Boston: 9 Awesome Things To Do With Kids

1.The Freedom Trail

freedom trail

We visited Boston for two days last October (it was part of our two week East Coast Road Trip- read more about that here). There were so many fun and historical things to see in this amazing city. Following The Freedom Trail throughout Boston was one of our kids favorite and most memorable activities our entire trip.

freedom trail in boston freedom trail in boston

I’m not even sure they realized how far they walked because of how much fun they had.

2. The Old North Church

old north church

One of the 16 official sites along the Freedom Trail is the historic Old North Church. On April 18, 1775 Paul Revere met up with the sexton Robert Newman to tell him how to signal the advancement of British troops towards Lexington and Concord. Newman then met fellow Sons of Liberty Captain Pulling and Thomas Bernard. Leaving Bernard to keep watch outside, Newman opened the church and he and Pulling climbed the stairs and ladders up eight stories to hang two lanterns for a few moments. It was long enough for patriots in Charlestown to learn what has been immortalized by the phrase “one if by land, two if by sea” in Longfellow’s poem. The British advanced by boat across the Charles River.

signal lanterns of paul revere  Old North Church

Be sure to take a peak inside this gorgeous church. Note: The lanterns are on display at the Concord Museum.

old north church captain jackson's chocolate



Behind the back of the Old North Church is this little shop, Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop. Be sure to stop by and sample some of this unique chocolate.





And if you’re lucky, you just might run into a filming of Wheel of Fortune.

3. Paul Revere House

 paul revere house

We were so glad we made time to tour Paul Revere’s home. Children are $1, Seniors and Students $3 and Adults $3.50. Hours vary, depending on the season, but it opens at 9:30 am daily and closes by 4 or 5 pm daily. It only took an hour to tour and we learned so much about the life of Paul Revere. Paul Revere purchased it in 1770, when he was 35 years old. He and his second wife (his first died after giving birth to their 8th child) lived here when Revere made his famous messenger ride to Lexington on the night of April 18-19, 1775.    Note: They don’t allow photography inside.

freedom trail paul revere stop 

4. Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market

fanuil hall fanuil hall

Faneuil Hall played a vital role in revolutionary politics. Built by wealthy merchant Peter Faneuil as a center of commerce in 1741, this is where the Sons of Liberty proclaimed their dissent against Royal oppression.  It has served as an open forum meeting hall and marketplace for more than 270 years and has continued to provide a forum for debate on the most consequential issues of the day. You can go inside and tour this historic building. It is open daily from 9am-6pm. There are little souvenir shops and free historic talks every 3o minutes.

quincy market in boston

Adjacent from Faneuil Hall is Quincy Market. Filled with just about every eating option ever (breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks, sweets etc) there is something for everyone and if you leave hungry, well- it’s just not possible!

quincy market food in boston

quincy market in boston quincy market food in boston

Boston Bakery Boston Creme Pies

Of course we had to try a Boston Creme Pie whilst in Boston!

cheers in boston quincy market boston

The iconic Cheers is also located here.

5. Lobster!!

durgin park

We always try to eat authentic and local on vacation. Living in a desert, seafood isn’t really a Utah standard.  Fry sauce, however… Whole other story.

durgin park lobster at durgin park

Located in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, we decided to eat at Durgin Park. We had the BEST waitress. Such great customer service. We ordered the Surf N Turf and man. Everything was seriously SO good. Our waitress taught us how locals eat ‘Lobstah’ and our kids (especially our oldest) loved it! AND it was a kid friendly environment.

durgin park dining room

We ate an early dinner at 4 and completely beat the rush. When we left an hour later, it was jam packed.

6. Bunker Hill Monument

bunker hill at night bunker hill at night

We had plans to climb the 294 steps to the top of this historic Monument, but our Whale Watching Tour (more on that below) left most of us feeling a little sea sick so it didn’t quite work out as planned. We still walked around the grounds of the first major battle of the Revolutionary War (on June 17, 1775), which looked beautiful lit up at night. The last climb in the Fall is at 4:30pm. The monument and museum are free to tour and hours vary, so be sure to check here and plan accordingly.

