As spring is nearing its chilly end in Boston, the warmer weather of summer is right around the corner. We promise. Those waiting for the cold to thaw can check out this of some of the best activities and events around Boston this summer.
Franklin Park recently opened a brand new Children’s Zoo. This area lets kids get up close and personal with prairie dogs, climb bamboo poles and navigate a grass maze. The children’s area even has an “eagle’s nest” where kids get to climb and get a view of the whole zoo. The rest of the zoo is fun to explore as well. It covers 72 acres and houses around 100 animals from the African Lion to the straw-colored fruit bat.
The Greenway Carousel opened for the season in late March. Located at the Tiffany and Co. Foundation Grove, this carousel features animals native to Boston. There’s a lobster, peregrine falcon, oarfish and harbor seal among other animals. Children can run through the Greenway’s fountains starting in late May. Those looking for a quick getaway can grab a tasty lunch from one of the surrounding food trucks and picnic on the nearby grass.
A Boston summer isn’t complete without a stop at Fenway Park. Opening day was April 5, with the Red Sox taking on the Tampa Bay Rays. Fenway Park is the oldest ballpark in the MLB. It has seen many historic events such as a series of Red Sox wins in the World Series, the Newport Jazz Festival with Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder and the first open-air boxing shows.
The ballpark has a special area for kids called Wally’s Clubhouse. This area has face painting, a balloon artist, and possibly a visit from Wally himself. The clubhouse is open to children of all ages.
The Swan Boats are another popular city activity, and they reopened this year on April 14th. These boats have been in operation since 1877, making appearances in children’s novels such as “Make Way for Ducklings,” and “The Trumpet of the Swan.” The rides are a very peaceful experience. Each trip takes about 15-20 minutes, and it costs only $2.50 for kids ages 2-15.
The boats are located inside Boston Commons and Public Garden, which lays claim to being the oldest public park in America. The trees make the park a scenic place to visit all throughout the summer, as well as its statues and fountains. Walk through with an ice cream scoop from a local vendor, or try one of the burgers at the famous “Cheers” bar.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a bouldering wall open to everyone, regardless of MIT affiliation. Bouldering is a more basic form of rock climbing that takes place on small walls or rock formations, and it doesn’t require any ropes or harnesses. The MIT wall is free, run by volunteers and open nearly every day. They just ask for a $1 donation for people who use rental shoes.
Faneuil Hall is a great place for grabbing lunch during a stroll through the city. This building has been a Boston landmark for centuries, dating back to 1742 when the country’s founding fathers declared it “The Cradle of Liberty.” Today it houses more than 70 retailers, musicians, and street performers. Food is located inside the hall at Quincy Market. Options include the upscale Anthem Kitchen and Bar, Carol Ann’s Bake Shop and Durgin Park.
Take a break and go for a long walk or a swim at Castle Island. The island is located on the Boston Harbor shore, and it’s been a fort since 1634. Local tip: The island is not really an island. It has been connected to land since 1928. Start with a walk around Fort Independence. When that gets tiring, head to Sullivan’s for a classic lobster roll or clam chowder. Then head for a swim at Pleasure Bay, or as the locals call it, “The Lagoon.”
Get your sweet tooth satisfied just a stone’s throw away from the city. Located in Somerville, Taza Chocolate Factory is a local favorite. This place offers tours that take visitors through their chocolate grinding and depositing rooms. The tour even includes a tasting. The Chocolate Factory has two super fun events for young children on Saturdays and Sundays.
The first event is Taza Cacao Scout bingo. The second is chocolate story time. While bingo is $6 per person to participate, story time is free. Visitors are recommended to book their spot in advance. When you are out and about with your kids, consider purchasing a portable car seat to use conveniently throughout your day. mifold’s travel booster seat is more than ten times smaller than a regular booster seat and meets all safety standards in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. You can simply pack it in your backpack for the day and save time with your daily activities, such as a trip to the Taza Chocolate Factory.
While there are plenty of family-friendly activities around Boston, kids will be entertained for hours at the Boston Children’s Museum. The museum recently celebrated 100 years, and last year’s renovation project added 88,000 square feet of exhibit space. Peep’s World is a permanent exhibit that introduces young children to science. Take the kids next to the Japanese House, which is a full-sized two-story townhouse that teaches visitors about Japanese culture and history. Let’s not forget the New Balance Climb, a three-story netted climbing structure.