAPHY BY SPL

Goofy and fun-loving, visitors will love joining Boston Duck Tours. It’s a unique family-friendly experience that combines sightseeing with history and a chance to go on the Charles River. Once aboard, the tour will take you past some of Boston’s top attractions, including Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden.

Tips for Visiting Boston Duck Tours in Boston with kids

  • Look for special discounts for combo tickets to other top Boston attractions.
  • Tours have three departure locations: the Museum of Science, Prudential Center and New England Aquarium.
  • The best time to take the tour is late-spring through early fall, with peak season in summer.

Top Hotels near Boston Duck Tours

Courtyard Boston Copley Square

Photo| Courtyard Boston Copley Square| Provided by LEONARDO

Courtyard Boston Copley Square combines old-world charm with modern amenities, set in a historic building near Boston’s top family attractions. The on-site restaurant Table 88 Bistro serves full American breakfast with an a la carte menu and offers Starbucks beverages for parents who need a caffeine fix.

Families with kids will find the 2 Double ideal for their needs, offering two double-size beds, high-speed Wi-Fi, a mini fridge and coffee maker. For a spacious living room area and floor-to-ceiling windows, upgrade to a Suite.

Nearby Attractions

  • Copley Square (350 metres)
  • Boston Back Bay Station (250 metres)
  • Prudential (400 metres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 175 – USD 614
Guest Rating: 8.7
Address: 88 Exeter Street, Back Bay, Massachusetts, Boston, United States

Mandarin Oriental Boston

Photo| Mandarin Oriental Boston| Provided by LEONARDO

Boasting a coveted location in Back Bay, Mandarin Oriental Boston is a luxurious hotel with a lavish spa and lounge serving afternoon tea. HotelsCombined visitors love the hotel’s superb on-site dining at Bar Boulud, a French-style bistro with a children’s menu.

Modern rooms feature HD LCD TVs, Back Bay views and sitting areas, with upgraded Suites adding Jacuzzis and separate living rooms. For families, the hotel offers a Family Getaway package with a complimentary adjoining room, snacks and treasure map highlighting kid-friendly attractions in Boston.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 684 – USD 2,427
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 776 Boylston Street, Back Bay, Massachusetts, Boston, United States

Hotel Location

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

Photo| Gettyimages | KATERINASERGEEVA

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is a kid-friendly, multi-sensory experience that recalls one of the most significant events in the United States. Families will be entertained, as the museum captivates visitors with live actors, interactive exhibits and full-scale replica 18th-century sailing vessels.

Tips for Visiting Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum in Boston with kids

  • Don’t miss seeing the Robinson Tea Chest and multi-sensory film “Let It Begin Here”.
  • Take part in the “Destruction of the Tea!” and throw tea overboard into the water.
  • Enjoy tea, tasty treats and waterfront views at Abigail’s Tea Room & Terrace.

Top Hotels near Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

InterContinental Boston

Photo| Intercontinental Boston| Provided by LEONARDO

Featuring a striking modern design, InterContinental Boston overlooks Fort Point Channel in Boston Harbor. In-room amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, HDTVs and Keurig coffee makers. The Two Queen Beds room is ideal for families with kids, offering floor-to-ceiling windows with water views.

HotelsCombined visitors rave about the heated 13-metre indoor pool, as well as the luxe day spa and fitness centre. Families can dine on oysters and chowder along with French dishes at Miel, while parents might enjoy a nightcap of vintage rum at RumBa. When you’re ready to explore with the kids, many of Boston’s top attractions are a short walk away.

Nearby Attractions

  • James Hook & Co (200 metres)
  • New England Aquarium (700 metres)
  • Children’s Wharf Park (500 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 275 – USD 1,051
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 510 Atlantic Avenue, Downtown Boston, Boston, United States

Hilton Boston Downtown/Faneuil Hall

Photo| Hilton Boston Downtown/Fanueil Hall | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Hilton Boston Downtown/Faneuil Hall is set in the heart of downtown Boston in a 1920’s Art Deco skyscraper. Some of Boston’s top family attractions are within walking distance, while on-site perks include complimentary breakfast, a fitness centre and Fin Point Oyster Bar and Grill serving New England classics.

Families can save money by staying in the Standard – 2 Double Beds, which includes a refrigerator, coffee maker and HDTV. The 1 Bedroom Suite – 2 Double Beds offers extra space, adding a separate living area with a sofa bed and two HDTVs.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 153 – USD 778
Guest Rating: 8.4
Address: 89 Broad Street, Downtown Boston, Boston, United States

Hotel Location

Boston Children’s Museum

Boston Children's Museum - Summer 2014
Photo | Boston Children’s Museum | Provided by BOSTON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Little dreamy girl, resting face on her hands, lying on her belly in museum.
Photo| Gettyimages | STEVEN MEERT

Unlike other museums, children are encouraged to touch the exhibits at Boston Children’s Museum. Designed with families in mind, active play and hands-on exploration is the focus here. Little ones can create a masterpiece in the Art Lab or play with bubbles in Bubbles, then dig, climb and build in the Construction Zone.

Tips for Visiting Boston Children’s Museum

  • Let kids make their way through the 3-D puzzle at the three-storey climbing structure at New Balance Foundation Climb.
  • Kids interested in science and technology will love the critical thinking exhibits at STEAM Lab.
  • Don’t miss meeting the life-size animatronic Dilophosaurus at Explore-a-Saurus.

Top Hotels near Boston Children’s Museum

Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Downtown Seaport

Photo| Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Downtown Seaport | Provided by LEONARDO

Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Downtown Seaport is a unique extended stay hotel for families who want to explore Boston at their own pace. Spacious studio and one bedroom suites feature separate living areas, fully equipped kitchens and sofa beds.

Families can fuel up with free hot breakfast served daily, then walk to some of Boston’s best attractions for kids, including Boston Children’s Museum and the New England Aquarium. The hotel also features an on-site exercise room and 24-hour convenience store and offers evening socials with snacks.

Nearby Attractions

  • Boston Children’s Museum (290 metres)
  • Boston Fire Museum (100 metres)
  • Fan Pier Park (700 metres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 253 – USD 735
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 370 Congress Street, South Boston Waterfront, Boston, United States

The Envoy Hotel Autograph Collection

Photo| The Envoy Hotel Autograph Collection | Provided by LEONARDO

Families will love staying at The Envoy Hotel Autograph Collection, which offers a prime location in the emerging Innovation District. On-site dining is highlighted by locally sourced dishes at Outlook Kitchen, while Lookout Rooftop offers expansive city views. 

The entry-level Classic 2 Queen room features a sitting area, air conditioning, coffee maker and mini bar, while upscale Corner Rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows framing stunning views over the harbour and city. These upgraded rooms add extra space with a separate living room.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 321 – USD 770
Guest Rating: 8.8
Address: 70 Sleeper Street, South Boston Waterfront, Boston, United States

Hotel Location

Boston with Kids is Fun For the Whole Family

Boston is a kid-friendly destination in Massachusetts where families can see the sights, explore the nation’s history and have a memorable vacation without breaking the bank. The New England city offers a wealth of opportunities for family fun, from exciting city tours to interactive museums. Make the most of your holiday by staying at one of these top hotels in Boston that offer on-site restaurants, pools, day spas and access to the city’s best family attractions.

To discover more Boston attractions check out article: 22 Fascinating Historic Places to Visit in Boston

Where do you and your family want to stay in Boston? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Charity De Souza Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have been travelling with my battered backpack full-time for over a decade. My favourite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, wine tasting in Portugal, road tripping through Iceland, snorkelling in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.

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