7. Boston Common

boston common Boston commons boston common gardens

Oh wow- this park was so beautiful and is another stop along the Freedom Trail. It is America’s oldest park and was training ground for the Redcoats in 1775.  We were sad the famous Swan Boats were closed for the season, but loved seeing the gorgeous Fall leaves as we walked along the trails.

8. Whale Watching Cruise

Boston Harbor Whale Watch Cruise

This was a huge bucket list item for us. To see whales, in their natural environment. It almost didn’t happen though. The cruise had been cancelled for several days due to a hurricane hitting the Florida coast earlier in the week.  Red level 4 meant nothing to us. In hind sight, we should have loaded up on the motion sickness medicine!  haha!

Boston Harbor Boats whale watch boat rideboston view from boat

We went with the only Whale Watching Cruise out of Boston, Boston Harbor Cruises which partners with the New England Aquarium.  The boat has three levels. We suggest trying to snag a seat outside or on the bottom level, near the back (especially if you are prone to motion sickness). It did get pretty cold (we went in October) while the boat was cruising out to the Stellwagon Bank Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary is basically a spot in the middle of the ocean that is a rich feeding ground for several different species including whales, fish, birds etc.

humpback whales boston cruise humpback whales in boston

When the boat arrived after an hour’s ride, we immediately saw a big spiral bubble net formed by 6-7 Humpback Whales. It more than made up for the rough ride. It was incredible! For the next hour we watched over 20 whales swim, blow bubbles, flip and feed. Something we won’t soon forget! Read about our unique trip here on BHC Blog.  There are several ticket options available, but first check with Groupon or similar websites for discount passes. We’ve seen these BHC on there before! Otherwise, you can purchase tickets directly from BHC for $53 for adults and $33 for children. They do tend to sale out, so if this is high on your list, be sure to buy tickets at least a few days in advance. Also plan to arrive early if you want to snag a good seat, as it is general seating.

humpback whales boston boston harbor cruises whales

9. Skywalk Observatory at Prudential Center

And our final destination was taking in the Boston views from the top of the Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center.

prudential tower views 

We suggest timing it so you can see the city at both day and night- arriving 30 minutes before sunset was perfect.


Hours vary, depending on the season and it is open 7 days a week (although it does periodically close for private functions.) Tickets cost $18 for adults and $13 for kids. It is also part of the cityPASS, which includes the Skywalk plus 3 more Boston attractions: New England Aquarium, Museum of Science and Museum of Fine Arts OR Boston Harbor Cruises. Valid for 9 days. Cost: Adult $55 (value $96.25); Child (ages 3-11) $42.

skywalk observatory in boston

Boston at night


Of course we ran into another taping of Wheel of Fortune. Vanna was SO sweet, she came over and said hi and took a picture with our kids.

Boston skyline  downtown boston

harvard statue




























We made a quick stop at Harvard on our way into Boston. Very cool to see this historic University.


We loved our time here and can’t wait to go back.

What do you like to do in Boston?  What are your favorite places to eat??

Mayflower 2

Going Back to 1620 in Plymouth, Mass.

Plymouth Mayflower

The coastal town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, is rich in U.S. History. It was the site of the first Pilgrim settlement in 1620 and there are several different places to visit here. We only had the morning (this was part of our East Coast trip- more on that here) but we knew we wanted to do something in Plymouth! We found a great parking spot right along the coast and a short walk later, we made it to the Mayflower II. The Mayflower II is a full-scale reproduction of the ship that brought the Pilgrims here. It was amazing to see and really made us think what it would be like to live on a ship (without bathrooms!) for more than 10 weeks. There were several ‘actors’ who were in full-attire and character that you could ask questions about the voyage. We learned a lot of interesting facts: most of the women and children stayed below deck because it was too dangerous above, nobody died on the voyage, and it was often cold and damp below deck. Our kids really had a great time during the hour we spent aboard. Unfortunately/fortunately the Mayflower II is currently under renovation until 2019, in preparation of the 400th commemoration of when the Pilgrims reached New England’s shore. However, if you have more time you can tour Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum dedicated to telling the history of Plymouth Colony from the perspective of both the Pilgrims and the Native Wampanoag people. Find out more information of Plimoth Plantation, including pricing and hours, here.

