SUNDAY TRAVEL ADVENTURES – "Family-Friendly Attractions in Boston"
Today’s featured travel writer is Traci L. Suppa. She drags her small-town family to see a quirky array of the world’s largest, longest, or tallest things, and blogs about it at Go BIG or Go Home.
Our Favorite Family-Friendly Attractions in Boston
Our family loves to travel. My son, now 12 years old, took his first flight at five months. For us, travel can be as simple as a regional weekend getaway, which works well for our limited budget! It also helps that we have a Capital One Venture Rewards card, which gives us two miles per dollar on every purchase. We charge everything on that card, and the miles add up quickly!
Our recent trip to Boston was partially funded by Capital One credit. Boston is a great city for families to visit; mainly because there are so many attractions and activities to fill your days.
We purposely seek out sites claiming to be the “world’s largest,” so the world’s largest Van de Graaff generator at the Boston Museum of Science was at the top of our list of must-sees. Luckily, the “Lightning!” show is included in a general admission ticket. The presenter describes how electricity is conducted both indoors and out, and then generates one million volt sparks from the generator’s components. It was a loud show, but the kids were mesmerized!
There are many other intriguing exhibits at the science center for all ages, even adults. For kids 8 and under, the Discovery Center is a two floor space of hands-on exhibits focusing on animals and basic science principals.
Another big attraction we enjoyed was the Mapparium, a 30-foot walk-through glass globe at the Mary Baker Eddy Library. It’s a great place to sneak some geography lessons into your unsuspecting kids. You’ll need to take the short guided tour, which is supplemented by a simple light show and video. The acoustics here are part of the attraction, since the glass doesn’t absorb sound. If you speak while standing under the North Pole, you hear yourself in surround sound.
The Children’s Museum of Boston is one of the oldest in the U.S., and one of the best, but there wasn’t much to entertain our 12-year old. For younger kids however, there are three floors of exhibits which engage kids both intellectually and physically. There are several themed areas, such as Kid Power and the Construction Zone, where kids climb, jump, and slither. Our 5-year old daughter is a PBS fan, so she loved the “Arthur & Friends” and “Peep’s World” areas.
Instead of touring the Freedom Trail, which I knew would bore our youngest, we tried two lesser-known activities and attractions. First, we took the 40-minute ride on “Codzilla,” operated by Boston Harbor Cruises. This is a thrill ride, so if you have young kids, you may want to try one of their scheduled boat cruises on a traditional vessel. But once your kids are 40” tall, they can ride this 135-passenger speed boat. It was a heart-pounding adventure! Once we cleared the wake zone, we zoomed at 45 miles per hour on the waters off Deer Island. The captain made 360 turns and dips to each side at high speed. We all got soaked!
Taking a Boston Pizza Tour is a great way to see the North End neighborhood, get a guided walking tour of local history, and try some of the city’s best pizza! We stopped at three of the neighborhood’s best 47 eateries serving pizza, and sampled a cheese slice at each. We made quick stops at the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s House, and other historical spots. The tour takes two hours, but the kids were able to rest at each restaurant.
For more great family travel adventures, check out Traci L. Suppa at Go BIG or Go Home.