Mayflower II tour Mayflower

Mayflower tour Plymouth Plymouth, MA

Plymouth Rock

A short walk from the Mayflower II is Plymouth Rock. (It is located underneath the white columns pictured above.)

Plymouth Rock Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock Plymouth Rock

We waited a few minutes to get a front row view, but we’re glad we did.

Then, we drove around and loved the feel of this charming city! It was a quick visit here, but so glad we made made the stop.



north bridge

Historic Concord, Massachusetts

Concord is rich with both U.S. and Literary History. This was such a charming and patriotic town to spend the afternoon in!  Our fist stop was the Concord Museum. We picked up a map with the city’s 11 main highlights. Although we didn’t have enough time to tour the museum, it is filled with Revolutionary War Artifacts- including the lantern Paul Revere used at the Old North Church. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, with ages 5 and under free. Hours vary, so visit their website for more information.  (For a similar driving map to the one we used, check out this one).

Old North Bridge

Minute Man Statue

A huge highlight for us was walking on the North Bridge. This is the historic site of the Revolutionary War “shot heard ’round the world,” in April 1775. It was absolutely beautiful, with the many trees and fall leaves secluding it. Our kids had so much fun running back and fourth over the bridge, pretending to be soldiers. To learn more facts about the bridge, visit here.  We were lucky to hear a few ranger talks/school field trip presentations adding to the experience.

concord ma

Minute man park Drive Minute Man Map Minute Man Drive Map

After we finished up with the North Bridge, we visited some of the famous homes in the area. There is a small fee for tickets to tour each of these homes.  Unfortunately, with our tight schedule (this was part of our East Coast Road Trip) we weren’t able to tour any of them this time. We still had fun following our map and driving past each one of them.

The Old Manse

The Old Manse: A short walk from the North Bridge, this home is rich with history. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s grandparents built the home and had a front row seat to the the ‘shot heard round the world’. Can you imagine?! At one point it was also home to Emerson himself as well as Nathaniel Hawthorne. Tours are available for $10 per adult and $5 for youth.

ralph waldo emerson home

Ralph Waldo Emerson House: Wanting to return back to his roots, Emerson purchased this home in 1835. Tours are available at select times for a fee. Find more information here.

Orchard House

Orchard House: Louisa May Alcott wrote and set Little Women here while living with her family. The home is available to tour for $10 per adults and $5 for youth.  Note: there is an online coupon for .50 cents off each ticket available here if you plan to tour Orchard House.

The Wayside: Part of Minute Man National Historic Park, writers Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Harriett Lothrop (Margaret Sidney) all lived here at one time.  Tickets are $6 for adults and free for children.

Thoreau Farm Thoreau Farm Entrance

Thoreau Farm: The birthplace of Henry David Thoreau. Guided tours are available with tickets free for children and $6 for adults.


Sleepy Hollow Cemetery: Resting places of Thoreau, Emerson, the Alcotts and Hawthorne. For more information, visit here.

Other points of interest not pictured:

Robbins House: Learn the history of African American in Concord. For more information, visit here.

Walden Pond: Historic site of Henry Thoreau’s experiment in living simply.  Visitors can swim, hike, canoe, picnic at this lake. For more information, visit here.

This was such a charming town, filled with many bed and breakfasts, antique shops, and of course so much history. We hope to come back and spend a weekend here someday!